Winter Guide to Gas Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Winter Guide to Gas Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Winter Guide to Gas Hot Water Heater Maintenance

  • Plumbing

Winter Guide to Gas Hot Water Heater Maintenance

The winter season is almost here, which means it’s time to prepare your home for the snow and frigid temperatures. You’ve insulated your plumbing, cleared your gutters, and prepped the standby generator, but there’s one appliance you can’t forget. Just like the furnace, homeowners will rely on their gas water heater during the winter season, but your gas water heater is just as strained from use due to the drop in temperature. Proper maintenance for your gas water heater not only ensures you can enjoy heated water throughout the holiday season, it prevents a plumbing catastrophe. Check out our winter guide to gas hot water heater maintenance now!

How You Can Prepare Your Gas Water Heater this Winter

A damaged gas water heater poses a lot of problems beyond the frustration of a lack of hot water. Over time and use, your gas water heater can wear down, especially for homes that run on hard water. Pipes can rust and contaminate your drinking and bathing water, a leak can cause costly water damage, and even worse, your gas water heater tank can explode. Luckily with proper maintenance, you can enjoy your heated water without a plumbing catastrophe. Here’s how you can stay warm and dry this winter season.

  • Flush your gas water heater. Your water heater works the hardest during the winter season, and over time mineral deposits can settle at the bottom of the tank and break down the water heater. Mineral deposits prevent your gas water heater from operating efficiently and it can clog your water lines. That’s why it’s important to flush your gas water heater at least twice a year to clean out the mineral deposits.
  • Check the pressure valve. Your gas water heater has a pressure valve called the TPR valve that releases pressure whenever the tank becomes over pressured. To test your TPR valve, life the trip lever on the valve and release it again. You should see some water exit or hear a faint hint of air exiting the valve. If you don’t see anything exit the valve or water just keeps flowing out, you might need to replace the TPR valve. It’s a good idea to check your gas water heater’s pressure valve every six months to check for clogs or leaks.
  • Check the filters. Some gas water heaters have a filter to catch any problematic debris. Your water heater works best when it’s clear and clean of sediment and debris, which is why it’s important to routinely clean or replace your filters if your gas water heater has one.
  • Inspect the thermostat. Some heating problems aren’t caused by the appliances themselves, but a malfunctioning thermostat. A functional thermostat is important for all your heating appliances, as it prevents your gas water heater from overworking itself to keep up with inconsistent temperature settings.
  • Check the anode rod. The anode rod is another important component of your gas water heater that works to capture any corrosive material in the water. Your gas water heater tank is susceptible to rust and corrosion, which is why it’s important to occasionally check the anode rod. Watch for any calcium deposits, missing parts, or if the rod itself has dissolved to less than half inch thick. Anode rods can last up to 5-10 years, but they can last longer if routinely cleaned.
  • Adjust the temperature. The winter season makes it difficult to be energy efficient, especially when you heavily rely on your heating appliances. Adjusting the temperature setting on your gas water heater, however, can save in energy costs and prevents your gas water heater from overheating.
  • Insulate your tank and pipes. Just like the rest of your plumbing this winter season, a little insulation can go a long way. Covering the tank and attached pipes with an insulated material can help to keep the hot water in the pipes warmer for an extended period of time.
  • Clean out air intake and exhaust vents. Like your furnace, your gas water heater needs proper ventilation in order to function. Snow is a common issue for your gas water heater’s air intake and exhaust vents during the winter season. Snow and other debris can clog inside the vents and cause damages to your gas water heater. Fencing off snow and installing a metal mesh to keep pests out helps to keep your vents clear and water heater running efficiently.

Stay Warm this Winter by Taking Care of Your Gas Water Heater

A home with a damaged gas water heater makes for a miserable holiday season. A poorly maintained gas water heater is more than a nuisance, but a costly plumbing problem. Luckily you can stay warm and dry thing winter with routine maintenance. Proper maintenance however, can only help so much; sometimes you’ll need professional help. A licensed plumber can help guarantee your gas water heater is fully functional and prepared for the incoming winter season. Don’t wait until there’s water in the basement, call a Papalia Home Services Today.

Follow our winter guide to gas water heater maintenance and don’t lose your hot water when it’s cold out. Call Papalia Home Services Today!

By admin

Ways to Cut Costs While Using Your Hot Water Heater

Papalia tankless Water Heater

Ways to Cut Costs While Using Your Hot Water Heater

  • Plumbing

Think about how often you use hot water in your home. Every time you take a shower, scrub the dishes, or throw a load of laundry into the washer, you are using your hot water heater. Frequent use may be necessary, but it can potentially cause your water bill to skyrocket. Here are a few ways to cut costs while using your water heater:

Use Less Water

This is the most obvious way to save money. People use a great amount hot water when they shower. By tweaking your shower habits a little, you can save a good amount of money. Try taking warm showers instead of cranking the heat all the time. You can also use cold water to wash your clothes. Not only does it help to preserve your clothing, so they last longer – it cleans just as well as hot water!

Turn Down the Temperature

Your hot water stays the same temperature 24/7. That means that the water is constantly hot and ready to be delivered to you through your pipes. As you can probably imagine, this requires a lot of energy. By turning down the set temperature on your water heater, you can save. This cuts energy usage drastically and can help you save on your utilities. If you’re unsure about how to go about setting the temperature, as a professional for assistance.

Switch it Off When Appropriate

If you’re going on a trip or you know that you will be away from your home for a lengthy period of time, its perfectly find to switch off your water heater. Most models only take an hour to reheat after cooling completely, so be sure to give it time before hopping into the shower. If you’re not around to use the hot water, why should it have to stay hot?


Your tank should be insulated! Any tank that isn’t can suffer massive heat loss which is a major waste of energy. Insulation is inexpensive and can save you on your utilities. Try touching your tank – if it’s warm to the touch it means you’re losing heat.

Set a Timer

Programmable timers on electric models can shut the heat off when you don’t need it. You don’t need hot water while you’re asleep in bed or away at work for the day. Again, it’s important to remember that it does take a while to heat back up. Just be sure that your timing is thought out and you won’t even notice that its off!

Invest in a Newer Model

Most hot water heaters have a lifespan of 8-12 years. With the modern technology of the past few years, it’s almost guaranteed that your older model is outdated. It may seem like it’s working perfectly, but all models lose efficiency as they age. An inefficient machine requires more energy to operate, which can put a dent in your wallet when its time to pay your utilities. Investing in a new machine will save you money in the long run, so call Papalia if you have any questions about selecting a replacement.

Go Tankless With Papalia!

With a tankless water heater, water is heated instantly, only when you need it. Instead of wasting money and energy with a constantly heated tank, the tankless water heater creates hot water the second you turn on the faucet. Because the water is heated on demand, you’ll never run out!

If you are thinking about making the switch to a tankless water heater, call Papalia today! We’re ready to help! 

By admin

5 Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater

tankless water heater in Massachusetts by Papalia

5 Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater

  • Plumbing

If you’re getting a new water heater, you may want to consider other types instead of the basic tank models. One of the more common types is the tankless water heater. Instead of storing and heating water in a tank, they boil and heat water as it moves through the pipe into your home. The best kind of water heater depends on your living situation, but these models have some advantages over tank models.

Here are 5 reasons you should consider getting a tankless water heater:


Less bulky

The tank that comes with tank water heaters can take up a lot of space. Tankless water heaters don’t have this tank and consequentially take up about a third as much space. Also, they’re lighter and smaller than other models, some reaching only five pounds. They can also be mounted on a wall to save even more space.


Save money and the environment

On average, tankless models use about 10% less energy than the average tank model. In a four-person household, this can result in triple-digit savings over the water heater’s lifespan. There’s also the possibility of rebates for switching to a more energy-efficient solution.


Cleaner water

The interiors of water heater tanks can get pretty nasty. Hard water and sediment can leave behind lots of stains inside the tank. Also, sediment often builds up inside the tank, especially near the bottom around the heating element. Some of the other problems sediment causes include corroding the tank until it leaks or rust gets in the water, making loud noises, and making the water heater inefficient. Tankless water heaters don’t have to worry about having a tank that can get damaged or dirty.


Instant hot water

Tankless water heaters don’t store and heat water in a tank to use. Instead, they heat water as it goes to your faucet. Tank water heaters also heat water when you want it, but it takes a bit of time to heat the water, resulting in wasted water. Re-circling pumps can help you save the water, but now you’re wasting electricity and energy. An average tankless water heater can comfortably supply a full-sized three bedroom two bathroom home with water.


Longer lifespan; fewer breakdowns

On average, a tank water heater can last anywhere from eight to fifteen years. Many factors can cause this number to vary. Some of these include the installation quality, how often it gets maintenance, and the water’s quality. Tankless water heaters, under optimal conditions, can last for over twenty years. They can partially attribute their long lifespan to requiring less maintenance. This means you can save money on potential breakdowns. Also, manufacturers usually give longer-lasting warranties to tankless water heaters because they have longer lifespans.


Why call Papalia to service my plumbing?

When you choose Papalia Home Services for water heater repair and replacement services, you’re choosing a top-rated, family-owned company that’s been serving Boston’s Metro West for more than 26 years. We’re dedicated to keeping our customers happy by providing the very best water heater repair and replacement services for their homes or businesses. Call Papalia today to order your tankless water heater!

By Brian Renadette

5 Reasons to Call for Water Heater Repair in Massachusetts

water heater repair in Massachusetts by Papalia

5 Reasons to Call for Water Heater Repair in Massachusetts

  • Plumbing

When it comes to your appliances, they all share a simple trait: they all get worn down over time. However, just because an appliance is worn down doesn’t mean you immediately need to buy a replacement. Any appliance, such as your tank water heater, may simply need a repair job from our expert Massachusetts technicians. However, preventing a breakdown in the first place can cost you less, so it’s good to know when your water heater is having problems. If you can catch these issues early, you can save a lot of time and money from a potential breakdown.

Here are five signs your water heater needs a repair in your Massachusetts home:


Rusty water

If your home’s water looks and tastes rusty, there are two things that can be causing it. If only your hot water is rusty, the inside of your water heater is likely rusted. However, if all of your water is affected, the corrosion problem is with one of your pipes. Whatever is causing it, a call to Papalia Home Services should be your first step. Meanwhile, if your water is cloudy or smells strange, you likely have a mineral buildup in your water heater’s tank. This can generally be fixed by flushing your tank, but be careful. If you haven’t provided regular maintenance in a few years, flushing the tank might open up a hole that was filled with mineral sediment.


Mineral problems

Speaking of minerals in the water, they can do a lot more than making the water smell strange. When minerals build up around the heating elements, it can make it hard to heat water or even overheat the tank. In addition, minerals can also block the pipes that carry hot water. In extreme cases, minerals can corrode the inside of the tank and eventually cause a leak. If the water pressure in your home seems low, that might be the reason.


Strange noises

As a major appliance, it’s inevitable that your water heater will make some noise. However, loud popping, crackling, or rumbling noises are signs that you should call Papalia Home Services. The build-up of sediment in your tank is making it hard for it to do its job. If the tank doesn’t get a flushing and thorough cleaning, the tank may corrode from the inside out and start leaking.


Heating problems

As the name implies, your water heater is supposed to heat up your home’s water. If it isn’t doing its job properly, then that means you have a problem on your hands. Gas models might need a pilot light lit up while electrical models necessitate a trip to the circuit breaker. On a particularly cold day, the pipes and tank might freeze and need some insulation. However, if the unit isn’t working despite having power or fuel, the problem might be a worn heating element, faulty thermostat, or sediment build-up.



Leaks are an obvious issue for any tank-based water heater. However, you may not notice that your tank is leaking unless you give it frequent visual inspections. If you do see water around your tank, check around the fittings, temperature release valve, and connections for leaks. If you don’t find any, then your tank might have a leak and need to be replaced.


Why call Papalia to keep my water heater working its best?

When you choose Papalia Home Services for water heater repair and replacement services, you’re choosing a top-rated, family-owned company that’s been serving Boston’s Metro West for more than 26 years. We’re dedicated to keeping our customers happy by providing the very best water heater repair and replacement services for their homes or businesses. We offer highly trained professionals, award-winning service, affordable prices and warranties, and much more. Call Papalia Home Services today to lean more about our water heater services!

By Brian Renadette