Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Water Heater Repair’

What Does the Thermocouple Do on My Water Heater?

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Without a water heater in your home, the miracle of indoor plumbing (“the best thing since indoor plumbing” is still one of the measuring sticks of progress) will not mean much. You need hot water for many daily activities, so a working water heater is essential.

But you also need a safe working water heater, and that’s where the thermocouple comes in. If you, like many homeowners, use a gas-powered water heater, the thermocouple helps prevent the heater from turning into a danger. But sometimes the thermocouple itself may need repairs and replacement, and for that you’ll need professionals in water heater repair in Doylestown, PA, like those at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling. We offer same day service, satisfaction guaranteed, so make us your first call for restoring your malfunctioning water heater.

The job of the thermocouple

The thermocouple is a simple safety component made from two strips of different types of metal, joined at one end. The thermocouple is attached near the pilot light along the burner assembly, with the two ends of the metal placed in the flame of the pilot light, and the other end attached to a shut-off valve for the natural gas line that feeds gas to the burner. Should the pilot light fail, the thermocouple will automatically close off the gas line and prevent the combustion chamber from flooding with unburned gas, creating a major hazard of explosion from even the smallest spark.

The way a thermocouple does this task is through a principle known as the “Seebeck Effect.” The Seebeck Effect describes how two different types of metal in proximity to each other will create an electric current when exposed to heat. The higher the heat, the stronger the current. This makes a thermocouple a crude temperature sensor. As long as electric current runs through the thermocouple because of the heat of the pilot light, the current keeps the valve open. If the pilot fails, so does the current, and the valve automatically closes.

Not all water heaters use a thermocouple. Some of the more recent models use a mercury sensor to shut off the gas valve. An electric water heaters don’t use gas at all, and therefore doesn’t need any kind of emergency gas shut off.

Thermocouples can fail and require replacement. To make sure that your water heater remains safe all year long, have a yearly maintenance visit from a professional to detect any troubles such as failing thermocouples.

The experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling can help you with maintenance and any water heater repair in Doylestown, PA that you need. Call us today. 

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Look for These Warnings You Need Water Heater Repair

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Running hot water isn’t something people are willing to negotiate. Like indoor plumbing and electricity, it’s an essential for daily life, keeping you clean and helping with cooking and washing. If your water heater begins to show signs that it requires professional attention, you need to act on the knowledge fast and call a technician for repairs. We’ll list some of the warnings you may receive that your water heater is failing.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling is “The Plumber That Other Plumbers Recommend.” We’ve served Bucks and Montgomery Counties with excellent plumbing services since 1976. Give us a call when you notice any of these signs that indicate it’s time for water heater repair in New Hope, PA.

  • A drop in hot water levels: If you notice that you’re receiving less hot water during the day than you are accustomed to (such as the hot water stopping early during your morning shower), don’t shrug it off as a temporary issue that will fix itself. This is often a sign of a disruption in the power source for the heater, whether electric or gas, and a professional will need to look into the cause and find a way to fix it.
  • A heating bill increase: If your water heater is working ineffectively because of a malfunction, it will draw a larger amount of power to provide you with the same level of hot water. A sudden increase in your power bills that you can’t account for because of a problem with your HVAC system may stem from a broken heater.
  • Rust-colored water from the taps: Rusty water is a common sight if you turn on a faucet after it hasn’t been used for a few weeks. But if you spot this same reddish-brown coloration in your hot water during normal use, then rust has started to infiltrate the hot water tank. This needs to be investigated right away before the corrosion damages the tank enough that it needs replacement.
  • Leaks: If you notice water pools around the water heater’s tank, you definitely have a problem. Any leaking from a water heater is a serious concern that needs attention right away.

You can avoid a “cold water surprise” during a morning shower if you have repairs on your water heater done as soon as possible. With Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling, we always have actual people answering our phones 24-hours a day to send technicians when you need them. There’s no reason to delay your water heater repair in New Hope, PA!

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Plumbing Guide: Water Heater Noises and What They Mean

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Does your water heater rumble or produce a popping noise? What does that mean? While water heaters are constructed to last long, water heater noises may be an indication that your water heater needs professional service. To learn more about water heater noises and how they affect the hot water in your Langhorne, PA home, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

If it sounds as though your water heater is boiling water, it probably is. When sediment collects at the bottom of a tanked water heater, it can cause overheating. The sediment varies greatly, but can contain lime, water scale, silicates, sulfates, aluminates, or silt and sand. This is a common problem and may require periodic system flushing to clear out the build-up.  Homeowners should also consult with their local water heater professionals to see if installing a sediment filter would help to prevent a large amount of build-up.

If you have hard water, merely flushing the system may not work. Because the minerals responsible for hard water—calcium and magnesium—often bind to the insides of the water heater, they cannot be flushed as easily. Because minerals in the water tend to precipitate at the hottest parts of the system, the bottom of your tank water heater is their preferred location. Regular deliming of your system by manual scraping or by a de-liming agent can greatly reduce the chance of permanent water heater damage, and it will also greatly improve the energy-efficiency of your water heater. If you have an electric water heater, lime scale can build upon the electrodes themselves.

Not only will the regular cleaning of your system reduce any irritating noises, the results will benefit your entire water heating system. Your water heater costs will generally be lower than with a system full of scale, and you’ll be extending the life of your water heater. If left alone, you may find you don’t have enough hot water on some days, or that you have dramatically slowed the heat-up rate.

If your water heater requires frequent repair, or if it is very old, consider replacing it with a new model. Not only are today’s water heaters more efficient, but they also tend to last longer. Schedule a consultation with your local water heater technician to learn more about your options in Langhorne, PA. Call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

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