What you should know before having a water heater installed.

A water heater here in the Albuquerque – Rio Rancho area typically lasts between 8-12 years depending on usage, water condition and if you have a re-circ pump connected to it. Some of the signs that your water heater is going bad are, warm water (even though its turned up to the highest setting), your hot water runs out faster, the water heater makes a loud rumbling sound when it heats, you see rust stains on the outside of the tank and water around the base of the water heater.

It’s important that your water heater is installed by a licensed technician and that it meets all the latest code requirements.

An inspection is going to ensure that the water heater was installed correctly and safely to meet all local code requirements. Only a licensed plumber can call in a city inspection because only a licensed plumber is allowed to install a water heater. If a water heater is installed by a home owner, a handy man or an unlicensed subcontractor working for a big box store there can be issues if something goes wrong. If the water heater was installed incorrectly and it causes a flood or a fire inside the house the insurance company may deny your claim for damages.

Code requirements have changed a lot in the last few years and inspectors want to make sure these changes are implemented. For instance, all new water heaters installed in Rio Rancho must be fitted with a thermal expansion tank to help reduce the wear and tear that pressure fluctuations and pressure spikes cause to pipes and fixtures. Water heaters that are located inside the house must have a pan fitted underneath them to catch and contain any water leaks. A Drip Leg must be attached to the gas line to catch any debris blowing through the line before it reaches the gas valve. A recent code change in 2014 requires that earthquake straps be installed on every new water heater installation.

There are many more code requirements that must be met, such as clearances, vent sizing, gas line sizing, temperature/pressure valve drain  etc…

All these requirements are in place to make sure that your water heater will operate safely. Incorrectly installed water heaters are responsible for a number of deaths here in the United States every year and that is why the city takes its inspections so seriously.

The cost of a water heater installation can vary so a plumber needs to go to your house and visually inspect the existing installation to give you a solid price.  A water heater only needs to be replaced about every 10 years, so make sure it’s installed correctly.

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