Trust the professionals with your plumbing needs. Here at Allbritten, our plumbers handle all types of plumbing issues, from leaking pipes to broken water heaters to dripping faucets. There’s no job too simple or too complex for our team of experts! For emergency plumbing services here in Fresno and the Central Valley, call our team today. We’re ready to help.

Here are three tips to reduce pipe stress and prevent leaks

Pipe stress can lead to plumbing leaks. If you don’t take steps to address the problem, you will have to face costly plumbing repairs. The more you wait to act, the greater will be the damage to the pipes.However, the right proactive steps can help you avoid plumbing disaster later on.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about what pipe stress is, and how Allbritten can help you avoid plumbing problems and find leaks.

Our plumbers are ready to help.

Allbritten is Fresno’s trusted plumbing team. If you have a pipe leak in your home, call us right away for service. Click the link below to get started.

What is pipe stress?

This isn’t your pipes being stressed about an upcoming exam or financial woes. Instead, pipe stress refers to pipes that are bearing too large of a load at too high of pressure. There are two primary drivers of pipe problems:

  • Water Pressure: The water pressure in your home’s plumbing is too high, which stresses the pipes, gaskets, and seals of your home’s plumbing.
  • Hard Water: As minerals from water leech out while passing through your plumbing, they collect inside pipes, forming hard calcification spots. Over time, this reduces the flow through the pipe, increasing the pressure and corroding joints.

The problems with pressure in pipes can be observed in your garden hose. Let’s say that you have the hose on at full capacity. If you were to then restrict most of the flow by pinching the end of the hose, the remaining water would shoot out of the end of the hose more forcefully.

That same phenomenon is happening your home’s plumbing every time you turn on the shower or sink faucet, or every time you start a load of laundry. Over time, that stress wears on pipes and fittings.

What happens when your pipes are stressed?

Excessive pressure on your home’s pipes over a long period of time will eventually lead to problems. First, it puts your pipes at a greater risk of cracking or bursting open. This will lead to a water leak, most likely hidden behind a wall or under the foundation. Such leaks can be difficult for a homeowner to locate and fix on their own, so you’ll need to bring in our plumbers to assist you with making the repair.

Any water leak in the home carries with it the potential for water damage and mold growth. The longer the leak goes undetected or resolved, the worse these problems become. Water damage repair and mold remediation can significantly increase the cost of cleanup and repair. Water damage attacks your floors, foundation, and structure of your home, while the growth of mold or mildew may negatively impact your health.

Read: Here are the signs you need a plumber—fast

If you have reason to suspect your home has a hidden leak somewhere, you need to bring in a plumbing professional. Procrastinating on critical plumbing repairs will only make the situation worse.

How you can address pipe stress in your home

Your home’s pipes don’t have to be doomed to a future of leaks and problems. The professional plumbers at Allbritten can help ensure that your pipes are looking good and have a reduced stress level. Here are the two steps we take to address pipe stress problems:

Step #1: Have Allbritten check the pressure on your pipes

Water pressure over 80 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) can lead to increased stress on your pipes, causing strain inside the pipe and damaging your fixtures.

High water pressure is particularly damaging to copper pipes. In order to avoid corrosion, copper pipes have oxide coating on the interior pipe walls. This coating gets damaged when the water pressure is too high.

High water pressure in your home can put unnecessary pipe stress on your plumbing. Call Allbritten to have our plumbers install a water pressure regulator.

High water pressure in your home can put unnecessary pipe stress on your plumbing. Call Allbritten to have our plumbers install a water pressure regulator.

Water pressure should ideally be between 40 and 80 psi. If the water pressure is higher than the maximum threshold, it can cause plumbing damage.

Call Allbritten to have us measure your home’s water pressure. If the water pressure in your home is too high, we’ll likely recommend a solution such as a pressure regulator, a device that reduces the pressure of the water entering your home.

Step #2: Have Allbritten install a water softener

People who use well water or municipal water should consider using a water softener. Especially when drawn from wells and aquifers, water is typically hard, not soft, in the Fresno area. This water can damage the pipes and restrict the flow of water. Then, it will also cause corrosion in the joints. Also, the fittings that keep the pipe together can corrode due to hard water.

Read: Why Fresno homes need water softeners

You should examine faucets and shower heads to find out whether there is any white colored stains and buildup. These are usually magnesium, or other minerals that are found in high quantity in hard water.

Another way to know about hard water is to have your water tested by the team at Allbritten. Above 140 parts per million (PPM) indicates hard water. You can easily resolve the hard water problem by calling us and having us install a water softener.

Call Allbritten for more ways to reduce pipe stress

Allbritten is Fresno’s trusted name in plumbing. Our team is known for fast, friendly service and our honest approach to doing business. To learn more about our water testing services, give us a call or contact us online.

Here are the 3 biggest threats to your sewer line

Your home’s sewer line is arguably the most important part of your home’s pipes and plumbing. This line, typically PVC, copper, or—if your home was built prior to the 1960s—cast iron, is responsible for carrying all the wastewater out of your home to the municipal sewer. In other words, everything that goes down the shower drain, kitchen sink, or toilet travels through the sewer line. There are several threats to your sewer line you need to watch out for, however.

Common sewer line problems include clogs, leaks, and pipe movement. These issues can cause homeowners a whole lot of headache. Sewer line clogs, for instance, can lead to a sewer backup: a disastrous event in which wastewater comes back up through the drains into the home.

It’s critical that homeowners take sewer line threats seriously. In this article, we’ll review the major threats to your sewer line and what you can do to prevent them or—if it’s already too late—address them with our professional drain cleaning services.

Think you might have a clogged sewer line?

Contact our plumbers right now to schedule an inspection.


Thirsty tree roots

The buried sewer line most likely runs from the home’s foundation through your front or side yard to the street, where it connects to the municipal sewer. The trouble typically starts with a small leak in the line: a hairline fracture or separation that allows moisture to escape. This attracts any nearby tree roots, thirsting for a drink and nutrients. Some species have aggressive, fast-growing root structures that hone in on the sewer line like a heat-seeking (or, in this case, water-seeking!) missile.

Once the root reaches the sewer line, it often starts to grow around it and—in search of even more moisture and nutrients—into it. Tree roots are powerful enough to break open cracks in PVC or copper pipes. Not only will this exacerbate the leak, but it could be the start of a partial or complete clog in the line. Once the tree root completely takes up the circumference of the line, your home is at imminent risk of a sewer line backup.

Preventing tree root issues

To prevent this nightmare from happening, it’s best to take several precautions on behalf of your sewer line. First, take note of where your line is buried underground, and any trees, bushes, or shrubs within a 10-15 foot perimeter of the line. If there are trees overhead, do some research into the species, and consider calling an arborist.

Some trees and bushes with slow-growing, less-aggressive root structures may pose minimal threat to the line, while others—such as the California Pepper Tree—may need to be proactively relocated to another part of your property.

Dealing with tree root issues

If you have a root structure already growing around or into the line—which you’ll notice if you have a partial clog in your home’s sinks, showers, and toilets—it’s time to call out a professional plumber. At Allbritten, our plumbing team has the tools to safely clear sewer line clogs and make an effective sewer line repair. Of course, once this is done, you’ll want to revisit the idea of moving the offending tree somewhere else in your yard.

Shifting soil

Your sewer line doesn’t feature any kind of pump: the entire system uses gravity to move wastewater away from your home to the municipal sewer. To take advantage of this natural force, the entire line is slightly sloped, so that the end connected to your home is higher in elevation than the end by the street. This slope is very gradual: plumbing installers recommend a minimum slope of a 1-inch drop for every 8 feet of line. Depending on how far it is to the sewer, the entire sewer line might only be sloped by a few inches.

Common threats to your sewer line include shifting soil and thirsty tree roots.

A PVC sewer line, like this one, is potentially vulnerable to thirsty tree roots.

It’s worth noting that this slope is a “Goldilocks” situation where precision is key. Too little slope, and the sewer line won’t drain properly. Too much slope, and you have a different problem: liquids will drain too quickly, leading to clogs.

However stable it feels under our feet, the ground is constantly moving. Over time, soil subsides and expands under different conditions. This shifting and movement can lead to several problems for your sewer line. Most commonly, parts of the line will sag, creating a gentle “valley” in the line. This puts pressure on the line and can cause it to crack, but it also means the line is no longer draining properly. Soil movement can also “lift up” the sewer end of the line, taking its slope angle out of that aforementioned “Goldilocks” zone.

Preventing soil issues

Here in California, a lot of soil subsidence occurs when parched earth is then flooded with rainwater. This issue is often exacerbated by our gutters, which carry rainfall off of the roof and dump it right onto the ground surrounding our home. One thing to consider installing are gutter or downspout extenders that will carry this moisture away from the yard, or at least distribute it more evenly. Some homeowners have even set up gutters that take rainwater to their gardening beds!

Dealing with soil issues

Any issues with soil movement and your sewer line require the help of an experienced plumber. We’ll need to inspect the problem and advise you on your next steps. This may include digging up the line so that it can be fixed and reoriented to the correct slope.


Yes, you read that right. Homeowners are perhaps the most pressing threat to their home’s sewer line. That’s because many sewer line clogs start in the kitchen. Certain types of food and cooking waste, when put down the drain, can start to form a nasty clog, deep in the line. Once this clog completely obstructs the line, you’re in trouble.

Preventing sewer line clogs

To avoid sewer line clogs caused by kitchen food waste, you need to start thinking twice before running your in-sink disposal. In general, avoid putting these major clog-causers down the drain:

  • Cooking grease and oils: As these cool on their way through the sewer line, they start to solidify and stick to the interior walls of the line.
  • Uncooked rice and pasta: These foods expand as they absorb moisture. A handful of dry rice accidentally put down the drain can start to expand into a clog-forming mess.
  • Flour: As any home baker knows, flour and moisture is the starting point for a sticky, glue-y dough. The same thing happens in your sewer line.
  • Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds tend to clump together, allowing them to form a water-blocking clog in the line.

As a general rule of thumb, never dispose of these food and cooking byproducts down the kitchen sink. Instead, throw them in the garbage. For hot grease and oil, take a leftover glass jar—upcycled sauce or salsa jars work great for this—and allow the grease to cool and solidify in the glass before chucking it into the trash.

Dealing with sewer line clogs

Your first warning sign of an impending sewer line disaster is all of your home’s drains clogging simultaneously. This means the problem isn’t with a single drain—it’s with the one drain connected to all of them. Immediately turn off the water supply for your home and call us for fast service here in Fresno.

Our team has professional-grade drain cleaning and sewer line unclogging equipment that allows us to reach deep into the line and unclog it.

Guard against threats to your sewer line

Given the critical role it plays in your home and the dire consequences of any problems, it’s worth it to think ahead about the key threats to your sewer line and take steps to prevent or address them. If you need more information, or want a professional to come out for a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.

As Fresno’s leading plumbing repair company, our team is ready to help you tackle any project or problem in your home.

Hard water: What is it, and why do you need a water softener?

Most people take the water that comes out of their tap for granted. Beyond the other stuff that can be in your home’s drinking and potable water, there’s something else you need to think about: hard water. Here in Fresno, our exceptionally hard water makes a water softener a necessity.

A water softener treats a hard water problem by removing the buildup of minerals that can damage your  home’s plumbing. It effectively removes the minerals such as calcium and magnesium carbonates through an ion exchange process. The device can increase the lifespan of the plumbing fixtures, and reduce plumbing repair costs.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the reasons why it’s important to soften hard water by installing a water softener.

Your Fresno tap water likely contains a high mineral content. Hard water can have a negative impact on your home.What is hard water?

Thanks to gravity, water is always on the move. In rivers, it can carve canyons and create valleys. Underground in aquifers and wells, water slips between rocks. All that time, the water is brushing against rock, scraping off minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It’s the presence of minerals that makes water “hard” as opposed to “soft.”

Do Fresno homes have these issues?

Yes, we do. Here in Fresno, our water, on average, is 122 parts-per-million. According to the scale developed by the Water Quality Association, that means our water here in town is classified as “hard.”

If your home’s water is drawn exclusively from underground sources, your water might even be harder than that. That’s because aquifer sources are typically “harder” than surface water sources.

So, what’s the problem?

First, let’s clear something up: there’s no health risk for you and your family as a result of hard water. (Although, there’s other reasons you should consider a whole-home water filtration system). However, hard water can do a number on your home’s plumbing and appliances. Let’s explain why.

As this mineral-rich water passes through the pipes and plumbing of your home, those minerals leech out of the water and stick to the inside of the pipe. Over time, this results in the buildup of calcium commonly known as “scale.”

What else does hard water impact?

The flow of water in your home can be reduced because of this blockage in the pipe. The result is that you’ll need to re-pipe your home—an expensive proposition—a lot sooner than you would have otherwise. It’s a major problem here in Fresno.

However, that’s not all. Those minerals are also being pumped into your dishwasher and washing machine every time you use them, causing damage and reducing the lifespan of your appliances.

Your water heater is particularly vulnerable. After all, it has water inside of it at all times. Mineral buildup can negatively impact the anode rod, and deposits of just 1/16 of an inch can negate your water heater’s energy-efficiency, increasing your home energy costs.

Hard water impacts your home comfort

The wrong type of water can have major impacts on your home’s comfort. Here’s just some of the ways that this type of water can negatively impact your home:

  • Your laundry will be stiff and dingy because detergents do not work well with mineral-heavy water. In addition, the minerals in the water, over time, wear down the colors in your favorite outfits.
  • Your skin will be drier, itchier, and harder to deal with, and you’ll feel like your hair is under attack. Hard water can aggravate symptoms of eczema.
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioners will work less effectively and you’ll need to use more of them with each shower to get the same results you would have had otherwise with softened water.

How can a water softener help?

As the name implies, water softeners remove the minerals that make water hard, rendering it soft. Water softeners are popular here in Fresno because of our exceptionally hard water.

A water softener is a good long-term investment to protect your appliances, water heater, and home plumbing. Plus, it’ll make your skin and hair feel great!

Call Allbritten to learn about our whole-house water treatment systems

At Allbritten, we’re proud to install HALO whole-house water filtration and treatment systems here in Fresno. The HALO 5 system is considered one of the best on the market. It not only operates as a water softener, but also cleans and purifies your water with some of the best technology available.

If you’re interested in learning more about our HALO systems and how your home can drink clean, softened water, call Allbritten at (559) 292-4919 or contact our team online to schedule your free in-home estimate on a new system.

Here are the signs your home needs a new water heater

With the recent COVID-19 outbreak and the stay-at-home recommendations in place, Fresno residents are spending more time at home than ever before. This means more dishes, more laundry, and more wear-and-tear on your aging water heater. In this article, we’ll review some of the potential signs your water heater might need to be replaced—and when you should call us for 24/7 emergency service here in Fresno and the Central Valley.

If you're noticing any of the signs you need a new water heater, call Allbritten for emergency service here in Fresno and the Central Valley.What are the signs you need a new water heater?

Here are three of the most common signs you need to have an Allbritten plumber replace your home’s water heater:


Under ideal conditions, your water heater is a closed-loop system: cold water comes into the tank, is heated and stored, and then gets distributed out where needed at the tap. There are only two circumstances that explain water pooling around the tank:

  • High tank pressure: As the water is heated and steam is created, pressure builds inside of the tank. Water heaters are built to withstand about 150 PSI—well above normal operating pressures. However, high temperatures can lead to pressure buildup. To avoid the tank from turning into a pressure cooker, your water heater’s pressure-relief valve opens up and releases air and water when the pressure gets too high. If there’s water underneath the valve, this could be the reason why.
  • Tank leaks: That same water pressure could be problematic if there are fractures in the tank shell. Throughout your water heater’s life, the shell is subjected to a near-constant cooling-heating cycle. The metal bends, warps, expands, and contracts with this change in temperature. Late in its life, this may lead to tiny cracks in the tank that allow water to leak out. This is an issue, as it could mean the tank is close to failing and bursting open.

If you’re noticing water on the outside of the tank or on the floor, call us right away for 24/7 plumbing repair.

Insufficient hot water

As water heaters get older, they begin to have a layer of sediment build up at the bottom of the tank. With enough time, this reduces the tank’s total water capacity—and the amount of hot water your home can use in a concentrated period of time. The recent shakeup to your family’s schedule caused by the COVID-19 outbreak is leading many local homeowners to realize that their water heater isn’t able to keep up with demand in the mornings.

If this is the case in your home, you should really call us and have one of our plumbers out to make sure your water heater is operating properly.

Rusty water

At some point in your time owning your home, you might notice that rusty water is coming out of the tap. Generally, this is due to a corroding water heater, and not issues with your pipes more generally. However, testing this hypothesis is easy: turn the tap to hot and run the equivalent of several gallons into a bucket or tub. if the rusty water is only present when running hot water, the water heater is the most likely source.

Rust and corrosion builds up inside of the water heater tank as it gets older and the sacrificial anode rod—which attracts corrosion—has been eaten away. It’s as sure a sign as any that your aging water heater needs to be replaced.

Call Allbritten for emergency plumbing repair in Fresno

If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs of impending water heater failure in your home—or need any other plumbing help—call our team. We’re here for you and your home when you need us.

Here are the steps we’re taking to protect you during the COVID-19 outbreak

Updated May 28, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has already had a profound human and economic impact on Fresno and the Central Valley, and our state has put emergency orders in place to help prevent and slow its spread. As an essential business, our team at Allbritten is standing by and ready to help with all your cooling, heating, and plumbing needs. However, we want you to know that we’re taking several precautionary measures to protect your home. In this article, we’ll review the COVID-19 outbreak, what we’re doing, and how you can help other Fresno businesses and people during this tough time.

Our team is taking necessary precautions

For both the protection of our team and your home, we want you to know that we’re taking all necessary precautions, in line with the up-to-the-minute recommendations from our city, state, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Our team is:

  • Undergoing a daily health screening to make sure our employees are ready to work.
  • Following up with our customers to make sure you and your family are healthy and ready for us to arrive.
  • Wearing protective masks while working around and inside your home.
  • Regularly using hand sanitizer and sanitizing our tools and equipment.
  • Practicing social distancing and maintaining a six-foot distance from others.
  • Preventing the spread of germs by doing away with tablet signatures.

If you have any questions about the precautionary measures we’re taking in your home, please call us.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are taking extra precautions and offering 24/7 emergency service here in Fresno, CA.COVID-19 Basics

You’ve no doubt heard about COVID-19—also commonly known as “novel coronavirus”—by now. The virus has quickly spread in a number of U.S. communities, including here in Fresno. Having only recently jumped from animals to humans, COVID-19 is a “novel” disease. This means that no one has pre-existing immunity to it, making it incredibly easy to transmit to others.

There’s another reason for COVID-19’s incredible virality. Those infected often can have a asymptomatic incubation period of several days. In fact, some of those infected never develop symptoms at all! In total, around 80% of those who catch COVID-19 only have light-to-no symptoms. However, without social distancing and other precautionary measures, these asymptomatic carriers could quickly spread the disease to vulnerable people, including older people and those with compromised immune systems. It’s also worth noting that COVID-19 can be life-threatening and require hospitalization even in relatively healthy young people.

So, how can we all slow the spread of COVID-19 and help out our front-line first responders and medical personnel? First, we should all be following the latest guidelines from the CDC. Preventative measures include:

  • Washing your hands: The best way to kill the virus is to wash your hands in warm, soapy water for 20 seconds.
  • Sanitizing surfaces: The virus can survive on surfaces for hours, so sanitize anything you touch after coming home from the grocery store. You should especially wipe down your phone.
  • Wearing face protection: While a mask may not block out the virus from entering your system, it can prevent you from spreading it to others in the event you are a asymptomatic carrier. It also helps discourage you from touching your mouth, nose, or eyes while out in public.

Second, stay home if possible. Even if you still need to go to work, avoid other interactions in public spaces whenever possible. The virus is most often spread in groups of people within close proximity to one another.

As a final note, the guidelines and recommendations from our state and the CDC are subject to change. For the latest updates, please see the CDC’s website.

We’re here for you and your home

Here in the state of California, plumbers and HVAC technicians have been designated as essential services. Unfortunately, there’s no fixing a leaking pipe or repairing an air conditioner over a video call. This means that our techs and plumbers are still here for you and your home when you need us most.

During this crisis, our team is continuing to offer service throughout Fresno and the Central Valley. If your air conditioner stops working or your water heater fails, you can count on us to be there. To schedule fast, reliable service from Fresno’s trusted team, call us today.

During this crisis, think (and thank) local

Experts are not yet sure how long the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing measures will continue. Already, the outbreak has had a significant impact on local and small businesses of all kinds here in Fresno and the Central Valley. Please consider doing the following to support our local businesses through this tough time:

  • Order takeout or delivery from local restaurants here in Fresno. If you are uncomfortable with ordering food at this time, consider buying gift cards to use at those restaurants after the crisis is over.
  • When you shop online for essentials, gifts for care packages, and other products, please give some thought to shopping local. More than ever, our local businesses need your support.
  • Be compassionate and embody being #FresnoStrong. A “thank you” to those working in grocery stores, restaurants, and in other essential businesses can really make someone’s day.

The entire team here at Allbritten would like to thank our local first responders, medical personnel, and everyone else working on the front lines of this outbreak. You are Fresno’s heroes!

On a final note, thank you for your business and support during this difficult time. We wish you and your family well moving forward, and continue to look forward to serving you and helping your home with its HVAC and plumbing needs.

Here are the riskiest home repairs to put off—and how to avoid future problems

When is your water pressure too high (and what can you do about it?)

Is your water pressure too high? Most plumbing fixtures are designed to handle a maximum water pressure of 80 psi or lower. If your water pressure is higher than that, it can potentially cause the parts for your faucets, water heater, toilets and shut-off valves to fail. To keep this from happening, here’s what you should know about high water pressure and how to fix it.

The team at Allbritten is here for all your plumbing repair needs. Contact us today to learn more about having a water pressure regulator installed in your home.

Signs your water pressure is too high

Just as the human body shows certain symptoms if blood pressure is too high, the plumbing system in your home will probably give you indications if your water pressure is too high. The key is to pay attention so you know what to watch for. Here are a few common signs of high water pressure:

  • Leaking faucets
  • Banging pipes
  • Short water heater life
  • Premature breakdown of dishwasher or washing machine
  • Spraying faucets
  • Running toilets

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to fix water pressure issues right away. Correcting the problem early on can help you avoid costly repairs down the road.

How to check for water pressure issues

Besides watching for common signs of high water pressure in your plumbing system, there are other things you can do to check your water pressure and make sure it’s within the appropriate limits. For example, you can purchase a water pressure gauge from a nearby home improvement store.

When your water pressure is too high, it could lead to issues with your pipes and fixtures.Follow the directions on the packaging to make sure you use the gauge correctly. Most water pressure gauges are designed to be attached to a drain on your water heater or an outside faucet.

It’s important to note that it takes time for these gauges to deliver an accurate reading. In most cases, you need to leave the gauge attached for at least 48 hours and check it frequently during that time to see if pressure fluctuates.

Anything under 60 psi should be OK for your plumbing system to handle. Water pressure too high? You can try to fix it yourself or hire a professional to handle the problem for you.

How to fix high water pressure problems

If your water pressure gauge delivers readings above 80 psi, it’s a good idea to get a water pressure regulator installed. This type of regulator will keep your water pressure from going too high without your knowledge. It’s usually installed near your water shut-off valve. If you want peace of mind that the regulator is installed correctly, contact the professionals at Allbritten to do it for you.

Call Allbritten for all your plumbing needs

At Allbritten, we offer plumbing repair services and can get your plumbing system in good working order if it’s been damaged from high water pressure. We can also inspect your water pressure, correct it if it’s too high or too low, and install a regulator to prevent future water pressure damage.

To schedule an appointment or request a consultation, give us a call during regular operating hours. Alternatively, you can contact us online at any time

Prevent future issues with water heater maintenance this winter

Left to its own devices, your home’s water heater will likely continue to provide your home with hot water. However, did you know that preventative water heater maintenance can lower your energy costs and help you avoid water heater issues down the road? In about 30 minutes, you can quickly maintain your water heater and ensure that it continues to operate safely and effectively.

Allbritten is here for all your water heater repair and plumbing service needs. For service throughout Fresno and the Central Valley, call us today.

Flush your water heater

Throughout the year, sediment and corrosion begin to collect at the bottom of the water heater’s tank. When enough of this material is present in the tank, it can begin to have a negative impact on its energy efficiency by blocking the heating element from effectively heating the tank’s water. The best way to remove this built up sediment is by flushing your water heater at least once-per-year.

An Allbritten technician performs water heater maintenance on a water heater here in Fresno, CA.First, you’ll want to turn the water heater off and turn off the power (gas or electricity, depending on what type of system you have) to the water heater. Then, turn off the cold water intake valve. Inside your home, have one of the faucets running hot water. Connect a hose to the valve at the bottom of the water heater tank, and have that hose routed to a large bucket or barrel that can hold the water from the tank. Drain the tank and—once empty—turn that cold water supply back on and run it through the tank to wash out any remaining sediment.

Once this process has been completed, close the valve and move onto the next step: testing your water heater’s pressure-relief valve.

Check the pressure-relief valve

The emergency pressure-relief valve is a critical safety component for your water heater. The water inside of the water heater tank is held under pressure. If this pressure starts to climb—usually, due to the water temperature rising—the purpose of the pressure-relief valve is to release air and water from inside the tank to lower the internal pressure back down to acceptable levels.

For obvious reasons, a faulty pressure-relief valve is bad news for your water heater tank. Without the ability to discharge it, pressure can build to the point of the tank bursting open, flooding your home with water.

As a homeowner, you should double-check that this valve is working at least once every year. All you need to do is position a bucket beneath the valve and then flip it to the open position. Hot water from the tank should come out of the valve. If it doesn’t, there’s a good chance that something is wrong with the valve and that it needs to be replaced. You’ll need to bring in a professional plumber for help with this task.

Make sure that you end this test by moving the valve back to the closed position.

Inspect the anode rod

Your water heater’s anode rod plays a crucial role in protecting the longevity of your water heater. The anode rod attracts and collects corrosion away from the inside walls and heating element of the tank. Over time, this rust starts to eat away at the rod. A spent anode rod will look as if it has dissolved away.

If your anode rod has been dissolved, it’s a good sign that your water heater might be nearing the end of its life and need to be replaced. Without the sacrificial anode rod in place, the corrosion and rust will start to impact the rest of the system over time. In the event your water heater’s anode rod is still mostly intact, however, you might want to talk to a local plumber about having a new anode rod installed in its place. Doing so can help prolong the life of your water heater.

For water heater maintenance here in Fresno, call us

At Allbritten, our plumbing team specializes in water heater service and replacement. We assist local homeowners here in Fresno and the Central Valley with their water heater maintenance needs. If you need us to repair or maintain your water heater, call us today. We’re ready to help!

Do demand-type water heaters actually save energy?

Every Fresno homeowner wants to save money on their home’s utility bills. The challenge is often knowing where to start, and what upgrades will actually help you save. Our team often gets questions about tankless water heaters—also known as demand-type water heaters or instant water heaters—and whether or not they actually help homeowners save money. In most cases, they can!

In this article, we’ll review demand-type water heater efficiency and why you should consider upgrading to a more efficient water heater. For all your water heater repair, service, and replacement needs here in Fresno, be sure to call our team.

A demand-type water heater can provide your home with limitless hot water.What are demand-type water heaters?

These systems are known by several names: demand-type water heaters, tankless water heaters, instantaneous water heaters, or electric demand water heaters. No matter what they are called, these systems all generally work the same: the water heater runs water past several internal heating elements, rapidly raising the temperature of the water “on demand.”

Demand-type water heaters are different from standard, “tank” water heaters in several key ways:

  • They do not store heated water in a storage tank and instead heat it as it’s needed in the home. This reduces their overall physical footprint. In fact, most demand-type systems are wall-mounted.
  • Unlike a standard water heater, they cannot “run out” of hot water, since they are heating hot water as needed and not storing it ahead of time.
  • With no tank, there is no risk of the water heater leaking or bursting near the end of its life.

An energy-efficient source of hot water for your home

According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), heating water is the second largest utility expense in the average American home, representing about 14-18% of your annual energy costs. In real dollars-and-cents terms, this is about $400-$600 every year.

A demand-type water heater is anywhere between 8-34% more energy efficient than a standard one. On average, homeowners who upgrade to a tankless system save about $100 per-year. For large homes and families with an even higher rate of daily hot water use, those savings can be even more.

How is this possible? Unlike a regular water heater, a demand-type system doesn’t store hot water. As hot water sits in the tank of a hot water heater waiting to be used, heat energy is being lost through the walls of the tank, and the heating element needs to constantly be keeping it warm enough for when it’s called upon at the faucet, shower head, or dishwasher. This wastes energy, especially if the tank walls are not sufficiently insulated against heat loss. Demand-type systems avoid this altogether by heating the water as it is needed, avoiding the need for standby heating and reheating.

Is a demand-type water heater right for your home?

While they are more energy-efficient and convenient, demand-type water heaters do often cost more upfront than standard water heaters. Here are some things to consider if you’re weighing the decision to upgrade:

  • Longevity: While they do cost more to initially install, most tankless water heaters can last anywhere from 2 to 2.5 times as long as a standard water heater. This alone may offset their higher upfront cost, especially if you and your family are planning on staying in your home for the foreseeable future.
  • Energy Source: There are many different types of demand-type water heaters. Some use natural gas or propane to heat the water, while others use electricity. Generally, gas tankless water heaters with an intermittent ignition device are going to be the most efficient for your home.
  • Rebates: USDOE notes that there may be state, local, and utility company rebates available to help offset some of the costs associated with installing high-efficiency water heaters. For more on this, be sure to call our team to review your options.

Getting the right system for your home

USDOE recommends hiring an experienced plumbing contractor to handle the installation of your demand-type water heater. At Allbritten, our experienced plumbing team can help you find the right water heater for your home and water heating needs. We carry a wide variety of energy-efficient tankless and standard water heaters.

Beyond that, as BPI-certified energy audit and home energy upgrade specialists, Allbritten can help you find even more ways to save on your water heating energy costs. Some of our common recommendations for local homeowners include:

  • Lowering the temperature of the water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Upgrading to an efficient, water-conserving dishwasher and washer.
  • Installing low-flow shower heads, faucets, and other fixtures.

For the very best in local home services and energy-efficiency expertise, contact Allbritten.