Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Blog : Archive for October, 2021

How Long Should a Water Heater Last?

Thursday, October 28th, 2021
how long should a water heater last?

While it would be wonderful if you could predict exactly when to replace your water heater, it’s rarely that simple. There are numerous variables that go into how long a water heater lasts, from its age to the type of water inside. Fortunately, with some maintenance and knowledge of replacement warning signs, you can ensure your water heater lasts as long as possible.

Keep reading to learn more about how to tell when a water heater needs to be replaced.

How Long Should a Water Heater Last?

A residential water heater can last between 6 and 13 years before you need to replace it. This timeframe depends on the type of water running through it and whether you follow a yearly schedule of draining and flushing the tank. Since the range is so extensive, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your water heater to look for signs that you need a new one.

how do you know when your hot water heater needs to be replaced?

How Do You Know When Your Hot Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced?

Understanding the signs of a broken or worn-down water heater will help you find a solution quickly. There are numerous reasons why a hot water heater may need a replacement. These indicators include:

1. The Water Turns Cold Too Quickly

Does the water in your water heater become cold too quickly or fail to become hot at all? There are several reasons why:

  • Thermostat settings: A water heater may not produce hot water if the thermostat isn’t set correctly. Ideally, the thermostat should be at between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a simple fix that just requires you to update the thermostat. 
  • Heating element: Another reason for a sudden lack of hot water is that the heating element in your water tank gave out or is giving out. The heating element in electric water tanks is usually a coil. Sometimes the connections go bad, making it so the appliance can’t heat the water. Alternatively, gas-powered water heaters use a burner to heat the water, which can go bad over time if not properly maintained. If either is the case, you need to call a professional.
  • Tank size: All of the appliances in your home could be using the hot water before you can, which typically happens when numerous people live in the same household. In this situation, you may need a bigger tank. A professional can perform an assessment to recommend a properly sized water tank. 
  • Tank location: If your water tank is located outdoors or in an uninsulated area of your home, cold weather can affect the water temperature. It may be too cold to heat your water fast enough or to a high enough temperature. If this only happens during cold weather, you might need to find ways to keeps your tank or the pipes insulated from the cold. 

2. Loud Noises Are Coming From the Heater

Usually, water heaters make little to no noise. If you start hearing strange or loud noises coming from your water tank, there may be an issue that requires immediate action. For example, tapping, clanging or rumbling noises mean sediment is likely gathering on the bottom of your water heater.

If you use a lot of hot water or live in an area with hard water, you’re more likely to experience this issue. Once the sediment builds up enough, it’s difficult for the machine to heat water correctly and takes longer to do so. This situation will lead to strain on the unit, wear down the metal encasement and eventually cause leaks.

If this is the case, you need to hire a professional to flush your tank. If you continue to hear strange noises coming from your water heater, it may be near the end of its life and require a replacement.

3. Water Is Leaking From the Unit

If you see water pooling around your water tank, there’s an issue that needs immediate attention. If you choose to ignore the leak, you may experience significant damage to your property.

There are a couple of reasons why your water heater may be leaking:

  • Over time, your tank may start to form fractures. These cracks may only leak slightly at first, but they can become a significant issue when the pressure becomes too much to handle.
  • A loose connection to the water tank is another reason water may be leaking. A leaking pressure/overflow pipe could indicate an issue with the unit or that the relief valve is malfunctioning. In this case, the best thing to do is call a professional to inspect the parts and make sure everything is working correctly.

4. Rust Is Forming on or Inside of the Unit

If you see rust on the outside of your unit near the water inlet, that’s often an indicator that rust has begun to form on the inside of the tank, as well. As a result, you’ll need to replace your unit soon or risk water damage.

Should you notice rusty water, there may be a problem with either your water heater or pipes. One way to see if it’s your water heater is by running three buckets full of hot water from a spout. If the third bucket has rust, your water heater is probably rusty. If the rust dwindles as you run the water, your pipes may be getting rusty.

Note that rust is a precursor to leaking, so replacing your water heater as soon as possible is essential.

Should You Replace Your Water Heater Before It Fails?

If your water heater is getting old but still works, it’s a good idea to look for a replacement. A few reasons why it’s smart to replace your water heater before it fails are:

  • A broken water heater makes budgeting difficult. as you have to replace it at a moment’s notice
  • A broken water heater leaves you without hot water
  • A corroded water heater could cause significant damage
  • A new water heater could make your utility bills less expensive

Ultimately, replacing your hot water heater before it becomes an issue will save you time and money.

How Often Should You Drain Your Hot Water Heater?

Regular maintenance of your water heater is crucial to its longevity. It’s recommended that homeowners call a professional to have their tanks flushed once a year. This trick discharges the sediment, helping the water heater last as long as possible.

contact oasis cooling for water heater installation, repair and maintenance services

Contact Oasis Cooling for Water Heater Installation, Repair and Maintenance Services

Oasis Cooling is ready to handle your water heater needs. No matter your needs, you can contact us for professional water heater installation, repair or replacement in northern Virginia. At Oasis Cooling, we have 15 years of experience working on heating and cooling systems in Northern Virginia, and we’re on call 24 hours a day ready to assist you!

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What to Prioritize for Your Walk-In Cooler Maintenance Checklist

Friday, October 8th, 2021

Proper refrigeration is essential in the foodservice industry. You need to keep a substantial amount of food items at a consistent, safe temperature for human consumption. To remain compliant with health and food safety guidelines, you need to rely on your walk-in coolers for dependable and spacious cold food storage. Oasis is a family-owned and -operated heating and cooling company you can trust with regular commercial refrigerator maintenance or repairs.

Preventative Maintenance for Walk-In Coolers

When your walk-in coolers and freezers are working correctly, you can decrease food waste, improve food safety and increase your restaurant’s energy efficiency. Regular, proactive maintenance and inspection are essential to prolonging the life of your appliance and increasing its value to you and your business. Using a preventative maintenance checklist can also prevent clogging, breakdowns, food waste and future strife.

Additionally, cleaning and avoiding common mistakes can help you make sure your walk-in cooler performs up-to-speed and meets your business’s needs!

How Do You Clean a Walk-In Cooler?

From everyday spill cleanup to full appliance wipedowns, it is essential to disinfect your walk-in cooler thoroughly. Proper sanitation is critical in the foodservice industry. To execute appropriate maintenance practices, you’ll need to clean your entire unit at least every six months.

So, what are the best ways to go about cleaning your walk-in cooler? Follow this schedule:

  • Daily maintenance: Scrub all of your walk-in cooler’s surfaces with a cloth towel and a solution of water and soap or mild detergent. Harsh chemicals may harm your cooler’s metal surfaces. If necessary, you can mix a small amount of bleach with water to clean the inside of your unit. Wipe down the door seals with soap and water or use compressed air to remove dirt and dust. Sweep and mop the floors of any spilled food debris.
  • Once a month: You should turn off all power to your unit and vacuum all of the debris that might have built up inside. 
  • Twice a year: Use water, soap and a stiff bristle brush to clean your evaporator fan and condensing coils. Remember to remove any ice from the evaporator coils.
  • Once a year: With the help of a certified technician, make sure your drain lines are free of debris and any runoff buildup.

In addition to checking for debris, Oasis will make sure your electrical connections are tight and in working order.

Common Mistakes Made With Walk-In Coolers 

Proper walk-in cooler maintenance takes time, effort and careful observation. It is essential to keep your walk-in cooler performing at its optimal level to ensure your food stays cool and fresh. Our advice can help you avoid these common maintenance mistakes and make a difference to your customers.

1. Cooler Isn’t the Right Temperature

If your walk-in cooler is above the required temperature to store food safely, you risk mold growth and food spoilage. Additionally, if your temperature is too low, it can cause your unit to overwork. It is best to keep food storage appliances at the proper FDA-recommended temperature and regularly check that your walk-in cooler maintains an appropriate temperature. You’ll know that your cooler is retaining its temperature if it is within several degrees of the original thermostat setting. Keeping a written or digital log of your unit’s temperatures can also help you keep track of any unexpected changes.

2. Doors Don’t Seal Properly

Another way to maintain the proper temperature for your walk-in cooler is to make sure your doors seal tightly. Damaged gaskets, the rubber material surrounding your cooler’s doors, can let in warm air, cause ice buildup and ultimately reduce your energy efficiency. Even a tiny leak from tearing or weathering can throw off your unit’s temperature balance. Note that leaving the lights on in your walk-in cooler will also increase the level of heat and cause your evaporator fan assembly to work harder to hold the appliance’s optimal temperature.

3. Dirty Parts and Poor Airflow

You will want to examine your unit thoroughly and take note of any potential areas of concern, as well. Check your evaporator, condensing coil and fan blades regularly, as cleaning your unit’s fan blades will reduce drag and improve your unit’s performance. Also, keep food products stacked away from the central working parts of your walk-in cooler where they could reduce overall air circulation.

4. Not Keeping a Maintenance Schedule

Most importantly, you want to adopt a proper schedule for freezer maintenance. You want to stay ahead of and prevent future complications, so set up a regular maintenance schedule with qualified technicians. Oasis can dramatically improve your walk-in cooler’s performance and provide much-needed reassurance for any areas of uncertainty.

How to Keep Mold Out of a Walk-In Cooler

While warm, moist environments are a haven for mold growth, colder environments with higher moisture levels can also put your freezer’s items at risk. Walk-in coolers are most likely to grow mold due to the frequency of use and a lack of temperature regulation during shutdowns. 

Constantly opening and closing a freezer causes air to become trapped. The high level of moisture combined with the abundance of food supply creates an ideal ecosystem for fungal growth. Repeated entries and exits can also throw off your unit’s internal temperature balance. For long-term shutdowns, you want to clean your unit thoroughly and leave its doors open so it can dry completely.

Here are five easy ways you can keep your walk-in cooler and its contents fresh and free of mold:

  1. Keep your walk-in freezer doors closed: Tightly sealed doors will keep mold spores and humidity from seeping into your cooler.
  2. Remove paper products: Limit the paper towels or cardboard you keep in your cooler as they can foster mold. 
  3. Wipe down and dry the unit’s interior: Remove excess moisture from standing water or condensation.
  4. Maintain proper airflow: Ensure that your condensation coil, evaporator and fans are all working to help regulate airflow. 
  5. Clean up messes immediately and quickly: Wipe up any spills from shelves, walls and the floor as soon as possible to prevent the spread of mold.

If you can keep mold from growing in your walk-in cooler, you will provide a far more healthy and hygienic environment for your employees as well as your guests.

Schedule Walk-In Cooler Maintenance or Repairs With Oasis

When you need to repair your walk-in cooler, Oasis Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration will find the right equipment for you and your restaurant. We offer competitive prices for the best quality walk-in cooler repairs, servicing and installations in all of Northern Virginia. We ensure each installation and repair is up to code so you can focus on what matters: preparing delicious and safe meals for your customers. Oasis will guarantee you solutions and quality assistance for any walk-in cooler queries with our industry expertise. 

Contact Oasis today to get an estimate and schedule your appointment for walk-in cooler maintenance!

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