Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Water Heaters & Tanks

fixing water heater

Q: Where should I set the thermostat on my water heater?
A: It's both dangerous and energy inefficient to set your water heater thermostat higher than you need it. Although a typical manufacturer's setting for water heaters is 140 degrees, most homes don't need it higher than 120 degrees. If your water heater's thermostat doesn't identify temperature (many are graded by numbers or simply notches on the thermostat), you'll need to use a thermometer. Turn on the faucet and let the water run until it's at it's hottest (usually a minute or two). Fill a cup, and place a meat thermometer in the water. Record the temperature and the water heating setting. Adjust the water heater setting up or down as needed and re-test the next day. Write the information about the temperature and settings on an index card and tape it to the outside of your water heater.

Q: How do I know what size water heater I need?
A: The size and type of water heater that is best for you is dependent on your situation. In a home, the number of people living there is the primary determinant. For businesses, the need for hot water can vary greatly based on the nature of the business. In all cases, Rinker Oil Corporation specialists can determine the best size and type of system for you.

Q: Do water heater 'blankets' really make a difference in energy efficiency?
A: Absolutely! Even the most efficient water tanks lose heat to their surroundings. Water heater insulation blankets are inexpensive to purchase and easy to install, paying for themselves in just a few months.

Q: I'm considering changing to a tankless system. How can I decide if it's right for me?
A: Again, we're here to help you. In general, tankless or instant hot water systems are not the best alternative for a family of four or more, or for homes where multiple hot water demands occur simultaneously (for example, taking a shower and running a dishwasher). Tankless systems are rated for a certain output of hot water per minute, and if you exceed that demand, you're left with cold water while the system cycles.

Q: I've heard that I should periodically change the temperature setting on my water heater. Is this true?
A: It's not a bad idea to move the water heater's thermostat up and down once a year. This will help ensure that corrosion doesn't 'freeze' the thermostat in one place, making it difficult to change it later when you want to. And of course, you should turn your water heater thermostat down when you go on vacation -- no point keeping water hot if you're not there to use it!

Q: Does my water heater/tankWater Heaters? need regular maintenance?
A: Although most people don't think about it, water heaters benefit from regular maintenance, just like your furnace or boiler. A few minutes a year will make sure that your water heater operates at its maximum efficiency. Rinker Oil's skilled service technicians can handle this for you. This is a covered service with our Water Heater Service Plan.

Have we answered all your questions about water heaters? If so, we hope you'll become a Rinker Oil Corp. customer. If not, please contact us or call us (585-968-3330) with any other questions you have.

Serving Western NY including Bath, Hornell. Wellsville, Olean, East Aurora, Springville, Warsaw Wellsville and the Norther Tier of PA including Bradford, Smethport, Coudersport PA

Rinker Oil is your locally-owned, full service energy team!