Proactive Water Heater Upgrades That Will Earn Customers’ Loyalty

The next time you install or repair a water heater, look for additional recommendations you can make to customers that will increase the performance and safety of their unit

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Oftentimes homeowners don't think about their water heater until there’s a problem. And when there’s a problem, they either try to fix it themselves or call a plumber (or both, if we’re being honest). 

Each time you service a water heater, you can recommend additional upgrades that take only minutes to install yet increase the performance and safety of the unit. The best part about performing this type of proactive maintenance is that it doesn’t take too much extra time and strengthens your relationship with that customer, thereby increasing the potential for repeat business or referrals. 

The next time you install or repair a water heater, see if you can make additional updates, such as:

1. Increasing the amount of available hot water.

When relatives come to visit for the holidays or college students return home during the summer, water heaters are pushed to their limit. And since many people have been home more often because of the COVID-19 pandemic, hot water is used even more than usual. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t realize they need more hot water until everyone in the house is fighting over who takes their shower first in the morning.

Give customers more hot water output by installing a thermostatic mixing valve like the Cash Acme Tank Booster that allows the water in the water heater to be stored at a higher temperaturewhile ensuring a safe and comfortable output temperature. Not only can it help increase the customer’s access to hot water, but it can also help prevent scalding and the growth of legionella bacteria, which is responsible for Legionnaire’s disease. 

Plus, as homeowners use hot water in the winter, cold water from outside enters the water heater to replace the hot water. This colder water will cool down the existing hot water in the tank faster than in the summer.

2. Installing a thermal expansion relief valve.

No expansion tank on the water heater? No problem. Install a thermal expansion relief valve to relieve the pressure on the plumbing system. These valves are especially useful in tight spaces where an expansion tank won’t fit.

3. Securing the water heater.

Depending on local building codes and water heater manufacturing guidelines, the unit may need to be raised on a water heater stand or platform. Take note whether essential water heater accessories are missing, such as stands, platforms and drainage pans. Even if they are present, be sure they’re correctly installed. 

4. Installing a leak detection device.

leak detection device can help protect customers against catastrophic water damage from a water heater or appliance that’s leaking. As soon as the device detects a leak, the customer will receive an alert so they can investigate the cause.  

If the leak detector has remote water shut-off capabilities, the customer can turn off the water from an app before calling to have you fix the leak, which limits the water damage and potential mold growth. Installation of an inline leak detector is straightforward and can potentially save customers quite a bit in property damage, solidifying your reputation as a plumber who has customers’ best interests in mind. 

The next time you repair or install a water heater, be on the lookout for opportunities to make these updates. It’s a chance to boost customer loyalty while keeping plumbing systems running smoothly.

About the Author

Michael Kornegay is the SharkBite product manager at RWC — a market leader and manufacturer of water control systems and plumbing solutions for residential, commercial and industrial applications. 


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