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Water heater problems? Call (540) 271-3393 today for the best solution

R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing LLC offers a full range of water heater solutions. Whether you need to repair your current system, or you’re in the market for a new unit, our experts are here to help you enjoy the hot water you need without hassle. Give us a call today for quality water heater repair, installation, and maintenance in Harrisonburg or surrounding areas.

Signs Your Water Heater

Needs Attention

Serving Rockingham County for Decades

At R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing, we take immense pride in being Harrisonburg’s trusted plumbing experts for over 50 years. Our family-owned and operated business has been serving the local community with dedication and excellence, making us a household name in the area. We understand the unique plumbing needs of Harrisonburg residents, and our commitment to quality service has earned us a reputation that speaks for itself.

When Is Water Heater Replacement Recommended?

An inefficient water heater can cause more than just an inconvenience—it can potentially result in a significant amount of water damage if the tank suddenly bursts. If you have an older unit that is starting to rust on the bottom, it’s a good idea to start looking for a new water heater.

Even if your water heater is still working without any trouble, older units with rusted tanks can rupture when you least expect it and flood your home. Don’t wait for this emergency to occur! If your water heater has been around for more than twenty years and you notice rust on the tank, contact us to have it replaced as soon as possible.

When you choose R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing for your water heater service needs, you can expect a seamless and efficient process. Our experienced plumbers follow a step-by-step approach to ensure your water heater is back to its optimal performance:

  • Assessment: We begin by thoroughly inspecting your water heater to identify the root cause of the problem. Our experts use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to pinpoint issues accurately.
  • Recommendation: After diagnosing the problem, we provide you with a detailed explanation of the issue and a clear, transparent estimate of the repair or replacement cost.
  • Repair or Replacement: With your approval, we proceed with the necessary repairs or replacements using high-quality materials and parts. Our goal is to ensure your water heater operates efficiently and reliably.
  • Testing: Once the work is completed, we rigorously test the water heater to ensure it meets safety and performance standards. We don’t consider the job done until you have consistent hot water.
  • Maintenance Tips: To help you prolong the life of your water heater, our plumbers offer valuable maintenance tips and guidance. We believe in empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their plumbing systems.
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Trusted Local Plumbers in Harrisonburg

Choosing a plumbing service provider is a significant decision, and at R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing, we have several compelling reasons why you can trust our plumbers:

  • Experience: With decades of experience, our plumbers have encountered every water heater issue imaginable. We have the expertise to tackle any challenge.
  • Licensed and Insured: Our team is fully licensed and insured, giving you peace of mind knowing your home is in capable hands.
  • Customer-Centric: We prioritize customer satisfaction above all else. Our friendly and professional plumbers take the time to address your concerns and answer your questions.
  • Upfront Pricing: We believe in transparency when it comes to pricing. You’ll never be surprised by hidden fees or unexpected costs.
  • 24/7 Emergency Service: Water heater problems can strike at any time. That’s why we offer round-the-clock emergency service to ensure your comfort and safety.

Our team is focused on helping homeowners throughout Harrisonburg find cost-effective solutions to their water heater problems. We will take the time to inspect your system and make sure the source of the problem is identified. We understand that water heater replacement can be a large investment and isn’t something many homeowners are prepared to take on right away. This is why we always provide our customers with both short- and long-term solutions. If needed, we can help extend the life of your water heater for a little while longer, until you are prepared to invest in a new system.

Advantage of Trusting Professionals

When you entrust R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing with your water heater service, you’re not just getting a quick fix; you’re gaining a host of benefits:

  • Reliable Hot Water: Say goodbye to cold showers and inconsistent water temperatures. Our expert service ensures you have a reliable supply of hot water.
  • Energy Efficiency: A well-maintained water heater operates efficiently, saving you money on energy bills in the long run.
  • Peace of Mind: With our team on your side, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your water heater is in top-notch condition.
  • Extended Lifespan: Regular maintenance and timely repairs can extend the life of your water heater, postponing the need for costly replacements.
  • Improved Safety: Our thorough inspections and repairs also address safety concerns, reducing the risk of accidents related to your water heater.

If you’re facing water heater troubles in Harrisonburg, VA, R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing is your go-to solution. With our experienced plumbers, transparent pricing, and commitment to excellence, we’ll have your hot water flowing again in no time. Don’t let water heater issues leave you out in the cold – contact us today and experience the warmth of reliable service!

Ready to regain control of your hot water supply? Contact R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing now at (540) 271-3393 to schedule your water heater service appointment. Say goodbye to chilly showers and hello to consistent, comforting hot water!

FAQs on Water Heaters

The average life of a water heater can vary depending on several factors, including the type of water heater, the quality of the unit, and how well it has been maintained. Here is a general guideline for the average lifespan of different types of water heaters:

  • Tankless Water Heaters: Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, typically have a longer lifespan compared to traditional tank-style water heaters. On average, a well-maintained tankless water heater can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years or even more. Regular maintenance, such as descaling and cleaning the unit, can help extend its life.
  • Gas and Electric Tank Water Heaters: Traditional tank-style water heaters come in both gas and electric variants. On average, a gas water heater can last around 10 to 15 years, while an electric water heater may have a slightly longer lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Proper maintenance, such as flushing the tank to remove sediment buildup, can help maximize their longevity.
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters: Heat pump water heaters are known for their energy efficiency. They typically have a lifespan similar to that of traditional tank-style electric water heaters, which is around 12 to 15 years. Regular maintenance is essential to keep them running efficiently.
  • Solar Water Heaters: Solar water heaters have both active and passive systems. Active systems, which use pumps to circulate water, may last around 10 to 15 years, while passive systems can have a longer lifespan of 20 years or more. Proper maintenance and protection from freezing temperatures are crucial for solar water heaters.

Several factors can influence the longevity of a water heater:

  • Water Quality: Hard water with a high mineral content can lead to mineral deposits and sediment buildup inside the tank, which can reduce the heater’s efficiency and lifespan. Installing a water softener or regularly flushing the tank can help mitigate this issue.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including flushing the tank, inspecting the anode rod, and checking for leaks, can significantly extend the life of a water heater.
  • Installation Quality: Proper installation by a qualified plumber ensures that the water heater operates efficiently and safely. Poor installation can lead to premature failure.
  • Usage Patterns: Heavy usage and constant demand for hot water can put more stress on a water heater, potentially shortening its lifespan.

Environmental Factors: The local climate and temperature fluctuations can affect the performance and efficiency of a water heater. Extreme cold weather can lead to frozen pipes and components.

The average life of a water heater can range from 10 to 20 years, depending on the type and how well it is maintained. Regular maintenance and water quality management are essential to maximize the lifespan of your water heater. If you’re unsure about the condition of your water heater or need assistance with maintenance or replacement, it’s advisable to consult a professional plumber for guidance and service.

Selecting the best hot water heater system depends on several factors, including your specific needs, budget, and the availability of energy sources in your area. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but I can provide an overview of the most common types of hot water heater systems to help you make an informed decision:

  • Tankless (On-Demand) Water Heaters:

Pros: Tankless water heaters are highly energy-efficient because they only heat water when you need it. They provide endless hot water, are compact, and have a longer lifespan compared to tank-style heaters. They can save you money on utility bills over time.

Cons: They can have a higher upfront cost than traditional tank-style water heaters. Installation may require upgrades to gas lines or electrical systems.

Gas Tank Water Heaters:

Pros: Gas water heaters are typically less expensive to purchase and install than electric tankless models. They recover quickly and can provide hot water during power outages if they have a standing pilot light.

Cons: They are less energy-efficient than tankless units, as they maintain a constant water temperature even when not in use. Venting may be required, and they have a shorter lifespan than tankless heaters.

  • Electric Tank Water Heaters:

Pros: Electric tank water heaters are easy to install and have a lower upfront cost than gas tankless or solar systems. They are also quieter and do not require venting.

Cons: They are less energy-efficient than tankless models and can have higher long-term operational costs. Recovery time may be slower, especially for larger tank sizes.

  • Heat Pump Water Heaters:

Pros: Heat pump water heaters are highly energy-efficient, as they use electricity to move heat from the air or ground to heat the water. They can significantly reduce energy bills.

Cons: They have a higher upfront cost, and installation may require adequate space and ventilation. They may not perform well in extremely cold environments.

  • Solar Water Heaters:

Pros: Solar water heaters are the most environmentally friendly option, utilizing energy from the sun to heat water. They can provide substantial long-term savings on energy bills and often come with incentives and rebates.

Cons: They have a higher initial cost and may require backup heating systems for cloudy days or increased demand. Installation can be complex and may require adequate sun exposure.

  • Hybrid Water Heaters:

Pros: Hybrid water heaters combine the efficiency of a heat pump with the reliability of a tank-style unit. They can significantly reduce energy consumption.

Cons: They tend to have a higher initial cost, and installation can be more complicated. However, the energy savings can offset these expenses over time.

Choosing the best hot water heater system depends on your priorities. If you value energy efficiency and are willing to invest upfront for long-term savings, a tankless, heat pump, or solar system may be ideal. If cost-effectiveness and simplicity are your primary concerns, traditional tank-style water heaters, whether gas or electric, may be suitable.

It’s crucial to consult with a professional plumber or HVAC technician who can assess your specific needs, evaluate your home’s infrastructure, and recommend the most suitable hot water heater system for you. They can also help with proper installation and maintenance to ensure the system operates efficiently and has a long lifespan.

The choice between a gas or electric water heater depends on various factors, including your specific needs, energy costs, and the infrastructure in your home. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s explore the key considerations to help you make an informed decision:

Gas Water Heater:


  • Faster Recovery Time: Gas water heaters typically have a faster recovery time than electric heaters. This means they can provide hot water more quickly, making them suitable for homes with high hot water demand.
  • Lower Operating Costs: In areas where natural gas is relatively inexpensive, gas water heaters can have lower operating costs compared to electric heaters. Gas is often more cost-effective for heating water.
  • Reliable During Power Outages: Gas water heaters with a standing pilot light can still provide hot water during power outages. Electric water heaters, unless connected to a backup generator, cannot.
  • Longer Lifespan: Gas water heaters tend to have a longer lifespan than electric ones, often lasting up to 10-15 years or more with proper maintenance.


  • Higher Initial Cost: Gas water heaters generally have a higher upfront cost compared to electric models. Additionally, installation may require additional venting.
  • Less Energy-Efficient: Gas water heaters are generally less energy-efficient than electric tankless or heat pump models. They continuously maintain the water temperature, even when not in use, which can lead to energy waste.

Electric Water Heater:


  • Lower Initial Cost: Electric water heaters are typically more affordable upfront than gas heaters. Installation is usually simpler and less costly.
  • Energy-Efficiency: Electric water heaters are highly efficient when properly sized and well-insulated. Modern electric tankless and heat pump models can be very energy-efficient, potentially saving on long-term operating costs.
  • Compact Design: Electric tankless and heat pump water heaters are often more compact than their gas counterparts, saving space in your home.
  • Safety: Electric water heaters do not produce combustion byproducts like gas heaters, making them safer in terms of indoor air quality.


  • Slower Recovery Time: Electric water heaters generally have a slower recovery time than gas heaters, meaning they may take longer to provide hot water during high-demand periods.
  • Higher Operating Costs: In areas with high electricity rates, the operational costs of electric water heaters can be higher than gas models.
  • No Hot Water During Power Outages: Standard electric water heaters do not work during power outages unless connected to a backup generator.

The choice between a gas or electric water heater depends on your specific circumstances. If you prioritize faster hot water recovery and have access to affordable natural gas, a gas water heater may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you’re concerned about upfront costs and prefer an energy-efficient option, an electric tankless or heat pump water heater could be more suitable.

It’s essential to consider your local energy costs, your hot water usage patterns, and your home’s infrastructure when making this decision. Consulting with a professional plumber or HVAC technician can help you determine the best water heater type for your needs and ensure a proper installation that maximizes energy efficiency and safety.

A malfunctioning water heater can be quite frustrating, but several factors can contribute to it not working properly. As a plumbing expert, I can provide you with a comprehensive list of potential reasons why your water heater may not be functioning as expected:


  • Power Supply Issues:

Electric Water Heaters: If you have an electric water heater, check if there is power to the unit. A tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse in your electrical panel may be the culprit. Resetting the breaker or replacing the fuse can often resolve this issue.


  • Gas Water Heaters: 

For gas water heaters, ensure that the pilot light is lit. If it’s out, relight it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the pilot light won’t stay lit or you suspect a gas supply issue, it’s crucial to contact a professional immediately for safety reasons.


  • Thermostat Settings:

Verify that the thermostat on your water heater is set to the desired temperature. If it’s set too low, you may not get hot enough water.


  • Sediment Buildup:

Over time, sediment can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, insulating the heating element or burner. This can reduce the efficiency of the water heater and lead to insufficient hot water. Flushing the tank to remove sediment buildup can help restore proper functioning.

  • Faulty Heating Element (Electric):

In electric water heaters, one or both of the heating elements can fail. If you’re not getting hot water or it’s running out quickly, a defective heating element may be to blame. These elements can be replaced by a professional plumber.

  • Gas Supply Issues (Gas):

If you have a gas water heater, a disruption in the gas supply can prevent it from heating water. Check for gas leaks, ensure the gas valve is open, and make sure the thermostat is set correctly. Gas supply issues should be addressed by a licensed professional.

  • Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) Issues:

The PRV is a safety device that releases excess pressure in the tank. If it’s leaking or discharging water, it may indicate high pressure in the tank or a faulty valve. Replacing a faulty PRV is a job for a professional plumber.

  • Water Heater Age:

The age of your water heater can affect its performance. If your unit is nearing the end of its expected lifespan (typically 10-15 years for gas and electric tank-style heaters), it may be less efficient and more prone to problems. Consider replacement if it’s old and causing frequent issues.

  • Anode Rod (Sacrificial Anode) Depletion:

The anode rod in your water heater is designed to prevent corrosion inside the tank. Over time, the rod can become depleted, leading to tank corrosion and reduced heating efficiency. Replacing the anode rod can extend the life of your water heater.

  • Leaks:

Water heater leaks can be caused by issues with the tank, pressure relief valve, or plumbing connections. Leaking water heaters should be inspected and repaired by a professional to prevent water damage.

  • Faulty Thermostat or Control Valve:

A malfunctioning thermostat or control valve can prevent your water heater from heating water to the desired temperature. These components may require replacement.

  • Blocked Vents or Air Intake (Gas):

Gas water heaters require proper ventilation for combustion. Blocked vents or air intake can disrupt the combustion process and cause the unit to shut down for safety reasons.

  • Internal Tank Damage:

In some cases, internal tank damage, such as corrosion or cracks, can cause a water heater to fail. Unfortunately, if the tank is compromised, replacement is usually the only solution.

It’s important to note that some water heater issues can be dangerous to address on your own, particularly those involving gas supply, pressure relief valves, or electrical components. If you’re unsure about the cause of your water heater problem or how to fix it, it’s best to consult a licensed plumber or HVAC technician for a thorough diagnosis and safe, professional repair or replacement if necessary. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help prevent many of these issues and extend the life of your water heater.

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Harrisonburg plumber, plumber Harrisonburg, Shenandoah plumber, Massanetta Springs plumber, Bridgewater plumber

Serving Page and

Rockingham County

R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing LLC is proud to serve the plumbing needs of Harrisonburg and surrounding areas, including communities in Page County and Rockingham County.

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