FAQs

At Reliable Water Services, we’re happy to serve you 24/7. Below, we’ve answered our most frequently asked questions. Don’t see the answer here to your hot water heater question? Give us a call today!

Service Questions

Call us at 1-800-356-1444, 24/7, and tell us the problem—we’ll handle the rest, including dispatching and paying the plumber. Be as specific with the symptoms as possible (error codes displayed on the unit, description of the noise, or issue) so we can fix the problem quickly. Once you call, we’ll dispatch our nearest service provider, and the assigned technician will give you a call with an ETA once they’re on the way to your site. You’ll have peace of mind knowing we’ll repair your equipment fast so you can focus on running your business.

At Reliable Water Services, we strive for prompt service 24/7. We aim for a 4-hour response window, but typically we arrive within 2-4 hours of notification. So, if you suspect a problem with your water heater, contact us right away at 1-800-356-1444, and we will dispatch a technician.

Yes! We offer affordable service plans. We can set you up with a service plan when you call or bill you separately for the work. It’s important to note that service plans can help you save time and money. Sign up for a service plan today and be prepared for any issues in the future.

Yes! In addition to water heaters, we provide service on boilers, water softeners, pool heaters, circulating pumps, power venters, expansion tanks, and other related hot water equipment. We now carry and service RTU (rooftop units) as well!

Our service agreements cover many different water heater issues and factors that impact performance. Because so many circumstances may contribute to your water heater issues, it’s best to have a technician visit to determine the cause and assess the repair plan. If you are concerned about the performance of your water heater equipment, call us. We’ll work with you to determine if the repair is covered under your service plan.

We aim for transparency and clarity in our customer contracts. Therefore, your agreement will explicitly outline and detail the equipment covered. While we may assist with other water piping and venting issues (with customer approval), they are rarely covered under our regular service agreement and would be billed separately if applicable. It’s also important to note that preventable damage from vent blockage, misuse, and power failure is beyond the scope of our service agreement. Please contact us if you have any questions.

We evaluate each situation case-by-case, looking at repairability, age, and other factors. Our goal is to provide you with hot water you can rely on 24/7, and we keep service trucks stocked with parts to get your equipment repaired as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, water heaters do eventually fail beyond repair and require replacement. When our technician arrives, we’ll evaluate your equipment and address the problem to ensure you have the hot water you need.

Commercial water heaters are very different from the residential water heaters in our houses –they’re built differently, have more parts, and typically get used more often. Service needs vary based on the type of equipment, use, industry, age, and various other factors. The benefit of water heater service through Reliable is that we’re there whenever you need us. We’ll assess your equipment and provide you with any services you need. Think of your service plan as “hot water insurance.”

Traditionally, water heaters were simple — almost like a pot with a flame underneath. But with today’s technology, manufacturers use sophisticated electronic components to ensure higher efficiency. With increased technology, the number of parts that can fail also increases. You need a specially trained service technician.

Even if you have maintenance technicians on staff, they’re likely not trained on the specific nuances of commercial water heaters. We work with certified service providers, specially trained in the particular equipment we provide. Our technicians can quickly troubleshoot because they know exactly what to look for and how to repair it. They can access the needed parts and equipment at a moment’s notice to get you up and running fast. The result is less downtime for you and your business, saving you time and money. See more about the savings here.

We’re proud to service all of Wisconsin and Indiana, as well as Western Ohio. We also cover the Rockford, IL, area in Northern Illinois, with limited service in other states and regions, including Texas and Kentucky. We are continually expanding our geographic range. Looking for service outside our target service area? Reach out and inquire about services nationwide. We’ll do our best to assist you or point you in the right direction.

Equipment Questions

At Reliable Water Services, we rent a variety of water heating components and equipment, including (but not limited to) water heaters, boilers, circulating pumps, and expansion tanks. We also carry RTUs (rooftop units). We have whatever you need to ensure your system is optimized and running at its best. There are many money-saving choices for water heating equipment, including higher energy-efficient options. Learn the difference between standard and high-efficiency water heaters here. Give us a call today at 1-800-356-1444 to find out what equipment is right for your business.

We do sell water heating equipment in certain circumstances, but we highly recommend exploring our rental options, which include the benefits of 24/7 service, expert care, and easy replacement. There are many excellent reasons to rent a water heater. When you choose a rental plan, there’s no guesswork and no hassle. Your equipment is scalable with your business, and we’ll help you choose the right water heater for your needs. If your business is located beyond our serviceable geographic areas, we’d be happy to help you explore your options to purchase or finance your equipment through us.

While the equipment cost may increase with higher-efficiency options, the money you save on energy costs often outweighs the difference. Standard atmospheric water heaters have an efficiency rating of around 80%—$0.20 of every $1.00 in energy costs are going up and out the chimney. The high-efficiency sealed-combustion units are rated 95% efficient, reducing the “up the chimney” amount by over 25%. Not all applications are conducive to energy-efficient options, but it’s certainly worth exploring with your Reliable Water Services representative.

We recommend a tank-type heater for most commercial applications because the tank stores multiple gallons of hot water ready to use at high-demand times, but it all depends on the setting. While there are some lighter-use applications where a tankless water heater may fit your needs, you should rely on a site evaluation to assess what’s best for your business and what will continue to meet your needs in the future.

There are some areas where an outdoor water heater and boiler are possible, but it depends on the manufacturer and the climate. Off-site water heaters are occasionally installed in sheds with space heaters in colder climates, but again, it depends on your location, setup, and other factors. Give us a call, and we’ll assess your space and help you decide on a water heater setup that fits your needs.

There could be many reasons why your water heater is underperforming. Often, this can happen when you upgrade or change other equipment that uses more hot water, like a new dishwasher. If nothing like that has changed, then something else is going on. One of the common causes is a slab leak. Another issue could be sediment build-up in your pipes. No matter the cause, you should have any change in your hot water looked at by a professional. If you notice that you’re running out of hot water faster than usual, reach out to schedule a visit from a technician.

Premature water heater failure is a painfully expensive problem, often due to one of three issues: improper water heater sizing, poor water quality, or spikes in water pressure. If the concern is with your water heater sizing, our experts can recommend an appropriate option to better suit your needs.

For water quality issues, hard water is often the problem. When hard water is heated, minerals are precipitated out and deposited throughout the plumbing system. As a result, your water heater and other equipment must work harder and will eventually fail without a water softener.

With water pressure spikes, the municipal water supply may be the culprit, causing intermittent pressure spikes throughout the day. In addition to having a working expansion tank in place, installing a pressure-reducing valve on the incoming water supply should help alleviate the situation.

Familiarize yourself with the early signs of water heater failure so you can contact Reliable Water Services at the first sign of any issue. We’re here to help ensure your water heating equipment works properly and efficiently when you need it the most.

Just because you have enough hot water doesn’t mean your water heater is the right size. If your equipment is oversized, you may use more energy than needed. If your equipment is undersized, you may overwork your heater. When you call Reliable Water Services, our representative will measure your needs, considering every fixture and area that requires hot water. Then, we’ll calculate the gallons per hour you need to ensure your system is tailored to your situation.

In most cases, an expansion tank is an essential component for commercial water heating applications. When water is heated, it increases in volume and takes up more space than cold water – this is called thermal expansion, and it strains your systems. An expansion tank is a small tank with an expandable rubber bladder inside that’s attached to the hot water piping to absorb the shock on the system before it reaches the heater. This takes the impact of thermal expansion off the water heater and your piping, protecting the whole system from pressure increases. They are very affordable, and it’s important to note that not having an expansion tank will void many manufacturers’ warranties.

The most common cause of a popping sound is sediment build-up in the bottom of your water heater – the popping sound is created by the heated water turning to steam inside tiny air pockets within the sediment layer. We discuss why that’s considered an “early sign” of water heater failure here. While it’s not always a sign that your water heater will fail early, it indicates you have hard water. Ask your technician to review your water softener options when they arrive. We rent water-softening equipment to help ease the strain on your water heater and other equipment.

Soft water has many benefits! In addition to better quality water, soft water can save you money by reducing your water heater’s energy consumption by up to 30%, not clogging your system with minerals, and reducing the amount of soap and detergent needed for washing. Soft water will also help extend the life of your plumbing fixtures and water-using equipment like water heaters, dishwashers, and laundry machines. Learn more about the benefits of softened water here. While we don’t include salt delivery with a water softener rental, we recommend using solar salt, as it’s the cleanest form of water softener salt for your equipment.

City water suppliers aren’t required to soften water; they only purify it. You can call your city water provider to find out the softness level of your water. Many municipalities publish a quarterly water quality report that they typically have available online.

While buying a water heater for your residence at a home improvement store is a fine idea, a boxed water heater from a retail store will not work for commercial settings. The wrong water heating equipment is hazardous and can even void your insurance coverage.

Commercial water heaters require proper sizing, venting, and safety measures. Installing the wrong-sized water heater results in poor performance, fire code violations, and potential safety hazards (for example, installing an atmospheric unit in a location with negative air pressure). The unit will consume too much energy and ultimately lead to premature failure. Learn more about the importance of water heater sizing here.

Soot and char marks are sometimes seen on atmospherically vented water heaters, and they definitely should not be ignored. Typically, the cause is the surrounding environment, not the heater itself. Negative air pressure can cause back-drafting, indicating a lack of fresh make-up air.

Soot marks are a safety concern, but they often indicate a ventilation problem, not an issue with the water heater. However, if not resolved, this will cause damage to your water heater over time, so if you notice this issue with your water heater, you should reach out to Reliable Water Services right away. We can examine the case and advise you on the next steps forward.

Water must travel great distances from the water heater to each user in apartment buildings, hotels, and other multi-unit buildings. The water in the pipes may cool between uses, and the residual cool water needs to be flushed out before new water arrives from the heater. A hot water recirculating system, or “circ pump” for short, allows a small amount of hot water to circulate through the pipes continuously.

If your building is running into uneven hot water, you may want to examine your circ pump. It could be turned off or damaged, or you may not have an existing system in place. Reach out today to learn how we can ensure your tenants stay happy and enjoy the benefits of consistent hot water in every unit.

Contract Questions

Renting a commercial water heater is an excellent idea for many different businesses. We serve many industries, including food service, hotels, resorts, senior care, apartments, breweries, and more. When you rent a water heater, you get precisely the size and type of heater for your needs. As your business grows, we’ll ensure your equipment grows along with you. Our rental agreements give you access to 24/7 service and repair, as well as easy water heater replacement.

We offer several plans and can customize them to fit your needs. You can explore our Premier and Standard plans here. We recommend calling to discuss your options and decide what’s best for your current situation.

Preventative maintenance is essential for plumbing, HVAC, and other equipment. Our service plans are adjustable to include preventative maintenance as needed. Discuss maintenance with your Reliable Water Services representative, and we can help you decide what fits your situation best.

We primarily offer water heater rental, which means the agreement is ongoing and evergreen. Typically, a lease means a contract for a particular duration with a predetermined final buyout payment, after which you would own the equipment. With rental agreements, we ensure you have ongoing service and the right equipment you need for any phase of your business. After your initial rental term, our water heater equipment contracts continue on a month-to-month contract basis. A rental agreement ensures you stay worry-free with continuous working hot water. Some equipment isn’t as well-suited for rental–for example, we often place boilers on term lease agreements instead. We’re happy to discuss your options.

After you sign a rental contract with Reliable Water Services, we send a copy digitally or by mail. If you need another copy, contact us in writing via email at [email protected] to make an official request. Please include all the necessary information (customer ID, company name, contract number, contact name, title, and where to send the copies) in your request. It’s also helpful to include the reason for your request whenever possible. We’ll get a copy sent to you within 2 business days.

Businesses often change hands and go through different stages. If you sell your property or your business closes, reach out to us to discuss. Our agreement is with you, the business owner, so it’s crucial that you let us know about the new ownership. Many times, when a business changes hands, the new owner will be interested in keeping the water heater equipment, but they would need a separate agreement in their name. Contact our customer service representatives; we’ll be happy to help with this transition.

Billing & Payment Questions

Yes, we offer convenient email billing. To receive your invoices digitally, email us with your customer ID(s), name, and contact info, as well as the email address(es) you would like to use for invoicing.

We offer online bill-pay for your convenience. More account access is coming soon!

A quick way to determine the service dates on your invoice is to look at your customer ID. If the customer ID number starts with M_, it’s billed in arrears and covers the month prior to your invoice’s date. If your customer ID begins with an I_, you are billed in advance.

To provide excellent customer service, we may work on equipment outside the scope of our contract (at your request). We will invoice this work separately from your regular monthly bill. If you notice any other discrepancies on your bill, check the due date, as we charge late fees for invoices that aren’t paid on time.

To change your billing address, simply email us or send us a request in writing, and include your customer ID number, contact info, and what changes you require. An RWS account representative will be happy to update your information.

Often, when a new owner takes over a business, they may not have been aware of the rental agreement for the water heating equipment. It’s essential to inform us if your business is changing hands to make the appropriate shifts. Give us a call, and we’ll discuss your options for transferring the water heater services.

Your monthly invoices will include a pre-addressed envelope for mailing your payments by check, but you can also securely pay online via credit card (Visa/Master/Discover/AmEx) at any time. Simply click MAKE A PAYMENT from the menu above!

You can also register for automatic recurring payments from the MAKE A PAYMENT page, which can be set up via ACH bank withdrawal or on a credit card:

Auto-Pay via ACH (Automatic Bank Withdrawal) – fill & sign this form to have your monthly fee withdrawn directly from your checking account.

Auto-Pay via CC (Recurring Credit Card) – fill & sign this form to have your monthly fee automatically charged to your credit or debit card.

To ensure the timeliest receipt of your payment, we recommend using one of the payment methods mentioned above.

Payments made by check should only be mailed to our secure lockbox using this remittance address:

RELIABLE WATER SERVICES

PO BOX 88909

MILWAUKEE WI 53288-8909

Please note that the above address is for payments only and should not be used for any other correspondence. Letters for account updates or other written notifications should be mailed to our general mailing address at PO Box 160, Butler, WI 53007-0160.

We accept direct deposit if that’s your company’s preferred payment method. Please call our office at 1-800-356-1444 to set up your account for that process.

If you’d prefer to make a one-time payment over the phone, we can accept credit card payments if you call 1-800-356-1444 during our standard office hours, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm CST Monday-Friday.

Yes. We understand that all businesses can face hardships, so if your business hits a rough patch and your account is past due, we’re happy to work with you to arrange a payment plan that helps you get back on track comfortably. Just give us a call at 1-800-356-1444 to discuss your options.

Water Heater Down?

If you have any hot water emergency, call us any time, day or night.

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