Do you dislike wasting water and time waiting for hot water to reach your sink? Is your current water heater more than 10 years old? If so, you might want to consider upgrading to a tankless water heater and re-circulation system for your home. Keep reading to learn more about these innovative systems and how they can save you time and money!
Tankless water heaters, also called water on-demand heaters, work by heating water directly at the source while it’s being used. This means you are not paying to heat the same water multiple times throughout the day. Tankless water heaters are more efficient and don’t have the energy standby losses associated with traditional water heater tanks. With the addition of a re-circulating system, you can have near-instant hot water since you don’t have to wait for cold water to cycle through your pipes. Tankless water heaters can be powered by natural gas, electricity, or propane.
Tankless systems are much smaller than tank-style heaters and can be mounted on the wall. There are even models designed for outdoor installation. This can free up valuable storage space in your home and makes access for maintenance a lot easier. Another benefit is that tankless water heaters have a longer life expectancy than conventional water tanks (generally around 20 years) because all of the parts are accessible for servicing or replacement. Even better, the risk of water damage resulting from tank leaks will be a thing of the past!
Based on the size of your home or your particular need, tankless water heaters are able to provide hot water at a rate of 2 to 11 gallons per minute. While this is usually more than enough for average households, for larger households, a single tankless heater might be hard-pressed to keep up with multiple, simultaneous uses (for example running the dishwasher, washing machine and 2 showers at the same time). This can be overcome by installing an additional tankless system in your home to handle simultaneous demands. In fact, ENERGY STAR® estimates that installing a tankless system that is tailored for your exact situation can help you achieve energy savings of 27%-50%!
If you’re interested in learning more about tankless water heaters, schedule an appointment with Best Plumbing. Our expert plumbers will design the perfect system that works with your plumbing configuration and lifestyle needs! We proudly serve greater King County.
Photo credit: ©omiksemaj
In addition to the damage already caused to your home and yard by a damaged sewer line, traditional trench repairs can wreak further havoc as landscaping and sidewalks are torn up to replace the broken pipe. Depending on the location and weather conditions, trench repairs can also be a lengthy process to complete properly and safely. Fortunately, advances in technology mean that less disruptive repair solutions are now available to Seattle property owners. Keep reading to learn more from the experts at Best Plumbing!
There are two major types of trenchless sewer repair methods in use, depending on the nature of the problem. First is pipe bursting, which is a technique where a fiberglass cone and pipe is pulled through the old pipe, causing it to crack into small pieces. The new sewer line is then pulled through the tunnel left behind from the burst pipe.
The second technique is called pipe lining, also known as cured in place pipe (CIPP). In this case, a flexible, epoxy-covered membrane is forced through the damaged pipe. The lining is then inflated to fit and reinforce the existing pipe — essentially creating a pipe within a pipe. Once the epoxy is cured, the line is ready to be used again.
Trenchless sewer repairs are less intrusive and keep your yard and landscaping more intact. Because they don’t require as much digging, they can also save you time and money in terms of labor. When done properly, these techniques create permanent repairs that fully meet industry standards. They are particularly suited for repairing piping beneath extensive landscaping, apartment buildings, or difficult terrain. They can be used for a variety of repairs, including fixing cracked lines or upgrading old pipes to modern materials.
Contact Best Plumbing today if you are in need of a sewer line repair. We will conduct a thorough inspection to determine the nature of the problem and whether it a good candidate for trenchless repair. We have served the greater Seattle and Bellevue areas since 1968 and are here for all your plumbing needs.
The last thing you want to happen when temperatures start to drop in Seattle is to discover you need to replace your water heater. Here are some tips for winterizing your water heater to make sure you aren’t left in the cold!
Both gas and electric water tanks have a temperature-pressure release (TPR) valve on the top or side of the tank. This valve will open if the pressure inside the tank gets too high in order to prevent an explosion. To test, lift the trip lever on the valve then release it again. You should see some water or hear a faint hiss of air exit through the valve. If you don’t, or water keeps flowing after you release the lever, then you need to replace the TPR valve.
The anode rod works to capture corrosive elements in water so they don’t eat through the lining of your water tank. If your tank is more than 2-3 years old, you should inspect the anode rod annually. It’s normal to see some pitting and surface corrosion, but if the rod is covered in calcium, missing pieces, or has dissolved to less than a ½ inch thick, then it’s time for it to be replaced.
The build-up of sediment can make your water heater run less efficiently, which results in higher utility bills. It can also clog your water lines. Flushing the tank 1-2 times a year can greatly extend the lifespan and performance of your water heater.
Take a look at the temperature setting on your water heater. If it is set to 125° F or higher, consider turning it down to 120° F. This is still hot enough for regular household needs and you can expect to save between 3-5% percent in energy costs for every 10 degrees the temperature is lowered!
Many newer water heaters come pre-insulated. If you have an older tank, you can use a fiberglass jacket to help improve performance. Make sure to cut the insulation to fit around pipes, the TPR valve, and the temperature controls — be careful not to cover the top of gas or oil heaters! You can also buy foam pipe insulators to fit around any exposed water pipes in your home The insulation will keep the hot water in your pipes warmer for a longer period of time between uses. This means lower energy expenses and a shorter wait for the hot water to kick in!
Regular maintenance for your hot water heater will extend its lifespan, lower your energy bill, and ensure that you have a steady supply of hot water available whenever you need it. If you want assistance or discover an issue with your water heater, contact the experts at Best Plumbing today! Our fully licensed plumbers can service, repair, or upgrade your water heater to best fit your needs.
Photo Credit: paolobros, available under Creative Commons CCO.