Water Heater Size: How to Choose

Various Water Heater Sizes

Sizing a water heater isn’t always an easy calculation. There are many factors involved and, depending on your needs, you might have several options available to you. But getting it wrong has consequences. Too small and you’ll have to settle for cold showers. Too large and you waste energy heating water that isn’t being used. We can help you decide what water heater size is best for you and your home.

Continue below to see the things you should consider when selecting your next water heater.

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6 Reasons Why Your Hot Water is Unexpectedly Cold

Waking up early and hopping into a cold shower is not a fun way to start your day. So what is causing your hot water to run cold? One of these six reasons is likely to blame for your icy wake-up call.

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Reasons Your Hot Water is Cold

1. Leaking hot water pipe

If a pipe is leaking in your basement, for example, it won’t reach your bathroom, especially if your shower is on the second floor. As long as the pipe isn’t hidden in a wall, you should be able to find the problem easily. However, a leak in a hidden pipe could be more of a challenge to detect. Call us right away at (866)844-3770 if you suspect that you might have a leaking pipe.

2. The pilot light is out

This is a potential issue if you have a gas-fired water heater. If you don’t know how to check your heater for the pilot light, look in your owner’s manual. Follow the instructions to relight it and if it doesn’t work, you likely have a bigger problem that needs special attention.

3. The burner isn’t working

Electric heaters have an element (sometimes two) that heats the water. If you do not have hot water and there is no leak, your element might not be working. These water heaters typically have a lifespan of about 7-10 years so if your heater is around this age, it’s possible that the element has failed and needs replacement.

4. The thermostat is set wrong or not working.

Water heaters have a thermostat set at a specific temperature. It might be set too low and not giving you hot enough water to have your shower. Follow the instructions to change the thermostat setting. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to change your thermostat.

5. The Breaker Tripped

Your water heater might have tripped the breaker. Check your panel and reset the breaker. If it happens again, that signals an electrical problem and you should give us a call right away. You may have to replace your heater, depending on the severity of the problem.

6. The tank is too small

If everything is working well but you constantly face a cold shower if you’re the last one in, your heater might be undersized. You can either race to the bathroom before everyone else, wait for the water to heat up again, or replace your heater with one that has a larger capacity.

Call in a professional

Don’t take chances with your hot water system. Give us a call to make sure everything is working well and to keep your hot water running.

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedInGooglePlus and Instagram

 

How You Can Save Big on Your Utility Bills

Utility bills, they’re pretty much the worst! Being an adult means that each month you have to give a portion of your hard earned money to the water company, the electrical company, the gas company, etc. it’s an overall unpleasant experience. Take some of the pain out of paying your utility bills with this comprehensive money-saving checklist.

Utility

Water Bills:

1. Try to only run your dishwasher or your washing machines when you have a full load. If you absolutely have to wash a smaller load, make sure you’re using the correct water settings

2. Upgrade to a low-flow shower head and watch the savings add up.

3. Have a running/leaking toilet fixed right away, to prevent water waste and increased a water bill.

4. If you add an aerator to your faucets, you’ll use about half as much water and save big on your monthly water bill.

5. Have a high-efficiency toilet installed, for long-term savings.

6. Use a broom to sweep away leaves and dirt on your porch, instead of using a hose to wash away debris.

7. Have any leaks repaired right away. A small leak or a dripping faucet may not seem like a huge deal, and it can be tempting to ignore the leak and save money on faucet-989515_960_720a costly repair. However, ignoring a leak is a major mistake that will cause a significant increase in your monthly water bill. If you notice a leak, contact us right away to have it fixed.

Keep in mind that not all leaks are easy to spot. You could have a leak in your pipes, where you wouldn’t be able to see it. There are a couple of signs to look out for, to help you determine if you have a hidden leak.

-You can start to see an increase in your monthly water bill.

-Your meter readings can be higher than usual.

-Depending on where the leaky pipe is located, you might start to notice some water damage.

If you suspect you may have a hidden leak somewhere, or if you just want some peace of mind, contact us today and we’ll send out one of our professional plumbers to inspect and correct the problem.

8. Opt to thaw foods in the fridge instead of running them under hot water in the sink.

9. You’ve heard this one a hundred times before, but turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or lathering up your hands.

10. You can reuse the water you cook with to water your plants or in the garden.

11. Plan ahead when you purchase new appliances. Investing in energy efficient dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, etc. is a great way to ensure that you’ll see long-term savings on your water and your power utility bills.

Electrical and Gas Bills:

1. Change y142715_image2 copyour air filters regularly. By changing your air filters as recommended you will help ensure that your furnace and your air conditioner are running properly and efficiently, saving you money on your monthly power bills.

2. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.

3. Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.

4. During winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. Then during summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat.

5. For real long-term savings on your utility bills, choose energy-efficient products when you’re buying new heating and cooling equipment.

6. Set your programmable thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer, and depending on the season raise or lower the set point when you’re sleeping or away from home.

7. Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenevwashing-machine-1078918_960_720er possible. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes use less water and use cooler water. Unless you’re dealing with oily stains, the warm or cold water setting on your machine will generally do a good job of cleaning your clothes. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half.

8. Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary.

9. Install white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.

10. One of the quickest energy and money-saving tasks you can do is to caulk, seal and weather strip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside.

11. Close cooling vents in unused rooms and keep doors to unused rooms closed.

12. Have the outside condenser coil cleaned once a year.

13. Schedule yearly maintenance of your heating and cooling equipment with one of our heating and cooling technicians.

14. Attics must be ventilated to relieve heat buildup caused by the sun. If necessary, improve attic airflow by adding or enlarging vents.

15. Save money on lighting your home with controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Our Certified Electricians can help you select and install the products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.

16. Select a refrigerator with automatic moisture control. Models with this feature have been engineered to prevent moisture accumulation on the cabinet exterior without the addition of a heater. This is not the same thing as an “anti-sweat” heater. Models with an anti-sweat heater will consume 5% to 10% more energy than models without this feature.

17. Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer section. If you haverefrigerator-1129919_960_720 a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0°F.

18. Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you might consider buying a new unit.

19. Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water; placing the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet. By keeping your faucet in the cold position, you’ll save money on both your water and energy utility bills.

20. If you need to purchase a natural gas oven or range, look for one with an automatic, electric ignition system. An electric ignition saves natural gas because a pilot light is not burning continuously.

21. In natural gas appliances, look for blue flames; yellow flames indicate the gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment may be needed. Consult the manufacturer or your local utility company.

22. Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, and you will save energy.

23. Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it’s faster and it uses less energy.

24. Use small electric pans or toaster ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven. A toaster oven uses a third to half as much energy as a full-sized oven.

25. Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens whenever it is convenient to do so. They will save energy by significantly reducing cooking time.

26. Unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. Even if you turn these items off, they will still draw power, wasting energy and your money.

27. If you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes turn off the monitor and turn off the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.

28. Switch to energy efficient light-bulbs.

29. Don’t put hot foods in the fridge. Allow food to cool a little before placing them in the refrigerator for storage. Placing hot foods in the fridge will raise the temperature of your fridge, causing it to work twice as hard to cool the unit back down, costing you more money on your power bill.

30. Have us come out and perform an Energy Safety Savings Analysis. An Energy Safety Savings Analysis will help discover even more ways for you to save money on your utility bills.

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedInGooglePlus and Instagram

Mistakes That Will Have You Running To A Plumber

Hey, no one is perfect and mistakes can get costly. This is especially true when it comes to plumbing mistakes. But the good news is that you can learn from others mistakes and avoid needing to call a plumber. Check out the most common plumbing mistakes and learn how you can avoid them.

plumber mistakes

Mistake Number One: Treating Your Toilet Like a Trash Can.

If you ask any plumber, they’ll have dozens of stories of items they retrieve from a clogged toilet. Save yourself the headache and avoid flushing any of the following items:

  • cotton balls5654.prd.s.020
  • toys
  • paper towels
  • cigarette-butts
  • plastic items
  • band-aids
  • dental floss
  • diapers
  • facial tissue
  • etc.

Bottom line, if it’s not toilet paper, you shouldn’t try to flush it. This goes double for the so-called “flushable” wipes (which are horrible for your plumbing system).

Mistake Number Two: Misusing the Garbage Disposal.

When using the garbage disposal it is important not to overload it with too much food at one time. And most importantly, do not, I repeat do not put any of the following items down your disposal.

  • Potato peels, celery, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, corn husks, carrots or onion skins. These items tend to wrap around the disposal blades.
  • spaghetti-781795_960_720Pasta, beans, potatoes or rice. These foods absorb water and turn into a paste like substance in your drain, which can cause a clog.
  • Chicken or turkey bones, large seed pits, fatty or greasy foods, coffee grounds or seeds.

Mistake Number Three: Ignoring Tiny Leaks.

Okay, this is one issue that will likely require a plumber in order to avoid a major plumbing mistake You definitely want to have a professional plumber repair leaky faucets promptly. Even a small leak wastes gallons of water in a short period of time. Plus, that leak will continue to grow larger and more expensive to fix the longer you ignore it.

Mistake Number Four: Weighing Down Your Plumbing Fixtures.

Plumbing fixtures are only designed to support so much weight at one time. Using your bathtub spout as a handle to pull yourself out of the tub or overloading a shower caddy can cause serious damage to the fixture. You’ll also risking your own safety!

Mistake Number Five: Being to Forceful When Turning a Faucet On and Offtap-943297_960_720.

Being overly aggressive when using a faucet can cause some serious damage to the fixture. Additionally, pressing down really hard on a leaky faucet will not stop the water from dripping and will make the issue much worse.

Mistake Number Six: Failing to Properly Maintain Your Water Heater.

Your water heater requires yearly maintenance to ensure it’s functioning properly. Waking up on a cold morning without hot water for a shower is not anyone’s idea of a fun way to start the day. You can help avoid this by ensuring your water heater is well maintained.

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedInGooglePlus and Instagram

 

Bath Safety: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe in the Tub

January is Bath Safety Month and you may not be aware of how dangerous your bathroom can be! Small children are especially vulnerable but anyone is at risk of suffering a major accident in or around the bath. A trip to the emergency room is not the way most of us envision bath time ending! Follow these simple tips designed to keep you and your family safe.

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1. Grab bars are a good idea for everyone!

The majority of all major bath accidents happen when people are getting in and (especially) out of the tub. Having a bar or some kind of handle to help people get in and out of the tub is a safety precaution for people of all ages. Remember tubs are slippery when wet, making it harder for you to keep your balance.

2. Never leave small children unattended in the tub.

This is probably a no-brainer, but better safe than sorry. At no time should a child under four years of age be left alone while in the tub.

3. Prevent scalding.

Most wate1164_936860776361440_8359717173481272834_nr heaters allow you to set the temperature but have a manufacture default water heating setting. It is best to set the temperature yourself and ensure that it’s not hotter than 115-120 degrees F. By lowering the water temperature settings, you’ll reduce the risk of scalding water burns. If you’re not sure how to set your water heater temperature our professional plumbers will be happy to help! And be sure to ask about an Anti-Scald Device for added safety.

P.S. Even with the above precautions in place, it is a good idea to test the temperature of the water before jumping in.

4. Stop slips before they happen.

We all know that wet surfaces are slippery, that’s why adding a few accessories to your bathroom can go a long way in keeping your loved ones safe. Place a slip-resistant mat or adhesive decals in your tub/shower. If your floor is tiled, place a decortowel-rack-635395_960_720ative rug next to your tub/shower. If you don’t have a rug, placing a towel next to your tub will be helpful.

P.S. Don’t forget to have grab bars installed, it is not safe to use a towel rack to help you out of the tub.

5. Electricity and water are not friends.

Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how often this issue
comes up. For everyone’s safety, keep electrical devices away from the tub. If you have small children, it’s probably a good idea to make sure all devices are unplugged before running the bath water. Better safe than sorry!

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedInGooglePlus and Instagram