Tankless Water Heaters Can Generate Savings

Have you ever noticed that when you’re the last one to take a shower that half-way through you get a cold surprise? Or has this happened to you: when you turn on the hot water, you scald your hands. This is probably because you have a traditional water heater. However, tankless hot water heaters are able to sustain a constant temperature while also saving you money in the long run.

How They Work
Electric tankless water heaters are very small units, typically hung on the side of a house, which are preset to a specific temperature. When you turn on your hot faucet, a device in this unit is activated by the flow of water, triggering it to be heated instantly. Therefore, your water is only heated when you are using it. You never have to pay for “standby” water like traditional water heaters which have to store the water all the time. Storing water is expensive because the tank has to constantly heat and then reheat the water in the tank, even when you’re not using it.

Efficiency (to Your Wallet)
Since electric tankless water heaters don’t have to consistently reheat the water, your electric bills will actually be reduced. Traditional water tanks cycle on and off, even when you’re gone from the house, and keeping this water warm uses up a lot of energy. But tankless heaters only work when you want them to.

Also, since traditional tanks have to constantly warm up the water throughout the day, it actually overheats the water in an effort to avoid running out of it. This means that sometimes the water will come out scalding hot. In fact, these tanks will actually add cold water when you turn on the hot water faucet in order to make the temperature more comfortable. All this waste is not only bad for the environment, but it’s also costing you money.
Other Benefits
Tankless hot water heaters not only you save up to 20 to 50 percent on your energy bills, they are also efficient in other ways:

Save Space: Unlike tanks which take up a lot of room, tankless heaters are small and out of the way.
No Replacement: These units typically come with a lifetime warranty, whereas tanks will eventually give out over time.
No leaking: Since there is no storing large quantities of water, electric tankless water heaters never seep.
Environmentally Friendly: Due to less water use and energy waste, these particular units run on fewer fossil fuels and conserve more power.
Healthier: Letting water sit for too long can create certain bacteria, whereas a tankless water heaters never have to store water.

If you’re tired of high energy bills and relighting that pilot light, an electric tankless water heater is probably the solution for you. Not only are they more sophisticated, contemporary, and hidden away, the additional comfort they provide is worth the acquired savings.

Water Pressure: What To Know & How To Improve It

Problems with water pressure are one of the more annoying things that can go wrong in a house. Showers become less satisfying and dishes are even more of a chore than usual. A lot of homeowners live with these and many other water problems, simply because they aren’t aware of how to fix them (or prevent them in the first place). There are, however, many options available to change your water pressure from bad to “super-bad”.

Urban Water Pressure
Most people get their water from a municipal water company. In the main lines underground, the water pressure is very high. Due to friction, this water loses its pressure between the main line and your home. It loses still more pressure between where it enters the home and the faucet it comes out of. The smaller the space is for the water to move through, the more friction there will be. If water has low pressure when it comes out of a faucet, it means that somewhere between the main line and your sink, the water is experiencing too much friction.

Sometimes, the excess friction is caused by pipes being too small in the first place. A pipe that is 1/2 inch in diameter causes significantly more friction than one that has a 3/4-inch or a full inch diameter. If your home is full of 1/2-inch pipes, replacing the ones that are easily accessible with 3/4-inch pipe will make a noticeable difference. Paying a professional to come in and replace all the plumbing with 3/4-inch pipe will make an enormous difference. People building a new home can upgrade from 1/2-inch pipe to 3/4-inch pipe for a relatively low price and save a lot of hassle in the long run.

Blockage Might be the Problem
Low water pressure can also be caused by blockages or chemical buildup in pipes. Water leaves small mineral deposits (often calcium) as it travels through plumbing. If enough of these deposits stick to the inside of the pipe, they reduce the diameter through which the water can flow (which in turn increases the friction, and so on). Since mineral buildup large enough to affect flow can easily be seen, examining a sample section of pipe from a fixture where the water pressure is low can identify this problem. Chemicals can be used to break down and flush out mineral buildup in these cases.

Plumbing Contractor
If your water pressure has been consistently good and suddenly becomes very poor, the problem may be outside of the house with the water main itself. Let the water company know if you suspect that a pressure problem is coming from outside the house.

Well Water Pressure
Homes that use well water instead of municipal water have a water pressure tank. While these homes can have the same sorts of problems that non-well homes do, the water pressure tank can have problems of its own. The tank may be too small to provide all the pressure needed when water is being used in many places at once. It can also leak. Homeowners with wells may want to have their water pressure tank examined for leaks and for capacity if pressure problems arise.

How To Handle Clogged Floor & Shower Drains In Your Home

We all know that any type of drain can get clogged, some more easily than others. Even though they are designed to withstand quite a good amount of abuse, floor and shower drains are, nevertheless, common candidates for clogging problems. Hair and other shower by-products easily get caught in subsurface pipes. Floor drains are prevalent in laundry rooms, garages, and basements where they are frequent receptacles for wastewater from washing machines, air conditioners, and water heaters. These drains are necessary, the waste has to leave your house some way, but when a clog occurs they are also some of the hardest drains to clear.

Shower Drains
Interestingly enough, the first thing you should try when unclogging your shower drain is pouring a hair removal product, Nair, for example, down the drain. Chances are hair is the reason for your clog and there’s a good chance this will work. If it becomes a recurring problem, you may need a better shower drain cover to catch more of the hair before it enters your drain. If you don’t have a hair removal product in your home, baking soda and vinegar can also work.

If this doesn’t work, you may have a more extensive problem. You may need to call a plumber if you don’t have the expertise to disassemble the drain. When you take this recourse, you should ask the plumber about the general condition of the shower drain, not just the clog. Newer drain assemblies use a bondable waterproof membrane that can protect your mortar bed from becoming saturated.

Floor Drains
Floor drains are a different matter altogether. More than just wastewater, lint, sand, and grime can crystallize in your drain causing a real clogging nightmare. When this happens you’re way beyond hair removal products and will probably need to either call a plumber or rent a power auger. This machine uses cutting blades to cut through the clog. If you have a drain basin with a clean out plug, you’ll be able to circumvent the drain trap and enter directly into the pipe. Otherwise, you’ll have to snake the drain through the drain assembly, which increases the difficulty in reaching the clog. Once you reach the clog, the blades are designed to alternate directions as you move back and forth through the clog.

Floor drains are unique in that they are often designed to allow a certain amount of overflow. High amounts of pressure can be created in many floor drains. A standpipe holds back some of the wastewater causing the drain to overflow. This keeps the pipes and drain assembly from breaking. If you think your drain is accepting high levels of wastewater, this can be a bigger issue than a clog. You might consider talking to a plumber about any possible risks associated with your drain assembly.