Saving water. Comfort. Convenience. Design. With today’s plumbing technology, there are a lot of great reasons to have new water heaters, faucets, showerheads, toilets and more installed in your home. There are also many options available to choose from, so work with My Plumber to determine the right type of system for your home.
The Department of Energy recently announced new standards for residential water heater efficiency effective April 16, 2015.
Before replacing your water heater, there are a number of things you can consider that will impact the green-living profile of your home. Choosing a water heater based on the following can help improve energy efficiency:
- Number of people living in your home (hot water demand)
- How well your old unit supplied your demand
- Fuel type, availability, and cost
- Estimated energy efficiency of various models
- Length of warranty
- Maintenance and repair information
- Cost of unit as it relates to annual operating cost
Getting the right-sized water heater is important to accommodate your household’s needs. It should deliver hot water when and where you need it, in the most energy-efficient and cost-conscious manner. Depending on the layout and size of your home, more than one water heater may be necessary to effectively supply your demand.
Types of Water Heaters
Gas models are the most common water heaters in American homes. The tanks hold anywhere between 20 to 80 gallons of water. When you turn on your hot water tap, hot water comes to you from the top of the tank. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank to be heated. Fuel for gas water heaters is either natural gas, propane or heating oil.
Electric water heaters are similar to gas units in the sense of storage capacity, but electric tanks heat water using two electric elements, each with their own thermostat.
Tankless water heaters are still relatively new to homes but are quickly becoming the popular alternative to traditional water heaters. Due to the absence of an actual tank, hot water is supplied on an “as-needed” basis and saves energy by eliminating stand-by heat loss. Some tankless water heaters claim up to 40% in energy savings.
Solar water heaters are powered by energy from the sun and are made up of a storage tank and solar collector. These systems, installed in higher latitudes, may require additional design requirements that will add to their complexity and cost.
Energy Efficiency Considerations. Although gas and electric water heaters don’t appear to be as energy efficient as the solar and tankless options, their efficiencies have improved over time. Spending a little more on an efficient water heater will pay for itself in the long run, especially a unit having an insulation rating of R-16 or higher.
Cost Considerations. The price of a water heater varies based on a number of reasons. Factors like water-line connections, gas lines, as well as access and type of water heater all play a role in the overall cost of a water heater and installation. Contacting a professional plumber for a free in-person evaluation is the best way to check pricing. A “blind” quote over the phone is often inaccurate.
The EPA estimates that 30%* of an average home’s indoor water consumption comes from flushing toilets. For that reason, it’s important to maintain your toilet for long-term water conservation and money savings.
Technology advances are driving efficient alternatives for many basic appliances around the home, including the bathroom. Low-flow toilets and dual-flush toilets are two examples of more recent water-efficient options.
Toilet manufacturers are also offering greater comfort and convenience options. The traditional porcelain toilet has been transformed with features like automated flushing, heated seats, mechanically controlled seats and lids, bidet-like functions, and other spa-like features.
Sinks & Showers
Technology has had a great impact on the advancement and upgrading of common home fixtures such as sink faucets and showers. Manufacturers are now offering fixtures that are water-efficient and functional in design.
Additions like aerators assist in water conservation by mixing water from the faucet with air to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain pressure. The only difference users notice is a drop in their water bills. Another smart option is low-flow showerheads.
New shower designs feature computer-programming tools that let users personalize their shower experience. Features including desired water temperature, pressure, and spray type all enhance the traditional shower experience.
Schedule a today to find out about the benefits and savings of installing new fixtures in your bathroom or kitchen.
Water Purification Systems
Clean water is a fundamental basic for the health of your family—and the life of your plumbing systems. Unfortunately, water can be full of minerals, chemicals, parasites, and chlorines that are unhealthy for people and can be damaging to your home’s pipes and appliances.
Water Problems. It’s easy to detect contaminants in your water. Water full of impurities can cause an unpleasant odor or taste, irritate your skin, and actually cause major health problems.
Additionally, hard water contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium (called limescale), which can cause spotty dishes, tile scum, and can even discolor your laundry. Limescale deposits can clog and damage your dishwasher, water heater, and other water-using appliances.
Pure Water Solutions. We offer a complete range of household water purification systems. With the latest technology to deliver pure, clean water, all of our filtration systems require no regular service or maintenance.
We provide pure water solutions such as single-stage carbon water filtration systems that improve the taste and smell of your water.
Contact us to learn more about water purification systems and installation.
Hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium. This type of water isn’t typically harmful to one’s health, but it can cause major problems for your home’s plumbing system and water-using appliances. One way to detect if you have hard water is to check for mineral deposits or buildup around the openings of your faucets and showerheads. If you have hard water, a home water softener is recommended.
Mineral Deposits. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium (called limescale) are extremely harsh on household water-heating appliances like dishwashers and coffeemakers. The minerals in hard water can take a particularly serious toll on your water heater. These minerals insulate the water, leading to reduced efficiency and, ultimately, water heater damage—as well as an increase in your water bill.
Soap Scum. When soap and hard water are combined, soap scum forms. The reaction comes from hard water minerals mixing with the fatty acids in soap. The scum can make your dishes spotty, scale cookware, and discolor or stiffen your laundry.
Getting Rid of Hard Water. Water softeners can help transform your hard water and increase the life of your water heater. Water softeners rely on “ion exchange,” substituting sodium chloride for minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron that make water hard.
Complete Home Water Purification. If you’re looking to go the extra mile to ensure clean water for your health and plumbing, you may want to consider a whole-home water purification system. This is a great alternative because it goes beyond simply protecting your plumbing. A complete home water purification system also provides you with clean, great-tasting water throughout your home.
Contact us to find out more about water softeners and water purification options.
Garbage Disposal Installation
If you're tired of your kitchen sink clogging up with food waste every time you do the dishes, it may be time to investigate installing a new garbage disposal. Or if your current disposal isn't powerful enough to handle your big jobs, especially around the holidays, it may be time for an upgrade. When you're ready to make a decision, it may be helpful to consider the following:
Which type of garbage disposal is best?
There are two basic types of garbage disposals - continuous feed and batch feed. Continuous feed models will work continuously as you add food until you flip off the switch. These tend to be more common and can be less expensive.
Some people prefer batch feed models because the cover needs to be in place during operation, which can reduce the risk of injury or ejected debris.
Garbage disposal motors generally range from 1/4 horsepower to 1 horsepower. The higher the power level, the more waste it can handle and it can dispose of more difficult kitchen waste. For larger families, higher horsepower may be helpful.
Consider special features.
Each year, garbage disposals become quieter and more efficient. Some even offer water-saving and reduced jamming features. We recommend models with a stainless steel grind chamber and components.
If you're handy and comfortable with plumbing and electricity, some units can be self-installed. However, if you're interested in more information about garbage disposals and professional installation, contact us today.