Category: Plumbing

Guide To Tankless Water Heaters

Buying A New Water Heater? Things To Consider!

Water heaters are essential for every modern household. They are absolutely indispensable in winters as well as for any hot water needs like washing clothes or doing the dishes. For someone planning to buy a water heater, it’s very easy to get confused with all the options and varieties available in the market. Although choosing the right water heater for you mainly boils down to the purpose, space constraints and of course, your budget! Here are the important factors and features to consider before finalizing on the heater.

You will have to decide whether you want a water heater with a storage tank and one that heats water instantly. Storage water heaters tend to be a bit expensive but generally they are more durable and require minimum maintenance. Instant water heaters, on the other hand, heat only as much water as you need and when you need it. These heaters operate with least loss of heat and are often cheaper to operate than storage heaters.

The right size of your water heater will be dependent on how much hot water is used in the household. For a household with only 2-3 members, an instant water heater will suffice. For a medium-sized household, typically of 4-5 persons, a combination of instant water heaters and storage will be preferred. For a large household of 5 persons and above, multiple instant water heaters is an option or again a combination of heaters, depending on the usage of each member can be installed.

Electric water heaters come with energy-efficiency star rating labels. The more the stars, the more efficient the water heater is, the highest being a 5-star rating. Instant water heaters are generally much more energy-efficient than the traditional water heaters. These heaters use energy when it’s necessary. When the water cools off, the heating element is turned on and it heats up the water again. Installing an energy-efficient water heater means saving money on monthly electricity bills. So, before buying a water heater, choose one with a higher star rating.

Choosing the right water heater also involves keeping the space constraints in mind. If your installation area is spacious then you can choose a storage water heater since they are bulky in size and may take up a good amount of space. If you have space crunch, however, an instant water heater will be apt since they are compact in size and take up lesser space than ones with tanks.

 

How Many Years is a Water Heater Good For?

Your water heater is one of those everyday appliances that you probably don’t think about very often, but when it stops working, everything in the house grinds to a screeching halt. From morning showers to hard-to-clean dishes, losing hot water can disrupt several daily tasks and put everyone on edge. Sometimes the problem is relatively minor and easy to fix, a simple thermostat or heating element gone bad. But water heaters see a lot of use and sooner or later, they’re going to need to be replaced.

So How Many Years DOES a Water Heater Last?

This seemingly straightforward question is not as easy to answer as it appears. A typical hot water heater usually has a five or six year warranty, regardless of whether it’s gas or electric. However, there are more expensive units available with longer warranties, often up to ten years. While less common, there are also fiberglass units with lifetime warranties and stainless steel units that can last many years longer than a standard unit.

So all things being equal, you should expect a brand new water heater to last at least until the end of the warranty without any trouble. After that point, things get a little less certain. The average lifespan of a typical water heater being sold today is usually around 10 to 13 years, depending upon a range of factors.

Why Do Water Heaters Go Bad?

In an overwhelming number of cases, water heaters fail due to tank corrosion. Water heater tanks are made of metal and lined with a very thin coating of glass on the interior to guard against corrosion. However, the constant pressure fluctuations within the tank, caused by the expansion of heated water, will eventually compromise this thin coating and allow water to come into contact with the metal lining.

Once the tank begins to rust, failure is only a matter of time. There is no magic treatment to reverse corrosion inside a hot water heater. Within a few years, the metal will deteriorate to the point that a leak forms. When your unit starts to leak, it’s time to look into having it replaced. If your hot water heater is in the attic of the home, be sure to check in on it from time to time to make sure there’s no evidence of leaking. Replacing a water heater is a hassle enough; you don’t want to add expensive water damage to the mix.

 

Storage or instantaneous water heater?

Comparison between electronic instantaneous water heaters and hot water tanks (or conventional hydraulic instantaneous water heaters)

The direct comparison between electronic instantaneous water heaters and other decentralised systems (e.g. hot water storage tanks or conventional hydraulic instantaneous water heaters) shows that instantaneous water heaters have many advantages

Instantaneous water heaters are particularly efficient because they only heat the water when needed.

Storage heaters, on the other hand, store a certain amount of hot water and keep it at the set temperature at all times.

Instantaneous water heaters do not consume standby energy.

Hot water storage heaters consume standby power every day, regardless of whether water is drawn or not.

Instantaneous water heaters are significantly smaller than storage heaters, which means that they can also be used very well on small hand-wash basins. When compact instantaneous water heaters are used in the kitchen, the valuable space in the base cabinet can be used for other useful things, e.g. waste separation systems.

This is usually not possible with storage units, as they take up all the available space under the sink on their own.

Instantaneous water heaters can provide unlimited hot water.

When the amount of water stored in a tank has been withdrawn, new cold water must be heated, which can take an hour or even longer, depending on the performance and capacity of the unit.

Thanks to intelligent control and innovative technology, the most powerful electric comfort instantaneous water heaters provide a high level of hot water comfort in showers and bathrooms.

Large hot water heaters, on the other hand, do not offer modern options such as touch display or radio remote control, which correspond to the current state of the art for E-comfort instantaneous water heaters.

 

things to remember about water heaters

Your water heater will not last forever

Generally, you will get 7 to 10 years of performance for a water heater with a tank. But some lucky owners have water heaters that are more than 15 years old and some unfortunate homeowners have water heaters that die in two years. A good warranty for a water heater will guarantee replacement in the first couple of years.

You can keep your water heater in good condition

The No. 1 way to extend the lifespan for a water heater is flushing the scale out of your unit once a year. That process will remove sediment collecting at the bottom of the tank that could cause corrosion in your water heater. But if you haven’t drained an aging water heater for several years, forget about trying it in an older unit. The sediment may have turned into a solid rock in the tank, and the draining process may even damage your water heater

Installing a water softener can slow down the buildup of sediment in your water heater

Another issue: Sometimes your hot water starts to smell bad. That means you have to replace the anode rod in the water heater, a device that corrodes over time. The metal rod is designed to deteriorate in order to protect other metal parts in the tank. You can also call a plumber to do this job.

In buying or installing a water heater — if you have a choice — pick a gas unit

Gas will be more efficient and cost less than heating water with electricity

If you’re replacing a water heater, think about a tankless unit

Since they came out about 10 years ago, tankless water heaters – gas and electric — have become very popular. Some people call them “instant” heaters, but that’s not really true.

 

Things You Need to Know About Buying a Water Heater Filter

A water heater is an appliance that produces a continual supply of hot water at a preset temperature. They may also be called hot water heaters, hot water tanks, boilers, or heat exchangers. A hot water heater can be used in domestic and industrial applications to heat potable or non-potable water.

A hot water heater may have a tank or be tankless. As their names suggest, hot water tanks store hot water, and a tankless water heater produces hot water on-demand without storing water in a tank

Hot water heaters with a tank use a reasonable amount of electricity or gas to preheat the water stored in their tanks. Such water heaters also use a rather large amount of energy to keep that water warm until it is used.

Tankless water heaters are more environmentally friendly because they use a lot less energy than hot water heaters with a tank. Tankless hot water heaters heat water when you need it (on-demand). Essentially, when you turn on the hot side of your faucet or plumbing fixture, the tankless water heater goes to work delivering hot water. If you switch to a tankless water heater you can save 21% and 43% on your water heating costs for the year.

A water heater filter system is a MUST for both tankless water heaters and water heaters with a tank.

A water heater filter protects your water heater. Water heater units can become easily damaged by the sediment in the water supply, so a water heater filter provides protection against sediment, scale, and hard water

Tankless Water Heaters Saves Energy, Money, And Is Green

The least expensive water heaters to buy are the most expensive to operate.

Why Buy An Energy Efficient Water Heater?

Water heating is typically the third largest energy expense in your home (after space heating and cooling). It typically accounts for about 14% of your utility bill. If your gas water heater is more than 10 years old, it probably has an efficiency no higher than 50%. An old water heater can operate for years at very low efficiency before it finally fails. One way to reduce water heating costs would be to replace your old water heater with a new, higher-efficiency model.

About Water Heater Efficiency

A water heater’s efficiency is measured by its energy factor (EF). EF is based on recovery efficiency, standby losses, and cycling losses. The higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater. Electric resistance water heaters have an EF ranging from 0.7 and 0.95; gas water heaters from 0.5 to 0.6, with a few high-efficiency models ranging around 0.8; oil water heaters from 0.7 and 0.85; and heat pump water heaters from 1.5 to 2.0

ips for Buying a New Water Heater

Choose a water heater with an appropriate first-hour rating (FHR) by estimating your family’s peak-hour demand for hot water.

Determine the appropriate fuel type for your water heater. If you are considering electricity, check with your local utility company for off-peak electricity rates for water heating. If available, this may be an attractive option to choose electric water heaters. Natural gas, oil and propane water heaters are less expensive to operate than electric models.

If you are in a moderate climate (i.e., with relatively low heating loads), consider a Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH), which is more efficient than a conventional electric water heater. Though a HPWH may have a high initial cost, it can save up to 50% of your water heating bill.

For safety as well as energy-efficiency reasons, when buying gas- and oil-fired water heaters, look for units with sealed combustion or power venting to avoid back-drafting of combustion gases into the home.

Everything else being equal, select a water heater with the highest energy factor (EF). However, you should note that the EF of one type of heater is not comparable to another type. For example, an electric water heater with an EF of 0.9 may cost more to operate than a gas water heater with an EF of 0.7.

Whenever possible, do not install the water heater in an unheated basement. Also try to minimize the length of piping runs to your bathroom and kitchen.

Tips for Lowering Your Water Heater’s Energy Usage

Install aerators in faucets and low-flow shower heads that may reduce your hot water consumption by half.

Repair leaky faucets and shower heads. A leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month.

Insulate your hot water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the tank thermostat(s).

Lower the thermostat(s) on your water heater to 120°F. Electric water heaters often have two thermostats-one each for the upper and lower heating elements. These should be adjusted to the same level to prevent one element from doing all the work and wearing out prematurely.

For electric water heaters, install a timer that can automatically turn the hot water off at night and on in the morning. A simple timer can pay for itself in less than a year.

Install a heat trap above the water heater. A heat trap is a simple check valve or piping arrangement that prevents “thermosyphoning”-the tendency of hot water to rise up from the tank into the pipes-thereby lowering standby losses.

Drain a quart of water from your hot water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that prevents heat transfer and lowers the unit’s efficiency.

Take more showers than baths. Baths use the most hot water in an average household. You use 15 to 25 gallons of hot water for a bath and less than 10 gallons for a 5-minute shower.

point-of-use water heaters:

Point-of-use water heaters are also known as “tankless” heaters because they have no (or only a tiny) storage tank. They are relatively small units that provide hot water on demand. They use gas or electricity for fuel, and can be installed near demand points, such as under kitchen sinks. They are often more expensive than a conventional water heater, but can cost less to operate since they don’t maintain a tankfull of hot water when not in use. A tankless heater typically provides 1-2 gallons of hot water per minute. Before installing a tankless water heater in your home, make sure its reduced capacity will be adequate for your needs.

 

How To: Choose a Water Heater

Whether tank or tankless, water heaters can dramatically impact your home’s comfort and costs. If you are looking to replace an existing unit, the type, size and efficiency of the one you choose will be important.

While we often take a hot shower or bath for granted, it’s important to note that up to 20% of a household’s annual energy expenditures come from heating hot water. That makes it the second largest utility expense in the home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, averaging around $400 to $600 per year.  If you are looking to install a new hot water heater—or replace an existing one—the type, size and efficiency of the unit you choose will have a big impact on its performance and long-term savings.

There are a number of different types of water heaters to consider from heat pumps to solar-powered units, but the most common are tank and tankless. Traditional, tank-style water heaters are large metal cylinders that keep hot water stored and on reserve for when it may be needed. Since they typically range in capacity from 40 to 60 gallons and are generally about 60″ tall by 24″ wide, they are often installed in a basement or laundry room.

Tankless units, also known as “on demand” water heaters, turn on only when hot water is required. With no holding tank, the system is not only more compact—typically 20″ wide by 28″ long by 10″ deep—but more efficient since it is not storing a reserve of hot water (or compensating for its subsequent heat loss). Tank-style water heaters are usually less expensive than tankless units, but tankless models generally last longer: a traditional water heater usually lasts 10 to 13 years, while tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years.

Regardless of whether the unit is tank or tankless, water heaters generally fall into two categories: direct-fired or indirect-fired. Direct-fired means that the water in the tank is heated directly by the heat of a flame; these units are generally used in homes with warm air furnaces. In direct-fired heaters, fuel is burned in a combustion chamber under the water storage tank, then hot flue gases heat water in the tank.

 

Water Heater Buying Guide

The cost of heating water consumes almost 20 percent of your household budget, second only to what you spend on heating and cooling your home. Despite this expense, water heaters are typically ignored until they break, leaving you with no hot water and, possibly, a flooded basement.

If your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life and you’re thinking of replacing it before disaster strikes, you’ll be happy to know that you have better choices, thanks to recent federal regulations that require water heaters to be more energy-efficient. New storage tank water heaters are required to operate more efficiently, and tankless (on-demand) water heaters are even more efficient than that.

Typically, homeowners replace their old water heater with one of the same type that runs on the same fuel—natural gas or electricity. Switching from a tank water heater to a tankless unit can be expensive because it requires you to retrofit your plumbing and possibly your electrical system. But if you’re building a new home or adding to an existing one, installing a tankless water heater may make economic sense.

Consumer Reports recently tested several electric and gas whole-house tankless water heaters from brands such as Bosch, Navien, Noritz, Rheem, Rinnai, Tempra, and Trutankless. We compared the results with those of conventional tanked heaters from Rheem, one gas and one electric, as well as with a Rheem electric heat pump water heater, which is a variation on a tanked water heater.

Consider Capacity

Tank water heaters typically hold 40, 50, or 55 gallons or more. The size you buy depends on the number of people living in your home and your peak water usage. A family of four, for instance, might take several showers, run the dishwasher, and wash a load or two of laundry in an average day, totaling 100 gallons of hot water or more. But that doesn’t mean that household needs a 100-gallon storage tank

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING A NEW HOT WATER HEATER

When you are choosing a replacement or upgrading your water heater, you may wish to consider an energy-efficient unit. These heaters can create hot water while using less energy. There are tankless “on-demand” hot water heaters that only create hot water when you need it, or even more efficient tank models. No matter which way you go, choosing an energy efficient hot water heater can help you save money and the environment

First check the ratings

EF (energy factor) ratings were established by the U.S. Department of Energy to compare the energy efficiency of various products. The EF scale for water heaters runs from a low of 0.5 for gas storage tank heaters to 2.0 for electric heat pump models. The energy factor (EF) is easy to understand, the higher the EF, the more efficient the water heater unit is

Storage Tank Water Heater – Storage tanks are the most common types of water heater. These units have an insulated tank where water is heated and stored until it is needed. They are available in electric, liquid propane (LP), and natural gas models. Natural gas and LP water heaters normally use less energy and are less expensive to operate than electric models of the same size.

Tankless (On-Demand) Water Heater – Also known as “on demand” water heaters. They do not store hot water; they heat water as it passes through a series of coils in the unit. Since the unit only heats water as you use it, a tankless heater is usually more energy-efficient than a traditional storage tank water heater. Most tankless units can provide up to 3.5 gallons of heated water per minute. Tankless models are best for homes that use natural gas to heat the water; electric models might require an expensive upgrade of the home’s electrical capacity

Condensing Water Heater – Condensing water heaters are an option if you heat with gas and need a unit with a capacity of more than 55 gallons. These models have a tank like a conventional water heater, but capture exhaust gases that would normally go out the flue, which wastes energy. These gases are blown through a coil in the base of the unit, where incoming cold water can absorb most of the heat.

 

Tips For Choosing The Right Commercial Water Heater

Commercial water heater type: There are several kinds of commercial water heater on the market and before you invest in one you should know the different kinds that are available and something about each. Gas Heaters– These kinds of heater are fueled by either natural gas or propane which in turn heats the water. Gas heaters require a great deal of care and maintenance. Electric Water Heaters– Electric water heaters heat water and maintain it at a pre-set temperature. Oil-Fired (OF) Water Heaters– These kinds of heaters are best suited for mid-sized commercial use. They range in storage capacity from 32-271 gallons.

Storage Options: The options here are storage tank water heaters- commonly used in both commercial and residential operations – and tankless water heaters– which use gas or electricity to heat water on-demand. These kinds of water heaters only heat water only when used.

Company’s/restaurant’s hot water needs: This is probably the most important thing to consider when choosing a commercial water heater. A miscalculation here could cost you money and customers.

Unit size: This will very much depend on your heating needs and the size of your building. Obviously, you will desire a larger capacity, more powerful heater if you have a large business that requires lots of hot water (such as a large restaurant).

Energy efficiency: If you are a business person your eye should always be on the bottom-line. Any expenditure you put into your business has the potential to either make you lose money or help you save it. It is the same thing with choosing a commercial water heater. Make sure that you inquire with the person selling you the unit about how energy efficient the commercial hot water heater will be. Sure, initial cost is important but that should not be your only consideration when choosing a heater for your business.

Tips To Choose The Best Kitchen Sink

Kitchen Sinks – More Choices than Just Stainless Steel Sinks

When you’re remodeling your kitchen, you have numerous alternatives in almost every design detail. This really is true despite your choice of kitchen sink. You’re no longer limited by double bowled, stainless steel or enameled cast metal sinks.

Kitchen sinks could be just as much of a design function in a brand new kitchen while the units, counters, and backsplashes. Your choice of a sink will make a record in your kitchen while the focal stage, or it can be hidden, allowing one other features of one’s kitchen take the spotlight. The decision is yours.

The traditional stainless steel, double bowl drain is the standard destroy workhorse because of its easy look, easy preservation, and low cost. That drain will fit with any kitchen fashion, because of its easy lines and glossy look. A deeper bowl degree and larger wall construction provides you with greater application and last a long time.

 

Appearance Stainless Steel  vs  Porcelain Sink

While many porcelain sinks have a stainless steel interior, the two types of sinks couldn’t look more different from one another. True stainless steel sinks are made of steel that is either pressed into the shape of a sink or folded and welded into the shape of a sink. They can be very contemporary with clean lines and edges or they may have a more transitional appearance with rounded edges and a slightly rounded bottom. They come in several thicknesses, with thicker sinks having a more substantial look than thinner sinks. The steel may have a very bright, polished finish or they may have a wired brushed finish that can help hide scratches and water spots.

Porcelain sinks are much heavier and more substantial looking, because they’re made of either thick gauge cast iron or steel that has been coated in a baked-on porcelain enamel. This enamel can be very smooth or it may have a slightly undulating appearance to it. Porcelain sinks are most commonly white or cream in color, but you can special order them in a range of other colors as well to complement your home.

Both types of sinks come in several shapes and sizes, as well as in different configurations. Both can be drop in or undermounted, and both can be found in farmhouse or apron front styles as well. Overall, porcelain sinks have a more traditional appearance while stainless steel sinks have a more modern look, and work best in contemporary settings. Porcelain sinks can work in some modern settings, while they work best in traditional looks.

 

WHY STAINLESS STEEL SINKS?

Stainless steel sinks by Just have many advantages and possess qualities that make them an excellent choice for most environments.

  • Affordability– From high-end to very affordable, there are stainless models suitable for every need.
  • Improved– New technology allows stainless steel sinks to continue to be improved and upgraded. The newer 16- and 18-gauge sinks are thicker and much less noisy than their less-expensive predecessors.
  • Durable– Stainless steel is extremely long-lasting! Stainless steel is perfect for sinks and other applications as it won’t chip, crack, fade, or stain.
  • Bigger Bowl Capacity– Stainless steel’s relatively light yet strong properties allow it to be formed into larger and deeper bowls than cast iron or any other materials.
  • Easy to Take Care of– Stainless steel is easy to take care of and unaffected by household chemicals. It retains the original luster when cleaned with household cleanser and soft towel. Thus making it the ideal surface for sinks in the kitchen, bathroom sinks, laundry sinks, and any other design and residential application.
  • Will Not Rust– The metal imparts a rich glow and boosts natural corrosion resistance. Available stainless steel finishes range from a mirror-like shine to a satin luster.
  • Absorbs Shock– Stainless steel actually “gives” on impact to help cushion crystal, fine china, everyday glassware, and ceramic dishes against accidental breakage.
  • Accents the Detail– Interior designers know that stainless steel sinks and appliances can accent a room’s unique architectural details and eye-catching finishes. Its clean lines and cool textures reflect the surrounding colors and patterns. The timeless look of stainless steel will complement your décor long after trendy colors go out of style.
  • Longevity– Stainless steel is the very best choice for years of optimal performance and continued high-quality good looks.
  • Recyclability and Eco Friendly “Green”– Stainless steel is a recyclable material. Stainless steel doesn’t degrade or lose any of its properties in the recycling process making stainless steel sinks a good green option. With a strong commitment to Green Awareness, Just Manufacturing utilizes salvaged, raw stainless steel in our Made in USA production processes.

 

What are the Differences between Cheap and Expensive Stainless Steel Sinks?

  • The quality of the stainless steel used – better quality means more expensive
  • The gauge or thickness of the stainless steel – thicker means more expensive but with a caveat
  • Cheaper stainless steel sinks offer less resistance to discoloration and corrosion
  • More expensive sinks may be more resistant to scratches and dents & restore better
  • Expensive stainless steel sinks are more durable
  • Better quality sinks have noise reducing materials added
  • The overall size and type of sink – double bowl or single bowl and single or double drainers

 

Kitchen Sink Materials

Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks – Stainless steel sinks are among the most popular on the market. According to leading sink manufacturer Franke, 70% of all sinks are made using stainless steel.

Granite Composite Kitchen Sinks – Composite sinks are made by combining crushed granite or quartz with a resin filler. The mixture varies depending on the product and manufacturer, but it’s usually around 80% stone and 20% resin.

Copper Kitchen Sinks- Copper kitchen sinks are largely handmade by craftsman. This gives them a charming handcrafted look, but also means there can be a wider range of quality on the market than you’ll find with other types of kitchen sinks. Common problems include size variation (larger or smaller than stated specs) and improper drainage. This is why it’s important to do your homework and make sure the manufacturer stands behind their product with an uncomplicated lifetime warranty.

Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks- Cast iron is one of the oldest materials used for kitchen sinks and is still very popular today. The bright, glossy enamel finish appeals to many homeowners and can easily last for decades. Like the name implies, cast iron sinks are made by casting iron. Since bare iron is extremely prone to rusting, cast iron sinks receive a heavy porcelain enamel finish. If you were to strip the enamel off of a cast iron sink, it would have the same rough texture as a cast iron skillet.

Fireclay – Fireclay sinks are made by molding a ceramic clay into the shape of the sink and allowing it to dry at a high temperature for a period of up to 40 hours. Once the clay has dried, the porcelain enamel is applied and the sink is places in a tunnel kiln at an extremely high temperature (in some cases higher than 2000⁰F) for a period of around 20 hours.