Is it time to invest in a new water heater? With even a small amount of research, its easy to get confused on what water heater to buy. Everyone says to go with new technology – tankless water heaters are the best. But what about the standard tank-type water heater, is that still a viable option?

Tank Water Heaters

Most water heaters in existing homes, and even on the market today are tank water heaters, also known as storage water heaters. They are insulated tanks that can hold anywhere from 20 to 120 gallons of water, depending on the the size of your home and your needs. They run either on an electric heating element or a gas burner. The storage tank feeds from the top down, with hot water stored at the top and cold at the bottom. This way you get consistent hot water until the hot water stored is depleted. Most water heaters will be rated by a “first hour rating”, which tells you how many gallons of hot water can be delivered in an hour.

Because you don’t demand hot water all the time, the tank water heater will store hot water and leave it in storage until you demand it. Even though its insulated, it will have heat loss, especially when the temperature outside drops significantly.

advantages of tank type water heaters Advantages of Tank Type Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heaters

To address this issue, tankless water heaters were developed. The great feature of a tankless water heater is they never run out of hot water because its on demand, providing the water heating capacity is large enough to meet the needs of the hot water demands. They won’t have a stand-by loss because nothing is stored.

However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t without problems. Tankless water heaters can cost anywhere from triple to quadruple more than the average tank model, with increased installation costs as well. That means it will take many more years to break even from the initial cost.

Tankless water heaters have a significantly greater maintenance requirement than its tank water heater counterpart, meaning you may have much higher costs in keeping the unit running, especially in high demand homes. The more you use it, the more can go wrong.

Tankless also list a benefit of having hot water on demand. That depends on where your tankless water heater is, and where you demand it. If your tankless water heater is in the south side of your basement, and your bathroom is in the north part of your home on the second story, the hot water still must travel from the water heater to your faucet. Which means it can still take a minute or two to arrive, depending on the size of your home. And in some large houses, one tankless water heater simply can’t keep up with the demand, which means your investment costs may double to have an adequate supply.

Bottom line: tank water heaters, especially if you invest in one of the highest energy rated models available, still make the most sense for the majority of Colorado households. Give us a call today and we can answer any of your questions.

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Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Every single appliance in your home is rated to last for a certain amount of time. For your water heater, you’ll typically find they will last anywhere from 6 to 12 years.

how to make your water heater last longer How To Make Your Water Heater Last LongerThere are two major factors when it comes to adding longevity to a water heater: how hard your water is, and how much water it heats over time. Hard water has more minerals than a softer water supply, meaning your water heater tank can have a build up in a much quicker time frame. And if you have a full household that demands hot water all the time, your water heater will be working harder than the norm.

In every city, you’ll hear the terms hard water and soft water. What that is referring to is the quality of the water supply, and how many minerals exist in it. Depending on the source of the water supply, it will contain many different types of minerals. It can also contain debris picked up as it travels along the system. The more minerals in the water the supply, the harder the water supply is.

How much sediment you have in your water supply largely depends on where you live and what your city supplies. A small amount of sediment won’t impact your water heater much over its useful life. But if you have harder water with a high concentration of minerals, the sediment may build up quickly, which can have a significant impact.

A deep layer of sediment takes up room in your tank, room normally given to the water. It will reduce the amount of hot water available for your use, and over time give less and less hot water for use. It can also clog the drain valve and possibly affect the efficiency of the water heater. In addition, if sediment begins to affect the heat transfer system, it can overheat and weaken the steel, and damage the lining of the tank.

The simplest way to add more life to your water heater is to perform regular maintenance and clean out the sediment on a regular basis. This can be a do it yourself project, or you can have a plumber come in for a regular maintenance check to clean out the debris and check the overall quality of your water heater.

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Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

At some point, your water heater will stop working. And usually its at the most inopportune time.

Water heaters are supposed to have regular maintenance. Regular cleaning, regular inspection, and the life of your water heater may be extended by a year or two. Yet in reality, that doesn’t happen. Its in an out of the way spot in your home, and as long as the water is hot when you want it, you tend to ignore the process.installing a new water heater Installing a New Water Heater

As it sits there, it accumulates grit and debris from the minerals in the water supply, which eventually can turn into rust and corrosion. And once it reaches the point of no return, it produces its last burst of hot water.

That’s when its decision time.

The quickest and easiest way to replace a hot water heater is to have a professional plumbing company come out and replace it. A water heater isn’t particularly hard to replace, but it will take on average 4 to 6 hours for replacement. And if you don’t have the proper tools, understand the right water heater for your home, or have a basic understanding of plumbing, you could be facing many more hours and problems along the way.

When people try it themselves, they make a variety of mistakes along the way.

Water heaters must be replaced by a water heater with the same fuel type, whether gas or electric. Changing fuel types means replacing the entire fuel system, which is a job only for a professional plumber.

Water heaters should be replaced by one of equal capacity. When home owners try it themselves, they often head in and buy a water heater larger than the one currently installed. More hot water is better, right? Until they discover the new water heater won’t fit into the current space. Water heaters are often in tight spaces, meaning you have little room for expansion.

Water heaters are bulky and heavy. If your existing water heater is down a flight of stairs or in a cramped area like a crawl space, keep in mind it’s a two person job to move it. And once you have the new one in, you need to move the old one out. You’ll also have to find some way of disposing of it, as your normal trash service will not take it. (A professional will remove it, giving you an added bonus of not having to find a disposal method after the change.)

Also keep in mind that all utilities must be shut off during the installation. The main water shutoff valve , electricity if you are installing an electric water heater, or the gas supply pipe if you are installing a gas water heater must remain off during the entire installation process.

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Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Choosing a new water heater is an important decision. Most homeowners will only replace a water heater every 10 to 15 years Yet anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of their home energy is used to heat water.

With so many choices and so many claims in the marketplace today, how do you know which to choose?

Storage Water Heaterstypes of water heaters Types Of Water Heaters

Also know as a conventional water heater, a storage water heater is the most common and in the most home across Colorado. They heat water and store it in a tank to be available when you need it. Its not the most efficient water heating device because it creates and stores hot water all the time, even when you aren’t home and won’t use it for hours or even days.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are growing in popularity, but there are a few important things to know. Tankless water heaters are also known as instantaneous water heaters, but you won’t have instant water heater at the source – your fixture. Its called instantaneous because it creates hot water when you turn on the hot water supply at the fixture; it still takes time to travel from the water heater to your fixture. And if you have a large house, the journey could take a while. Tankless water heaters are also more expensive than a conventional water heater, though in some cases they can last 5 to 10 years longer.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters use outdoor panels to preheat the water before sending it to a conventional water heater. Solar water heaters can cost more than a conventional, though it has the potential for reducing water heating bills by as much as 75 percent.

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters bring together the benefits of a conventional water heater with the benefits of the tankless water heater. It provides an endless supply of hot water on demand, emits ultra low emissions , and provides a self cleaning system that prolongs its life over time.

Not sure which is right for you? Call and speak with a plumbing contractor today. We can provide you with more information and point you in the right direction for your family, your home, and your circumstances.

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Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

You turn on the faucet and stand there and wait. After a minute or two (or three or four), the hot water finally emerges from the faucet.

How many times do you do that each day in your own home?

Each time you perform that simple function, precious water flows down the drain unused. In each and every home across America, around 40 gallons of water is wasted each day in this process. That equates to around 14,000 gallons of water a year. Which is not only a lot of water, its also a lot of dollars going down the drain as well.

how to get instant hot water with a traditional tank water heater How To Get Instant Hot Water With A Traditional Tank Water Heater

If we could all have access to instant hot water the moment we turned on the faucet, imagine what we would save. But that’s not possible. Or is it?

In the plumbing world, there is a device known as a hot water recirculation pump that provides on demand delivery. It allows hot water to be delivered to your faucet instantly without having to run it and wait. And it can be installed right now with you current existing tank water heater.

With the traditional tank water heater system that still dominates our homes, hot water is sent out from the heater to your faucet or appliance. When the faucet is turned off, water remains in the pipes between the two fixtures. Over time, the water cools. When you turn on the faucet again expecting hot water, the cool water already in the system must run off, allowing the new hot water to make its way up from point to point. The farther away your faucet is from the water heater, the longer it will take.

With a recirculation pump, the cooled off water in your hot water pipes is sent back to the water heater via the cold water line. The process continues to ensure that hot water is always available, no matter when you turn on the hot water faucet in your desired location. The result is hot water with very little wait time, and the need for much less water to be sent needlessly down the drain.

Two types of recirculation systems are available. The first is mounted directly to the water heater; the second is mounted to the sink locations.

To determine the best device for your home and lifestyle, give us a call today.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Start With An Energy Efficiency Audit

To find out the areas your home is lacking in, start with the one thing that can show you right where to go … a home energy efficiency audit. These audits are performed by professionals to show you where your efficiency can be improved and what it will take to increase its efficiency.

top 7 ways to make your home more energy efficient Top 7 Ways To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Seal The Leaks

Have you ever knelt down by a door or stood in front of a window and received an instant burst of cold? That leak is allowing your heat and your money to escape out into the world. A good place to start is either seal up those cracks and holes or replace your doors and windows with more energy efficient ones. But don’t forget there are other ways into your home too. Is your basement allowing in the cold? How about the attic? In order to improve your home, you’ll need to look at every room in your home.

Insulation

How old is your home? If its more than a few years old, chances are your insulation is inadequate. Studies show that more than half of all homes in America are under-insulated. With today’s technology, there are many ways to fully insulate your home. Start with new insulation in your attic, but don’t stop there. Are your pipes properly protected from the cold? How about your water heater? Is warm air leaking through your roof? There are many places for warm air to escape; an audit can show you where its leaking and how to fix it.

Duct Work

Every home has ducts, a way to carry heat and cooling throughout your home. The EPA also estimates that your duct work is also one of the biggest places in your home that allows air to escape. Be sure to check for leaks regularly and use a duct sealant to shut out and repair leaks in exposed ducts.

Programmable Thermostat

Rather than playing the “up down” game all day as you come and go, rely on a programmable thermostat instead. By programming your temperatures throughout the day, you’ll save an estimated 10 percent on your heating and cooling bills. And its always nice to have a warm home before you get out of bed on a cold, snowy morning.

Replace Old Equipment

In every home, there are always equipment and appliances that you are hoping will hold out one more year. They are also your weakest point. A new heating and cooling system can instantly make your home more efficient. Even replacing an electric stove with a gas line, or upgrading to a gas dryer can make all the difference in the world.

Install A New Water Heater

Heating the water for your home takes anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of the annual energy usage in your home. With that much riding on efficiency, the water heater is a perfect choice for upgrading. In today’s world, you have a variety of choices. While media would have you believe a tankless water heater is best, here in Colorado that isn’t always so. Tankless water heaters have their problems too. We can show you how to improve efficiency using things like recirculating systems and more.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

why your water heater may be leaking Why Your Water Heater May Be LeakingYour water heater is an important part of your home, and it plays a big role in your day-to-day life. From washing dishes to cleaning your clothes to taking showers, your water heater is heavily relied on for multiple daily tasks. Like any other piece of equipment in your home, the water heater will need maintenance or even replacement sooner or later. One of the first signs of this is leaking water.

When your water heater leaks water, it is more than just a minor irritation. Even small leaks can lead to detrimental damage to the floors and walls of your home when not attended to, and they can also result in basement flooding problems.

Here are some possible reasons why your water heater may be leaking:

  • The gaskets and valves can wear out. This eventually leads to water leakage under the water heater.
  • There is a fault in the temperature and pressure relief valve. You can flush the pipe to clean debris, but it may be necessary for you to replace the valve. If water is leaking from the threads of the valve then you should remove it and inspect it further.
  • There could be a leak in the storage tank leak. Study the outside and the inside of the tank for small holes or signs of rust. If you see even a single hole in the tank, you need to replace your water heater.
  • There could be leaks in the inlet and outlet pipes. You can either tighten or replace loosely joined flex lines as needed using an adjustable wrench.

Remember, you need to use extreme caution when attempting to fix your water heater yourself since you will be dealing with electricity and water, which can be a dangerous combination. Be sure to turn off the water heater before you attempt to do any work or repairs.

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Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Every year there are one or two stories in the local news about a family effected by gas poisoning. “That could never happen to me,” is usually the first thing a person thinks when watching a story like this. But could it? Could you become one of the statistics.

The answer is yes.

can your gas water heater be dangerous Can Your Gas Water Heater Be Dangerous? Gas is a poison to the human body. And any time you are working with a gas water heater, or a gas appliance like a stove or a grill, or even a gas forced heat/air system, you are at risk. For example, an improperly installed gas water heater can release gas into the air, putting your family at risk.

While you may have never thought about who you would call in an emergency, keep in mind that your local licensed plumber is also licensed as a gas fitter and knows exactly what to do when working with a gas line.

They can help you move gas lines, install gas lines, and maintain them on a regular basis.

The problem with gas is our senses do not pick up the presence in our homes before its too late. By the time you are facing dizziness, nausea, headaches, or shortness or breath and make your way to the doctor or hospital, its often too late. And in some cases the only way you find out about it is through tragedy … death.

That’s why its vitally important to have a plan in place. Carbon monoxide detectors are a step in the right direction. But most of the monitors you can buy at the local hardware store will only work as well as the installation process. If its not installed in the right places, you’ll still be at risk. And these simple systems are often only designed to warn you once levels reach 70 parts per million. Hard wired systems set to go off at 10 parts per million can provide you with much more security and can give you ample warning to solve a problem long before it becomes something to worry about.

Prevention is the cure. Talk with your local plumber today about installing a hard wired CO detector, and maintaining your gas lines and gas appliances on a regular basis.

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Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Question:
Is there a way to tell if my water heater is working effectively? It seems as if it takes longer for hot water to make it to my faucets, and then it doesn’t seem to be as warm as it always was in the past. Its been cold outside; does that affect your water heater? Should I adjust the water heater temperature during cold weather to make up for the weather?

does the temperature outside effect your water heater Does The Temperature Outside Effect Your Water Heater?Answer:

If you ever have any doubts about the effectiveness of your water heater, its wise to call in a plumber before it goes out completely. Nothing can be worse than waking up to no hot water on a cold winter morning.

When it comes to how a water heater works, cold weather could definitely play a factor in how long it takes to warm up. If you have a water heater set to the temperature of 120 degrees, it will always heat the water to 120 degrees, no matter what the weather is like outside. But because the incoming water will be colder in the winter, it will take longer to achieve the 120 degrees.

Another issue could be that your hot water usage increases during the winter months. Because its colder outside, you could be using more hot water. People often take hotter showers to compensate for the cold temperatures – nothing feels better or warms you up as much as a steady stream of hot water. And when it comes to washing your hands of your face, cold water can be a shock – which is one more reason you let the water run longer waiting for that warm stream to appear.

There are a number of other factors that come into play; your water heater’s age, how well its been maintained, the quality of your water. The more sediment in your water, the greater impact it has on your water heater and making it work harder.

A typical tank water heater lasts 10 to 13 years. If your water heater is approaching this age, it may be time to call in a plumber to find out the life left in it. He can clean it and provide routine maintenance, and give you an estimate as to how much life it has left.

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

Your hot water heater is an important part of your everyday life. It is one of those appliances that you do not think about – until it isn’t working!

the history of hot water heaters The History Of Hot Water Heaters

It is hard to imagine living without immediate access to hot water; but people do it every day, and hot water heaters were not always a part of everyday existence. Here are some more interesting facts about the history of hot water heaters!

  • Before hot water heaters, people had to find natural ways to heat water, such as fire and hot springs.
  • It was not until 1889 that Edwin Rudd invented the automatic storage water heater, which is what most of us are familiar with today.
  • In 1896, Clarence Kemp took things one step further with his solar paneled heating. This type of hot water heating utilizes solar panels for heating the water – a popular choice in sunny areas of the world.
  • In 1970, the tankless hot water heater was introduced. This type of heating heats the water with coils as it is needed – no more storage tanks of heated water needed!
  • The heated circulation system was introduced in 1990, providing pre-heated water circulated throughout your home to meet your needs on-demand.

In addition to the history of hot water heaters, here are some other fun facts:

  • 11 – the average lifespan in years of a traditional storage tank heater
  • 64 – average gallons of water used by a person each day
  • 400-600 – the average number of dollars a family spends each year to heat their water

Knowing the history of hot water heaters and some fun facts should help you have a greater appreciation of this most-handy appliance in your home. Without it, you would be stuck using natural resources to heat your water – and no one enjoys heating water on the stove just to take a bath!

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Plumbing Repair Services

Quality 1st Plumbing Repair is a full-service plumbing contractor serving Metro Denver.  We are licensed and insured, and our technicians are professionally trained in the repair and installation of all plumbing systems and fixtures. We are Colorado’s FIRST Licensed and Accredited GreenPlumbers! Visit our website

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