February 19, 2021 9:50 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
Does a Tankless Water Heater REALLY cost as Much as you think it does?
“If you consider the facts, Tankless Hot Water Heaters are extremely economical and a wise investment to your home”.
FACT1: Tankless water heaters have been around for decades. They’re complex little water computers, and for this reason people often have many questions. Some people believe that tankless water heaters cost more to run because of the initial cost to have one installed. The reality is that when compared to traditional tanks, tankless units are incredibly efficient. A traditional storage tank water heater that many people have in their home have an Energy Factor of .65 to .67. In contrast, tankless water heaters have Energy Factors between .96 to .99, with efficiency ratings of up to 99%!
Thanks to their high efficiency, tankless units help to save you money. The initial investment is higher than a traditional tank, but with energy savings of up to 20% per year (that’s up to $99 for a family of 5), the tank will save you money and you can go ahead with that bathroom or kitchen renovation you’ve always wanted to do!
Fact 2: Tankless water heaters also have a longer warranty and a longer lifetime compared to traditional hot water tanks, so you won’t be incurring a replacement fee for 15-20 years.
Fact 3: Tankless units actually LAST longer! Firstly, the units do not store any water inside of them. Water is heated using a heat exchanger inside the unit, and so water only flows through the unit; it doesn’t sit there. Tankless water heaters function to supply hot water as needed rather than having a tank that is constantly filled and maintained at a particular temperature.- this is why storage tanks have a higher energy cost. Water heating accounts for up to 20% of your home’s energy cost, which is the second biggest portion after space heating.
Fact 4: Tankless units are applicable a higher REBATE from FortisBC. To calculate your home’s approximate annual energy cost, you can use the online calculator on FortisBC’s website.
December 28, 2020 10:41 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
Let’s talk about your furnace. You know, that box that sits next to your water heater, or perhaps in the depths of your basement.
(We hope it’s not as ominous looking as this one.)
Did you know that in order to maximize your furnace’s efficiency it should be cleaned every year or more?
It seems obvious, the the costs associated with having a plumber clean your furnace annually is more cost efficient than having an emergency serviceman dispatched at an inconvenient time! Regular maintenance can lower energy and fuel costs because your system won’t have to work as hard in order to get the job done. On that note, did you know that systems that have regular maintenance last an average of five to ten years longer.
There are many benefits to having a high-efficiency furnace installed in your home. High-efficiency furnaces can save you hundreds of dollars a year in heating costs. A furnace with an efficiency of 95% or higher can typically deliver heat savings of 20% to 35% more when compared to old furnaces. Furnaces from 1970 and earlier are in the 60% AFUE range! Older furnaces are also more susceptible to being damaged which might just leave you having to search furnace repair more often than you think.
Good news:You can offset the cost of having your high efficiency furnace installed and ensure that you keep your heating bills lower by servicing your furnace every year. In the long run, your furnace will have paid for itself in energy savings, and you’ll be helping the environment too!
October 9, 2020 7:18 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
Thermal Expansion Tanks
Expansion tanks are small in size, but their function has a big impact in the home. Read below to learn about thermal expansion tanks.
As hot water tanks heat up, thermal expansion causes the water heater tank and water pipes to expand and contract. This creates tiny weak points in your water heater and water pipes and wears these products down over time.
Thermal expansion tanks absorb the expansion water created when the water tank heats up. This helps extend to the life of the hot water tank and your house plumbing.
Some newly built homes will not have expansion tanks because they have floor drains in mechanical areas so that expansion water can continually run off into the floor drain from a special run-off valve, but in older homes and homes that do not have a floor drain, it is highly recommended to add an expansion tank for preventative safety.
July 15, 2020 9:44 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
Will it drain?
Sink drains, floor drains, bathtub drains and laundry drains. Here are some tips on how to avoid the clog, plug, or over flow.
Ensure all drains have a mesh screen over them to catch any debris, such as hair, food scraps, dirt, lint, etc.
Kitchen: Always scrape your dishes into the green bin or compost before rinsing, then put them in the dishwasher or wash them in the sink. Remember to run your dishwasher only when you have a full load for maximum efficiency and energy savings.
Bathroom: Brush your hair right before a shower to ensure you are getting out as much loose hair as possible, but do not flush it. When it comes to pets, try to wash them outside when the weather is warm to avoid excess hair in your drains. If you can’t wait, try investing in a wash tub for your furry friend!
Invest in a quality auger or plunger. If draining doesn’t go your way, avoid chemical plumbers and call a real one! Liquid drain clearing solutions aren’t as great as you would assume, as the corrosive chemical products will eat your pipes and your plumber’s hands.
The things that you probably wouldn’t want in your own drinking water or ocean should never be put down the drain. This includes nail polishes, bleach and other strong household cleaners, anti-freeze and motor oil, and even cosmetics and perfume.
To keep drains in good working order, pour a good amount of hot water down the drains, especially your rarely used ones, to ensure that they are in good working order when the time comes for use! This might fix the problem for some people, whilst other people may see no improvements. If that’s the case in your home, it might be time to consider contacting a professional to look at your drains if they are clogging up. Clogged drains can be problematic in households, so be sure to contact someone who can help. Some people have previously recommended Paul The Plumber for these sorts of jobs. For those interested, they could visit that website now to learn more about the sort of services offered. If you’re not located near to that company, be sure to look around your local area for another plumber who could help you unblock these drains. Water in homes needs to be able to drain properly, so any clogs can cause problems. Make sure to get in contact with a professional if you notice draining is slower than usual in your home.
That’s all the tips we have for you today. Happy draining!
June 15, 2020 7:54 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
Aging Water Heaters and How to Save Them!
It is not unusual for homeowners and tenants to feel a bit naïve when it comes to home plumbing and hot water tank. In this blog we discuss how to extend the life of your water heater.
Perhaps you’ve tinkered with your plumbing and fixed a few things yourself, but what do you know about preventive water heater maintenance?
Water heaters have changed a lot over time. Perhaps you are one a lucky homeowner whose water heater has lasted over 13 years with no issues that you can detect- but you can’t see what’s going on inside the tank.
Nowadays, water heaters can last from 8-10 years, although some have lasted longer depending on many factors, such as water quality, frequency of use, and preventive maintenance.
Most areas in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have soft water which is easier on the hot water tank and its parts. If you live in an area with hard water, it is recommended to add a water softener to your home plumbing system to reduce the speed of natural wear and tear.
Hot water heaters that are used less frequently can last longer as they experience less cycles of heat expansion and contraction. Read more about thermal expansion in this blog.
Preventive maintenance is the best way to help your aging water heater live a long life. Here are some tips for water heater maintenance.
Flush your water heater every year. Pick a date and mark it on your calendar as your official Water Heater Flush day. We also offer a free reminder program where we will call to remind you that your tank is due for a flush.
Check your PRV (pressure reducing valve) every 6 months. This valve controls the water that comes in to your home from the city. High pressure water can damage your plumbing system and will void the warranty on your hot water tank. Check this valve to make sure that your pressure stays below 75 PSI.
Replace the anode rod in your water heater. The rod breaks down over time and settles to the bottom of your tank. Some manufacturers suggest that having this rod replaced or installing an additional rod can help to extend the life of your tank.
April 30, 2020 10:23 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
The garburator seems like it can handle most things, but it has its limits. Learn what is okay and what should stay away from your garburator.
NEVER attempt to clear your garburator when it is turned on.
Fat or grease: This should not go down the garbage disposal or any drain. It will eventually cool and harden and stay that way. The best way to dispose of it grease is to pour it into a jar while it’s hot and once it cools, put it in the garbage or green bin.
Onion skins: Onion skins may seem harmless, but they are thin and can easily stick to the inside shredder ring of your disposal, eventually causing major problems. It’s best to put these in your green bin or composter.
Fibrous or stringy vegetables & fruit: The stringy part of fruits & vegetables like celery can easily be cut by the garburator blade, but similar to onion skins, the rest can wrap around another part and cause damage.
Coffee grounds: These little leftover caffeine beans don’t harm your disposal itself, and might make it smell nice – BUT they can cause a lot of damage and clog the drain pipes below the garburator and throughout your home. Put these in the green bin instead.
Egg shells: Similar to the vegetables, the membrane on the inside of the egg can wrap around parts of your device that they shouldn’t touch and cause your garburator to malfunction. (Yes, green bin it!)
Bones or fruit pits: While the garburator has powerful blades, they usually cannot stand up to the strength of the bones and pits which cause significant damage. Often this kind of damage requires a garburator replacement.
Pasta, rice & breads: These foods are like the cotton swabs in a toilet. Since the pasta, rice and bread can stick together, they can absorb a lot more water and block your drain.
Additional things to avoid: Shrimp shells, pennies, jewellery, banana peels, silverware, hands and fingertips.
February 20, 2020 9:54 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
Tips and Tricks for your Hot Water
In our economic climate, it’s not unusual to want to save a little money! Here are some water heater tips to stretch your dollar.
Check the temperature setting on your water heater and inspect for possible leaks. The recommended setting is 70 degrees Celsius.
Don’t leave the hot water running when you rinse dishes, brush your teeth or shave. This will reduce the amount of energy that is needed to heat the hot water in your tank and save on your energy bill too!
Take short showers and run more shallow baths.
If you don’t mind having lower water pressure in the shower, install a low-flow faucet aerator or low-flow showerhead to save on water consumption and reduce water heating costs.
Switch from an ENERGY STAR certified water heater (rebates are usually available)
Go tankless! Switch to a tankless gas water heater for significant energy savings.
Wait to wash clothing and dishes until you have a full load.
Use cold water when you run the dishwasher or mashing machine. (Cold water laundry also helps to keep your colors brighter longer!)
Buy a high-efficiency washing machine when you need to replace your clothes washer.
January 8, 2020 7:15 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
Let’s talk about your furnace. You know, that box that sits next to your water heater, or perhaps on its own in the depths of your basement.
(We hope it’s not as ominous looking as this one.)
Did you know that in order to maximize your furnace’s efficiency it should be cleaned every year?
The cost associated with having a plumber clean your furnace is incomparable to the cost of having an emergency serviceman dispatched on a cold winter (or early spring) night! When searching for a local plumber to clean or repair your furnace you will want to search online for furnace and ac repair, the reason being is the majority of tradesman that can fix or service your furnace also work on air conditioning as well, and as air conditioning is more popular the majority of tradesman tend to advertise for air conditioning services first and furnace services as an additional service even though they are fully trained in both.
There are many benefits to having a high-efficiency furnace installed in your home. High-efficiency furnaces can save you hundreds of dollars a year in heating costs. A furnace with an efficiency of 89% or higher can typically deliver heat savings of 20% to 35% more when compared to old furnaces. Furnaces from 1970 and earlier are in the 60% AFUE range! Older furnaces are also more susceptible to being damaged which might just leave you having to search furnace repair more often than you think.
Good news:You can offset the cost of having your high efficiency furnace installed and ensure that you keep your heating bills lower by servicing your furnace every year. Did you know there is even Fortis BC rebates available for installing a new furnace? In the long run, your furnace will have paid for itself in energy savings, and you’ll be helping the environment too!
November 28, 2019 6:57 pmPublished by Christine Brightman
We’ve talked about this before. Our water heaters are stuffed into a dark corner in the basement, shoved into a closet we never go into, or even worse, in a shared space that we’d much rather have for our own personal use, like the laundry room! But what do you really know about your water heater? Here are some quick facts that you may not know.
Heating your water is the second largest expense in households and accounts for 14% to 18% of your utility bills.
Electric water heaters are on average more expensive to operate than gas powered water heaters.
When water enters your tank, it is typically 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not set the temperature above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can suffer a serious burn within three seconds at 140 degrees. Pro Tip:If you find that you need to turn up your tank temperature above 120 degrees to get lukewarm to moderately hot water, this is a sign that your tank is aging and you need to replace the elements.
To extend the life of your water heater, flush out the sediment at least once a year. (Or more often for commercial and high use tanks, such as those in homes with a large family.)
The average tank is 2” wider than then tanks that were manufactured 10 years ago because they are now insulated on the inside to maintain a higher efficiency.
So now you know a little bit more about your water heater. When you perform yearly maintenance you can add years to the life of your tank. Call the Red Seal plumbers at Blue Moon Plumbing for your annual tank flush!