Having a hot water heater and multiple people in the home means the last person to take a shower usually gets stiffed in the hot water department. If this has ever happened to you, you likely either get a lukewarm shower or freezing cold water halfway through your shower. In this scenario, you likely have a traditional, hot water heater with a large tank, holding a certain number of gallons. With a tankless water heater though, you would not have to worry about that cold shower ever again. How Tankless Hot Water Heaters Work Unlike large, heavy and bulky hot water heaters with tanks, the tankless water heater (typically electric) is a small unit that takes up little space and is usually installed on the outside wall of a home or in the place of the old water heater. This tankless version is set on a specific water temperature so when you turn on a hot water faucet inside your home, the unit kick starts, heating the water immediately. In other words, your water is only heated when you are using it rather than the tanked version which uses up energy constantly keeping water hot in the large tank. It can be quite expensive keeping this stored water hot, even during those times when it is not used. Cost Efficient Your utility bills will lower if you have a tankless water heater since energy is only spent heating water when you need it, instead of constantly in a tank water heater. A lot of energy is spent with traditional hot water tanked heaters, because it keeps cycling to maintain hot water in the tank regardless of whether you are home or not. What you may not realize with the tanked version of water heaters is that they often overheat the water so that there is little chance of running out of hot water when you need it. In addition, these tanks will also add cold water as needed to ensure the water coming out of your tap is not scalding. These little quirks are what keep your utility or electric bills high in addition to the practice being environmentally wasteful. A tankless water heater is efficient and will save you money in the long run. While the initial cost of a tankless water heater is about two to three times that of a traditional tank hot water heater, you will easily recoup the cost within two years. Energy savings of 25 to 50 percent is quite feasible and realistic, depending on where you live. There are also other benefits to the tankless water heater and they include a lifetime warranty (no tank water heater has that), no leakage possibilities, and environmentally friendliness since it requires less energy and therefore less fossil fuels for operation. In addition, a tankless water heater takes up little space and it is healthier too since there is no water sitting around in a tank, possibly breeding bacteria. Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555 In the DC area (301) 204-2555.
Have you started a nice, hot shower only to receive an arctic blast half way through? If your water never really turns hot, chances are your hot water heater needs time to reheat the water, especially if you have been doing other things like washing clothes or running the dishwasher. However, if that cold shower occurs in the midst of a hot shower start, you may have some problems with the hot water heater or plumbing. Consider these options before you hire a pro: 1. Diagnosing a possible water heater problem – You will want to go throughout your home, testing the hot water fixtures to see whether or not your cold shower was an isolated incident or is common throughout the entire home. If you are not getting any hot water, your water heater is the likely culprit. First, check the temperature setting on your hot water heater. If all is well, the next thing to consider is whether a fuse has been blown or tripped if you rely on electricity to heat your water. A fuse can be easily replaced. If you have gas, check to see if the pilot light went out. If it is, you can easily relight it, following the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual. If fixing the temperature setting, fuse or pilot light does not fix your problem, chances are you may have a variety of other issues such as a defective thermocouple, flue obstructions, sediment buildup on the heating element, or even a defective temperature control. 2. When it is an isolated shower problem – If the other fixtures in your home produce hot water and stays hot for a length of time, your shower is an isolated problem. There are a number of problems why your shower loses hot water. If you have old galvanized steel pipes, they may be corroded and need replacing. Also, you should check the shut-off valve for the hot water to your shower. If it is closed or partially closed, open it and test the shower for hot water. However, if you only receive warm water or start getting cold water, you may have a shower valve problem. 3. Diagnosing a shower valve problem – Occasionally, shower valves become worn down with time, the rubber parts disintegrating or swelling with age. When this happens, the rubber parts block the path for flowing water. This blockage usually happens with the shower valves as heat makes the rubber swell. Sometimes, the rubber parts break apart and travel to the hot water valve to the shower, creating a blockage. If you feel confident about taking apart the valve, you can clean out the broken pieces in the hot water valve and then replace the rubber in the shower valve. Keep in mind that most shower valves are located inside the wall and may only be accessible by a hidden panel in a closet in the next room or a cabinet in the bathroom. If you are in the least bit hesitant about replacing a blown fuse, relighting a pilot light, replacing a hot water heater part or clearing an obstruction from the shower valve, it is best to consult with a plumbing expert. What is better – paying for a plumber to fix it right the first time or waste money by cause even worse plumbing issues and end up paying more for a plumber’s time? Call J&L Plumbing 4 U today to assist with all your plumbing needs. In Virginia: (571) 641-9653 In Maryland: (301) 204- 2555 In the DC area (301) 204-2555