Best Techniques For Winterizing Your Water Pipes
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Best Techniques For Winterizing Your Water Pipes

Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.


Best Techniques For Winterizing Your Water Pipes

What Do The New Federal Efficiency Standards Mean For Your Water Heater?

Carla Taylor

If your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life and you're debating whether to replace or repair, you may be interested in new federal standards governing water heater efficiency. Although water heaters have become much more efficient and sleek over the past couple of decades, the next few years may have even bigger changes in store. Read on to learn more about these standards and how they may impact your water heater purchase.

What are the new federal standards for water heater efficiency?

On April 16, 2015, the federal government will begin implementing new efficiency measures for all residential water heaters sold. These measures are designed to reduce utility costs and consumption for consumers. Unlike previous water heaters, which heat and store a uniform quantity of water at all times, the newer model water heaters are better able to anticipate consumption and can avoid heating and storing large quantities of hot water when they are not needed. Because heating water comprises a fairly substantial amount of the average electric or gas bill, reducing the amount of water being heated can lower your bills. 

In many cases, these additional electronic components needed to monitor consumption and demand will add a few inches (and more than a few pounds) to the units, which could mean that you'll need to modify your current water heater space to accommodate the extra size. In other situations, you may need to switch to a tankless or "on demand" hot water heater, which is much smaller than a traditional water heater.

What do these standards mean for your purchase? 

When these federal standards take effect, the water heaters that don't meet these standards (but are currently on store shelves) will likely be deeply discounted so that stores can move the inventory more quickly. If your need for a new water heater is not immediate, you may be best served by waiting until prices significantly drop. Although you won't get the most efficient water heater available, you will save yourself a substantial amount of money, and may be able to avoid making costly modifications to your home to allow a new water heater to fit.

If you need a water heater sooner, you may want to go ahead and purchase a model that meets these new criteria. Not only will you have a much more efficient water heater than your old model, you may qualify for federal income tax credits issued on qualifying energy-efficient appliances. Some consumers can receive up to 30 percent of the cost of their new unit back in the form of a tax credit or refund. For more information, contact Alexander's Plumbing or a similar company.