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.
If the heating element in your water heater goes bad, you can probably have it repaired. If your tank starts leaking because it's rusted and corroded, you won't have any choice but to replace it. If you've had your water heater for many years, you may be surprised at all the options available today. You don't necessarily have to switch your unit out with one of the same kind. Instead, you may want a tankless heater or a solar water heater. Tankless heaters in particular are popular because they provide hot water on demand. Here are a few things to know about a tankless hot water system.
Hot Water Depends On Flow Rate
When you have a traditional hot water tank, the hot water lasts until the tank is empty. The tank is not actually empty of water, as new water flows in as hot water flows out. However, at a certain point, there will be more cold water than hot water in the tank, and this could affect the water temperature right in the middle of your shower.
A tankless system heats water constantly as it flows through the unit. Several people could take showers one after the other and not have to worry about running out of hot water. The problem comes if too many hot water outlets are turned on at once. This increases the flow rate, or the rate at which water passes through the heater. When there is a high flow rate, the water doesn't stay in place long enough to get hot.
Working around this problem is easy enough. Simply wait until everyone has had their morning showers before doing laundry or running the dishwasher. If you only have one bathroom and everyone has to take turns with showers and baths, then a tankless system would be ideal. If your home has a few bathrooms and multiple people get ready at the same time every morning, then you may still struggle with having enough hot water.
Using Multiple Hot Water Heaters
If flow rate is a problem because you have a big family, there are ways to deal with it. You could install a tankless system and have a traditional tank as a backup. Another option is to install two tankless systems. The good thing about having a tankless hot water system is that it doesn't take up much room, since there is no water reservoir. You don't have to stick the unit out in the garage. It will fit in a bathroom closet or kitchen cabinet. This allows you to always have hot water where you will need it the most, such as in a master bathroom or in the kitchen for doing dishes and cooking.
A tankless hot water heater has a higher upfront cost than a traditional tank model. A tankless heater starts at about $1800, and a traditional tank heater starts at about $300 with installation. However, since you won't have to pay to keep a big tank of water hot when you're not using it, the operating costs are lower over the life of a tankless heater. Plus, when you consider the convenience of having hot water on demand for cooking and showering, the extra expense may be worth it. Call a plumbing contractor and discuss your options. He or she will help you figure out the most cost effective way to replace your water heater after taking into account the size of your family and how much hot water your household uses every day.
Talk to a service like Garabedian Plumbing & Heating Inc to learn more.