If you are in the market for a new water heater in the Twin Cities, here are some things to think about:
1. Consider the size of your household. The size of your water heater should be based on the number of people in your household and their water usage habits. A family of four will need a larger water heater than a single person.
2. Think about your energy efficiency needs. There are two types of water heaters: traditional storage tank heaters and tankless on-demand heaters. Storage tank heaters are less expensive to purchase, but they are less energy efficient. Tankless on-demand heaters are more expensive to purchase, but they are more energy efficient.
3. Choose the right fuel type. Water heaters can be powered by natural gas, propane, electricity, or oil. The type of fuel you choose will depend on your budget and the availability of fuel in your area.
4. Read the Energy Guide label. The Energy Guide label on water heaters provides information on the unit's energy efficiency and estimated annual operating cost. This information can help you compare different models and choose the most energy-efficient option for your home.
5. Get professional installation. Water heaters can be dangerous if they are not installed properly. It is important to hire a qualified plumber to install your new water heater.
We’re happy to help get a new one installed.
If you find your hot water tank is having trouble dispensing hot water throughout your home, then there are a few reasons for this.
High Water Usage. The first is the most common reason for your lack of hot water, the tank has emptied. If you are running multiple things at once that require hot water use, then you’re bound to run out of the water that has been heated. Your tank needs time to refill and heat the new water coming through. Avoid running dishwashers, clothing washers, and multiple people taking baths and showers at the same time to prevent this from happening. Your home could also have a hot water tank that is too small for the size of your home, which can also lead to running out of hot water. If you find your home frequently has this problem, consider installing a tankless water heater that can help with this problem.
Check your Thermostat. If you feel your water isn’t getting hot enough, check your hot water heater’s thermostat. This controls the temperature of the water in the tank, so you can simply turn it up to increase the temperature. Or vice versa, if you think the water is too hot. Remember, water scalds at 140 degrees, so don’t set it any higher than that. Call us at Tony’s Plumbing for a malfunctioning thermostat and we will inspect your hot water tank and thermostat to make sure everything is functioning properly.
Sediment in your Tank. If there is sediment in the hot water tank, it will stop hot water from coming out of the tank. Minerals can build up in the bottom of the tank (especially if you have hard water), which will stop the water from being heated to temperature. If there is rust in the water, then that is a sign of corrosion, and you’ll need to update your hot water tank. Remember to drain your tank once a year to clear out any sediment. If you have rust, give us a call at Tony’s Plumbing to help fix this problem.
Check the Dip Tube. There is a plastic tube at the top of the tank that goes all the way to the bottom. This is where the cold water enters the tank. The hot water is at the top, and the tube makes sure the cold water goes to the bottom, so the hot water at the top is dispensed to your home first. If the tube breaks or disconnects, then the cold water will mix with the hot at the top of the tank and cool it down. You can call a plumber for this repair.
Once you’ve established the problem the fix can be simple or a little more complex. Give us a call at Tony’s Plumbing with any questions, upgrades, or repairs you might need, and we’ll get your home’s water all warmed up.
So you’ve spotted rust at the base of your water heater… How does this happen? And now what do you do to fix it?
The cause of rust on your water heater can happen when there are loose connections. If the rust is on the bottom of your tank, then it might be that the interior liner has rusted. Your hot water tank has a part called the anode rod that pushes impurities out of the water. If it fails, it can cause the liner to rust, and the bottom of your tank to rust. If you see that the bottom of your tank is rusted, then you should call us at Tony’s Plumbing to get a replacement. With a rusted bottom, it will eventually fail and flood your home with water. If you wait, you’ll have water damage on top of the hot water tank that needs to be replaced.
Here are a few indicators that your hot water tank might be about to fail:
Rusty water - As discussed before, your tank is corroding and that is why your water has rust in it. You may be able to tell there is rust in the water, if your bathroom fixtures are stained, your clothes are getting stained in the washer, or your water has a strange taste.
Lack of hot water - If your tank is struggling to keep up with heating the water in your home, this can be an indicator that there may be a bigger issue.
Odd noises - If your anode rod fails, and the rust builds up, then it takes longer to heat water. This causes banging sounds coming from the water heater.
Old age - Water heaters are typically good for 10 years, depending on the model. Older tanks are more likely to fail. If you have an older water heater, it’s time to start thinking about replacing it. Consider a tankless option for your new water heater. These have multiple benefits over a hot water tank, including not having a rusty bottom that can flood your home with gallons of water.
Consider annual maintenance from Tony’s Plumbing, so that we can react quickly to any potential problems, like a rusty water heater, or we can prevent this from happening. If you’re ready for a new tank or an upgrade, we can help you with that too!
If you’re a homeowner, at some point, you’re going to have to replace your water heater. Since the lifespan of a water heater is between 8-15 years, you’ll have to replace yours someday. And when that day comes, there are a few different types of water heaters that you can choose from: gas, electric or tankless. Here are the basics on the advantages, disadvantages and their differences.
Gas Water Heater
Though these types of water heaters cost more than electric upfront, they will cost less to operate due to the cost of natural gas. Look for a model that doesn’t use a continuously burning pilot light for the most cost efficient heater. Another perk with having a natural gas line to your heater, makes it more reliable. In the event of a power outage, you’ll still have access to hot water, unlike an electric water heater that needs electricity to operate. When a water tank runs out of hot water, a gas heater heats up a fresh tank of water faster than an electric heater.
Electric Water Heater
These are a less costly option for purchasing, but there will be higher monthly costs with the service for electric rather than natural gas. Electric water heaters are safer than gas water heaters because with the lack of an open flame underneath a gas unit, there is less risk of fire.
An electric water heater will also be easier to use and be smaller in size than a gas heater. Electric water heaters do have a slower recovery rate. If you use up all your hot water in the tank, it’s going to take a lot longer to heat up the fresh water into the tank. Think about your family and household needs, if you use lots of hot water at the same times of day, then maybe gas is a better option.
As far as maintenance goes, both gas and electric are fairly easy to maintain. To help lengthen the tank’s lifespan, both types should be flushed regularly to stop sediment from building up on the bottom of the tank. Though, with a gas heater, the lines should be inspected periodically to prevent gas leaks.
Tankless Water Heater
Upgrading to a tankless water heater is a value to any home. These units will last longer, offer endless hot water, and use less energy that can reduce utility bills. Without the need for a giant tank of water, tankless water heaters take up less space than other water heaters, opening up more room in your utility space. These units look neater than a hot water tank, so this could be a benefit if your hot water heater is visible in a high traffic area. On-demand heaters provide a continuous supply of hot water as it’s needed, eliminating the need to keep up to 60 gallons of water hot all the time. Tankless water heaters that operate with natural gas are more efficient than tankless electric heaters because they can provide more gallons per minute of hot water. If you’re going tankless, gas is better than electric. The disadvantage of a tankless is that it is more expensive than regular gas or electric water heaters. Tankless water heaters also require much less maintenance. Depending on the quality of your water supply it will need maintenance every 4-5 years.
Sometimes our homes are not designed or decorated exactly as we’d like them to be. Things can sometimes be put in an area of the home that, for one reason or another, is in plain view. This can be quite deterring for those who may want to make a beautiful space for their family.
So what do you do with an aesthetically out-of-place water heater? One option is to replace it with a tankless water heater that takes up a lot less space, and can be slightly more attractive. And if you want to go one further, you can find some tankless water heater pipe covers on the market to help hide those unsightly pipes.
But if you’d like a little less costly solution, there are lots of DIY options to consider. Things like building cabinets or closets with new or recycled materials of old shutters or scrap wood, hanging curtains from curved track or curtain rods, or setting up a basic room divider.
If you want to try your hand at this DIY divider made out of old shutter doors, check out this tutorial on how to make it: https://oldhighwaycottage.com/solution-hiding-ugly-water-heater/
You can also consider making your design less of a feature to the room, by concealing the covering of your choice. You can paint the covering the same color of the rest of the room, blending it into the room. There are some tutorials online on how to construct electric water heater covers like this one that makes it feel like part of the constructed room: https://www.woodshopdiaries.com/hide-ugly-water-heater/
There are some things to consider when choosing a covering. Make sure that there is room around the tank, and that there is an easy way to access it. You don’t want to wall it up with drywall or seal it in another way. Water heaters need to be accessible if an issue happens to arise, like water leakage, if the pilot light goes out, or other general maintenance issues. If you have to call a plumber for an issue, you want to make sure they can get to your water heater and have space to do their work. Also, consider when placing these things around a gas water heater to be cautious of proximity and the materials you use, as it can be a fire hazard. First and foremost, you want to have a safe home!
Now get to it. It can be satisfying to create a more beautiful space, no matter what style you choose to conceal your water heater.
At Tony's Plumbing & Heating, we offer outstanding residential and commercial plumbing and heating services in the East Twin Cities metro. With our blog, we hope to bring you useful tips and tricks for ever day life!