Water Heaters And Knowing What To Buy

The how-to of finding water heaters did not use to exist. All one had to do when the water heater broke down was to call the utility company and ask them to replace it. The cost of the service and the tank were added to the bill at the end of the month. There was no other way to go about it.

The current market has changed all that. There are many kinds, sizes, installation requirements and price ranges from $10,000 clear down to $20.00. Gas or electricity is usually a question to be asked up front. Electricity only homes can use propane burning units. Even when gas is available, the homeowner may prefer electricity. Energy efficiency is available for both electric and gas units, and tax credits can be applied for from the government on the federal level.

Once home size, household member number, and appliances using hot water are determined, demand levels can be calculated. With more use, a larger tank may be needed. Units that run on natural gas or propane heat the water more quickly, but also cool down quickly. Tanks that use electricity may require more time for heating, but the heat lasts longer.

Tank-less varieties available are considered to be more cost-effective due to water being heated only when it is used. These also come in a variety of sizes, and prices range from more than $1,000 down to $100.00 and they are available in both gas or electric models. Systems made with tank storage also come in various styles, sizes, and shapes. They are available for commercial and residential dwellings. Companies vary in their designs and points of sale, but most operate under the principle of liquid being held in the tank heated to a certain temperature, then when the tank is emptied, a new batch is heated.

Tanks made with solar panels or units that run on geothermal power are also available, using environmental heat that is harvested. Geothermal units have a compressor that brings in heat, then puts it into coils that run through a condenser and wrap inside the tank. Once the water is heated, air is released into the home that is cool. A higher demand may be put on the heater in the winter; however, during the summer, the cool air is nice.

The how to of finding water heaters is not as simple as in the past, rather time, effort, and study are required. Endless options and more energy savings are possible than ever before. The utility company may not need to be called, but a simple trip to the local store where hardware is sold may suffice. Install it yourself, save on energy and cost, and enjoy that hot water you get as a result.

Use A Drain Snake For Clogs

Drain Snake, also called cable auger or plumber’s snake is a long flexible metal cable coiled like a snake with a crank attached to it for turning the cable with a locking screw. Drain snakes are used to remove clogs from the drain. You can shop for them at any plumbing department of home improvement or the local hardware store.

When you are buying a drain snake you have to choose the one with the right length which can range from 25 feet to 100 feet plus. The price range will be around $10 to $15 depending on the length of the cable. Cheaper drain snakes are also available which are made of untreated steel with the possibility of getting rusted soon. If you buy a little bit expensive one it will be rust resistant. However, you will have to maintain the snake in order to make it last longer. After each use you should clean it thoroughly and dry it; after drying give it a coat of oil in order to ensure that it does not rust being exposed to moisture.

When your attempt to unclog drains with clearing chemicals or a plunger has failed; you can use a drain snake to dislodge the clog. To make your task a bit easier you have to remove the trap of the drain. It might so happen that the clog will be found in the trap itself which will make your life easier. If not, remove the trap a stub out pipe will appear. Insert the drain snake into it and feed the cable until you feel resistance. Once you reach the clog start turning the handle clockwise with a pushing pressure. Continue the operation until you feel that either the clog has been dislodged or you have penetrated through it.

You have to be very careful when you are using the drain snake because it might so happen that the resistance that you felt after inserting and screwing the cable inside the pipe; the snake might have encountered a juncture or turn in the drain line. Then the process becomes time-consuming and frustrating. The probability of the drain snake not reaching the clog is also there. In that case, you will have to use another snake or you may have to dislodge the drain pipes to get at the clog. This will entail another round of installation of the particular drainage pipe.

Minor blockage you might be able to resolve but when it comes to difficult cases you will have to call in a plumber. The experienced plumber will be able to pinpoint the cause and use the appropriate tools to get at the clog and remove it. If heavy duty tool is required, the plumber will have it. However, keeping a drain snake at hand for the emergency situation will be wise.

Avoid the Number One Plumbing Mistake and Prevent Frozen Pipes

As summer fades into fall, most people are still enjoying warm weather and time outdoors. But colder weather will soon be approaching and if you’ve had trouble with frozen pipes in the past, it’s time to take action. Frozen pipes can be expensive to fix and can cause permanent damage to your home. As a result, taking action to prevent the problem before it occurs can help homeowners save a significant amount of money.

Understanding Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can occur when temperatures plunge to below freezing. If pipes or other areas of the plumbing infrastructure haven’t been completely winterized, they can freeze. Usually, water that’s within the pipes freezes and that puts pressure on the plumbing system and causes pipes to burst. Pipes in certain areas of the home are more at risk of freezing. These include pipes in unheated areas, such as basements or garages; pipes in exterior walls of the home; and plumbing that’s located outdoors.

Winterize Your Exterior Plumbing

One simple step that homeowners can take during the winterization process is to disconnect their hoses and drain the system. Ideally, it’s important to have a frost proof spigot installed. Failing that step, talk with an experienced plumber about installing a faucet insulator. A few small investments can help minimize the risk to exterior plumbing, which can ultimately cause an interior pipe to burst. An experienced plumber can also evaluate your plumbing exterior to identify any areas that are particularly at risk for damage and propose solutions within your budget.

Winterizing Your Interior Plumbing

When a knowledgeable plumber is looking for high-risk areas of your home, he’ll focus on pipes that are located in areas which aren’t heated. Usually, basements are heated – but in cases where they aren’t, it’ll be on the target list. Other areas include pipes in unheated garages, attacks, and exterior buildings.

Exposed pipes should be insulated to help prevent freezing. There are many ways to do this. One is to ensure that walls are properly insulated for the temperatures. Another is looking at insulation solutions for pipes, which include foam insulation around the pipe or thermostatic activated tape that becomes active when temperatures drop too low. In areas with repeated problems where no other preventative measures seem to help, it’s possible to evaluate rerouting the pipe infrastructure.

Frozen pipes are a major problem for homeowners. Ultimately, you greatly reduce the risk by understanding what your plumbing infrastructure looks like and working proactively to avoid issues. When you run into a situation where pipes are still frozen, it’s important to have a trusted plumber on speed dial. If you find that your pipes are frozen, a local plumber can help address the situation quickly. The sooner that they get on site, the more likely they will be able to solve the problem and minimize structural damage. A plumber will help you identify the source of the problem, safely dethaw the pipes and take steps to ensure that stress is taken off the system where possible.

Are you a homeowner who is concerned about frozen pipes this winter? Contact a plumber in your area to arrange for a personalized consultation.