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Tankless hot water heater cost: What should I expect to pay?

If you’re moving into a new home, and you’re looking at a new water heating system, you may be looking at a tankless hot water heater. So how much should you be paying for a new one? Our guide breaks down the cost into parts and labor, compares the price to other heating solutions, and looks at whether it could actually save you money in the long run. Read on to find out more!

Tankless water heater cost

Tankless water heaters typically cost more than larger boilers and furnaces. SMIMG_0080 | House Updates – Tankless Hot Water Heater | John Eisenschenk | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/johne777/5449753272Author: John Eisenschenk https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tankless hot water heater cost: Heaters come in a range of prices

First things first, the exact cost of your water heater will depend on the kind that you would like to buy. There are two kinds of tankless water heaters. You can buy either electric or gas powered. Gas powered heaters cost less to run, but more to buy. Electric powered is the other way around.

If you want to buy an electric tankless water heater, you can pick one up for as little as $100. Mid range heaters are around $800 to $1500, and the most expensive are north of $2000. The price is a reflection of both quality and the amount of water a heater is able to provide. The cheapest tanks might be able to power just your shower, or no more than your bathroom, and are typically installed at the ‘point of use’. That makes them a great option for anybody who needs that flexibility. For a heater that can provide water for your whole house, you would have to pay $250 minimum for the device.

Gas heaters are a little more expensive. You can find the same smaller PoU units which can power one or two sources for between $150 and $200. But the mid range and top of the range models are more expensive than their electric counterparts, even up to $3000 for heaters that provide water for the whole house.

Tankless hot water heater cost: Installation is typically fairly expensive

You’re welcome to try and save money by buying a mid-range model, or even a model which is only for one source at a time. But if you do, bear in mind that installation is going to cost money too. In fact, since tankless water heaters are not plug-and-play appliances, installation is actually usually more expensive than the cost of the heater itself.

Your HVAC technician can work either for an hourly rate or a flat fee. If you agree a flat fee, this will mean that the cost will still be the same even if you encounter unforeseen difficulties installing the heater. Even so, the cost is expensive. Depending on where you live, you can have a heater installed for anywhere between $300 and $4000. Typically you’ll pay around $1500 to $1700 for installation, not including the cost of parts.

Tankless water heater cost

If your ancient boiler or furnace broke down, your ancient pipes might too. This can add to the cost of having a new system installed. Free photo: Rust, Weathered, Pipes, Rusted – Free Image on Pixabay – 975078 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/rust-weathered-pipes-rusted-steel-975078/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

Tankless hot water heater cost: What about the rest of your plumbing system?

Before you choose to have a tankless water heater installed, you should consider whether your entire plumbing system is up to scratch. What do we mean? Well, if your boiler or furnace has broken down, that doesn’t just mean that the heater itself isn’t up to par. Typically, if your boiler or furnace was clanking, groaning and inefficient because of age then your pipes are probably just as old. And that’s the problem.

There’s no point plugging a brand new water heater into an old or ageing system. If your faucets and pipes are full of limescale and other mineral deposits, if the joints are leaky and corroded, and the seals are worn away, then you should probably think about replacing them too. Your heater will probably work fine even if you don’t, but when the rest of your plumbing fails, you’ll have to call us out again, and again, and again! This can mean that there are still costs to consider even besides the installation and labor for your tankless hot water heater.

Tankless hot water heater cost: How does the price compare?

Tankless hot water heaters are a reasonable price compared to other water heating solutions. Most tank water heaters- which are basically huge barrels filled with water, if you’re completely unfamiliar- cost between $300 and $600. Furnaces on the other hand cost much more, at between $1500 and $3000 for a regular model. But do bear in mind that furnaces can heat both water and your home. Tankless hot water heaters only provide hot water, and can’t heat your home like a furnace can. So you should factor in the cost of home heating, which you’ll have to pay for separately, further increasing your spend.

Moreover, tankless water heaters often require more time to install than the kind of boiler or furnace they’re replacing. If you replace like for like, installation is normally a (relative) breeze. So in terms of both parts and labor, tankless water heaters aren’t the most cost effective option.

Tankless hot water heater cost: Could it save you money in the long run?

Tankless water heaters can save up to (about) 30% of your energy bill. That’s because they only heat the water you absolutely need. Sounds good? Well, you know what they say about things that sound too good to be true.

The first thing to say about the supposed long term savings that a tankless heater could earn is that you now have two appliances that can break down: your water heater and your central heating. They’re also costly to repair, since they’re less common than furnaces and regular tank boilers. So will you save 30%, as advertised? Probably not.

Do I need whole house water filtration?

Whole house water filters are a great solution if you need pure water for both cooking and cleaning. But is that all there is to them? Let’s find out in our guide on whether or not you need a whole house water filter.

Whole house water filtration removes physical contaminants

The first thing that whole house water filters do is to remove physical contaminants from your water. This includes large debris like leaves and even worms which can form blockages in your plumbing, if they can access the system. Of course, it’s rare that these kinds of contaminants will actually make it out of your tap and into your sink or- God forbid- your food. But even so, this is one of the many things that whole house water filters can completely prevent. Which brings us onto our next point…

Whole house water filtration removes chemical pollution through reverse osmosis

Not only can they remove physical debris, but whole house water filters can actually remove chemicals which have dissolved into your drinking water. This is through a fairly simple process called reverse osmosis, which sounds more complicated than it really is. Basically, the water is passed through a series of filters which gradually account for and filter out most unwanted chemicals. This can include chemical pollution from factories or waste facilities. But it can also remove the chemicals added to drinking water by municipal and state government.

This includes chlorine, chloramine and fluoride. While research shows that these chemicals are safe at the level found in drinking water, people are nonetheless concerned. With whole house water filters, you can remove these chemicals quickly and easily from your water. When you have a water filter installed, be sure to ask that it removes both chloramine and chlorine. Chlorine is fairly easy to filter, whereas chloramine isn’t- so not all filters can.

Whole house water filtration

Whole house water filters clean all the water that’s used in your home, not just drinking water. Free photo: Shower, Shower Head, Water – Free Image on Pixabay – 1502736 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/shower-shower-head-water-1502736/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

Whole house water filtration means you have clean water for cooking and cleaning

Having a whole house water filter means that all of your water, not just some, is clean. Having a water filter on your kitchen tap is great if you just want water for drinking and cooking. But what about your dishwasher, your washing machine and your shower? So all of the contaminants that you wouldn’t want to drink are fine if you just bathe in them instead!? That doesn’t sound right.

These filters can completely remove contaminants before the water enters your plumbing system at all. That means that all the water used in your home is completely purified.

Whole house water filtration extends the lives of your appliances

Since some whole house water filters can remove minerals from hard water, they can also extend the life of your appliances. If you don’t live in an area with hard water, you might not know what we’re talking about… But in some areas, the water contains what’s known as limescale. Limescale is made from naturally occurring minerals, so your water is perfectly safe to drink. But over time, tiny sediments of limescale stick to the inside of your plumbing. Think of it sort of like fat clogging up an artery! The only difference is that limescale is a lot harder to get rid of.

Whole house water filters stop this problem before it starts. They can remove limescale at source, so that it never enters your plumbing at all. This extends the life of your appliances, since it will be longer before they have to be replaced. Washing machines are a great example of this, since limescale and other minerals can build up in your washing machine, and even stop it from working completely. Filters also get rid of the need of having a separate water softener, which is like a whole house water filter, but specifically for filtering out limescale.

Whole house water filtration

Your glasses should come out of the dishwasher sparkling clean. Whole house water filtration removes the minerals which leave streaky finishes on glass and metal. Free photo: Clean, Clear, Drinking Glasses – Free Image on Pixabay – 2178902 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/clean-clear-drinking-glasses-glass-2178902/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

Whole house water filtration makes cleaning easier

Since whole house water filters remove minerals from your water, they also make cleaning easier. You’ll especially notice the difference on glass, which should no longer look smeared and stained after washing. That’s because the minerals and chemicals, such as limescale, are the cause of imperfections after cleaning. The same goes for your kitchen sink, your taps, your shower head, and any other metal appliances in your home.

There are a few reasons why you might not need one

One reason why you might not need or want whole house water filtration is if you only plan on filtering your drinking water. If you only need water for drinking and cooking, then we recommend a water filter which fits on your tap instead. Or, alternatively, you could buy a water filter jug. The reason why we recommend these options is that they’re cheaper to replace or maintain, since whole house water filters are larger and require a more expensive filter. If you have a whole house water filter, but you don’t care about washing dishes or taking a shower in pure water, then you’re simply wasting money.

Running all of your water through a whole house water filter can also lower the water pressure. This is because the water supply can only run through the filter at a certain speed. So, for instance, if you’re running your shower, your tap and your washing machine at the same time, it might be too much for your filter to handle. This won’t necessarily cause a fault, but it will most definitely lower your water pressure.

What is a steam boiler, and what does one do?

If you’ve Google searched ‘What is a steam boiler?’ then you’re probably thinking of having one installed. But before you do, it’s vitally important that you actually understand how they work and what their advantages and disadvantages are. That’s because steam boilers aren’t all that common here in the U.S., so they can be something of an unknown quantity, unlike furnaces and heat pumps.

So before you go ahead and have a steam boiler installed, go ahead and read our ‘What is a steam boiler?’ guide first! Here’s everything you could possibly need to know about steam boilers. Starting with…

What is a steam boiler?

There’s no better place to start than jumping right in. What is a steam boiler?

A steam boiler is basically a larger version of a steam kettle. The idea is so basic and easy to understand that it’s been around for a couple of hundred years already. Steam boilers were actually one of the first home heating solutions! The boiler heats water to higher than its boiling point, so that it produces steam. But where a steam kettle would release steam into the atmosphere, a steam boiler doesn’t. Instead, the steam is routed around the home, and released through convection heaters- also know as radiators.

A steam boiler is therefore not so different to a common furnace. But whereas the furnace releases warm air directly into your home, steam boilers normally don’t. The hot steam is always kept contained inside the pipes and radiators used to distribute the heat around your home. Well, that’s a lie- it’s vented outside through an outlet. If it wasn’t, the pressure would keep building and your boiler would explode. But what we’re trying to say is that the steam is never released into your home, so no, it won’t be like having your own sauna. If you don’t have an outlet outside your home, you may have release valves on each of your radiators, which work periodically and automatically.

What is a steam boiler

Steam boilers are really simple to understand. The same mechanism for producing power and heat was used in all sorts of applications, from steam trains to factories. Free photo: Steam Locomotive, Passenger Train – Free Image on Pixabay – 1352338 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/steam-locomotive-passenger-train-1352338/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

How does a steam boiler heat your home and water?

Like we said, steam boilers heat your home through a system of pipes and radiators. The pipes are simple for a technician to install around your home. There are two kinds of piping system: one pipe and two pipe. In a one pipe system, one pipe delivers steam to the radiator and also collects condensed water. Two pipe systems use two pipes to do the same thing.

Steam boilers were a common solution to home heating in older houses. So, if you do have an older house, you may already have had them installed when you moved in. But for more modern houses, you would have to install both pipes and radiators so that a steam boiler could heat your home.

Is a steam boiler a safe option?

Alright, now that we’ve covered ‘What is a steam boiler’, we can move on to ‘How can I control my steam boiler, and is it safe?’ Well, aside from being able to set the temperature, there isn’t much you can do to control your boiler. Or, perhaps more accurately, there isn’t much that we recommend non-experts trying to do. But there are four basic safety controls which make boilers as safe home heating option.

  1. A pressure gauge and a pressure regulator, which monitor the amount of pressure in your system. It will shut of the supply of fuel to your boiler if it detects too much pressure.
  2. A pressure relief valve, which is separate to the regulator, and is intended as a fail safe. If the gauge and regulator fail, the relief valve will release pressure once it gets dangerously high.
  3. A water level sight glass, which will allow you to check the water level inside the boiler, to see if it’s too high or too low.
  4. A low water cutoff system which will stop your boiler from burning fuel once the water level is too low.
What is a steam boiler

Steam boilers need radiators in order to spread heat around the house. The radiator itself is heated by the movement of steam. Ornate Cast Iron Radiator – Brian Eno Speaker Flowers Sound Installation | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dominicspics/4626123560Author: Dominic Alves

What are the advantages of having a steam boiler installed?

‘What is a steam boiler’ was easy, but now we should think about why you should actually have one. Well, there are a few reasons why steam boilers are better for your home than furnaces. The first is that boilers are generally safer than furnaces, especially when it comes to carbon monoxide and other toxic fumes.

Boilers are also less likely to break down. There are very few moving parts in a steam boiler, and there is no fan or pump which can break down like in a furnace.

Are there any common problems with steam boilers?

There are a few reasons why boilers aren’t perfect. Starting with:

  1. It takes longer to raise or lower the temperature in your house using a steam boiler. That’s because the water which turns to steam can hold onto heat for a long time.
  2. Steam boilers are typically more expensive to install and maintain than furnaces. That’s because most plumbers aren’t used to dealing with them (although we are!), and parts can be more difficult to obtain. They are also more expensive to run, since boilers operate at a higher temperature than furnaces.
  3. This might not be too important to you… But boilers can be noisy! Unless you have a modern and well maintained system, your radiators and pipes will occasionally decide to clank. This can be the case if your boiler isn’t in full working order.

Tree roots in plumbing: what’s the harm?

Have you found out that there are tree roots clogging your plumbing? They can be a pain to get rid of. But what’s the harm? Do they have to be removed?

Take it from us: you should deal with the problem as soon as possible. It takes more than regular maintenance to get rid of them, too. Read on to find out more.

Tree roots in plumbing are a sign that there is a pre-existing fault

The first problem with having tree roots in plumbing isn’t actually caused by the roots themselves. Rather, the problem is that the roots are a sign of a problem that already exists. There are a number of faults that can lead to tree roots in plumbing, such as:

  • Leaking pipes: the tree roots are attracted to the leaking water, and colonise the pipe through the gap
  • Blocked pipes: again, blocked pipes provide a ready source of standing water for tree roots to enjoy. Ideally, the water should flow freely, so that the tree roots are discouraged from setting up shop.
  • Deteriorated seals and failed joints: these factors again can attract tree roots with the promise of water. In a closed system, the tree roots would never ‘know’ that there’s water close by. But where the roots are allowed in, or where water is allowed out, tree roots (and plants generally) will thrive.

As you can see, tree roots in plumbing are caused by existing damage to your pipes. It’s actually very rare that tree roots or other plants can break their way in to your plumbing system.

tree roots in plumbing

If your sink or toilet is blocking more frequently than it used to, this could be a sign of roots in your plumbing.File:Kitchen sink drain.jpg – Wikimedia Commons : taken from – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kitchen_sink_drain.jpg https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

What are the warning signs?

There are a number of signs that your plumbing may have been taken over by tree roots. Unfortunately, you can’t always easily see that roots have taken hold in your plumbing, unless you actually break open the pipe and look for yourself. That’s why the problem can go unchecked for a long time before you realise there’s anything wrong. That being said, there are a few warning signs that you’ll have to look out for. In no particular order:

  • Slow flowing drains indicate that the water is being held up by something. Often, that could be limescale caused by hard water. But in this case, there are tree roots in the way!
  • Strange gurgling noises in your pipes can be a sign of many things, tree roots among them. This is because the water is draining erratically- moving through and around the roots in your pipes.
  • Recurring problems with your toilet or other drains clogging is an obvious sign. This is because the water, debris and waste being flushed away can easily get caught among the roots.

Tree roots in plumbing can therefore cause problems in your home. But what exactly do they do to your plumbing system, and why are they a problem?

What’s the harm of tree roots in plumbing?

Letting tree roots colonise your pipes is a problem that only gets worse over time. If you let it keep getting worse, your pipes will suffer extensive damage because of the force of the roots expanding.

If you’ve ever walked down the sidewalk, and there were trees planted on one side, you might have noticed the concrete looking buckled and broken. Why? That’s the force of the tree roots! They can’t move quickly, of course, but over time they can push their way through almost anything. Your pipes included.

Because of the force of their growth, tree roots in plumbing can cause cracks and fractures in your pipes in extreme cases. In turn, that causes leaks and low pressure. But hold on, because it gets worse! The leak from that crack or fracture actually attracts more tree roots and plants to your pipes!

But if you have strong pipes, particularly if they were only recently installed, they’re probably strong enough to withstand tree roots. In that case, the worst problem you’ll encounter will most likely be reduced water flow and increased blockage frequency, especially if you use a garbage disposal.

tree roots in plumbing

Tree roots are sturdy- but not sturdy enough to stand up to us and our professional grade drain clearing equipment! Free photo: Root, Old, Tree Root, Nature, Log – Free Image on Pixabay – 1227266 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/root-old-tree-root-nature-log-1227266/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

So what can I do to fix tree roots in plumbing?

To unblock your drain, you’ll need the help of a professional drain clearing company like ours. We use our skill and experience dealing with problems like these every day, and we can use the top quality equipment at our disposal to clear your drain in no time.

The best way of clearing your drains is by using a method called drain jetting, which is exactly what it sounds like. Basically, a high pressure jet of water is shot straight down the drain. Hopefully, this blast of water will be enough to completely clear your drain, roots and all. This is something that you quite simply can’t do at home, because the water pressure required is extraordinary.

If the tree roots can’t be cleared by drain jetting, or even by physically trying to remove them from the pipe, a full refit may be necessary. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. It also might be preferable, because the damage that actually allowed the roots to take hold might be extensive. In that case, you should have your pipes refitted anyway.

After the work is done, you should schedule regular maintenance, and keep an eye on the trees in your backyard and your neighborhood. They’re always on the lookout for more pipes to colonise!

The history of plumbing in America: 4 facts you might not believe

History of plumbing in America

The Native Americans may have lived in surprisingly big cities and had complex cultures, but they didn’t have plumbing. Public Domain image according to https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:Native_American_Chiefs_1865.jpg

These days, we might be annoyed if we have a leaky faucet.  We might be especially annoyed if our sewer line needs repairing. But what about if we had no plumbing at all? Or we had to use outhouses? Or if the city didn’t even have a sewer for our sewer line to connect to?

We’ve got it pretty good, if you think about it. So let’s get a little perspective with our history of plumbing in America.

The history of plumbing in America: plumbing isn’t as old as you think

You might already know, or may have assumed, but the Native Americans had no plumbing system whatsoever. But what’s more remarkable is that they still lived in cities of up to 40,000 people! The city of Cahokia grew to be one of the biggest in pre-Columbian America, and existed for up to eight hundred years between around 600 and 1400 AD.

In cities like Cahokia, archeological evidence suggests that some communities even lived in condo style apartments over a number of stories. But even so, they never invented or considered inventing running water or plumbing. Instead, the people would collect water from the rivers, lakes and wells in the area.

In fairness to the Native Americans, what you might not realise is that nowhere in the world had plumbing at that point! Not in Europe, not in China. In fact, the first running water systems were only re-invented in the last few hundred years. Why do we say re-invented? Because the Romans actually had running water for heating, washing and waste. It only took us almost two thousand years to think that running water might have been a good idea.

The history of plumbing in America: The pilgrims used hollowed out logs for sewerage

So, before we began to use true running water plumbing systems, what did we use? Well, we relied on nature instead. People would connect their houses to nearby streams using hollowed out logs. Each home would have an individual system, just like how each house was built by hand for (or by) the people who lived there. It’s actually a fairly good system, if you compare it to the alternatives: basic cess pits and dumping waste in rivers and lakes by hand.

The logs would work with simple gravity and a bucket of water. Plumbers- or just general handymen, back then- would install logs at an angle so that any waste could easily run off. The idea was so popular that during Andrew Jackson’s presidency, they plumbed the entire White House with hollowed out logs. The only problem was when it was difficult to achieve the necessary grade for the waste to flow out. The logs would begin to stink fairly quickly, as you can imagine, and would become a haven for germs and all sorts of other nasty things.

History of plumbing in America

They aren’t a myth, or a joke: two story outhouses were used in some places in the U.S. Unforutunately, we couldn’t find any photos of one to share. Free photo: Outhouse, Country, Dry Toilet – Free Image on Pixabay – 1411137 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/outhouse-country-dry-toilet-toilet-1411137/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

The history of plumbing in America: The two story outhouse isn’t a myth

You will have definitely seen two story outhouses in cartoons like the Simpsons and Looney Tunes. You probably assumed that they were a joke: how could someone sit in the lower stall without… Well, you get the picture. But they were real, and people really used them. Any ‘waste’ from the top stall would go back behind the first stall through a separate compartment. It would then join the cess pit underneath, just like a normal outhouse. So you never had to plunge your toilet!

You might ask why- the reason is actually simple. Outhouses like these weren’t necessarily just used by one family living in one house. They might be used by two, three or four houses. Anybody who lives at home with their family knows the pain of waiting for the bathroom while someone shaves or does their hair; well, people back then knew all about that too. But with a two story outhouse, you could both see to your business at the same time.

There are still two story outhouses that you can visit across America. One town called Gays, Illinois is particularly proud of theirs.  So proud, in fact, that they composed a rhyme for a nearby billboard:

In England they have urinals
In Paris bidets
But nowhere on earth
Has an outhouse like Gays.

The history of plumbing in America: Salt Lake City had a population of 45,000 before they built a sewer

Salt Lake City, out in the mid west, sits on the Great Salt Lake basin- hence the name. It was built to order in 1847 by Brigham Young, the spiritual head of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and lies next to what was christened the Jordan River. Unfortunately for Brigham Young, and unfortunately for the people of Salt Lake City, the town planners didn’t think to install a sewerage system before they began building the city!

The first cities to install sewers, like London and Paris, faced the unhappy dilemma of having to build underneath the city that was already there. Salt Lake City had it easy, but still decided it was best to let everything drain into the River Jordan instead. By 1890, the city grew to the population of 45,000. At this point, the sights, sounds and smells of open sewage clogging the river were becoming too much to bear, so the town council decided to finally install a sewerage system.

The only problem with their new system was that it still ran into the Jordan River, which still flowed into the Great Salt Lake. The Great Salt Lake, big as it was and still is, is what’s called a terminal lake: it doesn’t flow anywhere. That’s why it’s so salty. All the collective sewage of 40, then 50 and then 80,000 people was flowing into the lake with nowhere to go. Not good if you were planning a boating trip.

Home heating repair: what to expect when you need help

Has something gone drastically wrong with your home heating system? Are you wondering how on earth you can get it back in working order without a call to your local maintenance man? Well don’t worry- we don’t bite. You can always try DIY home repairs– but the problem might not be as simple as it first appears.

The good news is that there’s always going to be someone out there who can help you. The point of this post is to let you know what to expect from home heating repair.

Diagnosis: what’s wrong with your heating system?

Even if you do your best to save on your water heating bill, and hardly use your heating system at all, problems can still occur, and even if you get regular maintenance. There’s nothing you can do to prevent an Act of God!

The first thing your repairman will do is to actually diagnose what’s wrong with your heating system. Home heating repair is easy if the problem’s obvious- a blown pipe, for instance. But electronic fixtures are less easy to fix. That’s why the first thing we’ll do is to take a look at what might have stopped your heating from working. The service provider should follow a clear, precise and thorough set of guidelines in identifying what’s gone wrong, so that the exact problem can be pinpointed and resolved.

Your repairman may have to check every part of your heating system to find the issue. But once they have, they should be able to offer you a quotation for both parts and labor. If you accept their offer, they can get straight to work, so long as they have the parts- more on that later.

home heating repair

Low hot water pressure is often one of the first signs that your heating system isn’t working properly. Free photo: Shower, Douche, Bathroom, Clean – Free Image on Pixabay – 1027904 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/shower-douche-bathroom-clean-water-1027904/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

What are some common problems with home heating?

There are a number of common home heating accidents that can damage the heating system, or even your entire home. There are also a number of common problems that stop your heating system from working as it should.

  • You’re not getting any hot water. Obviously, if your boiler or furnace isn’t producing hot water, there’s something wrong with it.
  • Your boiler itself is leaking water. This isn’t a healthy sign. A common reason is that some internal component, like a seal or a pressure valve, has either broken or corroded away. The cause could be either ageing or broken components, or it could be that the pressure is too high. Either way, it’s not wise to deal with this problem yourself.
  • Some kind of strange noise, like banging or gurgling, is coming from your heating system. Again, this could be because of a pressure problem, or it could be that there’s air stuck in the pipes.
  • Your heating system turns on and off at random times. If your heating is electronic, well, it’s most likely an electronic problem! But it could also be because of low water pressure, or a thermostat issue.
  • The pressure keeps dropping. Common sense should tell you that if the pressure in your heating system keeps dropping, then there’s a leaky pipe somewhere that needs to be fixed. But it could also be an issue with your pressure gauge, which might be giving an incorrect reading, and forcing your heating to act strangely.  

Furnaces should receive regular maintenance, but even if they do, they can still break down.

Can they fix the problem with my heating there and then?

Some home heating repair jobs can be done straight away. If you have an old fashioned boiler or furnace, one that isn’t even electronic, then your repairman might be able to fix it immediately. Older models more commonly rely on readily available parts like nuts and bolts than chips and circuit boards. That might mean they’re less efficient, but it also means they’re much easier to repair in some cases. Your repairman might have the parts in their truck, or might even be able to source them from a local hardware store.

The main reason why your repairman may not be able to complete a job is because they need to send off for parts. This is especially the case with electronic boilers which sometimes use brand-specific parts. If the model is particularly rare, or has been discontinued for a long time, then your repairman might not have the part to hand. In fact, they may have to replace your boiler or furnace in its entirety. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing: new, modern heating systems are often far more cost-effective than their older counterparts. So you’ll be saving money in the long run, anyway.

Your repair man should clean up after themselves!

Good repairmen are always respectful of the house they’re working in, and the client they’re working with. That’s because most repairmen are sole proprietors, and run their own local business. Word would quickly get around if they aren’t pleasant to work with! So, after the job is done, your repairman shouldn’t leave a huge mess for you to clean up.

Most home heating repair men are polite, patient and easy to work with. Their business depends on it, after all. So if you do need to call someone out for home heating repair, don’t worry- we’ll be gentle! And in the future, to prevent any more accidents, you should schedule regular ‘tune up’ visits that will keep your heating system in top condition.

What is a whole house water filter?

You may have heard of a new thing called a whole house water filter. You may also have heard that it’s better than having individual water filters, and which you might have already.

But what is a whole house water filter? When was it ‘invented’, and why aren’t they more common? How do they work, and how can you have them installed? Well, let’s find out!

What is a whole house water filter?

A whole house water filter, you’ll be pleased to know, is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a water filter that directly filters water before it reaches the pipes that supply water around your home. If you already have your air purified, or put through an AC, the idea is pretty similar!

whole house water filter

Group of water filter pitchers on table | www.yourbestdigs.c… | Flickr : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/yourbestdigs/27758605502Author: Your Best Digs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It’s connected directly to the water supply, and all of the water you use passes through it. If you have one, all of the water you will use is pure. That includes drinking water, the water you use to wash your clothes, the water you use to shower or bathe, even to brush your teeth.

It’s basically a larger version of a smaller filter, which you can install either on your tap or on the spout of a jug. It’s also a smaller version of what water treatment plants use to filter dirty water from residential and industrial areas, before it’s passed back into the water supply. Whole house water filters come in all shapes and sizes. That’s a reflection of cost, space available, and the kind of filter you’re buying. Some whole house water filters work differently to others, too, as we’ll find out soon enough.

How does a whole house water filter work?

A whole house water filter works in the same way as any other water filter. There are two main kinds of filter that you can buy: physical filters, which are basically sieves, and chemical filters which remove impurities through absorption by a chemical or series of chemicals. There is no one kind of chemical used to completely purify water. So, to make up for that, a number are used together.

One example is activated carbon, which is used to absorb chlorine and chlorine derivatives. Chlorine is, of course, quite common in water; it’s also difficult to get out of water, if you don’t like the stuff. But it can be removed using activated carbon, which can be made from coconut shells. Other natural methods of filtering water use sand, charcoal (i.e. activated carbon) and gravel- in that order- to purify water. In fact, that’s the basis of the very oldest water filters, and the general idea hasn’t changed much until today.

Where is the whole house water filter installed?

A whole house water filter is installed where the rising main comes into your property, or in other words, where the mains water actually reaches your domestic plumbing system. This is why you may have heard the term ‘point of entry system’- the filter is attached literally at the point where water enters your property. That’s how it filters the water you use for everything around the home. The point of entry may be either inside or outside your property. It may also be difficult to actually fit a whole house water filter at the point of entry, depending on the amount of space you have available. Make sure you can actually fit one before you’d like to get one installed!

What are the benefits of a whole house water filter system?

Water filters have one central benefit: they remove potentially harmful impurities from the water. These impurities require a range of measures to remove them- take for example distillation. Distillation removes impurities by boiling water, and then collecting the condensation that forms on a surface used to collect it. The idea is that some impurities are heavier than water, so they get left behind when the water condenses. But others aren’t light enough to get left behind.Chlorine, found in bleach and used to clean swimming pools, can be difficult to remove from water. That’s when another method, like filtering water through charcoal/activated carbon, becomes necessary. The good news is that whole house water systems remove impurities through a variety of methods, so nothing (or very little) is left behind.

Whole house water filters also have the added bonus that they filter all of the water you use. If, for instance, you have a water filter jug, you might find yourself running out of purified water fairly often. You can always buy another jug, or a bigger jug; but what about if you’re boiling pasta and need something to drink? Maybe you have one installed on your tap, but then you can only get purified water in one place. Whole house water filters take care of that problem by providing the entire house with filtered water, all the time.

Are there any drawbacks to having a whole house water filter?

There are actually some drawbacks, yes. Depending on the model and the size of your filter, you may experience a drop in water pressure. This will be particularly noticeable when you’re using a lot of water- obviously- like when you’re washing clothes, and your partner is taking a shower. You may have to try and conserve water if you don’t already. Some models are designed to keep water pressure fairly high, but again, these models are generally bigger so you may not be able to get one where you live.

Another drawback is that like any water filter, they will incur a repeated cost. Generally, you should have your filter replaced every year, so it’s a part of general maintenance like having your furnace checked. If you don’t, and you’re free not to, your filter won’t work at maximum efficiency- but there’s no way of making them last longer than they already do. And if it’s not working… What’s the point of having one?

6 Negative Effects of Hard Water

Not all water is created equal. Residents of Pueblo County, Colorado may be getting hard water delivered through their taps. “Hard” water contains high levels of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. While hard water poses no significant threat to our health, it’s not something you want flowing through your pipes.

Here are just some of the negative effects of hard water:

  1. Funny taste or smell. Hard water is known to taste or smell a little strange. Depending on the mineral content of your water, you may detect a trace of chlorine, metal, or sulfur.
  2. Reduced effectiveness of soap. Soap doesn’t lather well in hard water, and its cleaning properties may be compromised. If your skin, hair, and clothes don’t feel completely clean after a fresh wash, hard water could be to blame.
  3. Water spots and residue. The minerals in hard water can appear as residue in the form of water spots on your dishes, soap scum in your sink, or a thin film on your shower door.
  4. Reduced energy-efficiency. Over the course of several months and years, sediment begins to accumulate in your hot water heater. This not only takes up space in the tank and leaves less room for water, it can also cause a spike in energy consumption.
  5. Increased risk of clogs. The aforementioned sediment can also accumulate in your pipes, making it more likely for clogs to occur.
  6. Shortened appliance lifespan. The sediment buildup from hard water ultimately increases the wear-and-tear on your water heater, pipes, and plumbing fixtures, leading to a shortened lifespan.

If your home has hard water, help is available. Patterson Plumbing offers water softening services to homes in Pueblo County, Colorado. Our professionally-installed Kinetico Water Softener and Filtration systems can improve the quality of your water . If you live in Pueblo or Canon City, give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

6 Must-Own Tools for all DIY Plumbers

diy plumbing tools | plumber pueblo co

Clogged drains and small leaks happen every day. Luckily, many home plumbing problems don’t require the need for a professional plumber. As long as you have these six tools at your disposal, you should be able to tackle most minor plumbing problems around your home:

  • Plunger. When people think of a plumber, the plunger almost always comes to mind. The plunger is a must-own tool for any homeowner, regardless of your plumbing ambitions. Plungers can be used to fix mild clogs in the toilet, shower, or sink.
  • Adjustable wrench. The adjustable wrench is a very versatile tool that is invaluable to any plumber. It is best used on compression fittings, supply lines, and any parts with hex-shaped nuts. Ideally, you should have a six- and ten-inch adjustable wrench in your arsenal.
  • Pipe wrench. The pipe wrench is a larger version of the adjustable wrench, and is designed to tighten and loosen threaded pipes, fittings, and nuts. Like the adjustable wrench, you should have two in your toolbox – one for gripping and one for turning.
  • Tubing cutter. As their name implies, tubing cutters are used primarily to cut tubes – specifically copper pipes. This tool will ensure a smooth, even cut every time. They are available in a standard size, as well as a mini version for hard-to-reach areas.
  • Basin wrench. The basin wrench is a staple in any plumber’s toolbox. The long, narrow shaft allows it to reach areas that other tools simply cannot access. They are most commonly used on the nuts that hold sink faucets in place.
  • Hand auger. The hand auger, also known as a plumber’s snake, is a tool used to clear clogs that are too severe for a plunger. The auger uses a hand crank to push a metal wire (up to 25-feet in length) through your drains in order to remove the obstruction.

What other tools should a plumber own? Check out this article from Popular Mechanics for more ideas.

Possessing these six tools will allow you to complete many simple plumbing tasks, such as fixing minor clogs and leaks. However, when more serious problems arise, nothing can replace the skills and experience of a trained plumber. When residents of Pueblo County need professional help, they can depend on the experts at Patterson Plumbing for quick, reliable service. If you live in Pueblo or Canon City, call us anytime at (719) 544-4922.

Don’t Let Your Little Plumbing Problems Become Big Problems

a small leak can sink a great ship | plumbing pueblo co

 

Great American scientist and Founding Father Benjamin Franklin once said, “A small leak can sink a great ship.” Nearly 300 years later, these words can still be applied to our home plumbing systems.

A little bit of water can cause a lot of problems in the home, and one small leak in a pipe can flood your home with several gallons of water in just a short time. For these reasons, it is important to fix all of your plumbing leaks as soon as they are detected.

There are several reasons why a homeowner would let a plumbing problem go unattended. Maybe they made a mental note to fix it at a later date, but forgot. Maybe they don’t want to pay a plumber. Or maybe they simply think it’s “no big deal”. Regardless of the reason, neglected plumbing issues almost always get worse until the homeowner has no choice but to repair them – usually for several times the price as if they just fixed it in the first place.

For example, something as small as a leaky pipe could be a 10-minute job when it first starts out. However, if the leak gets to the point where it leads to mold growth and structural damage, you could be facing a $10,000+ restoration project.

The bottom line is: fix all of your small plumbing problems before they become big problems! You won’t regret it.

Residents of Pueblo County, Colorado can count on the experts at Patterson Plumbing for all of their plumbing repairs and installations. Our technicians are fast, knowledgeable, courteous, and can stop your small issues from becoming a big headache. Contact us online to schedule your service, or call (719) 544-4922.