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Posts Tagged: Tank water heaters

Warm up to a tankless water heater

Posted On: Filed Under: Tankless water heaters 10 Comments on Warm up to a tankless water heater

It’s only after you’ve calmed your chattering teeth that you realize you were the fifth member of the family to take a shower this morning—big mistake. Don’t worry, there’s a way to ensure your showers stay warm, whether you’re first, fifth, or tenth in the shower queue.

It’s time to go tankless. Unlike a standard water tank that eventually runs out of hot water and requires time to reheat, a tankless water heater provides an endless supply of steamy H2O. Simply put, it’s on-demand hot water.

There are several comfort and efficiency benefits in going tankless.

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot

Not surprising, the most obvious benefit of tankless water heaters is the endless hot water it provides. No fighting for the first shower of the day or competing with the washer or dishwasher for hot water. It’s there when you need it, for as long as you need it.

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No wasted energy

Installing a tankless water heater can reduce the cost of water heating by up to 30%, if you keep your relative water usage the same. That’s because there’s no continual heating component like a standard water heater. No heating overnight, during the day while your family is at work and school, or when you’re on vacation. It’s ready to heat—but not before you say so.

As a bonus, this efficient operation allows tankless water heaters to enjoy a lifespan that is twice as long as standard water heaters.

A cool set of options for warmth

All homes, budgets, and water needs are different. That’s why we carry several brands and models to provide the pricing and features that work best for you.

20% off for a limited time

If this isn’t a benefit, we don’t know what is. Get 20% off tankless water heaters* now with our Cash for Clunkers promotion. There’s never been a better time to keep the hot water flowing.

These energy-saving, endless-hot-water-flowing solutions provide peace of mind and peaceful mornings. It’s time to reclaim your showers.

*Sale ends 11/30/2015 – Visit our sale page for our latest specials.

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Tank vs tankless – the water heater wars

Posted On: Filed Under: Tank water heaters, Tankless water heaters 2 Comments on Tank vs tankless – the water heater wars

Tank water heaters

Most homes have standard 40 or 50 gallon tank water heaters. They keep water hot all day and night, ready for your use. Tank water heaters usually last around ten years, during which time even the best of them builds up sediment and a little rust. After ten years of use, don’t be surprised if a little bit of water begins to leak from the bottom signaling a failed tank and the need for a replacement. It is especially important to keep an eye on older tanks that are in the home as a leaky tank can result in water damage or worse. With this in mind it is a good idea to have a general game plan put together for when the time comes to replace your tank water heater.

The first thing you need to investigate is what type of tank you have. There are two main ways your tank heats water: electricity or gas. An electric tank has no venting and is often in a conditioned space (meaning inside your house, not the garage). There are two types of gas water heaters: B-vent and Direct Vent. B-Vent has smaller four inch venting that exhausts into a chimney or ties into another exhaust vent. The direct vent will vent directly to the exterior of the home at a 90 degree angle. Can you identify which one you have?

The electric tank is the least expensive tank to buy. However, it terms of your utility bill, an electric tank will cost you the most to run on a monthly basis. This is because it takes a fair amount of electrical power to heat the water, and electricity costs more than natural gas. We recommend that if you have the ability to get gas to the house that you get a gas water heater which will be a less overall cost to run over the lifetime of the tank.

For gas tanks there are two main efficiencies, the .67 and the .62. That means 62-67% of the fuel they take in is converted into heating. These ratings are the same for both the b-vent tanks and the direct vent tanks. The main difference is that the higher efficiency unit has a vent damper which runs about 500-800 dollars more. This will save you about $20 per month on your natural gas bill at today’s prices. In 2 years, a federal efficiency mandate will require all tanks to be at a .67 efficiency so anyone buying a tank will need this vent damper. In terms of the base cost between the direct vent and the b-vent, the direct vent is the most expensive because of the extra technology used for the exhaust venting.

Tankless water heater

The alternative for homes with gas or propane is a tankless water heater. A tankless water heater will heat water only when you need it though a heat exchanger. And it never runs out. There is no reserve of water to rust out a tank and leak. The water is pumped into the system and heated on demand. This is a great option for people who travel between homes, or don’t want to heat water when they are not there. The tankless is also a wonderful solution to problems like running out of hot water in the morning or evenings when most of your hot water usage takes place. With a tankless you can supply the unlimited hot water to more than one appliance at a time – so you can shower while your dishwasher runs and both get equally hot water.

The cost for a tankless water heater can be 2 -3 times the cost of a tank. However, they have a much longer life expectancy of 20 years, with 12 year warrany on the heat exchanger. Tankless units are more efficient, with models at 84% up to 95% efficiency (.84, .95). With that greater efficiency, if you kept your water use the same, your tankless water heater should reduce your gas bill and help bridge the price gap. However, most people find that savings short lived, as they really enjoy longer hot showers.

Having a plan in place for when your tank needs to be replaced helps reduce the stress around dealing with what is normally an unexpected problem. If your tank is 10 years or older get in the habit of checking the bottom of the tank for leaks. Once a water heater begins to leak, it can only get worse so once you spot water it is time to call us to get the problem fixed.

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“Tanks” for being safety minded

Posted On: Filed Under: Tank water heaters, Tankless water heaters No Comments on “Tanks” for being safety minded

Corrosion is the enemy:
Inside your water heater is a metal rod called an anode. Over time, an electrochemical reaction causes the rod to corrode while the steel tank remains intact. It’s meant to do that – the anode sacrifices itself so the tank survives. But, if the anode has no metal left, well then the electrochemical process attacks the water heater itself. It rusts out and you find a flood on the floor. A qualified water heater repair company or plumber can replace this anode and extend the life of your water heater.

Put explosions in check:
On most models there is a safety device known as the temperature-pressure relief (T&P) valve located at or near the top. If an excessive temperature or pressure were to build up, this valve opens, relieving the effects and preventing an explosion. Once a year, test it by pulling up on the handle. If water flows out of the pipe attached to it, it is functioning properly. If sediments prevent the valve from re-sealing, pull on the handle a few times to flush it away. If it still does not seal, call a plumber immediately and do not cap the discharge pipe.

Get rid of sedentary sediment:
Traditional tank water heaters naturally develop sediment as water is heated and calcium carbonate settles to the bottom of the tank. While this sediment is not harmful to you, it reduces the efficiency and storage capacity of the tank, and its lifespan. To combat this, you can easily drain and flush your water heater. If you don’t have your specific manufacturer’s instructions for tank draining, look online for them. And if you are not ready to try it yourself, call a professional water heater repair company or plumber.

Get the sticker:
A water heater safety procedure sticker is important to place on the tank. This way, family members know the emergency shutdown procedures and have an emergency service phone number.

Your tank water heater is expected to last 8 to 13 years. Taking the actions above can extend its life and help you to avoid a water emergency. Looking for an alternative? A tankless water heater does not store water. It will last 15 – 20 years and is more energy efficient. Click here to see some of your options.

Learn more about water heater safety and get a free emergency procedure sticker for your water heater by emailing info@washingtonenergy.com or call 1.800.398.HOME.

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