Water Heater Tips & Tricks

Did you know that 12% of your home’s total energy costs can be attributed to your hot water heater? There are several different types of water heaters. Here is a bit of information about each of them and tips to save money and conserve water.

Gas and Oil Heaters

Older water heaters are typically powered by fuel oil or natural gas. In order to work properly, they need a pilot light. There is a significant danger of fire if flammable materials are placed too close to the unit. Make sure to properly vent these heaters to prevent build-up of deadly fumes like carbon monoxide. Gas and oil heaters do a good job of keeping your home supplied with hot water, but they can be expensive to operate because of the rising cost of fuel.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are safer than gas or oil powered heaters since they don’t use flame and a combustible fuel. These units are energy efficient and easy to install. Electric water heaters also require less maintenance than other heaters, saving you money on servicing your unit over its lifetime.

There are many different kinds of electric water heaters. They come in a variety of sizes depending on what your household needs. Most residential storage water heaters vary in size from 40 to 100 gallons.

Heat Pump Heaters

Heat pump water heaters pull heat from the air and transfer it to the water store in the tank. This allows your heating costs to be dramatically reduced by as much as 50%! These units are more expensive to install, but the energy savings covers the difference in just a few years.

Solar Heaters

Solar water heaters use renewable energy and produce no greenhouse gases, making them a much better choice for the environment. Installation costs are high because you will need solar panels as well as a new heater system, but the energy savings are significant.

How to Save on Hot Water

We recommend setting your hot water heaters at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows for comfortable showering and bathing, laundry and dish washing and cleaning. Setting your hot water heater at this temperature saves energy and prevents scalding.

Make sure you insulate your hot water pipes to prevent heat loss, and to help you save even more on your energy bills. Repair hot water faucet leaks as soon as you can. A single drop per second waste as much as 200 gallons of water a year.

Another tip to save money on your electric bill is to turn the hot water off when shaving or doing dishes. In addition, set your washing machine to the cold cycle.

Contact Eastern Plumbing

Setting the standard in quality service for over 15 years, we help thousands of homeowners in eastern North Carolina with plumbing needs. The best defense to making sure your plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule annual maintenance inspections and keep on top of your systems before it’s too late. Our team of professionals consists of some of the most experienced and qualified plumbers working today. We’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency.

Don’t Get Caught in the Cold with a Plumbing Emergency

The temperatures are dropping. This is the time of the year where your home is most prone to plumbing problems. Serious plumbing problem like cracked and frozen pipes should be left to plumbing professionals. However, there are many things homeowners can do on their own to prevent plumbing mishaps during the cold weather.

Be Wise. Winterize.

If you haven’t already done so, make sure your outside hoses are disconnected from faucets. To ensure your outside pipes don’t freeze and expand, causing serious leaks and flooding, turn off and drain the pipes.

Shut-off valves.

Close your valves and drain the water off, which makes the shutting down of external pipes easier. Once the exterior faucets are disconnected, they can be protected from the cold weather with lagging.

Insulate Pipes.

Use heat tape or insulating sleeves, available at most hardware stores, to protect your pipes from extreme temperatures.

Seal Windows and Doors.

Increase energy efficiency by sealing doors and windows from drafts. You can use materials that you can find in any home center. This will add a few degrees of warmth to your pipes and fixtures, keeping warm air inside your home.

Check Hot Water Heater.

Your water heater has an extra burden placed on it during cold months. Flush your heater out to get rid of any build-up sediments to prevent corrosion. Check the water pressure release valve, which should snap back into place when lifted after allowing a spurt of water to the drain. If you notice a slack, get a professional to replace the release valve.

For optimum performance during the cold season, set your water heater’s thermometer to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to clean dead leaves and other debris from around the downspouts to allow for better drainage.

Bring Your Faucets to a Slow Trickle.

Prevent ice build-up in your pipes during the cold months by leaving your faucets on at a very slow trickle, especially at night when temperatures can take a sudden plunge. This will ensure that water doesn’t accumulate in one place and freeze.

Close Main Water Valve.

If you plan on going on a winter vacation for an extended length of time, it’s a good idea to close the main water valve. Open the faucets at the top and base of the house to drain the system, keeping the heat on as you do.

Use Your Pipe Wrench.

A pipe wrench is an important tool to use in plumbing maintenance. The wrench enables you to get a good grip on pipes and fittings. Another good tool is a pair of pliers, which will help you adjust nuts and bolts. For bigger home plumbing jobs it’s best to get the help from a professional.

Contact Eastern Plumbing

Setting the standard in quality service for over 15 years, we help thousands of homeowners in eastern North Carolina with plumbing needs. The best defense to making sure your plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule annual maintenance inspections and keep on top of your systems before it’s too late. Our team of professionals consists of some of the most experienced and qualified plumbers working today. We’re available 24/7 for any plumbing emergency.