Tankless Vs. Traditional Water Heater? Which Option is Best for You?

If you are looking to save on your electric bill, you could be in hot water. Seriously, it just may be that your savings can be found in your water heater and the type you have in your home. If your family takes multiple showers and you’re doing multiple loads of laundry per day, your hot water usage could be high.

Did you know that water heaters can account for up to 17% of your electrical usage? That’s more than all your other appliances. A tankless water heater could be the energy savings you and your family have been looking for.

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless system generates hot water when it is needed. A traditional heater keeps a tank of water hot all the time.

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

When you turn on a hot water tap, the water enters the tankless unit. That water is then heated by an electric or gas heater exchanger. A tankless unit heated by gas can produce anywhere from .5 to 11 gallons of hot water per minute. Larger homes can also utilize more than one tankless system connected to meet the high demand. You can also install a tankless water heater to a specific appliance like the washing machine. There are some tankless water heaters that have their own thermostat letting you control the temperature and amount of hot water they produce.

Is a Tankless System Best For Me?

The best way to answer this question is to look at your water bill. If you are using less than 41 gallons of hot water a day, a tankless water heater could be up to 30% more energy efficient than a traditional system, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you’re using 86 gallons or more of water a day, a tankless system can be up to 15% more energy efficient.

The initial cost of a tankless water heater is more expensive, it’s proven to last longer and save you money on your energy bill.

Changing the way you produce hot water is just one factor in reducing the cost of your electric bills. Fixing leaks, washing clothes in cold water, using low flow toilets, and purchasing energy efficient appliances can also help reduce not only your electric bill, but your water bill.

Here Are Some Additional Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater System:

    • Longer lifespan than a traditional water heater
    • Reduced flooding risk
    • Less space needed for installation
    • Tankless water heaters can provide endless hot water
    • Consistent water temperatures

The professionals at Eastern Plumber can help evaluate what type of system would work best in your home and if a tankless water heater is right for you. Call us today for all of your water heater repair and installation needs. Eastern Plumbing offers emergency service 24/7 and serves Pitt and surrounding counties including Greenville, Ayden, Grifton, Bethel, Grimesland, Chocowinity, Vanceboro, and New Bern.

Walk-In Shower vs. Tub – What’s Right for You?

There are many decisions that have to be made during a bathroom remodel or new construction. Perhaps one of the most important and maybe most difficult is deciding what type of shower and/or bathtub is right for you. Luckily, here at Eastern Plumbing we specialize in all things bathroom and have quite a few remodels under our belt. So, we’ve put together tips to help you make that decision.

The first thing to keep in mind is that both styles may have their own list of pros and cons. But it is important for homeowners to consider not only what will work best in the space, but what will work best for their family! Here are a few questions to ask yourself!

How will you use your space?

Are you trying to create a functional guest bathroom or a relaxing master suite? Consider how you typically use your bathroom and what might not have worked well with the old bathroom layout. For families with small children (or planning to have children), we strongly recommend a shower/tub combo in at least one bathroom in the home. The practicality of a combo is great for bathing small children and washing pets! Not to mention, having a bathtub in the home will help with the resale potential and value of your home.

However, if resale isn’t a concern for you and you never use your tub, it may be time to replace it with a luxury shower! Just keep in mind when deciding on finishes that beautiful glass doors and walls won’t stay spotless without hard work and solutions to remove lime and calcium residue.

If you like to end the day relaxing, consider a deep stand-alone bathtub. These are perfect for those who want to soak in comfort and even have options with jets and internal heaters that help keep the water warm.

How much space do you have?

We all know bathrooms see a lot of activity. So, it’s important that the space isn’t cramped. A walk-in shower may be the right choice if you have a small bathroom. The average walk-in shower takes up 12 square feet, while the standard tub takes up 15 square feet. It may not sound like much, but an extra three-square foot of space will make a big difference. For a small guest or hall bathroom, a walk-in shower is also a great option because it will give guests more space to change and get ready!

How important is energy efficiency?

Today, there are many efficient shower heads on the market that can save you money on your water bill. Generally, a shower uses 20 gallons of water, while a bath uses 30. A soaker or whirlpool bathtub can use 80 to even 100 gallons of water – which may require a larger water heater to fill.

Have you made a decision on what shower and/or tub to put in your bathroom? Or, do you need more advice? Contact the plumbing experts at Eastern Plumbing in Greenville and New Bern today!

Outdoor Misting Systems – Pros & Cons

As the weather warms up, your desire to get cool will rise again. Attendance at ballgames and pool parties increase and there are a lot more popsicle-related stains to worry about. And, as things heat up people will try to find ways to cool off. Misting systems are popular answers for restaurants and homeowners alike. But before you invest in a misting system, make sure you know the pros and cons.

Pros

Effective

Misting systems are very effective way to cool the surrounding air and helping lower your body temperature. Whether you’re enjoying a cold beverage or hanging out on the patio, misting systems can help you stay cool while enjoying traditional summer activities.

Multiple Benefits

While misting systems give you the opportunity to stay cool, they are also very versatile in their uses and benefits. One example is as an alternative use as a watering tool. You are able to water your garden on a more automatic schedule instead of having to do it manually.

Efficient

Even though it may seem like misting systems use large amounts of water, they are actually very efficient. With new innovations and developments every year, this will continue to evolve. Compared to a central air conditioner, outdoor misting systems use considerably less energy and water.

Easy to install

Whether installing a system yourself or getting a professional to help with your patio upgrade, the complexity is rather moderate. Most systems come with a kit that has everything you need. All you need is to add a little elbow grease and you’re ready to “chill” out.

Easy to operate

Most misting systems can be operated from the hose on the side of the house. This is very convenient when the system is only being used during certain parts of the year. The upkeep on misting systems may require additional alterations and check-ups, like winterizing before the cold weather months.

Cons

Regular maintenance required

Due to temperature changes, leaks, low water pressure and other potential problems, regular upkeep and maintenance is required. This may not always require a professional to come to your home, but in some cases that is suggested. Make sure to check water pressure, hoses and pipes on a regular basis to ensure wasting water and money is kept to a minimum. Regular maintenance is also recommended to prevent any adverse effects to your home or yard.

Can be expensive

Because of the regular maintenance that is required and the initial cost upfront, outdoor misting systems can get pricey. While outdoor misting systems are going to use less water and energy than your air conditioning, they’re going to use more water than you’re currently using.

Misting systems come in a variety of set-ups and types. Their pressure ranges from low to high and each one will require different maintenance, upkeep and requirements. Make sure to do research prior to purchasing to ensure you’re investing in the right misting system.

Is It Time to Go Tankless?

Most homes have conventional tank water heaters, which store dozens of gallons of hot water and maintain a steady temperature so the water is ready when you need it. But there is another type of water heater — tankless – which heats water directly and on demand as it flows through your pipes.

Tankless water heaters offer several benefits, but it’s not the perfect fit for every home or situation. Read more to learn whether upgrading to a tankless water heater makes sense for you and your family.

The Pros of a Tankless Water Heater

The primary advantage of tankless over traditional water heaters is that they’re generally more energy efficient. If you compare Energy Guide stickers of the two types when shopping, or if you browse the data for models that have been certified by Energy Star, you’ll see the difference in estimated energy consumption.

Various models of tankless heaters have their own energy-saving features, but all of them save energy by not storing hot water. With a conventional water heater, stored hot water is constantly cooling which requires frequent re-heating. A tankless heater uses virtually no energy when hot water isn’t being used. And those energy savings could make a big difference in your monthly utility bills.

Tankless heaters also offer these benefits:

  • Their compact size. Tankless heaters are about the size of a briefcase, expanding your range of installation locations and freeing up storage space.
  • Longer lifespan. With the proper maintenance, many tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years.
  • Home value. If you sell your home, the savings potential of a tankless water heater can boost your asking price.

When is Tankless a Bad Fit?

Tankless water heaters will save you money over the long haul, but the upfront cost is quite a bit higher than most conventional water heaters. Not only is the heater itself more expensive, the installation process is typically more as well. And, installing a tankless water heater is not a Do-It-Yourself project. If you’re considering upgrading to a tankless water heater, get an accurate quote so you can calculate whether the long-term savings justify the higher upfront costs.

Just like conventional water heaters, tankless heaters should be sized to the water needs of the household. Each tankless installation should be sized based on the number of fixtures in the house (which use hot water) and the number of occupants can sometimes be a factor. Incoming water temperature should also be considered when choosing the type and number of tankless units which may be required. Each tankless has a specific amount of hot water which it can supply. In the winter the incoming water is colder, which means the tankless will have to raise the temperature more than it would in the summer. Therefore the amount of hot water it can provide will be decreased. Make sure that the tankless water heater or heaters have been properly sized.

Another similarity between the two water heaters is that it always takes at least a few seconds for hot water to reach the faucet. However, with tankless heaters, this delay can be a little longer, resulting in more water waste. This will depend on how close the heater is to the hot water faucet — if your kitchen and master bath are located close together, you’ll ideally install the tankless heater in that area. Some tankless models also offer circulating systems which will decrease wait time.

To get a custom quote and consultation for a tankless water heater upgrade, or for any other plumbing service, call Eastern Plumbing today.