Water Heaters
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Guelph Plumbing Services - Tankless Water Heater Guide

Tankless Water Heater Buyer’s Guide

Tankless water heaters have quite a lot of benefits when it comes to heating your home. Over the past decade or so, manufacturers have made improvements with the technology used to run tankless water heaters, along with making developments with the features that they offer. Our expert Guelph plumbing services team has some tips to help guide you when buying a tankless water heater for water heater installation.

ENERGY STAR Certification

If you want to be sure that your tankless water heater is high-performance and highly efficient, make sure that it has ENERGY STAR certification. It means that the water heater has met high-efficiency standards. ENERGY STAR tankless water heaters use around 30% less energy than the traditional water storage heater, which will save you money over time. Look for a UEF rating of between 2.3 and 4 for an electric tankless heater. For a gas run heater, it should have an EF rating of at least 0.90 or 0.87 for the UEF rating.

Low and Ultra-Low NOx Emissions

You can find some tankless heaters that work to lower nitrogen oxide emissions, which is beneficial for the environment.

Condensing Technology

A condensing water heater has a secondary heat exchanger that can recover any energy and heat that may otherwise be lost through venting. This feature can be a bit more expensive but it is much more efficient.

Recirculation Pumps

While a tankless heater is known for giving you hot water on demand, you still have that bit of lag between turning your tap on and getting hot water, more so when the tap is furthest from the water heater. With a recirculation pump, you can significantly reduce your waiting time.

Wi-Fi Compatibility

While not everyone needs Wi-Fi compatibility in their tankless heater, it can be a helpful option. It allows you to use smart technology to control the settings of your heater remotely, like adjusting the temperature of the water, keeping track of fuel consumption, monitoring how much water is being used, and getting updates on maintenance.

Smart Preheating Technology

Some smart technologies are able to keep track of the peak usage times, which allows them to make sure that your hot water is ready when you are.

Modulating Burners

A modulating burner saves energy by adjusting the water heaters burner to meet demand. For instance, when you are only using one tap to get hot water, the burner will reduce its output and vice versa.

Digital Displays

Having a digital display is another way of letting you monitor and operate your water heater. Depending on the technology used for the display, you may be able to view and adjust the temperature setting, track the heater’s flow rate, change between different modes, monitor your water pressure, and get alerts about required maintenance.

Considerations of Using a Tankless Water Heater

While there are many benefits to using a tankless water heater, there are a couple of downsides to consider as well:

  • Limited Flow Rates – may not be able to keep up with high demand. You can fix this issue by making sure that you have the right size heater for your home consumption use.
  • Cost more than a storage-tank water heater – however, the amount that you save over time can offset this cost.
  • Higher cost to install – tankless heaters often use a different diameter pipe and need special venting. While there isn’t really a way around the added cost, making sure you enlist the help of an expert, such as our Guelph plumbing services to install your water heater, will ensure that the installation has been done properly.

If you want more information regarding tankless water heater installation, give our expert Guelph plumbing services team a call today!

Water Heater - What to Do if Your Water Heater Breaks

What to Do if Your Water Heater Breaks

Having your water heater break down can be a real hassle, especially if it happens during colder weather. When I do a water heater installation for my customers, I make sure to give them tips on what to do if their water heater breaks down. Not all issues call for a water heater repair or replacement, and some temporary fixes can save you money by limiting further damage until a repair person can fix it for you.

How to Tell if a Water Heater is Broken

If your water heater is spewing water, you know it’s broken. However, there are a lot of little signs to watch for that can lead up to a rupture in the tank. The most common signs that you need to be aware of are:

  • Water pooling under the tank
  • Pipe connections that are leaking
  • Having rusty water running out of your hot water tap
  • Popping, banging, or rumbling sounds

In most cases, water heaters will start to run into trouble with age, usually within an 8 to 12-year period. Most of the issues are caused by a build-up of sediment which damages the unit’s interior. The tank, which is made of steel, will start to rust, become corroded, and then develop tiny holes that eventually become bigger holes and start to leak. This can also cause damage to the control systems which then malfunction. Something like a broken thermostat can cause a dangerously high level of heat within the unit, or a pressure valve that is faulty can lead to an explosion.

A Bit of Prevention

The best way to prevent problems is to be proactive. Make sure you have regular maintenance and inspections of your water heater. It’s recommended that you have a check-up twice a year, usually in the spring and autumn. Other things to check for:

  • Look for any fitting that has become loose and tighten them
  • Regularly check under the tank for any leaking
  • Check the walls and floors close to the unit for any dampness
  • Make sure to have your plumber inspect the unit, drain it and refill it at least once a year.

All of these steps will help you find potential problems before they turn into big expensive problems. Keeping your water heater healthy will also prolong the life and efficiency of it.

What to Do When Your Water Heater Breaks

Unfortunately, we may not catch those early signs soon enough, which leads to a total water heater breakdown. So, what do you do when this happens? This is when you need to call in a professional. There are also things you should do to help minimize the damage to your home, as well as making the cleanup process a bit easier. Having a plan in place helps you act fast in such a stressful situation.

If you have a gas water heater, you will need to unplug the water heater, turn off the gas valve, and give us a call. For an electric water heater, shut the power off to it from the circuit breaker and give us a call.

Next, you will want to turn the main water line to the tank off. You can find this around the top of the water heater, shut it off by turning the valve clockwise. If the valve is in an unreachable area, you will need to shut the valve off from the main water supply running into the home.

To minimize further flooding, you will need to empty your tank. You can do this by attaching a hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. You can then run this hose outside or into a drain in the basement. If you are running the hose outside, make sure it’s to an area that is lower than the home to avoid water flowing back into the house. Next, switch on the pressure relief valve. This will help to keep a vacuum from occurring within the tank while you are emptying it.

If you think your water heater is having issues, give us a call today!


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