Whether you're replacing an old water heater or remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, here are some water saving plumbing upgrades to consider.
Reducing water usage around the home not only helps to conserve and protect our critical water supply, it also saves energy, reducing your utility bill. Conserving water saves energy by reducing the cost of water treatment, heating water and running appliances that use water. In fact, according to the EPA, if every U.S. home had efficient plumbing fixtures the U.S. would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water, and an estimated $18 billion dollars per year!
Many homeowners don't think about their water heater until problems arise. However, by performing a simple inspection, you can ensure that your water heater is operating safely and efficiently. Here's what to check:
Chances are you'll never have a plumbing catastrophe, like a burst pipe. If you do, you can't afford to waste precious minutes searching for the main water shutoff valve. That's why it's crucial for every homeowner to know where this valve is and how to shut it off. The first thing you need to do is find your water meter. The main water shutoff valve is usually close to it. Now, where the meter is located can vary. In colder regions, where pipes could freeze in the winter, the water line usually enters through the floor of the foundation. locate the line entering your home, follow that line and you'll find your water meter. Keep following it and you'll see the shutoff valve. To stop the flow of water turn the valve handle clockwise, so the handle is perpendicular to the pipe. In older homes the shutoff valve is closed using a circular handle. Turn the valve clockwise to shut of the flow of water. In warmer climate like Arizona, the shutoff valve will be outside of the house often near an outside faucet. If it's more convenient, you can have an inside shutoff valve installed.
Because there's no standard location for main water shutoff valves, you may have to do a little searching to find yours. Once you find it, make sure everyone in the household knows where it is. If you need help finding your shutoff valve, give MR Plumbing a call. We'll be happy to locate it and apply a visible tag to make where it is.
Here's something you can do yourself to help your water heater live a rich, full life. Flush your water heater once a year. Why? mineral deposits and rust can collect in water heaters, which means they have to work harder to heat water. Flushing removes this sediment, allow your water heater to heat efficently.
Watch the video to learn the steps for flushing your water heater. Have questions about maintaining your water heater? Call MR Plumbing, we can help answer all your hot water questions.
Conventional tank-style water heaters are designed to last for many years. However, sediment and rust will accumulate over time and reduce the efficiency and lifespan of the water heater.
To keep your conventional water heater working reliably and lasting longer, follow these regular maintenance steps:
Tankless water heaters offer an energy saving alternative to conventional tank-style water heaters with the water only getting heated when it's needed. Because there is no storage tank to heat, you'll never run out of hot water as long as the unit is been properly sized for your hot water needs.
Like traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters need to be maintained properly to operate at peak efficiency and to realize their cost savings over conventional water heaters. So, spending some time on maintenance yourself — or calling M/R Plumbing for regular maintenance — will ensure that you are taking advantage of all the benefits of your tankless water heater.
1. Check and Clean the Screen Filter
Periodically inspect and clean the filter located on the water inlet side of your tankless water heater. It's best to have a licensed plumber do this job. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, please learn the correct procedure before attempting this task. Never use chemical solutions to clean your water heater, since it will enter your drinking water. Vinegar is a safe, effective cleaner.
2. Flush the System
To prevent the a harmful buildup of lime and scale, flush your tankless water heater periodically. M/R Plumbing Mart can help you flush your water heater. As noted above, please be sure to flush it with vinegar and not chemicals that could contaminate your water supply.
A traditional tank-style water heater has a lifespan of around 8-10 years. Depending on how much use it has had over that time and whether it has been properly maintained, it may last significantly longer or need replacement a lot sooner. So how do you know when it's time for a new water heater?
Many people purchase a conventional tank water heater and simply forget about it until it stops working and it's time to replace it. However, with a few simple water heater maintenance steps you can increase the lifespan of the unit while also making it work more efficiently.
Almost all water heater manufacturers will recommend flushing the water heater tank annually. Draining the tank will remove the sediment that has collected at the bottom of the tank which will allow the burner to work more efficiently. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the correct procedure for draining your model of water heater.
The anode rod hangs in the tank to help prevent its inside from rusting out. It should be checked annually when the tank is drained. Replacing a badly corroded rod is far cheaper than replacing the water heater.
Without a good anode rod, hot water will rapidly corrode the inside of the tank, shortening its life.
This is a step you only have to do once. Wrapping your water heater in a blanket of insulation can improve it's efficiency up to 40 percent.
Have questions about maintaining your water heater? Call the experts at MR Plumbing, we're here to help.
Low water pressure can have a wide variety of causes, from simple to complex. Here are some tips to diagnose and cure some common causes of reduced water flow.