Choosing A New Water Heater

How to Pick A Water HeaterIf you need a new water heater for your home, then make sure you select a water heating system that will provide you with plenty of hot water, as well as one that is energy efficient. This means you’l want to have a look at the different types of water heating systems and figuring out which size you need and what fuel source you will be using. Read on to learn more about the different types of water heaters, and we will provide you with other useful information.

1. Types Of Water Heaters– There are a number of water heaters out there, and this includes conventional storage water heaters, which have a reservoir of hot water. There are also tankless heaters, which heat water without using a storage tank. There are also heat pump water heaters that don’t generate heat directly, as they move heat from one place to another, and there are solar heaters, which uses heat from the sun to provide hot water. There are also tankless coil/indirect water heaters that heats water by using your home’s space heating system.

2. Selection Criteria- There are a number of things to consider when it comes to choosing the best type and model heater, and this includes the type of fuel that you use for your water heating. The type of fuel you’ll use will impact costs associated with using your water heater. The fuel source also plays a role in how energy efficient the heater will be.

Size is important too because you want a water heater that is big enough to provide your home with enough water, so make sure you properly size a water heater before buying one. Another thing to consider is a water heater’s energy efficiency because you want to get the most out of your water heater, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Also, consider costs because you don’t want to be surprised by a heater’s annual operating costs, so compare annual operating costs between different types of water heaters.

Find out if there is anything you can do to reduce the amount of hot water you use. There may be other things you can do. This includes using a drain water heat recovery, which may save you some money on your bill.

3. Fuel Types- When it comes to choosing a new water heater, you want to consider what energy source you’ll use. Keep in mind its cost and availability. Annual operation costs will be affected by the type of fuel or energy you use, but so does the water heater’s energy efficiency and its size.

The type of fuel and the availability of that fuel may help you choose a water heater. There are a number of water heat options out there. The next few paragraphs will discuss what some of those options are.

One of the most widely available fuel source for tankless heaters and heat pump heaters is electricity. Not only that, but electricity can be combined with water and space heating systems. This includes indirect and tankless coil heaters.

Fuel oil is available in certain parts of the USA. It’s used to provide fuel to a combo of water and space systems. It’s also used to power conventional storage heaters.

Another energy source is geothermal energy, but you need to already have a geothermal system in your home. There is also natural gas, which powers tankless and conventional storage water heaters. It is also used to power a combo of water and space systems, which includes indirect and tankless coil heaters.

Propane is widely available throughout the USA. This type of fuel source also powers tankless heaters, conventional storage heaters and indirect water and space heaters. Solar energy is available in areas of the United States, but it is usually available in abundance in the Southwest, and it’s used to power solar water heaters.

4. Compare Costs And Types Of Water Heaters- If you have numerous options for fuel in your area, then take the time to compare fuel costs. Do this even if you’re just replacing a water heater because you may end up saving money in the long run. Contact utility companies and get a quote on rates and fuel costs.

Remember, your water heating costs will be affected by the kind of water heater you decide to buy, so it’s wise to take your time when shopping around for one. One kind of heater may use a certain type of fuel much more efficiently than another type of heater. For example, if you get an electric pump heater, than the chances are it will be more energy efficient than a storage water heater that runs on electricity, and the electric heat pump heater may save you money because of lower energy costs, and it tends to be more efficient than storage water heaters that are powered by gas and fire. All you have to do is take the time to compare fuel types and water heaters and then you can decide which type you should choose.

The Benefits Of Opting For A Gas Hot Water Heater

In the event that your hot water heater requires replacement and you are confused as to the type of heater you should obtain, you should consider a gas water heater. If you have the facility to switch to this type of heater as you already have gas in your home or it is available in your area, you should obtain information regarding the installation of a gas water heater.

Gas water heaters are known to be more economical than electric versions. They also tend to last longer than their electric counterparts and you may not have to replace it for many years. As far as the costs for usage go, the prices may not differ very much, but this is dependent on the unit charge in your area.

There are a few factors you have to consider before you make the switch to a gas water heater.

The first consideration to make is the recovery rate between electric and gas water heaters. This is the figure which indicates how many temperature degrees a specified amount of water is heated, within a specified period of time. From a user’s perspective, a shorter recovery time allows you to drain your hot water heater completely and return to use it in a shorter space of time. Generally, a gas water heater will have a shorter recovery time than an electric version of equal size. This implies that you could opt for a smaller gas water heater for the same number of people in the house, and not have to offer up any additional time at all. A smaller tank saves money as there is not the requirement to heat huge amounts of water all the time.

Gas HoT Water Heater Tanks – Chicago

The cost of purchase and installation is a factor that should be considered carefully. Gas water heaters are generally more expensive to purchase than electric water heaters. There are, however, gas companies that offer rebates to aid in this price variance. It is recommended that you contact your local gas company and ask if they offer a price reduction.

Signs That You Need A Gas Water Heater – Chicago

Another factor to consider is the placement of a flue close to where you need to place the heater. This will allow the technician to access the flue for ventilation purposes, thereby removing the need to create new ventilation pipes. If you feel that this is an unwarranted cost, you should consider that if you were to change from gas to electric, you would have additional costs for a new double circuit breaker and wiring.

The costs of usage could vary considerably, but this is dependent upon the area you reside in. In most areas within the US, gas costs much less than electricity when it comes to heating water. This figure could be as big as 30% to 40%, depending on the rates of electricity in your residential area. To obtain an accurate assessment of the difference in cost between the two, you can go online and enter estimated usage figures for the calculation.

If you are considering a change in the type of water heater you currently use or you are forced to replace your current heater, you should bear in mind the differences in cost to purchase, install and run the different types of heaters.

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    5 Reasons Why Hot Water Tank Has Stopped Working

    Rheem Gas Hot Water Heater TankAh there’s nothing quite like that feeling of waking up in cold Chicago to take hot shower, and finding out that you’re going to have to have a cold shower because your hot water has stopped working. It’s taking too long for it to build up to temperature or it’s simply cold. If you’ve ever had this happen to you in Chicago,IL in the dead of winter, you’re not alone. Thankfully, it’s often an easy to solve problem. Providing you know what’s causing it you can fix it. Here are some of the reasons that hot water may have stopped working.

    Pilot Light

    A simple thing to check is the pilot light. Often this is the culprit. If you’re not sure how to check it refer to your owner’s manual. If it is out you’ll simply need to relight the pilot light and your problem is solved.

    Gas Hot Water Heaters

    If your hot water heater is gas, you may have a leak in the line for the gas that leads to the hot water heater. If this is your cause, you’ll smell a rotten egg smell near the hot water heater. It’s dangerous and you need to call a professional immediately to take care of the situation.

    Heating Element

    If there isn’t enough hot water, you’ll likely need to replace the heating element.

    Sediment Buildup

    Over the course of time, contaminants and sediment can build up in your hot water heater and settle in the bottom. This reduces the capacity for your hot water heater to keep up. Clean the water heater out regularly and use a water softener to help combat the issue. This will help to keep it flowing smoothly. Also, lower the temperature to 130. If the tank itself is rusty, you may not be able to remove the sediment and may need to replace the tank itself.

    Thermostat Issues

    If it’s simply a matter of the water not being hot enough, you may simply need to adjust the thermostat up a bit. It might be that the thermostat isn’t working properly or that it is broken, either way, you’ll need to replace it.

    Home plumbing is a huge investment and can be very costly to repair. It’s wise to not take any chances and leave such issues to the professionals who know what to do. There are many great trustworthy professionals in the Midwest. Midwest Plumbing Pros of Chicago know how to repair all of your plumbing needs. If you’re in the Chicago metro area, you’ll be glad to know that we’ve been here as well and we know well the plumbing ins and outs of the area. We service all electric and gas model hot water heaters. Please give us a call today and allow us to give you a free diagnostic and free cost estimate for your repairs. You can reach us at: 312-967-4701 or contact us via our handy email at:

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    Chicago- Steps To Replace A Hot Water Tank

    The first thing that you need to do when you get ready to change a hot water tank is to make sure you have all of the necessary tools. Without the tools at hand you will not be able to properly complete the job effectively, or at all. Make sure you do some research beforehand and get all of the tools required Or Call Midwest Plumbing Pros In Chicago Illinois At 312 967-4701.

    The second thing you need to do is to turn off all power to the hot water tank. No matter if you are using gas or electric hot water heater, make sure that both are completely turned off. This will ensure that you aren’t going to have electricity flowing through the lines that could potentially shock you, and if you use a gas hot water tank it will ensure you don’t have any gas flowing out into the air which can be very harmful. If you do not think you can do the second step, then Midwest Plumbing Pros of Chicago would be happy to install your hot water tank.

    Disconnecting A Hot Water Heater

    The next step is to hook up a water hose to the bottom of the tank. This is to drain out the water from the tank so that you can easily move it out. This is the step where you also need to remove both outlet and inlet nipples from the tank. If you are using a gas heater, then make sure to disconnect the union from the tank.

    Now that your tank is completely disconnected from all power and gas (if necessary) then it’s time to get it out of your way. You should completely move it out of the closet where it is stored and make sure that it is not in your way when you put the new one into place.

    When you are placing the new hot water tank make sure you have enough room all the way around the tank to reach valves and dials so that you can connect everything back together easily. It is recommended that you have at least 5 to 7 inches all the way around the tank. Also use this same distance to make sure there is nothing that can catch on fire within this small distance to the tank. Once again if you need a Chicago Plumbing Company we can help at Midwest Plumbing Pros. Just call us at 312-967-4701.

    You also need to make sure your hot water tank is level to the floor. If it is not, be prepared to find something small to stick under one side in order to make it level. This is an important step because having a level tank makes it work properly.

    Next, you should put some tape (preferably Teflon) on both of the inlet and the outlet nipples when you are putting them on the tank. You are going to want to ensure that you connect the cold and hot valves to the correct hoses or it will not work properly. You also need to make sure the arrows are pointing in the correct directions.

    Then you need to connect hoses to the water pipes. Once they are connected, turn the water back on so that you can allow the tank to fill up. After it has filled up, you need to make sure everything is connected as it was with the old hot water tank. Once everything is connected, the final step is to make sure there are no leaks. With gas tanks you can do this by using hand soap to check for bubbles for gas leaks. For all hot water tanks, place a towel underneath the water inlets and outlets to ensure there are no water leaks.

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    Tell Tell Indicators Your Sewer Line Is Stopped Up

    A clog in your sewer drain is a major problem that you need to take care of immediately. The clog will affect all the plumbing fixtures within your house and may eventually lead to serious problems.

    Several signs will alert you of the problem of your sewer drain being clogged.

    Several plumbing fixtures clogged
    If you find only one fixture backing up then it means that it is probably a localized problem. However, if you find several fixtures backing up, then it is a sign of a possible clogged sewer drain. Toilets usually have the largest drain line as well as a direct path to the main sewer lines. This means that if there is any problem, they will be the first to show. If the toilets are working normally, then it is highly unlikely that you have a clogged drain. The bathtub and shower are the next areas to check out since they are located lower than the sinks. Signs of a clogged sewer drain tend to first show up on the lower levels of your home. This means that if you find the lower floor or basement sink or toilet clogged, you need to contact your plumber immediately.

    Unusual occurrences when using plumbing fixtures
    These occurrences may be several different things. In case you flush your toilet and the bathtub backs up, then this is unusual. The other problem would be when you turn on the tap in the sink and immediately start seeing bubbles in the toilet, the water level in the toilet rising, or the toilet starting to drain. Finally, in case the washing machine is draining and the toilet overflows or nearby plumbing fixtures back up, then it is possible you have a clog somewhere.

    Clean out of your main line
    In case your system has a main line clean out, this will help you in determining if you have a clog. The main line clean out is a three or four inch diameter pipe that comes up from the ground with a cap on it. Any backed up water will be visible from there. If there is standing water or in case water is flowing up and out of the clean out, this is a sure sign that you have a sewer drain clog.

    Some other basic signs of a clogged sewer line include the following.

    – You find that there is a smell of raw sewage coming from your drains
    – You hear a gurgling sound that signifies that you have a possible clog in your drain
    – If you have water seeping out of the ground around a floor drain
    – Watch the toilet as you flush it. In case the water level is not the same as it was before flushing, you might have a problem.
    – Finally, check outside along your sewer line. In case there are trees nearby, then their roots might have encroached into the pipes clogging the drain

    You should consider a clogged drain as a plumbing emergency. You could have water damage, mold might be developing, or the water just might be spreading bacteria. If you find any of these signs, you need to contact a professional plumber immediately.

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    Gas Fired Water Heater Unit Repair Tips

    Water Unit Problems

    Replace Your Heater If

    The gas-fired water heater is one of the most important appliances in our homes. Should the water heater breakout for just a single day, the whole family will fall into panic mode until the system is up and working again. Although some things such as a water heater breaking down are unavoidable and happen when least expected, we all ought to be prepared for the same. It is for this reason why one needs to study and understand how the water heater installed in his/her home operates. Understanding how the system functions can help save you from frustrations and expenses that come with the same.

    Discussed below is a troubleshooting manual on how to handle a broken heater. If the problem is rectifiable, you should be able to identify it and rectify it in no time. If none of the troubleshooting methods produces anything, then the sad news is that the whole system may have to be replaced with a new one. One way of reducing occurrence of these problems in the future is by having a certified, experienced and trustworthy plumber handle the installation job. Never try to install the system’s projectile by yourself, as it is dangerous and can cause problems in the future. An untrained person can only handle simple installations such as faucets and sump pumps.

    Some of the factors that cause the water heater to stop working include:

    Insufficient water in the heating chamber: Nothing frightens more than taking a nice warm shower only to be joggled with super cold water. This can however be prevented by counter-checking the systems hot and cold shower links.

    Thermostat set too low: If the thermostat is set on a low temperature, then there is no doubt that water dispensed will be cold. If the hot water tap doesn’t produce hot water, then consider checking the thermostat setting to ensure is it set in the correct temperature level.

    The water heater is too small: This happens all the time. As the family grows larger, demand for hot water rises. This means you may have to replace the water heater with a much bigger one.

    Sediments in the tank: This is a common situation especially if the water supplied is hard. As the water is heated, mineral sediments settle in the bottom forming a layer. The water will therefore, take much longer to heat up. This problem can however be solved by having the water drained at least twice a year. If the mineral deposits have corroded the water heater, it may then be time to find a replacement of the same.

    External heat loss: Although a rare scenario, heat can be lost if hot water has to pass through a long channel to its delivery tap. This mostly happens if the distribution pipes aren’t insulated. This situation is very common in commercial buildings especially those sharing a central heating system. This problem can however be solved by ensuring all distribution pipes are properly insulated.

    Low gas pressure: A reduction in gas pressure means water isn’t heated properly, hence an intermittent supply of hot water. Readjusting gas pressure to the recommended specs can however rectify this problem. Always check the heater’s specifications before adjusting gas pressure.

    Water leakage:
    Water leakage in the central heating system can cause significant problems in the whole system. Should there be a leakage, have a specialized technician repair the leakage.

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    Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve

    Hot Water Unit Value

    Water Heater Replacement Value

    A hot water heater pressure relief valve plays an essential role in the overall system and repairing it shouldn’t be that hard being that it only takes an hour tops. In most cases, repairing the valve usually translates to replacement and the good thing is that these parts are inexpensive. The only other scenario would be troubleshooting hot water heaters which you should check out as well.

    With the valve, you only have two options; flushing out the pressure relief valve to ensure that it is seating correctly as it should. The other is replacing the valve which is more common and effective. It is important to note that the relief valve simply works at relieving the pressure in your tank mainly because hot water generates pressure often. The safety feature prevents your tank from exploding should the pressure go beyond the danger zone.
    All said, installing a new valve regularly would be in your best interest and to get it fixed properly, you will have to follow the following steps:

    Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Information

    How Can You Reduce Cost And Save Money?

    The costs are indeed low beyond common perception as a new valve will only set you back $20. With an extra $100 to $150, you can have an expert come over to change it and it will only take half an hour or so.

    Is This A Complicated Fix

    As stated above, the procedure usually takes half an hour tops but if you include the trip to the store, give it an hour. It is not a daunting task as most would figure and with sufficient knowledge on DIY, you are bound to get it done yourself.

    These Repairs Have a Difficulty Level of: A Bit of Work.
    These Repairs Require a Skill Level of: A Handyman.

    Check the Simple Things:

    In some cases, debris gets caught up in the valve hence deterring it from working effectively as it should. This usually happens when the valve remains immobile over a long period of time. If this is not the case, then most likely your valve isn’t seating properly and you have to come up with the ideal solution to fix this.

    What can go wrong?

    The worst case scenario is having no hot water which can be quite irritating especially if you are used to the warmth or have guests over. The long and short of it is that you cannot have a hot water tank without having the essential safety feature installed. We can all therefore concur that having no hot water isn’t fun at all.
    Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve The Steps Involved.
    Step One It is likely that your safety feature is not seating as it should and there are some instructions provided to correct this.

    Step Two Simply find out ways to replace your hot water heater pressure relief valve.

    If you are looking for a professional plumbing company to help you solve your Hot Water Heater Problems, Call US at 312-967-4701.

    Other Plumbing Advice On Midwest Plumbing Pros:
    Why An Electric Tankless Heater Unit Should Be An Option
    Do You Know When You Should Replace Your Water Heater Unit?

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    Dealing With A Leaking Hot Water Heater

    It goes without saying that finding out that you are having any sort of issue with your hot water heater is going to be something be worry about. Whenever you find out that you have a leaking hot water heater, it is best that you take a look to see what could be causing the problem. Whether you have a hot water tank that holds 40, 50 or 60 gallons of water, you might start to panic at the mere thought that something could get markedly worse. There are all sorts of lines that are going in an out, fittings have been known to leak or there could be a portion of the tank itself that has been compromised.

    Hot Water Unit Maintenance

    Fix Your Hot Water Tank

    There are a number of different things that you can take into consideration if you start to notice that there is a leak that is developing. If possible, try to trace back the area where the water is coming from to see if it may be trickling from an area that is not in plain sight. Of course, check all of the fittings as well to see if there is any tightening that can be done or even if you can add a sealant to help give more of a snug fit.

    Even a brand new water tank with your hot water system can be leaking either due to a defect or something that could have happened during the installation process. If possible, take a look at the manual that came with your hot water heater to see if there is any sort of troubleshooting information that you may be able to use to remedy the problem.

    Calling in the professionals might just be the best way to help you fix your leaking hot water heater, however it is always a good idea to check everything out on your own so that you can save yourself some money. In some cases, you may end up getting charged $100 or more for a house call just to find out that there was one fitting that you missed and forgot to tighten all of the way.

    Believe it or not, there are a lot of homeowners that will think that their hot water heater is leaking or the tank itself has an issue when there is nothing more than simple condensation. If your tank is filled up with cold water, then the water that you are presuming is a leak is more than likely just condensation.

    How old is your hot water heater? You may have older fittings that are starting to corrode. Even if you think that they are tightened all of the way there can still be some issues that will cause a corroded fitting to leak. Depending on the issue with your fittings, you may be able to simply have some of them replaced so that you will have a tighter and more secure fit and bond.

    Start by checking out the drain valve to see if there might be any leaking in that area. Next up, look to see if there are leaks that are coming from the pressure relief value. If there are any leaking pipes, you will want to have them addressed as soon as possible. A leaking tank is never good news and you will want to enlist the help of the professionals to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

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    Find A Plumber In Chicago To Fix Your Water Heating Unit.

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    Is It Time to Replace Your Water Heater

    Home Residential Hot Water Tank ChicagoMost people don’t pay attention to their water heater until there’s no hot water in their shower or their basement floor is flooded. At that point, you only have two decisions. Should you repair or replace?

    If the water heater is old, near the end of a 10 or 13 year life span then you obviously need to replace it. New models can save energy. They’re 20 percent more efficient than the older storage tank water heaters. Over the life of a unit, newer models can save as much as $700 in energy costs.

    If your water heater is fairly new, then you may want to repair. However, there may also be reasons to replace. There are some things you should consider before making the decision.

    Diagnosing Water Heater Troubles

    The process of heating water with a conventional water heater is simple. The cold water comes into the tank and heated a gas burner or electric element. The thermostat on the tank regulates the water temperate which ranges from 120 to 140 degrees. The heated water builds pressure in the tank which send hot water to the faucet when you turn the tap.

    Because this process only uses a few moving part, there are only a few things that can go wrong with your water heater.

    – A gas heater’s pilot light can go out.
    – An electric water heater can trip the circuit breaker.
    – The gas burner or electric element can fail.
    – The thermostat can break.
    – A valve can stick.

    These repairs can be relatively inexpensive. If you determine these are the problems causing your water heater not to work, a plumber can easily fix these problems for around $150 to $300.

    However, if the tank if over 10 years old or if it’s leaking, you should look into buying a new water heater.

    Replacement May Be Your Only Choice

    Water heaters corrode over time. The minerals in water react to the steel tank and weaken the metal. When there is a leak coming from your tank, there is no way to repair it.

    Luckily modern tanks are more efficient. The newer models have foam insulation between the outer shells and inner lining which means the tanks retain more heat. Glass liners put an end to the corrosion associated with steel tank liners.

    A new water heater may cost you $500 to $1,500, including installation. However, this new high-efficiency model may save you as much as 20 percent on your annual energy costs.

    You can find bigger savings by investing in a tankless heater, heat pump or solar water heating system. These types of systems also qualify for federal tax credits. Some of these tax credits expired at the end of 2011, however others do not run out until 2016. While these products may cost up to 5 times more than a conventional unit, over time they may save you money. Think carefully before choosing these types of systems.

    The Hidden Cost of Water Heaters

    Even when replacing a water heater, installation of the new system may not be as simple as just hauling out the old tank and hooking up the new one. Some building codes may require certain upgrades before the new tank can be installed. These may include the following:

    – A water heater mount
    – Changing the size or type of ventilation system
    – Putting a drain pan under the water heater
    – Changing the supply pipes

    Before getting a new tank installed, you should ask the installer if there will be extra costs.

    If you plan on installing the tank yourself, the manufacturers supply detailed installation instructions with the tank. But, you’ll need to check with your local building department about local codes. Make sure the water and gas or electric are all turned off before beginning installation. Also make sure you vent the gas units before removing them.

    Water Heater Maintenance

    Whether you keep the old unit or get a new one, you need to maintain your water heater in order to make it perform better. Flush the water tank once a year, this will remove any sediment int he tank which will allow the unit to operate more efficiently and save you money.

    You’ll want to check the anode rod, or sacrificial rod, every three years. THis is the probe that is inside that tank. Over time, it can collect corrosive elements and may need to be replaced. This is a quick repair which costs about $30.

    By keeping on top of your tank maintenance, you can keep your water heater in top condition. Hopefully, that will extend its life so you don’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon.

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