When your water heater comes to mind, it usually is about the amount of hot water it generates: just right, or not enough. But you also should be on the lookout for signs that might indicate a water heater safety issue for the sake of your entire family. 

Let’s have a look at what they are. 

Turn it Down!

Start by lowering the water heater temperature to 120 degrees. Some are initially set at 140 degrees which could cause scalding.  Just remember to check the instructions for your make and model before adjusting the temperature control. 

Check it Out!

Examine your water heater periodically. Check for water leaks which, among other things, can lead to the mold growth and spreading.  Next, check inside the combustion chamber where the flame should be burning mostly blue. Next, keep in an eye on the burner. If rust is collecting in the burner compartment, it needs to be serviced by a professional. 

Clean it Up!

Brooms, paint brushes and other items that commonly get stored in a utility closet can catch fire if placed too close to the combustion chamber or water heater. 

Be on the Alert for Gas Leaks!

If you should smell gas in your home, here’s what to do: 

  • Don’t turn on a light switch or touch anything that might cause a static spark.
  • Leave your house immediately, leaving at least some windows and doors open.
  • Call your gas supplier from a safe location.
  • Turn off the main shut-off valve at the gas meter.

For even greater protection, we recommend an annual water heater performance and safety inspection by one of our well-qualified plumbers. Connor maintains and repairs all makes and models of water heaters, including yours. So, for the best in water heater performance and added personal safety, contact Connor Plumbing today.

Thinking about replacing your water heater?  Or, maybe you’re building a new home and you want a water heater perfect the space and your family’s needs.

Either way, you now have a wider range of choices than ever before, much of that inspired by a recent federal program that mandates certain minimum energy standards for all new water heaters that exceed those of earlier models. 

Here’s a look at two of your current water heater options:

Gas Condensing Water Heaters – Rather than venting natural or propane gas through the system’s flue, the gas is reclaimed allowing the same amount of gas to heat added quantities of water. That improves energy efficiency, cuts down on greenhouse emissions, and will help you save about $100 per year in water heater energy costs.

Electric Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters – Think of a refrigerator working in reverse, and then you’ll grasp the concept of an electric hybrid water heater: the next generation of electric storage tank water heaters.  The heat pump component of a hybrid system draws warm, ambient air from the space around it to assist in heating the water inside the storage tank. The net result? You can expect to save more than $350 per year in water heater operating costs.

If you want a gas storage tank water heater with more than 55 gallons of storage capacity, gas condensing models are now your only option, although you can skip the storage tank and go with a gas tankless system.  Here are just a few reasons to give a tankless water heater a second and third thought:

  • Frees up more storage space by eliminating the need for a storage tank
  • The system’s wall mounted heat exchanger heats only as much water as you need at any one time
  • Significant energy savings
  • Longer system lifespan than storage tank models – up to 20 years+
  • Whole-house and single-purpose options availabl

There’s a lot to learn and like about today’s water heater options, and Connor Plumbing is here to help you navigate your choices. Contact us today for a free in-home needs analysis and new system proposal, during which we’ll answer all your question en route to helping you choose what’s best for your home, family and budget.

There are two things you depend on from your water heater.  The first one is obvious:  a steady and reliable source of hot water for your cooking, washing, bathing, and cleaning needs. 

What’s the second thing?  To operate as safely and reliably as possible for the well-being of your home and family.  Of course, it’s still only a water heater, so to fulfill goal #2, it needs a little help.  And we’re just the people to provide it. 

One call to Connor Plumbing is all it takes to start the process of outfitting your water heater with its own shutoff valve. Once the installation is complete, your water heat will automatically shut itself off at the first indication of a water or gas leak.    

The benefits are obvious:  

  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Reduced risk of water damage
  • Added years of life from your water heater

Most water heaters fail within 7 – 10 years from the time they’re installed, resulting in about 5 million water heater tank failures every year. And yet yours doesn’t need to be one of them. 

Here’s even more to like about having a water and gas shutoff valve:

 

  • Fully mechanical, requires no external power supply.
  • Can be used to shut off water to other tanks, fixtures and appliances, including boilers, pumps and well-tanks
  • Sits in a drip pan under the water heater and is activated when leaking water accumulates to a predetermined level
  • Easily installed on new or older water heaters.

Contact Connor Plumbing today to start enjoying the added peace of mind that comes with a water heater water and gas shut-off valve.

Let’s get one thing straight:  there’s no bad time of year for a water heater performance and safety inspection. It just so happens that we perform more of them in the fall than any other time of year.

Part of it’s a back-to-school thing.  You know, like when four or five people all expect and want a hot shower before leaving the house for the rest of the day.  Not to mention the shaving and maybe even starting a load of wash.  Or maybe it’s just that summer’s over and it’s time to get back to some basic home maintenance.

Whatever the reasons might be, having your water heater inspected by a licensed plumber is one of the smartest and safest things you can do.

Here’s just some what goes into one of ours:

  • Visually inspect your water heater for leaks, rust or other problems
  • Check water emergency shut-off valve for safe operation
  • Check the safety relief and emergency shutoff valves to ensure safe operation
  • Ensure thermostat setting and water temperature are at optimal levels for just the right amount of comfort without scalding
  • Inspect the burner assembly and the power supply that’s heating the water
  • If warranted, flush out the system to get rid of any contaminants that could cause internal problems
  • Ensure combustion gases are venting properly for your family’s added safety

It all comes down to ensure the effective and safe operation of your water heater, with a strong emphasis on “safe”.

Has it been a year or longer since your last water heater performance and safety inspection?  If so, contact Connor Plumbing today to schedule service.

Buying a water heater used to be a fairly simply process.  Oil, gas, or electric.  Bigger, smaller, or same size storage tank.  Find a good value, a reputable water heater company in the Beaumont area to install and maintain it and voila, suddenly you have all the hot water you need.

Today, you have more options than ever, and therefore more to think about.  Options that include a tankless water heater, the kind that don’t rely on storage tanks to heat the water.  But for now, let’s stick to comparing gas vs. electric water heaters to at least get you started down the road to making a decision.

Advantages of Natural Gas Water Heaters

  1. Quick recovery.  Gas water heaters recover twice as fast as electric units. 
  1. Lower operating costs.  Gas systems typically cost less to operate than an electric storage tank model.
  1. Safety.  Natural gas water heaters have an excellent safety record, especially when properly maintained.
  1. Minimal environmental impact.  Of all the fossil fuels, gas burns the most efficiently.

Advantages of Electric Water Heaters

  1. Lower initial purchase cost.  Electric water heaters cost up to $700 less to purchase when compared to like-size gas system.
  1. Lower installation cost.
  1. Longer lifespan.  Natural gas water heaters have built-in corrosive elements that typically shorten their lifespan when compared to electric water heaters.
  1. No greenhouse emissions.  Electrical water heaters are more environmentally friendly than gas.
  1. Greater accessibility. Electric water heaters can be installed in any home with electricity.  Natural gas, on the other hand, in not universally available.

At Connor Plumbing, we are water heater specialists who can help you choose what’s best for you and your family.  And that includes explaining all of your options, including the newer gas condensing and electric hybrid heat pump models.  Call us today for routine maintenance, expert repairs, or a free quote on new and energy efficient hot water heater. 

Everybody and their brother knows at least one thing about water heaters:  they provide the hot water you need to take a shower, wash dishes, scrub your kitchen floor, wash your clothes, and a bunch more.

What else do you know about yours?  Hmmm, stuck a little on that one?  Don’t be, as we now present the 3 most important things every home owner should know about their water heater.

Fact #1:  They consume a lot of energy.

Of all the energy you and your family consume every day, on average, 15% of that goes to heating your water.  We’re not just talking about your electricity bill, either – we’re talking gas and electricity bills combined (depending on what type of water heater you have).

Well, the federal government has done something about that through a new program launched in 2015 called NAECA (National Appliance Energy Conservation Act).  Now, all new water heaters manufactured for use in the US must and do meet stricter energy efficiency standards to help conserve energy and save you money.

Still, there are always things you can do to cut your costs even further.  You know, like replacing your showerhead with a low-flow model, not running the hot water continuously while shaving, and more.  Every little step really does add up to bigger and bigger savings.

Fact #2:  It Can’t Take Care of Itself.

Most water heaters are designed to last 10-12 years.  In the overall scheme of things, that’s not a very long time.  So doesn’t it make sense to take the best possible care of it so you can get the greatest possible return on your investment?  Of course it does, and the very simple and affordable way to accomplish that is with an annual water heater inspection by a licensed and experienced plumber.  You see, when water enters your water heater, it’s bringing “friends” along with it, namely sediment and minerals. Over time, these build up on the walls of your storage tank and make your system more prone to repair problems.  Annual preventative maintenance can relieve you of that concern.

Fact #3:  It Won’t Last Forever.

We touched on the temporary nature of your mechanical water heater in the previous step, but now let’s take it a step further.  Because even with the best of care, sooner or later it’s going to need to be replaced.  How will you know when that time has come?  Primarily by one or more of these telltale signs:

  • Water leaking from the base
  • Noisy operation
  • Longer recovery times
  • Less supply
  • And, of course, no hot water at all

Connor Plumbing:  Ready to Serve You Now.

If your water heater is less than 10 years old but hasn’t been checked in a year or more, we urge you to contact us today to schedule our preventative maintenance.  We service and repair all makes and models, which means we can service your system, too.  Or, if it’s time to at least consider replacing yours, call us and we’ll come out and give you a free quote on a replacement system and, in the process, explain all the options available to you today, including tankless water heaters.

The way you go about choosing a new water heater is about to change permanently.

Under a federal program called NAECA (National Appliance Energy Compliance ACT), all new water heaters manufactured and sold in the US beginning on April 16, 2015 must conform to new and stricter energy efficient standards.

New style water heaters will cost up to 30% more than conventional gas and electric storage tank models, but they’ll also be up to 30% more energy efficient.

Here’s a brief rundown on the impending changes, and how they might affect you:

  • New style water heaters under 55 gallons will be about 2” wider and 2” taller than the models they’re replacing.  That means if you’re already tight for space, you might have to settle for a replacement system with a smaller storage tank.
  • Even bigger changes are coming for water heaters with storage tank capacity greater than 55 gallons.  Electric storage tank water heaters are being replaced by electric hybrid heat pump water heaters, and conventional gas storage tank water heaters are giving way to gas condensing water heaters.  These, too, will be larger than the system they’re replacing, one again putting you in a position to make a difficult choice, e.g., settle for a smaller storage tank or remodel your space to accommodate a larger system.

You have other options, as well, one of which is to contact Connor Plumbing right away to purchase a new, conventional style gas or electric storage tank water heater.  Once again, these can no longer be manufactured starting on April 16, but we can continue to install them until existing supplies run out.

Contact Connor Plumbing today if you’d like to know more about the new water heater regulations, or for a quote on a new or replacement system.  We’ll explain your several options and help you choose what’s best for your home and budget.

“Discovery” is such a powerful word.  But far greater is the act of discovery itself.

From discovering a $20 bill inside the pocket of a coat you haven’t worn in over a year to the discovery of gold in California on January 24, 1848, the art of discovery has captivated our imaginations and changed the course of our lives since before recorded history.

Today, we’d like you to experience an act of discovery yourself as you consider the advantages of a tankless water heater over conventional gas and electric storage tank water heaters.

  • Longer lifespan.  A tankless water heater can last for 20 years and longer, while the average lifespan of a conventional storage tank system is 10 – 12 years.
  • Energy savings.  Tankless water heaters heat water only as its needed vs. all day long.  That means you’ll save up to 50% on your water heater costs with a tankless unit.
  • Unlimited hot water supply.  With the right tankless system in your home, you’ll never have to worry about running out of hot water again, even during times of peak deman.
  • More storage space.  Tankless water heaters not only are wall mounted, but can be installed indoors or out.  That frees up valuable space you can use for storage or some other purpose.
  • Less chance of scalding.  Storage tank water heaters heat up the water to a temperature hotter than what you actually need.  Not so with storage tank systems, so there’s a reduced risk of scalding.

While tankless water heaters typically cost more to install, their long-term benefits often far outweigh the initial upfront price differential through fewer repairs, longer lifespan, lower energy costs and, of course, the ultimate advantage of all the hot water you might need.

To learn more and request a free in-home quote and explanation of your various water heater options, contact Connor Plumbing today.

These days, more and more people are taking action to remove harmful substances from their food, cleaning products, and many other household items.Image and video hosting by TinyPic

But one very basic area that often goes unnoticed is our home water supply? Why? Because most of us take for granted that the quality is good unless someone presents evidence to the contrary. Even if you have city water, however, certain contaminants like chlorine, lead, and arsenic can still be present at higher than acceptable levels from time to time. That possibility is far greater with families with well water.

So if you’re concerned about the safety of your water supply, a simple water quality test can help put your mind at ease. Inexpensive water purity test kits found at most hardware stores will test for water hardness, some minerals, and contaminants such as chlorine and nitrate. For more thorough water analysis, you can view the results of your public water utility’s annual Consumer Confidence Report, or have your home’s water tested by a Connor Plumbing water quality specialist.

If it’s found that unsafe levels of chemicals, minerals, microorganisms and other pollutants do exist, a whole-house water filtration system may be just the solution you need to provide your loved ones with safe and great tasting water.

You see, unlike a faucet or drinking water filter, a whole-house system cleans the water at the point it enters your home. That means the water you drink, cook with, clean with, and bathe in is as pure as it can possibly be. Here are just some of the benefits of filtered household water:

  • The removal or reduction of certain additives means that soaps, shampoos, and detergents lather better, so you can use less.

  • Save money and reduce your environmental footprint by drinking filtered tap water instead of bottled.

  • Extend the life of your water using appliances by reducing mineral deposits and sediment.

  • Protect your family from the ill-effects of long term exposure to the copious amounts of contaminants typically found in both public and well water supplies

For more information and a free in-home quote on a whole-house water filtration system, contact Connor Plumbing today. And don’t forget to ask us about single-source water filters, too: the kind we can install under your kitchen sink.

         
 

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