Plumbing Hot Spot


Water Heater Buying Guide

When the time comes you have to replace your old water heater at home, you will be amazed at the variety of choices you have, mostly focusing on energy efficiency. Yes, water heaters are notorious for substantially increasing your energy bills, but the newer versions today offer more energy efficiency features, thereby making your plumbing system friendlier to your pocket.

Hot water is a necessity in every home or living space. As a matter of fact, American homes are so dependent to it that hot water production accounts for $25 of the home’s energy use. So when your old water heater gives up, the replacement you pick will be a great factor in terms of the impact on your monthly bills. You have to understand that the integration of new technology in today’s hot water heater models allow them to be more energy efficient. It’s up to you to choose which one will give you the best convenience you need.

The Basics of Water Heater

Most American households will need a 50-gallon tank of water heater. That corresponds to an installation cost of about $1500, primarily depending on the model the homeowner picks. The professional plumber will put the new system to where the old tank was located while the cold water supply pipe is attached at the bottom portion of the tank and the hot water outlet pipe on top.
Inside the tank, there will be a thermostat intended to assess or in a way control water temperature and it is also designed to fire up the heating mechanism the moment it falls below the ideal setting, which by the way is 120 degrees as a standard temperature.

In order to do this work, the typical water heaters will use different energy sources. The most common are oil, natural gas, and electricity. At this point, picking a new water heater that utilizes the same fuel source as your old system is the most practical choice if you wish to keep the replacement expenses at the minimum level.

What to Look For Really

In each type of fuel source, you have the luxury to choose from a wide range of models as well as price ranges. In order to make a comparison, you do have to look for the differences on their labels.

First Hour Rating is the measurement of how many gallons the system can produce in an hour. So a typical big family might need an FHR of about 60 to 70 gallons in order to handle the morning demand for hot water. The good thing is you can always call in a plumber to help you analyze and calculate your specific needs.

Energy factor on the other hand talks about the efficiency of the system. It means that the higher the number the more efficient the unit is. When the same is efficient, it usually corresponds to the notion that it is cheaper to run in the process. Likewise, you can avail of tax credits and local utility rebates if you have a highly efficient water heater.

How Septic Tanks Work

In newer homes these days, drains have a certain way of being innocent. This means that we don’t often think of plumbers until the toilet is already overflowing or the bath spigot is filling the tub with something gross. We have to give a lot of thanks to the simple push of a lever and with just that, waste is always out of sight and mind. But if you want to be aware of your entire plumbing system, you also need to know your septic system.

About one third of American homes have a particular type of septic system which is designed to treat waste. The mechanisms at which these systems work are actually quite simple. The drains are designed to converge to a single point, which in turn will lead to the septic tank. The tank is buried outside the home’s premises. So when the waste water coming from the toilet, shower, washing machine, and sinks leave the house, they’re all combined. But when they reach the septic tank, they will separate. What happens is that the heaviest waste matter called sludge will sink to the bottom. Meanwhile, the fats, oil, and proteins will form the floating scum layer. In the middle of both, there’s the clear liquid called gray water or effluent. All in all, the components, when combined, are called “septage.” While the discussion of the contents of the septic tank seems very awful and gross, it’s actually an advantage if you know it because you’ll get an idea how the system works.

Septic systems in general are created and designed in such a way that the effluent will be discharged from the tank and nothing else. It will go to the drain field or the leach field. This one is a set of pipes containing holes drilled into them. They release the effluent below the ground but above the water table. The effluent in turn is in a degraded state so that it will be filtered by soil. And because there is good amount of organic material in the effluent, it becomes some sort of fertilizer. Therefore, drain fields have the healthiest soil.

But even if the design of septic systems is simple, they still require monitoring from the homeowner. This is also the main reason why you must know how it works, because you are responsible for making sure there are no problems with regards to its function. Of all the components of your plumbing system, it’s the septic system that you surely don’t want to mess up with. In most instances, when a problem happens, it’s usually too late for a DIY solution. Serious septic system problems will also entail thousands of dollars in costs and expenses. Hence, it is obviously practical to resort to easy and convenient maintenance, the purpose of which is for you to avoid experiencing problems later on.