Water Heaters: Tank Vs. Tankless

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

For every shower, clean dish, or fresh shirt, you need hot water. Without it, cleaning might not be as effective, and showers can be painfully chilly. But while a water heater benefits every house, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right water heater for your needs.

Today, tankless water heaters are available, giving the average homeowner an alternative to the traditional tank water heater. But how does this tankless option compare to a tank water heater? To learn more about the pros and cons of each water heater, keep reading. We’ll discuss how they’re different and how they’ll affect your home life and wallet.

Tank Water Heaters

With traditional water heaters, a large tank fills with water and heats it up. When you use some of the water, the tank refills and continues to heat to make up for the lost water.

Pros

Traditional water heaters are used in plenty of homes across the country, and despite being an older technology, they still have their advantages:

  • Reasonable repairs and maintenance. If something should go wrong with your tank water heater, the maintenance and repairs are fairly inexpensive compared to tankless water heaters.
  • More affordable installation. Out of the two water heaters, tank water heaters can cost less to install.
  • Easy installation. While tank water heaters are easy to install, they also have fewer limitations as to where they can be placed. They don’t always require electricity, so as long as they get enough fuel, they’ll operate smoothly just about anywhere in your utility room, basement, garage or another suitable place.

You might decide that with these benefits, a tank water heater is best for your home.

Cons

However, like any appliance, tank water heaters have their downsides too. But, depending on the size of your family and home, some of these may not be much of a nuisance as all:

  • Large in size. Tank water heaters are rather bulky, so if you don’t already have a place for one, it can be difficult to locate a suitable space. Or, even if you do have an area for it, it can take up prime space in your garage or closet.
  • Short life span. When the two water heaters are set side by side, tank water heaters may not last as long. On average, they last about 10 to 15 years, and then they’ll need to be replaced.
  • Costly utility bills. Because these water heaters constantly keep water hot, they use up quite a bit of fuel to maintain the same temperature. Compared to tankless water heaters, this option results in more expensive utility bills.
  • Limited hot water supply. Water heater tanks only hold so much water at a time, and it takes a while for it to fill up again. So, if everyone in your family takes a lengthy shower, the last person might get a spray of icy cold water.

If these downsides are too much for you, consider a tankless water heater instead.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters heat water on demand by heating the water as it flows through the heater. For instance, some tankless water heaters heat two or three gallons of water per minute at a constant rate.

Pros

The setup and operation of a tankless water heater allows a few helpful benefits, and you may find that these suit your situation better than your tank water heater.

  • Small size. Unlike tank water heaters, tankless water heaters don’t constantly hold water. As a result, these water heaters are quite a bit smaller, so they can fit in slimmer areas.
  • Requires minimal maintenance. Tankless water heaters don’t need a ton of work or repairs over the years, so you don’t have to worry too much about them breaking or slowing down. Annual flushing/descaling is recommended.
  • Long-lasting operation. Despite not needing a ton of maintenance, tankless water heaters do have a longer life span than tank systems. These can last over two decades, so you can rest assured your water heater will last for some time.
  • Constant hot water. With tankless water systems, you don’t have to worry about running out of water. Since water runs directly through the water heater and heats instantly, you can count on getting hot water whenever you need it.
  • Lower utility bills. Because tankless water systems only work on demand, you’ll use less energy on a regular basis, and you won’t have to pay as much for monthly utilities.
    If these benefits are what you’re looking for, a tankless water heater is a great option.

Cons

This newer technology also has its disadvantages in regards to your wallet. Depending on your finances, tankless water heaters may not be the best option.

  • Expensive installation. While tankless water heaters can be more inexpensive in the long run, they cost quite a bit more to install than their tank counterparts.
  • Limited installation locations. Tankless water heaters need to be in close proximity to a power source, and this can complicate the installation a bit. You may need a little bit of electrical work done to accommodate the water heater placement.
  • Costly repairs and maintenance. If something does go wrong with your water heater, it can be an expensive affair. Be sure you’re prepared for the expense just in case.

If your primary concern is the amount of money a new water heater will cost, tankless might not be a great option for you.

When you’re trying to decide between tank and tankless water heaters, use the information above. But if you’re still having trouble, speak to Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. We can help you find the best fit for your home or business, and once you make a decision, we’ll professionally install the water heater for you.

8 Signs Your Toilet Needs to Be Replaced

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

You put a lot of effort into maintaining your home and ensuring everything is in working order. One of the most important systems you need to maintain is your plumbing. And when your toilet doesn’t work properly or it appears to be damaged, the ordeal can be frustrating, and it can be difficult to determine when it’s time to give in and replace the toilet entirely.

Below, we’ll discuss eight signs that it may be time for a toilet replacement.

1. Constant Clogging

Nobody likes to deal with a clogged toilet. While they’re not uncommon, random or recurring clogs can indicate an issue. If you have an old, lowflush toilet, you may experience stoppages far too often. If you experience clogs more than once a week, or the clogs seem random and odd, you should probably replace your toilet.

If you don’t want to lose the water-saving benefits of a low-flush toilet, simply replace your current toilet with a more efficient and effective commode. Modern technologies have come a long way, and low-flush toilets are much better than they used to be.

2. Cracks

When you notice puddles of water around your toilet, you may want to check for cracks in the porcelain. While the toilet may work fine, leaks can waste a lot of water, and that water exposure can damage your flooring over time. It can also result in mold or mildew growth.

Look for cracks in the bowl or the tank of the toilet. If you notice any, or if you hear constant running from your toilet, replace it right away before the situation gets worse. If you can’t tell if there’s a crack, put dye in the water of the tank or bowl and see if the dyed water makes it to the floor.

3. Plentiful Repairs

Toilets shouldn’t need to be constantly repaired. If you find yourself regularly calling for a plumber to fix the toilet, replace it. Frequent repairs can add up, and you can save yourself a bit of cash over the years if you invest in a new toilet.

Or, if your toilet requires numerous repairs all at once, it may be cheaper to replace the toilet instead. Discuss the situation with your plumber, and he or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

4. Excessive Age

Even if your toilet is a little old, it may work just fine. But older toilets are often more inefficient than the newer models, so it may be a good idea to replace your toilet and save some money and water. Consider a toilet with a dual-flush feature. It allows you to partially flush for liquid waste and fully flush for solid waste. That way, you can maximize your savings both in water use and utility costs.

5. Wobbling

If your toilet wobbles, it may be a simple problem of loose screws. A plumber can easily tighten the bolts and ensure everything is properly placed. But wobbling can also signify a bigger problem. The floor beneath the toilet may be rotting away or water damaged, so if you notice wobbling, call a professional to check it out.

6. Inefficient Flushing

When you find that your water bills are high, investing in a new, water-efficient toilet can help you keep your bills down. The average toilet uses three to five gallons of water with each flush, while a low-flush toilet uses about two gallons for every flush. If you have a large family or are environmentally conscious, such a change can help lower your water bill and water usage.

7. Surface Damages

If you have a lot of scratches on the surface of your toilet, you may want to replace your toilet for cosmetic reasons. Excessive scratches can make it difficult to keep the fixture clean. This damage is more common with older toilets that have been scrubbed numerous times over the years, so if you find that you’re cleaning your toilet more often than you should, it could be time for a replacement.

8. Built-Up Mineral Deposits

In areas with hard water, the minerals in the water can collect in the inlet holes and syphon tube. Such buildup can keep water from flowing effectively, making the toilet inefficient. In some cases, you may be able to clear some of the deposits away by chipping at the buildup, but this step is not always successful. If the buildup gets bad enough, your toilet may need replacement.

 

There can be several different signs that your toilet needs replacement, but no matter the reason, be sure you call a professional to do the job. Rely on Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. for any of your plumbing needs. We can replace your toilet efficiently, and we can help you find the right solution to your problem.

What to Do When Your Bathroom Floods

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Modern indoor plumbing includes some of the most useful inventions in the history of humanity. When the toilet overflows or when the shower drain backs up and floods your bathroom, you may be faced with an unpleasant situation.

When your bathroom floods, take action immediately. Follow these steps to minimize the damage to your home that the water (and maybe sewage) can do.

Improving Your Water Usage With Modern Technology

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Plumbing Tips

When you wash your hands, flush the toilet, or take a shower, you may not realize how much water you actually use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average four-person American family uses as much as 400 gallons of water a day, just completing necessary daily activities.

Luckily for the environment and your wallet, modern manufacturers have developed new appliance models that drastically reduce water usage and offer other benefits as well. If you’re ready to lower your water bills and create a more eco-friendly home, replace your older appliances with a modern alternative.

Interesting Highlights From the History of Indoor Plumbing

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Blog, Plumbing Systems

Where in the world do you think the first modern plumbing systems appeared? Perhaps Europe during the Renaissance when ingenious thinkers like Leonardo da Vinci were introducing innovative ideas right and left? Or maybe ancient Roman aqueducts represent the first major step towards flushable toilets and running water?

To find the real answer, you have to go back much farther and visit a different continent. According to archaeological estimates, around 4000 to 3000 BCE, India’s Indus River Valley featured the first water pipes and sewage systems known to humankind.

Today, thousands of years later, many people enjoy the convenience of indoor plumbing every day—and consider it more of a necessity than a luxury. But indoor plumbing made some interesting stops on its way to your home. Below, discover five intriguing stories from the history of indoor plumbing.

1. Bathrooms Fit for a Mummy

Ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for their dead royalty. These elaborate structures had many amenities—including bathroom-like pipes. Specifically, excavators found copper piping in the pyramid for King Suhura at Abusir. Priests likely used these copper pipes to drain water after performing daily rituals.

This early pyramid wasn’t the only one to contain indoor plumbing. Another tomb, built for the body of the god Osiris, contains a huge moat. The moat surrounds a figure of Osiris on his throne and still gets filled with water from the Nile via underground pipes 5,000 years later.

2. Pure Water for the Ancient Mayans

Around 2,000 years ago, the Mayans built the city of Tikal in what is now Guatemala. According to scholarly work done by a team from the University of Cincinnati, the city featured many notable water amenities. They created a system of reservoirs that collected rain and supplied water to the city, which was not near any major waterways.

In addition, many parts of this water collection system contained simple sand-filled filters. The sand cleaned the water and made it safer for human use. Water that didn’t pass through these filters likely aided in agriculture.

3. A Toilet Built for a Queen

Elizabeth I ruled England during a fascinating time in the nation’s history. Her contemporaries included playwright William Shakespeare and adventurer Francis Drake, and she herself accomplished much during her 44-year reign, including the legendary defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

The English Renaissance also inspired Elizabeth’s godson John Harrington to invent an early version of the flush toilet, complete with seat, bowl, and water tank. His model used a basic valve to empty the contents of the bowl after use. He installed one at Richmond Palace for Elizabeth to use and one at his own residence.

4. A Toilet Your Nose Can Appreciate

Of course, John Harrington’s rudimentary toilet wasn’t perfect. One major flaw was that the water inside the tank emitted a foul odor. Luckily, Scottish inventor Alexander Cummings devised an ingenious solution to this problem in 1775, paving the way for indoor plumbing to become commonplace.

Cummings created a trap that separated the bowl from the sewage beneath. A small valve would slide open whenever a user emptied the bowl, but then it would slide close and allow some clean, not smelly water to remain in the bowl. The trap’s shape also forced it to hold clean water, and smelly gas could not pass through to stink up the bathroom.

Today’s toilets have similar traps that perform the same function. In fact, most plumbing fixtures use traps to block sewer gas from entering a building.

5. Hot and Cold Water Join Forces

How many times have you gone to wash your hands, only to discover that the water was either too hot or too cold? The same circumstance happened to Alfred Moen in 1937, and it inspired him to create the faucet that releases both hot and cold water.

As a mechanical engineering student, Moen was uniquely qualified to solve this problem. Plus, he recognized that essentially everyone could benefit from such an invention. He designed and built prototypes but struggled to find a manufacturer. Finally, in 1947, the single-handled faucet began to sell for approximately $12 each, and demand for the product quickly rose.

Moen’s faucets are one of the most popular plumbing inventions of the 20th century. According to the Los Angeles Times, around 70% of kitchen faucets sold in the US today are the single-handled variety. And Moen himself continued to invent products that enhance indoor plumbing, including a solution for being shocked by cold water in the shower.

 

When you wash your dishes or use the restroom, you may not think much about how those conveniences became a part of your daily life. But now that you’ve read these interesting stories, you may pause and appreciate the amazing toilet, the streamlined faucet, or the hardworking showerhead. And if you experience problems with any of these fixtures, call Dhamer Plumbing for expert help resolving those issues.

 

SOURCES:

https://www.plumbingsupply.com/pmegypt.html

https://www.copper.org/publications/newsletters/discover/2005/march/article2.html

History of Plumbing Timeline

Plumbing

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/a-mayan-water-system-with-lessons-for-today/?_r=0

http://articles.latimes.com/2001/apr/20/local/me-53360

CONTACT US

Jim Dhamer
Plumbing and Sewer, Inc.

630-964-2222

Checkl  MasterCard Visa

service area   />		
</div></div></section>
                                                
                                                <section id=