Sunday, 1 April 2018

Buy or Rent Hot Water Tank?

Does it make sense to rent a hot water tank?  Nadia Mendola (Waterdown, Ontario) doesn't think so.  She got stuck with a hot water tank contract when she purchased her home in 2016.  Here are her options:

She can continue paying $56.43 per month for the next 14 years, which works out to $9,480.  Or she get out of the contract by buying the hot water tank for $3,600.  The problem is that the same tank costs $1,000 at Home Depot.

"If you can buy it from Home Depot for $1,000, I just don't understand why you would go renting it." As a first-time homebuyer, she admits she didn't know how much a water heater should cost. "I was paying it for six months and my dad saw one of my bills and thought it was high."

So she called Enercare in August 2017, and was told that her expensive bills were due to having a high-end, energy-efficient tank. That's also when she learned she's locked in for 14 or possibly 18 years.

Enercare also indicates that the higher cost of renting instead of buying includes repairs and maintenance. Mendola feels she had no choice. "It's just an appliance … Your washer and dryer are expensive items but you don't rent them. It just seems like a big scam to me."

Read the full story at cbc.ca

Watch this short video on the benefits of owning a tankless water heater vs. renting:

If you are considering buying a home tied to a similar rental contract, this is what we suggest you do.

Sit down with the company selling the house. Give them your deposit but tell them that you will not sign the rental contract with the hot water heater company.

Then call the hot water rental company and ask them to pick up their hot water heater. When they tell you that you signed a contract, tell them that you haven't, and again ask them to pick up their heater. If they still refuse, tell them that you are putting it by the curb.

Then call your local plumbing company and ask them to install a new hot water tank.

See More Here: Buy or Rent Hot Water Tank?

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Tiny House, Big Plumbing

This Tiny House on wheels may be small, but it is big on features. At a cozy 150 square feet, the home is nothing short of luxurious, with high-tech building systems combined with high-end appliances and furnishings. Designed in collaboration with 30 architects, engineers, and materials specialists, this safe and sustainable home has helped educate and inspire over 50,000 people who have toured it since 2015.  Read the full story at Tiny House, Big Plumbing

Photo Credit

Published First Here: Tiny House, Big Plumbing

Monday, 13 November 2017

Low Pressure Water Quick Fixes and Water Pressure Pump

From time to time, you might be experiencing a low water pressure on your plumbing system. It is a big issue for homeowners to have a low water pressure. It's an inconvenience to not be able to water the garden while washing the dishes. If this is the case, it's best to take necessary action by locating the source of the problem and finding solution on how to fix it.

According to Don Vandervort, there are couple reasons for having a low water pressure.

Water pressure may be low for a couple of reasons. If all of your neighbors have low water pressure, there may not be much you can do except to contact your water supplier and complain about the problem.

If your home is the only one with low pressure—or if only parts of your house have low pressure—then there is probably a constriction in your pipes or valves. The most common cause of low water pressure in a home that’s more than 20 years old is older steel pipes that have become clogged with lime deposits that strangle the flow of water. Unfortunately, to solve this problem, you usually need to have a plumber re-pipe your home. But before you go down this road, do the following. read more...

Don Vandervort of Hometips also suggested these quick tips on how to locate and fix low water pressure.

How to Solve Low Water Pressure Problems

If low water pressure is at a single fixture:

If the problem seems to be at a single faucet or shower head, check for a flow restriction, clogged aerator, dislodged washer, or partially closed supply stop valve. If a faucet has an aerator, check that first; remove it and clean it out, then replace it.

If low water pressure is throughout your house:

Go out to the street and locate your water meter. There should be a shutoff valve next to the meter—in fact, there may be one on each side of the meter as shown in the illustration at right. Be sure the valves are entirely open—turned counterclockwise as far as they will go. If you discover that a supply valve is partially closed, opening it should solve the problem.

If and when these quick low water pressure fixes does not work, it is best to find another option to fix the problem, which is to have your plumbing contractor install a water pressure pump.

What Is a Water Pressure Pump?

Also known as a water pressure booster, water pressure pumps to increase the pressure of incoming water from your well or city water supply. As water flows into the tank, compressed air pressurizes the output, giving it the boost needed to flow throughout your house.

While shopping for a water pressure pump, there are a few key features you should consider. You will want to make sure the tank and the motor are large enough to make an impact on your home’s water pressure. Consider how the water pressure pump operates, such as manual and automatic shut-offs. Some water pressure pumps come equipped with different modes, allowing you to choose how much water and energy you conserve. Finally, you may want to consider a water pressure pump with quiet noise ratings, depending on where your water main is located. Read full article here.

The best option to fix low water pressure is to call your plumbing contractor and have them check the real source of the problem.

Read Full Article Here: Low Pressure Water Quick Fixes and Water Pressure Pump

Monday, 6 November 2017

Introduction to Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating also known as geothermal heat pump or geo-exchange heat pump is what most household are going into when they wanted a more reliable, environmentally-friendly and cost-effective heating system.

What is Geothermal Heating? According to Karin Beuerlein of HGTV:

The Value of Geothermal Heating

A geothermal (ground-source) heat pump converts the heat of the earth into heat for your home. Consisting of a series of looped pipes drilled deep into the ground, a geothermal system works the same way a regular air-source heat pump does: by harvesting existing heat rather than creating it through combustion, as a gas furnace would. It also works in reverse to remove heat from the air and cool your home in summer.

Max Alexander of This Old House magazine give a quick yet precise explanation on how geothermal heating works.

How It Works

Given all the attention being paid to solar power these days, you might be surprised to learn that one of the most promising solutions to high energy costs isn't up in the sky but buried deep under your lawn. Superefficient geothermal heat pumps provide clean, quiet heating and cooling while cutting utility bills by up to 70 percent. "With this technology, everybody could be sitting on top of their lifetime energy supply," says TOH plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey.

In principle, a geothermal heat pump functions like a conventional heat pump, by using high-pressure refrigerant to capture and move heat between indoors and out. The difference is that conventional systems gather their heat—and get rid of it—through the outside air. Geothermal systems, in contrast, transfer heat through long loops of liquid-filled pipe buried in the ground.

The big question is - Is Geothermal heating right for you?

The geothermal heat pump, also known as the geo-exchange heat pump, is among the most reliable, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective home-comfort technologies available. It’s also easily dismissed because of its steep up-front price tag. But with energy costs likely to rise and government incentives now widely available, today’s savvy homeowners are giving this incredibly efficient heating and cooling technology a closer look. Read more...

Read More Here: Introduction to Geothermal Heating

Monday, 30 October 2017

Choosing the Right Water Filter

At some point, we become paranoid into thinking if our tap water is safe to drink. In this case, we prefer to be sure and install a water filter. But how do we choose the right water filter for our household?

Choosing a water filter

Residential water filters are primarily designed to back up the water treatment facility in your community. They’re good for reducing unpleasant odors and tastes, discoloration and other annoying features that the water utility doesn’t remove.

The key to choosing a filtration device is knowing which contaminants you want to remove. Your first step should always be a call to your local water utility. A water engineer can almost always tell you what’s in your water and what’s causing the problem you’re dealing with. If you have health concerns, follow up with a call to your local department of public health. You’ll get more information about the issues involved and how to test for and solve problems. Although some filter systems go a long way toward purifying water, don’t rely on them alone to solve potential health problems. Read more...

As stated above, it is best to now first what kind of water issues you are having. Once you and your plumber are able to figure that out, you can choose the right water filter for your household.

Here are the most common types of water filter to choose from:

Types of Water Filters

If the only problem with your water is grit, dirt, sediment, rust, or other such particles, a screening filter may be sufficient. Made of fiber, fabric, ceramic, or another screening medium, these simply catch particles—including, in some cases, small organisms like cysts and some bacteria. But don’t rely on them to handle disease-causing organisms, VOCs, metals, or the like.

Carbon Water Filters
If your water tastes, smells, or looks bad, a filter containing activated carbon (AC) may solve the problem. If you want to remove chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, radon, trihalomethanes (THMs), and some inorganic chemicals, carbon may do the trick.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
If you must remove inorganic chemicals such as salts, metals (including lead), minerals, nitrates, asbestos, and some organic chemicals, consider a reverse-osmosis (RO) water filter.

Water Distillers
If you just want a portable, sink-top appliance that will rid water of most dissolved solids, such as salts, asbestos fibers, metals, minerals, particles, and some organic chemicals, an inexpensive water distiller may be just the thing.

UV Water Purifiers
Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection water filters, which typically cost $150 or more, may kill bacteria and viruses, and clear the taste and odor of water, but they are not effective against chemical pollutants and may not work against cysts and spores.

Buying a Water Filtering Faucet
With the popularity of water-treatment devices, a number of manufacturers have introduced products that integrate water systems seamlessly into the kitchen. For example, American Standard makes the Streaming filtering faucet that works with an under-sink filter to deliver filtered water through the main kitchen faucet. read full article...

Choosing the right water filter for your household is a big task. The first thing to consider is what kind of water contaminants you want to eliminate, then your budget. If you are hesitant to do all the decision, make sure to ask help from a plumbing professional.

Published First Here: Choosing the Right Water Filter

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Common Water Issues and Importance of Water Treatment System

Have you ever experience smelling something bad while taking a shower or washing the dishes? You wonder where is this smell coming from? Then you realized it comes from your water.

These are the common water issues you should look out, as shared by theplumbinginfo:

Common Issues With Potable Water

We Will Start With Hard Water
Have you ever wondered why soap won’t lather in hard water situations? Well Soap attracts hard water particles i.e. calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. and unless these particles are removed soap won’t lather. These dissolved solids can also severely affect the performance of your plumbing system.

What About Iron in Our Potable Water? – Rust Stains on Clothes and Plumbing Fixtures
The next huge issue is iron in our drinking water. If you aren’t anemic there is nothing good about having high iron content in your water. It tastes horrible and it stains your clothes and almost anything else it comes in contact with namely plumbing fixtures and appliances a nice shade of burnt orange.

What’s the Black Staining on My Plumbing Fixtures?
Another pretty common issue with our water occurs when manganese is present. Manganese shows it’s ugly face by staining plumbing fixtures, clothes etc. a blackish color.

Is My Water Supposed to Smell Like a Rotten Egg?
The answer to the above question is a resounding no. When your drinking water smells like rotten eggs you have hydrogen sulfides or sulfur in your water and although it doesn’t have a super strong taste it certainly smells nasty." read more...

In the US and Canada alone 85% of household are experiencing water issues. To address this issues, it is recommended to install a water treatment system.

Water Treatment Systems: Healthy Advantages

Having a home water treatment system can be a great way to increase your families health. With many of our lifestyles, having a purification system in your kitchen is a great way to ensure your family stays healthy with little effort.

Our water supplies are polluted with chemicals, toxins, and bacteria every day. Installing a water treatment system directly to our kitchen faucet is simply another way of removing what gets left behind. read full article...

Next time you smell something from your water or see rusty colored water, or any abnormalities in your water system, call a plumbing professional and install a water treatment system.

Source Here: Common Water Issues and Importance of Water Treatment System

Friday, 6 October 2017

The Importance of Plumbing Inspection before Purchasing a House

plumbing inspection

Purchasing a home is a big decision and bigger investment to make. There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding to buy a house. It is important to be very meticulous on every aspect and do a plumbing inspection.

There are 10 basic things, as shared from Hometips, that you need to check for yourself:

Home Inspection Checklist

  1. The structure
  2. Water control
  3. The roof
  4. Details
  5. Kitchen & bath fixtures
  6. Electrical system
  7. Water heater, plumbing
  8. Heating
  9. Insulation
  10. Fireplaces

One of the most important thing to check when buying a house is the plumbing system. It's always a good idea to have a checklist to see if the house has a good plumbing system. According to Bruce Davis Jr., there are 3 plumbing features you need to check before buying your dream house.

3 Plumbing Features to Check Before Buying a New Home

Before you buy the home of your dreams, be sure to inspect these plumbing features.

1. Main sewer

It is strongly recommended that a professional plumber perform a camera inspection on a main sewer line after it has clogged. If you're purchasing a home, this is doubly important. You can't always be certain whether the home has had drainage problems, and if so, whether the previous homeowner knew the reason for the clog. A simple camera inspection could make you aware of a hidden and very costly problem prior to the purchase.

2. Water heaters

The average water heater lasts about 10 years. This depends on the water quality, how the water heater is being used, maintenance and installation. Water heaters that heat your home, in addition to providing hot water for each of your faucets, tend to have shorter lives.

3. Toilets

One problem homeowners often neglect to have fixed is a leak at the base of a toilet. The leak often appears small or insignificant, but over time the water will begin to rot the subfloor and even get between the subfloor and the finished floor. Someone unaware of the damage this kind of problem can create, may try to seal this themselves, sometimes making it worse. Read full article here...

If you are unsure how to check the plumbing system, asking help from a professional is the best option, as stated by Lillian Connors:

Asking for a professional opinion

If you are uncertain about any plumbing issues the home may have, it is strongly advised to consult a plumbing professional to do a plumbing inspection. It would not be the first time that new owners failed to notice some serious problems due to their inexperience, say the guys who own and operate Dial up Plumbing, which in return will set them back way more than professional plumbing inspection service fee would. On top of that, you will get a repair estimate and you can negotiate a discount with the sellers to cover the unexpected expenses. Read more...

A simple plumbing inspection checklist is a way to determine the quality of the house.

Learn More Here: The Importance of Plumbing Inspection before Purchasing a House