Why It's More Eco-Friendly to Switch to a Tankless Water Heater

Learn More About Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters go by many names. Instantaneous, continuous flow, inline, flash, and on-demand are just some. Still, no matter the moniker, they all refer to the same water heating system that does not use a storage tank and instead relies on a heat exchanger that heats water as it flows, practically on demand.

While most water heaters commonly found in modern homes still employ storage tanks, there is an argument to be made for switching to a tankless system that aligns with energy efficiency and water conservation. This blog will discuss tankless water heaters and signs to replace an old water heater. 

When to Replace an Old Water Heater

cold showerMost water heaters have a life expectancy between 8 to 12 years, and tankless water heaters can last closer to 20 years. But there are times when it might be necessary to replace a water heater before it reaches the end of its intended lifespan. Here are some telltale signs that it might be time to retire that old water heater:

  • Not heating properly: If the water heater gives off inconsistent temperatures or it doesn’t heat water, there is a problem. This can be for several reasons, like a malfunctioning component or lack of maintenance.
  • Constantly needing repair: If the water heater has undergone several repairs and it still fails to work as intended, fixing it might not be enough to solve the problem and may require a replacement.
  • Corrosion on the tank or in the water: If the water tank has some rust forming on any part of it, or if the water coming out of the faucet looks discolored and rusty, it can indicate corrosion and will need replacement.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work 

When considering a water heater replacement, it might be more advantageous for homeowners to go green and switch to a tankless water heating system. A tankless water heater works by heating water directly without needing a storage tank. When hot water is needed, cold water travels through pipes and enters the unit, passing over heating elements that warm the water to its predetermined temperature. This heated water is then sent directly to its destination, where it is used immediately. 

Unlike traditional storage tank water heaters, tankless water heaters don't run out of hot water due to the lack of a large tank that needs to be refilled whenever hot water is used. Tankless models also take up much less space since they are installed directly on the wall and can save homeowners money in the long run, thanks to their increased energy efficiency.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

saveTankless water heaters provide a great alternative to traditional storage water heaters and offer many benefits. Tankless water heaters are more compact in size, more energy efficient, have longer lifespans, and provide an endless supply of hot water. They can also help homeowners save on utility bills because of their energy efficiency. 

Because hot water is not stored, it is also not necessary to constantly heat the stored water when it falls out of the desired temperature range. Tankless water heaters only need to use energy when the water is flowing and is therefore being used. This adds up to long-term savings in energy and the cost of replacing the water heater itself. 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving Somerset and the surrounding communities. They provide same-day services, flat rate pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for tankless water heater services in Somerset, MA.

Distribution Links +

Meet the First Black Woman to Become a Master Plumber

Who is Adrienne Bennett?

Not many women show up at a homeowner’s door when a plumber gets called because plumbing is a male-dominated profession. However, a trailblazer in the field, Adrienne Bennett, became the first Black woman to become a master plumber in the United States. She didn’t just break through glass ceilings but also became a role model for people everywhere, showing them that neither gender nor race should prevent anyone from achieving success.

A Serendipitous Encounter

The fourth of eight siblings who grew up in Detroit, Michigan, Bennett had always been drawn to science and engineering. As a child, she enjoyed going to hobby stores where she would choose aircraft models to bring home and assemble. This passion for math and science eventually led her to pursue an entry-level training program with an engineering firm in the city that was a pathway to an engineering degree at nearby Lawrence University. Unfortunately, a racially charged encounter at the firm aggrieved her enough that she decided to quit after just a year.

Seemingly directionless, Bennett did odd jobs in the following years until a chance encounter with recruiter Gus Dowels set her back on the right path. He was recruiting minority women for a federally-sponsored apprenticeship program for skilled trades, an initiative that allowed Bennett to apprentice with the Plumber’s Union, Local 98.

No Way to Go But Up

contractorDespite the demanding and physical nature of the work, Bennett found herself excelling in the program. She passed test after test and earned praise from her instructors, but the celebratory mood would only last so long as she met plenty of resistance, harassment, and bullying from her male colleagues. 

This didn’t stop her from pushing through as she continued to collect accomplishments, including being recognized as the first black woman in the United States to hold the title of a master plumber. She was able to take and pass the master plumber exam after she reached the required 4,000 hours of experience she needed to qualify. 

Black Woman on Top

contractorThroughout her career, Bennett has worn many hats. She has been, among other things, a journeyman plumber, master plumber, plumbing inspector, project manager, and code enforcement officer for the city of Detroit. But there was still one final hat to put on - that of an independent contractor.

In 2008, Bennett established her own commercial plumbing and water conservation company that she runs with her son, A.K. Bennett. She holds the top spot as CEO of her company, which seems like the fitting final chapter of a career for a Black woman who rose to great heights in a predominantly male profession. 

About Quahog Plumbing 

Quahog Plumbing has provided reliable plumbing services in Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas for over 15 years. Their quick, same-day service and use of the latest technology have won them the community's trust, where they have become the go-to plumbers for all sorts of plumbing issues. Call them today for plumbing services in Somerset, MA.

Distribution Links +

Make a New Year's Resolution to Stay on Top of Plumbing Maintenance This Year!

What’s Involved in Plumbing Maintenance?

When most people make a list of new year’s resolutions and things they’d like to do this year, they probably don’t put plumbing maintenance anywhere on it. The fact is, it’s easy to forget that the home’s plumbing system even needs maintenance at all. After all, if the faucets aren’t dripping and the toilets aren’t clogging, why mess with the plumbing?

But that’s just it - maintenance helps ensure that these issues (and many others) don’t come up in the first place. The pipes, fixtures, and water-using appliances in a home see a lot of use, so without maintenance, they can develop a host of problems as they succumb to wear and tear. So this article will explain what plumbing maintenance entails, why it’s so important, and how homeowners can keep up with it - both on their own and with the help of a pro.

Cleaning the Drains

drainOne of the most important aspects of plumbing maintenance is drain cleaning. Over time, hair, soap scum, oils, and other gunk can collect in the home’s drain pipes. This not only leads to the formation of clogs but can also cause unpleasant odors and encourage mold growth, so it’s necessary to clean the drains periodically to remove this nasty buildup.

Homeowners can do a little DIY drain cleaning every once in a while by pouring equal parts baking soda and vinegar (typically about ½ cup each) down the drain, letting the mixture sit for 15 minutes to an hour, then pouring hot water down the drain. In general, it’s best not to use chemical drain cleaners, as these can damage the plumbing, produce noxious fumes, and kill vital bacteria in septic systems.

DIY drain cleaning will go a long way in keeping drains clear, but it’s still best to hire a professional to perform preventative drain cleaning every year or two. This typically involves the use of a hydrojetting machine, which can wash away debris and grime as far down as the main sewer line using a special high-pressure water hose.

Scheduling Professional Plumbing Maintenance

It's a good idea for homeowners to schedule annual maintenance with a professional plumber. They will thoroughly inspect the system, often using special video equipment, to find any signs of leaks, clogs, or corrosion and determine the best solution. They will also typically check the water pressure and adjust it if need be, secure any loose pipes with brackets to prevent vibration, and even test the home’s fixtures and values to see if they are working correctly. 

Professional maintenance can help homeowners save money on leaks and costly plumbing emergencies, extend the life of the plumbing system, and increase the value of the home (plumbing systems typically account for around 10% of a home’s value) - so it’s a service that no homeowner can afford to do without!

Maintaining the Water Heater

maintenanceRoutine maintenance is also required for the water heater. This includes flushing the storage tank to remove any sediment buildup, testing the temperature and pressure relief valve, and checking/replacing the anode rod (an anti-corrosion device inside the tank). Professionals will also clean gas burners, check gas lines for leaks, test safety devices such as the thermocouple, and inspect and clean the exhaust flue. 

There are many benefits of professional water heater maintenance. Not only does it extend the life of the unit and ensure that it’s operating at peak efficiency (both of which help save money), but it also brings peace of mind from knowing that all work is being performed safely and according to code!

About Quahog Plumbing

Since opening its doors 15 years ago, Quahog Plumbing has quickly become one of Somerset’s most trusted and highly-rated plumbers. Their licensed and trustworthy technicians are available for 24-hour emergency service and always work efficiently to get homeowners back to their routines as quickly as possible. They offer same-day service, flat rate pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every job. Call them today for plumbing maintenance, drain cleaning, or water heater maintenance in Somerset, MA.

Burst Pipes: Causes and Prevention

Prevent Burst Pipes, So They Don’t Disrupt Holiday Gatherings

No one wants to deal with a pipe bursting. This kind of plumbing emergency can ruin any holiday event or even a quiet evening at home. While frozen pipes are a common cause of burst pipes, age, corrosion, and stubborn clogs can also cause a pipe to break. This blog will discuss the causes of pipe bursts and some tips to help prevent them.

Avoid Pipes Freezing With Pipe Insulation

freezingEveryone knows that water freezes at 32℉/0℃, and unlike most liquids, water actually expands due to its crystalline structure when it freezes. This presents a danger when pipes freeze. When the weather gets cold, the water in exposed pipes can freeze and then expand, putting a strain on the line and possibly causing it to burst. Pipes exposed in unfinished basements and crawl spaces are the most vulnerable to the dropping temperatures outdoors. The best way to prevent pipes from freezing is by installing pipe insulation.  There are two main types of pipe insulation: foam and fiberglass. 

  • Foam Pipe Insulation: This is a foam tube (think pool noodle) with a split down one side. It comes in various diameters according to the size of the pipe it insulates. The foam slides over and secures the line like a bun surrounding a hot dog. A special tape is then used to seal the open side. It is easy to use and can be installed relatively quickly.
  • Fiberglass Pipe Insulation: This insulation is very similar to the insulation put on the walls of most homes. It comes in the form of a tape roll and has a metallic backing instead of the paper typically used in attics and walls. It is also suitable for directly under sinks where the pipes tend to have a lot of bends.

Avoid Corrosion and Slow Decay

corrosionWhen a pipe ages, it is often subject to corrosion, another cause of burst pipes. Corrosion is the breaking down of a material, typically metals, through chemical reactions or environmental interactions. Pipes may corrode for several reasons, including the following events:

  • Metal-to-metal contact
  • Loose fittings
  • Chemical drain cleaners
  • Inappropriately disposed chemical waste

A particular culprit of corrosion that homeowners can easily avoid is the liquid drain cleaner. They may be able to clear a clog, but they should be avoided because they usually end up doing more harm than good. The chemicals in them can corrode and worsen the conditions of a home’s pipes, leading them to burst.

Avoid Clogs

Clogs are a problem that almost every homeowner has dealt with in the past. They are one of the most common, and usually one of the easiest for plumbers to handle, plumbing issues. However, they can lead to much worse plumbing emergencies like a burst pipe if left untreated. 

Thankfully, professionals offer drain cleaning services that can clear an existing clog, keep a clog from growing too large and causing significant damage, or prevent clogs from forming in the first place. So to avoid clogs that can lead to pipe bursts, homeowners should have their pipes regularly maintained with drain cleaning.

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has dependable plumbers serving Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas for over 15 years. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day services, and the latest technology. Call them today for drain cleaning or burst pipe repair in Somerset, MA

Get Your Water Heater Ready for Cold Weather

Signs a Water Heater Needs Repair

The water heater is one of the most important pieces of plumbing hardware in the home. Homeowners should be on the lookout for warning signs that the water heater needs repair. Fixing minor problems early can help to prevent a total system breakdown and add years to the lifespan of the hardware. 

This blog discusses several signs that a hot water tank is in need of repair. Homeowners should try to maintain, repair, or replace their water heaters before the temperatures drop in the winter. It may be more challenging to complete the installation in freezing winter weather, and nobody wants to take cold showers during the winter! 

Temperature Issues

temperatureNot having any hot water is an obvious sign that the water heater is not working correctly. Other symptoms of a broken water heater include fluctuating temperature, not enough hot water, or water taking a long time to warm up. All of these problems are more common in aging water heaters. A new water heater should provide consistent temperatures. 

Fluctuating water temperatures are a sign that the water heater needs repair. There could be a problem with the heating element, or the water heater is simply getting too old. When the shower or bath runs out of hot water right away, this is also a sign that homeowners need to call a plumber to work on solutions. 

Water Heater Leaks

leaksWhen water is heated up in the hot water tank, it can cause minerals to bind into solid sediment. Over time, this sediment can build up into a slurry of debris that corrodes the inside of the tank until it begins to leak. It’s necessary to drain and flush the tank one or two times a year during a part of routine maintenance to remove sediment buildup and prevent corrosion. 

Some leaks can be an easy fix, such as a leak around a plumbing connection. However, a leak from corrosion usually means that the whole water tank will need to be replaced. It can be difficult to stop corrosion once it begins, meaning the leak will worsen until it is repaired. 

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

Water heater replacement is typically done every 10-15 years. Tankless water heaters can last over 20 years. However, homeowners usually begin to notice needing more frequent repairs after around the 10-year mark, especially if maintenance is neglected. It may be more cost-effective to replace an old water heater with a new energy-efficient model than back-to-back repairs on a failing water heater. 

It requires the experience of professional water heater technicians to install water heaters safely. Without the necessary training and tools, an amateur could install the water heater incorrectly, causing problems from the start. Because of the high temperatures and many gallons of water within the water heater, it’s essential to leave installation and repairs up to a professional for safety reasons. 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has over 15 years of experience serving Somerset, MA, and the surrounding neighborhoods. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day services, and the latest technology. Call them today for water heater services in Somerset, MA.