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Is a Hybrid Water Heater Price It?

Posted in DIY Plumbing on 24th April 2018

money-saving-piggy-bankThe water heater of a home is one of its most important components. It uses more energy than any other appliance, since, unlike the air conditioner or the central heating system, it needs to operate every day people are home. When you are in the situation of purchasing a new water heater, you want to make the best choice possible—because hopefully you’ll be living with this same system for more than a decade to come.

Today, you have more options for a water heater than before. The standard storage tank water heater is still around. But you may also wish to consider installing a tankless water heater—or a hybrid water heater.

How a hybrid water heater may benefit your home

First, what do we mean by a “hybrid” water heater? It’s an electric water heater that combines a heat pump system with a storage tank water heater. Rather than use electrical resistance to heat the water in the tank (i.e. running voltage through heating elements to turn them hot), the water heater draws heat from the ambient air around the water heater using the heat pump. The refrigerant in the heat pump that absorbed the outside heat transports it to a heat exchanger that then releases it into the tank to raise the water temperature.

What’s the benefit compared to using standard electric water heater? It’s much more energy efficient. Electrical resistance heating consumes a lot of power. A hybrid water heater can cut down bills: an average household of four can save around $ 3,500 over the unit’s lifetime.

That’s great savings—but will it actually do the job I need?

This is the big question, since a hybrid system isn’t necessarily right for all homes. If you use a natural gas water heater because you have access to a gas line, it’s best to stick with gas models. A hybrid heat pump is best for an all-electric home.

Your home must also have sufficient space for the system. A hybrid water heater requires more open area around it to work because it has to draw on heat in the air. If the water heater is in a small closet, it will lose efficiency. Hybrids are also taller than storage tank models, another factor to take into account.

Finally, the ambient air temperature needs to be high enough for the heat pump to have sufficient thermal energy to use. But this is Florida—you’re fine.

Work with the pros!

Making the final choice for a water heater model needs to be done with the assistance of a professional plumber with knowledge of different water heater models. You must have professionals to install the new system, so see that they’re involved from the start to help with picking the ideal new water heater and sizing it correctly.

Trust all your Orlando, FL  plumbing needs—and that includes water heater installations and repairs—to our expert team. We have more than 30 years of history helping homes and businesses in the area with the best skilled, professional plumbing. We take pride in what we do and believe in honesty and integrity in our decisions.

Modern Plumbing – 4Plumbers, Inc. has proudly served Central Florida since 1975.

Why Corrosion Is (Often) Not a Drawback for a Water Heater

Posted in DIY Plumbing on 27th February 2018

water-heater-tankWhen water meets metal, there’s a danger of corrosion starting. Corrosion is a chemical reaction between water and metal in the presence of oxygen, and the damage it causes to metal can quickly ruin many types of appliances as it weakens the metal until it starts to crumble away.

The water heater in your home is primarily made of metal and it stores and circulates water. So why doesn’t it start to rust? Corrosion is rare in water heaters, usually only starting late in the system’s life. there are several reasons for it.

The Tank Lining

The tank of a water heater is usually made of durable steel. But the inside lining is made of glass, which doesn’t corrode. It is possible for cracks in the glass to permit water to reach the metal, which will not only lead to rust but to leaks as well.

The Absence of Air in the Tank

Older water heaters kept a cushion of air at the top of the tank to prevent water pressure spikes. However, allowing air into the tank allowed for corrosion to begin. Newer water heaters remove air entirely from the tank and instead use an expansion tank placed over the main one to absorb the water pressure increases.

The Sacrificial Anode Rod

The name sounds like some sort of magical device in a fantasy movie. And maybe sacrificial anode rods are a bit magical, because through simple action they can prevent corrosion and rust from rapidly ruining a water heater. This rod (also called the cathodic anode rod) runs the length of the center of the tank. It’s made from two different pieces of metal that attract the oxidization ions that cause corrosion. Basically, an anode rod corrodes so the rest of the system won’t, “sacrificing” itself.

Eventually an anode rod will corrode completely, and then the rest of the water heater is at risk. This is one of the reasons that routine professional water heater maintenance is essential. A technician will check on the condition of the sacrificial anode rod and see if it needs to be replaced. Although you can have the plumber show you how to check the anode rod yourself during the middle of the year, it requires a professional to put in a new one to ensure you have the correct type.

When Corrosion Does Happen …

An aging water heater (more than 15 years in service) may start to corrode, no matter its defenses. It might not be from water but from the combustion gases from the burner. Whatever is the cause for corrosion to start to affect the system, it usually means it’s time to replace the water heater. Repairs can’t do much to reverse the development of corrosion.

You don’t need to look far for a plumber in Lake Mary, FL who can take care of any problems you experience with your water heater. Our plumbers work with many types of water heaters, so if corrosion indicates it’s time to have the unit replaced, we can recommend excellent upgrades such as a tankless water heater or heat pump water heater.

Proudly serving Central Florida since 1975: Modern Plumbing – 4Plumbers, Inc.

How a Water Softener Can Save Your Water Heater

Posted in DIY Plumbing on 31st January 2018

Orlando-Water -eaterHard water is bad news for a home in many ways. Here are a few:

  • It makes it tough to work up soap lather, turning simple cleaning and showering into hassles.
  • It leaves buildup on the inside of pipes that lowers water pressure and leads to clogs.
  • It stains laundry and dishes and leads to faded clothing.

But worst of all the problems with hard water is what it does to water-using appliances. The water heater is the most vulnerable. Hard water and a water heater are a bad mixture—and it usually ends tragically for the water heater.

We recommend you call a plumber in Apopka, FL if you have hard water in your home. A plumber can install the best solution—a whole-house water softener. This fixes all the problems we mentioned above, and it may save your water heater from an early replacement.

Why Hard Water Water Is Dismal for a Water Heater

Hard water is water that contains a high mineral count of magnesium, gypsum, and/or calcium. These minerals aren’t harmful to consume. In fact, they’re in most of the food you eat daily. But in high concentrations in water, they leave behind limescale. This is where the trouble with a water heater starts.

The temperature inside a water heater tank allows for the formation of limescale from hard water. The limescale settles along the tank floor. This sediment layer lowers the energy efficiency of a gas water heater, since this is the place where heat from the burners is transferred into the tank. An insulating layer of sediment makes this more difficult, forcing the water heater to run longer and drain more power. Flushing the tank fixes this, but it’s only a stopgap measure. The buildup will start again unless the hard water problem is stopped at the source.

Gas and Electric Water Heaters Suffer

Electric water heaters don’t fare any better. The limescale builds up on the heating elements, causing a similar drop in energy efficiency. Electric water heaters already cost more to run than gas models, and hard water can make them even costlier.

Hard water troubles don’t end with declining efficiency. Limescale buildup along the walls of a water heater’s tank prevents heat from naturally escaping to the outside. This sounds like something you’d want—but a water heater is balanced to account for standing heat loss. If more heat is trapped, the water in the tank overheats and damages the system. The tank can be de-scaled, but just like flushing, this is temporary and the trouble will soon restart.

What about Tankless Water Heaters?

Even within tankless water heaters, the problems are similar: scale buildup along the heat exchanger slows down the movement of heat, and efficiency suffers. Worse, the minerals deposits can close off the narrow flow passages through the tankless system, causing water pressure in the house to plummet.

Installing a Water Softener

A water softener swaps hard water minerals for sodium. When a professional plumber installs a whole-house water softener onto the main coming into your plumbing, you’ll have your hard water troubles eliminated. Your water heater will thank you with energy-efficient performance and a long service life. Talk to our water treatment experts today to arrange for water testing to find out if you need a water softener.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. – Proudly Serving Central Florida Since 1975.