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hot water tanks

Hot shower

Water Heater Costs Goes Up With NAECA

By hot water, hot water tanks

A hot bath or shower may be one of the best ways to feel better except when the water turns cold midway through.

hot bathIt’s then you know there’s a problem – and it may be stemming from an older hot water tank.

Most water heater tanks last about 5 to 10 years. If your hot water heater dates back to 2009 or earlier, you may be in the market for a new water heater, and there are some updates you’ll need to know.

After March 16, 2015, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act went into effect, requiring higher energy efficiencies for almost all residential tank-type gas, electric, oil and tankless gas water heaters manufactured in the U.S.

Every hot water tank is labeled with an efficiency rating, called an energy factor (EF). The higher the EF, the more efficient the tank will be. The rating measures efficiency in two ways: when it converts the power source – gas, propane or electricity – into hot water and how well it reduces the amount of energy lost. The higher the EF, the less your tank will cost you to operate every month.

For example, the new electric-powered hot water tank requirements are 95 EF, a 3 EF improvement over the previous, pre-2015 92 EF standards. While both 92 EF and 95 EF water heaters may use the same amount of fuel to heat the water in the tank, a 95 EF water heater will minimize the amount of energy wasted on the heating. A 95 EF-rated unit means 95% of your fuel dollars are being used to heat the water. The other benefit is that your water heats faster and stays hotter over time. Together, the higher efficiency water heaters are less expensive to operate, helping you keep more money in your pocket – about 10 to 20% annually.

Initial costs for a new water heater with the higher efficiency standards are greater depending on the size tank you choose – but there are some other considerations, too. When you upgrade, the new tanks are larger in height and width (circumference), which may require a custom installation. This is due to the additional insulation. Talk to your City Wide Water Heater experts – they can advise you on your options, provide you with an accurate estimate and show you how you can save on energy costs with a new, energy-efficient water heater.

In the meantime, protect the water heater you have. You can do that by following some easy maintenance tips:

  • Drain the tank twice a year. Write date on tank with a sharpie.
  • Keep your tank temperature at or below 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Use the “vacation” setting when you’ll be out of town for a longer period of time on gas water heaters.
  • Check the area around your tank regularly – when you see water leaking or a rust build-up, it may be time for a water heater checkup.
  • Have a drip pan installed under the water heater.
  • Check water pressure, if too much it can be a problem.


Choosing the Right Hot Water Tank

By hot water tanks No Comments

Hot Water When You Want It!

Most of us are very used to turning on the hot water faucet and having hot water come out.

It’s usually so reliable that we hardly think about it…until the water isn’t hot. And then suddenly, you’re in the market for a new hot water tank.

It’s been a few years since you’ve been in the market, so here are some of the choices you’ll have to make when deciding on your next hot water tank:

We say “tank” because that’s the most common choice out there, but there are tankless water heaters, too.

Pro: Tank or storage water heaters are the least expensive to buy and last between 10 – 15 years.

Con: Tank or storage water heaters can lose heat. Look for an insulated one.

Size: Tanks come in sizes ranging from 20 – 80 gallons. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but a good way to figure out what size you need is by estimating how much water your household uses during a peak time. Allow 12 gallons per person, but other items may be running, too, such as a dishwasher or clothes washer. Try this online calculator to more accurately gauge your use.

What kind of energy do you want to use to heat it?

The most common choices are electric or natural gas. Typically, natural gas will be less expensive to operate than electric, but it depends on your local utility costs. Talk to your local utility provider to learn more about which choice might be best in your area.

Green is growing in popularity, so be sure to check which options are viable for your area. In the southwest, solar heaters a great option because of the high number of sunny days and shorter winters. Although the cost of purchasing a solar-based heating unit can be pricy, the operating costs are low. Geothermal is another option, using energy from the earth, but like solar-powered tanks, the heating unit can be costly, while operating costs remain low. Propane water heater tanks are the longest lasting (up to 20 years) because they’re built with longer lasting heating elements. Whichever energy source you choose, be sure to check the energy factor or EF listing on its yellow energy use label. The higher the number, the more efficient the tank is.

Where will the tank sit?

Any tank you buy will have to fit in the space you have for it. Make sure if you’re going with a larger capacity tank that you have the physical space to accommodate it. Every water tank needs room around it for ventilation and future servicing.

If you decide that you don’t want a hot water tank, tankless options are out there. Take a look at some of the pros and cons for a tankless system here.

Overall, a new hot water system will be with your household for many years, and you’ll want to know which one will be right for you.

Call City Wide Plumbing 480-966-8795 and we’ll help you today.

Go With “Low Flow” for Savings

By aerators, fixtures, hot water tanks, Phoenix Plumbing No Comments

Water in Scottsdale is precious, so saving water also means saving on your water bill. Here are some ways that you can save:

Save water with air.

Using aerator attachments on your faucets and showerheads can help you save water and money. Aerators add air into the water flow. More air in the water flow allows you to use less water without noticing a drop in water pressure.  Aerators can range in price from $7 to $12 online. They can pay for themselves within the first month, depending on your water use. Attach each one to your existing fixtures. Most brands install in seconds without needing special tools.low-flow-aeration

When it’s time for a new faucet or showerhead, many newer fixtures feature built-in aerators. A special “low flow” label on the packaging will tell you which ones are designed to help you save.

Always keep fixtures clean and accessible. That way, if there’s a leak, you’ll be able to spot it immediately. Small leaks can turn into big ones quicker than you may think. If your leak needs more than new washers on the faucet handles, call a plumber at City Wide 480-966-8795.

Save water with every flush. Low-flow toilets use less water. It’s not just about a smaller tank size. Newer technology around the tank includes a variable water pressure mechanism. It clears the bowl in one flush. And one flush will do it. Gone are the days when you needed more than one. After all, two or three times defeated the water-saving purpose!

Hot water tanks can be a big drain.

Install a tankless water heater near your biggest hot water need. For a lot of families, it’s the bathroom that benefits the most. A tankless system supplies hot water on-demand. Turn the water on and you’ve got hot water instantly. You’ll save by not having to run the water and then wait for it to get hot. It’s at the ready when you are. You can also downsize on your next hot water tank, helping you save energy, too.

Talk to the experts at City Wide.

They can help you find more ways to save on your water bill, and deliver same-day service. Estimates are free and there’s never a travel charge.


Call 480-966-8795

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