Posts from the ‘Hot Water Heater’ Category

Are you ready for a cold shower?

This summer we have had several days of 90+ temperatures. A cold shower might feel great and very refreshing, particularly after an active day of sports or outdoor work. Even a short walk from the car with a bag of groceries to the house can cause our bodies to heat-up and the thought of a cold shower sounds wonderful! But what if it’s not 90+ degrees outside and you haven’t been outside working or playing? The idea of a cold shower usually is not on your list of things to do!

Here are 4 signs you may be in for an unexpected cold shower tomorrow morning!

  1. After using hot water for a shower, bath or for the laundry, your water heater makes crackling sounds as it’s heating up the water. This is a symptom of mineral build up in the tank. The build-up causes the water to boil near the burner and create the noise. When this occurs, you are using more energy to heat the water and causing extra stress on the hot water tank. The life of the tank is severely shortened. The tank will quickly develop a leak and you are taking cold showers!
  2. When you are near the tank you see a small puddle of water directly under the tank of near theHome Service Corp. Water Heater Replcement tank. This is an indication that the tank has already developed an internal leak in most cases. When this happens there is no repair available and the tank must be replaced or you’ll be taking cold showers! The other problem is you could have a major leak and cause damage in the area of the water heater!
  3. When you look at your gas hot water tank, you see discoloration near the burner access door
    Home Service Corp. Plumbing Service

    Area of possible discoloration.

    area. This is an indication that the burner is not functioning properly. There are a number of reasons for this but it usually means parts of the tank or flue baffle have deteriorated and have disrupted the flames on the burner. This can be a dangerous situation as carbon monoxide may be present because of improper combustion. It also means it’s time to replace the tank, or you’ll be taking cold showers!

  4. Another clue that you should look to replace your hot water tank before you’re taking cold showers is the age of the tank. Many tanks will have a sticker on them clearly showing the Home Service Corp. Plumbing Repairmanufacture date of the tank. The manufacture’s serial number can also help to determine the age of the tank. With that information and the brand you may be able to check the age on the internet. Most tanks installed have a 5 year warranty against leaks but will last a few years beyond the warranty. If the tank is 8-10 years old, you can expect to be without hot water and taking a cold shower some morning in the near future!

 

To avoid that unexpected cold shower, call today for an evaluation of your tank and information about the options for new high efficient hot water tanks!

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  Get an ebook with 99+ energy saving tips here.

Check out our website for more information and money saving coupons or contact us today if you have questions.

It’s a good time of year to have our trained experienced air conditioning Technicians solve your cooling problems whether you live on Grosse Ilse, in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Melvindale, Wyandotte, or Lincoln Park.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Is Your Home Safe from this Killer?

HSC serving Downriver Detroit areaWhat is the Threat?

Sadly, each year thousands of people die from Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. This silent gas causes asphyxiation with prolonged exposure. Because it is so easy to misdiagnose, only lately has CO poisoning become recognized as the second greatest household danger next to fire.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is a toxic, odor­less, tasteless, and colorless gas. Its threat is present in virtually every household. Mild exposure to CO gas can cause headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea; while extreme exposure causes brain damage or even death.

How does it enter my home?

Due to damage, poor maintenance, or defects, many appliances such as furnaces, water heaters, gas stoves or fireplaces may silently emit CO. Carbon Monoxide is produced when fuel burns without sufficient oxygen (incomplete combustion). This type of malfunction can happen to any fuel burning appliance at any time.

What can I do?HSC serving Wyandotte, Grosse Isle, Lincoln Park, MI

One way to avert possible danger is to have any fuel burning applian­ces cleaned and inspected each year by a qualified technician. Another helpful practice is to clean your fire­place vents and chimney regularly.

Even with these preventative measures, however; advanced warning of CO poisoning is only possible if you install and maintain a CO detection device. And please, install more than one CO detector, replacing the batteries annually! The most effective devices work much like a fire alarm, signaling by sound if CO levels are dangerous. Home Service Corp. can inspect your furnace, boiler and water heater, install a detector and answer your questions about CO.

 

Get an ebook with 99+ energy saving tips here.

Contact us today if you have questions.

It’s a good time of year to have our trained experienced air conditioning Technicians solve your cooling problems whether you live on Grosse Ilse, in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Melvindale, Wyandotte, or Lincoln Park.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Will You be in Hot Water in 2015?

You may be in 2015 since the Department of Energy’s new water heater efficiency rules go into effect on April 16th, 2015. Most customers in this area have a gas fired hot water heater. A few have an electric hot water heater where natural gas is not available in their home. Both types will be affected. Check out our 99+ energy saving tips here.

A Side Note for Customer’s who had basements flooded

All manufactures strongly recommend you replace any water heater, furnace or boiler that has sustained flood water to any of the controls or moving parts. If the water level do not reach controls but did enter some part of the unit, there may be issues with mold. An immediate inspection by a qualified technician should be done.

New Gas Hot Water Heater Standards for 2015

Home Service Corp. Hot Water HeaterLet’s first take a look at the new standards for gas hot water heaters since it will have the biggest effect on a home in the Metro Detroit area. These rules also apply to propane fired hot water heaters for those who do not have a natural gas option. The old rule stated that a gas-fired hot water heater between 20 gallons and 100 gallons of storage capacity must have an energy factor of .67. All residential heaters and residential units used in commercial applications have been meeting this standard for a number of years. The new rules breakdown those heaters into two classifications. The first classification is 20 to 55 gallon storage capacity and the other is over 55 to 100 gallon storage capacity. The 20 to 55 category efficiency has increased slightly from .67 to .675. This will have little if any effect on the average home with a 40 or 50 gallon hot water heater. On large homes, homeowners who have a whirlpool tub with a large capacity, or small commercial applications there is a major change in the energy factor. It moves from .67 to .8012. This will require a much more expensive tank with the need for an electrical circuit and a condensate drain. Standard residential tanks of 65 gallons to 100 gallons will no longer be available. Residential heaters used for commercial applications will be far more expensive and there may be issues with venting since a conventional flue pipe system will not work with the new tanks.

New Tankless Gas Water Heater Standards for 2015

You may be thinking I’ll just install one of those tankless water heaters and then I won’t have a problem. Well, there are changes with tankless water heaters also. The rules require all new tankless water heaters to have an energy factor of .82 which was raised from .62. These will also be more expensive for the unit and for installation. Dozens of energy saving tips here.

New Electric Hot Water Heater Standards for 2015

Now let’s check out the electric water heater changes. Once again the old standard for residential tank type water heaters was an energy factor of .97 for any residential electric tank with a storage capacity Home Service Corp. Electric Hot Water Heaterfrom 20 gallons to 120 gallons. The new standard breaks down the storage sizes to 20 to 55 gallons and over 55 to 120 gallons. The energy factor for the 20 to 55 gallon tanks actually drops from .97 to .96 energy factor. Really nothing will change for these sizes. But for tanks greater than 55 gallons of storage capacity the energy factor increased to 2.057. This will require a heat pump type of water heater or perhaps a solar powered water heater to meet these requirements. These are far more expensive than a standard tank type of electric water heater. The heat pump heaters may also create a noise issue since they have a compressor and fans in them.

Suggestions for Consumers

If your hot water heater is more than 8 years old, you should look into replacing it before the new standard takes effect April 16th, 2015. Don’t wait too long because the supply of today’s standard tanks may be scarce as we approach the deadline for the changeover. You can also expect the price of those tanks without significant changes to go up to help manufacturers spread the cost of design, engineering, testing, and production of the higher efficient tanks. Get an ebook with 99+ energy saving tips here.

Contact us today if you have questions.

It’s a good time of year to have our trained experienced air conditioning Technicians solve your cooling problems whether you live on Grosse Ilse, in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Melvindale, Wyandotte, or Lincoln Park.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Pros & Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

There has been a lot of hype in the last few years about replacing

Home Service Corp. Service

Which Saves you Money?

a home’s tank type water heater with a tankless style heater. For many homes and homeowners it is a great alternative. They are compact and they can provide continuous hot water for those using a lot of water. There is little energy loss from a tank filled with hot water. Many are very energy efficient during operation. Perhaps the reason many get them is it’s the newest and greatest (at least by the advertising hype).

Let’s take a look at things to consider when you need to replace your existing tank or decide to replace your existing tank.

Installation Cost

Most tankless heaters require a natural gas line to them as does your tank type heater. The difference is the tankless requires a supply of gas about 6 times that of your tank type of heater in order to provide a continuous supply of hot water. That does not mean it uses 6 times as much gas it just uses it over a shorted time. This being the case, often the piping from the gas meter to the tankless heater must be increased in size which requires much more in materials and labor.

The high efficiency tankless heaters vent the flue gases out through plastic piping not through the chimney. In some cases, especially condominiums, there is not a practical way to do this. If it can be done once again additional labor and materials are required.

Older tank type heaters do not require an electrical power supply. The tankless type heater will require an electrical power supply which may add cost.

Installed cost will typically be 3-5 times the cost of a tank type water heater. It could easily take 20+ years to overcome the installation costs and receive a payback.

Instantaneous Hot Water

Home Service Corp. Plumbing

Tankless Installation

The burners of a tankless water heater come on in seconds of the call for hot water. There is hot water leaving the tank but that does not mean instant hot water at the faucet. If the faucet is a distance away from the tankless heater, you will still have a wait for hot water. This can be overcome with a tankless or tank type water heater by installing a recirculation system. This is an additional expense to either water heating system.

If you turn on a faucet at a very low hot water flow, a tankless heater may not sense it and cause the unit to fire providing hot water as needed.

Maintenance

Tank type water heaters require very little maintenance over a life of 6- 12 years. Ever those with power vent units are quite simple. A tankless heater has some sophisticated controls and systems inside of the unit which could be very costly to repair.

Another issue can come into play with the heat exchanger of a tankless heater. The passages for the water to flow through can be narrow. Mineral build up in these passages can cause them to malfunction and require extensive service. This is especially true in areas with hard water conditions or other mineral content in the water supply.

Uniqueness

Each home and family is unique. Their needs are unique. We install a variety of hot water heating systems to meet these unique needs. We can help you decide which system will best meet your family’s needs.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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An unwanted surprise coming?

Resolution Time

Ouch! It’s Too Hot!

Home Service Corp Water HeatersThere is no easy answer to the how hot your water should be. It depends. It depends on the makeup of the family, the usage of the family, and safety for the family.

When I say safety, this is a two way street. If you look at the chart below, you can see it does not take a high temperature to cause burns especially for the elderly and the young. On the other hand water that is too cool can cause Legionnaire’s disease to form in the water. When a person is exposed to the vapor or water droplets the disease can form in their lungs as pneumonia. Each of these consequences are dire for a family. So what is the best option for the average family?

Let’s look at what the maximum temperature at a faucet where a child, an elderly individual or an adult may be scalded. These would be shower, bathtub, and combination bathtub/shower faucets. Very few faucets with separate hot and cold handles can be set for a maximum temperature so the solution for these would be to replace the faucet with a single handle faucet with a temperature limit built into it. The temperature limit must be set for each home since the incoming water temperature to the faucet can vary. The maximum temperature should be set below 120° F, preferably at 115° F. The faucet should also have at least a pressure balance feature. This feature reduces the flow of hot water when it senses a reduction of flow from the cold water supply. This could be caused by a toilet flush, a faucet turned on to cold, or a sprinkler operating.

Sinks do not require a maximum temperature on residential applications since higher temperatures may be desired and the thought is that a person could quickly remove their hands from the flow of water if it was extremely hot. In commercial application the code requires a maximum temperature of 120° F at sinks to protect handicap individuals. If you have a concern or a need to control the hot water temperature at a sink, there are controls which can be installed at individual sinks.

If you keep your water heater at 130° F or lower you are increasing the chances of Legionnaire’s Disease developing within the tank or piping. A water heater set at 120° F can have water inside of it as low as 100° F. The Department of Energy recommends 120° F set point but OSHA recommends 140° F to minimize the formation of the Legionnaire’s Disease bacteria.

Table of Hot Water Scalding Temperatures & Times

Water Temperature Setting

Exposure Time

Effects of Exposure to Hot water at These Temperatures

Water at 100°   F or below See safety   note. Most   water heaters are unlikely to scald an adult occupant;
Water at 120°   F 5 minutes 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 130°   F 30 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 140°   F 5 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 150°   F 1 1/2 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 160°   F 1/2 second 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Safety Note:   Hot Water Scald Burn Warning for Infants, Children, Elderly: great care must be taken when   exposing infants or children to warm or hot water as they can be badly burned   quickly and at shorter exposure times.
Source: A.O. Smith

Our recommendation is to set you tank at a temperature no higher than 140° F also be sure your shower and bathtub faucets are set at 115° F as the maximum temperature. This will provide reasonable protection from scalding and Legionnaire’s Disease. As stated above, if you still have concerns about sink faucet temperatures, a control can be added to the sinks in your home.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.comHome Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

Financial Cliff Bonus?

HSC Services YouAs we avoided the “financial cliff” most people did not realize there was a lot more to the bills passed by Congress and signed by the President. There were political favors to certain States and industries which most of us were not aware of. But there was also some tax credits put in which are retroactive to 2012 so you will be able use them when you file your taxes for 2012. And, they are also in effect for 2013. So you ask, what are the strings attached. Here they are:

  • If you purchased a high efficiency furnace in 2012 or purchase one in 2013 up to a $200.00 tax credit.
  • If you purchased a high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump in 2012 or purchase one in 2013 up to a $300.00 tax credit.
  • If you purchased a high efficiency boiler in 2012 or purchase one in 2013 up to a $150.00 tax credit.
  • If you purchased a high efficiency Hot water heater in 2012 or purchase one in 2013 up a $300 tax credit.
  • You can get a credit up to a total of $500.00 limit going back to 2005.*

There may also be utility rebates in your area. DTE and Consumers Energy both have programs available with some strings:

  • If you purchased a high efficiency furnace up to a $510.00 rebates.
  • If you purchased a high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump up to a $260.00 rebate.
  • If you purchased a high efficiency boiler up to $1,110.00 rebate. **

Our furnace and air conditioning manufacturers have rebates for certain high efficiency equipment. These can add up to additional saving of hundreds of dollars.

With the low interest rates today you can finance your new energy saving equipment and save from years past when interest rates were much higher.

Also save during January, February, and March as it is our slower time of year and we are cutting our prices to the bone!HSC Saves You Dollars

Call today to start saving on the installation and on your utility bills year after year.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

*Check with your accountant to assure you qualify.

**Check with us to see if you qualify.

OH-Oh! No Hot Water!

Water HeaterWe often receive calls from homeowners with gas hot water heaters who are without hot water. Like many appliances, your water heater will need occasional servicing to maintain peak performance. Sufficient air flow is crucial to the proper operation of your water heater. If the water heater is in a small tight area, a source air for combustion is needed. If the area around the water heater is large and a source for combustion air is available from the space, there may be other causes. The signs of restricted air for combustion are yellow flames, pilot outage, soot, unstable flame, or no hot water. Before starting any service or repair, consult the sections of your owner’s manual dealing with condensation, air requirements, gas supply, venting, and cleaning the air intake screen. Also, make sure that your heater is properly sized for your home. An undersized heater may result in condensation which can drip onto the flame causing a pilot outage.  Your water heater is built to the current industry safety standard and meets all FVIR (flammable vapor ignition resistant) requirements. This assures that any flammable vapors drawn into the combustion chamber and ignited cannot ignite remaining flammable vapors on the exterior of the heater causing a fire or explosion. This design includes a flame arrestor and one or two air intake screen(s). These screen(s) prevent larger particles of dust or lint from entering the heater, thus restricting air flow and causing improper combustion.  The owner’s manual asks you to visually check and clean the screen(s) as necessary.  Smaller particles may pass through these screens and lodge in the flame arrestor.Hot Water Burner Assembly

A second cause of many of these calls is a direct result of the hot water tank corroding and a leak developing in the tank. The appearance of water on the floor around the hot water heater is a visual symptom of a leak. It’s just time for a replacement.

Tankless heaters also require periodic maintenance. This includes deliming of the internal heat exchanger. This will be a more significant issue if you have a water supply with a high mineral content.

If you have an electric hot water heater, the answer could be a burned out heating element. There would not be water on the floor around the tank if an element has burned out.  There may also be a circuit breaker tripped or malfunctioning.

We are so used to just turning on the faucet and having hot water, that it’s a real surprise when the water flow is only cold. Most of these Issues require training and expertise to properly repair so be sure to call a professional. Our Technicians are factory trained to service all types of hot water heaters.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.