Posts tagged ‘Hot Water’

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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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

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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

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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

Pro or What-to-be?

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A toolbox full of tools does not make a Professional

With the slower economy over the past several years, many jobs have been eliminated with the unemployed or under employed looking for additional sources of income. Additionally teachers, firemen, and policemen have had schedules that allow them to have a second career. Some believe that they have the skills of a professional and decide they can be as effective as a professional in a repair or installation project. To be perfectly frank, they often can do many of the simpler tasks a professional Plumber, Air Conditioning/Heating Technician, or Electrician can do. But then again, we have followed behind many “simple” tasks that have been totally messed up by a handyman.

I am always amazed how a parent will look out for the safety of their children in many ways but look to save a buck and jeopardize the safety of their family in other ways. Most parents wouldn’t think of buying a black-market car seat for their small child. They wouldn’t consider a cheap bike helmet for their son or daughter. They wouldn’t buy milk or fruit that was not pasteurized or free of pesticides. They don’t shop for the cheapest tutor or coach. Yet when they have someone make a repair to a faucet that could scald a child, a heating system that uses natural gas as the fuel, or a circuit that needs to be properly grounded, they will have someone with little or no experience do the work just to save a dollar.

So what makes the difference between a handyman and a professional?

·        The definition of a professional from Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill”.

·        The definition of a Handyman from Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “a person (especially a man) who is skillful at doing small jobs (such as household repairs)”.

That’s quite a difference. Each of these trades requires hours of classroom training, years of working with a master, testing and ongoing training. The time frame to become a master in these trades is at least 5 years of work and study. Many have associates degrees or full bachelor degrees in business and construction. Their experiences of working in hundreds of homes similar to yours help them quickly and effectively diagnose the problem and often offer a variety of solutions. They back their work and will solve the issue to your satisfaction.Home Service Corp.

As Glenn Haege, The Master Handyman, often says, ”The best tool in your tool box is often your checkbook, call the professional.”

We have professionals ready to meet your needs Call us today to be assured of a successful outcome.

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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What’s Behind the Washing Machine?

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.

Lead in Your Water?

Beginning in 2014, all piping, valves, fittings, and faucets used in drinking water systems must be lead-free that are used for water consumed by humans in the United States. What are the issues and what has already been done to protect the public? First, let’s look at the history of lead and drinking water.

History of Lead and Drinking Water

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Old Lead Water Pipe

The definition of a plumber is a person who works with water pipes, once made from lead, or with lead solder for the joints. The Romans used lead pipes, and the word plumber comes from the Latin word for lead, plumbum. There is no Latin, or even Indo-European, etymology for plumbum but it bears a distant similarity to the Greek word for lead. Some historians believe the decline of the Roman Empire was as least partially caused by the abundant use of lead in piping, eating utensils, pots, pans and other uses. This is still an ongoing controversy. Lead piping was used for 2,000 plus years for drinking water distribution. Lead was used for solder to connect copper piping when copper replaced lead in pipe material primarily due to cost.

The Issue

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.”

What has already been done?

Prior to the 1960’s lead was often used for the water line from the city main into the home. In 1986 lead based solder for joining copper piping was banned. In 1988 all piping and fixtures were required to be lead free which required them to contain less that 8% lead content. So we have already had a significant reduction in the use of lead in our water supply system within a home. At present lead is either present in the systems of older homes or in the valves and faucets used in homes. Those valves and faucets are made of brass which is an excellent material for this use when lead in the amount of 2% is added to the copper and zinc to improve the machinability. This is the area that lead is required to be removed from the drinking water distribution system.

What is being done?

Manufactures of valves and fittings and faucets are approaching this challenge in several ways. Some are lining the water way through the valve, fitting or faucet with epoxies, plastics, stainless steel and other materials which are completely lead free. Some are building their products out of other materials such as plastic or stainless steel. Others are changing the components of the brass they are using to eliminate the lead content.

How can I reduce lead in drinking water at home?

If you have a lead water service in your home, replacement would be the very best option to reduce the chances of lead leeching into your drinking water supply. You will have valves, fittings and faucets in your home which will contain very small amounts of lead. Having your water tested would be a reasonable option.

If these are not options because of cost or other obstacles then flush your pipes before drinking, and only use cold water for consumption. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, “flush” your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get. This could take as little as five to thirty seconds if there has been recent heavy water use such as showering or toilet flushing. Otherwise, it could take two minutes or longer. Your water utility will inform you if longer flushing times are needed to respond to local conditions. As lead piping ages there is often a coating of calcium carbonate which provides significant protection from lead leeching into the water.

Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. The two actions recommended above are very important to the health of your family. They will probably be effective in reducing lead levels because most of the lead in household water usually comes from the plumbing in your house, not from the local water supply.

In lieu of replacing the hazardous parts of a plumbing system, there are several methods of treating water to make it less corrosive, or to remove lead from water. Water filtration may be a help to treat water to make it less corrosive, including:

  • Calcite filters
  • Carbon cartridge filters
  • Ion exchange resin cartridge filters
  • Activated alumina cartridge filters

Lead removal devices are typically applied individually to faucets and are not 100% effective, but can usually remove at least 85% of lead from a water system. They may employ such methods as:

  • Reverse osmosis
  • Distillation
  • Carbon filters

These procedures may not be appropriate for your plumbing system; you should consult us to make sure these measures are sufficient to reduce the lead content to acceptable levels before implementing them.

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

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

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.