Should You Install a Water Heater Timer?

Every homeowner would want an energy efficient home, and the water heater is a good place to start. Why? Because the water heater contributes around 12% of the energy usage in an average home. So would installing a water heater timer help achieve this end?

The Benefits

Water heater timers are designed to help save money regardless of the circumstances. Greater savings would be possible for areas where the cost of utilities is determined using peak usage rates. Increasing the savings is more reasonable if you use proper insulation or move the water heater to a portion of your home that is heated.

The water heater timer will help to maximize the amount of hot water that is used against allowing the unit to operate continuously 24/7. For example, if the utility company charges more during evening, the timer can turn the water heater off during these peak energy usage hours to help in the reduction of the cost per kilowatt.

The Savings

Why use a water heater timer? Installation of one can help you save anywhere from $6 to %10 a month depending on the cost of the electricity in your area and the amount of reduction in your water consumption. This means that savings can vary distinctly per household.

Undoubtedly, reduction in the consumption is one of the best ways you can save on energy, water, and money. The timer will be responsible for the rationing of hot water and the consumption of water drops. The timer will help to save money, but, there are also other ways of saving money like keeping your water heater in peak condition. This can contribute another $5 to $10 savings per month.

However, if your home does not generate enough hot water for your usage, installing a timer may not be the right solution for you. If your state does not use peak pricing, then you will get the savings through the scheduling of the reduction of hot water consumption.

Types of Timers

The water heater can be controlled using different devices like and on/off switch for example. The type of timer that you choose depends whether it will be installed in a residential or industrial setting. What are the common types to consider?

  • Simple Switch – technically not considered as a timer, it is efficient and presents a manual way of reducing water heater energy costs. Using a simple switch requires a lot of planning because it will take time to heat the water.
  • Countdown Timers – manually activated like the switch, it automatically turns off after the set length of time. This is more efficient compared to the simple switch, but needs manual execution.
  • Programmable Timers – this is a good choice for households and is very efficient. It has different presets determined by the device installed. It controls the power sent to the water heater.
  • Box Timers – this is the most commonly used type of timer and is considered by many as the best choice in water heater timers. Digital and electronic timers provide the advantage of being able to set various usage periods based on the hour and day of a specific week or month. There are different brands available in the market. This type of timer comes highly recommended because of its ability to conform to the different situations in water usage of many homes.
  • Wi-Fi and Z-Wave Timers – part of the smart technology found in smart homes, it can turn the water heater on and off or set a specific timer function using your smartphone. As a connected timer, it is significantly more expensive compared to other timers but delivers complete control over your system regardless where you are.
  • Timers for Gas Water Heaters – even gas water heaters use some type of electricity to power itself. This type of timers allow control over gas-powered water heating systems.

Now that you have a better understanding of water heating systems, you know why use a water heater timer. Get a skilled plumber to install it for you.

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Four Tips in Maintaining Your Water Heater

It is very important that your water heater gets regular maintenance. With this, you are protecting one of the most important investments you made in your home. When your water heater system is working fine, it does not mean that maintenance is not anymore needed. Spending some time on these maintenance practices will help you avoid any serious problems in your water heater for many years.

User’s Manual

Before you start performing any maintenance, it would help a lot if you get familiar with your appliance first through reading the user’s manual. Oftentimes, your water heating system would come with a manual that would tell you everything about it including ways on its proper maintenance.

The maintenance of your heating system would often depend on various factors such as

  • Type of the unit
  • Age
  • Hardness of water

Generally, it is advisable that you check your water heating system at least twice a year. Below are some tips that you could follow. Be sure that you do all these without hesitations. If you are not confident enough, better get the service of the experts.

Relief Valve

For the safety of your heater, it is very important to check if the relief valve is working properly. You simply have to raise this part halfway and release. You will know if it is not working properly if it fails to return to its original position. You could also check if water is draining properly.

Draining

Draining your water heater is also important. For those who uses electric water heater, see to it that the system is shut off before draining to prevent damages in the appliance. It is best that you turn off its power source from the breaker.

It would also be a good idea to check the electrical connection usually found on top of the heater. Immediately call the experts to replace any loose or frayed wires you see.

If you use gas water heater at home, prior to draining, check first the air passage leading to the burner. Follow the instructions in your manual to shut off the gas. Access the pilot light and the burner area. Make sure that this part is free from any dirt or debris.

It is also necessary to ensure that the exhaust flue is free from any kind of problems. Always check that there is no flammable material near your unit.

Hot Water Tank

It is necessary that you flush out water heater tank often in order to remove sediments that settled at the bottom of the tank. Doing so is not that hard since this tank usually comes with a drain valve. Simply drain a bucket of water regularly to ensure that debris does not accumulate inside.

You could easily do these simple tips especially when you get used to it. However, if you think that it is too much job for you, let Rancho Santa Margarita Plumbing do the maintenance. You could be sure that your water heater system would work fine for a longer time with our maintenance service.

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Drain Cleaning for Eliminating Minor and Serious clogs

One of the most common problems that homeowners experience in their plumbing system is a clog. Since most of us are not careful with what goes down our drain, experiencing this kind of trouble is not anymore a surprise. As soon as you experience clog, drain cleaning is a must. There are cases where you could do it yourself but when the condition is serious, better leave it to the experts.

More Information about Clog

A clog problem could happen to any household. The best way to deal with clog is always to prevent it from happening. You could do this by not throwing anything in your sink that could cause major clogs in the days to come.

If you are not careful with what goes through the drain like food particles, grease, hair, soap and more, you are increasing the chance that a clog would occur in time. Since this is a family concern remind everyone regarding the importance of keeping the drain lines free from foreign objects.

You are starting to experience a clog problem when your sink does not smell good due to the fume that comes from the sink hole. The problem is even more serious when water level in your sink goes down pretty slow and also on your tub. Clogs are not only frustrating. It could also result to different form of damages.

Drain Cleaning Solutions

Your first option in dealing with clogs in drain is to use drain cleaning products easily purchased in the market. There are now a lot of popular products intended to get rid of clogs in the drain lines. When the clog you experience is minor, this will definitely do the trick.

Always keep in mind that when you try to use drain-cleaning products, go for one with a known brand. Also consider those which are eco-friendly. With this, you are not harming the environment in keeping your drain lines free from clogs.

It is also important that you have a plunger intended for the tub and the kitchen sinks. This tool is very handy especially when dealing with minor clogs near draining fixtures.

If using a plunger and drain cleaning products do not work, it’s time to get the help of the professionals. It is important to realize that the service of professional plumbers is not additional expense but rather could help you avoid major damages in your property due to the clog.

Also since you don’t have much knowledge about this plumbing issues, forcing yourself to dealing with the problem could complicate the situation. Professional plumbers are trained well and have enough experience in dealing with this kind of problem.

Trust the Professionals to Solve the Problem

If you are looking for professional plumbers for help, we at Rancho Santa Margarita Plumbing are always ready to offer our plumbing services. It would surely be our pleasure to help you make your drain lines clogs free and ensure that your plumbing system works perfectly.

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Tips on how to do Toilet Repair

Toilet problem is a big mess and could become expensive. When it comes to toilet repair, it would help you save money if you try to deal with it first on your own before you call the experts. You won’t lose anything if you try.

Of course, you have to really educate yourself first prior to attempting to do some repair. It is true that there are cases where the service of a professional plumber is needed. However, you don’t dismiss the fact that some issues in the toilet could be handled with simple repair.

Fix a Running Toilet

There are several solutions you could try for a running toilet. One of the reasons why this happens is due to a bent tank stopper and chain. You simply have to straighten this and immediately you could observe that the noise is significantly reduced.

Another cause of this problem is the floating ball. If there is some problem in the placement of this ball, you need to bend the arm on this ball until the problem is solved. It would also need replacement when you see that it is damaged.  This is the quickest and simplest solution to the problem.

Unclog a Toilet

Clogs are the most common problem in toilets. The best way to deal with it is through the help of a professional plumber. But, before you do so, try to deal with it first.

Your first option is to use a plunger. The pressure in its suction could easily deal with slight clog problems in toilet. It would help if you know the proper way of using a plunger. Ensure that there is enough water in the bowl when you do the plunging. The plumber cup should be fully submerged in the water.

On your plunger, you could also apply a petroleum jelly in the outside of the cup. It would help tighten its grip. It is advised to do about 20 repetition of plunger until the clog is eliminated.

You could also deal with a clog using a liquid compound. This could easily be bought in the market. Just be sure that you use a product that is environment friendly.

Toilet snakes are also popular when it comes to dealing with clogs. Most of the homeowners who love to do things on their own usually have this tool for plumbing issues such as clogs. When using your snake, just make sure that you do not scratch the bowl.

If the problem is still there, just call the experts. We at Rancho Santa Margarita Plumbing are always ready to help. Our service is available 24/7 so you could also us anytime you need our aid. Our experience in this kind of job makes up among your top choice for plumbing services.

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Effectively Dealing with Ceiling Leaks

The process of fixing ceiling leaks can be easily implemented once the specific source has been properly identified.

Finding the Origin

This can be the most difficult part of the entire process of fixing ceiling leaks.  Stains or signs of leaks on the ceiling do not automatically translate to a damaged roof or broken plumbing.  It is equally possible that the source of the leak may not be directly above the stained area.

Investigating the source means visually checking the roof and eliminating it as the source.  You also have to verify plumbing pipes and fixtures located on the upper floor to check if the leaks are coming from any of these.

Once the origin has been determined, it becomes easier to identify the cause.  The cause of ceiling leaks can be anything from a worn out toilet gasket to improperly insulated ductwork.  Knowing the cause makes it easier to institute the necessary repairs.

If you have air conditioning coils or water heaters that have been mounted in your attic, these can be potential causes and sources of ceiling leaks as well.

Leak Detection

Dripping water and wet spots are obvious signs of leaks.  The real challenge is spotting less obvious signs of ceiling leaks.

The presence of circular stains on your ceiling can be an indication of a leak.  This is particularly true if the circular stains are gradually expanding over time, which is a clear indication of damage from water leaks.

There are other possible signs that can be observed depending on the real source of the leak.  The important thing is to be constantly observant so you can spot even subtle signs and symptoms of leaks.

Repairing Leaks

The ease of repairing leaks will depend on how extensive the leak is.  Essentially, even the smallest leaks can develop into a huge plumbing problem if not addressed properly and immediately.

Not responding to leaks immediately can have costly consequences like:

  • Damaged attic insulation
  • Worn out paint
  • Damaged sheetrock
  • Stained ceilings
  • Damaged carpets

The repair process would also depend on the cause of the leak.  The interior damages from leaks should be immediately dealt with though.  This would minimize possible damage to your property.

Once the source of the leaks has been fixed, you have to take a look at the aesthetic damage caused by the leak.

Preventing Ceiling Leaks

The most effective way to prevent ceiling leaks from happening again in the near future is to have professional services come in to conduct regular maintenance checks of your plumbing system.  This is something we can do for you immediately. Call Rancho Santa Margarita Plumbing now!

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DIY Fireplace Repair Guide

It is always good to be prepared for what is necessary, but regular care and maintenance will go a long way in minimizing the service or repair on gas grills and fireplaces.

Why make it a DIY

Learning a few repairs and modifications can do wonders on updating and uplifting the look of your fireplace.  It is also a good way to have functional knowledge of keeping it well maintained to ensure that you are capable of quick fixes until professional help arrives.

Another great thing that should encourage you to do minor repairs and modifications is that there are no approvals or official permits to apply for.  You can double check with your local homeowner’s association just in case.

When loose debris or mortar, including cracked and broken stone or bricks begin to appear on your fireplace, you will have the skill to deal with them immediately.  These repair works can be as simple as handling blockages or cleaning chimneys to prevent dark smoke formations.

Majority of the problems associated with the fireplace crop up unexpectedly.  Learning to do a few minor repairs and modifications will restore the efficiency of your fireplace almost instantly.  The key is to identify between minor and major repairs.

Loose Stones and Bricks

With problems like loose stones and bricks, normally the first step that you should do is to clean all loose mortar and other debris in the area.  This is important before you try and apply a new mortar to replace the chipped one in your fireplace.

After completely clearing the area, it should be easier to check for the presence of cracked or broken bricks that must be replaced.  The presence of these constitutes a fire hazard that should never be tolerated or left unattended.

You will need a chisel and hammer to effectively pry out the loose stone and brick from the fireplace.  Use the mortar to replace the old ones to eliminate fire hazards and maintain the efficiency of your fireplace.

Using the Right Mortar

Normally, when professionals handle the repair, there will be no signs that bricks or stones have been replaced.  You can achieve the same result by ensuring that the new mortar color matches the old one you are replacing.

Check with your local hardware on the availability of the right shade of mortar.  Always remember to specify that you need a mortar that is heat resistant and handle extremely high temperatures like those in fireplaces or gas grillers.  Check its packaging to make sure you are getting the right one.

We can make it simpler for you by allowing us to handle the service or repair on gas grills and fireplaces in your home. Call Rancho Santa Margarita Plumbing today!

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Importance of Foolproof Installation and Repair

There will definitely be fewer headaches associated with the installation and repair of toilets, sinks, and faucets in majority of households if the job is handled by qualified professional plumbers.

Importance of Proper Installation

We have seen many homeowners take on installation of common plumbing fixtures like toilets, sinks, and faucets.  Unfortunately, without the equipment, skills, and experience of highly trained professional plumbers, these installations tend to fail and cause leaks.  According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an average of 10,000 gallons of water is wasted by an ordinary household every year because of leaks.

All of this wasted water will come up in your monthly water bills.  The interesting thing about this is that without these leaks, homeowners can save as much as 10% of their current water bills.  This justifies the need for professional installation of plumbing fixtures.

Toilet Repairs

One of the most common culprits when it comes to toilet repairs is a worn out rubber flapper.  When this component gives out, the perfect seal is not achieved allowing water to trickle into the toilet bowl unnecessarily.  Changing your worn out flapper can be done quickly and relatively affordable.  In fact, you can get one from The Home Depot online store for only $0.97.

Of course, this is not the only possible cause of repairs.  Washers, seals, and flush handles are also something to check and test.  We have seen many instances where multiple components of toilets fail simultaneously.

Sink and Faucet Repairs

Like toilets, leaks seem to be the number one cause of repair for sinks and faucets.  Actually, sink and faucet repairs should go hand-in-hand.  After all, every sink normally has a faucet installed with it; so why not maximize your time and get two birds with one stone.

The source of leaks for sinks may be different from that of faucets though.  Obviously, the sink has no washers or cartridges, but it does have other water appliances attached to it like garbage disposal units and dishwashers for example.  These can contribute to leaks in your sink.  So you need to look inside the sink cabinet to identify the area where the leak is happening.  This should give you an idea of the cause.

For faucets, normally, washers and O-rings are the most common causes of leaks depending on the type.  Replacing these worn out components will eliminate the source of leaks.  You must make sure though that before you put in the new one, the water supply to the faucet should be turned off.

Professional Preventive Maintenance

To make the installation and repair truly foolproof, you need to schedule regular preventive maintenance work.  We at Rancho Santa Margarita Plumbing normally do this at least once a year depending on the usage of the household.  This will ensure that the installation and repair of toilets, sinks, and faucets will remain leak-free.

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Savings from Early Leak Detection

For residential and commercial property owners plumbing leaks can be one of the worst problems that they can ever encounter.  This is because majority of leaks are quite difficult to detect until they have become worse.  Yes, this means that the water stain on your floors or walls may have come from just a pinhole that is now most probably a huge crack on your pipe already.  The main problem with water leaks is that they are often not detected early enough to abate possible damages.

Saving Your Health

Very few people understand that by having the ability to detect water leaks early, they can actually help save themselves from potential health hazards.  The moisture that leaks create serves as a breeding ground for mold growth that can be extremely harmful.  Can you imagine your homes or offices hosting over a thousand different species of mold?  Even the smallest spot on your wall is already a health risk that can be very costly in terms of medical bills.

The sad truth is that if you have a standard homeowners’ insurance coverage, the policy would normally limit any claims against mold damage or even excludes its coverage outright.  If you are going to include the coverage in your policy, it will cost you substantially in terms of premiums.  More importantly, it may be equally challenging to get medical insurance claims for sickness due to mold growth.  This is why it is important to invest in leak detection services.

Saving Your Property

It is safe to assume that in your lifetime, your home or commercial building may be the most expensive piece of investment that you will ever make.  So it does not make much sense why some residential and commercial property owners would think twice about spending a couple of hundreds of dollars in leak detection services to protect their hundred thousand dollar investments.  The answer mostly is that they do not have a clue of the impending damage.

Leaks that can seem harmless like that of a dripping faucet can suddenly grow in tremendous proportions that can result in busted pipes, skyrocketing water bills, and even damage to your walls and flooring.  You already know of the possibility of mold growth, so now, you need to be aware that these seemingly harmless leaks can result in actual damage to your walls, floors, ceilings, and other parts of your property, not just your plumbing system.  When you bunch all of these together, you are looking at one major headache and very costly repair work ahead.

The Irony of Savings

For residential and commercial property owners the irony of the whole thing is that they did not want to invest in professional leak detection services because they wanted to save some money.  In the end, they are spending more than what they should be.  The reality is that when it comes to leak detection, you need local plumbing professionals to step in.  For example, if you are in Rancho Santa Margarita, look for plumbing companies that specialize in leak detection and schedule periodic maintenance checks.

You can be sure that the upfront cost that you are paying for the early leak detection services will bring you more savings in the long run.  How much would it cost to get medical treatment for allergies or difficulty in breathing if your insurance will not cover it?  How much do you have to shell out for repairs of your plumbing system due to leaks?  Will the cost of replacing your walls, floors, and ceilings damaged by water leaks be cheaper than the professional leak detection services?

Call us at Rancho Santa Margarita Plumbing today and help us save you some money with our leak detection services!

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