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How do you know when it’s time for a new water heater?

How do you know when it’s time for a new water heater?

Your water heater and furnace are big investments that should work well for many years. But it’s important to remember that they don’t last forever. When a water heater fails, it costs homeowners an average of $4,444 to repair the damage — on top of the cost to replace the unit. That’s why smart homeowners replace their water heater when it starts showing signs that it will go out soon. Here are the most common signs that it’s time to replace your water heater: Your unit is more than 10 years old The hot water (but not cold water) runs brown or has a metallic taste/smell Water leaking from the water heater Rumbling, popping, or knocking sounds Kramer & Company Mechanical recently replaced the furnace and water heater for a customer in Rogers, AR. This customer had an old Lennox Brand high-efficiency HM30/AM30 Space Heating/Water Heating System that was installed in 2005 — about 13 years ago. At the time, this was a cutting edge system. It was one of the first all-in-one units with the ability to heat both your home and your water. He started having trouble with his unit between 1-2 years ago. The problem with that particular system is that after the warranty has expired, the replacement parts can be very expensive. Because it was an all-in-one unit, it’s also a more complicated system. So it was more cost-efficient to replace the old system with a new separate furnace and water heater. Cost Savings of Installing New Water Heater and Furnace Having a separate water heater and furnace that are each dedicated to a single...
5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Energy Costs This Fall

5 Easy Ways to Save Money on Energy Costs This Fall

It’s officially Fall in Northwest Arkansas — which means we’re all still wearing shorts, but colder weather is right around the corner. Now, before the cold really hits, is the best time to winterize your home, so you can save money on energy costs this season. Here are the 5 things you need to do to get your home ready for fall/winter: 1. Check for drafts. The fastest way to a high energy bill is letting the heat out through drafty windows and doors. Use your hands to feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. If you do find a draft, you need to repair the seal. Self adhesive weatherstripping can be an inexpensive fix. 2. Winterize your AC unit. As soon as you’re finished using your air conditioning for the year, it’s time to winterize your AC unit. For window units, that means either removing them completely and storing until needed or covering the unit. This will prevent air leaks, which cause drafts and heat/energy loss. For central air conditioning units, it’s important to clear away any debris like dead leaves and grass trimmings. Have a professional inspect and clean the coils and interior, and then cover your unit to prevent damage during the winter months from ice and debris. 3. Have your furnace inspected. Hire an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace. They should test for leaks, change the filter, and check its heating efficiency. An inefficient furnace requires more energy to warm your home, meaning your electric and/or gas bill will be much higher than necessary. Schedule your furnace inspection today! If your...
Are You Mistreating Your Garbage Disposal?

Are You Mistreating Your Garbage Disposal?

The concept of a garbage disposal seems easy, just put your cooking scraps in the sink, flip the switch and down they go right? – Nope! Garbage disposals are wonderful appliances that often cut down on our household duties, but it’s important to remember that they need to be operated and maintained properly. The trouble is, a lot of people don’t know what the ‘proper’ way to use the disposal is and that there are certain things you shouldn’t put down the drain at all. Below we have some do’s and don’ts that are sure to help you maintain your disposal! Garbage Disposal 101: Things You SHOULD Be Doing Run cold water while using your garbage disposal. This helps flush items down the drain. Run your disposal regularly. Running the garbage disposal regularly is like exercise for the appliance. This keeps the parts moving, which helps prevent rusting and corrosion. Clean your disposal. Adding a little dish soap to cold, running water can help keep your disposal clean and prevent unwanted odors. You can also flush peels from lemons, oranges and limes down to help freshen up your disposal. Cut waste into smaller pieces. *Most meat scraps, fruit & veggie scraps and citrus rinds are safe to put down the disposal.* Things You Should NOT Put Down Your Garbage Disposal Coffee grounds: There is a lot of debate about whether coffee grounds are safe or not. We say if you’re going to put the down the drain, make sure you’re only doing a little at a time. Coffee grounds can be like sand running down your drain, and over time it wears away...
Give Your Plumbing a Spring Cleaning!

Give Your Plumbing a Spring Cleaning!

Spring is a great time to check your home’s plumbing systems for problems and to perform preventative maintenance to protect your home against future plumbing malfunctions. Plumbing Fixtures Checklist Check faucets for drips or leaks and repair parts as needed to save water. Clean mineral deposits from faucets and shower heads by unscrewing them and soaking them in vinegar overnight. Appliances Check your washing machine hoses for leaks or bulges. You should replace these hoses if they are older than 10 years old. Consider using braided stainless steel hoses rather than rubber hoses. Check your toilets for cracks and leaks. Add several drops of food coloring to the tank. You will know there is a leak that needs fixing if color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes. You may need to replace the tank parts if you have to hold down the toilet handle in order to flush properly, or if you have to jiggle it to make it stop running. If you have a tank style hot water heater, drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency. Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits.  Always check with your water heater manufacturer for specific instructions regarding maintenance of your specific make and model. Sump Pump Test your sump pump. Pour water into the basin and trip the lever to ensure it is still working properly. This will also help you determine if the on/off mechanism has been corroded. Drains When your drains are not properly cleaned, the end result can be a critical...
WANTED Leak Detectives for Fix a Leak Week March 14 – 20, 2016

WANTED Leak Detectives for Fix a Leak Week March 14 – 20, 2016

What is Fix a Leak Week? Because minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program promotes Fix a Leak Week the third week of March each year. Fix a Leak Week is an annual reminder to Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks. The Facts on Leaks: The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. Households leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes. Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking shower heads.  All are easily correctable. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. Keep you home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet flappers, and shower heads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don’t require a major investment. You can eliminate most common leaks by retrofitting your home with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances. Leak Detection: A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water use. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month. Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being...
World Plumbing Day!

World Plumbing Day!

World Plumbing Day! March 11 every year … everywhere! Many people in developed countries throughout the world take plumbing for granted. They simply turn on a tap or faucet and obtain clean water. Flushing toilets are standard in many countries.  However, little thought is given to the engineering expertise provided by plumbers that ensures these systems operate as intended. Equally, a few people appreciate the consequences of bad plumbing systems. In developing countries on the other hand, plumbing is either non existent or at best very basic.  People suffer serious health consequences, and millions of people die as a result of lack of access to clean water and in effective sanitation. Health Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease. At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-related diseases. Water Using a broom instead of a garden hose to clean your driveway will save 13 gallons every minute you clean. Putting food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl, without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save 1,000 gallons a month. Use a hose nozzle while you wash your car. You will save up to 100 gallons every time! Energy Turning your air conditioning or heating up or down just a few degrees can save considerable energy. Prevent heat loss by insulating your water heater and pipes. Environment Ask your Plumbing/HVAC Contractor about high efficiency water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps and available rebates and tax advantages. Each subsequent World Plumbing Day promises to be bigger and better than the...