Are Tankless Water Heaters Right For You?

Are Tankless Water Heaters Right For You?Would you like hot water on demand? Do you wonder, are tankless water heaters right for you? Our plumbers at Lakota Plumbing in Westminster can explain the pros and cons of tankless water heaters to help you decide.

Most American homes use conventional tank water heaters. These water heaters store gallons of hot water, keeping it at a steady temperature so that hot water is always available when you want it. There are also tankless water heaters that heat the water directly as needed instead of using a storage tank.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a tankless water heater compared to a conventional.

Pros of Tankless Water Heaters

  • Energy Savings

Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient. Levels will vary, but if you look at the Energy Guide stickers on tankless and conventional water heaters, you’ll see a significant difference in estimated energy consumption.

Different tankless water heaters have their own energy-saving features, but they are all more energy efficient than conventional heaters because tankless heats as needed and doesn’t have to store water. Compare this with a conventional water heater that stores water and uses energy by constantly cooling and re-heating.

  • Small Size

A tankless water heater’s small size is also a benefit. These heaters are about the size of a briefcase which allows you to install one almost anywhere, which frees up space in your home.

  • Lasts Longer

If you take care of your tankless water heater by providing routine maintenance, you can expect it to last up to 20 years. A conventional water heater only lasts 10-13 years.

  • Increased Home Value

Adding a tankless water heater to your home can increase your home value. This is because buyers appreciate the energy savings and convenience that comes with tankless water heaters.

Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

  • Purchase Price

The purchase price of a tankless water heater is higher than conventional water heaters. The installation is also more costly, and you will need a professional plumber to install it.

You may want to calculate whether you will be in the home long enough to see the savings from the energy efficiency compared to the upfront purchase and installation costs.

  • Amount of Water Heated

Tankless water heaters should be sized to the amount of hot water needed in the house. Sometimes conventional models can put out more hot water than the tankless heaters depending on the water demands. If you have a lot of people needing hot water at the same time, a conventional model may be a better choice.

  • Water Waste

Both types of water heaters require a short time to get the hot water to the faucet, but the tankless heater takes a little bit longer. This creates additional water waste.

If possible, install the tankless water heater closer to the faucet that will require the most hot water to combat these issues.

If you are wondering, are tankless water heaters right for you, our plumbing experts at Lakota Plumbing in Westminster can help you decide if a tankless water heater is best for your home. We’ll help weigh the pros and cons of your unique situation and provide our expert recommendation. Once you’ve made a choice, we can complete the installation for you so that you can enjoy hot showers for years to come.

Garbage Disposal Upkeep and Maintenance

Garbage Disposal Upkeep and MaintenanceTo keep your drains running properly and avoid clogs, garbage disposal upkeep and maintenance are important. While our plumbers at Lakota Plumbing in Westminster can always help you unclog drains and provide any other plumbing services you might need, we know how frustrating it can be when the pipes back up. Here, we’ll give you some tips to help avoid any problems.

A garbage disposal provides a ton of convenience in your kitchen. To prevent clogs, keep your disposal in good working order and extend its life, the most important thing you can do is to be mindful of what you put into it. It’s not a magic and it has its limitations. Let’s take a look at what you can and can’t do.

Don’t Put This in Your Garbage Disposal 

  • Large bones in your disposal is a bad idea and can instantly cause issues.
  • Avoid putting potato peels, banana peels, and other starchy foods down your drain because it can make a paste that slows down the disposal blades.
  • Never put coffee grounds and egg shells down the disposal. It can accumulate in pipes and clog your drain.
  • Always throw fat and grease in the trash, not your drain. Grease coats the disposal blades and drain pipes, which can then cause clogs and lead to horrible smells wafting out of your drain.
  • Any fibrous vegetable like celery and asparagus should not be put down the garbage disposal because the fibers can tangle up around the disposal blades.
  • Don’t put paste and rice down the drain because it can expand in the pipes and create clogs.

Okay to Put in Your Garbage Disposal 

  • Garbage disposals are able to grind small pieces of ice which can help scour the inside of the disposal. You can also add a little bit of rock salt to help clean it.
  • The disposal can process small pieces of biodegradable food. You should throw away any large pieces of food so it doesn’t clog the drain.
  • Small citrus peels can help clean and deodorize your disposal.

When in Doubt, Throw it Away

How strong your disposal is and what it can handle depends on the type of disposal you have. Durability levels and motor power vary by manufacturer and model, but we don’t recommend pushing its limits.

If you have doubts about what you can put down the garbage disposal, just throw it in the trash can. It’s better to be safe than having to call us out on a Sunday night because you put 5 pounds of potato peels down the disposal and hoped it was up to the task.

Run Your Disposal

You should use your disposal periodically to keep it in good shape. As mentioned above, grinding ice, rock salt, and citrus peels can help keep your disposal clean, fresh and in good working order. Not using it can be equally detrimental, allowing gunk to build up and create clogs, stinky odors, corrosion, and possibly mechanical failure.

Clogs

If your drain gets clogged, there are a few things you can try before picking up the phone:

  • Some disposals have a small wrench attached to the bottom. Use this wrench to turn the blades from the outside and hopefully dislodge whatever is stuck.
  • After unplugging the disposal, use a flashlight to locate the obstruction, then attempt to remove it with long-handled tongs or needle-nose pliers. Never, ever, ever stick your hand in there.

One last tip that we pass along to our customers is to avoid using a drain cleaner or other chemicals on your disposal. This can damage or corrode your blades and pipes.

Garbage disposal upkeep and maintenance can prevent clogs and extend the life of your disposal. If you follow the tips above, you should be good to go. However, if you run into any problems or need a new disposal, call our plumbing experts at Lakota Plumbing in Westminster. Serving the entire Denver metro area, we’re available 24/7 for clogged drains, frozen pipes and much more. Call or contact us today.