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Water Heaters

Nothing is worse than having to take a bath or do dishes in cold water - Installation or repair of tankless or conventional water heaters.

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Water heater repair and installation is something that must be left to professionals. This is the predicament many people go through because of faulty water heaters. Old and faulty water heaters are not only inconvenient, but they also cost money, are unsafe to use, and consume more electricity than more modern water heaters.

Repairing these units is not easy, and should not be attempted on your own unless you have professional plumbing experience, as you eventually do more damage than good to the original water heater installation. A better and wiser alternative is hiring A-1 Sewer & Drain, which provides water heaters in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Tabb, Grafton, Smithfield, James City County, Richmond, Northeast North Carolina, and throughout Hampton Roads.

Our professionals at A-1 Sewer & Drain know how to properly disconnect and connect a water heater based on the current local plumbing codes and in addition to repairing and/or installation, we also have to be properly vented based on code. Our professionals are well versed and updated with the codes and safety measures for installing water heaters and for repairing faulty ones.

Not only will we help repair your equipment, but we can also install new water heaters for you. In fact, if you want to replace your old, faulty machine with a new one, but don’t know which water heater is best for your home or office, your plumber will be able to guide you in this respect.

Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to A1 Sewer & Drain Plumbing & Water Heaters, which is why we aim at getting your faulty equipment repaired as soon as possible, usually at the first attempt. Nothing is more important to them than their customers, and their satisfaction.

So if your water heater is in need of repairs and you live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Tabb, Grafton, Smithfield, James City County, Richmond, Northeast North Carolina, or Hampton Roads, all you have to do is call on A1 Sewer & Drain to repair it for you. All it takes is a phone call and these uniformed technicians will come to your home or business in no time to fix the problem.

To learn more about water heaters and to decide which one you should have installed, check out this page for more info!

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When And Why Is a Water Heater Replacement Necessary?

A1 Sewer & Drain Water Heater Installation Experts

The availability of warm running water in many households is essential for everyday living. From laundry, showering and baths, to washing the dishes, frequent hand-washing, and even cooking, water is vital, and it will be used in varying warmth. All this is dependent on having a running water heater. If you sum up all that demand, it is easy to see the pressure placed on the heater.

The frequent use of the water heater will sooner or later result in an appliance that performed under par due to various issues that may necessitate repairs. And if the fixes become a regular thing, then replacement is the only other option.

However, when the water heater stops working it does not mean that it has to be replaced. Sometimes all it needs is a bit of repair for it to work as new. For the most part, water heater replacement may be necessitated by factors such as leaks because the tank is too old, or the heating elements are old and worn out. As such, the issues you have with your water heater may be resolved by replacing some of its components as opposed to the entire unit. Given this, it is vital that you know the signs to watch out for that would indicate that it is time to replace the water heater.

When Is A Water Heater Replacement Necessary?

Before answering this question, it is prudent to point out that the life expectancy of the unit will be the first thing to take into account when trying to determine whether to replace the water heater. Most of the water heaters are designed to work without any issues for around 8-15 years for a gas water heater and 8-12 years for an electric water heater. Routine maintenance over that period, such as flushing the water heater annually, helps ensure that the unit works without any significant problems. You need to know what to look out for so that you can call plumbing professionals to fix any issues with your water heater. Possible issues include:

  • No Hot Water At All: If the water feels warm, then the heating element is taking longer to heat the water than it should. But this particular issue is when you have no hot water flowing in your house. The reasons for this can range from leaks, faulty or malfunctioning electrical wiring, or a broken heating element or thermostat. If it is one of the mentioned issues, a repair or replacement of the components may suffice. However, if the water heater system has all of these problems occurring frequently, then a water heater replacement is necessary.
  • Leaks: The issue of leakage can be attributed to any number of factors which can range from the tank is old and worn out, to over-pressurization, as well as poor maintenance. The water heater tank should have some room to account for the expansion that takes place when heating the water. The thermal expansion needs to escape, hence the need for an expansion tank to help regulate the pressure. If the tank is old and worn out, the force exerted by the expansion taking place when boiling the water causes the reservoir to crack and start leaking. The remedy for this is to replace the water heater unit.
  • Discolored Water: If you notice the water is discolored, mostly having a yellowish-brown color, then your water heater or the piping is corroded. The corrosion can lead to leaks and even cause the heating element not to boil the water or take longer to heat the water. The water heater maintenance and repair technician will check the water inlet valves and the pressure relief valve for rust; if any corrosion is found, then it most likely has taken hold inside the water heater tank necessitating a replacement of the entire system.
  • Weird Noises From The Heater: Hearing strange rattles and noises from your Water Heating unit? A newly installed water heater should not produce strange sounds, but it will start to generate rumbling noises as it ages. The sounds get louder over time as the heater runs to heat the water. Things worsen dramatically for households with a high demand for hot water. The reasons for the noises can be the buildup of sediments in the tank which should be flushed to restore normalcy. A water heater replacement may be necessary if the water heater still produces rumbling sounds even after it has been flushed.

Deciding On The Ideal Water Heater Replacement

When the only answer to your water heater woes is to replace the entire unit, the best recourse is to upgrade to something that is energy efficient. Such an upgrade saves you money over the tenure of the new unit. The modern energy-efficient water heaters heat water faster and are 20% more efficient than the older, more traditional models. Many of them use foam insulation rather than conventional fiberglass.

Other than this, you can also consider investing in a different water heating solution such as the tankless water heater system that guarantees instant hot water delivery when needed. Moreover, the tankless water heater system does not have many of the problems that the storage tank water heaters have. But you should consult with the technician to know which is the best water heater replacement solution that will meet your household’s hot water needs.

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Water heaters are among the most useful and essential home appliances today. They are a standard in most homes. The heater can range from tanks to heated pipes and even instant heaters. While there are many options to choose from, typically water heaters are categorized into three types.

  • Storage Tank Water Heaters: With storage tank water heaters, you have a size-able reservoir that holds and heats the water. The heating aspect can be via the use of gas, electricity, or oil. The gas water heaters utilize natural gas or LPG to heat the water. The gas models are also less expensive to operate than the electrical types and are a favorite for residential and commercial purposes.  As for the benefits of electric storage tank water heaters, they are safer and easier to maintain compared to their gas counterparts.
  • Tankless Water Heaters: These are great water heaters and they are ideal for homes.  Especially for homes that have limited space or use large amounts of hot water. Because they instantly heat water, there is no need to store already heated water and they offer an endless amount of hot water, which means you will never run out of hot water.  Even if you are the last in the family to get a shower. While they cost a bit more upfront, they can save you money over time because you aren’t using energy to continuously keep a tank of water hot.
  • Integrated Water and Space Heater: The integrated water and space heaters are an efficient and effective option that can be used to warm up the house as well as heat water for domestic purposes.

The Benefits Of Installing Water Heaters

Firstly, it is essential that you take into account individual requirements before getting any type of water heater. Take the time to understand the benefits of the different types of water heaters, so that you can purchase the most appropriate appliance that meets your needs and suits your budget.

Water heaters make most household chores a bit more bearable, especially during cold days. For example, the hot water will make washing dishes by hand or other minor duties that involve touching water more tolerable; otherwise, you would dread handling such chores. And with water heater options available, homes can enjoy the benefits of water heaters and still manage to save a few hundred dollars on their monthly power bills. As such, water heaters may be an essential addition to any home but can help save money when it comes to heating and cooling. With the advent of the instant water heater, the basic need of having hot water readily available does not have to be an expensive affair that costs your home hundreds of dollars.

The instant hot water heater, which is referred to as a tankless water heater or the point-of-use water heater, has revolutionized the supply of hot water in homes and commercial spaces. With the tankless heater, you will enjoy flowing hot water on demand.

Take the example of the instant hot shower that makes use of the point-of-use water heaters; these appliances will supply hot water continuously for the period you are using the shower. They will stop to work only if there are power issues or if the water heater is faulty. In essence, it heats the water on-demand with just the amount you need, thus taking away the loss incurred with the use of storage tank water heaters where the water cools and is then reheated.

As you decide on what water heater to buy, it is important to factor in the needs of your family. You also have to consider the water sources because some water types (the hard water) can lead to a build-up of salts and minerals that lower the efficiency of the appliance. Also, keep in mind that a water heater relies on the flow or pressure of the water for it to run efficiently. As such, if the pipework is off, this could result in some areas of the house having a lower water pressure than others.

Overall, you need to take into account the energy consumption rate of your home and how it is bound to be changed by the installation of a new water heater. The gas models are a popular alternative for electrical water heaters, yet the latter is easier to use and maintain. You should take into consideration the limitations and benefits of the type of water heaters before you make a purchase.

All You Need to Know About Gas Water Heaters

Every homeowner must ensure there is a constant supply of hot water for cleaning, washing, and overall comfort. In the water heater market, there are many options available and each is perfectly suited to a category of needs.

The best water heater for you is the one that supplies you with abundant, but not excessive, hot water at a manageable energy cost. We will take a look at gas water heaters and some of the reasons they may or may not be the best options for your home.

Gas Water Heaters vs. Electric Water Heaters

Gas and electric water heaters are the two most commonly used heating options for the modern home.

Advantages of the Gas Water Heater

Rapid heating gas heaters, as a general rule, will heat water far faster than an electric water heater of the same basic dimensions and capacity. An electric water heater might take a full hour to heat 25 gallons, and a gas heater could heat twice that amount in the same given time and possibly faster.

The immediate advantage to this is superior availability for homes and locations with higher needs. While an electric heater may serve for smaller families, the gas heater may be a better option for matching demands.

  • Efficiency: Potentially lower energy costs electric heaters have been found more efficient in converting energy into heated water. This is due to the design of the gas water heater, which tends to lose heat energy in standing and exhaust. Nevertheless, the costs of gas are far lower than the costs of electricity. An electric water heater with an efficiency rating of 0.90 may burn as much as $7000 in 13 years, but a gas water heater with an efficiency rating of 0.60 will burn closer to $5000 in the same given time frame.
  • Slightly Longer Lifespan: Electric water heaters have a shorter lifespan than gas water heaters of similar quality and capacity. Still, the difference is not enough to make any significant changes in the savings a gas heater will bring. Where a gas heater may last 8-15 years, the electric option will last about 8-12 years.
  • Reliability – Gas Heaters May Work During a Blackout: Gas heaters can continue to function even if the electricity has gone off the grid. This is good news for those living in remote locations or regions frequented by thunderstorms, wind storms, and other weather phenomena that can disrupt power lines. The ability to access hot water even when the rest of the home is rapidly losing heat can keep residents warm.

Disadvantages of a Gas Water Heater

  • Higher Upfront Cost: In the long run, a gas heater may be a cheaper option than an electric, but the initial cost of the heater and the installation can be considerably higher. A gas heater also requires a little bit more to properly maintain over the years than an electric heater will. In the end, the costs saved over the years will more than cover the costs of water for a larger family. Smaller families and individuals may do better with an electric water heater, or an on-demand “tankless” water heater as described in the section below.
  • Difficult Installation: Because gas water heaters require a ventilations system and professional set up, they are a bit more difficult to install. This may even require opening PVC ventilation shafts in the roof. Furthermore, there will be maintenance required for any ventilation installed.

Tankless or On-Demand Gas Water Heaters Pros and Cons

Another variety of gas heat is the tankless or on-demand sort. These smaller items can be a good option for specific situations.

Advantages of the Tankless Gas Water Heater

  • Energy Saving: If your home uses around 45 gallons of hot water each day, the on-demand gas heater can save as much as 35% of the energy required for heated water. They can also reduce the energy required for homes with far greater needs as well. Homes that use over 80 gallons of hot water each day can save as much as 14% by switching to these smaller water heaters. It is estimated that an average family can save as much as $100 each year by switching to the tankless heater.
  • Long Lasting: Tankless water heaters have much longer life expectancies than a conventional water heating system of the same capacity. Most quality tankless options are expected to last as long as 20 years, while even the best gas water would only last about 15 at the very most.
  • Energy Efficient: Part of the reason that tankless water heaters are so energy efficient is that only the water that is needed is heated. This avoids all energy expense due to lost heat as the hot water sits in the tank. There are electric heated tankless options as well, but the tankless gas water heater provides the best flow rate and capacity, even if it uses a bit more energy as mentioned gas is cheaper than electricity anyway.

Disadvantages of the Tankless Gas Water Heater

  • Initial Cost: The cost of setting up a tankless system that will cover your hot water needs would be more expensive than most other options. But, the high-energy savings will more than recoup this expenditure over the next few years.
  • The Pilot Light: The cost of keeping a pilot light lit 24/7 can in itself increase the costs of a tankless gas heater. Reduce these costs by looking for the intermittent ignition device offered in the best models. This device lights the gas heating elements when they are needed and saves cash.
water heater installation

Choosing the right water heater for your needs will have pervasive and long-lasting effects to your home and financial budget. As much as 25% of the energy costs for a home go into heating water. But, remember that the cost of operations are not the only costs, you must consider installation and initial costs as well.

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What Is An Electric Water Heater and What Are Its Key Benefits

The electric water heater is one of the most popular models chosen by consumers. Before making the decision to get an electric heater, it is important that you get to know more about this particular model and the benefits it has to offer. As you may already know, electric heaters are in stiff competition with other types of heaters like gas water heaters. Familiarizing yourself with the numerous advantages and disadvantages of electric heaters can help you choose the best water heating solution for your home.

All major water heater equipment companies have electric models. This means that you have a wide selection of products to choose from. When it comes to electric water heaters, there are two main systems; tank and tankless electric heating systems. As a norm, tank systems are more common and widely used in most homes because they are cheap and reliable. Tankless systems are less common and significantly more expensive than their counterparts. Not all manufacturers make tankless systems.

Main Features of Electric Water Heaters

Tank systems are categorized based on their water storage capacities. The sizes of the tanks can range from 6 gallons for small and medium households to 100 gallons for large homes and properties. Normally, the standard size for a tank water heating system is about 40 to 60 gallons. This size can go up to 80 gallons if a home has more bathrooms and appliances that use hot water.

On the other hand, tankless electric water heating systems do not require holding any water. Because of this, they are significantly smaller in size. Tankless systems can be installed in homes that have limited space. They can be easily mounted on a wall in a utility room or basement. Because they do not store any water that is continually heated, they are significantly more efficient at supplying hot water in a typical household. The fact that these systems do not make use of large tanks means that they require less maintenance and servicing. These particular water heaters also last longer (up to 20 years) when compared to tank systems that need to be replaced every 10 years or so.

Tankless electric water heaters come in two types. There are whole-house heaters that are powerful and large enough to supply hot water to all bathrooms, kitchens, and appliances in a home. On the other hand, there are the point-of-use electric heaters that supply hot water to specific rooms or appliances only. Both whole-house and point-of-use heaters work the same way. The only difference is the amount of water they can heat up at any given time. Also, whole-house units are significantly more expensive than the point of use units.

When compared to gas models, electric models are easier and less expensive to install as electricity is already available through the main power supply line. For gas water heaters, a specific gas line has to be installed and a viable source of gas established. Another feature of an electric water heater is that they do not require any ventilation. Gas models need to be ventilated properly using vents and ducts in order to function correctly. With electric models, you will not have to install any new vents or ducts in your home.

Electric Water Heater Main Benefits

With electric water heating systems, you can be sure that you will get hot water whenever you need it. These particular heaters are very efficient and cost effective. The main objective of most homeowners is to install water heating systems that will provide a stable and reliable supply of hot water. Electric heaters can do just that.

If you have ever ran out of hot water when you really needed to take a hot shower, you know how frustrating and inconvenient it can be. Most people cannot even begin to imagine not having the luxury of hot water in their homes. Having access to hot water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is what most homeowners are looking for from water heating systems. With a tankless system, you will never have to worry about not having hot water ever again. A tankless electric heater offers a steady, reliable and continuous supply of hot water. Because there is no tank, the hot water will simply never run out. Also, you will never have to heat more water than you need meaning you will save a lot on power.

With tankless electric heaters, water is heated directly whenever it’s required. Tankless systems specifically make use of an element that heats up water when the tap is switched on. The water is continually heated as long as the tap stays on. If the tap is immediately switched off, the water stops being heated. The heating temperature is usually pre-set to suit your needs and preferences. Tankless electric water heaters use less power than traditional water heaters because they only heat water when needed.

Electric Water Heater Disadvantages

Electric water heaters do have a few disadvantages however that are worth pointing out. First and foremost, electricity is not as cheap as gas. Some utility companies charge higher rates for electricity during peak periods such as very early in the morning and in the evening. Using your heater during these peak periods can increase your power bills. On the hand, gas is cheap and has a fixed rate. Another disadvantage of an electric water heater is that they can be expensive to install, especially when it comes to whole-house tankless systems.

Get A Tankless Water Heater Today

Are you sick of paying high energy costs for your traditional water heater? Do you often have to wait for some time in order to get hot water? Do you want to save the space occupied by the hot water tank? Do you want a more efficient water heater?

If you are looking for a solution to these problems, the tankless water heater offers an excellent choice. It’s an affordable upgrade that offers a number of advantages as compared to the traditional water heater. A tankless water heater offers a steady stream of instant hot water. We have installed a number of these instant hot water systems and can help you choose the right tankless water heater for your specific requirements.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

A tankless heater heats running water. There is no storage tank.

Whenever you turn on a hot water tap in your house, cold water enters the heater through a pipe. The sensor inside the heater turns on an electric element or a gas burner depending on the kind of tankless heater you have chosen. Water is instantly heated and supplied through the hot water tap. There is absolutely no need to wait for hot water as there is no storage tank and all the water is heated instantly.

As far as the flow rate is concerned, these heaters are capable of providing hot water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute. You will get higher flow rate with gas-fired heaters as compared to electric ones. In case you feel that the hot water flow rate is not appropriate for your household, you can always install separate heaters for certain appliances such as your dishwasher or clothes washer.

  • Highly Convenient: One of the most common problems faced by people is that they generally do not have enough hot water. In most cases, the hot water in the tank doesn’t last long enough for all the hot water needs. Since a tankless heater does not have any tank and heats the water on the go, it is extremely convenient. These heaters heat up the water as and when you need it and are capable of bringing water up to steaming and soothing temperature in just seconds. With these heaters, you get as much hot water as you need and do not need to wait for hot water.
  • No Tank: Since there is no tank in this type of heater, you also get to free up some space in your home as it supplies on-demand hot water. Also, holding tanks have other problems such as rust and corrosion that eventually causes tank failure. There is no such issue with our tankless heater.
  • Highly Energy-Efficient: Traditional water heaters need to keep working constantly in order to keep the water in the tank hot. Also, this water in the tank needs to be kept at very high temperatures in order to supply hot water as and when you need it. However, the hot water in the tank starts to cool down immediately and keeping that water hot at all times requires constant use of energy which leads to a lot of wastage. This is where a tankless heater shines as it completely avoids this problem. It’s an on-demand water heater and conserves a lot of energy. It heats water only when it is needed. Data suggests that a tankless heater can conserve up to 34% energy as compared to conventional heaters for households that use up to 41 gallons of hot water daily. Households that use a lot of water, around 86 gallons per day, can also save up to 14% energy by using these heaters in place of traditional water heaters. In fact, a household can achieve energy savings of up to 50% by installing a tankless heater at each hot water outlet.
  • No Water Wastage: With a tankless heater, you also reduce water wastage. Each year, an average homeowner wastes hundreds of gallons of water as they have to keep running the faucet while waiting for hot water. There is no such problem with a tankless heater as you get instant hot water.
  • Cost Advantage: It’s a misconception that tankless heaters cost more as compared to traditional water heaters. It’s true that tankless heaters are going to cost you slightly more upfront but you’re going to save a lot of money on monthly bills. You also need to take into account the fact that most of the tankless heaters available in the market today easily last up to 20 years and require little maintenance. On the other hand, traditional tank heaters use old technology and most of them last only around 10 years. In simple terms, you are going to save a lot of money on your energy bills and on maintenance.

Switching To a Tankless Water Heater

If you’re still wondering whether you should make the switch or not, here are a few more reasons to help you make the decision.

  • Modern tankless heaters are much more energy-efficient as compared to the traditional water heaters. Keep in mind that the traditional water heaters use very old technology which is incapable of higher efficiency.
  • You get to save a lot of space as there is no tank.
  • You’re going to get hot water much more quickly. Also, you won’t have to wait for hot water as you will get hot water the instant you switch on the hot water tap. It supplies endless quantities of hot water and you are not going to run out of hot water with a tankless heater.
  • Most of the tankless heaters come with a manufacturer warranty ranging from 10 to 15 years. These heaters typically last more than 20 years.

Give Us a Call Today

Your new tankless heater will keep supplying instant hot water for many years. We sell and install a number of name brand tankless heaters. All these water heaters can be easily retrofitted in any home. Give us a call today for a plumber technician to assess the particular needs of your home for installation of a tankless water heater.

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