water from a conventional or tankless water heater

Tankless water heater or conventional water heater?

When considering replacing a water heater, homeowners should weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a conventional water heater or a tankless water heater. Both types of water heaters are commonly used in homes. The decision to purchase one over the other should be based on your household needs and budget.  

Conventional Water Heater Pros and Cons

Conventional water heaters typically offer the lowest initial costs. They are also easier to install, repair, and replace than tankless water heaters. Most conventional water heaters have a capacity of 30 to 50 gallons. The water is preheated ahead of time and held in the tank until it is needed. As the hot water is used, the tank refills and the new water is preheated

Since conventional water heaters hold a set amount of preheated water, regardless of how much is being used, they also have the highest operating costs. The amount of hot water that you have at any given time is also limited by the capacity of the tank. This means that you could run out of hot water during periods of heavy use. Conventional water heaters also typically have a shorter lifespan than tankless models. Conventional water heaters also take up more room than tankless versions.

Tankless Water Heater Pros and Cons

Tankless water heaters use gas or electricity to heat water on demand, so no water is stored. They do come with a higher price tag; however, the higher cost is typically offset by lower operating costs and a longer lifespan. Since water is heated as needed, you never have to worry about running out of hot water. Tankless water heaters may be more complex and expensive to install, but they can be placed virtually anywhere and take up less room than conventional models

Which Is Best?

Deciding which type of water heater is right for you is a matter of balancing budget against the pros and cons of each type of water heater. If you have a large family that requires large amounts of hot water, a tankless model may be your best option. If budget and ease of maintenance are your primary concern, a conventional water heater may be the best choice for you. 

The experts and Swan Plumbing, Heating, & Air can go over all the pros and cons with you and help you decide which type of water heater works best for your family!

Contact us today! 

Water dripping from faucent that still leaks after replacing cartridge

I Replaced the Cartridge in My Faucet, But It Still Leaks. What Should I Do?

QUESTION: What do I do if my faucet still leaks after replacing the cartridge?


The reason why a cartridge faucet leaks after replacing the cartridge can vary based on your water quality, the age of the faucet, and the type of cartridge.

First, the leak may not have been caused by a faulty cartridge. Water is full of calcium and other minerals that make it highly corrosive. Over time, the water can eat away at imperfections in the brass body of the faucet. These imperfections often occur during the casting process. Small bumps and soft spots in the brass can wear away. This allows rivulets to form in the brass. You may not even realize that they are there since they can blend in with the coatings on the brass created by the water. When fixing a cartridge faucet, it is a good idea to buff the inside of the cylinder. This will leave a dark line that will allow you to see the rivulets with a flashlight.

Your faucet may contain a ceramic, brass, or rubber seat that is meant to form a seal at the bottom of the cartridge opening. The seat can become damaged with use so that it no longer fits correctly into the hole in the cartridge, which allows water to leak. The O-ring may also become cracked and cause a leak. The best rule of thumb is to replace all of the inside parts of a faucet at the same time so that you get a good seal.


How To Make Your Water Heater Last Longer

No one likes a cold shower! Water heaters are essential to your enjoyment of your home, but they are also expensive. Not only do they cost money to replace, but repairs and additional energy costs from poor function can add up quickly. However, there are few ways that you can extend the life of your water heater and keep it running smoothly and efficiently.

How Do Water Heaters Age?

In order to extend the life of your water heater, it is important to understand their lifespan and the ways they can break down. Most water heaters are made to last around eight to fifteen years, although they can last up to twenty with good care. Tankless water heaters will last around twice as long. Water heaters are made of metal, usually steel, that is lined with glass or porcelain to prevent the water damaging the metal. However, over time this lining develops cracks and the metal begins to oxidize. In addition, sediment from the water begins to build up and lower efficiency.

The first signs of deterioration usually include gradual loss of efficiency. You may notice that your water heater is taking longer to heat or not producing as hot of water. In addition, you will see a gradual rise in your electric or gas bill. Later, the water heater may begin to leak. The initial leaks are slow; you will usually only see a small amount of water near the tank rather than actual dripping. Even a small amount of leaking can damage your foundation and flooring when it is constant. With time, the leak will become more severe; it's important to know where your water shutoff is located in case the leak worsens suddenly. At this point, the water heater needs to be replaced, which is an expensive proposition.

Invest in Routine Maintenance

Having your water heater inspected and flushed once a year can make a huge difference in its lifespan. Flushing the tank removes sediment and some of the scaling that reduce efficiency and corrode the lining. Many water heaters are self-cleaning, but a yearly flush still extends their lifespan. Routine maintenance pays for itself by helping your water heater last longer and allowing you to repair issues before the system breaks down altogether.

Prevent Sediment With Water Softener

Sediment and scaling will eventually cause a great deal of wear and tear while reducing the efficiency of your water heater. This is especially true if you live in an area with hard water. Hard water has minerals in it that can gather on the inner surfaces of a water heater and break down the lining while compromising efficiency. Installing a water softener will ensure that most of these minerals are removed from your water before they can wreak havoc on your water heater.

Add a Second Anode Rod

An anode rod is a rod made of aluminum or magnesium that attracts minerals and ions in water. They corrode this rod rather than corroding the inside of your water heater. Water heaters already have one anode rod, but adding a second can extend the life of the water heater significantly.

Consider an Expansion Tank

You probably know that liquids expand when they are heated. When cold water enters your tank and then is heated to around 120 degrees, it expands around 2%. This may not seem like much, but it's equivalent to an extra gallon of water in a 50 gallon tank. If you have a closed system, which has a valve preventing water from flowing back into water lines, this pressure eventually wears down your water heater tank as well as your water lines. An expansion tank gives this extra water somewhere to go, which means that there is less pressure on your tank.

Add a Pressure Regulator Valve

A pressure regulator valve, or PRV, does exactly as the name suggests. High water pressure, defined as pressure above 90 PSI, damages not just your water heater but your plumbing and many other appliances. Your water heater simply will not last as long when it is constantly under pressure. A pressure regulator valve will ensure that pressure stays constant and at a reasonable level. A PVR is generally installed along with an expansion tank in systems with high pressure.

If you want to expand the working lifespan of this expensive appliance, talk to a residential plumber today. A plumber can inspect your water heater and let you know what preventative measures are most important for your hot water heating system.

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