Selecting the Best Tankless Water Heater for You

Are you thinking of changing your water heater from a conventional tank water heater to a tankless one? Perhaps you have an older tankless unit and would like to upgrade to a newer model?  Or maybe you are thinking of putting one in your new home.  Whatever your situation is right now, choosing a tankless water heater should be taken seriously.  So here are some tips on how you can select the best tankless water heater for you.

water heater

Gas or Electric

The first thing you need to decide on is the type of power you want for your water heater. Tankless water heaters are commonly powered by electricity, propane, or natural gas.  This type of water heating unit can be used for the entire house, heating source for specific fixtures, or even a boiler for your home heating system.

Therefore, installation can be done at the point where hot water is required or centrally. If you want hot water for example only for your bathroom shower, you can use an electric-powered tankless water heater.  Gas-powered units on the other hand have the capability to deliver hot water to your whole house.  However, you must remember that even the biggest capacity gas-fed tankless water heater will not be able to deliver hot water simultaneously to multiple large users.

So if you frequently use the washing machine, dishwasher, and shower simultaneously, you can have a gas-powered tankless water heater installed along with an electric-powered one installed at the point-of-need to meet your huge heating requirements.

water heater

Right Size

The size of the water heating unit you need would be based primarily on the requirements of your entire household. You cannot leave this to guesswork.  Here are the water flow values for the different plumbing fixtures and appliances to guide you on the actual tankless water heater size you need.

  • Faucets – 0.75 to 2.5 gallons per minute;
  • Standard Showerheads – 2.5 to 3.5 gallons per minute;
  • Low-Flow Showerheads – 1.2 to 2 gallons; and
  • Washing Machines and Dishwashers – 1 to 2 gallons per minute.

You also need to establish the temperature rise you need. This would be basically be the amount you need to increase the temperature of the incoming water to reach your desired temperature.  So if your incoming temperature is 50 degrees and want water heated to 120 degrees, you need a temperature rise of 70 degrees.

Next is to count the number of fixtures you expect to use simultaneously. So if you will use 3 faucets, 1 shower, and 1 dishwasher, you have to add their flow rates based on the figures given above.  This will give you your desired flow rate.  You can now choose the model of tankless water heater that can deliver your desired flow rate.

water heater cost

The Cost

It is important to note that tankless water heating units cost a bit higher than conventional ones. Small point-of-use models cost around $200 while larger gas-fired units can cost anywhere from $550 to $1,000 on the average.

If it costs more, why should you shift to tankless water heaters? By doing away with the hot water tank, you are also lowering your operating costs.  You also gain the luxury of having hot water available on demand.  The design of the unit as well as the price of gas (or electricity) in your area would become factors in computing the actual cost of operating your water heater.  Normally this would be in the neighborhood of $12 to $20 a year.  A unit with an Intermittent Ignition Device (IID) can further bring down the cost of operation.

With the service life of most tankless water heaters being around 20 years, choosing the best one for your needs would definitely give you a lot of savings.  By following these tips and allowing a professional to install your tankless water heater, you can maximize the benefits of a tankless water heating system.

Give a call for helpful advice and solution for choosing the best tankless water heater in you property, you will not disappointed!


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Signs You Have Plumbing Leaks in Your Property

plumbing leaks

How useful would it be if you can be immediately aware that you have a plumbing leak in your property?  The truth is that predicting plumbing leaks can be extremely difficult because of the very complex nature of plumbing systems.  However, if you learn how to read the signs, you will know when it is time to start repairs.

Noisy Pipes

The sound of running water may have a calming effect, but not when it comes to your home plumbing.  Usually, when you hear running water without any fixtures open it is an indication that you have a leak.  The sound of running water is not the only thing that you may hear when it comes to your plumbing system.

You may also hear tapping, pinging, banging, and even rattling.  These noises are commonly associated with air in your pipes.  This also means that there is a leak somewhere that allows the air to get into the plumbing system.  When your water heater is turned on and there is a sound of running water, then your heating unit has a leak.

Increased Water Usage

One of the biggest giveaways that you have a leak problem is when your water bill reflects increased water usage without you noticing it.  This highlights the importance of monitoring your water usage daily, weekly, and monthly.  How do you do this?

Keeping track of water meter readings is a very effective way to see if there are changes in water consumption even if you maintain usage pattern.  Another great way to see if there is a leak is to turn off all possible exit points of water in your home and take note of the meter reading.  After an hour, check if the meter reading has changed.  Any changes in the reading is a confirmation that water is exiting the plumbing system where it should not.

Discoloration and Water Spots

Do you see moist, spongy, wet, or discolored portions of your ceiling or wall?  These are definite signs that water is leaking in places that you do not see.  The dangerous thing with this condition is that you cannot visually verify the extent of the problem at once.

Sometimes, bubbly paint, odd dirt lines, and soft spots can also mean that there is a leak behind your walls, ceiling, or foundation.  If this problem is not addressed immediately, you are not only looking at a plumbing leak problem, but also the possibility of mold and mildew growth.  Do you know what this mean?  This means that you are facing a potential health risk.

Odd or Foul Smell

What can be causing the odd or foul smell?  In the context of plumbing, this can mean mold and mildew growth or possibly sewer gases leaking into your home.  But how can you tell which is which?

If the smell is coming from small damp areas of your home like bathrooms and laundry rooms, then chances are you have a mold and mildew problem.  If the smell is traced to areas near drains and sewers, this can mean that you have a potential sewage leak possibly because of broken water seals that prevent sewer gases from getting into your home.

Ground Damage

This does not only mean cracked concrete but can also be soggy spots, uneven vegetation, and other disturbances on the ground.  Usually, this would mean that there are changes in moisture happening underneath that is causing the damage.  How is this connected to plumbing leaks?

Keep in mind that main plumbing lines are running underground so if there is a leak along this line, it would cause water to seep into the soil and create a disturbance on anything above ground.  As the soil begins to shift, then you face the real danger of your main pipe lines becoming damaged by the movement.

So what do you do next after you see these signs of plumbing leaks?  The only sensible thing to do is to pick up the phone and call an experienced professional plumber from to prevent the damage from getting bigger and your expenses increasing.

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Knowing About Dual Flush Toilets


The dual flush toilet was created in 1980 and introduced into the market by the Caroma Company the following year.  The primary reason was to provide consumers with a better way of saving water with every flush.  The invention was actually born from the search for water saving devices that would help Australia, which was experiencing a drought during those times.  Eventually, it was adopted by different governments because of its environmental-friendly impact.  What else should you know about dual flush toilets?

The Two Flush Difference

Basically, dual flush toilets provide you with two buttons that give you an option what to use when urinating or moving bowel.  Why do you need two buttons?  Because you can use letter water to flush urine compared to moving solid waste.  So what does this mean in terms of savings?

First off, you can save on your water consumption.  This translates to savings in your monthly water bills.  When you consider how long you are going to use your dual flush toilet then you can also save on replacement and maintenance costs.  Not to mention that the savings in water usage creates a positive environmental impact.

Consider this, dual flush toilets can cut your water consumption by as much as 67% compared to using a conventional toilet.  This is perhaps one of the reasons why laws were passed requiring dual flush toilets to be installed in certain establishments and suggested for home use.  Can you imagine how much help this can be if you live in an area that is experiencing water shortage?

New Technology

Despite being introduced in the 1980s, there are still some areas where dual flush toilets are considered new technology.  Dual flush toilets have undergone various innovations to increase their efficiency and flushing power.  These factors have made it one of the fastest growing industries across the world.  Many toilet manufacturers have incorporated their own designs and innovations in the production of dual flush toilets as their signature for the market.

If you are a homeowner on the lookout for dual flush toilets, this means that you will be met with a variety of options that can give you savings not only from its usage, but its purchase price as well.  With various sizes and designs, dual flush toilets can fit even in the most cramped bathroom spaces without hampering its flushing performance.

Innovative Designs

The cutting edge appearance, increased flushing power, and better efficiency of dual flush toilets have made them extremely attractive for homeowners and commercial properties.  The pursuit for more innovative designs is continuous with many manufacturers focusing on the different aspects of the toilet including its aesthetics, ease of use, and comfort.

Even the flushing mechanism can help you distinguish which manufacturer produced the dual flush toilet.  The continuous focus on innovative designs has also helped to weed out the poor flushing action that characterized earlier designs and models.  The simplicity of the designs make it easier to identify which button to use when you want to flush urine or send solid waste down the drain; even kids will have no problem using the right flushing action.

Plumbing Requirements

Are you aware that the plumbing requirements for dual flush toilets is different from conventional toilets?  The plumbing of dual flush toilets is a bit complicated than the average toilet installation, which means that it should be handled by a licensed professional plumber.

So do not waste your money buying the best dual flush toilet in the market by trying to install it yourself.  Keep in mind that paying $210 to $500 for a professional plumber to install your dual flush toilet would eventually pay for itself as you begin to reap the benefits of its use in the years to come.

If you want problem-free use of your dual flush toilet, contact, a licensed professional plumber today!

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Maintaining your septic tank system

How important is the septic tank in your home plumbing system?  More importantly, do you really need to maintain it?

Although it is designed to hold effluent, many homeowners tend to forget that just like any part of the plumbing system, it needs to be kept in shape to ensure its smooth operation.  So let’s learn how to maintain the septic tank system.

The Toilet


One of the direct lines to your septic tank system is your toilet.  As such, it becomes the entry point of many of the things that finds its way into your septic tank.  The problem with this is that many homeowners do not know how to take good care of their toilets.

Toilets are designed to handle body waste and water only.  Although it is called toilet paper, it does not really belong inside the toilet, unless its packaging says it is safe to flush.

Why is this important to know?  Because flushing things that don’t belong in the toilet can lead to clogged drains, damaged tank, damaged drain field, and sewage backup.

Make sure that you have a trash bin beside the toilet so that anything that does not belong in the bowl goes into the trash.  This is one of the best ways to maintain the health of your septic system.

Water Usage

Every septic tank has its own capacity and the size of the drain field is limited as well.  Since wastewater is treated onsite, excessive use of water can overfill the tank and make it impossible to completely separate the solids.

When this happens more solid waste will end up in the drain field and result in clogging or septic failure.

How can you cut down on your water usage?  Change to water-efficient fixtures and avoid using your washing machines and dishwashers simultaneously.

To make the most of your laundry, always use full loads.  Perhaps the most effective way to save water is to fix leaks immediately.

Drain Strainers

They are cheap, easy to install, available in most hardware stores, and they belong on top of your drains.  Yes, these drain strainers can be a lifesaver especially when you consider that they can keep food scraps, hair, and other materials that can cause clogging and system failure out of your drains.

When synthetic materials get into the septic system, especially the drain field, it can cause the septic system to fail.  Of course, these drain strainers are not as effective when it comes to harsh chemicals found in laundry soaps.

These chemicals can destroy the bacteria in the septic system and allow wastewater to remain untreated.  The strainers can keep some of the soap scum out of the drains though.

It is important to point out that keeping the bacteria in the septic system healthy will ensure that septic tanks will remain functional and efficient.  And when maintained properly, there is nothing else that your septic system needs.



What do you need to do when scum and sludge accumulates and seeps out of the tank?  It is time to have the septic tank pumped.  Part of properly maintaining your septic system is to have it inspected and pumped at least every 3 to 5 years.

This part of the maintenance should be left to experts because of the dangerous gases in your septic system.  To be sure you do not miss out on the schedule, record all inspections, repairs, and maintenance work done on your septic system.

Drain Field

Majority of solid waste will be processed in-tank with just a bit making it to the drain field.  The problem is when sludge build up in the tank and it is not pumped out.

This allows solid waste to move faster into the drain field.  The result will be the manifestation of foul odor, wet spots, puddles, and clogged distribution pipes.  Sometimes gurgling drains are an indication of drain field problems.

If you keep up with the pumping schedule, the only things you need to worry about the drain field is tree roots getting into the sewer pipes and preventing over saturation.

This is why you need to plant trees at least 30 feet away from your sewer line and research about growth patterns to protect your septic system.

Water from downspouts and pumps should always be directed away from the drain field.  Keeping the unnecessary weight from compacting the soil also helps to maintain smooth water flow.

Bottom line is that if you correct bad habits, maintain a regular pumping schedule, and keep oily substances out of the drains you can keep your septic system well-maintained.

Additionally, having a licensed professional check your plumbing system at least once a year will go a long way in saving yourself a whole lot of plumbing troubles. Please visit to learn more.

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Finding and Fixing Toilet Leak

Yes, it is true that toilets are one of the most common source of leaks in an average household.  And yes, toilets are not as complex as other plumbing fixtures or appliances; but, this does not mean that you can automatically assume that leaks are caused by a bad flapper, or worn out seals.

How will you know how to find and fix toilet leaks?

Tank Sweating

When looking for something (including leaks) sometimes the best solution is to know where to start.  A condition known as tank sweating happens when the temperature inside the toilet tank is colder than the temperature outside.  This causes the water to condense and drip to the floor.

This condition is more prevalent during the warm summer months but can happen in any season.  The way to deal with this is to use tank liners that will insulate the water inside the toilet tank.

There are also anti-sweat toilet tank valves that mixes cold and warm water in the tank to reduce the temperature difference.

To confirm whether it is tank sweating you have to wipe the outside of the toilet tank and visually observe if condensation is happening.

Tank Leak

Another possibility is to check if there is a leak from inside the toilet tank.  Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the toilet tank.  Instead of flushing, wait for the food coloring to settle.

In about 15 minutes try to observe if some of the colored water is dripping on the floor.  This would confirm that there is a toilet tank leak.  Where is it coming from?

The most obvious source of the leak would be a crack on the tank.  Try to look for any discolored portion of the tank or an area outside the toilet tank that is highlighted with colored water.  This would usually be an indication where the actual leak is coming from.  How do you fix the leak? Try these following tips from south bay plumbing.

  • Between the Tank and the Bowl – if the colored water drips from the area between the tank and the bowl, the probability is that the bowl gasket must be replaced along with the tank-to-bowl bolt washers. The more you flush, the more leaking will happen.  The tinted water may also appear near the edge of the bowl not only along the center.  This happens when the bowl design has a lower side near the front instead of the inlet hole.  To fix this problem you have to replace the gasket and the washers, which are available from most plumbing stores.
  • Fill Valve Shank Gasket – the fill valve is attached to the tank and allows water to get into the tank. The shank gasket inside the tank is connected to the fill valve.  The colored water will reveal if the leak is anywhere in this portion.  It will also be easier to see the presence of cracks within the area of the gasket.  Tightening the nut with a quarter turn should stop the toilet leak; otherwise replace the gasket.
  • Refill Tube – when the source of the leak seems to be from the back of the tank near the top, the possibility is that it has something to do with the refill tube or it might have come loose. Simply make sure that the refill tube is firmly connected.
  • Cracked tank – if the problem is really cracks on the porcelain tank, the only solution is to replace the toilet tank and have a new one installed by a professional.

Other Sources of Leaks


Aside from the toilet tank, there are other parts of the toilet plumbing system that can cause leaks.  These are the:

  • Shutoff Valve – a busted valve can allow water to seep from the pipe and even leave moisture behind the wall. Valves are not repaired, they must be replaced.
  • Supply Line – leaks can happen at either end of the supply line. When this happens, replace it with one made of flexible stainless steel that are easier to attach, but durable.
  • Wax Ring – found under the toilet, it can allow wastewater to seep back into the bathroom. You may notice water coming from under the toilet every time you flush if the wax ring is worn out.  What you have to do is to reseal the toilet with a new wax ring and even change the caulking around the toilet base as well for good measure.
  • Other part of the bathroom – sometimes leaks coming from the shower, sink, or tub tend to accumulate near the toilet only because it is the lowest fixture inside your bathroom. This means that the problem lies elsewhere.

You now have a fairly good idea how to find and fix toilet leaks.  A good rule of thumb is that if you are unsure, call for professional help!

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