Hot Water Heaters Tips

Maintain Your Water Heater Tips

Many people purchase a conventional tank water heater and simply forget about it until it stops working and it’s time to replace it. However, with a few simple water heater maintenance steps you can increase the lifespan of the unit while also making it work more efficiently. Here are three maintenance steps to take:

Flush the water heater tank once a year

Almost all water heater manufacturers will recommend flushing the water heater tank annually. But draining alone does not flush the water heater!

Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct procedure for draining your model of water heater. For example this is from a Bradford White model water heater’s instructions:

INSTRUCTIONS TO FLUSH THE WATER HEATER

  1. On a gas water heater, turn the gas valve to the off position. On an electric water heater, turn the electric off to the heater.
  2. Shut the cold water off to the water heater.
  3. Open a hot water faucet.
  4. Connect a hose to the drain valve on the heater and run to a drain.
  5. Open the drain valve and allow the tank to completely drain.
  6. Turn back on the cold water into the water heater.
  7. Allow the water to run through the water heater and out of the drain valve. Do this for approximately five (5) or ten (10) minutes.
  8. Close the drain valve and allow the tank to refill, keeping the hot water faucet open. When water comes out of the faucet, the tank is full.
  9. Check the anode rod and replace it if it’s badly corroded

The anode rod hangs in the tank to help prevent its inside from rusting out. It should be checked annually when the tank is drained. Replacing a badly corroded rod is far cheaper than replacing the water heater. Without a good anode rod, hot water will rapidly corrode the inside of the tank, shortening its life.

Insulate the water heater tank

This is a step you only have to do once. Wrapping your water heater in a blanket of insulation can improve it’s efficiency up to 40 percent.

Canadians are big users of hot water

Canadians use an average of 75L of hot water each at home every day—for washing dishes and clothing, cleaning and personal hygiene. For the average family, that adds up!

Water heaters account for 17 percent of the energy consumed in the average Canadian home. That share can vary from 15 to 25 percent depending on the house type, number of inhabitants and their lifestyle habits.

$50 Toilet Rebates from the City of Calgary

Toilet rebates

High-efficiency toilets protect our rivers, save water – and money. In addition to the $50 rebate, high-efficiency (low flow)toilets reduce your water use, which means you’ll save money on your monthly water bills. Replace your old water-guzzling toilet with a WaterSense-labelled toilet and purchase to be eligible.

For home, condo, trailer, and townhouse owners and tenants

One of the easiest plumbing home improvements you can do is replacing your old toilet. If you’re interested in doing some home renovations to your bathroom, we recommend switching from your old toilet to a Water-Sense labelled, high efficiency toilet.

When you make the switch, you could be eligible for a $50 rebate

In addition to our $50 subsidy, these toilets use less water which means you’ll see savings of up to $100 or more on your water bill every year.

Flush Facts

Recent advancements have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance. This is 20 percent less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush. The WaterSense label is used on toilets that are independently certified to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only water–saving toilets that complete the certification process can earn the WaterSense label.

WaterSense Savings

By replacing old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense labeled models, the average family can reduce water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent—that’s nearly 13,000 gallons of water savings for your home every year! They could also save more than $110 per year in water costs, and $2,200 over the lifetime of the toilets.

Nationally, if all old, inefficient toilets in the United States were replaced with WaterSense labeled models, we could save 520 billion gallons of water per year, or the amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in about 12 days.

Apply for your rebate here?

To apply for a rebate for your new WaterSense toilet, simply visit calgary.ca/toilet

 

Spring is Prime Time for Plumbing Check-ups and Repairs

Spring is Prime Time for Plumbing Check-ups and Repairs

Spring is finally here and it’s time to make some quick checks around the house. Here are some quick and immediate plumbing tips for you to consider as the weather starts to warm.

By checking the bathroom, kitchen, appliances, equipment and more common areas, both within and outside the home, you can be prepared and help prevent any plumbing problems that occur. Just think of it as an extension of your spring cleaning project!
Check your drains, gutters and downspouts – which should be clear and free of debris to ensure proper operation. Many regions of the country experience a large amount of rainfall this time of year and you want to make sure you’re ready. If you let the debris build up, gutters and drains can clog, causing water damage, leakage and mould growth – not something you want to deal with!
Make sure your plumbing pipes and vents are clear of bird nests, leaves, sticks etc.

Check Your Hose Bib in the Spring

Check out the faucet for leaks – this is especially common in colder climates where hoses have been left on the hose bib for the winter. If the water supply pipe has frozen the once frozen pipe can be expanded and may have cracked. This pipe will leak and should be replaced as soon as possible before water damage can occur. This is something Baker can take care of!

Stop Flooding Check Your Sump Pump for Proper Function

The most important thing you can do to keep your plumbing system safe this spring is to make sure your sump pump is primed and ready for some hard work. If you have not seen to your sump pump (do not worry – you probably are not the only one), test it by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should kick on in a few seconds, allow the flow of water and then turn itself off automatically. If it does not do it, call Baker Plumbing and have the sump pump seen firsthand – before it completely burns out.

Other Plumbing Repair Tips

  • Check the faucet in the kitchen and bathroom for leaks. The improvements will help save water and money.
  • Make sure you have your filters on each drain. This is to prevent hair, soap and other substances that may block your drains.
  • Check your toilet for leaks. A fast and inexpensive way to do this is to put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If there is a leak, the food color will end up in the bowl within half an hour. While you’re at it, check out the bowl for any cracks or leaks.
  • Check your toilets to make sure they are flushing correctly. If you must hold or shake the handle, you need to replace the parts of the toilet which are responsible for flushing.
  • Check your water supply valve by turning on and off occasionally. This will prevent them from sticking.
  • Finally, clean your shower head with vinegar to remove mineral deposits that can clog. I know most people don’t know this little trick of the trade. Take a Zip Loc bag and fill it with white vinegar. Place the Zip Loc bag on the shower head in place and wrap the bag with a few heavy rubber bands securing the bag to the shower head. Leave for 24 hrs and the mineral deposits should breakdown leaving your shower clean as a whistle.

Completing this inspection now will prepare your home for the heavy rains of spring and will help you discover sooner and not later any damages caused by a long, cold winter.