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Here’s how tankless water heaters work

By now, you’ve probably heard about some of your friends and family investing in something for their home called a “tankless water heater.” Also known as a “Demand-Type Water Heater,” these systems are becoming increasingly popular with Fresno and Central Valley homeowners.

In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons why more and more local homeowners are making the switch to tankless systems. To learn more, or to make the switch yourself, contact Allbritten! We’re your local plumbing experts! (559) 292-4919

An endless hot water supply

Tankless water heaters, as the name suggests, do not have a tank in which they store hot water for eventual use by you and your family. Instead, a “tankless” system is a heating element connected to a water line. As hot water is needed, the line sends water through the system, rapidly heating it to the desired temperature.

Since the water heater isn’t storing a limited supply of water for use later and only heating it as needed, it can supply a virtually unlimited supply of hot water. This is useful for large families that go through a lot of hot water in a single period of time, such as when people are getting ready in the morning.

However, no matter what size your family is, this other benefit applies to you.

Saving money, both today and tomorrow

Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than their standard counterparts. Since they’re only heating water as it’s needed, there’s less energy wasted. All-in-all, one of the chief benefits of a tankless system is that they can significantly cut down on the gas or electricity used in your home, which in turn slashes your monthly energy bills.

Yet, that’s not all. These systems also last longer than standard water heaters; in some cases, a tankless unit can have double the lifespan of a regular water heater. While the upfront cost of a tankless system is typically higher than that of a regular unit, bear in mind that you may have to purchase two water heaters in the same lifespan of one tankless.

Safety and space-savings

As you probably know by now, tankless water heaters do not have a tank. Here’s another benefit to that: the water heater tank burst—a scenario dreaded by homeowners for decades—is out of the equation. There’s no more need to have that stressful thought in the back of your mind, and there’s no putting a price on that.

One final benefit: most tankless water heaters are wall-mounted in your garage, utility closet, or elsewhere. This frees up floor space in some of the most valuable and crowded parts of your home.

To learn more about how tankless water heaters work, call Allbritten!

Allbritten is your source for local, trusted plumbers here in Fresno and the Central Valley. We repair and install tankless systems, as well as standard ones.

To learn more or to get started on a quote for a new demand-type unit, contact us today, or give us a call at (559) 292-4919.

Hard water: What is it, and why do you need a water softener?

Most people take the water that comes out of their tap for granted. Beyond the other stuff that can be in your home’s drinking and potable water, there’s something else you need to think about: hard water. Here in Fresno, our exceptionally hard water makes a water softener a necessity.

A water softener treats a hard water problem by removing the buildup of minerals that can damage your  home’s plumbing. It effectively removes the minerals such as calcium and magnesium carbonates through an ion exchange process. The device can increase the lifespan of the plumbing fixtures, and reduce plumbing repair costs.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the reasons why it’s important to soften hard water by installing a water softener.

Hard water buildup and water softenerWhat is hard water?

Thanks to gravity, water is always on the move. In rivers, it can carve canyons and create valleys. Underground in aquifers and wells, water slips between rocks. All that time, the water is brushing against rock, scraping off minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It’s the presence of minerals that makes water “hard” as opposed to “soft.”

Does Fresno have hard water?

Yes, we do. Here in Fresno, our water, on average, is 122 parts-per-million. According to the scale developed by the Water Quality Association, that means our water here in town is classified as “hard.”

If your home’s water is drawn exclusively from underground sources, your water might even be harder than that. That’s because aquifer sources are typically “harder” than surface water sources.

So, what’s the problem?

First, let’s clear something up: there’s no health risk for you and your family as a result of hard water. (Although, there’s other reasons you should consider a whole-home water filtration system). However, hard water can do a number on your home’s plumbing and appliances. Let’s explain why.

As mineral-rich hard water passes through the pipes and plumbing of your home, those minerals leech out of the water and stick to the inside of the pipe. Over time, this results in the buildup of calcium commonly known as “scale”. 

What else does hard water impact?

The flow of water in your home can be reduced because of this blockage in the pipe. The result is that you’ll need to re-pipe your home—an expensive proposition—a lot sooner than you would have otherwise. It’s a major problem here in Fresno.

However, that’s not all. Those minerals are also being pumped into your dishwasher and washing machine every time you use them, causing damage and reducing the lifespan of your appliances.

Your water heater is particularly vulnerable. After all, it has water inside of it at all times. Mineral buildup can negatively impact the anode rod, and deposits of just 1/16 of an inch can negate your water heater’s energy-efficiency, increasing your home energy costs.

Hard water impacts your home comfort

The wrong type of water can have major impacts on your home’s comfort. Here’s just some of the ways that hard water negatively impacts your home:

  • Your laundry will be stiff and dingy because detergents will not work as well with hard water. In addition, the minerals in the water, over time, wear down the colors in your favorite outfits.
  • Your skin will be drier, itchier, and harder to deal with, and you’ll feel like your hair is under attack. Hard water can aggravate symptoms of eczema.
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioners will work less effectively and you’ll need to use more of them with each shower to get the same results you would have had otherwise with softened water.

How can a water softener help?

As the name implies, water softeners remove the minerals that make water hard, rendering it soft. Water softeners are popular here in Fresno because of our exceptionally hard water. 

A water softener is a good long-term investment to protect your appliances, water heater, and home plumbing. Plus, it’ll make your skin and hair feel great!

Call Allbritten to learn about our whole-house water treatment systems

At Allbritten, we’re proud to install HALO whole-house water filtration and treatment systems here in Fresno. The HALO 5 system is considered one of the best on the market. It not only operates as a water softener, but also cleans and purifies your water with some of the best technology available.

If you’re interested in learning more about our HALO systems and how your home can drink clean, softened water, call Allbritten at (559) 292-4919 or contact our team online to schedule your free in-home estimate on a new system.

Here are three tips to reduce pipe stress and prevent leaks

 

Pipe stress can lead to plumbing leaks. If you don’t take steps to address the problem, you will have to face costly plumbing repairs. The more you wait to act, the greater will be the damage to the pipes.However, the right proactive steps can help you avoid plumbing disaster later on.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about what pipe stress is, and how Allbritten can help you avoid problems and leaks.

What is pipe stress?

This isn’t your pipes being stressed about an upcoming exam or financial woes. Instead, pipe stress refers to pipes that are bearing too large of a load at too high of pressure. There are two primary drivers of pipe problems:

  • Water Pressure: The water pressure in your home’s plumbing is too high, which stresses the pipes, gaskets, and seals of your home’s plumbing.
  • Hard Water: As minerals from water leech out while passing through your plumbing, they collect inside pipes, forming hard calcification spots. Over time, this reduces the flow through the pipe, increasing the pressure and corroding joints.

The problems with pressure in pipes can be observed in your garden hose. Let’s say that you have the hose on at full capacity. If you were to then restrict most of the flow by pinching the end of the hose, the remaining water would shoot out of the end of the hose more forcefully.

That same phenomenon is happening your home’s plumbing every time you turn on the shower or sink faucet, or every time you start a load of laundry. Over time, that stress wears on pipes and fittings.

How you can address pipe stress in your home

Your home’s pipes don’t have to be doomed to a future of leaks and problems. The professional plumbers at Allbritten can help ensure that your pipes are looking good and have a reduced stress level. Here are the two steps we take to address pipe stress problems:

Step #1: Have Allbritten check the pressure on your pipes

Water pressure over 80 pounds-per-square-inch (psi) can lead to increased stress on your pipes, causing strain inside the pipe and damaging your fixtures.

High water pressure is particularly damaging to copper pipes. In order to avoid corrosion, copper pipes have oxide coating on the interior pipe walls. This coating gets damaged when the water pressure is too high.

Water pressure should ideally be between 40 and 80 psi. If the water pressure is higher than the maximum threshold, it can cause plumbing damage.

Call Allbritten to have us measure your home’s water pressure. If the water pressure in your home is too high, we’ll likely recommend a solution such as a pressure regulator, a device that reduces the pressure of the water entering your home.

Step #2: Have Allbritten install a water softener

People who use well water or municipal water should consider using a water softener. Especially when drawn from wells and aquifers, water is typically hard, not soft, in the Fresno area. This water can damage the pipes and restrict the flow of water. It can also cause corrosion in the joints. Also, the fittings that keep the pipe together can corrode due to hard water.

You should examine faucets and shower heads to find out whether there is any white colored stains and buildup. These are usually magnesium, or other minerals that are found in high quantity in hard water.

Another way to know about hard water is to have your water tested by the team at Allbritten. Above 140 parts per million (PPM) indicates hard water. You can easily resolve the hard water problem by calling us and having us install a water softener.

Call Allbritten for more ways to reduce pipe stress

Allbritten is Fresno’s trusted name in plumbing. Our team is known for fast, friendly service and our honest approach to doing business. To learn more about our water testing services, give us a call at (559) 292-4919 or contact us online.

Preventative plumbing: 5 ways to prevent major plumbing issues

How to prevent major plumbing issuesOut-of-sight, out-of-mind.

This old saying applies to your home’s plumbing. Most people tend to ignore the network of pipes inside the walls that delivers cold and hot water to showers, tubs, and sinks. They don’t think about the pipes that carry away waste and water.

However, giving your plumbing a little extra thought can help you prevent major plumbing issues. In this article, we’ll share 5 preventive plumbing tips that will help you avoid plumbing disaster.

Need help with your home’s plumbing, or have a plumbing issue? Contact our professional plumbers at Allbritten.

1. Address leaks immediately by calling Allbritten

A simple constant drip from the faucet can result in significantly increased water bills.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that leaky faucets results in the waste of more than three thousand gallons every year. A single leaky faucet can add about $15 to the bill. Multiple leaks inside the house can increase the bills considerably.

In addition, the environmental cost of the wastage of precious water can be great. That’s why it’s important that you address leaky issues immediately by calling in the professional plumbers from Allbritten.

2. Replace rubber hoses with stainless steel braided hoses

Your washing machine’s rubber hoses are at risk of unexpected bursting. This can happen when no one is around the house, resulting in massive water leakage—about five gallons per minute.

To avoid this problem, it’s important that you replace the rubber hose of the washing machine with a stainless steel braided hose. This will help you prevent unexpected plumbing emergencies.

3. Don’t pour grease down your drains

Grease buildup inside your drains is a major problem. Over time, accumulated grease can clog your sink or, worse, your sewer, causing a sewer backup. For this reason, you should avoid pouring grease down the drain.

Instead, you should consider discarding grease in a plastic container or jar. This will not only prevent plumbing issues, but also help out the environment.

Have a clogged sink or think you have a sewer backup issue? Stop running water and contact the plumbers here at Allbritten right away.

4. Prevent clogs, when possible

Another one of the major plumbing issues you’ll face as a homeowner is clogged drains. This is usually caused by the hairs that accumulate inside the drains.

The best way to avoid this issue is to place a drain screen. This will prevent buildup of hair inside the drain. The finer the screen, the better it will be able to prevent hair from clogging the drain.

5. Call Allbritten with both your minor and major plumbing issues

Don’t procrastinate when you have minor plumbing issues, or you risk them turning into major plumbing issues. Instead, contact us at Allbritten. We have a team of highly experienced plumbers who can perform all kinds of repairs at an affordable cost.

Avoid DIY drain cleaning and call the professionals

Why you Should Avoid DIY Drain CleaningWhen it comes to drain cleaning, most people think that they can do the task themselves. After all, DIY drain cleaning doesn’t seem to hard. There’s all sorts of products out there to dump down the drain.

However, while drain cleaning may seem like a simple DIY task, the reality is that it can be dangerous and could cost you more money than if you had called an expert.

Here, we will look at three main reasons why you should leave the drain cleaning to the experts at Allbritten.

1. You could damage your home’s drain pipes

Trying to clean the drain yourself can result in damage to the drain pipes. This is particularly the case if you use a commercial cleaner to clean the drain.

These products contain acidic solutions such as sulfuric acid that can corrode the pipes. Regular use of the cleaner can cause great damage to the pipes that will require costly repairs.

2. Most cleaners aren’t effective in clearing deeply clogged drains

You might be able to resolve simple clogs close to the drain through DIY drain cleaning. But the DIY approach will not work with clogs that are deep within the drain. Using metal snakes improperly can result in damage to the pipes. For serious clogs, you should always call an expert rather than try to resolve the problem yourself.

Different drain issues require different plumbing equipment. Professional plumbers have a large variety of plumbing tools. They know which tool will help in effectively cleaning the drain. You can save a lot of hassles and money if you call an expert plumber to clean the drain.

3. In some cases, DIY drain cleaning is dangerous

An important reason that you should avoid DIY drain cleaning is that it can be dangerous. The harsh draining cleaning chemicals can cause skin irritations if there’s exposure. You can also cut yourself on broken metal or get your hand stuck in a pipe.

In contrast, our professional plumbers are trained in the safe usage of drain cleaning chemicals and tools. They know what precautions to take when cleaning the drain. They are trained to perform the job safely.

Skip the DIY drain cleaning and call Allbritten for drain cleaning services

Trying to clean the drain yourself may look tempting. However, it’s recommended that you hire an experienced plumber to clean your drains. You can get injured or damage the pipes if you try to clean the drain yourself.

In fact, you can end up paying more money even when trying to fix a simple drain problem. The next time the drain clogs, it’s better that you save yourself from the problems and risks of DIY drain cleaning and call a professional.

Contact Allbritten. We have a team of licensed and certified plumbers who can help you with all types of plumbing problems.