Consider It Done!
PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY

If the pilot light pilot light on your gas water heater will not stay lit or the burner that will not ignite, you likely have a defective thermocouple. A thermocouple works by sensing the heat from the pilot flame and, when the temperature is high enough, it sends a signal to the gas valve to supply gas to the pilot light.

Water Heater Thermocouple

A thermocouple is an important safety device that prevents gas from being sent to the pilot and burner if there is no source of ignition. If the gas were to continue flowing to an unlit pilot light, the result would be a hazardous buildup of natural gas. While the part sends an electric signal to the gas valve, it doesn't use any electricity itself, but instead uses heat to generate an electrical impulse.

The first sign that a thermocouple is failing is that the supply of hot water is reduced or stopped altogether as the thermocouple receives false signals and shuts off the gas, thinking the pilot light is out. If the pilot light remains lit but the gas supply is shut off, the thermocouple is the likely culprit. A plumber should inspect the unit to diagnose the problem. If the thermocouple has stopped working, it is not repairable and should be replaced.

Have questions about your water heater? Cll ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:21

How Often Should I Flush My Water Heater Tank?

If you have a tank-style gas or electric water heater you can extend the lifespan of the unit by regularly flushing the tank to remove sediment build-up that can reduce heating efficiency and shorten the lifespan of the unit. Sediment is caused by minerals in the water that accumulate at the bottom of the tank. Flushing the tank removed the buildup and helps the burner work more efficiently. It also reduces the likelihood that the bottom of the tank will develop corrosion and leaks.

Sarasota Water Heater Maintenance

How often you should flush the tank depends on a number of factors, including the size of the tank, the number of people in the household and how hard your water is. Here is a general guide for how often you should flush your tank.

1 or 2 person household - Inspect the water heater every 6 months and flush the tank every 12 months.

3 or 5 person household - Inspect the water heater every 4 months and drain the tank every 8 months.

6 or more person household: Inspect the water heater every 4 months and drain the tank every 6 months.

Need help maintaining your water heater? Call ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help with all you home pluming maintenance needs.
Thursday, 23 March 2017 01:06

Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters

When most people think of heat pumps in the home, it's usually as a source of central heating or cooling. But a heat pump also can be used to heat water. Heat pump water heaters work by transferring heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. As a result, they can be up to three times more energy efficient as a conventional water heater.

To move the heat, heat pumps works sort of like a refrigerator in reverse. While a refrigerator draws heat from inside the appliance and exhausts it to the room, an air-source heat pump water heater draws heat from air in the room and transfers it – at a higher temperature – into the water heater.

Hybrid heat pump water heaters are available as stand-alone, integrated unit with a built-in water storage tank and back-up resistance heating elements. Or, an existing tank storage water heater can be retrofitted with a heat pump.

Heat Pump Water Heater Requirements
To operate efficiently heat pump water heaters need at least 1,000 cubic feet of air space around the water heater with a temperature that is in the 40-90 degree fahrenheit range.To optimize performance they can be installed in a space with excess heat, near a furnace for example.

Have questions about choosing the right water heater for your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help.
By default, many water heater manufacturers set the temperature on the thermostat at 140 Fahrenheit. For most households, this is simply too high. One rule of thumb: if you can't hold your hand under the tap with the water on it's hottest setting, the water heater is turned up too high, and your wasting energy. In addition, setting the temperature too high increasing the risk of scalding, of particular concern if there are young children or elderly residents in the home.

Setting the water heater to 120 Fahrenheit work well in most cases. Turning the temperature down 20 degrees saves 6 to 10 percent on energy costs. If you're finding that 120 F is leaving you wishing the water was hotter, gradually adjust the setting upward until a comfortable setting is achieved.

Have questions abut your water heater? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help.
When choosing a new water heater there are several types to choose from. Each offers advantages and disadvantages, here is a comparison, starting with the most popular water heater designs.

Storage Hot Water Heaters

Advantages
  • Available in a wide range of sizes
  • Inexpensive to purchase and install
  • Energy source gas or electric 
  • Average EF rating 0.67
Disadvantages
  • Tank size has increased with NAECA standards, so installation requires more space
  • Limited supply of hot water during extended use
  • Can waste up to 15% of energy through radiant heat loss
  • Life expectancy of 10-15 years

Tankless Hot Water Heaters - On Demand Water Heaters

Advantages
  • Consume 20% to 30% less energy than storage tank models
  • Meets NAECA standards without increase in size or installation costs.
  • Take up less space, can be mounted on a wall
  • Very little standby energy waste
  • Virtually endless supply of hot water
  • Life expectancy of 20 or more years
  • Average EF rating 0.75
Disadvantages
  • Hot water flow rate is limited by the size of the unit
  • Typically more complicated and expensive to install
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 19:06

Troubleshooting Water Heater Problems

When water heater problems arise they usually present a few symptoms, these include:

No hot water

With a gas water heater, this is usually caused by a faulty pilot light, thermocouple or pilot control valve.

Hot water is running out too soon

Sometimes the tank is simply too small to meet the demands of the household for hot water. Other reasons could be a broken dip tube that is allowing cold and hot water to mix or a gas supply issue that is preventing the burner from reaching the preset temperature.

Discoloration of water

Rust colored water is usually an indication that corrosion is happing inside the tank. If the anode rod has failed corrosion can start attacking the inside glass lined tank, discoloring the water.

Water odors

Rotten egg and other smells could mean there is bacteria growing in the tank. Sediment fed by the corrosion of the tank anode tube is usually the cause. Flushing the tank can remove the sediment and the odors.

Unusual noises such as rumbling, popping or whining

When excessive sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank it can cause the water to boil and make noises as it percolates upwards. The tank should be flushed to remove the sediment.

Water leaks near the base of the water heater

Broken temperature or pressure relief valves are usually the cause of water leaks. Also check the plumbing supply connections above the tank for possible leaks.

If the water tank is getting up in years it could be a leaking storage tank caused by excessive corrosion. If this is the case, the water heater will need to be replaced.

Have questions about your water heater? Give ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning a call, we can help.

Thursday, 08 October 2015 20:36

6 Tips to Save On Your Water Heating Bill

Heating water is one of the most energy intensive tasks in most homes. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to ensure your water heater is working as efficiently as possible and to reduce your hot water usage.

  1. Set the water heater thermostat at 140 degrees or "normal."
  2. Use a water heater blanket to insulate the tank and prevent heat from escaping.
  3. Install energy-saving low-flow shower heads. These will save a significant amount of hot water with little effect on water pressure.
  4. Wash your laundry using a cold water detergent. Many laundry detergents are available that are formulated for cold water.
  5. Fix defective plumbing or dripping faucets. A single dripping hot water faucet can waste 212 gallons of water a month. That not only increases water bills, but also increases the gas or electric bill for heating the water.
  6. Wash only full loads in a dishwasher and use the shortest cycle that will get your dishes clean. If operating instructions allow, turn off the dishwasher before the drying cycle, open the door and let the dishes dry naturally.

It's also a good idea to flush your water heater tank at least once a year. This will remove sediment that can reduce heating efficiency and shorten the life of the water heater. 

Have questions about your water heater? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.


Thursday, 04 June 2015 12:03

Water Heater Technology For The Home

Water heater technology has advanced the last 10 years with several options to consider besides the conventional electric or gas tank water heater. Tank water heaters store 20-80 gallons of hot water and are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install. However, because they must maintain a large volume of heated water, they can be more costly to operate. Newer technology is designed to address some of the shortcomings of the traditional water heater.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless or demand-type water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. A gas burner or electric element heats the cold water as it passes through the water heater. Households that require a lot of hot water can benefit the from a virtually endless supply of hot water. One downside to tankless water heaters is they typically cost more to purchase and install, although they can last longer than conventional tank water heaters if properly maintained. Another disadvantage of tankless water heaters is they can take longer to heat the water initially when the tap is first turned on.

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters are designed to combine the benefits of a conventional tank water heater and a tankless water heater. They have a small storage tank that provides an initial supply of hot water, then heats cold water on demand with a heating element similar to a tankless water heater.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters distribute heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly to providing hot water.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters use the sun's heat to heat water. A roof-mounted solar collector absorbs the sun's heat and stores it in a special fluid that circulates in a closed-loop system that heats water in a tank.

Have questions about which water heater is right for your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We're here to help.

The U.S. Department of Energy has put into effect new regulations that require all manufacturers of water heaters to meet a higher energy factor (EF) rating. Based on the new requirements, there will be significant changes to water heaters manufactured after April 15, 2015. This includes gas, oil, electric water heaters. Tankless water heaters already meet the new requirements.

How do these changes affect you?

Some of the changes that may affect you as a consumer are:
· Higher priced units – up to 35% more expensive.
· Larger units – 2” tall and 2” wider, and in some cases units may be even larger.
· More complex installation requirements
· Possible significant home remodeling costs if your water heater is located in a small space like a closet or attic.

These new regulations are being made to improve the efficiency of water heaters, which will result in lower energy costs for homeowners.

Water Heater Regulations

Should I Wait, Or Upgrade Now?

Sarasota Water HeatersAccording to manufacturer’s suggested service life, the average lifespan of a water heater is about 8-12 years. Homeowners with water heaters 10 years old or older need to seriously consider replacing it now, before the regulations go into effect and costs go up.

ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning will answer any questions you may have about the new regulations, evaluate your current water heater and provide you with options on the next steps. Then, if you decide you want to install before the new regulations take affect we’ll reserve your water heater from our inventory.

For more information, visit:
U.S. Department of Energy
AO Smith
American Water Heaters
State Water Heaters

Is a Tankless Water Heater the Right Choice For My Home?

Tankless Water Heaters SarasotaWhen it comes time to replace your old water heater, you make be considering the advantages of upgrading to a tankless water heater versus buying another new tank-style water heater. Here are some common questions about tankless water heaters.

How does a tankless water heater work?

A tankless water heater works on demand so it isn’t using any gas until the hot water is turned on from the point of use.  The units ABC installs start working at very low pressures to ensure the unit turns on quickly and then will continue to provide hot water heater for as long as you want to use the shower or faucet, etc. Premium tankless water heaters, also called hybrid water heaters, have a buffer tank installed with a pump,  this eliminates the “cold water sandwich” that is common amongst tankless water heaters,  it also allows the hot water to get to the faucet faster. 

What are the advantages of using a tankless water heater?

The first benefit is endless hot water,  you can literally turn the hot water on at 8am and then shut it off at 9pm and it will still be the same temperature.  They also are more efficient than a typical heater usually this means you save on your gas bill.  Next, all parts of the unit are replaceable unlike a tank type water heater,  which means a much longer life expectancy and better warranties.  Because it doesn't have a large tank of water, it will not flood the basement and takes up no floor space. Another advantage to tankless water heater is space. Because they are mounted to the wall, they don't take up floor space like a conventional tank unit will.

What are the disadvantages?

The main disadvantage of tankless water heaters is cost. They will cost more to purchase and install than a standard tank water heater. However, because of the lower energy consumption and longer expected lifespan, the long term cost can be competitive with conventional water heaters.

Because a tankless water heater takes a few seconds to heat up before the heat is transfered to the water, a small amount of cold water can make it through the heat exchanger without warming up. The result is a "cold water sandwich" can occur. One solution is to install a hybrid water heater. A hybrid water heater works just like a tankless water heater, but employs a small tank of continually heated water that's designed to prevent unheated water from leaving the unit.

Can a tankless water heater be installed in the same place as the old water heater?

Yes,  they can be installed almost anywhere because the manufacturing process is completing at the job site it allows greater flexibility for installation location.

How much does it cost to have a tankless water heater installed?

This depends on various things throughout the installation process and what exactly you looking for. That is why ABC Southwest always sends a licensed technician to the home first, to examine and discuss the options available. We provide you with a guaranteed price in writing before any work begins.
Page 1 of 2

More than a promise, our level of service is guaranteed

  • Live operators - no answering machines
  • Appointments made around your schedule
  • Friendly, uniformed technicians
  • On time arrival
  • We wear shoe covers and use work mats
  • We explain all options in non-technical language
  • Follow up to make sure you're 100% satisfied
  • We stand by everything we do - NO EXCEPTIONS!
About You No Surprises

What Your Neighbors Are Saying About ABC Southwest

  • "ABC Plumbing& A/C is a company I would keep for all time. Had an emergency at night, and they came right away, very little wait time. 2 days later, Henry and Trenton did a very big job and explained in detail what they had to do. Very polite, knowledgeable, and they even cleaned up!!! Which they didn't have to do. Thank you for all your hard work!!" Read More
    – Henry C., Facebook Review
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4