Tag Archives: water heater

How to Select a new Hot Water Heater for your home

waterheaterSelecting a water heater isn’t as easy as it used to be. Which is actually a great problem to have. Thanks to advances in technology, there are options for different budgets, energy sources, and household sizes. Modern water heaters are more efficient than older units, as well as longer lasting and easier to service. Let’s explore the different types of water heaters and find which one is best for your needs.

Tips for Buying a Water Heater
What may be best for your neighbors down the road isn’t necessarily best for you.

What energy source do you have?
Gas water heaters use propane or natural gas to heat the water. Electric water heaters are plugged into your home’s power supply. Research the cost of these utilities in your area, and see which one is the most affordable. Your existing utilities should guide your choice.
How much hot water do you need?
Hot water heaters come in different sizes and are rated to supply a certain amount of gallons per hour (GPH). To narrow down your decision, ask yourself how much hot water you or your family need. Do you use water at an average rate, or do you need a little extra?
How much space do you have?
Traditional and hybrid hot water heaters take up a lot of space, whereas tankless water heaters are compact. Ask yourself where the water heater will be installed and how much room you have.
Finding the Perfect Hot Water Heater
Let’s break down the pros and cons of gas and electric water heaters:

Gas Water Heaters: These have a higher up-front cost and must be vented outside, but they are more affordable to operate long-term. Gas water heaters also have a higher recovery rate, which is the time it takes to reheat the water after it is depleted.

Electric Water Heaters: These are easy to maintain and install, but they cost more to run and have a slower recovery rate than gas. Electric water heaters are a better option for homes that do not already use gas for other appliances.

Water Heater Size Considerations
The size of traditional hot water heater you need depends on the amount of people in your home. Most manufacturers provide guidelines for their units. A family of four should typically look at 50-gallon water heater or larger models.

Don’t just rely on the capacity of your water heater to determine if it is large enough. You should also look at the first-hour rating (FHR), which tells you how much water the unit will heat in a set amount of time. When you’re shopping for a new unit, ask about the FHR or consult this water heater size guide from the Department of Energy.

How to Choose a Tankless Hot Water Heater
Homeowners like tankless hot water heaters because they’re compact. They’re also more efficient, since they do not keep a tank of hot water ready to go. They can deliver an endless supply of hot water for even the longest-shower takers. They come in both electric and gas models, so simply choose the one that’s most compatible with your home and your utility bills.

How to Choose a Traditional Water Heater
Once you’ve landed on the correct size of a traditional water heater, as explained above, the next matter to decide is which energy source to use. If other appliances in your home already use propane or natural gas, it makes sense to buy a gas water heater. Otherwise, electric is a better option, since it can be expensive to install gas utilities for a water heater.

How to Choose a Hybrid Water Heater
Hybrid water heaters have a high up-front cost but are significantly more efficient than their counterparts. They have more moving parts, which can complicate maintenance, and they also require regular filter cleaning. They also require a drain, since they produce condensation. Finally, they require a lot of space. Hybrid water heaters are ideal for warmer climates or climate-controlled rooms, as they’re sensitive to extreme temperatures.

Point-of-Use Hot Water?
Point-of-use hot water systems deliver hot water to only one faucet or sink. They’re perfect for utility rooms, tiny homes, or areas of the home where running plumbing for hot water is cost prohibitive.

Professional Water Heater Installation
Once you’ve found the right water heater, give Charlotte Pluming Repair a call for water heater installation. We’ll take care of all the necessary installation procedures and adhere to local building codes to ensure a reliable and efficient installation. Give us a call at (704) 394-5252, or request a job estimate online.

If you’re looking for more advice about home appliances or need experts to help you maintain them, call Mr. Appliance. As part of Neighborly’s network of home service providers, Mr. Appliance is a brand you can trust for expert appliance maintenance and repair.

This blog is made available by Charlotte Pluming Repair , for educational purposes only to give the reader general information and a general understanding on the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project.
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Plumbing
Plumbing Tips

Winter maintenance tips for your home.

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Keep your home warm and dry this season by reducing plumbing repairs before they happen – with some preventative maintenance, of course. Avoid the hazards of cold weather by completing these action items before the temperatures dip.
Check up on the heating and insulation system
If you live in a cold climate, the heating system will be running constantly during winter. This calls for proper cleaning, insulation and ventilation of your HVAC system, crawlspace and attic. Clean or change out your HVAC filter in preparation for heavy usage, and make sure the attic area is properly insulated. Insulation in the crawlspace and ceilings will keep the heat inside the living space and prevent warm air from escaping. Sealing the gaps around windows, plumbing, vents and lighting fixtures will also maximize energy efficiency in your property.
Prevent frozen pipes
Avoid frozen pipes this season – and all the collateral damage they can cause – by adding extra insulation to exposed pipes in the crawlspace, basement or attic. Damage due to frozen pipes is common but completely preventable. Taking the precaution to seal, insulate and wrap pipes will prevent cold air from getting into the pipes. Exterior faucets should be drained and shut off for the season. Educate your tenants about what they need to do when the temperature drops, such as leaving a trickle of water on overnight, leaving cabinet doors open, and keeping the thermostat at a consistent temperature.
Winter-proof the exterior
Your landscaping may have gone dormant, but you’re not done with yard work yet. Prevent damages from icy conditions by trimming trees and shrubs so they don’t brush up against the walls and windows. Regularly inspect your roof for the formation of ice dams, which can damage your roof and cause water leakage. Close any crawlspace vents in the foundation, and seal any cracks or small openings so small critters can’t burrow in. If your residents are taking care of snow removal on your property, move snow shovels and blowers to an accessible spot.
Prepare for the worst
A bad storm can result in a blackout or being snowed in. Remember to be prepared for the worst by keeping bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights and emergency phone numbers on hand.


As seen on PlumberSpot.com

Do-It-Yourself Plumbing Repair Tips

The Most Common Plumbing Problems and When to Call a Professional
Almost every homeowner or renter has a few essential tools on hand to cope with minor plumbing emergencies. Many times, a clogged toilet or slow drain may need a little elbow grease and a plunger to work as intended. If you’re handy around the house, you can generally tackle a small repair such as changing out a worn washer or replacing a drain cover. However, bigger plumbing repair jobs need professional plumbers charlotte nc. Trying to repair some common issues such as slow drains or leaking toilets could lead to bigger problems later.

Plumbing Maintenance
One way to prevent costly repairs to your home is a regular maintenance schedule. Because many issues with your pipes sneak up on you, a thorough inspection is the key to catching small problems before they grow. Hidden leaks in sink drains or below water heaters are more than just a nuisance; over time, they can cause structural damage. Water that seeps into sheet rock or plaster contributes to mold growth. Porous tile or wood flooring can discolor or warp when wet.

Many routine maintenance tasks are simple do-it-yourself jobs. An inspection is the foundation of any maintenance schedule. You may use your sinks and tubs daily, but you might not notice minor concerns unless you set aside time for an inspection. Go through your home and take a look at your plumbing. Examine all exposed pipes, including under sinks and behind toilet tanks, for any signs of moisture. On a humid day, some condensation on a cold metal pipe is normal, so note any dampness and check the pipes again when the home is cooler. Check for signs of corrosion on brass or copper fittings; corrosion occurs more rapidly on damp metal, so corroded connections could reveal a slow leak.

Turn on water faucets in sinks, showers and tubs to monitor water pressure. Some variation between different faucet styles and purposes is normal, but all of them should have a steady flow. Note how quickly the water drains after you test the faucet, too; slow drains could mean a clog waiting to happen. While you’re making your rounds, flush toilets to ensure they don’t run or leak at the base, a sign of a faulty wax seal.

Inspections from a certified Charlotte, NC, plumber give you a more in-depth look at your home’s pipes and drains. Your inspector will check the water heater, garbage disposal and every area of your home’s plumbing system. More thorough assessments might include remote video inspection of pipes, lead testing and filter system inspection.

After a thorough inspection, remove and clean aerators on faucets and shower heads. Sediment can build up and slow water flow. If you opt for professional plumbing maintenance, your plumber will take care of this step and others for you. Some of the maintenance duties a licensed plumber can perform include:

treatment to maximize flow rate
cleaning of garbage disposals and water heaters
pressure tests to detect hairline leaks
water pressure assessment and adjustment
Common Plumbing Repair Jobs
Even the most thorough plumbing maintenance inspection won’t prevent the occasional clog or leak, especially in older homes. The clay soil in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area also contributes to septic system problems that can affect toilets and drains. Many of these common issues have equally common solutions.

Dripping
If you’ve ever tried to fall asleep with a dripping faucet in the next room or wrestled with a kitchen sink that didn’t know when to stop, you know how annoying this common problem can be. A dripping faucet also drives your water bill higher. A single faucet can send hundreds of gallons of water per year down your drains a drop at a time.

Water entering your home is under pressure to move it through the pipes. When you turn off the tap, rubber or silicone-based washers form a water-tight seal that prevents more water from pushing its way through the pipes and out of the faucet. Over time, washers can become stiff, torn or dislodged, allowing a tiny trickle of water through and creating that annoying drip. While you can replace washers yourself, the repair job can be more of a challenge than you might expect without specialized tools. If the leak has gone on long enough, the valve seat may become worn or corroded, necessitating a more involved repair that’s best left to a professional plumber.

Not all sinks have washers to hold back the flow of water. Ceramic taps, also called disc or canister taps, use durable ceramic plates that fit together to form a seal. Although they need maintenance less often than rubber washers, the repair job is more complex than a simple washer replacement. If you have a lever-operated sink or tub instead of one with separate knobs, you probably have a ceramic disc or canister tap.

Low Water Pressure
When water that should gush only trickles from the tap, you have low water pressure. This problem might not be related to the pipes in your house but to the municipal water supply. It’s rare, but a break in a main line can temporarily reduce your water pressure. A more common cause of this problem is a build-up of deposits or sediment on faucet aerators.

The water entering your pipes carries dissolved minerals in it that eventually deposit themselves on metal surfaces. If you have a filtration system, these deposits wind up in the filters and get changed; without such a system, these mineral deposits collect on inner surfaces of aerators and shower heads, clogging screens and slowing flow. Most kitchen faucets have easily removed aerators that just unscrew from the tip of the faucet for easy cleaning. Taking off the aerator and soaking it overnight in a vinegar solution will generally dissolve the calcium deposits common in Florida water supplies. Shower heads and bathroom faucets may not be as easy to remove, but you can affix a plastic bag filled with vinegar to the shower overnight to clean it.

If you still notice low water pressure after cleaning aerators and shower heads of sediment and deposits, you might have a more complex issue. A leak or breach in pipes leading into your home is an emergency that could damage your home’s infrastructure or foundation. Sudden and significant reduction in water pressure with no known cause merits a call to a licensed plumber who can pinpoint the reason for the change.

Running Toilet
If you’re tired of jiggling the handle to make your toilet behave after flushing, it might be time to replace its inner workings. Toilets typically run when the flapper valve that lets water pass from the tank to the bowl no longer fits properly, the float is imbalanced or the fill tube comes loose. Toilet repair kits work for most models and require little effort to install.

Occasionally, though, run for more complex reasons. If you’ve replaced the flapper, float apparatus and fill tube, you may have sediment that’s affecting proper flushing and filling. Higher water bills could also indicate a silent leak. To detect a silent leak in your toilet, add a few drops of food coloring to the upper tank and wait 15 to 20 minutes. Look in the bowl for any hint of color; if you see tinted water, your flapper valve isn’t working as it should.

Leaky Pipes
Whether your regular inspection reveals a puddle under a pipe or you get an unpleasant surprise when you reach under your sink, leaks can be a costly nuisance. Leaks usually happen at joints, which is why commercial joint fillers and fitting compounds occupy plenty of shelf space in your local hardware store. These products are a temporary fix, though; a permanent plumbing repair may mean replacing a length of pipe or its fittings.

Although replacing a leaky U-joint under your sink isn’t a complex repair, it is a messy one. You may want to have a professional handle it for you to save the clean-up time. Until the plumber can get to your leak, use a compression clamp and a rubber sheet or leak tape. These temporary repairs keep water from spraying but are easily removed when it’s time for a permanent solution.

Slow or Clogged Drains
When the water that goes into your sink, tub or toilet won’t go out, you probably have a partial or complete clog. In many cases, your trusty plunger can fix the problem. Plungers use air pressure to dislodge a clog, but they can’t remove it entirely. Commercial drain cleaners and clog removers are safe for most drains for occasional use, but these caustic materials can damage some pipe materials if used too frequently. If you’re dealing with clogs on a regular basis, it’s time to call a pro.

Even if you don’t have a complete clog, debris in pipes can slow drainage to a trickle. Shine a flashlight into the drain and see if you can spot the problem. A pair of pliers or tweezers might be able to reach a clump of hair or fallen bottle cap that’s obstructing your pipes. Installing drain screens can prevent detritus from finding its way into drains.

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Before tackling any repair, turn off the water main.

Dress to get wet. Even if you’re careful, plumbing maintenance and repair is a messy task.

The adage to measure twice and cut once applies to pipes, washers and other fittings as well as to carpentry. When possible, take parts to be replaced to the hardware store with you to be sure you’re buying the right item.

Keep a professional plumber’s number handy (704) 394-5252. You may not need the number, but if you snap off a valve and have a geyser in your kitchen, you’ll be glad you kept it near your phone.

When to Call a Professional Plumber
Some issues are too dangerous or complicated to tackle alone. Hire a certified Concord, NC plumber for the following tasks for your safety and the integrity of your home:

installation of new pipes, sinks or tubs
water heater problems
new construction that requires building permits
septic tank leaks
sewer line breaks or leaks
If you have questions, want to schedule a maintenance visit or have a repair emergency, contact Charlotte Plumbing & Repair.
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Remodeling and Home Design

Friendly Environmentally Plumbing

There are a lot of means we can ease our influence on the environment. Making your home plumbing system more environmentally friendly is among them. Greening up your plumbing will have direct perks on the environment, and will save you cash in the long run says Charlotte Plumbing & Repair.

These 5 enhancements to your plumbing system will make the basic things you do every day much better for the environment:

Plumbing Repair Huntersville.
A domestic continuous made by Rinnai in Japan.

Tankless water heater. These energy-saving appliances significantly minimize your environmental effect. Water is rapidly warmed by a heating aspect that provides hot water on demand without a holding tank. Rather of heating 40 or more gallons of water 24/7, tankless water heaters only heat the water you make use of.

Low-flow commodes, fixtures and faucets. We’ve come a long way since the first low-flow fixtures and toilets were introduced to the marketplace. New technology has actually made them not just more reliable, but more effective. Updating your plumbing system with eco friendly fixtures minimizes the amount of water you make use of, and the amount of water you spend for.

Efficient appliances. Anything that makes use of water in your home belongs to your plumbing system. That consists of dishwashers, automatic ice makers, laundry equipment, water heaters and centralized humidifiers. Water is becoming a progressively important resource. The quality and price of water depend on our efforts to make our home water utilize more eco friendly. Update your plumbing system with efficient home appliances that make the most utilize from the least water.

Aerators. Faucet aerators pressurize water that originates from your tap. By presenting air to the stream of water, aerators reduce water use without decreasing water pressure. Aerators frequently increase your water pressure while decreasing overall flow of water in a house.

Pipe insulation. Water heaters are typically located in the basement or remote area of a house. The further hot water needs to travel to the sinks and appliances in your house, the even more heat is lost through the pipes that bring it there. A simple means to maintain more of that heat is to purchase and set up pipe insulation around your hot water pipes. The versatile foam insulation is inexpensive and easy to install. More importantly, it will make your hot water use more reliable and ecologically friendly.

Charlotte Plumbing & Repair hope you take a look at our homepage here too! WWW.charlotteplumbingsvc.com

Plumbing vent types & Terms

Posted by: Charlotte Plumbing & Repair

Vents play a vital component in a home’s drainage program. A faulty venting program will not only trigger aggravation when the drainage system malfunctions, it could also make you and your loved ones ill if it compromises the seal that traps are supposed to maintain against sewer gas. It really is to recognize the various venting choices doable, at the same time as size and installation basics, in the event you program to alter or add your current method.

Venting Types and Terms:
Here are a couple of of essentially the most widespread kinds of events you will uncover within the home.

Vent Terminal: a vent terminal is roughly equivalent to the distance between floors, but as a result of layout considerations, it frequently starts a foot below one floor and ends of foot below the next.
Broken vent: the term broken vent refers to an improperly installed vent that, consistently is ineffective. A broken vent is a small far better than no vent at all.

Stack Vent: vertical drainage stacks are also considered events since furthermore to carrying water, they pull relief air from above the roof. Short horizontal branch lines extending from a vertical stack don’t need extra venting and therefore, are said to be stacked vented.

Vent Stack: a vent stack is a vertical stack installed from the sole purpose of providing relief air. It doesn’t carry water. A vent stack could be tied into the Stack vent above the highest fixture or exit the roof independently.

You may have observed plumbing diagrams within the past with vent stack beginning below the lowest fixture on the stack and continuing into the attic. All fixtures are shown connected to the Stack vent. Nonetheless, dedicated program wide vent stacks are rarely identified in residential installations. They work best in tall commercial buildings

Stack-Vented Branch Arm: in a correctly created method, fixture drain lines are sized so that they are able to by no means run a lot more than one half full. If a horizontal branch pipe isn’t too lengthy unused best half of the pipe can serve as a bank. It feeds air from the stack to the back of the flow, preserving the trap seal. But such a stack prevented branch arm is limited.

The branch need to serve the highest fixture or fix your combination on the stack. This highest fixture rule applies to every individual stack, even when the highest fixture on a second stack is really a floor or two above or below that of the primary stack, supplying that all stacks extend to the open air above the roof. This nevertheless, can have an exception: rules do not apply to a basement bathroom due to the fact most of that piping is horizontal.

The length of the branch should not exceed the limits established by code. The bigger the pipe diameter, the longer the allowed length for the pipe. For instance, most codes specify that 1 a half inch diameter branch arm can extend 5 feet from the stack to the trap, even though numerous further limit that to 3 1/2 feet. Most codes permit 8 feet for it to winch line and 10 feet for 3 inch line. You have to present something longer.

Re-vent: a revamped is really a vent added to a fixture drain when the primary vent is broken in some way. When a branch arm is too lengthy, for instance, when it should step up to accommodate structural barriers, you have to install a re-vent.

Wet and Dry Vents: a wet vent carries water too as air via some component of it piping. A basement bathroom provides a superb example for this simply because the vent for the toilet line also carries water from the tub and laboratory. Although wetlands are handy and efficient, they have their limits. Simply because air ought to share space with water, what vents are low volume vents. They can’t vent many fixtures. The drive vent does not carry water, so it has greater fixture capacity.
Widespread vent: a typical vent is really a single vent pipe that offers relief air to bore fixtures on the single branch line. When you are venting two fixtures on a single branch line, you have to location a typical event between the train outlets. When you are venting far more than to fixtures, install the vent between the last and second to last fixture outlets.

Loop Vent: you need to install a sink in the kitchen island; a conventional vent will not work. In this scenario, a loop vent may be the appropriate kind of vent to use. Loop vents simply handle the low volume fixtures and (like kitchen sinks) which can be installed in island cabinets.

Loop Vents do not extend to open air or tie into stacks or vent stacks. I have no direct, fresh air connections. Rather, and also the volume of air within the piping loop gives the required pressure relief. For this reason, Loop vents are also recognized as barometric vents.

Automatic Event Device: a nonmagnetic device can take the place of a loop vent. It consists of an inverted cup with the spring-loaded diaphragm. This spring permits the piping method to pull air from the cabinet space but keeps gas from escaping. It’s basically a type of check valve, permitting air to flow in only 1 direction.

Although automatic vent devices might be program savers, do not use them where it is feasible to install conventional fence. Since automatic bands have limited capacity, do not use them to vent high-volume drains or to vent much more than 1 fixture. Install them to ensure that they always remain accessible since they can wear out and might want replacing.

Plumbing Repairs

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Most common misconceptions about plumbers.

downloadWhat stereotypes come to mind when you think of plumbers? Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumbers Charlotte NC is not like other companies in the industry. That’s why we’re here to iron out 14 of the most common misconceptions about .

Plumbers make a mess. At Charlotte Plumbing & Repair , this simply isn’t true. We go to such painstaking lengths to respect your home that we actually leave it cleaner than when we found it. For instance, our are careful to park in the street to keep your driveway clear and they never walk on the grass. They even wear shoe covers to prevent tracking anything inside.
Plumbers are not . Perhaps images of smelly, rude, plaid shirt-wearing men are what come to mind when you think of plumbers.Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumber couldn’t be further from this description. They are clean, polite and wear a professional uniform. You’ve never seen a more professional group of than Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumbers.
Plumbers charge hefty overtime fees. Have a plumbing emergency? .
Plumbers take their sweet time getting to the residence. We have plumbers on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies in a timely fashion.
Plumbers make up the price as they go along. Our plumbers draw from years of training and experience to produce an accurate estimate before they start on the job. They explain exactly what steps are required for the repair or replacement and how much it will cost so you can decide if you want to go through with it. You’ll always get the price up front, before any work begins.
Plumbers do the work and stick the customer with the bill. Our plumbers keep you informed of any additional problems they find with the or hiccups that may arise during the repair so you’re not left with any unpleasant surprises on the bill.
Plumbers tack on hidden fees. We have clear, upfront pricing and always keep you in the know regarding your plumbing bill. Our plumbers are honest and never overcharge for parts or labor.
Plumbers take their sweet time so they can charge more. Our plumbers arrive promptly and get right to work. They complete the job with the perfect combination of speed and accuracy so the work is completed quickly with no callbacks required.
Plumbers use industry jargon and make the customer feel stupid. Our plumbers want you to understand their process and explain things in layman’s terms to prevent confusion.
Plumbers make far-fetched promises. At Charlotte Plumbing & Repair, we only hire the most professional, experienced plumbers, but even they can’t always work miracles. Our plumbers try their hardest, but they never make a claim unless they can accomplish it.
Plumbers think they know better than the customer. On the contrary, our plumbers know how important it is to ask clarifying questions if they don’t understand the problem. They respect your input and understand that you may have been living with the problem for some time now and therefore understand it well.
Plumbers are loudmouths. If you’ve ever worked with Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumbers, you know they speak respectfully and calmly without sarcasm or profanity. They never say anything behind your back that they wouldn’t be willing to say to your face.
Plumbers often arrive without the right tools . While it’s true that replacement parts may take time to arrive, every dispatched Charlotte Plumbing & Repair van is equipped to handle any repair, large or small. From indoor faucet leaks to tree roots in your pipes, our plumbers can handle it all. Well-equipped vans prevent trips back and forth and let the job commence without delay.
Plumbers are rude. At Charlotte Plumbing & Repair, courtesy is one of the most important tools we carry. Our plumbers treat you with the respect and chivalry you deserve.

We recognize that exceptional plumbing is about more than clearing the drain clog or fixing the garbage disposal; it’s about assuring that you hired the right company from the moment a Charlotte Plumbing & Repair plumber enters your home. Contact us today to work with a different kind of plumbing company. .
(704) 394-5252.
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Charlotte Plumbing & Repair

What to do in a plumbing emergency

plumbers

Charlotte plumber sooner or later most homeowners will experience some type of plumbing emergency. Understanding what to do when a problem occurs will make the emergency much easier to deal with.

First, prepare yourself by locating the water shut-off valve, which is located next to your water meter. Once you have located your water meter, the valve next to it will be the water shut-off valve. By turning off the shut-off valve, you will stop all water from entering your home, thus minimizing water damage.

After you have shut-off the water supply, it is also a good idea to open all sink faucets to drain the water from the pipes to further minimize damage. Then, immediately call a plumber. Reputable, professional plumbers can usually send a technician out in a few hours. Follow any instructions given to you, while you wait for them to arrive.
It is also a good idea to use a mop, rags or paper towels to remove excess water, to help keeping water damage to a minimum.

In the case of overflowing toilets, you can shut-off the toilet water supply valve. This valve can usually be located between the bathroom floor and the toilet tank, on the water line supplying the toilet. If this is your plumbing problem, it is not necessary to shut-off the water to the entire home.

Clogged toilets and sink drains can sometimes be opened with a chemical drain opener. If this does not work, a plunger or snake can be tried to remove the clog. If these methods fail to open the clogged drain, you will need to call a plumber.

If it is a water heater problem, immediately shut the unit off. It is a good idea to locate the electrical shut-off switch beforehand. Also be sure to keep the telephone number of a licensed, professional plumber, with emergency services, handy. Handling a plumbing emergency can be made much easier, by following the steps above.

Are you facing a plumbing emergency in the Charlotte,Lake Norman area? Stop and call Charlotte Plumbing & Repair immediately at (704) 394-5252.

Leak Detection & Emergency Plumbing

TANKLESS IN CHARLOTTE, Water Heaters

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You can find a good-sized tank heater for a decent price in many places, but these inexpensive heaters may not always be the bargain they seem to be.

These are typically in the 40-50 gallon range, and they will heat water so that you have that many gallons available when you need to wash dishes, take a shower, wash the dog, or whatever.

The tank unit works by warming that amount of water and then holding it ready, just in case you need it. This means the water is kept at a steady 160 degrees (or whatever temperature you set it to), at all times of day.

The heater thus is going on and off all day and all night to keep the water hot. Your Charlotte electric bill reflects this.

It sounds like that cheap water heater may not be so cheap, doesn’t it? Yikes!

Hot Water Loss and Limited Supply

Traditional tank heaters lose heat steadily. As the tank stands full with hot water, that warmth is lost through heat that basically seeps away. Picture a tea or coffee mug. As the tea or coffee cools, that heat is lost.

Even though your heater is insulated, there is still significant heat lost as it radiates away. That heat loss can be as much as 20 to 40%.

Another drawback of traditional “cheap” water heaters is that the hot water can get used up. If one person takes a shower, he may actually use up all the water that is hot. Then the next person needs to wait 30-60 minutes to get hot shower.

What a drag!

An Efficient Alternative to Cheap Water Heaters

Consider a Tankless Heater.

You may also have heard of these called “point-of-use” heaters, “on-demand” heaters, or “electric instant hot water heaters.”

What this means is that the heater provides hot water when you need it.

There is no water stored. When you turn on the hot faucet, the on-demand heater warms up the water so you can take a shower for as long as you want, and then lets the next person shower, too – all without running out of hot water.

Why is this a better alternative to the cheap tank heaters you find at your Charlotte home improvement store?

Quite simply, cheap water heaters do not prove to be cheap in the long run.

Benefits of “Cheap Water Heaters”

You may want to reconsider what you think a cheap water heater is, since the research has shown that what may have been the cheap heater initially may not be the cheap heater in the long run.

Point-of-use tank heaters can be initially more expensive. However, think about this: Point-of-use heaters can save as much as 50% over your current heating expenses! An on-demand heater will only provide hot water when you need it, so there is no need to continue to heat water if you aren’t using it. No more day-and-night heating bills.

On-demand heaters are also cheap heaters because they don’t wear out like traditional tank units. Traditional units have a typical life of 6 to 12 years before needing to be replaced.

A tankless water heater can last 20 years and more, since they don’t have hot water “sitting” in the tank and corroding internal parts. Hard water scale and deposits can greatly reduce the life and efficiency of a tank heater.

Tankless heaters are also space-efficient. They take up a lot less room in your Charlotte home than their traditional counterparts. Imagine having your water heater hang on the wall, taking up only as much space as a briefcase!

One other benefit of this type of cheap water heater is their safety record. Traditional tank heaters require you to set a minimum temperature, which is often much higher than you really need. Point-of-use heaters allow you to set the temperature where you will use it, preventing scalding issues and more energy loss.

So what do you think? Which is really the cheap water heater?

You may find it helpful to consult your Charlotte Plumber. who can provide you with extensive information about tankless water heaters, and when you’ve reached your decision, safely and efficiently install your water heater.

5 kitchen counter upgrades You Can DIY

It’ll take some doing, but if your confident with your DIY skills you can make a kitchen counter upgrade with solid results. How? With step-by-step help from the pros at This Old House, of course. Here are our top projects to help you along. -Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com

1. Install a Soapstone Countertop

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Too often the price of granite or engineered stone is out of reach of the average renovation budget. Not soapstone. This traditional kitchen topper is easy for a do-it-yourselfer to install, meaning you could save big on the labor, which usually accounts for half the cost. Available to be shipped nationwide from companies such as M. Teixiera Soapstone, where this counter came from, and starting at less than $25 per square foot, soapstone is a great, inexpensive DIY project.

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Relative to other stones, soapstone is soft enough that it doesn’t require special tools to machine it. You likely already have what you need to cut and shape it: a circular saw, a jigsaw, a drill/driver, a grinder, and a sander. Here’s How to Install a Soapstone Counter in just an afternoon or two.

2. Install a Butcher-Block Countertop

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Sleek granite and sharp stainless. It looks all luxe and modern-and maybe just a little bit, you know, cold. So what to do if you want more warmth in the heart of the home? Cozy things up with rich-looking butcher block. Not only are its well-oiled tones welcoming, it’s easy to install, as we demonstrate in How to Install a Butcher-Block Counter. Just order it to size, and then fasten it down. In hours you can turn a chilly steel-and-stone room into a charming cook’s corner.

3. Create Portable Workspace With a Butcher-Block Island

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If you’re going for homey and cozy in your kitchen, skip the built-in cabinet-base island and instead make the central work area a furniture like table with a butcher-block counter. Because these thick wood-slab tops have their edge or end grain exposed, they are stronger than wood laid on the flat. That means they resist warping and nicks better than laminate and almost as well as stone.

With this durability comes an old-fashioned warmth. The trend for wood and furniture in the kitchen is in full swing, and butcher-block islands mimicking 19th-century worktables are perfect for toning down the coldness of stone counters and metal appliances in modern cook spaces. You can bring this classic aesthetic to your kitchen by constructing a prep island from easy-to-buy materials or choosing one of the dozens of styles available through retailers and furniture makers. Whichever path you choose, you’ll end up with an island that can be at the center of the cooking action and still take whatever you can dish out. Here’s How to Build a Butcher-Block Island in 5 steps.

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Here’s another variation on this style, which combines iron threaded pipe and butcher block to create a kitchen center piece. Get the steps.

4. Other Kitchen-Counter Hacks: Remove Spots from Kitchen Countertops

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“Stones are basically sponges,” says Fred M. Hueston, director of the National Training Center for Stone and Masonry Trades, in Longwood, Florida. He’s working in a kitchen, mixing up an odd-smelling poultice of flour and hydrogen peroxide in the hope of removing a stubborn coffee stain from an island countertop. Spread over the stain, the paste should literally pull the discoloration out of the red travertine. “Granite, marble, and limestone consist of interlocking mineral crystals with pores between them,” he explains. “So spills soak into unprotected stone in just 15 to 20 minutes for granite, and 30 minutes to an hour for marble and limestone.” The liquid evaporates, but a mark remains.

Hueston, who literally wrote the book on the subject of stone restoration (Stain Removal Guide: For Stone, Tile, and Concrete), will leave the poultice in place for 24 hours. This will allow it to “wick” the stain out of the countertop, in the same way that poultices made with other ingredients pull oil stains out of concrete or venom out of snakebite victims. He determines his recipe on the basis of the stain and stone types: an absorbent base like dry clay, flour, or a paper towel, and a wicking chemical such as detergent, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. If the countertop has been both stained and etched, the stone must be polished and a new sealer applied. “Cleaning spills right away and using coasters is a lot easier,” he says. See all the steps here.

5. Other Kitchen-Counter Hacks: Install Under cabinet Lighting

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There’s a missing element in most American kitchens, and it’s not a $7,500 range or a 4-acre refrigerator. No, it’s simply good lighting. And a well-lit kitchen begins with undercabinet task lighting. These hidden fixtures, which are fairly easy to retrofit beneath upper wall cabinets, bathe the countertop in bright white light-a boon for everything from dicing veggies to reading recipes. Connect the fixtures to a dimmer switch, as shown here, and you also have the key to dramatic accent lighting or a night light for midnight snackers.

If you’re a bit tentative about working with electricity, don’t worry. This installation is simple and shock-free, as long as you cut the juice at the breaker box first. Get the rest in How to Install Undercabinet Lighting.

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/kitchen-countertops