Here are 3 important water conserving plumbing tips for your home

water conserving plumbingThe waste of water not only increases your water bill. It is estimated that about 1 trillion gallons of water is wasted every year in the country, and a lot of that is due to plumbing problems. That’s why it’s a good idea to have Reimer install water conserving plumbing fixtures.

For instance: a faucet leaking at 10 drips of water results in wastage of 526 gallons of water every year. This adds about $10 to the annual water bill. Many other plumbing problems contribute to wastage of water.

In this article, we will share some of the smart plumbing fixes that could help you play your part in conserving water and also save money along the way due to reduced water bills.

1. Fix toilet and faucet leaks

Toilet leaks are often hidden from sight. They remain hidden for long periods of time and waste up to 200 gallons in a single day.

Faucet leaks are more visible that also result in wastage of hundreds of gallons. So, it’s important that you contact a professional plumber to detect and fix plumbing leaks. This could help conserve a large amount of water and prevent inflated water bills.

2. Install smart plumbing fixtures

If you have old plumbing fixtures, it’s recommended that you consider replacing them with new ones. Older model toilets use about 3 gallons of water per flush, while the newer models made after 1990s only use 1.6 gallons per flush.

Also, the latest dual-flush toilets can further help in conserving lots of water.  You can also buy smart plumbing fixtures that provide water whenever the hand comes close to the fixture. It’s easy to find ways to install water conserving plumbing. Be sure to call our team at Reimer for more on fixture installation.

In this way, you can conserve a lot of water that is otherwise wasted due to a running tap when brushing teeth or washing hand and dishes.

3. Have Reimer install a low-pressure valve

The installation of a low-pressure valve is another effective way to conserve water. You should particularly install the low pressure valve in case the water pressure inside the house is 60 pounds per square inch. This not only results in water wastage but also damage the plumbing system. The low pressure valve can effectively limit the wastage of water.

Other tips for water conservation in your home

The above are the three of the most important plumbing tips to conserve water. Of course, there are plenty of other ways in which you can conserve water. Consider rinsing fruits and vegetables in a bowl instead of using running water, or use aerators in the taps to reduce the water flow.

Call Reimer for water conserving plumbing work and other plumbing services

In case, you want professional plumbing service in Buffalo and surrounding areas, you can call us at Reimer Home Services. We have a team of certified plumbers who can give you expert, money-saving plumbing advice.

Here’s how to prevent your downspouts from clogging

Prevent Downspouts From CloggingMost people tend to overlook the importance of keeping their home’s downspouts cleaned. They are an important component of the house that drains away the rainwater, thereby preventing it from accumulating on the roof.

However, as the water drains through the downspouts, so does debris—including leaves and twigs that can clog the drainpipe. Luckily for you, Reimer offers drain cleaning services in Buffalo and Western New York.

What happens if a drain pipe clogs?

Roofs, especially those with parapet walls, are catchalls for any and all sort of debris, including leaves, twigs, and plastic bags, among others. Drains and debris don’t mix. A drain’s dome lets water flow through while catching debris, which would otherwise clog the plumbing. Unfortunately, this debris builds up around the drain dome, slowing or eventually stopping the water.

Keep in mind that debris and drain is a bad match. If you don’t clean the debris, it will slowly accumulate around the drain dome and slow down or stop the flow of water. A clogged drain pipe can result in accumulation of water over the roof that can cause damage in many ways:

  • As water seeps into the gaps, it can expand and contract due to changing temperature thereby weakening the seams of the roofing material
  • Accumulated water can deteriorate roofing cement, tar, and caulking
  • Build up of water may strain the structural support of the roof due to additional weight
  • Lead to the formation of moss, plants, and slime on the roof deck
  • Create the breeding ground for mosquitoes

So, how can you prevent your home’s downspouts from clogging?  

The answer is simple. You should either regularly check the condition of the downspout yourself, or have the downspouts checked by an experienced plumber. The plumber can inspect the dome of the downspout and clear twigs, leaves, and other debris using proper tools without damaging the assembly or the structure.

Another advice to avoid clogged downspout is to ensure that the correct type, size, and thickness of the drain-dome slot is installed. You must talk with a professional roof drain expert to inquire about the right size and type of downspout for your home. Some of the factors that determine which is the right size downspout for your house include average rainfall exposure and the roof size.

In the end, remember that the best time to inspect and clean the downspout is before the rainiest season of the year. You should have the downspout inspected and cleaned of all debris. Also, after a heavy snowstorm, you should maintain the openings by creating a 12-inch path along the curb for the melting snow.

Call Reimer for drain cleaning of downspouts and other drains

If you to have the downspout checked and cleaned in the area of Buffalo, you can contact Reimer Home Services. You can rest assured that our highly experienced and trained plumbers can expertly perform all kind of plumbing in your home.

The Difference Between Boilers and Furnaces, Explained

Difference between boilers and furnacesHave you ever wondered what the difference between boilers and furnaces are? In this blog post, we’ll compare the two different kinds of heating systems so that you can weigh which is best for your home.

For heating system installation, call the professionals at Reimer.

The majority of homes in the US have a central heating system. But not all types of heating systems are the same. The two most common types of heating systems installed in homes today include the furnace and the boiler. Some people think that the difference between the two is just semantics. However, this is not the case.  Sure, both the systems keep the room warm, but the way that the warm air is generated is different.

Knowing the differences between a boiler and a furnace will be helpful when it comes to new heater installation.  It will also be of use when conversing with the technician about heater problems. So, what are the differences between the two? You should continue reading the article to find out.

What’s the difference between boilers and furnaces?

Boilers generate warm air through the heated water in a tank. They don’t require ducts to circulate warm air throughout the house. Instead, heated water is circulated through pipes to different end points located inside the house that are typically baseboard heaters or radiators.

Electric boilers have heating elements to heat the water, while gas heaters use jets under the tank for the same purpose. The heat is moved through the end points into the living space through radiant heat transfer – the delivery of heat by increasing the surface temperature so that it warms the nearby area.

On the other hand, furnaces use forced-air systems to generate warm air. The forced systems heat the air through a device known as heat exchangers. The heated air is then circulated inside the house through the ducts by blower fans. In electric powered furnaces, heating elements are present that create warm air, while in fuel powered furnaces the warm air is created by the gas jets.

So, which is better?

Each of the types of the heater has its own advantages and disadvantages. Boilers tend to produce cleaner heat and entail lower repair and operation costs. They also tend to be more energy efficient also as you can heat only the areas thereby saving on energy bills. This is a big difference between boilers and furnaces.

However, the problem with boilers is that they take longer to warm the room and can freeze during very low temperature. Also, boilers tend to raise humidity levels inside the house for which you need to install a separate humidifier.

Furnaces, on the other hand, have low installation costs and won’t freeze up during the winter. But they have shorter life span and require frequent repairs. Also, furnace air filter needs to be changed regularly which is not the case with boilers.

Call Reimer for heating installation in Buffalo and Western New York

Whatever heating equipment you purchase, you can ensure that it continues to operate without a major fault for a long time through regular tune-up. If you want to get in touch with experienced NATE-certified furnace repair technicians in Western New York, you can contact Reimer Home Services.

Electric Or Gas Tankless Water Heater: Which One Should You Buy?

Electric or gas tankless water heater

Deciding between an electric or gas tankless water heater? In this guide, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each system.

Most people tend to get confused when it comes to deciding whether to buy an electric or gas tankless water heater. Both the versions have different advantages and disadvantages.

Knowing about the pros and cons is important to make a wise purchase decision for the home. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each system.

Call Reimer for tankless water heater installation and service.

The pros and cons of gas tankless water heaters

The gas tankless water heater is run by either gas or propane.  Some models also have both propane and gas option. The reputable brand gas heaters tend to cost about $1,000 to $2000 and more. The venting requirements add to this cost of gas heaters. In some cases, you might also have to install the right size gas line for the heater.

Gas water heaters have a greater flow rate as compared to electric heaters. They can heat up to 8 GPM and more in warmer climates. Another advantage of gas heaters is that they are 10 to 20 percent less costly to operate as compared to electric heaters.

The pros and cons of electric water heaters

Electric tankless water heaters tend to be much less costly as compared to gas tankless heaters. You can find a good model electric heater for about $500 to $800. There are no requirements of venting or another gas line as is the case with gas heaters.

Operating costs of electric water heaters is high. The electric heaters use traditional electricity that is more costly than gas.

Also, in colder climates or where there is a need for high flow rate, a 200 AMP electric service needs to be installed that adds to the cost of the heater. For warmer regions, about 100 to 150 AMP electrical service is required. This is an important consideration when buying an electric heater as not all homes have such electrical service available, and upgrading can substantial add to the cost of installing the heater.

The bottom line: which is the better 0ption for the home?

After reading the above pros and cons of gas and electric tankless heaters, you should be able to make up your mind as to which is the better option of the two for you. If you have a gas line installed in your house that can support gas water heater, the best option is a gas water heater.

Also, a gas water heater is the right choice if the existing infrastructure does not support the electric power heater requirements. In such a case, a gas water heater will be better as not only the installation cost will be less but you will save money due to lower energy bills.

In all other cases, electric tankless water heater is the right choice. There is no need to install additional gas line or venting for the heater. Also, if you area suffer from gas line disruptions such as during extreme frigid months, it’s better that you install gas electric heaters.

Have Reimer help you decide between an electric or gas tankless water heater

For more information on buying the right tankless heater in Buffalo and Western New York area, you can contact Reimer Home Services.

Here’s How To Prevent A Clogged Kitchen Drain

Clogged Kitchen DrainA clogged kitchen drain can be a nuisance for anyone. Dealing with a clogged drain can be time-consuming, and the smell that comes from a clogged system adds to the inconvenience of having to deal with a backed up system.

Fortunately, you can avoid clogged drains by taking a few simple steps. In this article, we will share 5 simple steps that you can take to prevent kitchen drains from becoming clogged thereby saving on plumbing costs.

If you do have a clogged kitchen drain, contact the team at Reimer for drain cleaning service.

1. A few things you should never pour down the sink

In order to avoid clogged drains, you should never pour certain substances down the sink. Some of the items that you should avoid pouring down the sink include coffee grounds, cooking oil, and fats trimmed off meat. These substances tend to accumulate in the pipes, leading to blockage.

Also, you should never pour setting-type joint compounds down the sink as they harden up upon contact with water. If you pour the compound down the drain, you will be in for a rock-solid clog. Sand is another building element that you should never pour down the drain. The sand can settle down the drain that is difficult to remove.

2. Use a sink strainer

Consider using sink strainer over the drain. The strainer can catch food particles and other substances that can’t wash down the drain. This will greatly reduce the chances of a clogged kitchen drain. Just remember to empty the strainer when it becomes full.

3. Pour hot / cold water down the drain

You can pour boiling kettle water down the drain at least once week to melt away fat and grease that may have collected inside the pipes. Make sure that you pour the hot water slowly to avoid splashing.

If you have garbage disposal installed, you should consider running a stream of cold faucet water while using the disposal. This will carry the waste material through the drainage system.

4. Use baking soda to clean the drain

To clean the drain, it’s recommended that you throw a handful of baking soda followed by hot water down the drain. Baking soda can not only clean the pipe of accumulated waste but also absorb foul smells.

5. Use a stopper once a week

In case your kitchen has a stopper, you should fill the sink once a week by closing the stopper. When you release the stopper, the force of the water flow will flush substances that stick to the pipe. If you don’t have a stopper in the sink, pouring boiling water can do the same trick.

Call Reimer for help clearing a clogged kitchen drain

In case you have any plumbing problem in the area of Buffalo, you can contact Reimer Home Services with confidence. Our licensed, trained and expert plumbers can solve all kinds of drain problems including a clogged kitchen drain.

3 Important Things To Know Before New Septic Tank Installation

New Septic Tank InstallationAre you having a professional contractor install a new septic tank on your property?

In this blog, we’ll discuss some tips and things to know before getting started. For more expert plumbing advice and septic tank services, call Reimer.

Why should you install a new septic tank?

Living in the rural areas can be the perfect escapade from the hustle and bustle of a modern metropolis. However, it also means that you have to forego certain services such as connection to the main sewage pipe. For such areas, a septic tank can be the perfect solution as it acts as a mini-sewage treatment plant.

If you own or intend to move to a house where there is no connection to the sewage line, you should consider installing a septic tank. Septic tanks store oil, fat, waste water, and scum that is flushed down the sink or toilet in the home.

Here are a few factors that you should consider before buying a septic tank for the house.

1. Local laws and regulations

Before installing the new septic tank, it is important that you find out about the local rules and regulations. You do not want to invest a large sum in installing a septic tank only to find out later that it does not conform to local zoning laws or codes relating to septic tank installation.

In order to avoid this prospect, it is important that you visit the local permit office to find out about the required rules and regulations.

2. Lids and risers installation

Installing the lids and risers is recommended, as it can later help in servicing of the septic tank. They bring the tank up to or just above the ground level. Keep in mind that in some localities, installing risers on the septic tanks is not optional but in fact mandatory, according to local regulations.

The initial cost of the lids and risers will be more than worth it in the end as it will cut the time and cost involved to identify and dig up to access the tank for pump outs in the future. Also, hard or frozen ground will make it extremely hard—if not impossible—to access the septic tank. That’s an issue here in Buffalo and Western New York.

3. Inspect the surrounding landscape

Before installing the septic tank, it is important that you inspect and remove anything that can damage the septic tanks. Bushes and tree roots can cause major damage to the water pipes so they must be removed.

Trained septic tank installers (like the ones at Reimer!) will know what can damage the septic tanks and take the require steps to remedy the problem.

Ready to get started? Call Reimer for more advice and septic tank services

You should considering the above mentioned three things before installation of a slept tank as it will save you a lot of cost and headache later on. Once the septic tank is installed, you must have it pumped out every three to five years. The family size, tank capacity, and whether or not you use a garbage disposal, will determine the septic tank pump out schedule.

If you want to install septic tank in the Buffalo, New York and surrounding areas, you can contact Reimer Home Services.

Have a leak? Reimer can help you find it

Sometimes, a leak from your home’s pipes or faucets is easy to find, like when it’s in the cabinets under the sink, or a consistent drip into the bathtub. But, what happens when that same leak is behind a wall, in a ceiling, or elsewhere—such as a slab leak? That’s when you call Reimer for professional leak detection.

Using specialized equipment, Reimer can find leaks anywhere in your home, including under concrete slab, inside walls, or in basements. If you have water coming from somewhere it shouldn’t be, call Reimer for 24/7 emergency leak detection service. Our experienced plumbing team will find and seal the leak in no time. Need service? Call us at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.

In this blog post, we’ll outline just some of the reasons you should call the professionals at Reimer for slab leak detection services.

Frozen pipes can lead to a slab leak

Freezing pipes can inadvertently cause a slab leak.

What kind of leaks does Reimer deal with?

It’s hard to predict just where and when a leak will occur, or why it will occur. Here in Buffalo, New York, a common form of leaking is a frozen pipe bursting, although frozen pipes can lead to smaller fissures and cracks can appear in pipes that lead to a constant dripping. (Learn how to prevent frozen pipes by reading our tips). But, leaks can also appear without the need for frozen water. If you have water pooling on the floor or dripping from an unknown location, you need fast leak detection services.

Besides frozen pipes, here are some of the most common leak scenarios we deal with:

  • Pool, spa, and fountain leaks: A swimming pool or hot tub leak can really damage your property and lead to horrifying water bills. Some signs that you might have a leak include cracks in the pool deck, wet spots in drainage areas, rapid water loss, and a major leap in your water bill. Here are some tips for spotting the point of a leak in your pool, although many leaks are far less obvious and will require professional leak detection.
  • Slab leaks: Many of your home’s water-bearing pipes run under the foundation of your home. When there’s a leak in these pipes, it can be very difficult to determine where the water is coming from without the specialized equipment used by Reimer’s plumbing team. These slab leaks can destroy your home’s foundation left untreated. Reimer can help detect and fix these leaks.
  • Irrigation leaks: The water lines running to your yard can break and leak, costing you hundreds on your monthly water bill. If you can’t determine the source of the irrigation leak, give Reimer a call for emergency leak detection service.

How does Reimer detect a leak under the slab?

Some of our professional leak detection equipment is designed to find even the smallest leak under the concrete slab foundation. One ingenious piece of tech that we use is a device that can detect very minute sounds. After turning off the water, we inject air into the leaking water line using a hose attached to a faucet. This air makes sound as it escapes through the leak, and the device picks up on these slight sound waves and vibrations, pointing us to the exact location of the leak.

Another device we use is a thermal imager. We can use hot and cold water to cause a temperature shift at the point of the leak under the slab. The imager will pick up on this temperature change, pointing to the location.

How does Reimer fix a slab leak?

Once we’ve located the point of the leak, we have several options for repairing the leak under the slab. First, we can do a spot replacement, where we go through the slab at the point of the leak to fix that section of the pipe. However, if the pipe itself is older, this might just be putting a bandage on a larger wound, and we might need to repipe under the foundation so that we’re not back the next year to fix yet another slab leak.

A final option is using in-pipe coating that can be applied without going through the slab. This is most effective for smaller leaks or multiple tiny leaks, and won’t effectively fix larger slab leaks. Yet, it’s less intrusive and doesn’t require cutting into the slab.

Need leak detection? Call Reimer!

At Reimer, we’re your source for professional leak detection and leak repair services. For 24/7 emergency service, call (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.

Types of septic systems

In our previous blog post on septic tank systems, we spoke generally about how septic systems operate. However, there are many different types of septic systems in use today, each with their own pros and cons. In this new blog post, Reimer will provide an overview of several different types of septic systems.

Types of Septic Systems

A conventional septic tank.

Conventional systems

This is the classic septic tank system that most people have. As we noted in our prior blog post, most septic tanks take in waste and water from the home, and then separate the two out into liquid and solid components. The liquid is absorbed by the soil, while the sludge is eaten by anaerobic bacteria. A conventional septic tank will need to be professionally pumped every few years to remove whatever remains, as well as anything that the bacteria was unable to consume.

If you’re interested in learning more about septic tanks, we recommend watching this quick video.

Typically, conventional septic tanks have either:

  • A gravity-fed system, where gravity takes the water down past the sludge layer and into the gravel, and then into the drainage field.
  • A pressure system, where a pump pushes the water down past the sludge layer and into the drainage field.

Alternative systems

These types of septic tanks aren’t as common as the convention setup, but they’re perfect for some homes and situations. There are many of them, so let’s just review some of them:

  • Aerobic Treatment System: Conventional septic tanks rely on anaerobic bacteria to break down waste. As the root word suggests, this means that no oxygen is present in the system. In contrast, an Aerobic Treatment System pumps oxygen in, allowing aerobic bacteria to flourish. This means that the breakdown of waste happens faster and the resulting wastewater that gets sent into the drain field is cleaner. However, it requires an oxygen pump and careful maintenance to make sure that the bacteria is continuing to function.
  • Sand Filter System: Similar to a conventional septic tank, the sand filter system sends waste and water through a filter made of sand to make sure that the liquid that is discharged is free of any waste. Sand filter systems operate on a similar basis to many in-ground pool filters that use sand to filter out contaminants.
  • Ozone Disinfection System: These septic tanks use ozone to treat water. Ozone is a gas that, in high quantities, can kill bacteria and purify water. These systems are among the best at turning waste into relatively clean water that then can be discharged into the drainage field. However, a downside of ozone systems is that they’re more expensive to install and require electricity to generate the ozone needed in the system.

Other types of septic systems

In addition to these three types of septic systems, here are some others. Some of these are perfect for Buffalo homeowners, while a few others—such as evapotranspiration systems—are not a good fit because of our climate.

Which system is right for my home?

That depends. Some septic tank system setups work better than others on certain types of property. Some systems require a certain size of drainage field, while others require a certain topography of the land.

Reimer offers pumping, repairs, and installation for multiple types of septic tanks, and we’re your source for qualified, experienced plumbers and septic tank installation advice. Ready to get started? Give us a call at (716) 694-8524 or contact us.

Worried about frozen pipes? Here’s how to keep them from freezing

Everyone who lives in Buffalo and Western New York knows how brutal the winter weather can be. Massive lake-effect snowstorms, below-freezing temperatures, and never-ending wind are just some of the facts of life here for part of the year. These cold conditions are just one of the reasons that many Buffalo homes, apartments, and condos experience frozen and burst pipes during the winter. All over the city, pipes freeze on the coldest nights of the year, causing disaster for homeowners and property managers alike.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some ways that Reimer can help you keep your pipes from freezing this winter. If your pipes do freeze, our experienced plumbers can help you thaw them out: give us a call at (716) 694-8524. If you’d like to have our team insulate your pipes or tune up your furnace, you can either call us or contact us online.

Water Pipes Freezing RepairWhy do pipes freeze?

It’s simple physics, actually. Depending on temperature, water exists in various states: as a liquid, as a solid, or as a gas. To go from being a liquid to being a solid, temperatures need to drop below the freezing point. However, in the process, the water expands to take up more space than it did as a liquid. Have you ever left a can of soda in the freezer overnight and woken up to find that it bursted? That’s because the very full can had no room to expand when it frozen. The icy soda put pressure on the aluminium can until it burst.

Unfortunately, the same pressure that affects your frozen soda also can occur in your home’s water pipes. If temperatures are low enough, that water, too, will freeze and expand, putting immense pressure on your home’s water pipes. While they’re made of sturdier stuff than the aluminium can, they, too, have a breaking limit. Enough pressure and they’ll burst, cracking and releasing ice and water, causing a disaster in your home.

What water pipes are at risk of freezing?

The more exposed a pipe is to the outdoor elements—or, in the same way, the more removed it is from your home’s heating—the more at-risk it is of freezing. Buffalo regularly sees winter nights that drop far below freezing: outside water will freeze, so the only protection your pipes have is what’s between them and the outside. If that’s just one exterior wall, that might not be enough.

Outdoor lines—such as those going to swimming pools or hoses—will be the first to freeze, and need to be the first to be protected. However, pipes in your home but separated from heating are also in trouble. For example, any water lines that run through garages, attics, or other places without heating need help. We’ve even see water lines that run under and within cabinets become susceptible to freezing just because the cabinets are blocking warmth from reaching them.

How can Reimer help with this?

We’re experts when it comes to preventing pipes from freezing. Our plumbing experts have a variety of tools at their disposal, including: pipe sleeves, pipe heaters, and pipe heat tape. “How can tape insulate my pipe?” you might ask. According to the Red Cross, even insulation that’s ¼” thick can significantly reduce the ability for lower temperatures to get to the water inside. By insulating your most at-risk pipes, the team at Reimer can help ensure that your home is ready for the coldest nights of winter.

Of course, all the insulation we have won’t help much is your furnace fails. Your heating system is a primary deterrent against your pipes freezing. As a full-service HVAC company, Reimer can help tune up your furnace for the season and make sure it’s running right before winter arrives. Generally, any move to help your HVAC system will also help protect the water pipes running through your home.

From there, there’s some common tricks you can employ to keep your pipes from freezing. On the absolute coldest nights, run a drip from your faucet: water that’s moving freezes slower than water that is still. Open your cabinet doors to let the heat into blocked-off areas. If you’re concerned about your pipes freezing even after you’ve taken these steps, give Reimer a call, and we’ll help you however we can.

Reimer: Trusted plumbers since 1921

No matter what your plumbing needs are, Reimer can help. We’ve been serving Buffalo homeowners since 1921, and we’re proud to be your source for products, services, and advice. To learn more about our frozen pipe prevention services—or to have us thaw a frozen pipe or fix a burst pipe—give us a call at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.

Hot water heater types: which should you buy?

You need a new hot water heater in your home. After years of great service from your older one, it’s time to make an upgrade. But, there’s a lot of different water heaters on the market. Not just makes and models, but in terms of hot water heater types. Gas, electric, tankless, solar: what do all these terms mean, and what are the real advantages and disadvantages of each?

In our latest blog post, we’ll run through these hot water heater types and explore what makes each of them different.

Standard Water Heater - Hot Water Heater Types

The bottom of a standard hot water heater.

Standard water heaters

These are, by far, the most common type of water heater in American homes. They have a familiar tank, and are usually placed in the garage or in a laundry room. These systems heat water and then store it in the tank until it’s called out by a faucet or drain in the home. These system regulate the temperature and pressure of the water inside. Compared to tankless water heaters or other models, these are, by far, the least expensive option for most homes.

Standard water heaters do have their downsides, however. Since they heat and store a certain amount of water, they can run out of it, especially during high-demand periods. For example, a family of four that gets ready in the morning for school and work may find that the last person to take a shower “runs out” of hot water. In addition, standard water heaters only last between 10-12 years, and they run the risk—especially near the end of their life—of bursting their tank and causing flooding.

Despite these downsides, standard water heaters remain an affordable way for most families to get hot water in their home. There are two kinds of standard water heaters: gas and electric.

Hot water heater types

The most standard hot water heater setup.

Gas water heaters

The first thing to note, of course, is that your home needs to have both natural gas available and a hookup for a gas water heater. Without either of those things, you’ll want to get an electric water heater.

However, if your home is wired for natural gas, these type of water heaters are probably your best bet. While, on average, they’re a bit more expensive than their electric siblings, standard gas water heaters are more energy efficient. Over the course of years, those savings will likely add up to more than make up the difference in cost.

Electric water heaters

If you don’t have gas connections, you will have to get an electric water heater of some kind. A standard electric water heater uses more energy than gas units or tankless systems, but is the least expensive option.

An additional downside of an electric water heater? If the power goes out at your home, you’ll no longer have access to hot water.

Tankless water heaters

As their name heavily implies, tankless water heaters do not have tanks like standard water heaters. Nor do they hold water. Instead, they pass water through the system, heating it as needed.

This gives them multiple advantages over standard water heaters. First, tankless water heaters can supply an “unlimited” amount of hot water to your home. Since the system is just heating water as it passes through, it’s not limited to what water has been pre-heated in a tank. For larger families with hectic morning schedules, this can make all the difference.

Tankless systems are more energy-efficient than their standard peers—in fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that tankless water heaters use 24-34% less energy than a normal, tanked system. For families that use a lot of hot water, those savings can really add up each year. One final advantage of a tankless water heater? They can least between 15-20 years, sometimes doubling the lifespan of a standard system.

Types of hot water heaters - Tankless

Tankless hot water heaters are often wall-mounted, saving you space, as well.

Tankless systems do have a few downsides. The other side of being able to supply limitless hot water is that the amount supplied cannot exceed the amount that can be pushed through the system. So, for example, attempting to run the dishwasher, laundry, and the shower all at the same time will probably exceed the capacity of the tankless system. The other downside, as we’ve alluded to, is the cost. Tankless systems can cost far more than standard water heaters. In many instances, the energy savings from a tankless system can exceed the cost of the system, but only over the total 20-year lifetime. In other words, you won’t see your return on investment for two decades after your purchase.

Other hot water heater types

Other, less common hot water heater types include solar water heaters and condensing water heaters. For more on these systems, be sure to look through this buying guide from Consumer Reports.

What hot water heater types are best for your home?

Every home is different, and every family has different hot water needs. Water heaters are not always a one-size-fits-all purchase. That’s why we recommend that you give our team a call. We’re a trusted hot water heater installer serving Buffalo and Western New York. Our state-certified plumbers and technicians can help you and your family find the right water heater for your home. Give us a call today at (716) 694-8524, or contact us online.