Tankless Vs. Conventional: Which Water Heater Is Best for Your Home?


Today, technological advancements and breakthroughs have attempted to make just about every facet of our lives more comfortable, more efficient, and in many cases, just plain better. This inventiveness and innovation also applies to household appliances, where much of the equipment that we have come to rely on has been vastly improved over the years and decades. However, not all appliances need to be high-tech.

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Is Your Water Heater About to Fail? Here Are the Warning Signs

Even though your water heater is usually tucked away unseen in a basement or laundry room closet, it plays a vital role in the warmth and comfort of your home. At Riley Plumbing & Heating, the leading plumbing company Hartford County, CT, we believe you can avoid the damage and inconvenience of a failing water heater by watching for specific signs. Below, we’ve listed four indicators that your water heater may be on its last legs.

#1 Your Heater Is Over 10 Years Old

A rule of thumb is that most water heaters that are more than ten years old should be considered for replacement. Find the age by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker, which can be located on the upper portion of your heater. The first two numbers in the sequence usually indicate the month and year, but these stickers can vary based on manufacturer. Always check the manufacturer’s website for more information if you’re unsure.

#2 You’ve Got Rusty Water

If there is rusty water coming from the hot piping in your home, this is an indicator that your water heater is rusting on the inside. Unfortunately, once your heater starts to rust, it may develop holes and begin to leak.

#3 It’s Making Lots of Strange Noises

Over time, debris builds up on the bottom of your water heater tank. As the sediment is heated and reheated, it eventually will harden. The rumbling or banging sounds you often hear from an older water heater is the sediment heating up.  

#4 There Are Puddles of Water Around the Base

As your water heater expands, it can cause small leaks or fractures in your water heater tank. This kind of damage to the tank can cause moisture build up around the bottom of the tank, making puddles of water. Double check to be sure no other leaks are coming from the fittings or connections to the tank.

If you’re a home or business owner who is experiencing any of the signs above and is concerned about their water heater possibly failing, contact the experts at Riley Plumbing & Heating at 860-225-1534 today. Don’t hesitate, our commercial and residential plumbing specialists in Hartford County, CT is here to help!

The Importance of Sump Pump Maintenance

Rain or snow, there’s one appliance that needs constant maintenance, and that’s your sump pump. Hidden in your basement, it’s easy to forget about the appliance that keeps your basement dry and flood free. A poorly maintained sump pump, however, could mean thousands of dollars in water damage. No homeowner wants to deal with a soggy basement, and luckily you don’t have to.

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How to Decide Whether to Repair or Replace Your Damaged Faucet

A leaky faucet can be a frustrating problem, especially when you can’t seem to find the source of the leak. Damaged faucets, however, can cost you $20-200 every year in wasted water, and can lead to much more expensive water and structural damages. It might be a pain to call a plumber in for a damaged faucet, but properly maintaining your faucets saves you money and protects you from an electrical hazard. Knowing what exactly to do can be tricky, as your plumbing is complicated. If your home has a damaged faucet, it helps to know whether you need to repair or replace your faucet.

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Preparing Your Plumbing For Fall

With the weather getting chillier, it’s likely that you’ve already dragged your winter clothes out of storage and piled a few extra blankets on your bed. You may be prepared for the cooler seasons, but is your home ready? Freezing temperatures can harm areas of your house if it’s not properly prepared, especially your plumbing. Here in Kensington, CT, we know how extreme the weather can get in Late October and Early November. Will your home be ready? Here are a few things that you can do to get your plumbing ready for the cold weather ahead:
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Getting the Most Out of Your Boiler: 5 Ways to Improve Its Efficiency and Save Money on Heating Bills

If you rent or own a home, then chances are you know how expensive it can be to maintain warmth inside your house. In fact, as much as 60 percent of your utility bills can be spent on heating your home this year. Now that the cold season has officially arrived, there’s more incentive than ever to make sure your heating system is efficient and working at optimum capacity.

At Riley Plumbing & Heating, we don’t just provide expert heating repair, replacement, and maintenance services for our customers in and around Kensington, CT. We’re also your source for valuable information, like how to get the most out of your boiler and ensure it’s working properly. With a few tips, you can improve your boiler’s efficiency, keep your home warmer, and even reduce your monthly energy bills.

  1. Use Preset On and Off Times

One of the best ways to use the boiler is to have pre-set times for it to turn off when you go to sleep and back on again just before you wake up. This can prevent unnecessary wasting of energy and money.

  1. Turn It Off Before You Leave

It’s much less expensive to keep the boiler switched off when you’re out of the house than leaving it on all day at a low temperature. In fact, the notion that you should leave the heat on low all day, even when you’re not in the home, is a myth. The best way to save money and stop energy loss is to use a timer.

  1. Turn It Down One Degree

How high is your thermostat set? The recommended ambient temperature for a living room is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Try turning down your thermostat one degree to see if you and your family still feel warm enough to be comfortable. This single degree can actually save you money over the season, and even more over the life of your boiler.  

  1. Use Insulation

To make your heating system even more efficient, try putting plastic insulation over your windows. This can be purchased affordably at most home repair or hardware stores, and can help to retain up to 50 percent of the heat lost through old or poorly insulated windows.

  1. Consider a Replacement

If your boiler and heating system is older than ten years, or has required a significant amount of repairs and maintenance, then it might be time for a replacement. At Riley Plumbing & Heating, we feature a knowledgeable staff of friendly and prompt technician who can expertly install a brand new and efficient heating system in your home, keeping you warm and toasty for many winters to come.

To schedule a tune-up or maintenance for your boiler or heating system, call us today at 860-225-1534!

 

Fighting the Freeze: How to Keep Your Pipes From Bursting This Winter

During each cold season, we go to great lengths to prepare, or “winterize,” our cars, homes, boats, and more. But they’re not the only places that could use some extra TLC to survive the wintertime. The harsh and freezing temperatures of the season can also cause your plumbing pipes to freeze, and possibly even burst. This can not only cause water damage and flooding to your home, but be a significant disruption to you and your family’s lives.

At Riley Plumbing & Heating, we understand that it’s not just you who needs to be warm and toasty this winter, but it’s also the systems in your home that you rely on, like your plumbing. With a few preventative measures, you can safeguard your plumbing from the freezing temperatures and ensure you fully eliminate the threat of frozen pipes and other cold-weather hazards to your system.  

Location Is Key

Because of their location in and around the home, certain pipes may be more prone to freezing than others. And it might not be the ones you suspect. For instance, exposed pipes in your basement aren’t typically in danger of freezing because they’re near a heat source. Conversely, plumbing pipes in places that aren’t heated, such as the attic, garage, and crawl spaces, can be at risk for freezing. Other pipes susceptible to risk are located in exterior walls, and any located outside.

Bundle Up

If your pipes are easily accessible, consider wrapping them in foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves. This installation can be purchased at a hardware store, and is pre-cut so it fits easily over the pipes. You can also use additional insulation to the surrounding walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.

Open Sesame

For pipes located inside cabinets, it’s a good idea to open the cabinet doors when the temperature drops. This allows some of the ambient heat in the house to warm them and prevent freezing.

Drip, Drip, Drip

When a pipe freezes, it’s actually the pressure created between the faucet and the blocked area that causes it to burst. If you’re concerned that your pipe might freeze, allowing it to drip slightly can prevent this pressure and keep your pipe from bursting.

Seal the Deal

By caulking any cracks or holes near pipes, you can maintain in warmer temperatures inside, while keeping the cold air where it should be—outdoors.

Fly, Fly Away

If you’re a snowbird who’s heading south for the winter, there are a few additional things to consider. Depending on how long you’ll be away for, you may want to turn off the water supply. Additionally, make sure to turn the heat down, but not all the way off. Setting your home’s thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit is generally warm enough to keep your pipes from freezing, and give you peace of mind during your vacation.

By following these simple and straightforward guidelines, you can prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting, protect your home from potential flood damage, and keep your family warm and toasty all winter long.

For more information on winterizing your plumbing system, or for our other services, call Riley Plumbing & Heating today at 860-225-1534!