Water Heaters

BCPSI Plumber repairing water heaterThere are numerous factors that will help you decide when it is time to get a new water heater: type, tank capacity, heating efficiency and cost are some variables to consider. If you need repairs or a new heater, the professionals at Biard & Crockett in Orange can help you determine what you need, and can work around your schedule – because there is no substitute for experience.

Traditional Storage Style Heaters

The technology used in traditional water heaters has made great strides in last few years. Newly implemented government safety regulations have driven these changes to an extent. Modern water heaters are more efficient, create less pollution, and are safer, but are more expensive as a result. Most brands now use proprietary parts, which can result in long delays when owners seek to make repairs. We offer the Bradford White line of water heaters which are made in the USA. We also stock repair parts in the unlikely event something should go wrong with your water heater.

Although storage heaters require very little maintenance, we do recommend that they be flushed out at least once a year. This will keep excess debris from accumulating at the bottom of the tank and prevent the “rumbling” noises associated with older heaters from occurring. The anode rod should also be checked periodically (some brands recommend every year) for signs of erosion. We stock anode rods to fit most units. Running out of hot water, discolored water, and finding debris in your hot water are all signs that your heater may require service or replacement. Give us a call or click for service request and we will be more than happy to help you. If you are considering a new water heater be aware that retail “home store” brands often do not carry replacement parts. We receive calls regularly from folks who are desperately trying to find parts for these heaters so they can take a hot shower!

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are popular water heaters for many Orange homeowners, and provide many benefits for the owner. The benefits of owning a tankless water heater include having hot water readily available, lower energy costs, longer life compared to storage heaters, and their compact design which saves space. However, there are some factors that you need to know when considering buying a tankless water heater. First, they need to be properly sized or you will have a very frustrating experience; one size does not fit all! Also, tankless heaters almost always will require a dedicated gas line, and a new vent line.

With tankless water heaters you need a dedicated gas line or a new vent line, which requires an expert plumber to install. Many people are surprised to learn that they are going to need a dedicated gas line or a new vent line.  Such changes require an experienced plumbing company.  Fortunately, Biard & Crockett Plumbing in Orange has the technicians with the experience needed to be able to install these lines efficiently.

A recirculation system might be required if your water heater and the furthest fixture in your home are far apart. If you have a long distance between your water heater and the furthest fixture in your home you will may want to consider a recirculation system.  Refer to the Hot Water Recirculation section for more information.

It is highly recommended that a water softener be used in conjunction with a tankless heater. Because of the way the water is heated, scaling will be an issue.  All tankless units need to be de-scaled periodically.  Those installed without a softener should be de-scaled yearly.  Every tankless heater installed by Biard and Crockett has by-pass valves installed with it so the de-scaling procedure can be done with minimal effort.  Regular descaling should not be a reason not to get a tankless water heater, because we always make sure you know what to expect for what maintenance is required to keep your water heater in good working condition. We relay this information not scare you away from a tankless heater, but to give you a better idea of what to expect if you are considering tankless technology.

We feature the Nortiz line of tankless water heaters but Biard and Crockett has is able to installed and repaired most of water heater the brands on the market today.

Biard and Crockett Technician working on Hot Water Recirculation SystemHOT WATER RECIRCULATION SYSTEMS FOR YOUR HOME IN ORANGE

A recirculation system might be required if your water heater and furthest fixture in your home are far apart. When you turn on the faucet, you must wait a few seconds as the cold water clears the pipe. Tighter restrictions on flow rates and “greener” fixtures make this problem worse. This lag time wastes water and energy, and is inconvenient. Water recirculation systems overcome the problem through continuous circulation of hot water through nearby supply pipes. The system is designed to provide hot water on demand at every fixture in the building.

There are three basic types of recirculation systems:

  1. Traditional: This recirculation system consists of an extra return pipe that allows water from each fixture to return to the water heater. A pump located near the water heater pushes water out of the heater, and back through the return pipe. The pump has timers and thermostats to keep the running time down to a minimum while maintaining a consistent water temperature.
  2. Retrofit Bypass: This water recirculation system uses the cold water line as the return line to the water heater. A pump (generally located on the top of the water heater) is used to create a slight pressure differential that allows the cool water in the hot water supply line to bypass into the cold supply line. A thermostatically controlled valve mounted on the most remote fixture from the water heater senses when the water can be recirculated, ensuring hot water is always available for every fixture in your home. The user can also set a timer on the pump, to control when it is active.
  3. Demand: This recirculation system is similar to the retrofit system above, because it also utilizes the cold water line as the return line to the water heater. However in the “Demand” version, the pump is mounted at the most remote fixture from the hot water heater. When hot water is needed, a wireless remote is pressed that activates the pump. The pump will run until hot water reaches the sensors, then it automatically shuts down. In lieu of a remote, motion sensors may also be used. If you have a tankless water heater, this is the system that generally works the best.

Biard & Crockett in Orange has complete knowledge of all types of water recirculation systems, whether you want one installed or need your existing system repaired. They all have advantages and disadvantages, so you want to make sure you contact an expert to receive a proper consultation before you purchase one. Although you have many vendors to choose from, remember that Biard & Crockett has decades of experience installing and servicing every model out there. There is no substitute for experience.