Category: Water Heater

The Benefits of Having a Water Softener

Shower Head Dispensing Soft Water

Hard water is an issue that we all run into at some point. It can silently destroy your plumbing if you aren’t proactive about finding a way to make your water supply softer. There’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to your home’s water supply. It may contain minerals and debris that are not great for your home and health.

Hard water is said to be in 85% of homes nationwide. If you have ever noticed a problem with frequently clogged drains, corroded piping, or even an adverse change in your skin and hair, it may be time for a water softener.

In this article, we will break down what hard water is, the purpose of a water softener, and the various ways a water softener can save your plumbing and appliances before it’s too late.

What is hard water?

Hard water is when the water that comes into your home contains high levels of minerals.The two most common minerals found in water are calcium and magnesium. Minerals find their way into your water supply due to groundwater dissolving rock, such as limestone, or metals, such as iron. The remains of these minerals will travel with your water supply until it eventually becomes the same water with which you cook, clean, and bathe.

The result of these solids being included in your water supply can cause residue build up on your dishes, appliances, pipes, and even your own body. Hard water not only causes soap scum, corroded pipes, and clogged drains; but it also can be harsh on your skin and hair as you shower.

What is a water softener?

If you’re wondering what a water softener is, don’t worry; you aren’t alone! A water softener functions as a tool to remove the harsh minerals and metals from your water before it ever has the opportunity to wreak havoc on your plumbing system.

Water softeners also work to prevent scale. Scale is the result of mineralized water combined with soap. It can cause buildup inside of your pipes, causing them to clog easily, which can ultimately decrease your water pressure. Scale can greatly shorten the lifespan of some of your major household appliances, such as ice machines, dishwashers, and even your coffee maker.

By installing a water softener, you’re really installing a security system for your water supply, which works hard to keep bad minerals out, leaving your water as healthy as possible for your home and body.

The Benefits of using a water softener

Water softeners function to protect your home and your pockets in the long run. With hard water being an issue for many across our country, it’s important to know the benefits of installing a water softener and knowing what it can do for you and your home.

Some of the benefits of a water softener include:

  • A longer lifespan of your major home appliances
  • The prevention of your pipes corroding too soon
  • The prevention of scale buildup on your sink, dishes, and countertops
  • Softer skin and smoother hair
  • Cleaner dishes, silverware, and mirrors
  • Softer clothes due to harsh minerals not being trapped in the fabric
  • Saves money on monthly energy costs and appliance repairs

The takeaway

To conclude, there are several reasons why installing a water softener is the smart route to take when it comes to protecting your water. Hard water can do damage in various aspects that go beyond the health of your plumbing and appliances, but also the overall health of your skin and hair as well.

Do your pockets and your home a favor by looking into having a water softener installed sooner rather than later. It’s a great way to avoid any costly repairs in the future due to hard water finding its way into your home.

If you have any other questions about water softeners and what they can do for you, give Guin Services a call! We’ll be happy to assist you in any way possible.

Are Tankless Water Heaters Really Worth the Hype?

Bathtub with Hot Water from Tankless Heater

How do you know when it’s the right time to upgrade to a tankless water heater? One sure sign is if your current tank water heater is leaking. Another is that it’s no longer heating the water as it should. Maybe everything is still working perfectly, but your tank water heater is simply not meeting your capacity needs.

Many people upgrade to a tankless water heater when they get tired of waiting for the water to heat back up. Doing  laundry, running the dishwasher, and trying to bathe all of your kids is easier with endless hot water.

Access to unlimited hot water is a great reason to upgrade your water heater, but there are several other benefits that you may not realize. In this article, we’ll share the top reasons why upgrading to a tankless water heater could be a smart decision for your home.


Tank vs. Tankless: Which Type of Water Heater is Better?

While there may not be a definite winner in the debate of which type of water heater is better, there are certain situations in which one has the upper hand.


Purchase Price

If your current water heater is beyond repair, but your budget for a new heater is limited, a traditional tank-style is probably the right choice. Initially, tankless water heaters are more expensive than conventional tank heaters.


Energy Consumption

Tankless heaters use less energy, so they usually end up costing less over time. Tank heaters consume electricity at all times to keep their large tanks ready for use. Tankless heaters, on the other hand, only consume energy when you use hot water.

A tankless water heater could help keep your energy bill low in a vacation home. You could also save money if you travel often, or just don’t consume a lot of hot water. If you use less than 40 gallons of water per day, installing a tankless heater can be 24%- 34% more energy efficient. Only heating water on demand can lead to significant energy savings.


Meeting Hot Water Demand

Homes that require two tank water heaters to meet a family’s water demand can fulfill the same water capacity with a single tankless heater. If you have a large home or family, you might really appreciate having an endless supply of hot water. Your teens can take long showers, and you can keep up on laundry and dishes with no downtime.

One downside of tankless water heaters is that they can only heat a specific capacity of water at a time. If, for example, two people are showering and you’re running the dishwasher, you may experience a decline in water volume. The water will still be hot, but the volume has to stretch between multiple areas.

Many homeowners choose to install a large tankless heater in a central area of the home and then add a smaller tankless heater in the master bath. While this isn’t necessary to supply an entire house with endless hot water, it does help homeowners maintain their desired volume of water in the master bathroom.


Maintaining Your Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters generally have a long lifespan of 20 years or more (compared to 10 – 15 for tank water heaters). When you sign up for regularly scheduled maintenance appointments with GuinGuard, we’ll flush your tankless heater yearly. Flushing helps prevent scale buildup that can reduce your water heater’s energy efficiency and shorten its life.

Another way to improve your water heater’s energy efficiency and extend its life is to install a water softener. Hard water is full of minerals that build up inside appliances and on surfaces. Especially if you live in an area with very hard water, a water softener may be a smart investment for all of your appliances.

Give us a call to learn more about water softeners and to schedule your installation by a Guin Service technician.


Tankless Water Heater Accessories

Tankless heaters never run out of hot water, but it can take a few minutes to get the hot water from the heater to your shower or faucet. If you want instantaneous, endless hot water, ask a Guin professional about a recirculating pump.

A recirculating loop runs once every 30 – 60 minutes to move hot water through your pipes so that you have hot water immediately. The circulators do draw energy each time they activate, but the overall energy consumption is still much less than a traditional tank water heater.

If you already have a tankless water heater in your home, Guin professionals can retrofit your water system with a recirculating pump. If you’re upgrading from a conventional tank water heater, several tankless heaters already have a built-in circulator.

A second helpful accessory is a water sensor. The most common way to discover a problem with a water heater is to find a leak. A digital water sensor can send an alert to your phone so that you can address the leak before it causes major damage. Some water sensors have a valve that can automatically cut the water supply when they sense a leak to prevent damage

You can use water sensors for any plumbing in your home, not just water heaters. Some homeowner’s insurance policies will even reimburse the cost of installing a water sensor or give credits off insurance premiums.


Are You Ready to Upgrade?

If you’re interested in endless hot water and reducing your monthly energy consumption, contact Guin Service today. We’ll answer any remaining questions that you have and schedule your installation appointment.

Which Water Heater is Right for My Home?

Hot Water from Faucet

Major appliances break, it’s just a reality of homeownership. However, you may replace a functioning water heater if you need more capacity, want something more energy-efficient, or want the water to heat faster.

This month we’ll look at when you should replace your water heater and how to choose the best new appliance for your home and family. We’ll also discuss water heater maintenance that can extend the life and improve the performance of your new heater.


Signs That You Need a New Water Heater

There are two main reasons a homeowner would purchase a new water heater:

  • The current water heater isn’t working as it should.
  • Water consumption has outgrown the water heater’s capacity.

Here are some signs that indicate you’re ready for a new appliance:

1.   Rust

If your water has a rusty dark tint, it’s a sign that there’s either rust inside your water heater or in your pipes. You’ll need a professional to track down the source of the rust, so schedule an appointment with Guin Service. Once our professionals find the source of the rust, we’ll advise you on repairs or replacement.

If there’s rust inside your tank, you’ll need to replace it. Putting it off could lead to major leaks that can cause a lot of water damage. It’s best to schedule a water heater installation appointment as soon as you can to avoid more expensive repairs.

2.   New Noises

New rumbling noises as your heater warms water are common with older appliances. Sediment can build up in aging water heaters, and it can cause unusual noises. Buildup can also reduce your appliance’s efficiency. Regular maintenance can keep sediment under control with your new appliance, so schedule regular GuinGuard appointments.

3.   Leak

A water leak is the most common sign that something isn’t right with your appliance. The cause could be a crack in the tank or an issue with the fittings or connections. If it is indeed a crack in your tank, you’ll want to replace your heater as quickly as possible.

4.   Not Heating Water

If you have no hot water at all, there’s clearly an issue with your appliance. However, aging water heaters may still heat water, just not at the capacity that they used to. If you can’t shower as long as you used to or the hot water runs out before you can finish the dishes, you probably need a new water heater.

5.   Not Enough Capacity

Sometimes water heaters are still working correctly, but they just don’t produce enough water for your needs. Your water demand may increase for a variety of reasons, such as having more people living in your home. In that case, a larger water heater would be much more convenient than always fighting over whose turn it is to shower first.


Types of Water Heaters

There are two basic types of water heaters: tank and tankless.

Tank heaters can be either electric or gas, and there is a wide variety of options to suit various budgets and capacity needs. The downsides of a tank water heater are that they have a limited capacity and consume quite a bit of energy to maintain a warm tank of water 24/7. However, new energy-efficient tank water heaters consume less energy than older models.

Tankless water heaters are much more energy-efficient than tank water heaters because they only consume energy when you use warm water. Many homeowners also prefer them because they provide an unlimited supply of hot water.

Although tankless water heaters cost more money upfront than traditional tank heaters, they have become popular among homeowners. Their energy savings and having unlimited hot water make them attractive. The average lifespan is also a bit longer for tankless heaters, about 20 years compared to 10 – 15 for a traditional tank heater.


What Size Tank Do You Need?

The tank capacity that you should choose for your new water heater depends upon the size of your house and family and how much water you consume.

Three common water heater sizes are:

  • 40 gallon – good for a small house and a family of four that doesn’t consume a large amount of water.
  • 50 gallon – suitable for families of four to six that have higher than average water consumption.
  • 80 gallon – works well for large houses and large families.

Depending upon the size of your home and your water consumption, you may decide to install two water heaters so that you always have hot water. A high-quality tankless water heater can also meet the capacity demand of a home that currently uses two tank heaters.


New Water Heater Maintenance

Regular maintenance checks are a smart way to prevent appliance breakdowns. When you sign up for GuinGuard, our experienced water heater technicians will check for issues that may cause leaks and fix them before they start.

Regular maintenance also keeps your appliances running efficiently, which lowers your energy bill. To help your new water heater last for as long as possible, schedule your regular maintenance with Guin Service today.

If you think it may be time for a new water heater, schedule a consultation today. We’ll help you pick the best appliance for your home and family.

Is It Time to Replace My Water Heater?

Close up of colorful water droplet falling into a pool of water

Whether you have a house full of company or it’s just your average Thursday, there’s never a convenient time for your water heater to malfunction. The professionals at Guin will help you find the best solution, whether you need a simple repair or a replacement.


Water Heater Repair vs. Replacement

Not all water heater issues signal the need for a repair, and not all replacements are the result of a malfunction. Telltale signs that something isn’t right with your water heater include:

  • The total absence of hot water.
  • If the water gets hot, but it doesn’t last as long as it used to. 
  • Water pooling on the floor around your water heater or water droplets on the ceiling underneath your unit.

Schedule an appointment for same-day service with a Guin professional to determine if we can repair your water heater or if it’s time to replace it.


Replacement Options

If the bottom of your heater is leaking because of extensive rust, you have no choice but to replace it. You may also choose to replace a heater in good condition if it isn’t meeting your capacity needs.

Water heaters come in two main varieties: traditional tank heaters and tankless water heaters.

If you choose a traditional tank heater, you’ll likely choose from the following three sizes: 

  • 40 gallon – A good option for families of four people or less in a two or three-bedroom home.
  • 50 gallon – Families of four or more people who have a higher water demand may like a larger capacity tank.
  • 80 gallon – If you live in a spacious home and have a large family, you may need a sizeable tank to accommodate showers, laundry, and dishes.

Homeowners who want an endless supply of hot water may prefer a tankless water heater. A traditional tank heater works to maintain a constant supply of warm water in its tank. However, tankless heaters warm the water on demand.


Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

One of the most significant benefits of a tankless water heater is that they use less electricity than tank heaters. Instead of keeping a large tank of water warm at all times, a tankless heater only uses energy when you turn on the faucet. People who own vacation homes or travel often will see a sizeable drop in their energy bill when they switch to a tankless heater.

Another benefit of tankless heaters is that they provide an unlimited supply of hot water. Tank heaters can only provide a limited amount of water before they need to pause and warm a fresh tank. Tankless heaters warm water on demand, so you can take several showers back to back or do laundry all day long and never run out of hot water. 


Water Heater Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your water heater can help extend its life and save you money over time. If you have a tankless heater, schedule a full flush to clean it yearly. If you have a traditional tank heater, have a technician check the water pressure on it each year. When you sign up for GuinGuard, these services are part of your house-wide inspection and maintenance bundle.

The average, well-maintained tank water heater should last 10 – 15 years and a tankless heater should last around 20 years. However, scale buildup from the minerals in hard and unfiltered water can shorten your water heater’s life. Installing a water softener and a whole-home water filter can help your appliances run more efficiently for longer by decreasing mineral buildup. You’ll also experience several health benefits!


Timeline for Repairs and Replacements

We know how much you value your warm water, so we pride ourselves in providing same-day repairs and replacement. If it’s not possible to replace your water heater at your first service appointment, we’ll replace it the following day. 


Extra Accessories

Discovering a water leak in your home is nerve-racking. You’re rightfully concerned about how long you’ve overlooked the leak and how much damage the water has done. One way to catch leaks before they become a major issue is with a water sensor. 

With a smart sensor, all you need to do is place it where water may leak. If the sensor detects moisture, it’ll send an alert to your smartphone. Another option is a sensor that you can integrate into your incoming water source. If the sensor detects moisture, it has a valve that automatically cuts off the water supply. 

Both sensors can protect you from catastrophic events with any of your water-using appliances. Some homeowners’ insurance policies even cover the cost of the sensors or offer a discount on your monthly premium. 

An excellent accessory for a tankless water heater is a circulating pump. If your heater is across the house from the master bathroom, it may take a minute for the warm water to get to your faucet. A circulator will cycle warm water through the house one to two times per hour, significantly cutting down the length of time it takes to get hot water to your faucet.

If you have questions about tankless water heaters, accessories, or regular maintenance, give our friendly office staff a call!