There’s a lot to consider before purchasing a new water heater. Maybe you’re thinking about upgrading to a tankless model. Or perhaps you’re wondering if an energy efficient water heater is best (the answer is usually “yes!”), or if there’s a certain manufacturer you should go with. 

As you mull everything over, don’t forget to consider the size of the water heater. If you don’t, there could be some cold showers in your future. 

There are two very important reasons to make sure your water heater is properly sized. First, it will ensure it meets the needs of your household. And second, it can help save energy as it takes more to operate a water heater that’s the wrong size.

Here’s how to choose the right size water heater for your home. 

For storage water heaters: 

If you’re buying a water heater with a tank (most homes in Cincinnati have this type), check the water heater’s first hour rating. This is the number of gallons of hot water the heater can generate in an hour. On water heaters with the EnergyGuide label, you’ll find this on the top left corner of the label. 

You’ll want to choose a water heater with a rating that is in line with your household’s highest hourly demand. In general, a 40 gallon water heater is ideal for a household with two people. Here are some guidelines to help: 

For tankless water heaters 

To accurately size the best tankless water heater for your home, you’ll need to do a little math. First, look at the water heater’s flow per minute rate. Next, compile a list of all the water fixtures you might use in your household at the same time. 

So, if the water heater you’re considering has a flow rate of 3.2gpm, which is 3.2 gallons of water per minute, add up how many gallons of water you’d likely use during a shower and how much water you’d use running the faucet at the same time, for example. If that number adds up to 5.75, you’d need a water heater with a 5.75 gpm. 

Here’s a great article with details about sizing water heaters 

For a solar water heating system 

Contractors usually consider a couple of things when sizing a solar heating system. First, they factor in the collector area, with a guideline of about 20 square feet for a household of two. Another 8 square feet is added for every additional household member. 

They also consider the storage volume of the tank. A 40–50 gallon take is usually enough for up to three people. If your household has more than four people, you’ll likely need an 80 gallon tank. 

Ready for a water heater? The team at Allied Reddi-Rooter is here to help. We’ll make sure yours is the right size, installed safely and ready to go the distance.  Call or contact  us.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.

Purchasing a home can be exciting. But it can also be stressful, especially when it’s time to get the house inspected. While you’re checking out everything from the foundation to the roof, don’t forget about the plumbing. 

While we recommend having a plumbing professional perform their own thorough inspection of the home’s plumbing system before you sign on the dotted line, here’s a list of easy things you can do to check the home’s plumbing on your own.   

Ask about the sump pump

If the home you’re planning to buy uses a sump pump, you’ll want to check it. Ask if the basement has ever flooded. If it has and they haven’t investigated to find out why, you’ll want to hire a plumber to examine the condition of the sump pump. If it isn’t working properly, it will need to be replaced or repaired as it can cause a flooded basement. This can lead to costly repairs and is liable to cause damage to the property in the basement, too. 

Inspect the water heater

Another simple thing you can do on your own is a quick inspection of the water heater. Often, it’s easy to spot areas of concern, just by looking closely. Check for any leaks around the inlet, outlet valves and the heater’s base. Listen for any noises when you turn the water heater on and check for rust on the tank. Also, turn on the faucet and check for rust colored water. 

Check the faucets

This is an easy step, but it’s an important one, too, considering how many times you’ll use the faucets in your new home each day. To get started, first turn on every faucet in the house to make sure the water runs quickly and drains quickly, too. This will give you an idea of how well the water pressure is in the home and if there are drain issues that will need to be addressed. 

Then, look around the faucets and at the base and installation points of the sink to see if there are any leaks. These can be costly in the long run, so the leaks should be repaired by a plumber before you buy the house. 

Test the shut off valve

Turn off the water meter to test the shut off valve. If you notice water coming out of the spouts, you’ll need to have the valve checked out. It may need to be repaired or replaced. 

Take a close look at the sewer main

You can avoid one of the most costly and extensive repairs by hiring a plumbing professional to check the main sewer drain to make sure there are no tree roots growing under the home’s foundation or damage due to the age of the house. A video inspection is a quick and effective way to check the condition of the sewer main. 

Don’t let plumbing concerns take the joy out of homebuying. Instead, contact the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter. We can perform a plumbing inspection to make sure you’ve found a great house to call home.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.

Additional Resources

It can be difficult to know when it’s time to invest in a new toilet or repair the one you’ve got. While fixing your toilet seems like the easiest and quickest solution, it’s not always the case. Sometimes, simply replacing your toilet is the best choice for saving money – and time. 

On the other hand, there are times when the problem isn’t the toilet at all. If you replace yours without knowing this, you’ve just flushed money down the, well, toilet.  

Below is a guide to help you determine the best next steps to take if you’ve got a toilet plumbing issue and whether you should replace yours or have it repaired. 

When to repair your toilet 

There’s water at the base of the toilet

If you’ve noticed water collecting at the base of the toilet, the culprit is likely a leaking seal. Yours might be older and brittle or otherwise damaged. Replacing the seal could be all you’ll need to do to fix the problem. Remember: you’ll want to do this as soon as you can. Otherwise, your water bill might be higher than usual. 

The toilet won’t flush properly

If you’re pushing the toilet handle down, only for there to be a delay in the flush, or if the toilet doesn’t flush at all, it could be for a variety of reasons. Often, the cause is a bad flapper, or a clog in the vent pipes, trap, or even the sewer. 

Repairing your toilet won’t fix this problem. Instead, it’s best to call an experienced plumber who can identify the issue and perform the needed repairs. 

The toilet bowl isn’t filling with water

Take it from us, this is an extremely common plumbing problem. Usually, the issue stems from a faulty fill valve. You can find fill valves at your local home improvement store, and the repair can be relatively easy to do. Just make sure you purchase the proper fill valve for the make and model of your toilet. 

Reasons to replace your toilet 

The toilet always needs to be repaired

If you’re constantly running to the hardware store, buying new parts to fix your toilet, or always unclogging it with the plunger, it may be time to simply get a new one. We recommend talking this over with a plumber, who can not only help you make the right decision, but help you choose – and of course install – a new toilet, too. 

It’s always clogging

It’s not just a nuisance to have to unclog your toilet every day (or even every week), it can also lead to a sanitary issue and even raise your water bill. 

As we mentioned, toilet clogs happen for a variety of reasons. Most occur when something is stuck somewhere in the toilet or pipes, however, sometimes clogs occur after mineral deposits have developed at the top of the drain. The deposits accumulate overtime, and once there’s a buildup, it can lead to clogging. 

To know for sure if deposits are the culprit of the clogs, have a plumber inspect the drains. If they clean out mineral deposits and your toilet continues to clog, it might be time to replace it. 

The toilet bowl or tank is cracked

While porcelain is extremely durable, your porcelain toilet can still crack. Even a small hairline crack can cause a serious leak or even worse, the toilet could break completely and cause flooding on your floor. We recommend inspecting your toilet regularly for any cracks. If you see one, it’s time to replace your toilet. 

Don’t wait if you’ve got a problem with your toilet. Instead, call the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call at 513-396-5300, or contact  us via our website.   We’ll eliminate the guess work by determining whether your toilet needs to be replaced or can be repaired to save you time and money.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.

Sometimes it can be tough to know whether you should invest in a plumbing repair or replace the appliance or part instead. If you’re on the fence about making plumbing updates, or trying to budget for home renovation and updates in the new year, our list below can help. 

Take a look at our breakdown of the top plumbing parts in your home and their average lifespan. Then, use it to help you answer the big question: to repair, or not repair? 

Water heaters. Traditional water heaters should be replaced 10-15 years. Tankless water heaters should be replaced every 20 years. Regular maintenance and cleaning can extend the life of your water heater to the end of its warranty, but we recommend replacing it within 20 years at the very latest.  

Signs to look for that indicate the possible need for a new water heater include rust around the heater base, a pilot light that won’t stay lit, the inability to stay heated, and when the valve continues to slip.

Supply pipes. We’ve got good news for you here. Pipes last a long time and can usually be replaced one-by-one if they break. Most often pipes can be repaired and if you have an older home, it’s important that you have a plumbing professional inspect your home’s supply pipe system to make sure it does not need to be replaced. 

Ideally, brass pipes last between 80-100 years, as do steel pipes, while copper pipes last between 75-100 years. 

Faucets. There’s no time limit on faucets, but ones that are used repeatedly on a daily basis usually succumb to normal wear-and-tear at some point. Luckily, you can easily repair faucets unless they crack and break. 

Another reason to replace faucets is if they are leaking water on a constant basis. Of course, if you remodel your kitchen or bathroom, new faucets are a quick and simple way to make it more modern. 

Washing machine supply hoses.  Your washing machine supply hoses should be replaced every 2-3 years. Waiting too long can lead to major leaking and even cause your hose to burst. If you notice any bubbling in the hose, cracks, discoloration or rusting, you’ll need to replace the hose. Supply hoses can be purchased at home improvement stores and are often easy to replace without the help of a professional plumber.  

Toilets. The main part of the toilet, basically the bowl itself, doesn’t need to be replaced unless it’s cracked or otherwise broken, however, parts of the toilet will need to be replaced at some point. Flappers and valves should be replaced every 4-5 years and wax seals should be replaced every 25-30 years. 

Of course, if you see any leaking at the base of the toilet or if the toilet won’t flush, it may be time for a new toilet. And if you have to jiggle the handle constantly, you’ll want to invest in a new toilet handle. 

Garbage disposals. Most garbage disposals last about 10 years but we advise checking the warranty to make sure. If you’re resetting it often, or if food is getting stuck, it may need to be replaced. Additionally, if there are bad odors coming from the drain or if it simply isn’t doing its job, it may be time for a new garbage disposal. 

Drain lines. Drain lines can last from 80-100 years if cast iron, and 25-40 years if they are made with PVC. Most of the time, drain lines only need to be replaced because of tree root growth or a natural disaster. If you own an older home, it’s important to check your drain lines to make sure they are not old enough to need to be replaced. 

Don’t wait for a costly repair to update your home’s plumbing if it’s outdated. Remember: it’s always better to safe, rather than sorry, when it comes to home improvement. Call or Contact  the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter now.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service.