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Water Heaters

Friendly Plumbing provides customers with licensed technicians to install traditional storage hot water heaters, as well as the tankless versions.
Our efficiency and recovery rate with tanks are high quality, and they are used to accommodate all of your needs. There are several options available, which are all carried by Friendly Plumbing (i.e. electric, gas, propane, etc.). We also carry specialty water heaters if they are needed.

Friendly Plumbing Water Heater Brands we Repair and Install

Any of the major brand names we carry will come with a warranty and maintenance service. Here are some of our many choices:

  • American Water Heaters
  • AO Smith
  • Bosch
  • Apollo
  • GE
  • Paloma
  • Noritz
  • Kenmore
  • and more;

Tankless Water Heaters

Over the last two decades, Europe and Asia have been using tankless water heaters. The United States is also starting to adapt to this option because they are more energy efficient. Instead of heating and reheating the water over and over again, tankless water heaters will heat the water as it is used. Plus, they don’t take up nearly as much space as the traditional versions.
After installing the tankless water heaters for our customers, they have all been pleased with the results. The majority of the brands that are offered we can install for you, which includes indoor or outdoor versions. It’s possible you won’t know which one to use, but if you speak with one of our friendly customer service representatives, they can help you come to the right conclusion.

Here are some other reasons why tankless water heaters are becoming more popular today:

Unlimited Hot Water
Hot water that never ends goes hand in hand with energy efficiency. If you have a larger family, these heaters allow everyone to take a warm bath or shower without wondering if there is enough hot water. The same holds true for the family that has a jacuzzi tub in their master bedroom. Normally the water will eventually get cold because the jets are moving the water around. However, with a tankless water heater, this is never the case.

When comparing hot water tanks, traditional options are measured differently. They typically involve:

  • First Hour Rating
  • Gallon Capacity
  • Recovery Rate

Individuals looking at hot water heaters base everything one flow rate. In order for a tankless water heater to be beneficial, the home must use a lower flow rate than the tankless heater’s maximum amount. You don’t have to worry about recovery or first hour usage, because the tankless system heats the water as needed.

Gallons per minute is the measurement used for residential flow rates. It’s normally 25 or 50 degrees, and the GPM is somewhere around 4 to 8 gallons. In Lehman’s terms; if you have a 4 gallon per minute water heater, it will cover someone’s shower and the washer or dishwasher running. If the GPM is 7 or 8 gallons then it will hand two showers and the washer or dishwasher at the same time.

Keep in mind; a tankless system does not provide instant hot water. There is a delay in between the time it take for the water to flow from the unit to the appliance where it will be used.
Saving a little Space
Traditional water heaters are usually found in a closet or the basement. When you have a tankless water heater in your home or garage, it doesn’t take up nearly as much space. This alone could be a huge reason why a family would choose a tankless version over a traditional one.

The Energy Efficiency Benefit
If you look at gas tanks now, the majority of them offer about 62% efficiency when operating. The heat transfer from an energy source to the hot water is how efficiency is measured. When a tankless unit is used it offer 18% more efficiency (80%). It might not seem like a huge swing initially, but you will notice savings in your water and heating bills.

Another important factor is the efficiency decline. Traditional water heaters will have to deal with sediment build-up over time. This means the overall efficiency levels will be lowered. Those using a tankless hot water heater will be able to enjoy the same efficiency as long as it is working properly.

As long as you don’t change your water usage habits, it’s possible to save somewhere between 30%-60% on energy costs. Each year, most homeowners will spend somewhere between $150-$400 on average for heating water.

The Durability and Quality
Some brands are better than others, but either way, tankless water heaters can last longer than traditional versions. In fact, it’s possible for a tankless water heater to have double the life expectancy.

Learning How to choose the right size
When purchasing a tankless unit, it’s important to have the right size in your home. Remember; the size of a tankless water heater is measures by the per minute flow rate as opposed to gallon capacity. So the 4 to 8 gallons per minute will be used to help you make your decision.

If you have a studio apartment or a home with one bath, a tankless water heater with 4 to 5 gallons per minute will be sufficient. If you have two bathrooms or more in your home, it’s a good idea to get a 6 to 8 gallons per minute tankless unit. People with larger homes might have to purchase multiple tankless water heaters to provide maximum efficiency.

The Cost of Installation
In order for a company like Friendly plumbing to come out and install a tankless unit, an estimate will need to take place. Even though we can’t give you an exact number today, it is usually around $2,000-$4,500. While come companies won’t tell you the price range upfront so they can sell you in person, our goal is to help you get ready for a major installation like this one.

When we do come out and install your tankless water heater, there are a few things the home will need:

  • Gas or propane in the home
  • Run a dedicated gas line to the heater. In most cases a tankless unit will need up to 200,000 BTUs.
  • Piping ; This is a “just in case” measure if we need to relocate the unit to another location.
  • Stainless Steel Venting ; There must be category 3 stainless steel venting. Sometimes we have to relocate the unit to an exterior wall. There have been times when we’ve needed to move it outside.
  • Make time to send dedicated power to the unit. There could be times when a power outage happens. if this occurs then the unit won’t heat the water. in order to overcome this we can install a backup battery system

The overall cost of your installation can be reduced significantly if you already have a tankless water heater. The same holds true if you have a newly constructed home.
The Two Main Water Heater Types
When purchasing a water heater, you will either have a gas or electric powered version in front of you. However, they do come in a variety of sizes. These sizes can range from 40 gallons to 120 gallons. A standard size home will have a 50 gallon water heater in most cases. If you have a larger home or additional features (e.g. jacuzzi or soaking tub), the water heater will be somewhere around 66 gallons to 80 gallons.

It’s also possible for a water heater to be upgraded or downgraded. This is usually needed when families with a larger home will install a new feature like a soaking tub. Upgraded your system is a little different from a typical installation. Friendly plumbing understand this and will do everything necessary to safely install the new tankless water heater. This includes installing the other essentials that are needed for a tankless unit. Some of the other things we will need to assess will be:

  • Larger Vents ; It’s important to understand that larger tankless units need more ventilation. If you try to utilize a larger version with smaller vents, it’s possible for carbon monoxide to accumulate as a result. We never want to put you or your family in danger, so we take the necessary steps to increase the vent size if needed.
  • Space Requirements ; The tankless unit can definitely help with space issues, but you still need to have an appropriate area to place it. We can give you a consultation over the home and see whether or not a larger tank will fit. Sometimes people will choose to downgrade, because the bigger tanks are more expensive than a typical 50 gallon version.

Friendly plumbing can help you figure out the best option for your home, but we do recommend sticking with at least a 50 gallon unit. Do not downgrade to a 40 gallon unit for home use. Their prices are nearly identical to 50 gallon units anyways, so taking the extra 10 gallons is a no-brainer.

Why would you need a Smaller Tank?
The only time you will need a smaller tank is if there is a special application for it. Probably the most common is a Lowboy, which is used for underneath the sink. This version can be anywhere from 2 gallons to 30 gallons. They are basically there to supplement your existing water heater system. However, they are only offered as electrical powered units.

Efficiency and Hot Water Output
In order for a hot water tank to operate, there are four measures that are used:

  • 1st hour recovery rate
  • Efficiency rating
  • Estimated operating cost
  • Recovery rate

Understanding the Efficiency Rating
The percentage of heat transfer from the energy source to your water is how efficiency ratings are measured. The difference in efficiency is astounding when comparing electric and gas tanks. A standard electric tank offers an 88-95% efficiency, while gas versions only come in at about 55-65% efficiency. There is higher energy transfer in electric tanks, because of the submerged heating elements. Gas tanks need burners that heat the water from below, which is why the efficiency is lost.
However, electric tanks are more expensive to operate. So, just because the heat transfer is better in electric tanks doesn’t mean the energy usage is less in electric tanks. In fact, a lot of utility companies and governments encourage residents to use gas heating. Well, if they have to choose between one or the other. What you should remember is that the higher the efficiency rating, the less energy is wasted when heating water.

Recovery Rate
When looking over the recovery rate, you have to look at the amount of water your tank produces within an hour. Keep in mind; during this time you have to assume the increase in water temperature is 90° F. When comparing electric and gas tanks, you will notice that gas tanks offer more gallons per hour.

  • Electric tanks ; 20 to 22 gallons
  • Gas tanks ; 30 to 40 gallons

First Hour Rating
There are 3 elements when looking over first hour ratings:

  • How much hot water the tank can produce in an hour.
  • Gallon capacity
  • Recovery rate

If you own a 50 gallon gas tank, the normal first hour rating is about 70 to 80 gallons. A standard electric tank will offer about 60 gallons.

Operating Cost Estimation
Even though manufacturers will provide estimated operating costs, they are subject to energy prices. If the average use is $0.086/kilowatt hour, it will cost about $400 a year to operate your tank. Now, if you assume $0.50/therm gas cost as well as average use, a gas tank is only about $120-$130 a year.

Do You need a Permit to Replace Your Water Heater?
In most cases, a permit is required to replace your water heater. Friendly Plumbing abides by these rules, but some smaller plumbers will do an installation without processing a permit. We can do this for you, because we don’t do any work without one. It’s also important to understand that installing a water heater is considered an “emergency service.” Your city or county will allow us to replace it and provide a permit at the same time. It allows you to get the work done without having to wait.

If you call us today, we can most likely install your water heater today. Also, when we collect for the installation, we’ll collect for the permit cost at the same time.

It’s always a good idea to apply for a permit when replacing your water heater. Over the years there have been more accidents and deaths occur from water heater replacement than any other appliance in the home. This is why most jurisdictions have adopted plumbing codes, and why they might send an inspector out to see if it was installed properly. So before you have a unit installed, we highly recommend you deal with someone like us that will process a permit on your behalf.

Warranty Availability?
There are 3 warranty options available :

  • Basic 6 year warranty ; This covers tank leakage and parts for 6 years. It also covers labor for 1 year.
  • 10 year warranty ; This covers tank leakage and parts for 10 years. It also covers labor for 1 year.
  • 15 year warranty ; This covers tank leakage and parts for 15 years. It also covers labor for 1 year, and all tanks are installed with a second anode rod. These are used to combat against corrosion.

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