Brooks Plumbing Co. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Tankless Water Heaters’

Water Heater Installation: Should You Go Tankless?

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Today’s water heater options are all much more energy efficient than water heaters of the past, no matter what model you may have. However a recent water heater development—the tankless water heater—has many homeowners excited about how much money they can save with this type of system.

But is it right for you? In some cases, it may be better to stick with the conventional storage tank water heater. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these systems to learn which is best for you.

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Common Repairs in Tankless Water Heaters

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Tankless water heaters offer a number of advantages over traditional tank water heater models. By heating the water as it flows through the pipes instead of using a stationary tank, it’s able to provide an infinite amount of hot water instantly, while cutting down on overall energy use in the process. Tankless systems work especially well in smaller households or vacation homes, but like any other system, they periodically require repairs. The good news is that you have a company to rely on in Olympia, WA that knows how to fix all manner of problems with tankless water heaters. Here’s a quick list of common repairs that you should look out for.

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3 Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Mention the term “water heaters” and most people tend to think of traditional tank models: the giant tubes in our basement or closet tasked with providing hot water for the household. Though they can do the job efficiently enough, they’re not the only options out there. Here in Olympia, WA, tankless water heaters can be installed by trained professionals, and though the cost of putting one in can be greater than a new tank model, the advantages often greatly outweigh the additional costs. If you’re looking at installing a new system, here are 3 benefits of tankless water heaters that you should be aware of while making your decision.

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Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth the Cost?

Friday, December 19th, 2014

More and more people in the United States are discovering the many benefits of tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters were designed in order to alleviate the energy loss that comes along with owning a standard storage tank water heater. Storage tank water heaters use up a lot of energy throughout the day, resulting in high utilities and wasted natural resources. But with a tankless water heater, you won’t run into these problems, and you’ll save some money in the meantime.

But every now and then, someone raises the question of whether a tankless unit is really worth it. Tankless units tend to be higher in cost than storage tanks because they have more complicated machinery for operation. Traditional units, on the other hand, work under the simple natural principle that heat rises. Water feeds into the tank from the top through a long tube that leads to the bottom. A gas burner or electric heating element heats up the water, which then rises above the denser, colder water and reaches your faucets through a tube at the top of the tank.

But this means you have to leave the heat running all day even though you only use hot water every so often in the course of a day, an issue known as standby energy loss. With a tankless unit, a computer simply communicates to the unit when a hot water tap in the home has been turned on. Water heats up as soon as it passes by the heating element, and the heat shuts off immediately afterwards.

Yes, a storage tank water heater will eventually offset the cost of installation, and many feel that the initial investment is 100% worth it. However, a standard storage tank unit is still right for many homeowners. For some people, initial cost is simply too important a factor for them to worry about the future energy savings, especially since it will take many years to compensate for the expense. Besides, tankless units have been known to struggle when it comes to heavy heating loads in larger households, and you may find yourself needing multiple units at an even greater cost.

You don’t have to make the decision on your own. Call Brooks Plumbing to discuss tank and tankless water heaters in Olympia and to schedule professional installation or service.

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Should I Install a Tankless Water Heater?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Tankless water heaters stand as a viable alternative to traditional tanked models, getting rid of the large, cumbersome tank in favor of a system that heats the water instantly. As the water passes through the heater on the way to your faucet or shower head, it is instantly heated via a series of electrical coils or a gas heater. That spares you the expense of maintaining gallons of hot water in a tank, though installation costs for a tankless heater can be larger and the system works better in some circumstances than others. Here in Tumwater, tankless water heaters are a solid option, but the question remains: “should I install a tankless water heater?” The answer depends on your circumstances.

The first question comes with the number of people in your household. Tankless water heaters can become overwhelmed if they are saddled with too many demands at the same time, which means that smaller households benefit from it more than larger households. That also counts for the number of fixtures a tankless water heater needs to supply. If you have a lot of sinks, you may need to install multiple units in your home, which will increase the overall installation cost significantly.

Then there’s the question of amount of use. A tanked heater can be very expensive to maintain in a second home or a vacation home, as well as requiring regular maintenance in order to keep ahead of general wear and tear. A tankless system can mitigate that, since it doesn’t rely on standing water and can usually be activated instantly. That makes them quite desirable for homes that are left unoccupied for certain parts of the year.

And of course, you need to consider the savings over time versus the initial cost of installation, which can be influenced by your present circumstances and needs. A good advisor can help you with all of that, then set up an installation schedule that meets your specifications. In Tumwater, tankless water heaters can be installed by the experts at Brooks Plumbing. Our staff of trained professionals is on call to answer any questions you may have. If you’re asking “should I install a tankless water heater?” contact us today. You’ll be glad that you did!

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What Are the Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater?

Friday, January 10th, 2014

The standard type of home water heater is known as a “storage” water heater. It keeps a supply of water inside a tank, where it uses gas or electricity to heat the water for use in the home. Many people think that this is the only kind of water heater available, but today you can have a tankless water heater installed in your home.

How does that work? Tankless systems run the water in the pipes through coils that pass over gas burners, heating the water as it is needed at a tap. Some tankless systems use electrical power installed at individual tanks, so the tankless system can be used only for specific taps instead of the whole house.

Brooks Plumbing installs both storage and tankless water heaters in Olympia, WA. Here are some of the benefits we’ve found people get from going with a tankless heater.

  • No running out of hot water: Storage water heaters only have a limited supply of hot water available at any time; once you exhaust the supply in the tank, you have to wait for the heater to heat up more before you get hot water again. With a tankless system, you don’t have to worry about this because it heats up the water as you need it, so you won’t run out.
  • Space-saving: A water tank takes up a large amount of space. A tankless system is relatively small, and some can even be installed hanging on walls.
  • Energy efficiency: Storage water heaters must maintain a constant temperature in their tanks so the hot water is ready for use. Since tankless systems only use heat when someone requires water, they consume far less energy than storage tanks—sometimes up to 20% less.
  • Longevity: On average, a tankless system lasts 5 to 10 years longer than a storage system.
  • No flooding worries: You no longer have to be concerned that a ruptured water tank will flood part of your house.

There are some drawbacks, however, such as high initial installation cost and a longer lag time waiting for the water to heat up. If more than one tap is operating at once, a tankless system can lose its efficiency. Ask an expert in water heaters if your household will benefit from going tankless.

At Brooks Plumbing, we take our motto seriously: “Quality in Everything We Do.” We’ve striven to uphold that promise since 1994, and when you contact us to install a tankless water heater in Olympia, WA, we will give you the quality service that you deserve.

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Plumbing FAQ: Tank or Tankless Water Heater?

Friday, May 24th, 2013

There are few appliances that have as direct an impact on your day to day comfort and convenience as your water heater. Access to dependable hot water is luxury that many of us may take for granted, but when there is a problem with your water heater it becomes pretty clear, pretty quickly, just how important it really is. It makes sense, then, that you should want to find the water heater most appropriate for your home and personal needs. Speak with the Olympia, WA plumbing technicians at Brooks Plumbing today to discuss your water heater options.

The big decision that must be made when shopping for a new water heater is whether you will opt for a traditional tank water heater or whether a tankless on-demand water heater is right for you. Both have their benefits. The input of a qualified Olympia, WA plumbing professional is a great benefit when making the decision.

Standard tank water heaters are still the most common option. These water heaters store a reservoir of hot water and continually heat it so that it is always ready to go. While this is an effective method of ensuring you have hot water when you need it, it also allows for a certain amount of standby energy loss. This happens when heat radiates through the storage tank, meaning that your water heater must in turn replace the lost heat, resulting in more energy consumption. A well-insulated tank is a good way to minimize this energy loss.

If you are interested in avoiding standby energy loss altogether, eliminating the storage tank is a step you must take. A tankless on-demand water heater allows you to do this. These water heaters superheat cold water as it passes through when called for at a point of use. They are much smaller than tank models and can be installed in closets or other tight areas. If you are short on space, going tankless may be a good idea. These systems are more prone to being overwhelmed than their traditional tank-model counterparts, though.

Ultimately, it is up to you whether a tank or tankless water heater is right for your home. Make sure that you are able to make an informed decision. At Brooks Plumbing, our Olympia, WA plumbing professionals can help ensure that you wind up with the right water heater for your home.

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Water Heater FAQ: Why is My Tankless Water Heater Underperforming?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Tankless water heaters are a great addition to many homes throughout the Tumwater, WA area. They offer many benefits over traditional tank water heaters. However, we often get calls from people that their tankless water heater isn’t providing them with enough hot water or that it is working inefficiently. At Brooks Plumbing, we’ve been providing quality plumbing services in Tumwater for almost 2 decades. We thought it would be helpful if we put together some of the most common reasons why your tankless water heater might be underperforming.

Gas Supply Problem

Tankless water heaters work very well when there is low to medium demand. When there is very high demand, tankless water heaters tend to experience problems. Tankless water heaters work by heating up water very quickly which a lot of gas. The gas line into your tankless water heater allows for a much higher flow of fuel. If there is a high demand on your water heater, as there is during high demand, the flow of gas might not be sufficient and the unit will shut down.

Tankless Water Heater Exhaust Vent

Your tankless water heater monitors the heat of the exhaust that is flowing out of it. The reason for that is because the exhaust from your tankless system can get very hot and needs to be exhausted very quickly. If that doesn’t happen properly, the unit will shut down.


Many high efficiency tankless water heaters can form condensation in the exhaust vent. This condensation is highly toxic and corrosive. Normally, the condensation is collected and drained away from the system. But if it drips down the system it can cause a lot of damage.

Hard Water

If your home has hard water, mineral deposits can build up in the system and cause huge problems. It can even lead to the system failing completely.

If you’re having issues with your tankless water heater, call the Tumwater Water Heater experts at Brooks Plumbing .We have years of experience offering services for tankless water heaters in Tumwater. Call us today!

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Why Choose a Storage Tank Water Heater?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Some people don’t adjust well to change. Others simply like to stick with whatever has been working for them in the past. Whatever the reason, many people just don’t feel the need to embrace new technologies, at least not in all parts of their lives. While many people will sing the praises of tankless on-demand water heaters and attempt to call those sticking with the tank style models old fashioned, this is one of those cases where the oldie is, in fact, a goodie. At Brooks Plumbing we know that newer tankless water heaters are great devices, but we also understand that there are many valid reasons why you may want to stick with a storage tank model in your Olympia home.

Storage tank water heaters keep a constant reservoir of hot water at the ready. Many people will point to the fact that they must continually heat this reservoir when arguing for the superiority of tankless on demand water heaters. While older storage tank models certainly may lack the efficiency of a tankless model, though, the improved storage tanks of modern water heaters have better insulation, reducing the amount of energy that must be used to keep that reservoir warm. Plus, you are much less likely to run out of hot water with a storage tank model, whereas tankless on demand water heaters may have a hard time keeping up in homes with a high demand for hot water.

Storage tank hot water heaters also give you a great variety of fuels to choose from. There is always an ongoing debate about which fuel type is better, gas or electricity. Many argue that natural gas is the way to go, as it is produced domestically, burns pretty cleanly and is cheaper to purchase than electricity. However, you must also consider the efficiency of the particular water heater model in question. After all, if an electric water heater is much more efficient than a natural gas model then the electricity-fueled model may actually wind up saving you money over time in operational costs. Additionally, electricity is available pretty much anywhere, whereas some houses don’t have natural gas hookups or access to a gas line at all. In addition to natural gas and electricity tank water heaters also can be fueled by oil or propane, though these options are much less popular.

We hope that this information has convinced you not to rule out storage tank water heaters just yet. There is nothing wrong with tankless on-demand models, of course, but there is a reason that tank water heaters are so popular. In fact there are several. If you have any more questions about why you may want to choose a storage tank water heater in your Olympia home, call the experts at Brooks Plumbing today.

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Water Heater Tip: Improving Water Heater Efficiency

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Improving the efficiency of the water heater in your Olympia area home will depend on several factors. The type of water heater installed in your home is the first factor, and improving efficiency can be easy if you know what to do.

If you want to increase the efficiency of your water heater, there are a few initial steps to take. If you have questions or would like more water heating tips, call the expert plumbers at Brooks Plumbing. Here are some ways to get you started today on cutting back on the energy used to heat the water in your home and to lower your utility bills.

Installing a high-efficiency tank water heater or a tankless water heater to replace your old inefficient model is only one way to more efficiently heat the water in your home.  You can also make small upgrade, such as installing low-flow faucets and showerheads. Other areas include the dishwasher and washing machine. Use cold water when possible to wash your clothes, and only use the hot temp settings on the dishwasher for heavier loads. Using less hot water means using less energy to heat the water.

You can also lower the thermostat on your hot water heater, which can save you up money on energy costs and reduce the chances of scalding if the water is too hot. Most manufacturers recommend 140°F for water heater thermostat settings. In reality, many people don’t need hot water to be heated above 120°F. Call a plumber or check your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure how to locate the thermostat on your water heater or if you have other questions about proper temperature settings.

If you have an older tank water heater, one easy way of improving efficiency is to insulate the tank. This will help prevent heat loss while the water is being heated at all times. You can find water heater “jackets” easily, but keep in mind that you may need to know the R-value of the water heater tank before you make your purchase.

Call the Olympia water heater specialists at Brooks Plumbing if you have further questions.

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