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    Understanding How Tankless Water Heaters Work

    Last updated 8 months ago

    For several decades, the only way to ensure the efficient delivery of hot water to taps, showerheads, and plumbing appliances in a home was to have it heated and stored in a traditional water heater tank. Today, there is a speedier and more reliable way to heat hot water: the tankless water heater.

    Heat Exchanger

    The most important component of a tankless water heater is a heat exchanger—a useful device that transfers heat from one source to another. When you turn on a hot water tap in your home or choose a hot water setting on your washing machine, water circulates through the heat exchanger, which transfers heat from its fuel source to the water circulating through it.

    Fuel Options

    Water can be heated using a tankless water heater in one of three ways. Electric power is the most common source of energy for point-of-use heaters, while propane and natural gas are generally the most cost-effective options for whole-house tankless water heaters.

    The Big Difference

    The most noteworthy difference between a traditional storage tank water heater and a tankless water heating system is that a tankless water heater heats water on demand. In contrast, a tank-sourced heater heats water in perpetuity, constantly using energy to maintain the set water temperature. As a result, storage tank water heaters have a limited supply of hot water that takes time to renew, whereas tank-based water heaters can deliver an endless supply of hot water. Because they only consume energy when hot water is requested, tankless water heaters are more efficient.

    Depending on your water heating needs, a tankless water heater could be a game-changing upgrade for your Seattle home. If you would like to speak with a plumber in Seattle about whether or not a tankless water heater is right for you, call O’Neill Plumbing at (206) 932-5283. With nearly a century of experience in the plumbing industry, we are qualified to meet any and all of your plumbing needs.

    Locating Your Home's Water Shut-Off Valve

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Every home, business, and apartment has a shut-off valve which shuts off the flow of water to the entire building. Most shut-off valves are located where the water line enters the building. For most Seattle homes, this is in the garage or at the front of the house where the hose is connected. To make sure you have found the correct valve, test it by turning it off. Then, go inside and see if the faucets are receiving water. If they are, go outside and try a different valve. If you live in a condo or apartment, you will notice a row of valves—one for each apartment. When you find the correct shut-off valve, mark it with a colorful tag so that you can find it quickly in the event of an emergency.

    If you need help locating your home’s water shut-off valve, or if you have run into plumbing problems, contact O’Neill Plumbing. Located in Seattle, our plumbing company offers a variety of 24/7 plumbing services to our community. Call us at (206) 932-5283 or head to our website for more information.

    Reasons to Choose a Low-Flow Toilet

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Low-flow toilets can save you a significant amount of money on your water bills. In addition to monthly cash savings, low-flow toilets save thousands of gallons of water per year versus conventional toilets. Read this article for more reasons to call a Seattle plumber to install a low-flow toilet in your home.

    Water Conservation

    A low-flow toilet can save a family of four more than 20,000 gallons of water per year, according to Home Innovation Research Labs. Low-flow toilets do not use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. A standard toilet, on the other hand, uses roughly 3.5 gallons of water per flush. Data gathered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 900 million gallons of water per day could be saved if everyone in the United States switched to WaterSense Toilets. That number is equivalent to 20 minutes of water flow over Niagara Falls. By saving thousands of gallons of fresh water per year in your home, you can help both the Seattle community and the United States become more environmentally sustainable.

    Water Bill Savings

    Toilets account for 30 percent of water use in the home, according to the EPA. The Home & Garden Television Network estimates that homeowners can save up to $100 per year by switching to a low-flow toilet. With these savings, a low-flow toilet will eventually pay for itself.

    Water-Saving Rebates

    If you live in the Saving Water Partnership service territory in Seattle and you purchase a WaterSense toilet, you may be eligible for a $30 rebate on the purchase of a low-flow toilet. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) even offers a free water-saving toilet to low-income homeowners who qualify and multi-family buildings in the SPU service area that provide low-income housing.

    To learn more about the advantages of having a low-flow toilet, call O’Neill Plumbing at (206) 932-5283. We have offered toilet installation and a wide variety of other plumbing services to the Seattle area since 1917. Visit our website to see how else we can cover your plumbing needs. 

    How Tankless Water Heaters Can Help Save Energy

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Tankless water heaters are the most cutting-edge water heaters available, and they offer several key advantages over conventional water heaters. For more information about how a tankless water heater can help you save energy and money, watch this video clip.

    Unlike conventional water heaters, which heat and re-heat dozens of gallons of water at a time, tankless water heaters heat small amounts of water as they are needed. With this design, a tankless water heater can provide unlimited hot water while using significantly less energy than a conventional water heater. With a tankless water heater, you can expect to save between 25 and 30 percent per year compared to what you would pay with a conventional water heater. Watch this video to learn more about the advantages of tankless water heaters.

    If you want to find out more about installing a tankless water heater in your home, call O’Neill Plumbing of Seattle at (206) 932-5283. Visit our website to learn more about the plumbing services we have offered the Seattle area since 1917.

    Determining Whether or Not Your Garbage Disposal Motor Is Worn Out

    Last updated 8 months ago

    The garbage disposal is a very important kitchen appliance for many homeowners. But garbage disposals are not designed to last longer than about 10 to 12 years. If you think your garbage disposal is starting to wear out, read this article to find out if the motor is to blame.

    Check for Blockage

    If too much food or a large object is pushed into the garbage disposal, it will become jammed. When this occurs, it is not uncommon for the circuit breaker to trip, which stops the flow of power to the garbage disposal. Even though the symptoms are similar, do not confuse a jammed garbage disposal with a worn-out garbage disposal motor. A jammed garbage disposal can be unjammed with a hex wrench. Simply insert the wrench into the underside of the unit, and move it back and forth to clear the garbage disposal.

    Inspect the Breaker Button

    At the bottom of your garbage disposal there will be a red breaker button. This button will pop out when the garbage disposal becomes overloaded. Press it back in to see if the garbage disposal starts working again.  

    Test the Garbage Disposal’s Electrical Socket

    Unplug your garbage disposal from the wall socket beneath the sink, and plug another appliance into the socket. If the appliance doesn’t work, check your breaker panel to see if the garbage disposal has flipped the switch to the off position. If the appliance does work, and all of the above-mentioned steps were followed, the garbage disposal motor is probably worn out.

    To have your garbage disposal inspected, maintained, repaired, or replaced, contact O’Neill Plumbing at (206) 932-5283. With more than nine decades of experience working on plumbing systems, we are the preferred plumbers in Seattle. Visit our website to see the full list of services we offer, including in-line sewer cameras, water heater installation, and trenchless sewer repairs. 

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