Rapid Rhino Plumbing Blog

 

Tankless Water Heaters,,,Whats All The Fuss About??? Are They Worth It???

As a California Licensed Contractor and Plumber I have to tell you that I have never heard so much confusion and missunderstanding about any plumbing product than the “tamkless water heater”.I have never heard more arguments or debates from neighbors over the “backyard fence” at the grocery lines or in the good old barber shop about this “new kid on the block”.

But just know this,,in actual fact ,,the tankless water heater as we know it ,has been around a heck of a long time.For example ,its been usewd for decades in Europe and Japan where the cost of natual gas is sky high.Only recently has “this here critter’ found a friendly reception and consideration in the Good OLd USA.

Well,,,,its about time!!!!

OK David ,,whats so good about “tankless”???? [we’ll get to that,,,,}

First of all the best feature about these water heaters is its compact size.Traditional “old School” tank heaters take up to 14 sq feet of precious space in the home.An outdoor mounted tankless heater simply takes 0 sq ft of in home space.Hence,,,we always reccomend outdoor installation here at Rapid Rhino Plumbing ,Monrovia Calif.

If youre seriously considered the installation of a tankless water heater ,we have a short list for you as far as reccomendations.In a word ,we havent found anything better than Noritz Tankless Water Heaters and we’ve tried them all.You can’t beat their quality and customer service.Also they have a local showroom,training center and headquarters in Fountain Valley ,California.And get this,if you ever have a problem or an issue with the installation of one of their heaters,,,THEY SEND THEIR TECH OUT to your home or business to troubleshoot and or fix the unit.You cant beat that.Now that being said ,rarely do we have problems or call backs with Noritz units.

If you decide to go with tankless you must include a proper water filter and pump system to have the heater work at maximum performance.Also the heating coils need a flush out “cleaning” every 3 to 4 months.Our pumping systems have beed approved for 6 points by the EPA energy star system for water heater credits.These pumps save energy and water and they also help preserve the warranty on your San Gabriel Valley Cities tankless water heater.

We like Grundfos pumps because of their excellent reputation and service record.Why wait for hot water! Now bear in mind tankless water heating is NOT instant HOT WATER but it is an ENDLESS SUPPLY OF HOT WATER.If you currently have to wait for hot water this will not change unless you allow us to install a demand circulating pump with our install package.Why demand a pump?

Because it does not affect tankless warranty
Its saves electricity
Saves Gas
Saves Water
Saves Time

And these pumps can be installed with a convenient push button system or motion sensor.

We srongly suggest you include a water softener with a tankless installation .Not only will these units make your skin softer but they will eliminate the hard water scale residue on faucets and shower doors.Rapid Rhino Plumbings softener systems are designed and planned to meet all Southern California Plumbing Codes.They are fully ported and will not decrease water pressure.Water softeners create a “scale prevention Shield” .Just know that they are important for the long useful life of a tankless unit but they are often overlooked because of extra cost.Another thing to consider is a complete copper repipe to the property if the original silver grey colored galvanized water pipe are still in place.A copper repipe along with a tankless heater will create a dramatic improvement in water quality and the heating of the water.

We are certified Noritz installers.Noritz water heaters are truly a “Green Plumbing Product”
Tankless is “Green” and again consider this ,they have been used in Japan since 1966 at 86% efficiency.Leave it to the ingenious Japanese to create and develope a great product.

Please contact Dave Doyle at Rapid Rhino Plumbing Monrovia California for more information on installing a Noritz Tankless Water Heater ,,,and call us 24/7 at 626 524 4255.Thanks

    Copper Repiping ,,,What’s It All About???

    Rapid Rhino Logo 04

    Copper repiping whats it all about?Whats the real story? Is it worth it? Who needs it.Well truth be told if your house is more than 25 years old,and you can still see the silver gray colored pipes entering your house in the front yard and you see them “stubbed out,or sticking out” under your sinks and in the water heater area you got rusty original galvanized water pipe which is clogged or closed up to some degree.I have even seen samples you could not even see “daylight’ thru

    Simply said,copper repiping is a simple process of removing and replacing existing galvanized pipe and replacing it with type L copper pipe.We use and reccomend nothing but Type L Copper Pipe at Rapid Rhino Plumbing here in Monrovia California.Many older homes in towns in our service area like Arcadia,Monrovia,Pasadena ,Sierra Madre ,Temple City and San Gabriel were tract homes built in the 30’s and 40’s and they all had galvanized pipe in the original construction.As the galvanized pipes age, the zinc coating inside starts to rust out closing up the interior openings.Once this rusting condition starts it accelerates badly ,and the only practical solution is to chop them up and replace them.The most practical and popular choice among homeowners is copper water pipe replacement.

    A domestic water system is composed of two parts.; Volume and Pressure.Pressure is simply measured in PSI pounds per square inch.Water pressure is explained as the force which the water passes thru your pipe and out of your fixture and faucets.Volume represents the actual amount of water that flows thru your fixtures in a given amount of time.Both volume and pressure are improved tremendously after a complete copper repipe.

    Typically San Gabriel Valley homeowners usually decide to choose copper repiping when they begin to see a dramatic loss of pressure at home.Decreased water pressure is really annoying to say the least.Your washer machine tends to fill up= slowly and your garden hose has a much weaker spray.However the biggest nuisance and plumbing problem is the classic low water pressure in the shower instead of a nice strong stream,,the bather only gets a dissatisfying trickle of water.You just watch Mom and Dad and the kids scream when one of them is in the shower and someone uses the kitchen sink to draw water!!! Not a happy situation!

    Copper is obviously the prefferred material for replacing interior piping because its lightweight,safe,creates clean tasting water,its durable [it usually outlasts the life of the homeowner] and it does not rust.Because it is also flexible meaning that plumbers can easily bend and form it within the existing stud walls,it is ideal for repiping and Rapid Rhino Plumbing is a repiping expert in the San Gabriel Valley.We have repiped hundreds of homes and businesses in our local area ,,that is the 626 area code.

    Copper repiping is not for amatures or do it yourselfers,,,[not a good idea,,].You are better off having a California Stae Licensed Plumber do the job.Copper repiping is a tricky tedious major undertaking .It is time consuming and must be planned carefully.The technician must work in tight confined spaces under the house in a crawlspace and many times in dark dusty attics.Using a soldering torch is an acquired skill that takes many years experience to perfect.You don’t want some amatuer wanna be plumber ,,,or someone who says they’re a plumber swinging a lit propane torch around dry lumber underneath your house in a crawl space “learning how to solder copper pipe”.One sloppy joint can leak in the future and a careless burn mark on a piece of original pine lumber can look like its out and extinguished but can smolder and start a major fire hours after the workman has crawled out of the area and gone home.

    Its not smart for the home owner to accept or go with the low bidder when it comes to a copper repipe.The old caveat “you get what you pay for still applys today”.Make sure you’re plumber provides the following features when he writes up a proposal for your repipe;
    Type L medium weight copper pipe to be used thru out the job
    All new copper pipe to be properly strapped and secured every 5 linear feet to avoid noise or “water hammer” conditions
    No lead solder shall be used in job
    Plaster and drywall openings in wall shall be MINIMAL and shall be properly patched in a workmanlike mannner
    All old galvanized pipe shall be collected and removed from premises
    All 1/2″ emergency shut off valves also known as “angle stops” shall be replace along with woven stainless steel water supply lines.
    All plumbing fixtures and faucets shall be flushed out and checked for proper flow
    Material and workmanship shall be =guaranteed for one calendar year or more.Ask about our “Rock Solid Good Neighbor Guarentee.

    We hope the capable friendly crew at Rapid Rhino Plumbing here in Monrovia California can help you with your next copper repiping project.We are here for you 24/7 so please contact us with any questions at 626 524 4255.Thanks Dave Doyle at Rapid Rhino Plumbing

    Happy New Year From Rapid Rhino!!!

    We just want to thank all our loyal clients who have supported us over the last 12 month and

    ,more,,,business is not booming but its steady,,,,

    I guess thats to be expected considering the still “slow pokeing” economy.Folks want a good deal,homeowners are on a budget and that pesky plumbing problem will usual have to wait,,,that is,,,until it become “A Now Emergency”.

    We sympathize with our loyal clients,,,,moneys tight and everyone loves to save a buck,that’s understood.Heres a couple points and tips to maybe help save you a few dollars,,,,

    Tip 01/ Check the dial on that water meter!!!!  Get someone handy Husband,Son ,Boy Scout ,,Neighborhood Good Guy,,,!!! to remove the concrete lid of your meter box,,,(watch out for random black widow spiders!!!) make sure every faucet and fixture is shut off!!! Carefully observe the dial ,,,you’ll have 2 of them ,,,,a big black needle like a clock and a small red triangle shaped dial ,,,,if you have a leak of any kind the little red triangle will spin,,,,,if youre lucky ,,,everything will be static,,,no movement ,,,,if the dial is spining or that black needle is slowly moving clockwise,,,,well friend ,,,you have a leak somewhere!!!!

    Check for the obvious leaks first,,,check you faucets ,shower valves and toilets ,,,,put some green food coloring in the tank after it fills and shuts off,,,,if you see green dye coming into the bowl ,,you have a tank leak and should have it rebuilt,,,.You’re paying money for water down the drain?

    Check for soggy ,muddy ,,,damp areas in your lawns ,,,both front and back,,,,.You could have an underground leak .If your really ambitious ,,,get a strong flashlight and look in the crawl space area under your house.We do not reccomend a homeowner to physically put on coveralls and crawl the length and width of their property.That is a job for an experienced journeyman plumber with many years under his belt.

    Of course if you find a leak of any kind ,please invite us out for a courtesy evaluation and firm price quote to correct this condition.

    Tip 02— Give Your Water Heater a Check Up and Report Card

    An “elderly Water Heater” is not a good old friend of the family.Most units in the San Gabriel Valley with all our hard water really shouldnt be expected to last more than 10 to 12 years.Why?? Most of us never take the time to flush out the lime and sand every 3 to 4 months.It just doesnt happen with our  “busy ” lifestyle.If your have a standard gas tank style water heater 30 to 40 gallons,what usually happens is a layer of lime and sand builds up on the bottom of the tank .This stuuf can get up to 1 or 2 inches thick,,,Ive seen it.So now what happens is ,,,you’re poor water heater has  to work “Overtime” to heat up that same tank full of cold water it did with ease 10 or 12 years ago when it was spanking new.That layer of sand acts as an insulating blanket or barrier to the burner flame.In a word your heater has to “work harder” and burn more natural gas to heat the same tank full of water.Result ???A heck of a higher gas bill at the end of the month.Let us check out the install date of “OLd Faithful” we will also do a “safety check” of the condition of the shut off valve,,copper flex connectors , earthquake strap (you don’t have an Earthquake Strap???) and the temperature and pressure relieve valve (Man,,,that puppy better work!!!) If you unit is too far gone its really time to consider a replacement.We reccomend and install Rheem ,American Appliance and Bradford White Water Heaters,We will also show you how to properly flush out the sand and scale from your heater every quarter [3 months] so you can increase the useful life of it for years and years.

    Tip 03  Do Whats Going On Inside Your Main House Drainline? If You Got Trees in Your Yard You’d Love to Know!!!

    We have a high powered Color Video Pipe Inspection  Camera that can show you the interior condition of your oriiginal house drain.In older homes what you usually have in the ground is 4 to 6″ red clay drain pipe.Unfortunately ,,,back in Grandpas time ,,,this stuff only came in 4 foot lengths and many times it was “Assembled” or put together with concrete joints,,,one end would be inserted or “telescoped” into the other with wet cement as a binder or seal.Well ,,,you quessed it over time,,even over a period of 10 to 15 years,,,because movement in the ground ,heavy trucks running past the house,,earthquakes ,,,lets be honest,OK?,,these clay pipe systems have moment and cracks happen in the joint areas ,,,and sure enough,,,roots seeks out the water and waste as food,,,,.You call this “Root Intrusion:”.

    Lets us come out and inspect your line while you watch,Its reall amazing if you’ve never seen it.If you do have a faulty condition with roots in your drain ,,its always better and cheaper to “nip it in the bud ” and fix a potential problem and a major inconvenience at a convenient time.[Like daytime 8 to 5PM right ,,,LOL].We can also identify cracked pipe and fittings.We can do anything from point repairs where only a section of your drain needs replacement,,,all the way to- a complete restoration and “change out ” of your house drain at a competitive market price.Waht really costs you money is the year by year neglect of simply having a drain cleaning company clear your line with a mechanical drain snake or cable machine.Thats really just a band aid.Planning a procedure for replacing or repairing a main house drain is ultimately much more of a savings then the nuisance and “headache” of calling out the “drain guy” once or twice of year ,,,usually in the dead of night.

     

    Well folks thats it for now.Hope these tips help and save your some money and grieve.Remember,we are always here for help or consultation,,,after all ,,,WE ARE NEIGHBORS!!!

    Dave Doyle/Rapid Rhino Plumbing/Jan 20/2013