Friday, March 16, 2012

Water Leaks: Prevent Them Before They Happen

Eventually a tankless water heater will leak just like any water heater and cause just as big a mess. We have solutions to keep water heaters from flooding your home.  In fact, my WaterCop alerted me our water heater was leaking and automatically shut the water off, saving me potentially thousands of dollars of water damage to my basement. 

We have solutions to keep any fixture from flooding your home by automatically turning your water off and even tie into your homes alarm system to alert you of a water leak when you’re away.  But you have to be pro-active and want the protection.  I can’t beat you over the head and make you get it.

It’s interesting how people will buy alarm systems to keep their homes from being robbed, but could care less whether their home is flooded from a burst pipe, ruptured water heater, faulty valve, worn out toilet tank bolts, etc. that can equally cause thousands of dollars of damage.

Automatic shut off devices to protect your home from flooding are far less expensive than burglar alarm systems.  A friend of mine sells burglar alarm systems.  Come to think of it, he told me one time that a high percentage of his clients hire him AFTER they’ve been robbed.  Don’t wait until your home floods to get protection.  It’s simple.  It’s fast.  It’s inexpensive.  Get protection now before the flood.  Sounds like something Noah would say. No one listened to him either.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to Save 1,000 Gallons of Water Every Month…

With no Effort, Without Even Thinking About It, & Get Instant Hot Water All At Once

Do you ever think about all the cold water going down the drain while you’re waiting for the hot water to start coming out?  You’d be surprised how much water that is.  It’s water drawn unnecessarily from your natural resources, treated at a water treatment plant, sent to your home, sent right down the drain unused, mixed with polluted water, treated at a sewer treatment plant and sent back into a river or lake slightly tainted.  And you get to pay for all that wasted water too. 

By installing a hot water circulating system you can stop all that waste.  It gets you instant hot water where ever you want, and saves you and your family thousands of gallons of water a year.  So when you have a hot water circulating system installed, you will:
  1.  Save a lot water
  2. Get instant hot water
  3. Help the environment and your community by conserving precious resources
  4. Pay less on your utility bills
  5.  Do it all with no effort or remembering anything on your part
I must admit, it took me a while to see the light about how much water I needlessly wasted before installing a hot water circulating system in our home.  I already knew the benefits.  I’m a licensed Master plumber and have put these in for many customers, but for some reason I procrastinated installing one for myself. 

It was my wife who finally convinced me to do it.  She kept complaining – and rightfully so – about how long it took the hot water to get to the kitchen sink.  She kept saying, “You put them in for everyone but me!”  Isn’t that the way it goes?  Everyone gets one but the plumber’s wife. 

One day I decided to just see how much water I was wasting.  I timed how long it took to fill a 1 gallon container.  It took 30 seconds.  Two and a half minutes later the hot water started coming out of the faucet. 

So that was six gallons of water that went unused down the drain into my septic tank.  More is not better in a septic tank.  What’s worse, I had been putting off installing a hot water circulating system for 4 years.  Conservatively, I wasted over 26,000 gallons of water just at the kitchen sink over the last 4 years.

In light of what I’ve just confessed it’s really embarrassing to keep going, but my kids respectfully argued  too that it took a long time for hot water to get to their bathroom.  I was afraid to test how long it took hot water to get there, but I had to find out.  It was about the same as the kitchen sink scenario. 

I figured I wasted over 52,000 gallons of water over the 4 years I procrastinated installing a hot water circulating system.  The system would have easily paid for itself in lower water bills alone in that amount of time.

So guess what.  I finally got one.  I can’t believe I waited so long.  It’s really nice getting hot water fast at every faucet.  And in this drought it’s really nice saving all that water.

How Much Water Will a Hot Water Circulating System Save Me? 

Let’s look at an average home of 2,500 square feet with 2 ½ bathrooms.
  • This home has approximately 125 feet of 3/4 inch pipe. (hot water pipe)
  • 125 feet of 3/4 inch pipe holds 3.14 gallons of water.
  • 10 draws of hot water per day wastes more than 30 gallons of water while you wait for the hot water to travel through the pipes from the water heater.
So, in a year’s time, the cold water going down the drain while you wait for it to get hot is 11,463 gallons.  With a hot water circulating system, you would save all that wasted water. Our home has about 2,800 square feet with 3 bathrooms.  We’re easily saving 13,000 gallons of water every year with our new hot water circulation system. 

How Much Does All That Wasted Water Cost? 

The current minimum price per 1,000 gallons of water is $7.05 in Cobb County. This includes sewer fees.  Of course, the more you use the more Cobb County charges.  The Watts hot water circulating pump will save you approximately 1,000 gallons of water a month, so over a year’s time you would save at least $85.

You’re Not Using Less, You’re Just Cutting Out the Waste 

Doesn’t cutting 1,000 to 1,500 gallons of water a month without remembering to do anything special sound like a really good and easy idea?  Remember, you’re not using less water.  You’re just eliminating the wasted water.

Does Installing a Hot Water Circulating Pump Really Help the Environment?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2006 there were 273,900 houses in Cobb County, GA.

Let’s imagine a Hot Water Circulating System in just half these homes saving a minimum of 10,000 gallons of water per household per year.  We would save 1,369,500,000 gallons of water.  That’s 1.37 billion gallons of water. The positive environmental impact of this savings is quite significant.  That’s just one county out of 160 in Georgia.

How Does the Watts Comfort System Circulating Pump Work?

  • The Comfort Valve is the unique and amazing feature that allows this system to work in any home. Installed at the farthest away faucet from the water heater, the Comfort Valve allows water to circulate back to the water heater through the cold water line. 
  • The Comfort Valve’s built in check valve prevents hot water from mixing with cold water when a cold water tap is opened.
  • The circulator pump, with a 24 hour timer, installs on the water heater and pumps hot water into the line keeping hot water very close to every faucet.
  • The Comfort Valve automatically closes at 98 degrees (+/- 5 degrees F) making hot water available at all of the hot taps in the circuit.

Doesn’t this require new wiring or complicated plumbing?

The unique design of this system uses your home’s existing water pipes so no costly plumbing alterations are necessary.  The Watts Comfort System requires no special wiring either.  The hardest part is altering the water heater plumbing slightly to install the pump. The complete system installs in about 2 hours or less.

How Much Does it Cost?

Most of the time, we can install a Watts Comfort System hot water circulating pump and one comfort valve for $627.00.  That’s about $1.72 a day for a year.  Then it’s paid for, but water conservation, lower utility bills and getting your hot water fast continue year after year.  You don’t need to think about it again.  It’s trouble free, maintenance free and protected by a 2 year guarantee.

                  Plumb Smart installed a circulating pump a while ago (July, 2005), and it’s doing just fine.  Your plumbing service was great, and the price was very good.  Next time we need a plumber, we won’t hesitate to call Plumb Smart.
                                    ~Harold Fernandez, Marietta 

Get it Right Now For Only $567.00

Now for a limited time we will install a Watts Comfort System hot water circulating pump for only $567.00.  That’s $60 off our regular price.

Hurry and call 404-427-0302 today.  At this price, they won’t last long. 

Don’t wait like I did.  Every day you wait, you’re probably wasting at least 30 gallons of water.  When you get your Comfort System installed you’ll quit wasting all that water without changing any of your water usage habits one bit.  You’ll get hot water instantly and save money on your utility bill too.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Protecting your home from a plumbing flood

I used to tell everybody to shut off their water to the house when they go out of town. It's a bit tedious, but well worth it if you're going to be away from home for a few days. But what about just being away for a few hours? Most people aren't willing to shut off their main water supply every time they leave the house.

So what if there was a system that would monitor your water flow for you and shut the water off automatically in case of a leak? There is.

What is this new product? It's an automatic water shut off valve made by Flo Logic.

What are the benefits?
  1. Lower your insurance premium. Ask your agent about this.
  2. Eliminate the risks of major flood damage due to a plumbing water leak.
  3. Described by Popular Science as "the circuit breaker for your home's plumbing system."
  4. Peace of mind
If you're handy, you may be able to install it yourself. If not, a plumber should be able to install in an hour or less in most cases. If you have any questions or want to schedule an installation, leave a comment and we'll figure out a time to do it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How old is my Water Heater?

Few ever think of their water heater until it starts leaking. There are two dangers with this way of living:
  1. Water heater leaks usually cause a huge mess, damage floors, walls and all your important stuff you've stored in boxes in the general location of your water heater; this damage costs a lot of money to clean up, and permanent loss of personal property.
  2. You're now out of hot water until you get your water heater replaced. This causes you to just get a new one fast without giving any thought to quality, length of warranty, type of water heater, present and future needs, energy conservation and cost.
So what's the solution?

First, find out how old your water heater is. Get a flashlight and glasses if you need them.  Look on the front of the water heater and you'll find a label with the serial number, model number, gallon capacity, etc. Find the serial number. The first 2 digits will tell you the month and the next 2 digits will tell you the year it was made. For example, if the serial number is:119237485-b, the first 2 digits signify November and the next 2 signify 1992, so it was made in November, 1992. If you're still not sure you can call the manufacturer (brand name) of the water heater. There will be a phone number on the water heater so you can call them. Give them the serial number and they will tell you when it was made.

Next, if it is over 12 years old, start doing research now to figure out what kind of water heater you would like to replace it with. Call around see what's available. Check on prices. If you want something special, it will most likely have to be ordered, so you won't want to wait until your current one starts leaking. Be proactive.

If your water heater is over 15 years old, it's now time to do something about it. You know how these things go. Your water heater will go when you go out of town, and you'll come back to a flood and the mess I described above.

Call me if you live in the Atlanta, GA area and I'll give you lots of useful, free advice.
Visit my website at or Facebook Plumb Smart, Inc. Are you a member of Twitterville? Then follow Plumb Smart there for quick tips!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Introduction: How to be Plumb Smart

Welcome! My name is Paul, and I'm a Master Plumber and owner of Plumb Smart, Inc. Our company has served the greater-Atlanta, GA area for nine years and now we're expanding our services to customers and visitors online. You can also find us on Twitter (@plumbsmart_inc) and Facebook: Plumb Smart, Inc. Our website is currently under construction, but should be ready soon.

This blog was created to provide tips, advice, and information on plumbing products, common problems, and simple procedures for repair. Occasionally you'll also read posts about my garden, latest fishing expedition, political rantings, books I'm reading, and more. If you have any plumbing-related questions, please post them in the comments sections and I'll do my best to answer them.

I hope you find this blog educational, informational, and enjoyable to read. Thanks for stopping by.

That's me (left) and Pete (the other Plumb Smart plumber) standing in front of one of our trucks.