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tankless water heaters

Is Electric Tankless Water Heater a Good Option?

Hi, have a 34-year-old oil water heater.  We are starting to see sediment in the hot water and I'd eventually want to switch from oil to gas, which is accessible.  Financially, we want to put that job off a few years and to to get an oil water heater now and then switch to gas in a few years seems wasteful.  My thought was to get an electric tankless water heater now and switch the heat and kitchen to gas when we can afford it.  My basement is also very small, so tankless will provide additional room.  The house has one and a half baths and four bedrooms. Does electric tankless make sense and how do you decide what size the tankless must be to provide the right amount of how water?

Our Answer

Since you have a very old water heater, it's smart to replace it now before it starts to leak. If you wait and it does leak, you're going to be facing an emergency repair, which can cost a heck of a lot more!

It's not a great idea to install an electric tankless water heater, but I don't think you'll really need one.  It seems like you think that you need to convert the entire house to gas heat when adding a water heater. In our experience, gas utilities will run the gas line to your house if you agree to hook it up to one appliance, like a water heater!

Given that, your best bet is to have the line run to your house and replace the old oil water heater right now.

By the way, electric tankless water heaters are not efficient and would be a very poor choice. They can't be compared in any way shape or form with a gas tankless water heater. Once the gas line is run, you can decide if you'd like to install a gas tankless water heater, or the more old fashion tank-style water heater.

If you do decide to stay with electric your best option would be an electric heat pump water heater. These are much more efficient than standard water heaters and have come down in price.

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window film

Moisture in Single Pane Window: Repair or Replace?

I have a wooden frame fixed picture window with single pane glass and an outside single pane glass storm window. As you would expect, moisture gets trapped between the windows. I would like to eliminate the storm window and have double or triple pane glass installed on the fixed window. Ideally, I would like to use the same wood frame or if not feasible have a custom frame and window built. The window size is 43w x47h. I don’t want to replace the window sashes, just the window itself.  

Our Answer

We understand the issue at hand and are happy to offer some assistance! The reason you're seeing the stains between the glass is condensation. Think about an ice cold glass of water sitting out in the sun on a hot day. The outside of the glass will soon be covered in condensation which forms when warm moist air strikes the cold glass.  That's exactly what's going on with your windows.

You have two options. Your first option would be to add an interior storm window. This works much like an exterior storm window, except that it's more attractive and adds an addtional layer to keep drafts out. However, it will not solve the problem of condensation because like your other two windows it will not be completely sealed from the enviroment.

Given the above, your best option is to install a "replacement window." The replacement window will replace your existing sash, but leave the jambs and window trim in place. All replacement windows are costum made and one can be easily built that has double or triple pane glass for your home. I suggest you visit a repuable home improvement retailer.

If you decide that having the window replaced is the best option for you, Home Depot offers a Free in home consultation.

One tip, make sure you have the retailer come to your home and measure the window before it's ordered. That's the best way to make sure that the window that is built will fit as intended.

Finally, you'll need to consider whether or not you want to install the replacement window yourself, or have someone come in and do it for you.

Hope this helps you out and if you have any more questions, let us know!

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How to Improve Water Pressure

I have low water pressure in the home, and I'm pretty sure it's due to the fact that the water line from the street is more than 50 years old and is galvanized steel. The opening has likely shrunk from 3/4" to 3/8". Currently, the water pressure is acceptable if only one point of usage is opened but I can't do a load of laundry and take a shower at the same time, or water the lawn and do the dishes simultaneously. Outside of replacing this pipe is there a pump or similar device I can install to either increase the pressure for the whole house or even just a bathroom?

Our Answer

Unfortunately, nothing short of replacing the old galvanized steel pipe makes a lot of sense.  Galvanized steel piping rusts inward and since its 50+ years old, its best to replace it before it becomes an emergency situation.

If that underground pipe were to break while you were away, or during a winter storm or a whole host of situations like that, the repair would be 3 times as much. Plus, any problem resulting from the slow degradation of the pipes may not covered by homeowner insurance policies and could fall squarely on your shoulders.

My advice is the replace the galvanized service entry (main) pipe and as much of the interior pipe as you can get to.  Better safe than sorry!

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