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Buyers Guide: Tankless Water Heater Pros and Cons

Most homes have a traditional water heater installed when built, but these massive tank units don’t last forever. If it is time to replace your water heater, a tankless water heater can be a very tempting option. There are many benefits to consider for switching to a tankless water heater, but also a few logistic matters to review before making your decision.

So, is a tankless water heater the right option for you? We at DC Family Plumbing have put together this list of pros and cons for tankless water heaters. We are ready to help you choose the right water heater for your replacement

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

Nobody likes running out of hot water at the most inconvenient time. A tankless water heater heats your water on the go at an average of 5-15 gallons a minute. So, even if you take a long shower or need to wash a ton of dishes, you never run out of hot water and have to make do with the cold. Installing a tankless water heater has plenty of benefits beyond unlimited hot water, including:

  • Energy Efficiency: A traditional water heater fills the tank, then heats the water, so it is hot and ready for the first hot tap. When the water in the tank cools, it heats it again. A tankless water heater only heats your water once as it flows through, which can save you bundles on the electric bill over time and help make your home more energy-efficient.
  • Longer Lifespan: Tankless water heaters last longer than traditional water heaters because they only run when your taps ask for hot water. That means less wear and tear on the elements and pipes over time.
  • Potential Cost Savings: Tankless water heaters are often more affordable per unit, need to be replaced less often, and cost less in monthly power bills.

Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

What are the disadvantages of choosing a tankless water heater? We know it is important to have the whole story before you make a decision. Unlike a traditional water heater, tankless water heaters require annual maintenance for cleaning and servicing. Some of the other downsides to a tankless water heater include the following:

  • A New Installation Plan: Tankless water heaters are very different from your traditional water heater so you will need an all-new installation plan and the help of a professional plumbing team.
  • Seasonal Adaptivity: Tankless water heaters may take a few extra seconds to warm up your water during the middle of winter when water is the coldest coming into the heater.
  • Water Heater Myths: Tankless water heaters are not magic and sometimes don’t measure up to the myth. For example, your hot water will arrive at the tap at the same speed unless you place your tankless water heater closer to the tap, so there is less distance for the hot water to travel.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are not a one-size-fits-all type of appliance. Instead, it is important to consider how much hot water your household will need and whether you plan to run hot water appliances simultaneously. Your plumber can help you choose the right tankless water heater size for your household or place more than one for greater hot water accessibility.

Installation and Maintenance

Tankless water heaters are more advanced than the original design and require support from your local plumber. You will need to rebuild your water heater utility space for installation and maintain annual maintenance to get the best performance from your tankless water heater for the next decade of reliable hot water.

Tankless water heaters also benefit from an in-line water softener to keep the hard water scale from blocking the works.

How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater Plumber You Can Trust

DC Family Plumbing is dedicated to helping every local family achieve the hot water and plumbing performance needed by each household. As a local business, our technicians can help you find the right tankless water heater unit, choose the perfect place to install it and ensure your home is supplied with efficient on-demand hot water for years to come.

To learn more about tankless water heaters or schedule a tankless water heater installation for your home, contact us today.


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Solving Low Water Pressure at Home: Diagnostics & Solutions

When you turn on the taps, the flow of water through the faucet determines a lot about your quality of life. Cleansing showers, effective cleaning, and even filling your cooking pots and water glasses rely on water pressure. Low water pressure in a house isn’t just slow; it can become non-functional. 

Fortunately, once you hunt down the reason for low water pressure, plumbing professionals can help with the situation and return your home to full water pressure access. Here at DC Family Plumbing, we care about your quality of life and your pipes. If you have been having low water pressure problems, we’d like to share the most common causes and solutions to restore your home to its comfortable place.

Common Causes of Low Water Pressure at Home

The best place to start in diagnosing low water pressure at home is to investigate the most common causes. If any of the following are your low water pressure cause, then the solutions are well-known and often practiced by your local pros.

The Main House Shutoff Valve Is Not Fully Open

First, check your home’s main water valve. Everyone should know where this is, but most homeowners do not. Look for your water main and ensure the valve is 100% open. This resolution might be the easiest way to fix low water pressure at home. Twist the handle or securing bolt to the left to discover if there is some give in the open direction.

If you have low water pressure in a specific room or tap, its local water valve may not be fully open. 

The Pressure Regulator is Failing

If your home has a pressure regulator installed (not all need one), its malfunction may result in low water pressure. The water pressure regulator prevents too much pressure from blasting into your home, but if it fails, it may block more water than necessary and result in low water pressure.

The Pipes are Clogged

Clogged pipes are a common cause of low water pressure. How can your inlet pipes get clogged? Good question. Unlike drains which can clog with things sent down them, inlet pipes tend to clog with “scale,” a type of mineral buildup that is medically harmless but structurally very problematic. Scale causes water spots, the white crumbles in the bottom of your dishwasher, and that chalky surface when the water dries on sink ceramic and tub porcelain.

When scale builds up in your pipes, it’s like cholesterol in your arteries: it slowly closes the space until only very little water can get through.

The Pipes are Corroded

Corrosion tends to occur when two different metal types are connected in plumbing, causing a chemical reaction that makes the metal break down into a fluffy oxidized mess. Some pipes, like galvanized steel, also have an expiration date and may start to corrode after that time. If corrosion happens inside your pipes, you get clogs and low pressure. Replacing the corroded pipes and nearby pipes is the best solution for corrosion.

The Pipes are Leaking

If you have a leak in your water supply plumbing, your water pressure is escaping and may not reach your taps, which is a very problematic cause of low water pressure at home. Leaks are terrible for water pressure – and your water bill. If your water pressure drops off suddenly or you can identify taps that have water pressure and those that don’t, this can indicate a leak in your system. Any taps with full water pressure are “before” the leak, while those with low water pressure are “after” in the lines.

Faulty Plumbing Fixtures

The problem could also be with your fixtures. If the base of your faucet leaks and you have poor water pressure, for example, you are likely losing your pressure through a fixture leak. Clogged and corroded faucets can also be a problem. If you have faulty plumbing fixtures, a leaky faucet repair might completely restore your water pressure issues in each affected room.

Why a DIY Fix Isn’t Feasible

Fixing your plumbing isn’t like repairing the handles on your cabinets or changing your light covers. Some DIY projects are safe and productive to handle at home, and some require a professional. When it comes to light fixtures or behind-the-wall plumbing, you need a pro. DIY plumbing repairs are not feasible because it involves going deep into your home – into crawl spaces and even between the walls to complete more extensive repairs. While most homeowners can replace a showerhead, replacing your sink faucet is another matter. 

A professional plumber can guarantee that the work is done right, ensure your wall is rebuilt if further access was required, and that all the seals and joints are 100% leak-free, so your home is safe and water-efficient when the work is done. 

Choose a Plumber You Can Trust

When your home has low water pressure, you need a plumber you can trust to diagnose the problem, enact repairs, and leave your home in better condition than they found it. Whether you have a leak or just old and corroded pipes, DC Family Plumbing is dedicated to keeping your home and plumbing in top condition. Contact us today for the plumbing services your home needs.


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Categories Uncategorized

When To Call a Plumber: Signs You Need Plumbing Services

At some point in anyone’s life, you learn to do a few plumbing repairs. Most people can plunge into a toilet or change a shower head when the need arises. However, there are also many plumbing situations where you should or must call a professional plumbing service instead.

These situations often involve clogs or leaks that extend deep into your home’s plumbing system or problems so serious that household methods are ineffective. Knowing when to call your plumber to get your home’s pipes and drains safely back into working order is important.

Why a DIY Fix Isn’t Feasible

There are some things that every resident can DIY and should do when the need arises. Many plumbing issues cannot be reached by household tools or accurately diagnosed without professional training.

Problems with your water access, pipes behind your walls, and connections to city utilities are not feasible DIY projects, no matter how handy a household may be. Calling a professional plumbing service like DC Family Plumbing is the next logical step in these cases and whenever you have reached your troubleshooting abilities.

When to Call a Plumber

Access to fresh water, hot water, and clear drains are all part of your essential quality of life. Some problems are typically easy to solve. But if you see the following signs, know when to call a plumber before it impacts the quality of life in your home.

Slow-Draining Sinks & Showers

A slow-draining sink or shower indicates a clog where they are less common. If you cannot immediately pull up a clump of hair or food debris, the clog may be below the house and too deep for household tools to reach or plunge. Call a professional for drain cleaning services if your sinks or showers are draining at a dysfunctional slow rate that you cannot resolve.

Back-Flowing Drains

Back-flowing drains mean there is a deep clog in your sewer line, or it can result from local flooding due to bad weather. When this happens, no household solutions can solve the problem. The moment your drains start pushing wastewater back up the pipes, call a plumber immediately. Back-flowing drains can be a serious health hazard and should never go untreated.

Constantly Running Toilet

When your toilet is constantly running, there is something wrong with the internal mechanism. The mechanism inside your toilet tank is surprisingly complex. If it is not fixed simply by rattling each piece into position, you may need a professional plumber from DC Family Plumbing to rebuild the tank system.

Hot Water is Not Getting Hot

Hot water is an important part of your quality of life. If your water never gets hot, your water heater must be flushed, descaled, and inspected by one of the professionals at DC Family Plumbing. Flushing and descaling remove debris that can coat the heating coils of your water heater over time. An inspection will reveal if damaged components are reducing your water heater efficiency. 

Your Toilet Keeps Overflowing

A toilet that overflows is a toilet that runs without draining. Some toilet clogs are able to be fixed with a few quick plunges or a few minutes of focused plunging. But if that doesn’t work, you may need professional drain cleaning to remove a deeper clog below the house.

You Smell Sewage

The smell of sewage means that your drains are not working correctly. Your drains should clear, not back up, and there should be a water trap between you and the sewer line. If any of these are inaccurate and you start to smell sewage, your family’s health may be in danger.

Your Faucet is Dripping

A dripping faucet is not just maddening. It also costs money as water drips through your meter. If the drip doesn’t stop, call your plumber for leaky faucet repair to save your sanity and water bill.

Choose a Plumber You Can Trust

You don’t want to end up having leaks when you need your sink, toilet, or shower the most. If you are looking for a family plumber that can handle anything your plumbing can manifest, you can count on DC Family Plumbing. Contact us today for a consultation and fast, skilled household plumbing services.

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To our customers:

These are certainly unprecedented times and our thoughts are with anyone and everyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are writing to you now to let you know that we are frequently checking with the CDC and our local health officials regarding updates and safety precautions. We know that plumbing emergencies happen any time, even more so now that so many of us must remain at home and indoors. All of us at DC Family Plumbing want you to know that we are here for you and we are currently taking important safety precautions to continue to provide our services and keep you, your home, and our employees safe.

These safety precautions, as recommended by the CDC and local health officials, include: