|Aaron Sanders Plumbing|
Why use a Licensed Plumber?
Contractors are licensed in California by the Contractors State License Board and are required to pass a trade knowledge test, maintain a bond and maintain required insurance. No contractor can take on a job valued over $500 without a license. A contractor is required to have a classification for the type of job being contracted and cannot apply for a permit without a current license with the correct classification. The contractor's license history and any complaints can be viewed by anyone at the State's web site allowing the consumer to check out the contractor. Contractors State License Board
The best reason for using a licensed contractor is that in the event a job goes wrong the State License Board can step in and assist the consumer
Finally an unlicensed contractor can easily walk away from a job if the job goes bad leaving little recourse for the consumer.
What Is the Purpose of a Building Permit?
A building permit is required for most major plumbing repairs. Small plumbing jobs (repairing leaks, changing faucets, etc) generally do not require a permit. A permit informs the building department that work is being done and that an inspection by the city or county building inspector will be required at specific stages of the job.
A building inspector serves as an unbiased check on the contractor ensuring that the job is completed to current codes. The inspector will sign off that the work is completed correctly or will issue a written correction notice if needed. In the event of a correction notice, the contractor will have to make the corrections and then schedule another inspection.
This process ensures that the work is completed to the required standards and checked by an inspector that has an understanding of codes and construction practice, that could affect the safety and structure of the building being worked on.
Storage vs Tankless Water Heater
("This discussion gets a little long and can get really involved, but I'll try to keep it as simple as I can." Aaron Sanders)
Storage Water Heater
A storage water heater usually has a 40 or 50 gallon tank (there are other sizes) and is heated by natural gas, propane, or electricity. A storage water heater maintains the water in the tank at a temperature controlled by a thermostat. A typical household water heater burns 40,000 to 50,000 BTU's per hour. This typical recovery rate of (amount of new hot water being brought to temperature) is 35 gallons per hour for a typical 40 gallon water heater plus the stored water in the tank. This means approximately 75 gallons of hot water is available in the first hour which is usually enough for most houses. The water heater then recovers. If more than 75 gallons of hot water were used in this example the temperature of the water would become cooler as the capacity of the first hour is exceeded.
A storage water heater is less efficient than a tankless water heater because the temperature of the water stored has to be maintained even if no hot water is being used.
Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater does not store water at temperature. When hot water is needed a flow switch senses the movement of the water and fires up the burner to full power. A typical tankless heater can burn up to 200,000 BTU's per hour and a computer starts turning the burner down to meet the amount of heat required to heat the water needed. Some of the manufacture's claim energy savings of 45% by the tankless system.
A tankless system is sized by the maximum amount of hot water that will be required (flow) per minute. If you size the tankless heater for hot water for two showers at the same time, that's all you get. If two showers are running and the washing machine starts you will get warm or possibly cold water.
Because a tankless water heater requires more BTU's, a larger gas supply and larger exhaust flue is usually required. Most tankless systems require an electrical power source.
A tankless system is more efficient than a storage water heater. The tankless water heater costs more than a storage water heater. The installation of a larger gas supply and flue pipe adds to the cost of changing from a storage to tankless system; don't forget an electrical source will be needed. There are some impressive power company rebates or credits that help offset the changeover. Do your homework and make sure the changeover makes sense for you.