A Copper Roof is the Last Roof You’ll Ever Need

picture of copper roofing For any property, whether it be a residential home or a commercial building, the roof is one of the most important features since it plays such an important role in the esthetic and structural quality of the construction. When you consider key factors such as safety, appearance, durability and comfort, and how having the right roof impacts these important elements, choosing the right material could be one of the most crucial decisions you make. If you live in an area that’s prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes or other extreme weather, special consideration should be given to the this aspect of your decision.

For this reason, many contractors and home owners have turned to copper roofing as their ultimate solution. Copper roofing offers the best of worlds: classic elegance with practical structural advantages. For those who make the decision to install a copper roof, it is no doubt the last roof they will ever have. Because of the lasting nature of copper, these roofs will easily last a century or more. There are tremendous long-term benefits to the property owner that far outweigh the initial investment, which can be substantially higher than a traditional asphalt shingle.

One of the most important benefits of copper roofing is the safety element. Two of the biggest threats a property owner will ever face are fires and floods. Copper offers superior protection from both of these threats. Copper simply doesn’t burn, so if a burning ember or spark of some kind should find it’s way to your roof, you can be sure that your structure is protected. The same is true for flooding. Some areas of the country can experience tremendous torrential downpours, or even hurricane conditions, that dump inches and inches of water creating flood-like conditions. A copper roof is designed to repel the water, and with the proper redirecting of water with copper gutters and copper downspouts, the water never breaches the interior of the home.

Copper roofing is also very resiliant to other corrosive or destructive elements such as the sun, the air and pests. Copper is also considered one of the most sustainable of metals because it’s completely natural, very long-lasting and made largely from recycled material. It naturally reflects sunlight and heat away from the structure, reducing cooling costs on the inside. So, not only does copper naturally green over time due to oxidation, but it’s also green from an environmental standpoint too.

For all your choices in metal roofing material, copper is by far the most lightweight. However, being light weight doesn’t mean that there’s any loss of strenght or sturdiness. Copper roofs can hold up to some of the most extreme conditions. For areas with heavy snowfall, however, additional supports may be recommended as the weight of snow accumulation can sometimes exceed what an unsupported roof can withstand.

So, with all these features and benefits, copper roofing could be one of the best decisions you make when buiding or re-roofing your home or commercial property. It’s highly recommended that you find a roofer who specializes in copper installation to ensure the best quality of material and installation.

How to Install a Tankless Water Heater

installing an Electric Tankless Water Heater Made Easy

picture of installed tankless water heaterTankless water heaters are now selling like hotcakes as they are now America’s most popular method of heating water.  However, the challenge of achieving an ideal tankless water heater installation is also playing a large role in order to get things right.  To ease up common technical terms of installation procedures, here are some simple step by step instructions for you.

    • First, you should identify an appropriate place to launch a water heater.  It’s usually mounted vertically and directly to the wall with the power and supply connections at the bottom of the unit.  Once you have identified the desired area, then you can start the installation process.

 

    • Remove the hang bracket from the back of the water heater and hold the bracket against the wall in your desired hanging location.  Mark the wall were the three mounting holes should be located.  If you are on a wall stead, screw the bracket directly into the wall.  If not, insert the supplied walled anchors and screw the bracket into the wall anchors.

 

    • Remove the four (4) screws and washers to free the front cover.  Lift the front cover over a few inches. Don’t pull too hard. Disengage the plug connecting the LCD panel to the unit. Remove the cover and set aside and then hang the cover on the wall bracket.  Be sure that the unit is hanging securely from the bracket.

 

    • Connect the power supply (usually at the lower right side of the unit) into the terminal block.  Make sure that the wires make full contact at the terminal block and that the screws are securely tightened.

 

    • Reattach the LCD cable and then replace the cover of the unit.  Improper contact of the wires to the terminal block s or loose terminal block screws can cause electrical failure.  Do not connect power to the circuit breaker until the plumbing connections are made.  The water connections on your tankless water heater afre ¾ inch FIP and should be connected to the water supply using a standard ¾ inch metal hose.  Be sure to use rubber washers to have a secured seal.  It is recommended that a valve should be installed at the unit supply so that you can turn off the water supply when needed without shutting the rest of the supply to the pump.

 

    • Wrap all pipes with Teflon tape.

 

    • After the water connections are made, you should turn on the hot water valve.  Once the water is flowing consistently, check for leaks and correct if necessary.  If the water pressure exceeds 150 PSI, a pressure relief valve must be installed.  At this time, power can be connected to the circuit breaker and make sure that the switches are in the “off” position.

 

  • Once power is correctly connected, you can switch the breakers into the “on” position to turn on your newly installed water heater.

Now that the unit is finally installed, you are now ready to begin enjoying infinite, instant and energy efficient hot water that tankless water heaters provide.
graphic of how a tankless water heater works

8 Tips for Maintaining Water Heaters

Whether you own a traditional tank water heater, a tankless or a hybrid, good care and maintenance will save you money and protect your investment for years to come. Here are just ten tips and ideas for keeping your water heater in top working condition.

#1 Prepping your Water Heater

Make sure the on-off switch is turned to the off position.

Disconnect the water to the tank by turning off the valve on the cold water line, which is usually found on the top. The cold water line is typically situated on the right hand side.

Now, go inside the house and put one of the tap faucets fully into the open position. This will release any air pressure from inside the tap.

Once you’ve done that, go back to the water heater and open the drain valve, which usually found near the bottom of the unit. You’ll find this because it looks similar to a hose bibb. Allow at least a gallon or more to drain out of the unit.

Make sure nobody in the house is trying to use any hot water at this point.

#2 Check the clearance above the water heater

Anode bars are going to be approximately the same height as the tank itself. It’s not uncommon for the space between the ceiling and the top of the unit to be so tight that the entire anode rod cannot be removed. Regardless, lift the anode bar up the extent that you can. Check it to see if there’s any chipping on the surface of the bar or if any of its center wire is uncovered. If not, then you can go ahead and reinstall the anode bar without any further treatment. The majority of anode bar issues happen near the top since this is where most of the hot water is contained.

In the event that you have to remove the anode bar, use the heater’s opening to bend it in the middle and then pull it out. To put in the replacement, just reverse the process by essentially curving it in the center again and straighten it out at the opening. On the off chance that the anode top is unbalanced when you attempt to fasten it, pull it half way again and do your best to straighten it to the best of your ability.

In the event that the space above the heater is short of 2 feet, purchase a link-type anode bar. It has “wiener-style” connections of metal joined together and its fairly simple to install.

#3 Selecting anodes and replacement anodes

Generally, you will find only three varieties of metals from which anode bars are made: magnesium, aluminum, and zinc. If your water is on the soft side, it’s recommended that you go with a magnesium anode. Aluminum is better for water that’s hard or that has been heavily treated with salt for softening. If you’ve found your existing anode rod to be seriously deteriorated, it best to go ahead and replace it. If you were to use a magnesium anode upon discovering an intensely decayed anode, it could result in a negative response in the water and cause pressure to discharge out of the faucets.

In the off chance that you have to use an aluminum anode pole, make sure that you make any plans to use the hot water for cooking. Recent scientific reports have shown that aluminum in the water has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s in some people, so don’t use any of this water for human consumption.

It’s unusual to find zinc anodes already installed in your water heater. They are used to offset the smell of sulfur in the water. And keep in mind, that zinc anodes only contain about 10% actual zinc, with the rest being made of aluminum. So, as a general rule of thumb, don’t consume any water heated with these anodes either. One way to tell the type of anode pole you have is whether the bar bends easily when you grasp it. If it does, it’s probably aluminum, but if not, it’s probably magnesium.

Two feet is about the normal protective current for most anodes. That’s why it’s best to purchase anode poles that are relatively tall for your water radiator. You can always chop them down in the event that you have more than what you need, but, if you can, you should always plan to purchase anodes that are more than 3 feet and 8 inches.

#4 Adding an additional anod pole

On the off chance that your unit has an exposed hexagonal-molded head on top of it, you can add an alternate anode bar to be on the safe side. If there is a hex-head, take that and just remove the hot water outlet, which is the pipe on the left hand side. This is the place where you can include a combination anode rod. You’ll want to make sure that it has a brass nipple that’s 2 to 6 inches in length. It’s strongly advised that you employ a professional plumber to do this part or research online for data about anode poles. If you decide to do it yourself, be forwarned; this is not a simple task.

#5 Getting rid of the accumulated sediment

If you have an accumulation of sediment in your tank, there are three general indicators you should look for: an electric water heater will have a lower burnout of the element, a preponderance of noises coming off of a gas water heater, or a a really nasty smell coming from either type of water heater.

If the sediment accumulates too much, the heating element below will get covered and won’t be able to properly heat up the water. A good indication that you have excessive sediment build up is if your hot water runs out prematurely.

Water heaters that that use gas get are most likely to get a build up of sediment down at the bottom where the gas burner heats up the burner plate. Water can get totally covered in sediment and converts into a super-heated steam. This expansive steam can make quite a bit of noise when the pressure is released. Another good indicator that you’ve sediment accumulation is that you notice the smell of sulfur due to the build up of sediment and bacteria.

To deal with these issues, put in a bended dip tube. You can additionally have your plumber utilize a popular but pricey Muck-vac device. Dissolving the silt is an alternate choice. Likewise, on the off chance that you have an electric water warmer, you can utilize a shopvac to suck the silt out through the easier warming component. The how-to of these methodologies is in the next section.

#6 Install a bended dip tube and flush the tank

When you purchase your system, it typically comes with a straight dip tube. The dip tube is the bit of plastic pipe inside your heating unit that reaches out from the highest point of the water radiator’s cold water delta to the base. The idea is to get the coldest water close to the lowest part where it might be warmed up quickly. Sediment collects at the lowest part of the tank and does not move hardly at all except where the dip tube reaches out to at the base. The water leaving the tube forces the sediment out. Attempting to wash the residue out of the channel valve on the outside of the unit isn’t recommended.

Introducing a bended dip tube where the lowest part of the tube bends to a ninety degree angle, causes the bottom of the water radiator to be cleared by the oncoming cold water. Silt is kept in suspension in the water. Opening the channel valve and letting chilly water enter the tank for 5 minutes can clear up a considerable measure of residue.

Introducing a bended dip tube begins by unscrewing the top. It’s the channel on top of the water radiator on the right hand side. Stick a bended took care of set of forceps in the opening of the cold water bay and turn the dip tube up and out of the water radiator. Get the dip tube sufficiently high and you can haul it out by hand. On the off chance that this doesn’t work and the gap is corroded, scratch the rust away first. Take the new bended dip tube and imprint it at the top as an afterthought that the bend focuses. Wrap the highest point of the bended dip tube where you will be fastening it at the top with teflon tape about eight times. Embed the bended dip tube and point it so water will swirl along the side of the tank.

The channel valve is placed on the outside of the water heater at the base. Be sure that it’s completely open when emptying the tank.

# 7 Clearing out build up with a vac

Employ a handyman to utilize this instrument to evacuate the silt from your water heater. The device is tricky and takes some knowledge on the most proficient method of utilization. This is the most efficient technique of removing build up there is.

#8 Clean and secure the water heater

Always be sure after performing any maintenance on your tank water heater that you do a thorough clean up of the unit and tightly secure all connections, pipes and screws. Make sure there is no loose debris or other articles touching or close to the tank. Safety is very important and doing these last tasks helps to ensure a safe and secure water heater for future use.