Trenchless Vs. Traditional Sewer Repair

Experts say that it is a good idea to inspect a sewer line with a camera before you purchase a home. The last thing you want is to have a $3,000 to $5,000 sewer problem right when you move in. Cities around the nation have began requiring a camera inspection before selling a home, but this practice is not widespread.

Even if you have lived in your home for years, it’s worth hiring a professional to examine your line. That way you can budget for future repairs or replacement, without having to make snap decisions when an emergency happens. Inspection prices usually run between $250 to $350. Some Companies advertise free or reduced rate inspections. Make sure the contractor is reputable and there are no hidden fees.

If you would like to find out more, or want to schedule a camera inspection, call ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR, INC. today at 970-667-0300.

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Trenchless technology is a type of subsurface construction work that requires few trenches or no continuous trenches. It can be defined as “a family of methods, material and equipment capable of being used for the installation of new or replacement or rehabilitation of existing underground infrastructure with minimal disruption to surface traffic, business and other activities”.

Trenchless construction includes such construction methods as

  • tunneling,
  • micro tunneling ,
  • horizontal directional boring,
  • pipe ramming,
  • pipe jacking,
  • moling,
  • horizontal augur boring

and other methods for the installation of pipelines and cables below the ground with minimal excavation. Large diameter tunnels such as those constructed by a tunnel boring machine, and drilling and blasting techniques are larger versions of subsurface construction. The difference between trenchless and other subsurface construction techniques depends upon the size of the passage under construction.

Trenchless rehabilitation includes such construction methods as

  • sliplining, (one of the oldest methods used to repair leaks or restore structural stability to an existing pipeline)
  • thermoformed pipe,
  • pipe bursting,
  • shotcrete,
  • gunite,
  • cured-in-place pipe (CIPP),
  • grout-in-place pipe,
  • mechanical spot repair (applied where damaged pipelines require the reinstatement of structural integrity)

and other methods for the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of existing buried pipes and structures without excavation, or at least with minimal excavation.

Sliplining, cured-in-place pipe and thermoformed pipe lining involve pulling or inverting a new liner into an existing pipe and then applying heat and/pressure to force the liner to expand to fill the pipe. Other methods are primarily for fixing spot leaks. CIPP technologies combine a carrier (felt or fiberglass) impregnated with heat, ultraviolet light or ambient curable resign to form a jointless and seamless pipe-within-a-pipe, with the capability to rehabilitate pipes ranging in diameter from 0.1-2.8 meter (4″-110″). As one of the most widely used rehabilitation methods, CIPP has application in water, sewer, gas and chemical pipelines.

SLIPLINING

Pipe bursting consists of a torpedo-shaped metal bursting head, attached to a steel cable, being pulled through the existing sewer line to burst the pipe, breaking it up into little pieces. The existing line is just a conduit to pull the new pipe through. This is done via a heavy cable and a hydraulic pulling machine that pulls with 30 tons of force with and intermittent pneumatic hammering action to assist the bursting head in breaking the old pipe apart and out of the way.  With pipe bursting, the entire pipe is replaced with a new high density polyethylene pipe (HDPE). This method of sewer replacement requires only a hole at each end of the line rather than the entire length of the line, as required by more conventional methods.

Limitations of Trenchless Sewer Rehabilitation

 

Method                                                                    Limitations
Pipe Bursting Bypass or diversion of flow required

Insertion of pit required

Percussive action can cause significant ground movement

May not be suitable for all materials

Sliplining Insertion pit required

Reduces pipe diameter

Not well suited for small diameter pipes

CIPP Bypass or diversion of flow required

Curing can be difficult for long pipe segments

Must allow adequate curing time

Defective installation may be difficult to rectify

Resin may clump together on bottom of pipe

Reduces pipe diameter

Modified Cross Section Bypass or diversion of flow required

The cross section may shrink or unfold after expansion

Reduces pipe diameter

Infiltration  may occur between liner and host pipe unless sealed

Liner may not provide adequate structural support

Consider the Disadvantages and Risks of Trenchless Sewer Repair or Replacement

These methods we’ve gone over are referred to as “trenchless” because very little, or in some cases no excavation is required. These types of trenchless sewer repair and replacement are very common today because they are fast, economical and are not invasive. It used to be that the only way to repair or replace a sewer line was to excavate it, meaning tearing out driveways, porches, additions, landscapes or whatever might lay in the path of the existing sewer line. You should consider that this type of installation method might not pass inspection if water pools in a low spot in the line. Because the new line uses the old line as a conduit, this is a possibility. Generally, labor cost can be more expensive as the equipment that is used is expensive.

Another issue with pipe bursting, is the close proximity of other utilities. As the bursting head passes through the pipe, it splits the existing pipe and forces it outward as the new pipe is pulled through. If there are utilities close enough, the existing pipe being pushed outward can damage them. Water lines can be cut and gas leaks can result. Contractors must locate all utility crossings as well as close parallel utilities to determine if there is adequate room for this type of installation. It may also be necessary for the workers to do some hand digging in order to establish where these lines are located. Occasionally, it may also be necessary to remove some of the landscaping, but only if the root system of plants will cause future problems.

If you are considering trenchless sewer replacement, be sure to verify that the contractor has significant experience doing it and has been trained by both the trenchless equipment manufacturer and the pipe material manufacturer.

 

ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR, INC. does not believe in doing these “trenchless” methods. We believe that traditional sewer repair and replacement is more effective.

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Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating & Air in Ft. Collins

Air Conditioning inspection  is key to maintaining your Air Conditioner and keeping it operating as efficiently as possible. Don’t let lack of maintenance make it difficult to beat the heat this summer. Call us to schedule your routine Air Conditioning maintenance inspection in Ft. Collins today. If repairs are needed, we can implement those repairs as needed. Call now to schedule your inspection and maintenance in Ft. Collins and Loveland ,Co. with the highly trained professionals at Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air.

Navien® Tankless Water Heaters

If you have questions or want to schedule a water heater repair or installation, call ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR, INC. today at 970-667-0300. We provide 24/7 emergency services in the Northern CO areas including Loveland, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Longmont, Johnstown, Milliken, Greeley and Estes park.

Navien®

The Leader in Condensing Tankless Technology

In 2006, Navien, Inc. was established to open new markets in the United States and Canada for parent company KD Navien. Navien has since become one of the fastest growing companies in the home comfort sector in North America, providing condensing tankless gas water heaters and condensing combi boilers. Navien’s products possess state-of-the-art technology, high efficiency and reliable quality, making it the leader in the marketplace for tankless technology.

Navien has achieved international recognition for its sophisticated engineering and robust designs. Backed by more than thirty years of experience with advanced water heating technology, Navien will continue its mission to provide high quality products that are beneficial to both customers and the environment. 

Navien Water Heaters

Energy Factor & Heat Exchanger

The average Energy Factor is 0.82, however, Navien water heaters have an extremely high Energy Factor that ranges between 0.95 to 0.97. This is the result of the condensing technology that uses the flue heat to increase the temperature of cold incoming water in one of the two stainless steel heat exchangers. The NPE series is the most efficient tankless water heater in the industry, with ultra condensing technology that delivers cooled exhaust gas and high performance up to 0.98 EF.

Due to the high quality of heat exchangers, Navien provides a 15-year warranty. The heat exchanger is made of stainless steel and is the place where the main burner is heating water. The stainless steel allows the longevity of the unit, economical and reliable work, and also resists corrosion better than copper to provide longer life.

Venting

All Navien water heaters are designed as the indoor – direct and non-direct vents and outdoor models that use 1/2″ gas connections and 2″ PVC venting. This can help to cut the installation time in half. As the heat is “stolen” from the flue gasses, its temperature gets lower so it exits the vent pipe with lower temperature than the conventional tankless units making the venting system economical and easier to install. The indoor-type water heater utilizes the concentric and two pipe system, installed horizontally or vertically, with the length up to 100 feet.

Burner 

There is an eco-friendly gas burner designed to allow a dramatic reduction in CO2 and NOx gases mainly due to the optimal premixing of the air and gas.

Water Flow  

Navien water heaters from the “A” series are designed with the ComfortFlow technology so no minimum water flow is needed for the units activation. These models are equipped with the recirculation pump and 0.5 gallon buffer, so the temperature fluctuation is reduced and comfort is increased.

Model Selection

Navien designs two types of water heaters including gas and combi-boilers. The gas tankless water heaters are available as the NPE series. These are used for heating portable water only. The gas combi-boilers are also designed for home space heating.

Navien NPE-Standard Series

Some advantages to consider:

  • More output for the money. With high efficiency condensing technology, NPE-S units deliver more BTUs where it counts, resulting in greater flow rates than comparable units.
  • Lower installation costs for you. You can typically install a NPE-S in half the time of other tankless units — usually within 4 hours, with more flexibility and lower material costs.
  • Lower operating costs for the homeowner. Industry leading 0.99 EF can save you more on the yearly operating costs.

 

 

NPE-180S NPE-210S NPE-240S
  • Max Input : 150,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor/Outdoor Installation
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Filed convertible gas system
  • Ultra condensing efficiency .99EF
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • Low NOx emissions (≤ 20ppm)
  • SCH 40, 2” venting up to 60’
  • Cascading capable
  • Max Input : 180,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor/Outdoor Installation
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Filed convertible gas system
  • Ultra condensing efficiency .99EF
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • Low NOx emissions (≤ 20ppm)
  • SCH 40, 2” venting up to 60’
  • Cascading capable
  • Max Input : 199,900 BTU/H
  • Indoor/Outdoor Installation
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Filed convertible gas system
  • Ultra condensing efficiency .99EF
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • Low NOx emissions (≤ 20ppm)
  • SCH 40, 2” venting up to 60’
  • Cascading capable

Warranty

Type Labor Parts Heat Exchanger
Residential 1 year 5 years 15 years
Commercial or Combi* 1 year 3 years 8 years

Navien NPE-Advanced Series

Models NPE-180A, NPE-210A and NPE-240A from Korean manufacturer, Navien are ultra-efficient water heaters, made for on-demand heating of potable water in residential and light commercial applications, and also for space heating.

A Navien Condensing water heater decreases no less than 964 lbs of CO2 per year compared to a conventional tank-type water heater and 324 lbs compared to a conventional tankless-type water heater.

NPE-180A NPE-210A NPE-240A
  • Max Input : 150,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor/Outdoor Installation
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ComfortFlow™ Technology
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Filed convertible gas system
  • Ultra condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • Low NOx emissions (≤ 20ppm)
  • SCH 40, 2” venting up to 60’
  • Cascading capable
  • Max Input : 180,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor/Outdoor Installation
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ComfortFlow™ Technology
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Filed convertible gas system
  • Ultra condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • Low NOx emissions (≤ 20ppm)
  • SCH 40, 2” venting up to 60’
  • Cascading capable
  • Max Input : 199,900 BTU/H
  • Indoor/Outdoor Installation
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ComfortFlow™ Technology
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Filed convertible gas system
  • Ultra condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • Low NOx emissions (≤ 20ppm)
  • SCH 40, 2” venting up to 60’
  • Cascading capable

Warranty

Type Labor Parts Heat Exchanger
Residential 1 year 5 years 15 years
Commercial or Combi* 1 year 3 years 8 years

Navien NHB Condensing Boilers

As the leader in condensing technology, Navien has already reinvented the water heating industry with the award-winning NPE tankless water heaters and the NCB combi-boilers. The new NHB boiler series is the next in line of innovations from Navien. All NHB boilers have Navien’s advanced burner system, an industry-leading AFUE of 95% and turn down ratios up to 15:1. Now available in four sizes NHB‑55, NHB‑80, NHB‑110 and NHB‑150.

NHB-55 NHB-80 NHB-110 NHB-150
  • Max Input : 55,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor Installation only
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Super condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • SCH 40, 2” PVC venting up to 60’
  • TDR up to 7:1
  • Integrated Controls
  • Max Input : 80,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor Installation only
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Super condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • SCH 40, 2” PVC venting up to 60’
  • TDR up to 10:1
  • Integrated Controls
  • Max Input : 110,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor Installation only
  • Residential/Commercial
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Super condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • SCH 40, 2” PVC venting up to 60’
  • TDR up to 11:1
  • Integrated Controls
·        Max Input : 150,000 BTU/H

·        Indoor Installation only

·        Residential/Commercial

·        ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’

·        Super condensing efficiency

·        Dual stainless steel heat exchangers

·        SCH 40, 2” PVC venting up to 60’

·        TDR up to 15:1

  • Integrated Controls

Warranty

Type Labor Parts Heat Exchanger
Residential 1 year 5 years 15 years
Commercial or Combi* 1 year 3 years 10 years

Navien NCB Condensing Gas Combination Boiler 

Navien NCB is the first high-efficiency tankless condensing combination boiler with the capacity to supply both heat and domestic hot water for larger homes–enough hydronic heat for a whole house, plus hot water to run two showers and a dishwasher all at the same time.

The Navien NCB saves installation time and reduces call backs. In addition, the NCB takes up 80% less space than a traditional floor standing boiler and tank water heater. You can now have more room, save energy and enjoy all the hot water you need, whenever you want it.

NCB-180 NCB-210 NCB-240
  • Max Input : 150,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor Installation only
  • Residential only
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Automatic water filling system
  • Super condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • SCH 40, 2” PVC venting up to 60’
  • Integrated Controls
  • Max Input : 180,000 BTU/H
  • Indoor Installation only
  • Residential only
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Automatic water filling system
  • Super condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • SCH 40, 2” PVC venting up to 60’
  • Integrated Controls
  • Max Input : 199,900 BTU/H
  • Indoor Installation only
  • Residential only
  • ½” gas pipe capable up to 24’
  • Automatic water filling system
  • Super condensing efficiency
  • Dual stainless steel heat exchangers
  • SCH 40, 2” PVC venting up to 60’
  • Integrated Controls

Warranty

Type Labor Parts Heat Exchanger
Residential Single Family Use Only

1 year

5 years

10 years

Why Tankless?

Tankless water heaters take up very little space, can be mounted on any exterior wall, and offer nearly endless hot water. Since Navien Condensing tankless water heaters only provide hot water when you need it and can provide an endless supply of hot water, you never have to worry about running out of hot water no matter how many hot water draws you have in a row.

A tankless water heater can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or propane. Depending on your location and what resources are available to you, you want to try and go with the more economical choice and determine what is most likely going to save you more money in the long run.

Supporting Local Businesses

Supporting Local Businesses

 

Independent vs. National Chain 
  • Small, local businesses trade only locally, national chain businesses trade from all over the country and multi-national businesses operate in other countries and major cities around the world.
  • Local businesses  have the ability to adapt to market changes quickly and continue to serve customers the same way they always have whereas a national chain will create policy, and the customer may have no resource to get what they need.
  • Customers are most drawn to a business with the ability to give personal customer service with a positive attitude and with similar values. National chains may advertise good customer service, but may not have the ability to make sure the thousands of employees are actually giving the best customer service.
  • Small business owners usually live locally, making it easier to support or sponsor local causes connected to community events and fundraisers. Locals are more likely to support these small businesses, in return, becoming loyal customers. National chains may not be able to do this quickly and effectively.
  • Promotional products, which can feature a company’s name, logo or other information, can also be more personal when they are offered by a local business, because a large chain will need to make them more generic to appeal to people throughout the country.
  • Small businesses also have more of an advantage when it comes to using social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, to create local engagements with its customers. Posts and updates can relate to local celebrations sporting events and other activities. In general, large chains don’t use social media to their advantage. Bigger businesses do still use social media, but don’t always have the same ability to be as productive about answering individual comments and concerns posted on the page.

When making your purchases at a small, local business it pays off in a far greater way than spending your money at a chain. You’re helping to make it possible for employees-your neighbors-to live and work without relying on government programs paid for by you, by supporting small businesses.

Why Buy Local

Local businesses rely less on taxpayer money than large corporations. Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services. A study shows that big chains like Wal-Mart and Target force large numbers of their employees to rely on government for health insurance, while small business that provide health insurance, do so at a significantly high cost-as much as $24, 000 a year for a small bike shop in Colorado with 4 employees. These big chains are gaining an unfair financial advantage over smaller and more responsible businesses by leaning on taxpayers. It has been reported that Democratic staffers in the House, roughly estimate, on average, that Wal-Mart employees require about $3,000 a year in public assistance. That works out to be roughly $900,000 per supercenter, equaling more than $4 billion annually in public costs nationwide.

Shopping locally does not necessarily mean purchasing from a neighborhood store. It’s a way of supporting a community and lowering costs and environmental impact of purchasing an item  from across the country or the globe, helping to reduce gas emissions and environmental damage. Since local businesses tend to purchase from other local businesses, supporting them helps minimize the environmental impact of transporting out-of-town goods. Independent local businesses employ a wide array of supporting services including architects, designers, cabinet shops, sign makers and contractors. Opportunities grow for local accountants, insurance brokers, computer consultants, attorneys, advertising agencies and others to help run it. Local retailers and distributors also carry a higher percentage of locally-made goods than the chains, creating more jobs for local producers.

It is also mutually beneficial to both the consumer and the businesses because it is a way for customers to be more aware of the product they are buying and for owners to personally know more about their customers. Local businesses cater to their local communities and have the ability to focus on the needs of their consumers and tailor their services accordingly, and because they hire local people, their employees have a better sense of the community and have more of a personal connection with customers. Big chains often have to answer to large stockholders or corporate partners, giving them less flexibility in how they operate and the type of service they offer.

Small businesses provide 75% of new U.S. jobs and are the backbone of our economy.

 supportsmallbusinesses2

Supporting small, independent businesses helps keep your community unique and encourages people to visit.

If every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy. Several studies show that when you buy from an independent business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, helping to support the local economy as a whole. Studies also show that if residents of an average American city were to shift 10% of their spending to local businesses from chains, it would bring an additional $235 million per year to the community’s economy.

Because local businesses are generally owned by people in the community, they are less likely to leave and are more invested in the future prosperity of the community. Community-based businesses are essential to charitable endeavors, frequently serving on local boards, and supporting a variety of causes. Approximately 64.8% of revenue is reinvested into the community and only about 33.6% of the revenue from national chains is reinvested into the community throughout the United States. Local businesses also make more charitable donations within the community than large businesses do. Non-profit organizations receive an average of about 250% more support from smaller businesses.

Small, Local businesses are the largest employer nationally and provide the highest number of new jobs. When small businesses thrive, they can hire more people within the community. The introduction of national chains to a community often brings loss of employment. Studies have shown that the opening of a Wal-Mart reduces retail employment by an average of 150 jobs in the county of its location.

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Types of Water Heaters

Types of Water Heaters 

Before purchasing a water heater it is always a good idea to know the different types and what will work best in your home.

  • Conventional storage water heaters offer a ready reservoir of hot water
  • Tankless or demand-type water heaters heat water directly without the use of the storage tank.
  • Heat pump water heaters move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly for providing hot water
  • Solar water heaters use the sun’s heat to provide hot water
  • Tankless coil and indirect water heaters  use a home’s space heating system to heat water
Conventional Storage Water Heaters 

Conventional storage water heaters are the most popular water heating system and offers a ready reservoir of hot water ranging from 20 to 80 gallons. It operates by releasing hot water from the top of the tank when you turn on the hot water tap. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank, replacing the hot water to ensure the that the tank is always full. Storage water heater fuel sources include natural gas, propane, fuel oil and electricity.

Energy can be wasted even when a hot water tap isn’t running since water is constantly being heated in the tank. This is called standby heat loss. Some of these water heater storage models have a heavily insulated tank, which significantly reduces standby heat losses and lower annual operating costs. Look for models with tanks that have a thermal resistance, or R-Value, of R-12 or R-25.

Proper insulation depends on many factors including fuel type, climate, local building code requirements and safety issues, especially concerning the combustion of gas- and oil-fired water heaters. It’s recommended to have a qualified plumbing and heating contractor install your storage water heater.

Before buying a new water heater, consider the following:

  • Size and first hour rating
  • Fuel type and availability
  • Energy efficiency and costs

The lowest-priced storage water heater may be the most expensive to operate and maintain over a lifetime, while an oversized unit, although alluring, may carry a higher purchase price and increased energy costs due to higher standby energy losses.

Tankless Water Heaters 

Tankless water heaters are also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, which provide hot water only as needed. These do not produce the standby energy losses associated with conventional storage water heaters and can save you money. Although gas-fired tankless water heaters tend to have higher flow rates than electric ones, they can waste energy if they have a constantly burning pilot light. This can sometimes offset the elimination of standby energy losses when compared to a storage water heater. In a gas-fired storage water heater, the pilot light heats the water in the tank so the energy isn’t wasted.

The cost of operating a pilot light in a tankless water heater varies from model to model. If you purchase a water heater that uses a standing pilot light, you can always turn it off when it is not in use to save energy. Also consider models that have a intermittent ignition device (IID) instead of a standing pilot light. This device resembles the spark ignition device on some gas kitchen ranges and ovens.

Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water and you don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. however, the water heater’s output limits the flow rate.

Typically, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute.  Gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. However, even the largest gas-fired model cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households. For example, taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch a water heater to its limit. You can install two or more tankless water heaters connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water to overcome this problem. You can also install separate tankless water heaters for appliances that use a lot of hot water in your home.

Other applications for demand water heaters include the following:

  • Booster for appliances , such as a clothes washer or dishwasher
  • Booster for a solar water heating system
  • Remote bathrooms or hot tubs

The initial cost of a tankless water heater is greater than that of a conventional storage water heater , but tankless water heaters will typically last longer and have lower operating and energy costs, which could offset its higher purchase price. Most tankless water heaters will have a life expectancy of more than 20 years and have easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many more years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10-15 years.

Before buying a tankless water heater, consider the following:

  • Size
  • Fuel type and availability
  • Energy efficiency
  • Costs
Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat Pump water heaters use electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly. Therefore can be two or three times more efficient than conventional electric resistant water heaters. heat pumps work like a refrigerator in reverse in order to move the heat.

While a refrigerator pulls heat from inside a box and dumps it into the surrounding room, a stand-alone air source heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and dumps it into a tank to heat water, at a higher temperature.

Heat pump water heaters require installation in locations that remain in the 40°-90°F range year-round and provide at least 1,000 cubic feet of air space around the water heater. Cool exhaust air can be exhausted to the room or outdoors. Heat pump water heaters will not operate efficiently in a cold space because they tend to cool the space they are in. You can also install an air source heat pump system that combines heating, cooling and water heating. These combination systems pull their heat indoors from the outdoor air in the winter and from indoor air in the summer. Because they remove heat from the air, any type of air-source heat pump system works more efficiently in a warm climate.

Before buying a heat pump water heater, consider the following:

  • Size and first hour rating
  • Fuel type and availability
  • Energy efficiency
  • Overall costs

Heat pump water heaters generally have higher initial costs than conventional storage water heaters. However, they have lower operating costs, which can offset their higher purchase and installation prices.

Solar Water Heaters

* (ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR, INC does not repair or install solar water heating systems)

Solar water heaters are also called solar domestic hot water systems. This can be a cost effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use – sunshine – is free.

There are two types of active solar water heating systems – direct and indirect circulation systems. Direct circulation has pumps that circulate household water through the collectors and into the home. They work well in climates where it rarely freezes. Indirect circulation has pumps that circulate a non-freezing heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows into the home. This is more common in climates prone to freezing temperatures.

There are two types of passive solar water heating systems. Integral collector-storage passive systems work best in warmer climates. And then there’s a thermosyphon system which water flows through the system when warm water rises as cooler water sinks and also this type of system generally costs more.

Most solar water heaters require a well-insulated storage tank and have an additional outlet and inlet connected to and from the collector. In two-tank systems, the solar water heater preheats water before it enters the conventional water heater. In one-tank systems, the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in one tank.

Solar water heating systems almost always require a backup system for cloudy days and times of increased demand. Conventional storage water heaters usually provide backup and may already be part of the solar system package. A backup system may also be part of the solar collector, such as rooftop tanks with thermosyphon systems. Since an integral-collector storage system already stores hot water in addition to collecting solar heat, it may be packaged with a tankless or demand-type water heater for backup.

Before buying a solar water heating system, consider the following:

  • Estimate the cost and energy efficiency of a solar water heating system
  • Evaluate your site’s solar resource
  • Determine the correct system size
  • Investigate local codes, covenants and regulations
  • Understand the various components needed
    • Heat exchangers
    • Heat-transfer fluids
Tankless Coil & Indirect Water Heaters 

Tankless coil and indirect water heaters use a home’s space heating system to heat water. They’re part of what’s called integrated or combination water and space heating systems.

A tankless coil water heater provides hot water on demand without a tank. When a hot water faucet is turned on, water is heated as it flows through a heating coil or heat exchanger installed in a main furnace or boiler. Tankless coil water heaters are most efficient during cold months when the heating system is used regularly but can be an inefficient choice for many homes, especially for those in warmer climates.

Indirect water heaters are a more efficient choice for most homes, even though they require a storage tank. An indirect water heater uses the main furnace or boiler to heat a fluid that’s circulated through a heat exchanger in the storage tank. The energy stored by the water tank allows the furnace to turn on and off less often., which saves energy. If an indirect water heater is used with a high-efficiency boiler and well-insulated tank, can be the least expensive means of providing hot water, particularly if the heat source boiler is set to “cold start.”

ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR, INC. can help you to find the right water heater for your home. If you need to schedule an installation call us today at 970-667-0300. We provide 24-hour emergency service in the Northern Colorado Area.

Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

If you have questions, live within the Northern Colorado area and need to schedule a water heater repair or installation, Call ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR today at 970-667-0300. We provide 24/7 emergency services in Loveland, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Longmont, Johnstown, Milliken, Greeley and Estes park.

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Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

Innovative technology that provides an endless supply of hot water whenever and wherever it’s needed, even for simultaneous uses at multiple fixtures including:

  • Showers
  • Baths
  • Sinks
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers

Rinnai’s tankless water heaters are designed for efficiency with technology that features compact copper heat exchangers to provide maximum efficiency and easily meets ENERGY STAR qualifications and uses up to 40% less energy than a traditional tank. This product also has a longer lifespan, of about 20 years or more, compared to a conventional storage tank water heater and has recyclable parts, meaning less waste in landfills, and produces less CO2 and NOxthan conventional tank water heaters

These tankless water heaters are able to save energy by operating only at times when hot water is needed rather than having a storage tank to heat and reheat water. This helps to save on energy and your utility bills.  There is no use of an electronic ignition device with a standing pilot light that is continuously using energy. The tankless technology achieves maximum energy efficiency and helps to conserve natural resources.

Rinnai tankless water heaters also come in multiple sizes to customize your efficiency and can be installed on any wall or even in compact spaces, including non-traditional spaces including crawl spaces, basements and attics. You can use these in any size of home including in mobile or manufactured homes. Rinnai tankless water heaters come in small sizes, at 18.5″ x26″ x 10″ or smaller.

If you have a larger home and have a higher demand, Rinnai supports a feature, EZConnect, that allows you to link two units with a simple cord. For even larger applications, your installer can place multiple units in parallel.

operating_costsRinnai

How does a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater Work?

When turning on the hot water tap, cold water enters through the water heater from the inlet pipe at the bottom of the unit. The PC board is then signaled to activate the flame igniter or ignition. A combustion fan is turned on to allow oxygen into the burner to ignite the flame as the gas control valve opens at a low frequency. Once an adequate flame is present, the igniter stops sparking and begins the next sequence of operation all in a matter of seconds.

Water is heated as it passes through the coils of the pipes of the home to the water fixture where the hot water is needed at that time. For condensing models, the water is preheated as it passes through a secondary stainless steel heat exchanger, capturing any extra heat before it escapes into the vent system.

The gas valve and the blower automatically adjust the incoming gas and oxygen to meet the water heating demands and adjusts as needed to ensure the temperature set point is maintained. The water heater can use a smaller flame and less gas if the demand for hot water is small. If the demand is greater, the flame is able to expand across the width of the entire burner to heat more hot water. The user can choose their desired temperature with the digital controller for ultimate comfort and safety.

When the hot water tap is turned off , Cold water then stops entering the water heater and the flame diminishes. The combustion fan continues to operate at a low speed for a short period of time which allows the exhaust of any leftover combustion gasses.

How will Rinnai’s Tankless Water Heaters be affected by the new DOE standards?

Rinnai’s Tankless Water Heaters are steps ahead in delivering the ultimate energy efficient performance and already meet the minimum DOE energy factor standards of .82, so the changes will have no direct impact. With the size and design of Rinnai’s products, tankless water heaters may be installed in a wider variety of locations, including places where the new, larger conventional storage water heaters will no long fit.

For water heaters with storage tanks 30 to 50 gallons in size, the increase in the minimum standards will trigger an increase in the insulation needed, resulting in a larger tank diameter. In some cases, 2 inches or more, which will make equipment replacement more problematic because the same size of tank may not fit in the same location. Tanks above 55 gallons will now need to be high efficiency condensing units requiring an electrical outlet to power the unit, different venting, and also a means to drain the condensation. These changes add up to an increased overall cost of storage tank water heaters, including an increase in manufacturing cost coupled with potentially higher installation costs.

Gas Storage Water Heaters
Volume Current Federal Minimum Federal Minimum from 2015
114L (30gal) .61 .63
151L (40gal) .59 .62
190L (50gal) .58 .60
246L (65gal) .55 .75
284L (75gal) .53 .74

Breaking Down the Energy Factor

Breaking Down the Energy Factor

 

Water heaters come with labels and information for consumers to use when purchasing a new one. These labels provide facts on how energy efficient the unit is with an energy factor label and Energy Guide. Be sure to understand which type and size of water heater that is required and will be most beneficial in your home and use the labels on the water heaters to compare the purchase price and cost to use each unit. If you have questions or live within the Northern Colorado area and need to schedule a repair or installation, Call ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR today at 970-667-0300. We provide 24/7 emergency services in Loveland, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Longmont, Johnstown, Milliken, Greeley and Estes park.

 

What is Thermal Efficiency?

In thermodynamics, the thermal efficiency () is a dimensionless performance measure of a device that uses thermal energy, such as an internal combustions engine. Some examples would include

  • a refrigerator,
  • a furnace,
  • a boiler or
  • a water heater.

Efficiency indicates how well an energy conversion or transfer process is accomplished.

For a device that converts energy from another form into thermal energy, the thermal efficiency is

where the  quantities are heat-equivalent values. For instance, a boiler that produces 210 kW, or 700,000 BTU/h output for each 300 kW, or 1,000,000 BTU/h heat equivalent input, its thermal efficiency is

This means that 30% of the energy is lost to the environment.

An electric resistance heater has a thermal efficiency close to 100%. when Comparing heating units, such as a high efficiency electric resistance heater to a natural gas-fueled furnace with an 80% efficiency, an economic analysis is needed to determine the most cost-effective choice.

What is Energy Efficiency?

The thermal efficiency is sometimes called the energy efficiency, which is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide services and products. In the U.S., in everyday usage, the SEER is the more common measure of energy efficiency for cooling devices, as well as for heat pumps when in their heating mode. For energy-conversion heating devices, their peak steady-state thermal efficiency is often stated, for example, “the efficiency rating for this furnace is 90%”. There is a more detailed measure of seasonal energy effectiveness called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE. For example, a 90% AFUE rating for a gas furnace means it outputs 90 BTUs of useful heating for every 100 BTUs of natural gas input. A higher AFUE means higher efficiency. Energy efficiency of a water heater is measured by its energy factor.

Water Heater Energy Factor

The energy factor (EF) indicates a water heater’s overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. This includes the following

  • Recovery efficiency – how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water
  • Standby losses – the percentage of heat loss per hour from the stored water compared to the heat content of the water this is most common in conventional storage water heaters
  • Cycling losses – the loss of heat as the water circulates through a water heater tank, and/or inlet and outlet pipes

The energy factor is what’s shown on the Energy Guide label which shows the unit’s overall operating costs, taking into account the burner and the heat exchanger efficiencies, as well as heat losses from the water tank. Most home appliances such as water heaters, dishwashers and clothes washers, display the prominent yellow-and-black Energy Guide which can be a valuable tool when purchasing theses types of products. The Energy Guide compares the average yearly operating costs of different water heaters, using the same criteria for all models tested. It lets you see which one would probably cost the less to run, which can also safe you money in the long run. Keep in mind that these figures are only estimates as the disclaimer at the bottom of the sticker explains; “Your cost will depend on your utility rates and use.”

how-to-read-an-energy-guide-label-600px

The higher the energy factor number, the higher the energy efficiency of the water heater. Electric water heaters have an average energy factor between .75 and .95, while gas water heaters range between .50 and .70.

Does this mean that electric water heaters are more energy efficient?

Electric models make better use of energy, while gas water heaters lose some of their energy up the vent. Although electric models may be more energy efficient, electric energy usually costs three times more than gas, so if you have a choice, it is still cheaper to use natural gas.

Electricity is created and delivered, which uses energy. One must take into account the entire picture and when doing so, you will find that in most places, gas is more efficient since it usually uses less energy to mine and deliver natural gas than to acquire some other energy source, convert it into electricity and deliver it. You should also take into consideration the energy used building and maintaining the infrastructure to produce and deliver the energy.

If you are going to buy an electric water heater, it’s recommended that you look for one with an Energy Factor equal to .93 or greater. This represents a 5 to 10 percent savings compared to a standard efficiency electric water heater. This higher efficiency is achieved by better tank insulation to reduce standby losses, and a device to block cooler water from adjacent water pipes from sinking into the tank where it needs to be reheated. The savings pay for the slightly higher costs of these heaters within a year or two.

A standard efficiency 40 gallon natural gas water heater typically has an Energy factor of about .55 due to inefficiencies of combustion, a central flue carrying heat away with combustion exhaust, and a continuous gas pilot light, as well as standby losses through insulation and thermo-siphoning. A gas water heater with an Energy factor of .62 or greater represents a 10% savings compared to a standard efficiency gas water heater.

In addition to reducing standby losses with added insulation and anti-thermo–siphon device, or heat traps, these improved efficiencies can be achieved for very little added cost by using electronic ignition instead of a pilot light, having automatic draft dampers, and reducing losses out of the flue by recovering more of the heat first.

 

WARNING:

Never attempt to repair or replace the unit unless you know exactly what you are doing. Remember, you are dealing with dangers including scalding hot water, natural gas flames, heavy lifting and risk of electrocution. If you have any questions concerning your water heater, call ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR today at 970-667-0300. We have experienced technicians and offer top quality service at an affordable price.