pen rainbow

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mini-Post Thursday—Play With Your Food

Ah manna ee-choo!
I believe I can commit to doing this!  Click on the link below & have fun making your own delicious masterpiece.

The Sandwich Artist

Wednesday—Good for You, Good for The Home: Water Heaters

An old Rheem lurks in the corner
When it comes to water heaters, always buy a model with the longest warranty.  

Geez, I hate replacing water heaters!  But, it comes with owning a home, so if you're in the market for a new one, check out today's blog.

The One I Bought
Introducing my shiny, new, high-efficiency Premium Plus American water heater!  Yay, it has an expansion tank on top that regulates changes in pressure caused by heating and cooling the water.

Normally, pressure changes happen inside of the main tank, and over time, this causes stress on the unit.  This cool little expansion tank has an expandable bladder inside that relieves pressure from inside of the main tank, which helps the tank last longer.  Pretty cool, eh?  Bottom line, you want to take simple measures like this that will help the unit last longer.  

12-Year Warranty
Another simple thing to do is to purchase water heaters with long warranties.  The longest warranty on a gas unit is twelve years.  They start at 6-year warranties for the cheaper models.  In the case of water heaters, you get what you pay for, and a unit that has a longer warranty is designed to last longer. Fwiw, our old Rheem unit was installed prior to 2000, so it was at least 12 years old when it finally gave up the ghost.

For additional info on wrapping your water heater to reduce heat loss, click HERE.

The Honest Plumber
I used The Honest Plumber in Henderson, Nevada.  They had lots of recently posted positive online reviews, which is important because if things don't go well, people are likely these days to post a warning to others.  They were not too far away; they accepted major credit cards; and they gave me a quote on the same day that I called for an  appointment.  They also have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and they offer 4 different kinds of discounts: senior citizen, military, teacher, and police & fire.  They are a member of the non-profit Nevada PHCC (Plumbing—Heating—Cooling Contractors association), promoting education, training, and advancement of the industry.  And last year, they were voted one of the Best Places to Work in Las Vegas in 2011 by the online business publication, Vegas INC.  

I like bigger companies when it comes to plumbing and appliances because they usually have more parts on hand, and they have a larger fleet of workers, which generally makes them more available.  There's nothing worse than having a company tell you that they can't provide emergency help because their offices are closed.  

Installation Day
Mark came out in the early afternoon to give me a free quote, and after I did a little checking on the model that I was interested in, I called back and confirmed that I wanted them to do the job.  Same day installation was an option, but I wanted to do my homework first, and I did not want to tie up the rest of my afternoon.  Their excellent office assistant called back & scheduled me for the next day.  

Mark and his helper, Ken, showed up around 9 a.m. this morning, hauled the old, leaky unit up and over two flights of stairs (inside & out), and got the new unit back into place.  Ken (super nice guy) left, and Mark (awesome worker) diligently worked to hook up the new unit.  They were efficient, professional, and careful about making a mess.  They were pros all the way, including the super-friendly office staff.

I did my part to get things started by cleaning the work area so that furniture and other items were not in the workspace.  I covered the granite countertop near the water heater with an old towel and provided a large, black garbage bag for trash.  I also provided a broom, a Swiffer wet mop, access to old towels & rags, and a dustbuster.  When the guys were outside grabbing stuff out of their truck, I darted in and cleaned up oil drips on the wall area behind the water heater.  I stayed out of the way and worked nearby on my laptop to assist, if needed.  The whole job took about 5 hours from beginning to end.

Here are the before & after pix!  

The old Rheem 40-gal tank

…and $2,095 later
New 40-gal, high-efficiency, 12-year warranty
American Premium Plus

…the spiffy expansion tank
A flexible bladder controls pressure changes
inside of the main tank
…excellent work, Mark!
A real pro!
Time for a glass of Spanish red, some veggie strata for supper, and a hot bath!  Here's to you and taking care of your home.