Traditional Water Heaters vs Tankless Water Heaters

When it comes time to replace your water heater, you will have some decisions to make. The first thing to decide is if you’re going to consider a tankless water heater as opposed to the traditional water heater. Tank water heaters store and heat water at all times, incurring higher operating costs, whereas tankless water heaters only heat water as needed. Both types have their strengths and weaknesses.

Tankless Water Heaters


Doesn’t take up a lot of space: Tankless water heaters come in different sizes according to your particular needs, but all of them are smaller than traditional water heaters. They can be installed almost anywhere, including small crawl spaces, attics, and even on an outside wall.
Longer lasting: They have double the lifespan than traditional water heaters!
On-demand hot water: This is the number one reason many people choose tankless water heaters. Never run out of hot water!
More energy efficient: Up to 40% more energy efficient, saving money and time.
Never worry about flooding due to a broken tank.

High upfront cost: Tankless water heaters come with a higher price tag, up to three times more than traditional tank models.
Retrofitting adds to upfront cost: Replacing a traditional water heater with a tankless system is more complicated, increasing the installation cost.
Electricity bills: Electric tankless water heaters may require an upgrade to your electric circuit to suit the heaters needs and may account for a larger bill.

Traditional Tank Water Heaters


Lower initial cost: Traditional water heaters are less expensive than tankless water heaters.
Easy to replace: Tank water heaters are easy to purchase and easy to install.

Bigger size, less installation flexibility: Their larger size limits where they can be installed.
Shorter lifespan: Expect to replace your traditional water tank every eight to twelve years.
Run out of hot water: Once all the water stored in the tank has been used, it takes a while for the tank to heat, fill, and store water. And no one likes a cold shower!
Higher utility bills: Because they are less efficient than tankless water heaters, your utility bills will be higher.
Jerry’s Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning is your source for all your hot water needs! We provide new installation, replacement and repair of water heaters. We can help recommend the type of water heater that will best fit your lifestyle, budget, and water usage on a monthly basis. Call (800) 697-8875 to schedule your appointment today!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Clogged Drains

There are few things that are more of a pain than realizing your drain is clogged. Whether it’s your sink, toilet, or shower, it’s a problem that often needs to be taken care of immediately to avoid flooding or further damage and backups. Because of the sense of urgency in this situation, many people feel the need to take matters in to their own hands. If you believe you are a plumber or not, you need to be very careful before taking any action. When you are ready for help, Jerry’s Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning will be there, 24/7/365! There are some definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to unclogging your drains and preventing clogs.


Install a drain filter: Installing a drain filter or trap is an easy way to keeps drains clog free. This device will catch any large items, such as food or hair and will make cleaning easy by trapping these items before they go further down your drain.

Run hot water down your drain: Hot water keeps oils in food products running down the drain, rather than building up on the interior surface of pipes, which can make drains sluggish and lead to clogs.


Flush everything down the toilet: Only flush toilet paper and what nature provides. Never flush feminine products, “flushable” wipes, baby wipes, diapers or cat litter down the toilet.

The steps you take before a clog are just as important as what you do after a clog has already started.

Before a clog:

Put oily and greasy foods down the sink: While it seems like it should be okay to put oils or grease down the drain because they are liquids, the fact is that these will eventually harden and congeal causing clogs in your drain.

Put non-food items or food waste down the drain: Drains and garbage disposals are delicate appliances. While some things may seem okay to put in your garbage disposal and flush down the toilet, not everything is appropriate and it is best to be cautious. Band-aids, cotton balls, paper towels, animal bones or skin, egg shells, hair and more are all big no-nos. If only you could see some of the things we have dug up from drains!

After a clog:

Put boiling water or vinegar down the drain: While it is probably okay to run some hot water down your drain if you notice the start of a clog, avoid pouring boiling water or vinegar down your drain. This may help slightly unclog drains, however it will eventually trigger more damage by causing our drains to rust and/or break.

Use chemicals or acid cleaners: This is the first thing many people think to do as soon as they notice a clog. These may provide a short-term solution but in the long run, they will end up causing more harm than good. The corrosive nature of drain cleaners will begin to eat away at the clog., but likely also your pipes. Many time, they won’t even work! Liquid drain cleaners may get the job down when your drain is slow, but not if it is completely stopped.

Jerry’s Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning is your one source for all your plumbing, heating and air conditioning needs!

We flushed out the plumbing lore, just for you!

Myth: Ice cubes sharpen garbage disposal blades!
Truth: No, they don’t, but they will clean the blades, and it’s recommended to do so if your sink starts to smell. Eggshells also work for cleaning the disposal.

Myth: Put a brick in the back of your toilet tank to save water!
Truth: Bricks deteriorate over time and cause other things (like the flapper) to break. The intent can also backfire, and you displace too much water, having to flush twice.

Myth: Don’t worry about a leaky faucet!
Truth: It’s just a tiny drip, how big of a problem could it possibly be? Very big! According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a leak can lead to 10,000 wasted gallons of water per year in a single household, or the equivalent of 270 loads of laundry. Plus, a leak can damage the faucet and stain the fixture. Get it fixed ASAP!

Myth: Drop lemon peels down the disposal to make it smell good!
Truth: Yes, it may smell nice, but the peels can clog the drain if you do not have a powerful enough disposal to cut through the peel. The citric acid is going to corrode the metal of your disposal. You can, however, pour some white vinegar to freshen up your disposal. Read you manual to find out what kind of maintenance your disposal needs to keep it running in peak form.

Myth: Toilets make a great garbage chute!
Truth: Unless you want toilet water overflowing onto your floor, followed by a nasty plumbing job and cleanup, never flush anything except toilet paper and human waste!

Myth: Flushable wipes are A-OK!
Truth: Nope! They don’t biodegrade quick enough like toilet paper. The more durable the material, the more likely it is to clog your drains and sewer systems.

Myth: Toilet bowl tablets that contain bleach will keep the toilet clean!
Truth: If the tablet contains bleach and is designed to sit in the tank, it will destroy the working parts of a toilet within six months. Bleach in the bowl is fine, but don’t let it linger in the tank for more than 10 minutes. Flush it through to prevent damage.

Myth: Water flushes counter clockwise in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere!
Truth: Contrary to popular belief, water does not drain in the opposite direction. An idea based on the Coriolis effect (caused by the Earth’s rotation), but it doesn’t apply to such small bodies of water as found in a toilet. The actual direction of the flush is determined by the design of toilet itself.

Myth: Cat litter is flushable!
Truth: Although manufacturers may claim that their natural litter is flushable, don’t do it! Cat feces contain a parasite that is harmful to humans. Though it generally doesn’t pose a risk to healthy adults, it can harm pregnant women and marine life. Modern wastewater treatment is effective at removing the parasite, though it can pose a greater problem in countries without these modern systems.

Myth: Chemical drain cleaners are great for clogs!

Truth: They are caustic, corrosive chemicals that don’t know that after they eat away at a clog, they should not eat your pipes as well. They damage the pipes they are supposed to be helping, and in case of a spill they can damage any surrounding surfaces they touch, including counters, floors, and skin. It’s better to try vinegar and baking soda, a plunger, or drain snake on the clog. If none of those works, call your trusted plumber.

Myth: Most plumbing tasks are easy enough to do yourself!
Truth: Sure, if you have even a little knowledge you can probably replace a faucet. However, for almost any other plumbing task, call a licensed plumber. The money you save by attempting a plumbing fix yourself could easily lead to major plumbing and structural repairs.

Myth: All plumbers are created equal!
Truth: Not! Like any other profession, it is in your best interest to do a little research with the state boards and the Better Business Bureau to make sure you plumber is one of the best, like Jerry’s Plumbing & Heating!

Garbage Disposal Problems

If you have any of the following garbage disposal problems, your unit needs repair or replacement. Please do not endanger yourself by attempting to repair your own garbage disposal, the sharp moving parts and power supply can be extremely hazardous. Call a professional plumber, to have it repaired safely and properly. And if you need a new one, you can be confident that your device will be installed correctly and will work properly, giving it a longer running life.

Your Garbage Disposal Has Trouble Turning On
First check the circuit breaker or fuse and press the reset button on a nearby outlet. If there is nothing obstructing the blades and the circuit hasn’t blown, your motor has likely burned out. If you frequently have to push the reset button or flip the breaker switch to get your garbage disposal running, the disposal has either gotten too old or you may have insufficient wiring for the unit

Your Garbage Disposal Takes Excessive Time or Jams Easily
A properly running Disposal should have sharp enough blades and enough power to quickly break down and dispose of your food waste. You may not need an entirely new unit. Your plumber can sharpen or replace the blades. If the blades are sharp and the unit is still jamming with even small food items, it is most likely is a motor issue.

Your Garbage Disposal is Making Loud Noises
Loud noises or the sound of metal on metal, means the parts have started to move incorrectly and are grating each other. Call your plumber for a tune up before the parts become too worn or put too much strain on the motor and you need to have it replaced.

Your Garbage Disposal is Leaking
Your plumber can determine where the leaks are coming from. If it is an issue with the unit’s seals, they will be able to fix the problem. If there is a crack in the unit itself, it will need to be replaced.

Be sure to take good care of your Garbage Disposal. Place only the recommended food items down it. Keep out items that are too large, hard, fibrous or greasy. Always have a strong stream of water running while unit is operating. And be sure to call Jerry’s Plumbing & Heating for all of your maintenance and replacement needs!

Cold Weather Plumbing Tips

January and February are typically the coldest months here on the Central Coast, check expected temperatures and keep these cold weather plumbing tips in mind.

Indoor temperature is an important factor on keeping pipes from freezing. Even if you will be leaving for extended periods keep your thermostat set to no lower than 55 degrees.
If temperatures are to drop below freezing, create a slight drip from your faucet. This will keep the water moving slightly and even if it freezes will help to keep the pipe from bursting.
Use caulking or a spray foam to seal exterior cracks and holes around the outside walls and foundation of your house to prevent the cold from contacting the pipes.
Open the cabinet doors to add more warmth to the pipes under your sinks that are on exterior walls.
Insulate all exposed exterior pipes and interior pipes that are located in your garage, attic or other unheated areas.

Use insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass available at home supply and hardware stores to wrap your pipes. Take extra precaution with pipes that have been recently repaired or have frozen in previous years, as these pipes are more susceptible to temperature damage. It is also very important to know where your main water valve is and how to shut it off. Sometimes a special tool is needed and should be kept handy in case of a burst pipe accident. Being prepared in case of this type of emergency could save you thousands of dollars in damage. If you need any help winterizing your home give Jerry’s Plumbing & Heating a call, we are here to help!

4 Indicators of Water Heater Failure

Everyone should be aware of these 4 Indicators of Water Heater Failure. If your water heater exhibits any of these indicators, it could be ready to fail. A broken water heater is not simply a matter of inconvenience. Results can range from minor to catastrophic flood damage, or even fire. Knowing what to look for can help you avert a potential problem before it happens.

The first thing to be aware of is the age of your water heater. The generally accepted healthy lifespan of a water heater is 10 years old. If yours is older than that you will want to be extra vigilant in watching for other warning signs. The location of your water heater makes a difference too. Is it located in a garage where leaking or flood damage could be minimal? Or is it located in the home where even a small leak could cause costly damage?
If your water heater is making rumbling, knocking or banging sounds, it could be trying to tell you something! Water sediment builds up in the tank over time, causing it to make noise as it heats up. This means it is less efficient, and cost more to keep running. It also causes more wear on the inside of the tank which can develop little holes or crack as the metal becomes more brittle.
Rusty water can be an indicator that your water heater is rusting on the inside. But you need to determine if it is caused from your pipes or from the water heater. Get a five-gallon bucket and fill it with hot water 3 times. If the water is no longer rusty it most likely coming from the pipes. However, if the water is still rusty after 3 buckets it is very likely that your water heater is rusted and will need to be replaced.
The most obvious indicator is moisture around, or leaking from, your water heater. A leaking water heater will definitely need to be replaced, but first you should eliminate other possible causes. Check all of the connections and the exterior pipes, if they feel dry and there is no visible leakage, it is likely time for a new water heater!
When you are ready for a new water heater, or you would like a professional assessment on the condition of your water heater, call the specialists at Jerry’s Plumbing and Heating!