Category Archives: Water Heaters

No home is complete without a fully function water heater.  Everyone needs to be aware of the pros and cons of various water heater choices and common issues home owners have with them.

My Plumber CA has all the information about the best types of water heaters, how to dispose of water heaters, tankless water heaters in San Diego and water heater repair in san diego and beyond.

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Tips for Buying a New Water Heater

Tips for Buying a New Water Heater

If you’re looking to purchase a new water heater in the San Diego CA area, then you probably already know that there are a ton of options out there. Whether you purchase a water heater yourself from some place like Home Depot, Sears, or Lowes, or you get your water heater repair specialist to order one for you, you’ll need to know exactly which water heater will be best for your home or business needs. We’ll give you some tips for buying a new water heater that should help you choose between tanked or tankless, gas or electric, and more.

Know Your Required Gallon Capacity

One of the first things you need to know is what size tank you’re looking for. The gallon capacity new hot water heater being installed by worker(or the hot water flow rate, if you choose a tankless water heater) determines how much hot water you can use at a time. If you’re living in a home with just 1-5 people, your recommended tank size will be a whole lot different than if you were looking for a water heater to satisfy the needs of a 20-person business. Below are the general recommendations for the appropriate gallon capacity based on household size:

  • 2 or fewer people: 23-36 gallons
  • 2-4 people: 36-46 gallons
  • 3-5 people: 46-56 gallons
  • 5+ people: 56+ gallons

And if you choose to use a tankless or point-of-use water heater, you’ll need to consider the possibility of needing more than one unit in different areas of your home.

Here are a few other questions you should consider when determining the size of your new water heater:

  1. How many showers do you have? How many bathrooms?
  2. Does everyone in your home shower at the same time? If so, this would require a larger tank size (or more tankless water heaters, once for each bathroom)
  3. Do you tend to run multiple appliances at the same time (like your shower, dishwasher, and clothes washer)? If so, you’ll need a bigger gallon capacity, or else to change your habits so only 1-2 appliances use water at once.
  4. Do you have a large tub, whirlpool, or Jacuzzi? If you want to fill the entire thing up with hot water before you soak, then your hot water heater’s gallon capacity will need to be at least as large as the tub.

Know the Trade-offs Between Fuel Type and Energy Efficiency

The final weigh-in on which water heater you should get might very well be the energyworker installs new hot water heater at home efficiency – and this goes hand-in-hand with which fuel type you choose. While gas water heaters might be more common and less expensive to install, it’s possible that an electric water heater would save you money, especially if your utility company offers lower off-peak prices.

Different Fuel Types

  • Electric

Electric water heaters have a good number of high-efficiency options, and they are usually cheaper to install than the other types. Check with your utility company to see their rates and whether you can get better prices during off-peak hours.

  • Gas or Propane

Gas and propane water heaters tend to be more energy-efficient than electric ones, but they do cost a bit more up front to install. You must also be careful about what you store near these water heaters, and have them regularly inspected for gas leaks.

  • Heat Pump or Hybrid

These hybrid water heaters are becoming more and more popular for several reasons. They are more energy-efficient, they cost less to run, and they can stand alone or be added onto an existing water tank.

  • Solar

We expect to see solar water heaters gaining in popularity in areas like the Southwest where sun is abundant (but in the Midwest, not so much).

The main takeaway we want you get get is that you need to do your research. Look at your local gas and electricity rates, the cost to install each unit, and see if over a 5-10 year period you could see significant savings with one fuel type vs. another.

Know Your Budget

Keeping in mind the above information, you also need to know how much you are able to spend on a new water heater. Are you able to afford multiple tankless water heaters? Can you spend a few hundred extra dollars on a high-end hybrid water heater? See the average cost for different models below:

  • Electric – $300 – $600
  • Gas – $300 – $800
  • Tankless – $300 – $1500
  • Hybrid – $1000 – $1400

Keep in mind that even though a hybrid water heater might be more expensive up front, you’ll need to factor in utility cost savings for the life of the unit as well.

Did you recently buy a new water heater and you need it installed or if you are ever in need of water heater repair and installation give My Plumber CA of San Diego a call. 

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Can I Take a Hot Shower While My Dishwasher is Running?

Are you having issues with maintaining enough hot water for all of your daily activities? Your hot water works hard 24/7 to make sure you have enough hot water for your showers, laundry, dishes, and hand washing. But can it give you all of those things at once? One common question we get is whether or not it’s ok to take a hot shower while running the dishwasher or washing machine. Our answer: it depends on your water heater, the size of your home, and many other factors. One way to find out for sure? Try it.

Things to Consider Before Running Your Shower and Dishwasher

  • Water pressure

One thing that you might notice if you take a shower while your dishwasher is going is that your shower head will have less water pressure. This might result in a less than optimum shower experience, although you should still have enough water pressure to get adequately clean (both your body and your dishes).

  • Temperature

Of course, you also have to consider the water temperature. If you’re running hot water for your dishes and hot water for your shower, you might deplete your water heater’s ready hot water supply. If you try it and your shower turns lukewarm or cold at the end, you know you’ve gone through all the available hot water.

  • Water heater capacity

How big is your hot water heater tank? If you recently did the laundry and then ran the dishwasher and you have multiple showers going on at once… you’re probably going to go through your hot water supply before it has time to build back up. If you are frequently running out of hot water and aren’t able to adjust your schedule, consider installing a tankless hot water heater for your bathroom.

  • Showering with hot water used by dishwasher, in San Diego, CA. The length of your shower

If you are prone to taking 20+ minute showers, consider cutting back. Or, if your shower time is set in stone, forgo running the dishwasher at the same time and opt for running it before or after your shower.

  • Your dishwasher’s efficiency

You also need to think about the volume of hot water your dishwasher is using each cycle. Try upgrading to a high efficiency dishwasher to cut down on water use. This will also allow you to run multiple fixtures at once without running out of hot water.

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Top 3 Solar Water Heater Reviews

Image of rooftop solar water heater in San DiegoSolar water heaters are slowly becoming more and more popular, especially as households and businesses try to cut down on energy consumption and be more environmentally friendly. Because of the gaining popularity, more plumbers are starting to offer solar water heater repair and installation. But what is the best water heater on the market today? Our experts at My Plumber CA are here to share with you our top 3 solar water heater reviews so you can make the most informed decision for your home. Don’t forget to check out our post on whether tankless or solar water heaters are right for you.

Solar Water Heater Reviews

  1. American Electric Direct

Price: $1698.09

Warranty: 6 year residential with option of 10 year extension; 3 year commercial

Review: The low price of the American Electric direct water heater makes it an appealing option for individuals trying to convert to solar power. Take note, however, that this is the price for the tank alone. Other parts must be purchased in order to complete this solar water heater system. The advantage of being able to purchase the tank separately means that you have more versatile repair options in the future. We recommend talking with a professional plumber to work out the ideal setup for your home or business


2. Rheem SolPak Gas Solar Water Heater

Price: $5965.97

Warranty: 6 year limited tank warranty, 10 year limited collector warranty, 2 year limited pump warranty

Review: You probably first noticed the steep price for the Rheem SolPak gas system. It’s important to note that this price includes all of the necessary parts, including the controller, HE tank, mixing valve, thermal expansion kit, collector, and pump. You can purchase this unit with one or two solar panels depending on your unique needs. If your solar juice runs out, the gas system kicks in to ensure you’re never without hot water.


3. Cirrex Electric Solar Water Heater

Price: $1199.95

Warranty: 10 year solar collector warranty, 6 year booster tank warranty, 2 year pump warranty, 1 year parts warranty

Review: Cirrex boasts that their solar water heater systems can obtain 70% of their power from solar before having to resort to the backup electric source. Instead of solar panels, this unit uses solar thermal collectors that cost just a fraction of panels. As an Energy Star certified system, users may qualify for a federal credit for up to 30% of the unit’s cost.

Newly installed solar water heater for a home As you consider making the switch to a solar water heater installation in San Diego, we encourage you to read water heater reviews, do lots of research, and ask your professional plumbing provider for any tips and tricks before making the big purchase.

fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance. fall is a great time to perform your water heater maintenance.

Your Fall Water Heater Checklist

October and early Fall is a great time of year to perform regular maintenance on your water heater. With the colder weather comes more wear and tear on your system, and it’s best to catch any small problems early on before they become big issues in winter. Keeping your best interests in mind, we’ve created a simple fall water heater checklist for you (or your licensed service provider) to complete on an annual basis.

Water Heater

Your water heater works tirelessly to keep your, well… hot.  Don’t forget to give it some TLC this fall by performing the following:

  • Drain the tank
  • Check or replace anode rod
  • Check gas and electrical lines
  • Look for signs of rust or corrosion
  • Check for water leaks
  • Leave space around the water heater
  • Check the temperature pressure relief valve
  • Check temperature settings
  • Check expansion tank (if applicable)

Note that we advise you to perform this check list throughout the year – not just in fall. We recommend our customers obtain bi-annual water heater maintenance at the very least.

Drainage System

Fall is also a good time to have your home’s drainage system inspected, since leaves, tree roots, and other debris can obstruct your plumbing and cause water damage or worse. Have a plumber inspect your drainage system with a video camera to diagnose any leaks, cracks, or other obstructions that would otherwise only get worse in colder weather.

Preventative Maintenance is Your Friend

Remember that preventative maintenance is not just a gimmick to get you to spend more money. By allowing a professional plumber to inspect your water heater and other plumbing, you’re allowing them to help save you money and also make sure that your water heater and other appliances are in tip-top shape for the long winter. Call your local plumbing professional today for a water heater check-up and video camera inspection of your sewer line!

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Is a Water Heater Expansion Tank Necessary?

Is a Water Heater Expansion Tank Necessary?

Plumber performing a repair on a water heater expansion tankWe’ve been getting more and more of our clients asking us whether a water heater expansion tank is necessary or not. The short answer: maybe. Should you get one? Probably so. In order to understand why a water heater expansion tank might be necessary for your home or business, you’ll first want to understand what the expansion tank does – and then the tell-tale signs that you need one.

What is a Water Heater Expansion Tank?

The purpose of a hot water heater expansion tank is to help eliminate changes in water pressure. Not only is fluctuating water pressure annoying for you, but it’s also really bad for your water heater and your entire plumbing setup. Your expansion tank is just a small water tank (usually with about a 2 gallon capacity) that is mounted near your current water heater and connected to the water line.

So how does a hot water expansion tank work?

When your main water heater warms up water, the water is going to expand (that’s just Close up image of a water heater with an expansion tanksomething that happens as water heats up). With nowhere for the excess water to go, pressure will quickly build up within your water heater – and that’s bad news. More pressure means more stress on your water heater, your pipes, and other fixtures connected to your plumbing.

That’s where the hot water expansion tank comes in.

The expansion tank gives the excess hot water a place to flow into, eliminating unnecessary stress on your hot water heater and saving you from inconsistent hot water pressure.

Signs that You Need a Water Heater Expansion Tank

  1. If you have a closed system.
  2. If you have a pressure regulating valve or a check valve.
  3. If you have noticed fluctuating high and low water pressure.
  4. If your local city codes require you to have an expansion tank.
  5. If you want your water heater to last as long as possible.

Is a Water Heater Expansion Tank Required by Law?

So is a water heater expansion tank necessary according to the law? Yes – sometimes. If you have a closed system, then you’ll likely be required to install an expansion tank. Even if you do not have a closed system, asking about a water heater expansion tank is still a great idea. You can usually get an expansion tank for under $50. If you’re wondering if a hot water expansion tank is necessary for your home or business, it doesn’t hurt to ask your local plumber the next time you have a water heater installed or repaired in San Diego.

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Tankless vs. Solar Water Heaters: Which is Right for You?

As you strive to make your home more energy saving and eco-friendly, you might have come across the question: what type of water heater is right for me? My Plumber CA has installed, repaired, and handled many different water heaters over the years, and we have hands-on experience with conventional, tankless, and solar water heaters in San Diego, CA. We know the ins and outs of each type of water heater, so we understand the pros and cons of each – and which model makes the most sense for your needs. Below, we discuss the differences between solar and tankless water heaters and, hopefully, help you make the decision about which water heater is right for your home or business in San Diego, California.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have gotten a lot of attention in recent years because of their compact size and overall efficiency. That isn’t to say that tankless water heaters aren’t without their drawbacks, however. It’s important to understand just where they excel – and their limitations


  • Almost instantaneous hot water
  • Provides water on-demand
  • Small and compact
  • Can save you 30-40% on water use (and expenses)
  • Affordable and cost-effective
  • Available in gas or electric varieties
  • Long lifespan (20+ years)


  • The initial purchase is expensive when compared to conventional water heaters
  • No reserve tank of hot water, so you might need to purchase multiple units
  • Electric tankless water heaters require proper voltage and amperage – you might have to upgrade your hookups
  • Must be within 50 ft. of a power source

Solar Water Heaters

With the recent California drought and consumers becoming ever more environmentally aware, solar powered water heaters are an increasingly popular option. If your old water heater has bit the dust and you’re looking to save on water and on electricity and gas usage, then a solar water heater might just be the thing you’re looking for.


  • Uses renewable energy – the sun!
  • Extremely efficient
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Saves money on gas and electricity bills
  • Uses 50-90% less energy than traditional water heaters
  • Federal tax credits and rebates are available for initial costs


  • Bigger than tankless water heaters
  • Can be more expensive to install initially
  • Needs sunlight to operate
  • Must be in a well-ventilated area
  • Interior parts can become corroded in areas with hard water
  • Must work around local regulations in order to install on a rooftop

Tankless vs. Solar Water Heaters – So What’s the Verdict?

While solar water heaters are a great option, there are some limitations that make it a more difficult choice. If you live in an area that gets frequent snow or your home is covered in shade, a solar water heater won’t provide you with the benefits that it would an individual who lives in a mostly sunny climate. Additionally, solar water heaters are usually installed on the roof, which isn’t possible with mobile homes or in areas prone to earthquakes. For this reason, we recommend tankless water heaters to most of our customers, except those individuals who are adequately prepared for a solar water heater in their home or place of business.

We hope this has helped to clarify the tankless vs. solar water heater debate for you. Remember to call My Plumber CA the next time you need water heater repair and installation in San Diego, CA! We also offer installation of tankless water heater in El Cajon, tankless water heaters in La Mesa, and more.

How to Dispose of Water Heaters

Getting rid of a water heater isn’t like getting rid of a TV. You can’t just leave it on the curb on trash day, nor can you sell it to someone else who might want to use it. When you replace your water heater, it’s usually because the old one no longer works or has aged out of usefulness. No one else is going to want that water heater either.

Here are a few things you can do if you live in the San Diego area to dispose of your water heater:

Go to a Recycling Center

In San Diego, it is illegal to take appliances like water heaters and refrigerators to the landfill. You are legally required to recycle these and other appliances as per the Metallic Discards Act of 1991.

Once the water heater is drained, you can take it to a local recycling center. Make sure you ask if the recycling center takes water heaters before you just show up with it. Also ask if you are entitled to payment for the water heater since many recycling centers make a profit on these items by stripping them for parts.

San Diego also runs regular community recycling events, such as for electronics and used oil products. Call your city or county officials to find out if a recycling event is planned for appliances. You’ll be able to put your old water heater on the curb for pickup if so.

Ask the Utility Company to Take It

Some utility companies will take old water heaters and other appliances to recycle for you. Some will even give you a credit on your bill if you are upgrading to an energy efficient model. You may have to file receipts to get the credit.

Ask My Plumber CA to Do It

It’s not recommended that you install or remove a water heater yourself. Call an experienced plumber that will safely and properly install your new heater and can take care of removing and disposing of the old water heater. This is the easiest option since the technician takes care of everything for you, and you don’t have to worry about anything.

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San Diego Plumbing Service Announces San Diego’s Oldest Water Heater Contest

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) June 06, 2013

My Plumber San Diego is a plumbing service with a three-decade history in the San Diego Metro Area. They’ve built their business around giving good advice, top-quality service, and getting to know their customers’ needs. With proper maintenance and a little bit of luck, a hot water heater can last a long time. How long? Well, that’s what My Plumber San Diego wants to find out.

The winner of the San Diego’s Oldest Water Heater contest will win a 40-gallon hot water heater, and everyone who enters will receive a $100 off coupon on a new water heater.

“We are very involved in the local community, and this contest is a great way to get out and give back to our loyal customers,” explains My Plumber San Diego’s owner, Franco Testa. Plumbing technicians will come to your home to take a picture of entrants ‘vintage’ unit and write down all the necessary information to enter it in the running for their chance to win a free water heater.

Hot water heaters have an average lifespan of about nine years, but sometimes they last much longer. Got a contender for San Diego’s Oldest Water Heater? Go to the My Plumber website for details and how to enter. The contest will run from June 10 to July 12 and the winner will be announced July 21 – 27 on, so act quickly and contact My Plumber San Diego today.

About My Plumber San Diego:
My Plumber San Diego, LLP was founded on the principles of excellence, diligence and customer service. My Plumber of San Diego is an active part of the community with ties that run deep in North County, East County, and South Bay. They offer these communities repairs and installations of plumbing services as well as installation, service and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems. For more information, please visit

The Facts About Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Rising energy costs have us all thinking about ways we can reduce our usage and consumption– without reducing our quality of life.

In the average home, around 30% of the energy expenses can be accounted for by heating water. One way of reducing that cost is by installing a tankless water heater, which heats water on demand rather than constantly heating and storing it in a tank, thus conserving energy when not in use.

Tankless heaters use high-powered burners to heat water quickly as it passes through a heat exchanger, and they can average around 20% more energy-efficient than gas powered storage tank models, thus saving you money on your utility bill as well as reducing your impact on the environment.

Anywhere from 20-40% of the energy used by a storage tank model is wasted through thermal heat loss. In a tankless model, with no water being stored, this problem is almost completely eliminated. And a tankless model can run all day long while producing hot water; whereas a storage tank can be depleted by a long shower, a dishwasher, and a washing machine cycle, thus requiring a wait period as it builds water reserves back up.

Traditional heaters are generally set at extremely high temperatures (130°F or more) in order to reduce the wait time for hot water. Tankless heaters allow you to set the ongoing temperature closer to the level you will actually use it at, thus reducing the risk of accidental scalding and greatly reducing energy costs (a 10° reduction in temperature can result in about 4% savings in energy costs).

Tankless models typically handle hard water minerals and sediments better (helping your sewer and drain system too). By not storing water, they are not as prone to leaking or rupturing due to hard water scale accumulation, and this helps account for their longer warranties and life spans as compared to traditional storage tanks (20+ years for tankless models; 6-12 years for most storage tank models). And don’t forget the ancillary cost-savings– Tankless models require less plumber service over their lifetime.

And tankless models are much smaller, with electric models comparable in size to a briefcase. Storage tanks take up a lot of room and are costly to recycle.

It’s not usually cost-effective to replace a perfectly good traditional heater with a tankless model, but if your water heater is on its last legs, you might want to consider the upgrade to a tankless heater. Contact My Plumber today at 619-447-5556 to learn what options are best for you!

Water Heater Maintenance

Important Maintenance Information for Tank-Style Water Heaters

The average water heater sits in the dark recesses of the basement year in and year out with little or no attention from its owner.Although most people enjoy the luxury of hot water when bathing, they don’t actually think about the water heater.People seem to expect a lifetime of safe operation out of their tank-style heaters and never anticipate that a problem could occur.Occasionally, My Plumber will hear from one of its technicians about someone who built a room around their water heater and made the entrance smaller than the circumference of the tank, or just dry-walled completely around their water heater.

Considering how much people depend on having an available supply of hot water, it should be a priority to make sure one’s water heater is operating properly.Whether powered by electricity or gas, if it stores hot water in a tank until needed, it needs to be inspected frequently.

Hot water heaters come with an owner’s manual, and the safety instructions and inspection procedures outlined there should be followed.If the owner’s manual cannot be located, contact the manufacturer and request a new copy.Most manufacturers will be happy to oblige.

Here are a few tips about water heater safety:

Avoid leaving any flammable liquid, solvent or chemical stored in the same room with a tank-style water heater.Those items should be stored elsewhere, with lids firmly in place and away from children and pets.

Keep the thermostat set below 125F.At higher temperatures, the elderly, the disabled and small children can be easily burned or may be unable to react swiftly enough to avoid scalding water.

Check around the base of the water heater for moisture.Moisture indicates serious problems in the making which should be addressed quickly.

And finally, check the function of the T P (Temperature and Pressure) relief valve.Because most tank-style water heaters function day in and day out without problems, it is easy to forget about them.But a tank-style water heater with a malfunctioning T P valve is a bomb waiting to explode, and if it goes off it may very well take out the side of a house, or take off and go right through the roof.

In fact, water heater explosions were a fairly frequent occurrence before plumbing code demanded the inclusion of a T P relief valve as part of a water heater’s installation.Providing all water heaters with a T P relief valve prevented the excess pressure build up inside the tank and prevented the explosions.But the T P valve can fail, so it should be inspected frequently.

The T P valve is found on the side or on the top of the tank.Water dripping from the pipe connected to the T P valve is an indicator that the valve needs to be replaced or that the water is getting too hot due to a malfunctioning thermostat.If the T P valve needs to be replaced, it needs to be replaced sooner rather than later.

The plumbing system has been estimated to make up one seventh of the cost of building a home.Plumbing disasters can cost homeowners thousands of dollars when they occur.A careful inspection of the plumbing system and judicious maintenance can prevent many problems.Because the failure of a water heater’s T P valve can cost more than dollars can ever measure, theMaster Plumbers andJourneyman technicians atMy Plumber Heating and Coolingstrongly recommend that readers take a moment to check their water heaters soon.