Is a Tankless Water Heater the Best Solution?

A tankless water heater doesn’t have a storage tank to store preheated water in advance.  Instead, water is heated the instant it is required. 

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

A tankless water heater will heat cold water flowing through the system as soon as the hot water tap is turned on. The heating system can be either an electric element or a gas burner. 

A typical tankless water heater will deliver around 2-5 gallons of water per minute, with gas able to handle larger capacities than electrical versions.

Advantages of Going Tankless

For large families demanding a lot from their hot water system, it may struggle with delivering the volume needed. However, if less than 40 gallons of water are used in a day, a tankless system can provide significant energy savings of around 30%. The energy savings drop to approximately 12% when water demand reaches about 90 gallons a day. 

One way to get around dropping efficiency rates versus rising demand is to install a tankless water heater at every outlet, which can increase efficiency by as much as 50%. More units mean extra installation costs, but the energy savings will offset this. 

Other Advantages of Going Tankless

The initial cost of a tankless water heater is more than a conventional hot water system. However, lower maintenance costs, energy savings, and longer service life bring the total cost of ownership down to comparable levels. 

Conventional hot water systems will give you around ten years of reliable service, or 15 if you are lucky. A tankless water heater typically lasts about 20 years. 

Using a Gas Tankless Water Heater

You will have the option to install either an electric or gas tankless water heater.  Considerations need to be given to the pilot light, as this will be a factor in your energy costs. 

In a conventional gas hot water system, the pilot light delivers heat to the water, so its energy is not wasted. A continually burning pilot light in a tankless heater is an energy loss. A few models include an Intermittent ignition device (IID), which gives you the option to turn the pilot light off when hot water is not required. 

Tankless water heaters offer many advantages in energy savings, but they’re not the best solution for all situations. Discuss your options with PSI to discover how you can lower your energy costs by making the best choice in hot water system.

Prevent Plumbing Emergencies with These Plumbing Tips for Summer

Plumbing Tips for Summer

The arrival of summer usually corresponds to a rise in household water consumption. More wastewater flowing through our pipes creates greater potential for plumbing issues to develop and the hot days puts a strain on the water supply.  Here are a few tips to help you get through the summer without any problems. 

Monitor Your Outside Water Usage

check your sprinkler this summer - Plumbing tips

Check your sprinkler heads for damage or blockages, so you know that the water will be going where it’s needed most; on your lawns and garden, and not onto the footpath and down the storm drain. Also, consider installing a system under the ground to reduce water waste through evaporation. A sprinkler system on a timer can also create savings when you set it to only water during the cooler parts of the day.

Be Kind to Your Garbage Disposal

Make sure appliances like your garbage disposal is working right - Plumbing tips

Summer is a time for BBQs and cookouts with lots of watermelons, corn on the cob, steaks, and greasy burgers. Watermelon rinds, bones, and, corn cobs can all spell havoc for your garbage disposal.

You may not be able to see it, but some of the waste may not make it all the way and could lodge in the pipes and create a blockage. Hard material like corn cobs may also damage the grinding teeth. Greasy food waste can leave grease and oil to solidify in the pipes and cause problems with the flow. Whenever you use the garbage disposal, don’t use it with hard waste, and be sure to flush it with a full blast of water for about 15 seconds.

Be Water Wise

Limit your water usage - Plumbing tips

Hot summer days put a strain on our water supplies. Everyone must do their part to keep their water usage to a minimum. Take shorter showers, don’t run sprinklers all day, and put a cover on the pool to reduce evaporation.

Save Energy

Turn off appliances when on vaction - plumbing tips

Summer is also a time of vacation for lots of families, with houses that are vacant for weeks at a time. Empty your fridge of perishables before you leave and turn the temperature up. Your fridge won’t have to work so hard, and you’ll save on energy. You can also turn the water heater down because you won’t be using hot water while you’re having fun away from home.

Maintain Your Sewage

septic and sewage systems

The sewage line is out of sight and out of mind, for the most part, which means that potential problems could be building up without you knowing. A once-yearly check-up is a fast and affordable way to make sure your plumbing is in good order. If there are problems, you will save money by taking care of them sooner, rather than later. 

The Advantages of Hydro Jetting Your Clogged Pipes

How Clogged Pipes Happen

Over time, a small amount of debris trapped in your sewer line traps more waste as it travels down the pipe. Eventually, it can grow into a large clump that will eventually block the pipe. Hydro Jetting can unclog almost any pipe.

Clog in drain
You will get warning signs that this may be happening. There will be issues with the drainage from toilets and sinks, and you may notice gurgling sounds, foul smells, or wastewater flowing back through your drains.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to perform some maintenance on your sewer lines. Hydro jetting your sewer pipes is the best way to ensure the long life of your plumbing, and stop future problems from developing.

Hydro Jetting Advantages

Hydro jetting will clear any build-up of dirt, sand, and silt. Once complete, the process blasts away the debris to leave your pipes free and clear of any clogging and stops build-up in its tracks.

Hydro Jetting Nozzle close up
Because every speck of debris is jetted away, it takes a long time for any more clogs to develop. In the long run, regular maintenance of your pipes through hydro jetting is a cost-effective solution, because you can avoid costly repairs. 

Your pipes will be checked for physical damage before jetting, which will give you a good indication as to the condition of your pipes and whether any repairs are needed. Unfortunately, you cannot use hydro jetting on damaged pipes because a powerful jet of water will make the damage much worse.  

Because hydro jetting takes place inside the pipe and is non-abrasive, there’s no need to dig up your land and risk breaking the sewer line to remove the blockage.

The only cleaning agent used in hydro jetting is water applied at high pressure. This feature makes it the most environmentally friendly method for cleaning pipes and removing blockages. 

Hydro jetting at work cleaning pipes

Regular maintenance and clearing up potential clogging problems before they turn into expensive repairs is the best way to save money on your plumbing, and save you from an emergency plumbing call in the middle of the night. 

Call PSI Vail today to see if you qualify for Hydro Jetting with their Inspection Camera Service.



Dealing With a Clogged Sewer Line

Chemical agent used to unclog some pipes. Digital illustration.You might never see or hear it coming, but the damage that a clogged sewer line can cause is extensive. Your home has many pipes that take waste water from sinks, tubs, and toilets and feed it into your main sewer line. A clog in one of the pipes can be an annoyance, but a clog in your main sewer line can be catastrophic. A clogged sewer line will affect all of the drains in your home and could lead to sewage backing up into your house. What do you need to know and what can you do to prevent this?

Signs of a Sewer Line Clog

There are a few red flags that indicate your sewer line may be backed up.
* Multiple drains throughout the home are backed-up.

* You hear gurgling noises and the toilet bubbles as the sink drain or toilet flushes; water backs-up out of unexpected places, such as a kitchen drain when you flush the toilet.

* There is a sewage odor in the home.

* Water is coming up through the basement drain.

Causes of Sewer Line Clogs
Sewer lines are usually 6 inches or more in diameter so it takes more than just a hairball to clog them.

* Tree roots are by far the most common cause. The culprit does not even need to be on your property, it may even be a neighbor’s tree. The root can grow into the pipe and crack it or it can grow around the line and crush it.

* Large obstructions can cause a sewer line to clog. Diapers, papers towels, toys, feminine hygiene products, etc. are all things that should never be flushed down your toilet. What you are putting down the garbage disposal can also be a problem, so avoid putting oil and large amounts of food in the disposal.

* In older homes, the sewer line is often made of clay or cast iron pipe. These pipes break down over time and may become cracked or collapse.

* Sometimes the problem might be further down the line. If there is a block in the public sewer or water line, this could ultimately make it into your home. In addition, in some municipalities, sewer and stormwater lines are the same, so in heavy storms the system can be overwhelmed, causing a back-up.

What to Do in Case of Sewer Line Clog

Happy Woman Using Plunger In Kitchen Sink At HomeSo the worst has happened and you think your sewer line is clogged. Here’s what you should do.

* First and foremost, put down the bottle of chemical drain cleaner. This will not work on the sewer line and can further damage pipes.

* Shut off all water to your home immediately. Any further use can cause sewer water to back-up into the home if it has not already.

* While you can attempt to clean the line yourself, this is not recommended since most homeowners will not have the expertise and tools necessary. A plumber experienced with sewer lines will be able to complete a video camera line inspection and determine the cause of, and properly address, the issue.

Having sewage back-up into your home, or just the possibility, can be a scary prospect. But don’t panic. Let the plumbing experts at PSI focus on your pipes and clogged drains so you don’t have to. Give us a call at 970.445.1235.

Hire a plumber near me?


hire a plumber near meHere in Vail, Edwards, Eagle, Avon or anywhere in the resort mountains the question often arises, who do I call when I have a plumbing or heating problem? Some of the local plumbers near me and you are great people. You have worked and connected with some of them for years as acquaintances locally. Choosing a reliable, knowledgeable plumbing professional to do your home repairs is important. Before hiring a plumber, there are some key questions you should ask.

Find out how much experience your plumber has and what type of training he or she went through. Even if your prospective plumber has only been in the business for a short time, going through a recognized apprenticeship program or quality vocational school are good signs. Without formal training, knowing how long the plumber has been working at his trade will give you a clue as to how much he knows about diagnosing and repairing problems efficiently and correctly.

Whether a plumber has been working in the industry for a long time or has just gotten started, ask if she belongs to any plumbing associations, such as the Plumbing Contractors of America or the American Society of Plumbing Engineers. This will show that they’re holding themselves to a high standard and it will encourage them to show some accountability for their work.

Are they registered as plumbing professionals, ask if they’re on the registry or if their license is current. You can usually verify this online. Should something go wrong with the repairs, you’ll have an avenue to reach a resolution by contacting the state board.  Better still hire the right plumber!

Another way to get reassurance about a plumber’s work is asking if they’re insured. Again, if anything goes wrong, with an insured plumber you’ll have some recourse. You can also ask to see the plumber’s certificate of insurance, just to be on the safe side. Again, don’t you want to take a little time to hire right the first time?

One of the most important questions you should ask is whether the plumber has references that you can contact. Who better to tell you about the plumber’s quality of service than past customers? Ask the references if the plumber stayed on budget, how quickly the repairs were completed, and if they would hire him again. Choosing the right plumbing, heating and cooling company is best done right the first time. Call Plumbing Systems Inc at 970-926-0500. We get it right and we do it at the first time.

The Effects of Hard Water on Home Appliances and Plumbing

An image of a Hard water shower problem.Most water has calcium and magnesium in it, but hard water has levels of minerals that are much higher than normal. It is especially common in areas where groundwater has to pass through rocks with lots of calcium or limestone, which is the case for water that goes to homes in and around Colorado’s mountainous areas. Not only can hard water be detected by sight and taste, it can have an adverse affect on major appliances and equipment. Fortunately, there are effective ways for Vail, Colorado homeowners to combat the problems caused by hard water.

As lime and mineral deposits in water continually pass through pipes and plumbing, it builds up and starts to significantly restrict the flow of water. This happens in appliances that use water as well, such as refrigerators, icemakers, washing machines, and dishwashers. Eventually, untreated hard water can cause appliances to leak, malfunction, and use more energy. The heating elements of water heaters are also highly susceptible to damage from hard water, and it’s not uncommon for homeowners in Colorado to find that their water heaters need replacement, servicing or repair every few years.

Installing a water softener is one way to decrease the amounts of minerals in hard water. Point of entry (POE) water softeners are permanently installed at a business or residence, and are one of the most commonly used water-conditioning devices used in areas with very hard water.

Homes where hard water has run through the plumbing for a long time may need to be professionally cleaned and the lime scale buildup removed. For appliances, white distilled vinegar can be run through a cycle on dishwashers, washing machines, and even coffee makers to help prevent accumulation of hard water deposits. Being proactive about mitigating the effects of hard water can equal lower energy costs, less plumbing issues, longer lasting appliances, and water that has more moderate levels of minerals.

PSI Plumbing can help 24/7/365 for any service or emergency repairs at 970-926-0500


Tips to Avoid a Drain Clog

Chemical agent used to unclog some pipes. Digital illustration.

The Memorial Day weekend usually involves some family time, gathering with friends and relatives and some in-house traffic. In some cased you may have an issue you were not planning for. Plumbing incidents at a time heavy traffic in your home can lead to a unforeseen plumbing issues.

At PSI we value our relationship with our clients and customers and we take your comfort and safety into consideration even in times of the holiday weekend. Take note of some of these valuable tips to avoid the possibility of a drain clog! Now just know that in the event anything does happen during a holiday, weekend or any at hour time of the day, we are a 24/7 emergency response plumbing company

Do need local plumbing experts providing services that show up on time and as effective and efficient? Our certified plumbers at PSI are here to give you the service and skill you deserve.

Tips to Avoid a Drain Clog

The tips and suggestions here are very simple for any time including the holidays. When followed and applied with good judgment, these tips will make sure you are not having to deal with drain clogs or any other typical plumbing issue in your home here in Edwards, Avon, Vail and other nearby resort communities in Colorado:

Your Garbage Disposal needs some TLC

Your garbage disposal under your sink is a very useful appliance that helps to clear up your kitchen mess. Putting undue pressure on this purposeful unit may cause unseen and serious problems.

  • Take it easy. When using the garbage disposal, feed a small amount of food waste at a time. This will make sure food waste gets mulched and is removed fully before the next batch of food waste is disposed. Even though your disposal may have a high capacity for processing food waste, the prudent thing to do is to take it easy and slow. In the event when there is too much going in at one time to the disposal, it may cause clogging and cause a bind to the mechanism.
  • Understand what is proper and safe for the Disposal. Big chucks of meat or fatty material, fibrous foods such as celery, vegetables such as artichoke and cooking grease should not be poured into the disposal. These items in general have a great chance of clogging or binding your disposal, mechanism causing it to quickly clog the disposal or further damaging the appliance. 

Disposing Grease and Oil

The rule for grease and oil is to never disposing them into the toilet, kitchen sink or getting rid of them in any drains. Doing so, you can be assured of a future clog and more serious problem down the road. Find a way to keep used grease and oil in a heat-resistant container such as an old coffee tin and dispose of it along with the trash when it is almost full.

Avoid throwing these items in Toilet

Never throw used cotton swabs, cigarette butt, tampons or other feminine products and tooth floss or disposable picks in the toilet. These are the most common items plumbers find among many other things we there is a clog that has already cause some major issue.

Call PSI for any plumbing or clog emergency during and after hours at 970.926-0500


The Most Common Residential Plumbing FAQs

PLUMBERFAQBecause of the nature of the job, a lot of people ask plumbers the same questions. We’ve compiled a plumbing FAQ to hopefully answer some of your plumbing questions:

What can I put down my garbage disposal?

You can put any kind of soft edible material down a garbage disposal. Avoid bone, coffee grounds, corn husks or other fibrous materials.

My drains (or toilet) stinks. What can I do?

Most pipes have curves in them to catch trash before it goes to the sewer (like food, grease, or solid waste). You can either take the U-bend apart and clean it, or use bleach or vinegar to break up the gunk. Turn on a fan to suck up the odor.

I don’t have enough hot water. How long should a water heater last?

Your hot water tank normally runs 24/7, so you should buy a quality one. High quality tanks could provide over an hour of hot water and only cost about fifty cents a day. Drain it once a year, and it’ll last a long, long time.

Why is my water heater making noises?

If your water heater starts making a lot of noise, you’ve probably got serious issues. It could cause a short that blows your circuit breakers. It could also start to build up sediment, which clogs up your water heater and burns excess electricity to heat. You might be able to beat repairs temporarily by draining the system completely and then refilling it.

Why do I need a Pressure Regulator Valve (PRV) or Copper Piping?

It’s important to get the right equipment. When you use water, it’s delivered from a good distance away, and it’s forced via a pressurized system. This pressure can bust low quality pipes and equipment. Having a PRV and quality piping can be the difference reliability and a huge mess.

How Much Do Plumbers Make? How can I learn more about plumbing?

You don’t have to have a degree to be a plumber. You might be surprised to know that the average salary for a plumber averages over $50,000. Plumbing is also a very steady job market that’s expected to grow in the future (about 26 percent).

To learn more about plumbing, call PSI Plumbing at 970-926-0500

Maintaining an Efficient HVAC System

HVAC heating and air conditioning residential units on the side of a houseHeating and cooling is going to be one of the most important parts of any household, and yet a lot of people neglect the fundamentals of maintaining their HVAC systems. HVAC air filters don’t last forever, and people are going to need to anticipate potential problems in their systems by making sure that they are maintained. However, as long as people do the regular maintenance procedures, their HVAC systems should last.

System Pressure Regulation

It is a good idea to avoid replacing the AC system or furnace, since this new addition is going to be out of sync with the rest of the system itself. People are going to make sure that they are able to keep the HVAC system working more efficiently than that. Load calculations can help people determine whether or not they are putting too much pressure on their HVAC systems, which is a common reason why these systems may start to experience problems.

Similarly, far too many people are going to fall into the trap of overworking the system on the hottest days of the year. In that instance, it is a better idea to try to maximize the efficacy of the HVAC systems in other ways, such as putting a fan near the device in order to blow around the cool air. On the opposite end of the spectrum, far too many people keep their thermostats too high during the colder times of year. Finding other ways to say warm while still keeping the thermostat on can help people resist the temptation to keep it on the highest possible setting.

Air conditioning units and heat pumps also need to be on level ground in order to work effectively, and there should be at least two feet of clearance around them as well. These areas are magnets for debris, especially in the spring and the summer, and it is important to clear this debris away before it accumulates. Around eighty percent of a home’s registers should be open, or the HVAC system is going to be too strained.

Hiring Heating and Cooling Specialists

Naturally, people should hire heating and cooling specialists who can perform the right maintenance procedures for their furnaces and AC systems at least once a year, and ideally around twice a year. Getting these maintenance procedures performed every fall and spring is a good idea, since these are not seasons that are associated with extreme temperature changes. The maintenance workers are going to inspect and then clean off the unit’s mechanisms and wiring. Most homeowners are going to have a hard time doing that themselves.

Air Filters

Getting new air filters or updating air filters on a regular basis can make a big difference. Homeowners should buy new filters every ninety days. Ideally, they will check their existing filters every thirty days in order to make sure that they’re still working correctly. Dark and clogged filters will need to be changed immediately. People who have pets are probably going to need new filters each and every month due to the dander and dust that pets can generate, and because pets have different respiratory sensitivities compared to humans.

Some people don’t get air filters to begin with, and these additions are necessary. Ideally, people will get high-efficiency pleated filters, which are going to be better at catching everything, including bacteria. Heating and cooling systems can last longer than people think with the proper care.

PSI Plumbing staff can help you with all your plumbing needs. Call us at 970-926-0500

How to Choose the Best Water Heater

Tank-less Water Heater

Tank-less Water Heater

Most householders across the continent wake up expectantly waiting for a hot shower to start their day. In retrospect, the installation of water heater is critical to help provide the necessary hot water for your home. When was the last time you schedule to check your water heater? Failure to inspect a problem water heater and schedule an inspection may cause a serious problem when it completely fails and cause a plumbing nightmare. Different people prefer different types such as the conventional type, tank-less, solar water heater and heat pump water heaters, due to a myriad of factors.

Heat pump Water Heater

Heat pump Water Heater –

Fuel type and energy efficiency: Some water heaters take up to much power and run your power bill despite their solitary purpose of providing hot water.

Size: The water heater especially the conventional one takes up a lot of space that might be inconvenient for a small unit.

Life span: This comes down to the maker, the model type and material used. Water heaters can give you up to twenty years with the right maintenance for the water heater and scheduled inspection.

Rheem Prestige

Rheem Prestige

Cost: At the end of the day you may want the best but you don’t have the capital to facilitate this expense.

These valid factors have lead households to consider two very common and popular options today i.e. the tank-less water heater versus the conventional water heater. With the conventional water heater you get a 30 – 50 gallon water of tank, whereby water is heated and stored. This preheated water can be used then at any moment. The tank-less water heater on the other hand employs on demand water heating and hence removes the storage aspect. Most homes are moving towards the tank-less due to energy and eventual cost efficiency with up to 24% in savings on energy. Also the fact that it doesn’t take space is very convenient. On the other hand people shy away from the tank-less due to the initial cost and if it breaks down the maintenance is fairly expensive.

No matter the direction you with at end it all comes back to energy and cost efficiency. So ensure you go for the best always. PSI Plumbing and Heating can help you make the right choice for all your plumbing needs. Call us today at 970.926.0500