Female hand puts thermostat of electric water heater (boiler) in economy mode. Household energy saving equipment

Water Heaters

Most people don’t know much about the device that heats their water for comfort and cleanliness. The three most common types of water heaters include traditional tanks, which come in gas (natural or propane) or electric. Next, there are heat pump water heaters, which have a compressor and evaporator like a refrigerator. While a heat pump will save on your electric bill, the upfront cost is more expensive. The third is a tankless water heater, which comes in gas (natural or propane) or electric, but these will require a circuit breaker that can handle at least 120 amps. The biggest benefit of an electric tankless heater is they are 20-30% more efficient than a tank heater. With a gas tankless heater, some models only require a half-inch gas line to the unit, which most people already have that going to their traditional water heater. It’s good to know that if you want to go tankless, you absolutely need a water softener. You’ll also want to be aware of gallons per minute fl ow rate for temperature rise rate. They don’t all perform the same.

Water Heater Tips:

  • Connect a water softener to it.
  • Check from top to bottom for any leaks. The older it is, the more often you’ll want to check it.
  • Place a water leak detector alarm on the floor near the heater — especially if you don’t have a floor drain next to your water heater.

Water Softeners

When shopping for a water softener, ask yourself how many bathrooms are in the home and how many people live in it. For example, when you go to Lowes and the box says, “44k grains” with four stick figures next to it, that means it’s for the use of four people. Do you have white water spots on your faucet? Is your soap not getting sudsy in the shower? Is your skin dry and irritated? These are signs your water is hard and you need a water softener. How large your water softener is will determine how much salt you need to put in it every few months. Everyone’s daily water intake is different, so it will depend on your household’s water usage. I like solar salt because it does the job without creating issues in the brine tank, and I’m not a fan of pellets because they cause bridging, which is when salt prevents the softener from regenerating properly.

Water Softener Tips:

  • Have salt in it at all times.
  • Make sure the clock is correct in case the power goes out and during daylight savings. The time is important so that it regenerates while everyone is sleeping ideally.


Does your water smell like sulfur and you’ve chlorinated the water heater? Your water contains a high amount of sulfur. However, they make a specific tank that works similar to a water softener, but solves the odor issue. The same goes for red rings in your toilet. This is an indicator there’s a lot of iron in your water, and there’s a tank for that! Keep in mind, you’re also consuming this water if it does not have filtration.

Joe McFerron Plumbing
Joe McFerron Plumbing specializes in residential service, bathroom remodels, water heaters, and backflow testing and repair. We have two technicians, Joe McFerron, master plumber, and Alex Bargielski, journeyman plumber, with a combined30+ years of experience. We service Jefferson City and the surrounding towns within a 60 mile radius.We believe in doing quality work, leaving it cleaner than we found it, and keep-ing customers happy.

Joe McFerron
Joe McFerron Plumbing
(573) 301-9552