Water Heater Service in Portland: Repair & Replacement

We’ll give you the short answer first: the average life expectancy of a 40 gallon water heater is about 8 to 12 years. Once your water heater is 10 years old, it’s typically time to start looking for a replacement. However, there are some factors that may cause a water heater to have a shorter than average life expectancy. You should be aware of these and whether or not they affect you.

Knowing what to expect from your water heater will allow you to stay ahead of water heater failure, avoiding costly breakdowns, flooding damage, and stressful mornings. When it comes to water heaters, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure from our water heater service in Portland. Here’s what to look out for in your water heater’s performance:

3 Conditions That Reduce the Lifespan of Your Water Heater

Does your home have any of these common problems reducing the lifespan of your water heater? If so, it might be time for repair or replacement.

  1. Hard Water –When water percolates through calcium deposits on its way to your faucet, it causes scale build-up on all surfaces touching or containing water. This includes pots, pans, pipes – and the storage tank of your water heater. Water hardness can wear down rubber linings and reduce pipe diameter, causing leaks and blockages. If limescale deposits have started building in your storage tank, you’ll start to hear loud noises during operation as the sediment bangs around.
  2. Oversized Unit – Conventional water heaters store about 40 gallons of hot water at a constant temperature. If your water heater is too large for your home, you’ll end the day with water always stagnating inside of the tank. Plus, you’ll be spending money heating water you don’t need! Is there a musty, mildew smell in your utility room? It could be the anode rod in your tank, which is designed to corrode faster than the tank itself. Once the anode rod is spent, your water heater is on its last legs – it’s time to call in the experts.
  3. Undersized Unit – The opposite can also be a problem for your water heater’s lifespan. Having a water heater that is two small for your home will leave you constantly running out of hot water when your family tries to take their showers in the morning or late at night. If you’re the last one to go, you’ll find your water heater is leaving you out in the cold. Not only that, but all of that constant re-filling and re-heating can take a serious toll. You might start to notice a yellow pilot flame (it should always be blue!) or water pooling around the tank.

Our professionals know water heaters inside and out. We make finding the perfect fit for your home and your energy usage simple so you can save money while living better year after year. It’s what makes us your go-to plumber!

So don’t go a day without hot water – know the signs of water heater failure and get an inspection before disaster strikes! Call 3 Mountains Plumbing for water heater service in Portland today.


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Water Heater Installation in Portland: Hire a Pro or Do It Myself?

Every household has a Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It. It’s part of being a homeowner! You want to have control over what goes in your home, what you pay for, and what you get. As Fix-It people ourselves, we understand the DIY drive, and we want to help you get there.

In some cases, however, we do suggest hiring a professional when it comes to water heater installation in Portland. Hiring a licensed local plumber will save you time, money, and sweat off your brow – not only that, but it may also be an issue of safety. Not every handyman is properly qualified to install your water heater up-to-code – only an actual plumber has the tools and skills you need.

Although we don’t recommend you try it yourself, our plumbers want you to understand the process. Here’s what it takes to install a water heater – and why we think it’s best left to the experts!

5 Steps of Water Heater Installation

This is the simplified version of what your plumber is doing when he comes to your home to replace or upgrade your water heater. Some steps may vary depending on the location, appliance model, and power source, but the basics are always the same:

  1. Set-Up – First, make sure the gas and water main valves are fully closed. Drain the existing water tank into a bucket and remove the water
  2. Hook-up Your Water Heater to a Power Source –Water heaters can come as either electric or natural gas powered models. An electric model will need to be wired with 30 amps of electricity for a 40-gallon model. A natural gas model must be connected to a gas line, which will always need to be done carefully – you don’t want to strip the screw or cross threads!
  3. Establish Proper Ventilation – Your current water heater has ventilation in place to carry away dangerous byproduct gasses from your water heater to the outdoors. However, the new model may have a different ventilation set-up. It is very important to make sure the ducting travels from the heater to the outside with no leaks, cracks, or bending.
  4. Attach the Water Lines –Be sure to screw each pipe in tightly! Flexible PVC connectors are easier to install, but you should use copper piping wherever you expect there to be heat.
  5. Test Operation – Check to see that the pilot light is fully blue, not yellow or orange, and that smoke is being pulled through the ventilation. Make sure there are no leaks – you can do this by running soap water through your water heater and then inspecting for bubbles at the seams.

As you can probably tell, it’s quite a process. Certainly not impossible for your average handyman, but in a pinch, why risk it? You can get upfront pricing, great financing, and efficiency rebates from your local plumbers. We’ll show you how! Call 3 Mountains today for a consultation on water heating in Portland!

What Are the Benefits of Water Heater Installation in Portland?

If you’re a budget conscious homeowner getting your home ready for the upcoming winter, you should definitely consider new water heater installation in Portland.

Why You Need New Water Heater Installation in Portland

If your home is equipped with a water heater that’s 10 years or older, the unfortunate truth is that your appliance isn’t the most cost-effective model anymore. You might not really notice any problems, but it’s likely using more energy than it used to due to residue build-up inside the tank. This build-up can lead to problems with the water flow… or even block the pipes altogether. At the same time, the water quality is also affected. That means you’re paying more for water that contains more contaminants than it should, while simultaneously running the risk that your appliance will break down during the coldest months of the year!

The Benefits of a New Water Heater

Instead of relying on an older model, why not invest in a new water heater? There are two main types of water heaters: storage tank water heaters and tankless water heaters.

Storage tank water heaters store the water in a tank, where it’s heated to a desired temperature and delivered to a point of use on demand. This type of appliance has the advantage that it’s relatively affordable. However, it’s also bulky, so you need to have enough room to install it.

Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, which means you never run out of hot water. They use less energy than storage tank water heaters, and they’re much smaller, which makes for easier placement. They also last around seven years longer than storage tank water heaters. However, the initial investment is also much higher.

Call 3 Mountains  – Your Local Water Heater Specialist

If you’d like to discuss your options, call 3 Mountains, your local water heater specialist. One of our people will come to your home and assess your situation; then advise you on your options. So why wait? Contact 3 Mountains for your free quote today!

5 Signs of It’s Time to Repair Your Water Heater in Portland

Consider your water heater in Portland as the crown jewel of your home’s plumbing system. Like any luxury item, it should be treated with the utmost care and concern in the same way you would a nice car. However, when it stops working like it should, it can seriously wreak havoc on your daily life. So much of your daily life is reliant on hot water whether that morning shower, cooking a meal, washing the dishes, and more. Without the water heater working, you may not even be able to do some of the simplest things in your home.

3 Mountains offers installation, repair, and replacement for your water heater in Portland. If you think your water heater in Portland needs assistance, you can count on our water heater experts to get the job done, no matter your water heating demands. A problem with your water heater can arise at any time, so don’t allow a faulty water heater to derail your good time!

When Do You Need to Fix Your Water Heater Portland?

If you think you’re alone with your water heater problems, think again. Here are 5 common signs our water heating experts usually identify when it’s time for water heater repair:

  1. Low Water Pressure: This issue typically occurs with tankless water heaters and is caused by the fact that the heating element needs time to heat the water before delivering it to the point of use.  Low water pressure can hinder even the most relaxing shower, so it’s best to get it fixed.
  2. No Hot Water for Fixtures: A lack of hot water is a frustrating problem that usually occurs when the storage tank isn’t large enough to accommodate the daily hot water consumption. Replacing the appliance with one with a larger tank is the recommended solution.
  3. Leaks: Leaks in the storage tank or its plumbing are indicated by wet spots or pooling water beneath the appliance. When the leak is located around the lines, it can sometimes be fixed by tightening or replacing the affected part. While smaller leaks and cracks may not seem like much of a concern, it can waste you plenty of gallons of water.
  4. Tank Corrosion or Rust: A corroded storage tank will result in leaks, so you need to choose whether to wait or to invest in a new heater. You also don’t want the rust to contaminate the water in any way, no matter how slight the rusting.
  5. High Energy Bills: A faulty water heater will use up more energy to produce hot water. This can only spell doom for your energy bills as you can potentially see them increase up to unbearable levels. Repairs can help solve any problems but if your water heater appears to be beyond repair, it may be time to consider a replacement.

Contact 3 Mountains today if you need to repair your water heater in Portland, especially if you notice these 5 signs!

5 Signs You Need Water Heater Replacement in Portland, OR

Homeowners who own a water heater that’s more than 10 years old are advised to check whether they need water heater replacement in Portland. The typical lifespan of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years, and with new water heater efficiency standards in place it may be difficult to get a direct water heater replacement in the near future.

So act now! Fortunately, there are some telltale signs that your old appliance is on its last legs:

  1. The water doesn’t heat to the right temperature: When you turn on the hot faucet, the water’s tepid or fails to heat to the preset temperature, no matter how long you run it. This problem indicates that the heating mechanism isn’t functioning correctly.
  2. There’s no hot water at all: When you turn on the hot faucet, you don’t get any hot water at all, no matter how long you wait. This indicates that the heating mechanism has failed.
  3. There’s sediment or rust in the water: If the water coming out of the faucet is cloudy or rust colored, it points to a build up of rust or sediment in the tank. This is a natural development as your appliance ages, but one that compromises water quality.
  4. The tank is leaking water: This is usually the result of cracks and breaks due to corrosion. When the tank’s leaking, it not only wastes energy and compromises the hot water supply; it can also be hazardous if the leak is close to any electrical component. Furthermore, it can also cause water damage that can compromise the structure of your home.
  5. The appliance doesn’t turn on even after flipping the breaker switch: If the appliance is off and doesn’t restart even after you’ve flipped the breaker switch, there’s a serious problem with the electrical components.

Of course, if your water heater still relatively new, some of these issues can be repaired by a qualified plumber. To find out what the best course of action is for you, call 3 Mountains Plumbing, your partner in all things plumbing. Our highly experienced and knowledgeable specialists will come to your home to assess the situation and give you their objective opinion on what to do. And no matter whether it’s a small repair or a complete water heater replacement, we provide you with the very best service every step of the way!

Call 3 Mountains Plumbing for water heater services done right today!



Changing Water Heater Regulations in Portland

The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) has decided to change its water heater energy factor (EF) requirements. The new water heater regulations became effective as of April 15th. This means that as a homeowner, you need to re-evaluate your water heater situation fairly quickly. With these new standards, manufactures won’t sell the current models or their parts any longer. So if your current water heater needs repairs past the deadline, you’re out of luck. It’s best to take this opportunity to purchase a brand new water heater.

With our licensed professionals at 3 Mountain Plumbing, you’ll be able to take care of your water heater needs before the deadline. By addressing this right away, you won’t need to worry about meeting the NAECA’s standard for a long time into the future. So don’t wait, or else any repairs or a replacement will become more costly. Our service technicians understand these new standards, are knowledgeable of all the options on the market, and will have the best recommendations to get the right water heater for your home.

How the New Water Heater Regulations Will Effect You

3 Mountains Plumbing advises you to replace your old water heater with a newer model that meets all the new regulations as soon as possible. There are many ways the homeowner will benefit from these new regulations. Your new, compliant water heater will:

  • Be much more energy efficient
  • Save you a lot more money in the long run
  • Provide you with improved insulation technology for more quality water
  • Decrease your CO2 emissions and reduce your carbon footprint
  • Ensure you won’t have any water heater problems anytime soon
  • Increase comfort for you and your family
  • Lower monthly utility bills
  • Self-diagnose emergencies with built-in smart technology

A high efficiency water heater helps you save money and get better water heater performance, so call in the 3 Mountains Plumbing experts to make your home code compliant today!

Compliant Tankless Water Heaters in Portland

One of the newest and more energy efficient water heater options on the market today is the tankless water heater. The difference the tankless water heater brings to the table is the fact that it only heats water when you turn on the faucet. Ergo, it cuts down on your energy usage, and makes your wallet, and the NAECA, very happy. The features and benefits of tankless water heaters include:

  • Endless, on-demand hot water
  • Increased comfort for you and your family
  • Lower monthly utility bills
  • Self-diagnosing emergencies with built-in smart technology
  • Digital panel with settings able to be controlled remotely

3 Mountains Plumbing will work 24/7 to address all your water heater issues, including meeting the deadline for these new regulations, so your family can enjoy a safe and healthy living environment.

Call 3 Mountains Plumbing today and prepare yourself for the new water heater regulations!

Why You Should Install a Tankless Water Heater in Portland

If you’re dedicated to making your home more energy efficient, then why not install a tankless water heater? Portland residents will be pleased to know that according to Energy.gov, a typical household can save more than $100 per year with an ENERGY STAR® tankless appliance.

Unlike conventional storage water heaters that store between 30 and 80 gallons of heated water, tankless water heaters don’t store any hot water at all. Instead, when a hot water tap in the residence is turned on, they provide hot water on demand by heating cold water by means of an electric element or a gas burner. This “supply on demand” approach means households waste less money on energy costs to keep a tankful of water heated. However, the output can limit the flow rate, which is between two and five gallons depending on whether it’s an electric or gas-fired model. If you have a large household, one way to ensure a good flow rate is to install a second tankless water heater to provide extra hot water to appliances such as your dishwasher or washing machine.

In terms of actual energy savings, it’s interesting to note that tankless water heaters can offer between 24 and 34% more energy efficiency for households that use less than 41 gallons of hot water a day. Larger households that use approximately 86 gallons a day can expect to see 8 to 14% more energy efficiency.

One significant difference between conventional and tankless water heaters is the price. Conventional models can cost as little as $500, while tankless models are usually priced at around $1,000. Though the initial investment is higher for a tankless water heater, its expected life span is generally about 20 years—that’s more than seven years longer than that of a storage model.

Last, but certainly not least, a tankless water heater is roughly the size of computer, while a conventional storage model can approach that of a refrigerator. This can mean all the difference in the world for Portland residents with premium real estate who want to make the most of their square footage.




How Do You Know if Your Water Heater Needs Replacement?

In our latest blog, the 3 Mountains Plumbing experts advised you to get a water heater replacement now if your water heater is older or in disrepair. Why?

Because the new energy efficiency standards for water heaters go into effect on April 15th, which means that from that point on you will not be able to get a direct replacement on your current water heater model. If your water heater springs a leak over the summer, you’ll be forced to upgrade, which may pose complications such as:

  • Having to Resize Your Utility Room or Closet 
  • Paying up to 35% More for Equipment
  • Not Having Hot Water During the Procedure

So that’s why the experts at 3 Mountains Plumbing are encouraging homeowners to do their water heater replacements now rather than later when they might be more of a hassle! If your water heater is about to fail  don’t wait — call the 3 Mountains plumbers for a water heater replacement today!

But how can you tell if your water heater is on its last legs? It’s easy when you know the warning signs.

4 Signs You Need Water Heater Replacement

Go take a look at your water heater. Do any of the following issues apply to your appliance? If so, it’s time for a switch!

  1. Water Pooling Around Tank– The storage tank on your water heater holds between 40 and 80 gallons of hot water at a time. When the rubber lining starts to wear away, you might start to notice puddles forming around the tank. Don’t just put a pot under that drip! If your storage tank bursts, you’ll come home to an indoor swimming pool — and you don’t want that!
  2. Bad Odors– Little known fact about water heaters: there’s an anode rod inside of them that is literally made to rust. Essentially, this rod attracts all of the ions that create rust so that the inside of the machine doesn’t experience corrosion. When you start to notice a foul smell in your basement or utility room, that means the anode rod is officially decayed. These rods can be replaced, but since they are basically an indicator of your water heaters lifespan, they typically won’t last too long after the first one goes.
  3. Lukewarm or Dirty Water– When you run the warm water from your tap, does it come out rusty at first? Does it take a long time to heat up? Are you constantly experiencing cold showers because the hot water runs out? Does the hot water smell, taste, or feel unpleasant? These are all signs something is wrong with your machine.
  4. Past Warranty– Here in Portland, our public water supply can be very “hard,” meaning excess minerals take an extra toll on your plumbing appliances. This means you typically won’t find a water heater with a warranty much longer than 6 years.

If you have an older water heater on its last legs, call for water heater replacement from the 3 Mountains professionals today!

The New Water Heater Regulations and What to they Mean to Portland, OR

As of April 15th, 2015, new energy efficiency standards will be put into effect for water heaters nationwide. That means your current water heater model is about to become illegal! Well, sort of. Without being dramatic, we’ll try to explain.

Basically, the recent push for a more environmentally conscious America has resulted in the DOE (Department of Energy) passing legislation that raises the standards for residential water heater efficiency — meaning they burn less fuel and accomplish the same heating. Using less energy means a reduced carbon footprint! However, it also means that the water heater needs to be larger — specifically, about 2 inches wider. That’s because newer water heater models require superior insulation to ensure that no heat escapes. In addition, it could mean that you pay more for a water heater replacement — the higher efficiency models can be up to 35% more expensive to install.

What Does that Mean for Portland Homeowners?

If your water heater fails between now and April 15th, you’ll be able to get a direct replacement for the fast and efficient plumbing professionals at 3 Mountains Plumbing with no problem.

However, if your water heater fails after the April 15th deadline, plumbing professionals won’t be able to offer direct replacement. You’ll have to upgrade on the spot! Homeowners who have to upgrade to the higher efficiency model may encounter any and of the following:

  • Resizing Issues– Some utility rooms are too small for the new water heater models and will need to be resized. If your water heater is in a closet, you may even need to take out of a wall! Plus, newer models may require a gas line upgrade in addition to the installation.
  • No Hot Water During Replacement– During the process of researching and installing your upgraded water heater, you won’t have warm water to clean, cook, or shower with. You never realize how much you depend on your water heater until you don’t have it!
  • Higher Installation Costs– A direct replacement of a water heater is generally no problem, but with the complications involved in an upgrade plus the cost of the newer product, will the new water heater fit your budget?

This is why the 3 Mountains Plumbing professionals advocate getting a water heater replacement now rather than waiting until after the deadline. If your water heater is more than 10 years old or shows signs of wear and tear, call in a plumbing professional and have it replaced! You won’t have the worry about the efficiency standards for another 10 years!

So call the water heater professionals at 3 Mountains Plumbing for water heater replacement today! Avoid the hassle of sudden upgrade and get a high quality direct replacement from our licensed professionals now.

Want a Discount on Your Portland Tankless Water Heater Installation?

Want a Discount on Your Portland Tankless Water Heater Installation?

Of course you do!  Well, you’re in the right place.

In an ongoing effort to provide quality customer service and to stay a cut above the competition, we are currently offering a discount coupon on tankless water heater installations.

We are committed to shaving $150 off the cost of installing a new tankless water heater in your Portland home.  That $150 discount comes in addition to up-front fixed-rate pricing plus warranties on all products and services.

Other Benefits?

We are punctual.  We come prepared.

In fact, we typically do everything in our power to schedule same day appointments at which we are ready to go to work and get the job finished to completion.

Have a plumbing emergency?  Our knowledgeable team is always ready and available to help.  We’re on call 24-hours a day/seven days a week.

Last, but not least, you get a delightful plumbing experience from the trained and certified journeymen professionals at 3 Mountains Plumbing.

Why We Love Tankless Water Heaters

It’s true.  We love tankless water heaters.  Here’s why:

  • Last Longer: Tankless heaters are built for longevity.  Their lifespan far surpasses those of conventional tanks.  There is also significantly less maintenance to worry about.
  • Save Space: Tankless water heaters are small.  They easily fit in crawlspaces or utility closets.
  • Decrease Utility Bills: These energy efficient systems save water while also lowering monthly water bills.
  • Provide endless stream of hot water: For real—tankless water heaters ensure that you never run out of hot water, no matter how many showers are taken in a row.

Want to learn more about the benefits of tankless water heaters and our new installation coupon?  Call or stop by 3 Mountains Plumbing today to speak with one of our team members.  We’re always happy to help.