No Hot Water: What You Need to Know

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No Hot Water: What You Need to Know

It doesn’t matter if you rent or own. Your household needs hot water. Although we don’t really think about it, we use hot water daily. Thank you, hot water heaters! However, if you ever experience water heater problems, such as no hot water, you’ll need to know what to do next. In this blog, our Twin City plumbers discuss everything you need to know about your water heater that has no hot water.

A Leaking Tank

There must be water in the tank for a water heater to work. If there is no hot water, the tank is most likely leaking. An empty tank is a serious issue and wastes a lot of resources. Examine the links between the appliance and its valves, as well as the pipework. Check the tank’s compartment if those are safe. If there is water in the compartment, the appliance should be replaced.

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Gas Leak

A natural gas leak from your water heater is both inconvenient and risky. If you suspect a gas leak, contact the utility provider as soon as possible. The gas company technician is knowledgeable, but his primary goal is not to fix your hot water heater. His evaluation of the appliance determines the next steps. If there is a natural gas leak, the gas provider will work on options under their jurisdiction. If there is no gas leak, you’ll need to hire a local plumber for water heater repair.

Faulty Electric Water Heater

When it comes to your water heater, energy conservation is important. Both an electric and a gas water heater will keep you from waking up with no hot water in the house. But do you understand the distinction between a gas and an electric water heater? Obviously, the hybrid version is powered by electricity. If you don’t have hot water in your building, turn off the heater first. The circuit breaker should then be reset. If the circuit breaker tripped, your home would have hot water again in around an hour. A circuit breaker that keeps tripping is a bad sign, so press the reset button. If the problem persists, consult a trained electrician.

Defective Gas Valve

Those who have a gas water heater and are experiencing a lack of hot water should inspect the appliance’s supply line. If there are no leaks, inspect the gas valve. It must be secure and in the proper location. After that, double-check that the gas is turned on. If the gas valve is working properly, look into the pilot light. It’s possible that you’ll have to re-light the pilot many times. It must remain lit. If it doesn’t, the gas line may be to blame because it is impeding the flow of gas.

If none of these measures produce hot water within an hour, you may need to hire a plumber for water heater replacement. When upgrading your water heater, keep in mind that there are additional costs to remember, and most homeowners choose between a conventional or tankless water heater.

Inadequate Thermostat

The thermostat on a water heater must be set between 122 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for it to produce hot water while remaining energy efficient. Check the upper thermostat if there is no hot water, if the supply is insufficient, or if the water is too hot. If the thermostat fails, it must be replaced. Because of sediment buildup, even though the thermostat is working, a lack of routine maintenance may cause problems. Flushing your water heater will solve the problem.

Water Heater Tank Size

If your water heater tank is too small, your household will be inefficient and will run out of hot water faster. Our friends at Tureks Plumbing, Fox Valley plumbers, point out that this problem is commonly noticed when the number of people living in your home increases. For example, if your family expands or if you have guests staying over. If you’re unsure if your water heater is the right size, contact a professional plumbing company.

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Contact McQuillan Bros

When problems arise, contact McQuillan Bros. Our heating, cooling, and plumbing company has proudly been serving the Twin Cities area since 1883. We can tackle all of your home service needs, whether it’s HVAC, plumbing, sewer, and drain, or electrical services. Call today for a free estimate!

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Water Heater Buying Guide

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Water Heater Buying Guide

Water heating expenses consume nearly 20% of your household income, second only to what you spend on heating and cooling your Twin Cities home. Homeowners don’t usually give their water heaters a thought until they malfunction. Common water heater problems include abnormal noises, cold water, and water leaks. If your water heater is approaching the end of its life, you’ll need to search “plumbing and heating company near me” for a water heater installation estimate. At McQuillan Bros, we offer free estimates on our home services. The Water Heater Buying Guide below helps homeowners like yourself decide if a new water heater is right for them.

Which Hot Water Heater is Right for My Twin Cities Home?

Usually, households substitute their old water heater with one of the same sorts and operate on the same fuel—natural gas or electricity. Switching from a water heater to a tankless unit can be costly because it allows you to change your plumbing and probably your electrical grid. But if you build a new home or add an existing one, installing a tankless water heater can make economic sense.

Market Studies tested several full-service electric and gas water heaters from brands such as Bosch, Navien, Noritz, Rheem. The test used a high drawing pattern equal to the usage of 84 gallons of water per day. Payback time was slower for the tankless unit, which replaced the original storage tank, but was more realistic for the new construction. The average maintenance cost and projected installation expense were measured to determine the payback period on both new and repair installations. The findings were contrasted with those of traditional tank heaters, one gas, and one electric heater.

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Most Common Types of Water Heaters

There are all kinds of water heaters available today. Whether you’re looking to repair or replace your water heater, it’s good to know which water heaters will save you money versus drive up your energy costs. The following are the most common types of water heaters we see in the Twin Cities, MN area.

  • Storage Tank Water Heater – Most homes over ten years old have storage tank water heaters. These types of water heaters are designed to heat and store water until it’s needed. Additionally, storage tanks water heaters tend to cost more.
  • Tankless Water Heater – Instead of storing water like traditional water heaters, the tankless water heaters heat the water as you need it. This saves you both water and electricity. 
  • Heat Pump (Hybrid) Water Heater – Heat pumps are designed to capture heat from the air, which later heats the water. Those who have heat pumps will save more than 50% on energy than they would on a standard electric water heater tank.

Consider The Water Heater Capacity 

The size of your tank water heater depends on the size of your household. Remember the first-hour rating, which is the number of gallons a water heater can produce in an hour. Tankless water heaters don’t carry a lot of water, so the amount to aim for is a gallon-per-minute value. The higher the GPM, the cooler the device will produce. If you have a large family and multiple bathrooms, you’ll need a higher GPM tankless water heater.  Stillwater plumbers can measure what the FHR should be at your house to make sure it’s just the right size for your tank.  

Water Heater Features to be Consider


Water heater coverage is usually three to 12 years. Although you’re usually paying a little extra for longer warranty versions, we’ve noticed that they appear to have bigger parts or burners that can speed up water heating and have thicker insulation for less heat loss. Appleton plumbers at Tureks Plumbing recommends choosing a water heater with the longest warranty.

Anti-Scaling Devices

Some brands sell features that are designed to reduce the build-up of the mineral scale at the bottom of the tank by stirring the bath. Although the scale will shorten the heating system’s life, you don’t need to invest in advanced features to get a water heater that lasts. Just look for one with a 12-year warranty that usually contains a longer or thicker part.

Digital Displays

Help you track your level and customize your activity. Some electric/heat-pump hybrid water heaters allow you to set a vacation mode that uses only a heat pump to maximize performance while you’re away. Solar water heaters also view tank and collector temperatures, as well as pressure readings and other data.

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Professional Water Heater Services

At McQuillan Bros, we offer the best water heater service in Twin Cities and beyond. We’ve been proudly serving the homeowners and business owners of Minnesota since 1883. No matter what your needs are, our McQuillan team is happy to help. We offer free estimates on our heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical services. Contact us today to let us know how we can better serve you. 

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Need a New Water Heater?

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Need a New Water Heater 2021

If your boiler or water heater is popping, clunking, or rumbling, it’s time to call a professional. McQuillan Bros shares some key indicators you need a qualified water heater company in Saint Paul to evaluate your too-old (or too-cold) water-heating device. In this article, we discuss if you need a new water heater or a water heater repair.

Signs Your Water Heater Is on Its Last Legs

Water Heater is Over a Decade Old

While the average lifespan of a heater is around a decade, many require earlier repair or replacement. Devices older than 10 years are at an increased risk for leaking, rusting, and causing potential property damage. Call McQuillan Bros’ HVAC contractors in Saint Paul to discuss high-efficiency replacement options installed by our skilled, reputable technicians.

Your Water Heater Is Noisy 

Damaged or antique boilers and water heaters may clank, pop or whistle in ways that aren’t just unsettling—but could be symptoms of a looming emergency say our friends at Tureks Plumbing, a commercial plumbing company in Fox Valley.

Rust on Your Water Heater

Few things indicate the need for replacement more than the presence of rust in your water or on your tank. When the inside of your water heater tank is corroding, call our trusted, five-star team to perform water heater cleaning in Saint Paul. Ignoring a rust problem could lead to costly leaks, major breakdowns, and unpleasant-tasting water.

Water Heater No Longer Heats Up 

If your tank or tankless device is failing to heat enough water for your family’s use, it’s time for an emergency repair or upgrades. McQuillan Bros’ technicians will guide you through the process based on your budget, family size, and hot water needs.

Water Heater is Leaking

 Leaking water heaters need immediate evaluation. Even a tiny leak could mean water damage is imminent. McQuillan Bros recruits the most skilled HVAC contractors in Saint Paul and will help you safeguard your flooring, belongings, and home from a leaky appliance.

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McQuillan Bros: Plumbing Replacement & Repair Services

Damaged or aging water heaters cause some of the most stressful household disasters. When it comes to water heater services, McQuillan Bros HVAC has served the Twin Cities proudly for over a century. 

Schedule your free water heater consultation and ask about the seamless process used to remove your old unit and replace it with a high-efficiency tank or tankless system. Compact tankless systems deliver hot water on demand without the need for a space-hogging tank. When it’s time to upgrade your home’s current hot water delivery system, call on Minnesota’s Original plumbing and heating specialists: 651.243.4002.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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How to Choose a Water Heater

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How to Choose a Water Heater

A water heater will affect your level of comfort and energy costs in your home. Depending on the number of people you live with, you need a water heater that will serve you comfortably without spiking up your energy bills. Therefore, it helps to pick the right water heater for you and your family’s needs. But how can you pick the right water heater with so many options in the market? Below, McQuillan Bros explains how to choose a water heater for your home.

Types of Water Heater 

There are different types of water heaters available. The two most common water heaters are tankless water heaters and tank-style water heaters. 

How to Choose a Water Heater - Twin Cities MN

Tankless water heaters are designed to provide water on demand. That is why they are also called on-demand water heaters. They do not carry a storage tank, which greatly reduces the amount of space they will take up in your house. 

Tankless water heaters are less expensive than their tank-style counterparts and more efficient in terms of energy consumption. Also, they carry with them a longer lifespan of up to 20 years. 

Tank-style water heaters are the more traditional heaters that come with a tank usually made of a large metallic cylinder with a capacity of 40-60 gallons. They take up space, and water has to be heated in advance before it is used. The water is then stored to be used as needed. 

Fuel Type 

The kind of fuel you use is another factor you should consider. Different types of fuels can be used to heat your water. They include: 

  • Liquid Propane. Heaters that use liquid propane as a fuel for heating require a complete setup with proper venting. They are usually used for tank-style water heaters and require frequent fuel deliveries depending on the frequency of use. 
  • Oil. Oil-water heaters are also suited for tank-style water heaters. They are reliable for long time operation and are known to heat water faster. 
  • Electricity. Most heaters that use electricity to heat water are tankless water heaters, say our friends at Headwaters Construction Inc., a general contracting company in Sacramento. There is no need for special venting. Electric water heaters, however, spend more energy compared to other sources of energy. 
  • Natural Gas. These are some of the most common forms of water heaters available in the market. Heaters that use natural gas heat water faster and can be found in different sizes and models. You will, however, need to create special ventilation for this kind of fuel. 

Firing Mechanism 

Further, water heaters come in two more different categories based on the firing mechanism. That is, how directly or indirectly water is heated. Here, water heaters are divided into direct-fired water heaters and indirect-fired water heaters

With direct home water heaters, the water in the tank is directly heated by the flame. There is, usually, a combustion chamber under the storage tank where the fuel will heat the water. You will likely see these units in homes that have warm air furnaces. 

In Indirect-fired water heaters, the water coming from the furnace or boiler is heated by being transferred through a heat exchanger in the storage tank. Indirect-fired water heaters turn on and off less often because the storage tank has the ability to store energy for longer periods of time. 

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Get the Best Water Heater Installation

You can pick the right water heater for your home by contacting McQuillan Bros. Not only do we do water heater maintenance, but we also help homeowners with water heater installation in St. Paul, MN. So, call us today for a free estimate on your new tankless water heater. We provide other 24/7 home services in Twin Cities and beyond. 

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Must-Knows of Tankless Water Heaters

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About Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heating systems supply hot water only when it is required. Unlike storage water heaters, they do not produce standby heat losses, thus saving you a lot of money. Tankless water heaters heat the water directly and do not require a storage water tank. When a hot water tap is opened, cold water moves through the pipe. From there, it moves into the heating unit where it is heated using either electricity or a gas burner. They deliver a constant supply of hot water. Here are the must-knows about tankless water heaters as shared by our experts at McQuillan Bros in St. Paul, MN.

Traditional vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Traditional water heaters usually hold about 150-220 liters of water in a tank, which continuously heats this water until it is used. This means hot water will always be available, but as the heater is constantly heating it, your utility bills are bound to increase.

A tankless hot water system, as explained above, only heats water when it is needed. It uses much less energy in comparison. Our Minneapolis heating contractors estimate about 22% less than its counterpart.

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What Are Some Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters?

Ability to Free Up Physical Space

Unlike heaters that require storing water tanks, tankless hot water heaters occupy very little space. Replacing your traditional water heater with a tankless one may therefore avail space that you can use for other amenities, such as storage or a laundry room. Please contact a tankless water heater replacement St. Paul, MN plumber for professional installation. 

You May Save More From it Than What You Paid For It

The initial costs of a tankless hot water heater are usually greater as compared to the traditional storage water heaters. For example, a traditional heating system costs between $300 and $600, while tankless heating systems go for $700 and above, and their prices vary depending on various factors. 

Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless heating systems use less energy, so this offsets their initial cost. Additionally, Tureks Plumbing, a water heater company in Fox Valley, says tankless heating systems may qualify for federal or state tax refunds for energy-efficient appliances. Some utility providers also offer discounts and incentives for owners who purchase tankless heating systems.

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Tankless Water Heater Installation

However, the installation costs of a tankless heating system can be pricy. As they are still relatively new to the market, very few plumbers know how to install them correctly. So, their installation process is more time-consuming. If you are interested in upgrading your water heater system, contact McQuillan Bros for all your tankless water heater installation St. Paul MN needs.

Tankless water heating systems are operated using gas. So if you would like to get one, but your property doesn’t have a gas line connection, the cost of installing this connection will wipe out any cost savings of a tankless system. Even if you do have a gas line, you may need to upgrade it to a much larger pipe to accommodate the power that is needed to fuel the tankless water heating system.

How Long Do Tankless Water Heating Systems Last?

Unlike a traditional water heater, which has a 7 to 10-year lifespan before it needs to be replaced, tankless water heaters are considered to be a worthwhile investment as they can last up to 20 years. So if you own the property you live on or plan on staying there for a long time, then a tankless water heater is a good option fit for you. Look up “tankless water heater companies near me” for any inquiries you may have.

How Long Does it Take for Tankless Water Heaters to Heat Up?

Because a tankless heating system is not continuously heating the water, you’d think it would take longer to heat up the water. However, tankless water heaters are designed to get you hot water in about 15 seconds. It can also depend on the physical location of the heater. 

Tankless water heaters have limited output. So if a tankless heating system is installed in a building with many residents, or if several people are sharing the water heater, providing hot water to everyone at the same time will be complicated. This is because tankless heating systems can only supply a few liters of hot water at a time.

Should You Switch to a Tankless Water Heater?

As we have discussed above, both heater types have benefits as well as disadvantages to using them. So, before you make up your mind on whether you should replace your water heater, weigh the pros and cons. You get to decide on whether you’d prefer to keep maintaining the traditional heating system. It’s all up to you.

However, if you do decide to switch to the tankless water heater, talk to a tankless water heater installation professional for affordable rates and efficient installation. McQuillan Bros is the preeminent water heater company in St. Paul, MN, so get in touch and learn why so many homeowners trust us for all their residential plumbing needs!

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