Are Tankless Water Heaters Safe?

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Water heaters are common fixtures in most modern homes today. They ensure that no matter the outside temperature, hot water will always be available. And with advances in technology, there also comes improvements and new technologies added on to this fixture. A great example of this is the tankless water heater. However, this particular design has many homeowners wondering how safe it is. Let's take a moment to discuss the benefits of the tankless water heater as well as its level of safety.

Benefits 

When it comes to comparing the difference between traditional and tankless heaters, they are as different as night and day. Take a look, below:

Remote Operation: if you are tired of manually maintaining your traditional heater, you will be glad to learn that tankless heaters are easier to operate. This is because most can be operated by remote control.

Smaller Size: most tend to take up less space than the more traditional models. This means if your home is small, you will not have to struggle with a bulky heater.

Energy Efficiency: one of the biggest benefits of tankless water heaters is that they do not work as hard as the traditional models. In fact, these heaters only need enough power to heat whatever amount of water is necessary at that given moment. The result? Say goodbye to wasted money.

Safety Features

Believe it or not, tankless water heaters can be safer than their traditional counterparts.There is no need for a tank which means that there is no storage unit and this lessens the chances of ruptures and leaks. Homeowners do not have to concern themselves with the problems that usually come with standing water - take sediment buildup in the tank for example. You can also avoid the odors that tend to come with the buildup of bacteria. However, there are a few things you should keep an eye on:

Temperature Setting: you need to make sure that your water heater is always set to a safe setting. The standard setting is typically around 120°F. Many of the tankless systems are computer-controlled which means their thermostats automatically remain on a safe setting.

Ventilation: make sure your heater is well-vented. This is to ensure that any harmful fumes are released. The good news is that most tankless systems have fan-operated venting which automatically expels exhaust each time the water has been shut off.

Monitoring: make sure to physically inspect your heater from time to time to make sure flow rates are optimal. The good news? Most tankless systems are self-monitoring.

Want to learn more about the features and benefits of tankless water heating systems? Give the experts at Uptown Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call today at 612-284-5789.

 

4 Most Common Bathtub Shapes and Designs

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There's nothing better after a long day than drawing a nice hot bath and soaking in the bubbles to relax. If you're looking to invest in a new bathtub, though, finding the style and shape that perfectly fits your needs can be challenging. Here are the most common shapes and designs of bathtubs: 

1. Alcove Bathtubs

Alcove bathtubs are one of the most common styles of baths available and are widely used because they are an affordable option and are quite easy to install. These bathtubs tuck neatly between three walls and are a great choice if you're looking to add a shower. They take up a small amount of space compared to other choices, but that doesn't mean they’re not roomy! Generally, alcove bathtubs are square or oval in shape and cost between four hundred and six hundred dollars. 

2. Corner Bathtubs

Considered one of the more luxurious tub options, a corner bath is the perfect choice for those who love to be pampered. They’re pretty similar to alcove baths, but generally offer much more room, making it feel more like a hot tub or Jacuzzi. This triangular tub is a fantastic option for those with more spacious bathrooms. 

3. Clawfoot Bathtubs

Clawfoot bathtubs bring an air of old fashioned elegance to any bathroom. Rather than being tucked into a wall, these tubs stand on their own on four "legs" called claws. The claws can be as simple or ornate as you want, but no matter what style you go with, they're sure to wow... and for good reason. These oval shaped tubs tend be on the pricey side, but they're certainly worth the investment. 

4. Drop-in Bathtubs

Drop-in bathtubs are a slightly cheaper version of a clawfoot tub because they stand on their own, but do not have the claws. Rather than standing raised, these tubs rest flat on the floor. They’re often considered just as elegant, and are definitely a unique option that you can purchase for roughly six to seven hundred dollars. 

Take a look at your bathroom and your budget and decide which tub will work best for you! Once you make your decision, head to Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling and we’ll help you install the bathtub of your dreams!

 

How To Find Less Obvious Air Leaks

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So, you’ve read our blog about finding and detecting air leaks and you’ve even go as far as adding weatherstripping and insulation to those problem areas. We applaud you for that and your bank account does, too! But what you may not realize is that there are still other areas of your house that are costing you a fortune. What do we mean by that? Well, there are some common areas that are drafty as can be, but they may not be as easy to find.

Perform a visual inspection in and around the following areas outside the house:

  • Exterior corners
  • Outdoor water faucets
  • Where siding and chimneys meet
  • All around the exterior of your home’s foundation

Here’s what you should look, and feel for, for inside:

  • Electrical outlets and switch plates
  • Door frames and window frames
  • Where gas and electrical lines enter the house
  • Baseboard heaters and radiators
  • Inside the fireplace, near the floor and near the mantle
  • Attic hatches and entranceways
  • Where cable and phone lines enter the house
  • Where dryer vents and exhaust fan vents pass through the walls or ceiling

A few minutes of your time this weekend can help you find and fix a number of drafty areas around the house. Doing so will help keep you and your family more comfortable and keep some green in your wallet this winter!

For fast, quality, same day service and repairs on your heating system across Minneapolis - St. Paul, call and speak with the heating repair experts at Uptown Heating today.

Why Is My Radiator Leaking?

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It’s never a good thing when you come home to wet carpet or a pool of water on the floor. Alright, maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world if your pet spilled their water bowl or your kids dropped a cup on the floor - but when you the wet floor underneath a piece of equipment, like a radiator for example, it’s definitely not something to take lightly. See below to find out why your radiator might be leaking and a few fast fixes to try until the plumber arrives:

Is It Leaking From The Valve?

This is a very common place for a radiator to spring a leak and it usually happens when the spindle packing in the valve begins to wear out or gets damaged. Try closing the valve fully to see if it still leaks - more often than not, leaks will only occur here if the valve is in the “open” position.

Is It Leaking From The Spindle?

Completely dry the radiator near and around the spindle. If you notice it’s wet again within a few seconds, this is likely where the leak is originating. Tighten the gland nut and see if the leak subsides. If not, you may need to loosen the nut and apply some leak-proof tape before tightening it back up.

Is It Leaking Elsewhere?

If you find the leak isn’t coming from either of the previously mentioned areas, your radiator could be losing water as a result of corrosion. As time passes, minerals in the water can wear down the pipes and sludge can build up simultaneously. The result? A pinhole leak that could mean it’s time for a new radiator.

For expert installations, repairs and advice on your radiator needs across Minneapolis - St. Paul, call and speak with the radiator experts at Uptown Heating today.

3 Winter Events in the Twin Cities This Weekend

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No matter how cold it gets outside, our cities never hibernate. Sure, you may have to throw on a few extra layers, but the fun definitely doesn’t stop just because we’re in the dead of winter. Instead of staying in your bed or on the couch all weekend, get out there and enjoy some of the festivities the Minneapolis - St. Paul area have to offer!

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

If you’re looking for some ways to spend a cold winter day, you definitely won’t get bored at the winter carnival. They’re gearing up for another year with over 50 events and new attractions. Best of all, most events are absolutely FREE! The festivities will be taking place in downtown Saint Paul, near Rice Park and Landmark Center, as well as at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Pond Hockey Championships

If there’s one thing Minnesotans take pride in, it’s our hockey. This year marks the 13th Annual Labatt Blue U.S. Pond Hockey Championships taking place at Lake Nokomis. Ready to mingle with thousands of fans and players and enjoy fun and fierce competition?

Built Ford Tough Sleigh Ride

We’re gearing up for the Super Bowl in Minneapolis this year and it’s time for you to enjoy some fun leading up to the big game. Cruise around on a sleigh pulled by Ford Trucks through downtown Minneapolis.

Enjoy on-time plumbing, heating and air conditioning repairs and new systems across Minneapolis - St. Paul areas with the professionals at Uptown Plumbing, Heating and Cooling.

 

Do I Need To Get A Boiler Tune-Up Every Year?

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Would you go an entire year without performing any sort of maintenance on your car? Probably not, right? Well, it’s important to think of your home’s heating systems the same way. The longer you go without paying them any attention, the more likely they are to malfunction and break down. The question is - do you really need to get your boiler tuned up every year? Find out below:

Why Should I Have My Boiler Tuned Up Every Year?

  1. The number one reason is safety. It’s your goal to keep yourself and your family safe, right? One of the main byproducts of boiler usage is carbon monoxide. A tune-up will help make sure your system is not producing too much carbon monoxide and that it’s safely being vented up and out through the chimney.

  2. The number two reason is to maximize efficiency. A technician will come in to clean out the burners and tunes the actual performance of the system in order to maximize efficiency which will save you money.

  3. The number three reason is to prevent emergency breakdowns. The technician will inspect the operation of the critical systems such as the pump, the controls and the thermostat and will fix any issues right away before they become major problems down the road.

The answer is - yes. In order to make sure your boiler is operating a peak performance, you should have it serviced every single year. 

For the best in service, advice and expert installations for your boiler in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area, call and speak with the heating professionals at Uptown Heating today: 612-284-5789.

5 Creative Ways To Repurpose Copper Pipes

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Have old copper pipes lying around your house? You may be tempted to toss them in the trash, but think twice before you take that route. Why? Copper piping creates a gorgeous industrial look and you can use it for a number of DIY projects to add some flair to your living spaces.

Kitchen or Laundry Room Faucet:
with a few old copper pipes and some fittings, you can create an industrial look in your kitchen or laundry room. Get rid of that outdated faucet and give the sink a much-needed update.

Coffee Table:
time for a new table in the living room? Why purchase an expensive table from a furniture store when you make your own for a fraction of the cost? Use copper pipes to create the base of the table and you’ll just need to find a piece of glass or wood to lay on top.

Storage Rack: need more space in the kitchen for pots, pans and utensils? By putting a few pipes together and attaching it to the wall, you’ve just made room for a number of kitchen gadgets. Hang pots and pans on the horizontal pipes to free up some space in the cabinets.

Coat Hanger: use copper elbows to create hooks for jackets, umbrellas and hats in near the entryway to your house. You can even use them to hang things like ironing boards, gloves or scarves.

Toilet Paper Holder: sick of the same old look in the bathroom? Get to working on a few copper pipes and you can create a unique toilet paper holder in as little as 20 minutes.

For fast same day, quality plumbing services and solutions for your home or business in Minneapolis - St. Paul, call and speak with the team at Uptown Plumbing today.

5 Creative Ways To Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls

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What do you normally do with the cardboard roll when you finish the toilet paper? You probably toss it in the trash and go about your day, right? Well, you should think twice before tossing next time because there are plenty of ways you can reuse toilet paper rolls around your house.

Store Collectibles

Does your child collect toy cars? How about action figures? You can create a toilet paper roll garage or storage shelf to neatly organize plenty of things in your home. Not only is it a great way to keep scatter to a minimum, you can also use it to teach your children how to clean up after themselves.

Grow Plants

Fold in the bottom side of a toilet paper roll and use it as a seed starter. Fill the tube with soil and sprinkle in some seeds and over time, your plants will grow and blossom thanks to the decomposing nature of cardboard.

Desk Organizer

Need somewhere to store pens, pencils, staples, scissors or other office supplies? Glue a few toilet paper rolls to a flat piece of cardboard and you’ve got yourself the perfect desk organizer. You can even spray paint and decorate the tubes for an added sense of customization.

Feed The Birds

This is the perfect arts and crafts project for anyone with young children. Have them create homemade bird feeders by applying peanut butter to the outside of the tubes and rolling them in bird feed. Then slide them onto a branch outside for a quick snack when birds get hungry.

Wrap Extension Cords

Tired of having extension cords get tangled into a mess in the closet or garage? Wrap them up nicely and slide a toilet paper tube over the wires so they don’t unravel.

For quality plumbing solutions and on-time service across Minneapolis - St. Paul, rely on the professionals at Uptown Plumbing.Give us a call today at 651-315-7995 to schedule an appointment and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook!

Make Sure You Do These 5 Things Before You Give Your Toddler A Bath

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Bath time might be your favorite time of day, but things can quickly go south for you or your toddler if you’re not careful. No, we normally don’t consider the bathroom to be a super dangerous room of the house, but contrary to popular belief it can cause some major problems. So, in honor of National Bubble Bath Day, we’re highlighting a few important safety tips to keep in mind.

 

Prevent Scalding: even though you may have taken a few cold showers in your day because there was no hot water left in the entire house, you might be surprised at how hot the water can actually be when it comes out of the spout. Be sure to check the temperature with your wrist or elbow before placing your child in the water.

Avoid Slips & Falls: if you have throw rugs covering sections of the floor near the bathtub, we recommend doing away with them. Why? They’re the number one cause of slips and falls, especially when they’re not secured by double sided tape or a slip-resistant backing.

Keep It Clean: if you don’t clean the tub often, soap scum will inevitable build up which can become extremely slippery when it mixes with water.

Use The Right Soaps: not all soaps and body washes are safe for children. Search for products that are free of added perfumes or dyes which can irritate sensitive skin. We also recommend using tear-free shampoo just in case a small amount gets near their eyes.

Stay Organized: keep all medicines and toiletries on organized containers or stashed away in a cabinet or closet out of your child’s reach. Remember, kids are very curious!


Notice a leak during bath time? That’s where we come in! Call on the expert plumbers at Uptown for all of your shower and bath plumbing needs - 612-284-5789.


NYE Events in the Twin Cities

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Still looking for New Year’s Eve plans? Don’t worry, it’s not too late and you’re definitely not alone! From live music and concerts to comedy shows and family events there’s something for everyone in the Twin Cities. See below for a list of ways you can ring in the New Year in the Minneapolis - St. Paul area:

Music

  • Above & Beyond @ The Armory - 8:00pm

  • Bollywood NYE @ Blue Fox - 10:30pm

  • Crystal Ball @ International Market Square - 8:00pm

  • Grand Funk Railroad @ Treasure Island Casino - 9:00pm

  • Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center - 7:00pm

  • Phil Cook & Guitar Heels @ Icehouse - 10:00pm

Comedy

  • Louie Anderson @ Ames Center - 6:30pm & 9:30pm

  • Dane Cook @ Mystic Lake Casino - 9:30pm

  • Scott Hansen @ 9475 Deerwood Lane - 8:30pm

  • Liz Winstead @ Cedar Cultural Center - 7:30pm

Family Events

  • Maple Grove Community Center - 2:00pm

  • Minnesota Children’s Museum - 6:00pm

  • Moonlight Circus @ Mall of America - 6:00pm

  • NYE On Ice @ Civic Center - 2:30pm

Wishing all a very Happy New Year from your friends at Uptown! Remember, when you need plumbing or heating service in the Twin Cities, you can always count on us!