Robert Lamoureux | Looking for a hot tip on water heaters

Robert Lamoureux
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Question No. 1: It seems to be “replace your water heater” season. Someone told us we would get more life out of it if we drained it annually. After reading more on it, I think maybe we should not do that unless we have been doing it every year. What is your opinion? 

— Lucy R., Saugus 

Answer No. 1: Lucy, thank you for being a loyal reader. That’s correct, once the minerals have built up at the bottom of the tank, it’s too late. If it’s time for a new tank please look into a tankless water heater — worth every penny if it’s in your budget. The payback is about 18 months. The tankless heaters also need annual maintenance to keep them operating correctly, so if you go this route, please give yourself reminders to start off with proper maintenance after the first year. Best of luck. 

Question No. 2: Hi Robert, my name is Marjorie W., I live in Canyon Country and am about to do remodels on two of our three bathrooms in our condo. The contractor is telling us that he is going to do hot mop on the shower pans, and I believe I recall you stating that vinyl is the better option. He is pushing for the hot mop, what should I do?  

Answer No. 2: Marjorie, completely your call, both are good and can last a very long time, but in my years as a contractor, I have never replaced a failed vinyl system, but I have replaced failed hot mop systems many times. For that reason, I personally would push for the vinyl. The vinyl is more like a thick swimming pool liner and, when installed properly, will not crack and fail. Best of luck. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]   

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