Seattle Hot Water Blog. Info on water heater, boiler and radiant heating issues

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Charlie is our new tankless hot water heater expert. He has many years experience diagnosing and servicing point of use hot water heaters as well as radiant heating systems. Having Charlie onboard allows us to serve a wider service area extending our service range North King County into South Snohomish.



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Service & repair of Bosch water heaters in Seattle is about to get a whole lot better. Seattle Hot Water is working with the factory and the local factory rep to get a more comprehensive support system in place to service Bosch water heater customers.

Technical training and local parts availability is important and Bosch is listening!  We love the Bosch water heaters because they are well designed and are durable high performance hot water makers. We should know as we are one of the few plumbing/heating companies that specialize in servicing hot water heating equipment.

Give us a call if you have any issues with your Bosch hot water heater here in Seattle. 206 281-1105

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2016 Update: Important!

Virtually All water heater models changed in May 2015 to meet new federal energy requirements. These are the changes that are most significant:

  1. Dimensions changed: They got wider and taller - This can be a serious problem in confined spaces like closets!
  2. Electric residential models over 50 gallons are no longer available - Heat Pump Electrics are now required
  3. The price of the water heaters has increased dramatically since 2014

Call us to discuss any concern you may have about these changes

Old    New

65 gallon and 80 gallon sizes in the Electric water heater tanks can be a serious replacement problem!

Call us for more information


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As of April 2015 the Federal Government mandated higher fuel efficiency for residential tank type water heaters.

Hybrid Electric Water Heaters in Seattle

The change with the biggest impact was on residential electric water heater larger than 50 gallons capacity. We can no longer get 65 or 80 gallon electric water heaters that use cheap replaceable heating elements. If you want a tank bigger than 50 gallons you are going to fork out a lot more money for the hybrid heat pump versions in those sizes.

An electric hybrid heat pump has the lowest operating cost of any electric water heater on the market, especially when installed in warm climates. (Seattle isn't that warm). They may also qualify for rebates and tax incentives. Go to for WA to see what’s available in Washington State.


  • Hybrids cost much more than a conventional electric heater.
  • The heat pump is taller (and wider in some cases) than your existing electric heater. Make sure the unit will fit.
  • Some heaters are “side-piped” to eliminate the possibility of heat pump damage caused by leaking pipes. On those models, you'll have to reconfigure the water pipes.
  • You'll have to clean the air filter regularly to maintain operating efficiency.
  • The heater needs at least 1,000 cu. ft. of air surrounding it, so it can't be installed in a closet.
  • If it needs repair - finding a qualified service tech can be difficult.
  • They are capable of cooling the room they are in - this can be useful if you have an overheated room with waste heat from your boiler but can be a problem if you are paying to heat the room with your furnace.

That being said, our suggestion is to have your hot water load needs carefully evaluated to make sure you need a water heater larger than 50 gallons. If you do, these hybrids are your only option (can you upgrade to gas?).

Give us a call if you would like to discuss your hot water needs. We like the Bradford White Aero-Therm...

Rheem Hybrid Electric Water HeaterRheem       Bradford-White Hybrid Electric Water Heater Bradford-White    AO Smith Hybrid Electric Water HeaterAO Smith


These are heat pump water heaters that heat the water with a reverse refrigeration type compressor. They take heat from the room they are in and put it in the tank. This is similar to what makes your refrigerator work. Consequently, you don't want to purchase the cheapest unit at the big box store. You want a good quality machine that does not require a lot of repair costs. Do your homework

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We are finding that the combustion chambers when not cleaned regularly can corrode and require replacement.

The residues from the fuel accumulate in the bottom and restrict the condensate drain. When this happens strong acids are formed which eat away the aluminum heat exchanger. This can be avoided by simply having the boiler serviced regularly by somebody that is trained on the unit.

Buderus heat exchhanger

This buildup can ruin the boiler!

Call us to clean and service Buderus GB142's   206 281-1105


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