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Tankless water heaters: the next best thing in home plumbing

Hello everybody and welcome to another of my blogs! This edition is all about tankless water heaters, which are finally common in America. When I was growing up in Italy, all water heaters were tankless. In fact, everywhere in the world uses tankless water heaters besides America! It is fascinating to me that in a place with such innovation and technology some things are still so antiquated. But that is the way of things. I am excited that for the first time many American companies are making tankless water heaters, and more of the European brands I am familiar with are exporting here as well.


If you have not already heard of them, let me take a moment to explain what a tankless water heater is. They are a completely different kind of water heater from what is normal in America. In most American houses that I have seen, the water heater is a big tank of water with a heating element inside, which heats up the tank capacity full of water. It is like these electric kettles you can use for making tea. All day, the heater brings water up to temperature and keeps it at that hot temperature so it is ready when you need it. And then when you take a shower, you draw water from the tank, and the heater adds more water and starts heating that. It is a simple design and it works well, but it has many flaws.

The biggest flaw is that it is so massive! Having a big tank full of hot water takes up a lot of space, and if you do not have a basement, you have to sacrifice a closet or entry room.


Another flaw is that even though a tank water heater will give you hot water whenever you want it, it will only give you the amount that is in the tank. So if two people shower one after the other, the last person will probably run out of hot water, and then they have to wait for the heater to get the rest of the tank warmed up. It is very limited for what you can use at one time or for the length of time you can run taps or shower heads.


The final flaw of this design is that to keep the tank hot for when you want hot water, the heater must run on a low level all day and all night, even when you are not using the taps or doing laundry. It wastes energy even if the tank is very well insulated.


In Europe and the rest of the world, we have solved all these problems! We use water heaters that have no tank. More information is found on, but here’s an overview: tankless water heaters are simply a box with a series of heating coils where the water goes inside the coil instead of around them, as they would in a tank. So water is heated as it flows through the panel. What this means is you get a unlimited amount of hot water, whenever you need it, since it is heated as it comes. Well, I should say that it is constant rather than unlimited. You can only get how much flows through the heater at one time, but you can have that amount of water for as long as you want.


This used to be something Americans could not have, and I found it very frustrating in the first couple of flats I lived in here before you all discovered tankless water heaters. But you are finally catching up to the rest of the world, and this is very exciting. So I want to encourage all of you to explore them, if you have not already! There are so many benefits. You will not have a limited supply of hot water, so you can take showers after somebody and still have heat. And you will save lots of money on your electricity or gas bill because you are not keeping a tank warm all day for no reason. I also, and this may be a European thing, love the convenience of having such a small heater in the place. I fit mine next to the sink in my old plates cabinet.

So, what do you need to know before you buy one? Like I have said, the only limit on your hot water use is the amount you use at once, instead of sequentially. You can have 3 gallons every minute for unlimited minutes, but probably not 6 gallons every minute. If you want to make sure you will be able to use several things at once, you will have to find a large enough heater for that maximum amount of water.

We also in Europe use what are called low-flow taps to make each use take less water. And finally they are more expensive than tank water heaters, but since they are new there are many tax credits that you can get when you buy one here in the USA! You will save on electricity money and space, and have a much more comfortable existence.

From us to you! They are definitely something every DIYer should consider when refitting a home.

There’s the electric type of tankless water heater which you can learn more of when you go to

Remodeling trends you should jump on board

Hello everybody! I hope you are all well. Today I would like to tell you about some large redecorating trends I have been reading about in my different magazines and on the internet. They are ideas I enjoy thinking about and I hope you will find them interesting too!


The first trend on my list is indoor gardening. This is more than just starting plants to put in an outdoor garden later on. Many people are now putting little growing centers into their houses to grow greens for salads and herbs for cooking. I know this has been possible since grow lights have existed, but now there are lots of little machines like mini fridges that mist trays with water and have lamps inside to keep them growing all the time. So it is much more convenient to grow thing inside your home than it ever has been. I love this idea, because even though I have always had herbs on my window sill and various house plants, this is much less messy and it is more productive to be able to regulate all the conditions inside the grower! Different manufacturers are getting into all sorts of related products as well. For instance, I have seen a new machine from Whirlpool that will turn your compost food scraps into fertilizer inside, overnight, with no smell. So indoor growing is incredibly easy and it’s going to be very popular in cities and very hot, dry places in the west.

The next trend is smart home technology, which started to really take off last year. Now everyone is doing it, Amazon, Apple, and Samsung especially. Oh, and the Google Assistant. I never used to be very excited about it but now that it’s all hooked up to voice command, I definitely understand the appeal and am getting onboard. There are lots of home alarm and camera systems that stream right to your phone, and those Amazon buttons that order things like paper towels when you need more. I also love the idea of being able to turn on the oven with my voice when my hands are covered in dough or something in the kitchen!Even if I do not think I need a smart refrigerator just yet.


Probably my favorite trend is that shiny metal finishes are finally on the way out! I have never liked chrome furnishings, as I find them so gaudy. They are very popular here, but now I have seen that more matte finishes will be common, like a black stainless steel or brushed nickel and bronze. I think these are much more subtle and less obnoxious finishes to have in one’s home.

And last of all, I think I have to mention that Americans will finally be getting the self-cleaning toilets that have been so popular in Japan and South Korea for close to a decade now. They aren’t as much of a “cleaning you” toilet, so there is a long way still to go, but they will clean themselves and stay much more sanitary than anything we have had so far. Now they are coming out from all the big companies, like Toto and Kohler! This is just like tankless water heating, where you finally catch up to the rest of the world!

So these are all exciting things I know I want to take advantage of soon, and I want to know what new things you are eying! So let me know!

Ideas for making your home a happier, healthier place

Hello everybody! Today I am discussing some ideas I have for when you want to make your home happy and healthy (more than it already is, of course)! These are things I have done in my place that have made a big difference to how I feel when I am at home. I got some of my ideas from this article here:


One of the things I had been meaning to do for a long time was to take apart my vent fans and grates in the kitchen and the bathroom. They were completely clogged with dust so they did not do a very good job for smoke or steam. I finally got a screwdriver and took the plates off, and used a vacuum to clean both the panels and inside the ducts, and wow–what a difference it has made! It is much easier to get rid of smells in the kitchen, and I have noticed that the bathroom is much less damp during the day as well. So cleaning out wall and ceiling vents is something that will really help your air!

Another big change I made to my kitchen was to refit one of the large open cabinets with some drawers on rolling tracks that slide in and out after you open the main door. I find that I waste so much space in these big pantry cabinets because most items are not tall, so you either waste space or have too many things stacked so that they are a mess to get into. If you have any wasted cabinet space, I very much recommend adding extra sliding drawers.


I also have made some changes to my plumbing because of the new water requirements here in California. I have never been one to use an excess amount of water but now I have decided it is important to do my part, as much as I can to stop the crisis, so I have moved to very low usage plumbing. I have had mixed experiences with low-flow shower heads in the past, but I discovered a company called High Sierra which makes very good fixtures that only use 1.5 gallons per minute. They are made here in America too, which I like because so many foreign shower heads are not real metal. And I have got a new toilet as well which I love. It uses only one gallon to flush and yet it still does better than my old one.

While I was changing things for efficiency, I decided to change all my light bulbs as well. I had been using all fluorescent light bulbs, but now I have moved to LEDs. I hear they can last for years, and they use even less electricity than fluorescents!


Definitely have a look at that article for more ideas, and let me know what home improvement projects you are up to! Thank you!