The Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater
Even if this is the sole sign that your water heater needs to be replaced, you are not required to do so until it has reached “X” number of years. Just keep in mind that you’ll most likely need to replace your device soon after purchasing it. If your water heater is approaching the 15-year mark and is accompanied by leaks, rusty water, or other problems, you may wish to replace it rather than continue to invest money in a device that is likely to fail catastrophically shortly.
Tankless or Demand-Type Water Heaters
Known as demand-type water heaters or instantaneous water heaters, tankless water heaters supply hot water only when it is required. They do not generate the standby energy losses typical with storage water heaters, which can result in significant savings in energy costs. You’ll learn the fundamentals of how they function, if a tankless water heater is a good choice for your house, and what factors to consider when choosing the best model for your needs. Take a look at theEnergy Saver 101: Water Heating infographic to determine whether a tankless water heater is the best option for you, and our AskEnergySaver conversation on water heating for additional information on energy-efficient water heating.
How They Work
Known as demand-type water heaters or instantaneous water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water only when it’s needed. They do not generate the standby energy losses typical with storage water heaters, which can result in significant savings in energy costs. You’ll learn the fundamentals of how they function, if a tankless water heater is a good choice for your house, and what factors to consider when choosing the best model for your needs and budget. Take a look at theEnergy Saver 101: Water Heating infographic to find out if a tankless water heater is good for you, and our AskEnergySaver conversation on water heating for more information on how to heat water more efficiently.
- Bathrooms or hot tubs in a remote location
- Increases the efficiency of household appliances such as dishwashers and laundry washers. Thermoelectric booster for a solar water heating system
Advantages and Disadvantages
Demand water heaters can be 24–34 percent more energy efficient than typical storage tank water heaters in residences that utilize 41 gallons or less of hot water per day on average. For houses that utilize a lot of hot water – around 86 gallons per day – they can be 8 percent to 14 percent more energy efficient than standard models. If you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet, you may be able to achieve even larger energy savings in some circumstances. A tankless water heater will cost more up front than a normal storage water heater, but they will often live longer and have lower operating and energy expenses, which may more than compensate for their higher purchase price in the long run.
- They also feature readily changeable parts, which might potentially increase their lifespan by many years.
- With tankless water heaters, you won’t have to worry about the standby heat losses that come with traditional storage water heaters.
- When compared to a storage water heater, the removal of standby energy losses might sometimes outweigh the savings from using a tankless water heater.
- A tankless water heater’s pilot light has a cost associated with it that differs from one type to the next.
Instead of a standing pilot light, look for versions that contain an intermittent ignition device (IID). This mechanism is similar to the spark ignition system used on certain natural gas furnaces, as well as kitchen ranges and ovens, among other things.
Selecting a Demand Water Heater
Before purchasing a demand water heater, you should take the following factors into consideration:
- Consider the following factors as well when purchasing a demand water heater:
Installation and Maintenance
It is possible to maximize the energy efficiency of your demand water heater with proper installation and maintenance. A variety of elements influence the success of an installation. These considerations include the type of fuel used, the environment, the needs of local construction codes, and safety concerns, particularly with regard to the combustion of gas-fired water heaters. As a result, it is recommended that you use a licensed plumbing and heating professional to install your demand water heater.
- Request written cost estimates, as well as contact information for references. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see whether the firm is legitimate. Check to see if the firm will seek a local permit if one is required and if they are familiar with local building rules.
If you’re determined to install your water heater yourself, first speak with the manufacturer about the best way to proceed. The relevant installation and instruction manuals are normally available from the manufacturer. Contact your municipality for information on acquiring a permit (if one is required) and on water heater installation codes in your area. Periodic water heater maintenance may considerably increase the life of your water heater while also reducing the amount of energy it consumes.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Consider implementing some further energy-saving measures once your demand water heater has been properly built and maintained to help reduce your water heating rates. Some energy-saving gadgets and systems are more cost-effective to install in conjunction with a water heater than they are separately.
Read This Before You Buy a Tankless Water Heater
Consider the following: The method used by the majority of houses in this nation to heat water is ridiculously inefficient. Every year, we fill up large storage tanks of 40- to 50-gallon capacity with water and then continuously pump energy into them to ensure that we have hot water available anytime we want it. But, unfortunately, this is not always the case. The wait for the tank to reheat might be lengthy if a teenager is taking a long shower or the spouse is enjoying a long soak in the tub.
Is there a chance of a leak?
Tankless Water Heater Installation: Is It Worth It?
Investing in a tankless water heater has a number of benefits, as detailed above. It creates hot water just when you use it and for as long as you require it, resulting in a reduction of 27 to 50% in fuel expenses when compared to tank-type heaters. (A typical gas-fired tank wastes 40 to 50% of the fuel it burns, according to the manufacturer.) As a result, there is virtually little danger of a catastrophic leak occurring because there is no tank to collapse. Furthermore, since their introduction in the United States in the 1990s, tankless heaters have become increasingly sophisticated, with features such as built-in recirculating pumps (which provide “instant” hot water) and wireless connectivity, which alerts you via smartphone when a unit requires servicing.
Our tankless water heater guide will explain how they function, what you should know before purchasing one (and before the installation comes), and the idiosyncrasies of how they operate so that you won’t be caught off guard if you decide to go tankless.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
Doug Adams created the illustration.
- It all starts with the first turn of the hot-water faucet (1). A flow sensor (2) detects the presence of water entering the heater and sends a signal to the control panel, causing the heater to begin generating hot water. During operation of a natural-gas-fueled unit, thecontrol panel (3) activates thefan (4), which pulls in outside air, opens the gas valve (5), which allows the gas to flow into the unit, and ignites the burner (6). In order to transmit heat from the flames to water passing through the exchanger’s tubing, a heat exchanger (number 7) is used. The mixing valve (8) regulates the temperature of the superheated water that exits the exchanger. Whenever the temperature sensor (9) detects water temperatures that are too high or too low for the intended setting, the panel will modify the gas valve, the mixing valve, and the flow-regulating water valve (10) in accordance with the results. Ventilation is provided by a sealedvent (11) (or a couple of vents) via a roof or exterior wall, which removes exhaust gases and supplies combustion air to the burner.
Several people were thanked for their contributions: Phillip Maxwell, Residential Product Manager, Rheem; Eric Manzano, Product Training Supervisor, Noritz; Joe Holliday, Senior Vice President, Product and Business Development, Rinnai; and Fred Molina, Water Heater Products Manager, Bosch Thermotechnology
What to Know About Tankless Water Heaters
Several people were thanked for their contributions: Phillip Maxwell, Residential Product Manager at Rheem; Eric Manzano, Product Training Supervisor at Noritz; Joe Holliday, Senior Director of Product and Business Development at Rinnai; and Fred Molina, Water Heater Products Manager at Bosch Thermotechnology.
How Much Does a Tankless Water Heater Cost?
Prices range from approximately $170 for modest gas-fired units to more than $2,000 for high-output heaters that can serve two showers at the same time; $1,000 is a reasonable starting point for most buyers. Electric heaters without a tank range in price from $90 to $900. The expenses of a first-time installation are higher than the price of a simple tank replacement. Electric tankless water heater installation (see item below headed “Installing an Electric Tankless Water Heater”).
How to Install a Tankless Water Heater
This is a work that should be left to the professionals, since it entails creating leak-free water, vent, and gas connections in the case of gas or propane units, or upgrading the wiring and circuit-breaker panel in the case of electric units, and it is best left to the professionals.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Sign up to have a professional do an annual service that includes cleaning or replacing water and air filters, as well as inspecting the burner’s operation. The use of a vinegar flush every 500 hours in places with hard water prevents mineral accumulation, known as scale, from blocking the heat exchanger. That 20-minute task may be completed by a professional or by a homeowner.
How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?
You may arrange for yearly servicing, which includes cleaning or replacing water and air filters, as well as inspecting the burner. The use of a vinegar flush every 500 hours in places with hard water prevents mineral accumulation, often known as scale, from blocking the heat exchangers. Both a professional and a layperson can do that 20-minute work.
Where Can I Buy One?
They may be found at plumbing supply stores, big-box stores, and internet sellers, among other places. Alternatively, you may order one via your plumber.
Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo.
PRO: They’re Compact
As a result of new federal requirements requiring stronger insulation to decrease standby heat loss, the size of newer tank-type water heaters has increased. Consequently, they may not be able to fit into locations where an older heater with the same capacity might. Tankless gas heaters are approximately the size of a suitcase and are mounted on the wall.
PRO: They’re Safer
A tank-type heater, on the other hand, may leak and spill gallons of water if it springs a leak, but it will not house Legionella germs or topple over in an earthquake.
The air supply and exhaust vents are also closed to prevent backdrafting, which would otherwise allow carbon monoxide to enter the house.
PRO: They’re Easy to Winterize
Owners of vacation homes are well aware of how long it takes to drain a water-heating tank prior to closing up a house for the season. An electric compressor may drain a tankless heater in a matter of seconds, after which it can simply be unplugged.
CON: They’re Sensitive to Slow Flow
Most vacation home owners are well aware of how long it takes to drain a water heater tank before closing up their residence for the winter. Using a compressor, you may quickly drain and then disconnect a tankless heater from the mains.
CON: The Payback Takes Awhile
An annual savings of only around $100 for a household using a $1,000 tankless gas heater vs a $400 tank-type heater is possible, depending on how efficient the heater is and how much hot water is utilized. The savings, however, begin to accrue after six years, when many tanks are reaching the end of their useful lives due to the extended lifespan of tankless gas systems.
New Tankless Water Heater Technology
Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo. The advancement of tankless technology is ongoing. Here are a few of the most recent enhancements:
Condensing gas heaters can extract up to 96 percent of the heat from a fuel, which is a 17 percent improvement over first-generation tankless devices. This is possible because of a second heat exchanger, which collects a large portion of the exhaust heat before it exits the vent. In addition to being around 25% more expensive than noncondensing heaters, condensing heaters produce acidic condensate that must be neutralized. If a heater doesn’t come with a built-in neutralizing cartridge, the installation will have to install one after the fact.
Instant Hot Water
Despite the fact that tankless water heaters heat water in around 15 seconds, you must still wait for the hot water to reach your shower head or faucet, just as you would with a tank-type heater. The recirculation pump should be used when the distance between the heater and the fixture is greater than 50 feet. This will conserve water and minimize the amount of time spent waiting. It is this pump that pushes the cold water in the pipes back through the heater. The pump can be activated by a timer, a push button, a motion sensor, a smart speaker, or a smartphone (see illustration above).
Tankless systems with digital connectivity let you to control the temperature as well as monitor gas and hot-water use from your mobile device. Furthermore, the device is capable of identifying the cause of a problem. Please communicate this information to your plumber so that he or she may arrive on the job site knowing exactly what has to be done. This function also eliminates the need for any guessing when it comes to determining when it is time to descale.
Tankless Water Heater Rebates: A Great Way to Save
Carl Tremblay captured this image.
What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need?
Here’s how the specialists ensure that your water heater produces adequate hot water: 1. A large burst of BTUs is required for a tankless heater to convert cold water into hot water in a matter of seconds.
However, if a heater’s Btu output is insufficient to meet demand, it will reduce the flow rate or, in the worst scenario, offer tepid water. A plumber considers three aspects when determining whether or not a heater will be able to satisfy the demands of a household:
- Following are the steps used by professionals to ensure that your heater produces adequate hot water: To change cold water into hot water in a matter of seconds, it needs a significant amount of BTUs from the tankless heater. However, if a heater’s Btu output is insufficient to meet demand, it will reduce the flow rate or, in the worst scenario, offer tepid water, according to the manufacturer. A plumber considers three elements when determining if a heater will be sufficient to satisfy the demands of a household:
- The first step is as follows: A professional determines how many Btus per gallon of water heater is required to increase the incoming water temperature to 120 degrees (see the map on the next slide)
- Flow rates for all of the appliances and fixtures that may be consuming hot water at the same time are added together to form peak demand, which is calculated as follows: (These rates are detailed in the next slide.) As a result of not bathing or washing in 120-degree water, we save around 20% on our overall use. Water-saving fixtures and appliances, as well as delaying laundry while the shower is in use, can help you minimize peak consumption. In the calculation, the total Btu production is computed by inserting the Btus-per-gallon and peak-demand amounts in at different points along the way. If the difference in output is between two models, go with the one with the greater Btu rating to save money. You’ll also need two smaller units that function in tandem if your output is greater than 198,000 Btus, which is the limit for domestic gas heaters.
Btus Output Estimate
Not interested in completing the calculations? Make a rough estimate of how much heater output you’ll want using these statistics.
- The following figures are for one bathroom for one to two people: 140,000 Btus
- Two bathrooms for two to three people: 190,000 Btus
- Three bathrooms for three to five people: 380,000 Btus
Btus Per Gallon by Region
- Kitchen or bath faucets should flow at 1.5–2.2 gpm
- Tub filler faucets should flow at 4 gpm
- Dishwasher: 1–2.5 gpm
- Washing machine: 1.5–3 gpm
- Showerhead should flow at 1.25–2.5 gpm
How to Determine gpm?
To find the real gpm of a fixture, time how many seconds it takes to fill a bucket to a 1-quart mark. Dividing 15 by that number of seconds equals gpm.
Electric Tankless Water Heater Facts
Courtesy of Stiebel and Eltron Homes without a gas line or propane tank can also enjoy the advantages of on-demand hot water by installing tankless devices supplied by electricity. These systems, which heat water with thick copper rods, are quieter and roughly a third smaller than gas or propane tankless heaters. And because they don’t need vents, they can be fitted practically anyplace, even beneath sinks and in small closets. One problem of electric units is its restricted power, which max out at 36 kilowatts, or around 123,000 Btus.
Whichever model you pick, it will need adequate amperage at the main panel and heavy-gauge wiring.
Once the heating elements fry, it generally costs roughly as much to replace the complete heater as it does to switch in new components.
Tankless Water Heater Installation
Doug Adams created the illustration. What you and your plumber should look for before the installation day is as follows:
If you want your tankless heater to work effectively, you must connect it to a gas supply line that supplies enough volume at a high enough pressure to run the burner. In many circumstances, this will need increasing the diameter of the supply pipe to 3-4 inches in diameter. Furthermore, if the pressure is insufficient, the gas provider will be required to change the regulator on the meter. For your information, some tankless systems, like as ones manufactured by Rheem, are capable of working with a regular 12-inch gas line as long as it is not more than 24 feet in length.
Tankless gas heaters that do not condense employ stainless-steel vents that can resist high exhaust temperatures. Condensing systems feature a cooler exhaust and use PVC pipes, which are less costly than other types of exhaust. Installing a concentric vent, which has an exhaust pipe inside a larger air-intake pipe, is easier than installing a traditional vent since only one hole in the wall needs to be made. As a point of reference, vent runs have traditionally been limited to a maximum of 10 feet.
Heat transmission is slowed and water flow is restricted when scale deposits accumulate in a heat exchanger (or on electric heating components) over time. If you currently have whole-house water softening, scale will not be an issue for you. However, if your water is not being softened and its hardness surpasses 120 milligrams per liter, it is worthwhile to invest in a treatment system to remove the hardness.
For your information, a specific, point-of-use cartridge, such as the TAC-ler water conditioner (Stiebel Eltron), can be used to change the hardness of water without the use of salt or other chemicals.
Outdoor Tankless Water Heater
Matt Risinger captured this image. If your environment and local rules allow it, think about the advantages of hanging a heater outside in the winter.
- Saves space: You won’t have to create place for another appliance in your home as a result of this. Installation is straightforward: Because of the built-in exhaust vent, there is no need to drill a large hole (or two) through the side of the building. Service is simple: A plumber may come to your home at any time, whether or not you are there. However, take in mind the following: Regulations governing construction: If you want to install it outside, you may require approval from your local building department. Weather conditions that are cold: Even at temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit, internal heaters keep components warm, but exposed water lines must be insulated and covered with heat tape that activates automatically in freezing conditions. Southern states are less concerned about frozen pipes than those located north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Tankless Water Heater Venting
Carl Tremblay captured this image. Are you in need of assistance with repairs around your home? A house warranty may be of assistance. The This Old House Reviews team has put up some in-depth guidelines that you can read here:
- Home warranty providers that are the best
- Reviews of American Home Shield, AFC Home Club, Select Home Warranty, and Choice Home Warranty are all available.
Tankless Water Heaters: A Buyer’s Guide
According to The Home Depot
What is a Tankless Water Heater
Because they heat the water immediately, tankless water heaters take up far less space than storage water heaters. As soon as you switch on the hot water, cold water is sent down a pipe and into the tankless water heater unit, where it is heated by either a gas burner or an electric element. This ensures that you have a continuous supply of hot water. On average, tankless water heaters can produce 2 to 5 gallons of hot water every minute, according to the manufacturer. According to energy.gov, gas-fired tankless water heaters are capable of producing greater flow rates than electric counterparts.
Having adequate hot water accessible for showers, washing, and the dishwasher will guarantee that there is always enough to go around.
Tankless Water Heater Advantages
Compared to traditional tank-style water heaters, tankless water heaters (also known as “on demand” units or instant hot water heaters) consume 30 to 50 percent less energy, resulting in annual savings of $100 or more for a normal family, depending on water usage.
- These devices only heat water when you turn on the faucet
- Otherwise, they do not. These engines are often powered by natural gas or propane. Most significantly, they reduce the additional cost of maintaining 40 to 50 gallons of hot water in a storage tank, resulting in less energy loss. Another advantage is that they are more environmentally friendly. Aside from that, they provide a constant flow of hot water, which is perfect for filling a large hot tub or whirlpool
- And They are more compact than a normal water heater and may be mounted on a wall
- They are energy efficient.
Only when you turn on the faucet do these devices begin to heat the water. Gasoline or propane is frequently used to power them. Most significantly, they reduce the additional expense of maintaining 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank, resulting in less energy loss. Another advantage is that they are more environmentally friendly. Aside from that, they provide a constant stream of hot water, which is great for filling a large hot tub or whirlpool. In comparison to a typical water heater, they are more compact and may be mounted on a wall.
Tankless Water Heater Disadvantages
- The most significant downside of on-demand or instantaneous hot water heaters is their high initial cost. The smaller units that are frequently seen will not be able to provide enough hot water to meet the needs of most families. They can only handle one faucet at a time, which is an issue if you want to take a shower while the dishwasher is in the dishwasher. It is possible to purchase larger apartments that can accommodate the needs of an entire family, but they are more expensive. Tankless units, on the other hand, feature high-powered burners, which necessitates the usage of proper ventilation (a dedicated, sealed vent system, which requiresprofessional installation). Natural gas burners sometimes necessitate the use of bigger diameter gas pipes, which increases the cost of installation.
This Rheem RTEX-13 240V Heating Chamber Residential Tankless Water Heater is currently available for purchase on Amazon.
Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heaters
One of the most significant distinctions between electric tankless water heaters and gas tankless water heaters is their energy-efficient design. Electric tankless water heaters normally have an efficiency of 98 percent or above, but gas tankless water heaters often have an efficiency of 80-85 percent or less. A gas tankless water heater can be less expensive to operate and will likely last longer than an electric tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters will free up valuable floor space that would otherwise be taken up by a large, cumbersome water heater.
A complete home electric tankless water heater may consume more than 25,000 watts of power, whereas a traditional water heater consumes just 5,000 watts of electricity.
Gas Tankless Water Heaters
Natural gas tankless water heaters have a longer life span than traditional water heaters, and they are also safer to use than traditional water heaters. One downside of a tankless water heater is that it can automatically shut off if there is a buildup of scale in the tank.
The Bottom Line: Pricing and Installation
When you’re putting together a quote for a unit, make sure to include installation fees in the estimate or firm offer. You cannot do this assignment on your own unless you have professional-level expertise. Many home shops and plumbing specialist businesses have the greatest tankless water heaters on the market. This WiseWater tankless hot water heater is currently available for purchase on Amazon.
Figure A: Tankless Water Heater Details
When a hot water faucet is turned on, the heating components are activated. As water passes through the heat exchanger, it is heated to a certain temperature. Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family
Is a tankless water heater for you? Learn about them in this video:
Every product on our site has been carefully chosen by our editors. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission.
Tankless Water Heaters: 7 Pros and 6 Cons You Should Know
Compared to typical tank-style water heaters, tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand or instant water heaters, provide a number of advantages and can be a good long-term investment. However, like with every product, they have their drawbacks, and they are not the best answer for every household situation. Tankless water heaters, in contrast to classic tank-style water heaters, which continually consume electricity to provide a hot water supply, only consume energy when you switch on a hot water faucet or when you use appliances.
In addition to the energy and cost savings, there are a number of other advantages to using a tankless water heater rather than a typical tank-style heater.
The most important drawback of tankless water heaters is that their upfront cost (both for the device and for installation) is substantially greater than that of tank-style water heaters (see chart below).
Tankless water heaters offer a number of drawbacks as compared to traditional tank-style water heaters, in addition to their high initial costs:
- They take longer to supply hot water
- The temperature of the water is variable when numerous outlets are turned on at the same time
- And they are unable to deliver hot water during a power outage
Making the decision to purchase a tankless water heater is a challenging one, so it’s critical that you grasp all of the facts before making a final decision. The purpose of this essay is to give you with a complete summary of the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters so that you can make an informed decision based on your specific scenario.
Let’s get this party started. To jump to a certain part, simply click on one of the links below. The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters include the following:
- A tankless water heater purchase is a significant financial commitment, so it is critical to thoroughly research your options before making a selection. As a result, I’ve compiled an extensive overview of the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters so you can make an informed decision based on your own circumstances. Allow me to begin immediately. To jump to a certain part, simply click on one of the links provided below. The Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters include the following.
The disadvantages of tankless water heaters are as follows:
- The unit and installation are expensive up front, which is a disadvantage. Cons: It takes longer for hot water to be delivered. Cons: Sandwich made with cold water
- If more than one outlet is used, the water temperature does not remain constant. The disadvantage is that it is difficult to get a lukewarm temperature. During a power outage, there is no access to hot water
- Disadvantage The bottom line: Is a tankless water heater a good investment?
Pro: Long-term Energy and Cost Savings
The most significant advantage of tankless water heaters is that they are energy efficient and so save you money over the long term of ownership. When a tank-style water heater is in use, it expends energy continuously to maintain the temperature of a 40 to 50-gallon water supply in order to ensure that hot water is available when it is required. In contrast to traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water on demand rather than maintaining a constant supply of water. The lack of standby heat loss caused by tankless water heaters eliminates the need for regular warming of the water.
- It takes only seconds for the water to be heated and then circulated throughout your home through the pipes, where it is used to flush toilets and wash dishes.
- Water use and the efficiency of your prior tank-style system determine the amount of energy you will save.
- An electric tankless water heater is 24 percent – 34% more efficient than an equivalent gas tank-style heater when you consume less than 41 gallons of hot water per day.
- This is because they are running more often.
- You can save anywhere between 27 percent and 50 percent.
Pro: Unlimited Supply of Hot Water
Consider the following scenario: you return home from a day at the beach with your family and everyone in the house has to shower. The hot water has ran out after the sixth shower in a row, leaving you with no choice but to take a cold shower. That scenario will never occur if you have a tankless water heater installed. Allow me to explain. For each tankless water heater, there is a maximum flow rate; in other words, each tankless water heater can only heat a particular volume of water at any given moment.
For the time being, tankless water heaters provide an unending supply of hot water, provided that your water use is less than the maximum permissible flow rate at any one moment.
Taking a shower for 10 hours (or more) with a tankless water heater will result in water that is as hot as taking a 10-minute shower. This is because tankless water heaters function by heating water from an external source on demand.
Pro: Take Up Less Space
Tankless water heaters are quite advantageous if you have a limited amount of available space in your house. When compared to tank-style water heaters, they are often attached to the wall and take up substantially less physical area than they do. To give you an idea of how tankless and tank-style water heaters compare in terms of size, the average 40 to 50-gallon tank-style heater is 54 to 60 inches tall with a 20-inch diameter and is shaped like a cylinder. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are smaller in size and are typically smaller in capacity.
Tank-style (on the left) versus Tankless (on the right) (right) Unlike tank-style heaters, which take up valuable floor space and are typically found in the basement, tankless heaters are fixed to the wall like a circuit breaker and may be stored in most closets.
Pro: Lower Risk of Leaks and Water Damage
Tankless water heaters are quite useful if you have a limited amount of available space in your home. When opposed to tank-style water heaters, they are often placed on the wall and take up substantially less physical space. To give you an idea of how tankless and tank-style water heaters compare in terms of size, the average 40 to 50-gallon tank-style heater is 54 to 60 inches tall with a 20-inch diameter and is shaped like a cylinder. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are smaller in size and are not as tall as tank-style units.
Using a tank (on the left) versus using a tankless system (right) Unlike tank-style heaters, which take up valuable floor space and are typically found in the basement, tankless heaters are affixed to the wall, much like circuit breakers, and may be stored in most closets or cabinets.
Pro: Zero Risk of Tank Exploding
The current plumbing code mandates that all tank-style water heaters be equipped with a temperature and pressure relief valve, which opens to relieve pressure and prevent the tank from bursting. Temperature and pressure relief valves are two types of relief valves. Minerals and silt from the water might block the valve and prevent it from performing its job effectively over time. When this occurs, a potentially hazardous amount of pressure might build up, putting you in danger. If you have a tank-style water heater, experts recommend that you test the valve at least once a year; find out how to do so in the video below.
Tankless heaters, on the other hand, do not have a tank, thus there is absolutely no possibility of an explosion ever occurring.
Pro: Lower Risk of Burns and Exposure to Toxic Metals
The use of tankless water heaters, according to many experts, is safer than the use of traditional tank water heaters. Beyond the fact that they do not have a tank that may explode, they also offer more accurate temperature control, which means you are less likely to get burnt by hot water when using them. Additionally, as previously stated, tank-style heaters fail over time owing to hard water, which causes the inside lining of the tank to rust and corrode, leading the heater to fail. That mineral buildup and particle accumulation ultimately finds its way into your water pipes, exposing you and your family to potentially dangerous pollutants.
In addition, because tankless water heaters do not store water in a corrosion-prone tank, the water they distribute throughout your house is purer and safer for your skin to drink.
Pro: Life Expectancy of Over 20 Years
I recently released an essay on the issue of how long water heaters last and how to extend the life of your water heater. I hope you will find it informative. Tank-style water heaters have an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years; tankless water heaters, on the other hand, have an average lifespan of more than 20 years. If you’ve already found your “forever home” or want to remain in your current location for an extended period of time, investing in a tankless water heater will prevent you from having to replace your water heater for an extended period of time.
Con: High Upfront Cost of the Unit and Installation
The most significant disadvantage of tankless water heaters is the large initial investment required for the device and its installation. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical cost of a tank-style water heater with a capacity of 40 to 50 gallons, including installation, is $889. Installation of a tankless water heater costs around $3,000 on average. Tankless water heaters are more expensive than traditional water heaters, mostly because of greater installation expenses. Often, more wiring must be added in order to manage the higher load, and/or a new vent pipe must be erected to accommodate the increased load.
Tankless water heaters can also be harmed by hard water (water that contains high quantities of minerals), which makes them work harder and finally fail.
The cost of installing this additional component is added to the total cost of the project.
Please keep in mind that the prices shown above do not include installation.
- Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Natural Gas High-Efficiency Tankless Water Heater
- Rheem Performance Plus 8.4 GPM Natural Gas Indoor Tankless Water Heater
- Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Natural Gas High-Efficiency Tankless Water Heater Rinnai High-Efficiency Plus is a high-efficiency water heater. Natural gas tankless water heater with a flow rate of 11 GPM
Water Heaters in the Form of Tanks (links open listings on HomeDepot.com)
- Rheem Performance 40-gallon tall natural gas tank water heater with a 6-year warranty and 36,000 BTUs of output
- Rheem Performance 30 gal. short 6 year natural gas tank water heater with 30,000 BTUs
- Sure Comfort 40 gal. tall natural gas tank water heater with a 3-year warranty and 34,000 BTUs of output
Con: Take Longer to Deliver Hot Water
Another disadvantage of tankless water heaters is that they create and supply hot water at a slower rate than traditional tank-style water heaters, which increases energy costs. Keep in mind that tankless water heaters do not maintain a constant supply of hot water that is ready to be used whenever you want it. When you turn on a hot water faucet, the water in the pipes is either cold or, at best, room temperature since it is not being used. Once the chilly water has been drained out, hot water will begin to flow through the faucet; however, it may take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute depending on the distance between the heater and the faucet.
The hot water produced by tank-style heaters is not instantaneous, but because they have a supply ready to go and do not require activation, it reaches the outlet more rapidly.
Con: Cold Water Sandwich
In addition, as compared to traditional tank-style water heaters, tankless heaters require more time to create and provide hot water than they do. You should keep in mind that tankless water heaters do not maintain a constant supply of hot water that is ready to be used whenever you require it. When you turn on a hot water faucet, the water in the pipes is either cold or, at best, room temperature since it has been sitting there. Once the chilly water has been drained out, hot water will begin to flow through; however, this process may take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute, depending on the distance between the heater and the tap in question.
Con: Inconsistent Water Temperature When Multiple Taps/Showers/Appliances Are in Use
Another disadvantage of tankless water heaters is that they create and provide hot water at a slower rate as compared to tank-style heaters. Keep in mind that tankless water heaters do not maintain a continuous supply of hot water ready to be used whenever you want it. When you turn on a hot water faucet, the water in the pipes is either cold or, at best, room temperature since it hasn’t been used. Once the chilly water has been drained out, hot water will begin to flow through; however, it may take anything from a few seconds to a minute depending on the distance between the heater and the tap.
|Outlet||Average Flow Rates (GPM)|
|Bathroom Faucet||.5 – 1.5|
|Dish Washer||1 – 1.5|
|Washing Machine (Clothes)||1.5 – 3|
|Shower||2.5 – 3|
The bottom line is that tankless water heaters are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from large units designed to manage large families with a lot of water to tiny ones designed to handle households with little water use. It is critical to assess how much heat you will require for your family and to purchase the suitable size heater. Just keep in mind that if you turn on too many faucets, showers, or appliances at the same time and exceed the flow rate capability of your water heater, the water will not be hot enough.
Con: Difficult to Achieve a Lukewarm Temperature
It is one of the less well-known drawbacks of tankless water heaters that they have difficulties producing water that is just warm enough to bathe in. Due to the fact that tankless water heaters require a minimum volume of water flow before they can be activated, there is a gap between entirely cold water and the coldest warm water that can be created by mixing hot and cold water in a single container. Because there are very few situations in which you will not be able to attain the temperature you require, this isn’t a major problem, but it is something to keep in mind, especially if you’re the sort of person who truly loves taking chilly showers.
Con: No Access to Hot Water During a Power Outage
When a storm comes through and takes out the power in your home, the hot water in your home is also gone. The energy source for tankless water heaters can be either natural gas or electricity, however even gas-powered tankless water heaters rely on an electric control panel to run the unit. As a result, regardless of the sort of tankless water heater you have, you will be without hot water if your electricity goes out.
Compared to tankless water heaters, tank-style water heaters have a major advantage in this category. The water held in their tank will remain hot for several days, regardless of the power source used to heat it.
Bottom Line: Is a Tankless Water Heater Worth It?
The use of tankless water heaters has a number of advantages over the use of conventional tank-style water heaters. They conserve energy (and so save you money), they give infinite hot water, they are tiny and compact, they never leak, and they do not contribute to the presence of hazardous metals in your drinking water. The best part is that they last twice as long as traditional tank-style water heaters. Alternatively, you’ll have to pay around $3,000 up front, and they deliver variable water temperature in various conditions, as well as leaving you without hot water in the event of a power outage, among other things.
Some basic questions to ask yourself include the following:
- What if you only have $3,000 to invest in an appliance that won’t pay off for several years and you don’t want to risk losing your money? Is your home a new build or do you intend to live there for an extended period of time (10 years or more)? Do you frequently run out of hot water as a result of taking multiple showers in succession? Was it possible for you to profit from additional room in your basement (and who couldn’t? )
If you responded “yes” to any of the questions above, a tankless water heater may be the best option for you. It’s generally best to hold off and stay with a tank-style heater if you responded “no” to one or more of these questions, particularly question1. Tankless water heaters may be found on Amazon and HomeDepot.com, where you can read more about them and see the latest models. On HomeAdvisor.com, you can receive free, no-obligation estimates from specialists in your region to get a general idea of what installation prices will be in your area.
If you found this post to be useful, you may like to read the following articles from the past:
- What is the approximate weight of a water heater? (With a total of 37 illustrations)
- 6 Simple Solutions for Dealing with Standing Water in the Bottom of Your Dishwasher
- What Is the Water Consumption of a Washing Machine? (With the help of 28 real-life examples)
- What is the average lifespan of a hot water heater? 5 Ways to Make Their Lives Longer
- How to Fix a Dryer That Isn’t Drying (10 Do It Yourself Solutions)
- HomeAdvisor vs. Angie’s List: What’s the difference? What’s the similarity? What’s the advantage? When it comes to window coverings, blinds or shades are the better choice. average cast iron bathtub weight (with 15 examples)
- Average washing machine and dryer weight (with 40 examples)
- Average cast iron bathtub weight (with 15 examples)
- A Quick Guide to Choosing the Best Type of Roller for Painting Cabinets What Is the Water Consumption of a Dishwasher? (There are 25 real-life examples)
Learn The Major Pros And Cons Of A Tankless Water Heater
Note from the editors: We receive a commission from affiliate links on Forbes Advisor. The thoughts and ratings of our editors are not influenced by commissions. After a long, hot shower with shampoo in your hair, you notice that the water has become lukewarm. What happened? You race to the shower, but the water is suddenly ice cold, resulting in a ruined shower experience. Are you tired of your body being shocked by chilly water when you anticipate hot water? The good news is that there is a solution to prevent this situation while also saving money and energy: by installing a tankless water heater.
You May Also Be Interested In Tankless Water Heaters Available On Home Depot
Testimonials from customers Exceptionally well-written 2Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Liquid Propane2 Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Liquid Propane
Rheem Performance Platinum 9.5 GPM Liquid Propane
Customer feedback on the Rinnai RU199iP RU Model Series Exceptionally well-done3
Rinnai RU199iP RU Model Series
4Rinnai V53DeP V Model Series4Rinnai V53DeP V Model Series4
Rinnai V53DeP V Model Series
Customer feedback on the Rinnai RL75eP RL Model Series 5 stars out of 5
Rinnai RL75eP RL Model Series
Reviews of the Rinnai RL75eP RL Model Series from customers 5 stars for excellent performance.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand, making them more energy-efficient than typical storage tank water heaters of the same size and type. Cold water goes through the tankless unit and is heated by either gas or electricity, resulting in a continuous supply of hot water that lasts until the faucet is turned off or turned off.
They are sometimes referred to as instantaneous or demand-type water heaters as a result of their ability to respond quickly to demand.
It is more energy efficient than a storage tank water heater according to the United States Department of Energy, as long as you consume roughly 41 gallons of water per day and do not use more than one tank at the same time. But even if you quadruple that amount, they are still 8 percent to 14 percent more efficient than before. If you install a tankless water heater at every area where you consume hot water, you might save as much as 50% on your energy bills. When compared to a storage-tank water heater, this represents a significant advancement.
A tankless water heater will pay for itself in a matter of years, especially if you reside in a region where energy prices are high.
Hot Water Supply: Because tankless water heaters heat cold water on demand, it is possible to have hot water for an endless period of time as long as the faucet is left running.
Limited Hot Water for Multiple Outlets: A tankless water heater is only capable of heating a limited amount of water at a given time. Because the water heater is attempting to supply hot water to three different locations at the same time, the water temperature will fluctuate if you use more hot water than the unit can produce. For example, if you use your dishwasher, washing machine, and shower at the same time, your water temperature will fluctuate. Installing more than one unit or reducing the amount of hot water used can help to mitigate this problem.
Tankless water heaters might not be the ideal option if you reside in a region where power outages are often.
A tankless water heater is more expensive up front than a standard storage tank water heater, both in terms of the equipment and the installation. While the cost of a tankless water heater may initially dissuade you, bear in mind that, due to its extended lifespan and energy savings, it will pay for itself within a few years. A tankless water heater’s typical unit cost is somewhat higher for natural or propane gas devices ($1,000 to $1,500) than for electric versions ($500 to $1,000).
As with a standard storage tank water heater, a tankless water heater will cost more up front, both for the device and for the installation. Keep in mind that, due to its extended lifespan and energy savings, a tankless water heater will pay for itself in a matter of years, even if the initial cost is prohibitive.
An electric tankless water heater costs between $500 and $1,500 per unit, whereas natural or propane gas units cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per unit on average.
Maintenance and Care
Tankless water heaters need to be serviced at least once a year, if not more frequently. In the course of time, minerals accumulate inside the water heater, necessitating the flushing of the entire system in order to avoid damage or a reduction in performance. If you reside in an area where the water is hard, you should consider flushing your toilet at least twice a year. Maintenance is required to maintain your model in excellent condition, especially because most warranties do not cover damage caused by mineral build-up on the surface.
Check your owner’s handbook to find out how often you should clean these filters, as the frequency varies depending on the model.
To minimize dirt collection on the outside of your tankless water heater, dust and clean it down regularly.
While you may complete all of these maintenance procedures on your own, if you discover substantial damage or detect anything concerning, switch off the power to your machine and contact a professional plumber right once to assess the situation.
Tankless water heaters have a lifespan of 20 years or more. Compared to the lifespan of a storage water heater, this is a huge improvement (anywhere from eight to 15 years). If you want to live in your house for a long period of time, investing in a tankless water heater eliminates the need to purchase new heaters on a regular basis, resulting in significant financial savings.
Tankless water heater manufacturers and brands may be found in abundance. When purchasing, search for a model with an Energy Star rating, which is a government-certified certification that indicates the model is among the most energy-efficient of all the models currently on the market.
- Rinnai: Rinnai is the most widely used tankless water heater producer in the United States and Canada. They only make gas-powered versions, but all of them are capable of heating enough water to supply a standard-sized home. Rheem: Rheem is well-known for manufacturing dependable, reasonably priced gas and electric heating and cooling equipment that are simple to install and maintain. NoRITZ: NoRITZ was the world’s first tankless water heater producer, and the company manufactures a wide range of gas versions at a variety of pricing ranges. Stiebel Eltron is a well-known German firm with a global reputation. They design and manufacture gas and electric vehicles that are both efficient and small. Bosch: Bosch is well-known for producing high-quality electric vehicles. They also make models for gas engines. Takagi: Takagi is a Japanese company that has recently expanded into the United States. Takagi solely sells gas-powered vehicles, which are often priced lower than the rest of the industry.
Manufacturers such as Rinnai are the most widely used tankless water heaters in North America. The company only manufactures gas-powered versions, but each one is capable of providing enough heat to supply water to a typical-sized home. Renewal by Rheem: Renewal by Rheem is renowned for manufacturing dependable, reasonably priced gas and electric units that are simple to install and maintain. NoRITZ: NoRITZ was the world’s first tankless water heater producer, and the company manufactures a wide range of gas versions at a variety of pricing ranges; It is manufactured by Stiebel Eltron, a well-known German company.
Bosch: Bosch is well-known for producing high-quality electric vehicles.
Toyota: Takagi is a Japanese company that has just expanded into the United States and solely produces gas-powered versions, which are often priced lower than the competition.
Compare Quotes From Top-rated Water Heater Installers
Estimates are provided without obligation.