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.
When you first turn on the hot-water faucet (1), everything begins to unfold. It is detected by a flow sensor (2), which then sends a signal to the control panel, which causes 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 system, 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 seven) is used.
It will change the gas valve, the mixing valve, and the flow-regulating water valve (10) in response to any temperature sensor (9) readings that indicate that the water is above or below the intended temperature.
What to Know About Tankless Water Heaters
Thanks to Noritz for the use of his photo.
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
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, which is a time-consuming process.
How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?
It is expected that gas-burning tankless water heaters would last 20 years or longer, which is two to three times longer than tank-type heaters. Tankless electric units have shorter life lifetimes, ranging from 7 to 10 years, compared to conventional units.
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
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 in recent years. As a result, they may not be able to fit into locations where an older heater with the same capacity might. They are roughly the size of a suitcase and are mounted to the wall with a screwdriver.
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
These devices automatically shut off if there is too much scale accumulation in the pipes, or if the aerators in the faucets and showerheads get blocked, or if a turned-down faucet limits water flow to around 0.3 gpm.
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
An annual savings of just 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 it produces. The savings, however, begin to accrue after six years, when many tanks are reaching the end of their useful lives due to the extended life of tankless gas systems.
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
A second heat exchanger, which collects much of the exhaust heat before it leaves the unit, allows condensing gas heaters to extract up to 96 percent of the heat from a fuel, a 17 percent improvement over first-generation tankless devices. They’re roughly 25% more expensive than noncondensing heaters, and they produce an acidic condensate that must be neutralized before it can be reused again. Installation of a neutralizing cartridge is required when a heater does not come with one built in.
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
Temperature control and monitoring of gas and hot-water use are possible with tankless systems that have digital connection. The device is also capable of identifying the cause of a problem. Provide that information to your plumber, and he or she will be able to arrive on the job site knowing exactly what is required. Having that function also takes the guesswork out of knowing when it’s time to descale your aquarium.
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:
- The temperature of the water that enters the heater
- The maximum demand for hot water expressed in gallons per minute (gpm)
- The efficiency of the heater, as shown by its Uniform Energy Factor, which may be found in the product specifications
- 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
- 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
How to Determine gpm?
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.
Electric Tankless Water Heater Facts
Thanks to Stiebel and Eltron for their assistance. In addition to gas lines and propane tanks, tankless water heaters operated by electricity can provide the benefits of on-demand hot water to homes that do not have them. Compared to gas or propane tankless heaters, these systems, which heat water using thick copper rods, are significantly quieter and roughly a third smaller in size. And because they do not require vents, they can be fitted practically anyplace, even beneath sinks and in small closets, without compromising performance.
In locations with warm groundwater, that amount of hot water may be sufficient to feed a whole house; but, in colder climates, they are better suited to point-of-use service, where the demand for hot water does not become excessive.
Furthermore, electric heaters have a lifespan that is approximately half that of gas heaters: Warranty periods typically range from three to five years.
As soon as the heating elements fail, it is frequently more expensive to replace the complete heater than it is to simply replace the heating elements.
Tankless Water Heater Installation
Doug Adams created the illustration. What you and your plumber should look for before the installation day is as follows:
Doug Adams has created this illustration. You and your plumber must evaluate the following items before to the installation date:
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.
Vents on noncondensing tankless gas heaters are made of stainless steel, which is capable of withstanding high exhaust temperatures. A cooler exhaust is produced by condensing units, and PVC pipes are used instead of more costly steel pipes. Installation of a concentric vent, which has an exhaust pipe inside a larger air-intake pipe, is simplified since only one hole in the wall needs to be made. Please keep in mind that in the past, vent runs were often limited to only 10 feet in length. The Sensei series of fans, for example, are capable of venting up to 150 feet because to their increased power.
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
You’ll have one fewer appliance to make place for in your home, which will save you some space. Inexpensive and straightforward to set up: There is no need to cut a large hole (or two) through the side of the home because there is an exhaust vent built into the wall. Uncomplicated to service: A plumber may come to your home at any time, regardless of whether you are there. It’s important to remember that Regulations governing the construction of buildings include the following: Your local building department may require authorization before allowing it to be placed outside.
Southern states are less concerned about frozen pipes than those located north of the Mason-Dixon Line; yet,
- 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: 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).
On average, tankless water heaters are three times more expensive than traditional tank-style water heaters, including installation. 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:
- Energy and cost savings over the long run are a plus. Pros: an unlimited supply of hot water
- A smaller footprint
- A lower risk of leaks and water damage
- And a lower cost. Advantage: There is no danger of the tank exploding. Benefits include a reduced risk of burns and exposure to toxic metals. Pro: A life expectancy of more than 20 years is expected.
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
One of the most serious concerns associated with tank-style heaters is that minerals from hard water accumulate within the tank over time, causing corrosion and, eventually, leaks. The absence of a tank means that there is no possibility of leaks or floods with a tankless water heater. This does not rule out the possibility of problems with tankless water heaters. There is a potential that they will encounter issues that will result in leakage, but the likelihood of experiencing a huge leak that floods your whole basement and causes severe damage is remote.
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
As part of your investigation into tankless water heaters, you’ve almost certainly come across the phrase “cold water sandwich.” Cold water sandwiches occur when you use hot water intermittently, causing you to feel an initial surge of hot water, followed by a cold water rush before the hot water surge returns, soon becoming cold again. It’s important to remember that when you switch the hot water on and off fast, like you would when hand-washing dishes, the pipes still contain hot water in them from just a few seconds earlier.
The experience of eating a cold water sandwich is not a huge problem, but it might be disorienting if you are not used to it.
Con: Inconsistent Water Temperature When Multiple Taps/Showers/Appliances Are in Use
When I first started writing on this topic, I described a scenario in which your family returns home from a day at the beach and everyone has to shower. Using tankless water heaters in this situation allows your entire family to shower side by side without having to worry about running out of hot water at any point. The disadvantage is that tankless water heaters are unable to keep up with the demands of numerous showers operating at the same time. Having a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time is not only a problem with showers; depending on the size of your water heater, you might run into problems if you do both.
The amount of water that a tankless unit can heat in a given length of time is referred to as the flow rate.
The flow rates for each type of outlet are depicted in the chart below to give you a sense of the average flow rates.
|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
Overall, tankless water heaters are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from large units designed to accommodate large homes to tiny units designed to conserve water. In order to choose the correct size heater for your home, it is critical that you first identify what you require. 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 for your needs.
Listed below is a brief guide to assist you in determining the size of tankless water heater that you require.
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.
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)
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
Tankless water heaters provide fast heating of water without the need for a storage tank. When a hot water faucet is switched on, cold water is sent through a heat exchanger in the unit, where it is heated by either a natural gas burner or an electric element, depending on the device. Consequently, tankless water heaters are able to provide a continuous supply of hot water. The need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with adequate hot water is no longer an issue. The output of a tankless water heater, on the other hand, is limited in terms of flow rate.
Tankless water heaters that run on natural gas have higher flow rates than those that run on electricity.
For example, having a shower while also running the dishwasher at the same time might cause a tankless water heater to reach its maximum capacity quickly.
You may also install separate tankless water heaters for equipment in your house that need a lot of hot water, such as a clothes washer or dishwater.
Additional water heaters, on the other hand, will be more expensive and may not be worth the additional expense. Demand water heaters are also used in the following other situations:
- 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).
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. Seek advice from your owner’s handbook on particular maintenance requirements.
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.
Tankless Water Heaters: A Buyer’s Guide
According to The Home Depot
What is a Tankless Water Heater
The Home Depot provided the information.
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.
This EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater is available on Amazon right now.
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.
In terms of cons, the most significant drawback of on demand or instant hot water heaters is the high initial investment they require. A majority of families will not have enough hot water produced by the smaller units that are commonly seen. 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 sink doing its work. Larger units that can accommodate the needs of an entire family are available, although they are more costly. Tankless units, on the other hand, feature high-powered burners, which necessitates the need of proper venting (a dedicated, sealed vent system, which requiresprofessional installation).
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:
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Solved! How Does A Tankless Water Heater Work?
Image courtesy of istockphoto.com
Q: I recently moved to a home with a tankless water heater, and I want to make sure I’m correctly maintaining it. How does a tankless water heater work, and what issues should I look out for?
A:Tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular in new construction. In contrast to storage tank heaters, which store large volumes of hot water in an insulated water tank that can be utilized at any time, tankless water heaters may provide hot water on demand as necessary. As long as cold water enters the tankless unit and departs practically quickly, it will be heated to the desired degree. In either case, depending on whether the water heater is fueled by natural gas or by electricity, it heats the water through the use of a gas burner or electrical resistance heating coils.
This is due to the fact that they are more efficient over a longer period of time.
Are you interested in having a tankless water heater installed in your home?
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Tankless water heaters heat water directly without using a storage tank.
Image courtesy of istockphoto.com Heaters with a water tank, such as the traditional kind, can store hot water over time and be utilized at a moment’s notice. Tankless water heaters eliminate the need to store water in order to distribute it throughout the house. When a hot water faucet in the home is turned on, cold water is sent through the tankless heater. It is heated by a gas burner or an electric heating coil as it passes through the device on its journey. It is then supplied to each individual tap in the house.
Because there is no need for a tank to hold water, a tankless heater may be attached on a wall with relative ease.
Maintain the peak performance of your tankless water heater.
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Tankless water heaters deliver a constant flow of hot water: about 2 to 5 gallons per minute.
Water heaters that have a storage tank may produce hot water until the tank is completely depleted of water. A tankless water heater provides a constant supply of hot water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons per minute, allowing a residence to have a constant flow of hot water. Some gas-powered tankless heaters are capable of producing even larger water flows than electric tankless heaters. A storage tank heater, on the other hand, is more likely to run out of hot water than a tankless heater, especially when numerous sources are consuming the water at the same time.
The water may not be as hot or it may be discharged with less pressure if someone is having a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time.
For this reason, some homeowners with bigger homes would install two or more tankless water heaters in order to relieve the problem. Also possible is the installation of separate heaters for different equipment. Image courtesy of istockphoto.com
The panel adjusts the gas valve, the mixing valve, and the water flow to achieve the desired temperature setting.
The majority of tankless water heaters are equipped with a front-facing control panel that allows the user to adjust the heater’s settings. This panel allows homeowners to fine-tune the gas value to precisely match the amount of gas they want to consume. Panels can also be used to regulate the quantity of power used by electric tankless heaters. Water, electricity, and natural gas bills may be more easily managed as a result of this. The tankless water heater panel also allows for the customization of many parameters, such as the mixing value and the volume of water that is circulated.
If a homeowner does not have a specific purpose for making a significant change to their settings, they should avoid making radical changes.
A highly regarded professional can assist you.
Some common issues with tankless water heaters include system overload, blockages, and ignition failure.
In spite of the fact that tankless water heaters are acclaimed for their overall efficiency and require less maintenance on average than storage tank water heaters, they are not without their drawbacks. As previously stated, if homeowners use too many hot water applications at the same time, the unit may get overloaded. After that, the system will have difficulty supplying hot water and may even fail completely. This problem, on the other hand, may usually be prevented by the use of thoughtful or preventive behaviors.
When this occurs, the heater is experiencing difficulties venting, which can potentially result in an overflow of the system.
Another typical issue is when the tankless heater fails to ignite for a variety of reasons.
Gas and water valves should be checked to ensure they are not completely open, as this is frequently the root source of the problem.
Regular maintenance keeps water flowing and removes mineral buildup.
One concern that both storage tank water heaters and tankless water heaters have in common is the possibility of mineral accumulation in the water heater. It is possible that minerals will begin to accumulate within the water heater as time progresses. The heat causes calcium and magnesium to precipitate and form a scaly deposit, which interferes with the water heater’s ability to work. Homeowners should keep a close eye on their water supply. The consistency of the water may be checked, as can the water filter, which can be changed if it is in need of it.
A water filter system’s lifespan might be significantly reduced if it is not maintained on a regular basis. Do you believe your tankless water heater need repair? A highly regarded professional can assist you. Get free, no-obligation project quotes from local specialists in your area.+
If you’re experiencing persistent issues with a tankless water heater, call a professional.
Tankless water heaters are generally simple to operate and need little maintenance during their lifetime. It is possible, however, that they will develop problems or complications outside of their usual maintenance. Any homeowner who notices that any of the concerns listed above are occurring on a frequent basis should contact a professional plumber who can quickly examine the situation and discuss the best remedy with the homeowner. Find dependable local contractors for any home improvement project+
Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
Tankless water heaters create more hot water while using less energy than the most efficient tank heaters, allowing you to save on energy, space, and money all while saving money and time.
Tankless Water Heaters
A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, warms water only when it is required. It is possible to put these heaters in a closet, on an outside wall, or in any other suitable location within your home. They may be used to heat your entire home or just a single point of usage such as a shower, sink, or appliance, among other things. A tankless water heater, whether natural gas, propane, or electric, provides you with an infinite supply of hot water while saving you money on energy expenditures by eliminating the need to store, heat, and reheat the same tank of water.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
- When you turn on a hot water faucet or turn on the dishwasher, the tankless water heater identifies the requirement for hot water and begins the heating process immediately. In order to provide water at the correct temperature, the temperature of the entering water is utilized to determine the amount of heat that must be produced by the burners. When there is no longer a demand for hot water, the unit shuts down and stops consuming energy, waiting until a new demand for hot water arises. The ultimate result is hot water that is not restricted to the amount of hot water stored in your tank.
Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater
You have the ability to convert any water source into hot water on demand. There is no limit to the quantity of heat that may be stored in a storage tank heater. Whether you’re cleaning the dishes, washing your clothes, taking a hot bath, or even doing them all at the same time, tankless water heater technology will provide you with the hot water your lifestyle requires immediately and efficiently.
Lower Energy Bills
When you use a tankless water heater, you may save up to 40 percent on your energy bills! Heat-only units are meant to be extremely energy efficient, heating water only when it is required.
Tankless water heaters have a lifespan of up to 20 years, which is often twice as long as a traditional tank-style device.
Tankless water heaters have a normal lifespan of up to 20 years, which is generally twice as long as a traditional tank-style device, according to industry standards.
Clean, Fresh Water
Traditionally installed water heaters are susceptible to rust and scale buildup within the tank where the hot water used for bathing and drinking is kept. Water heaters that do not require a tank provide you with continuous access to fresh, clean water that is heated on demand as it goes through the unit.
Choosing the Right Tankless Water Heater
It is critical to determine the size of the tankless water heater you will require. A heater that is too tiny will not be able to appropriately fulfill the hot-water demands of your house, while a heater that is too huge will be an unnecessary expense. How much water will you use at peak demand – for example, when the dishwasher is running, you are having a shower, and a load of laundry is being washed? What proportion of the incoming water will need to be heated in order to meet the demand? Before purchasing a tankless water heater, you should think about two things: the flow rate, which is the amount of water that flows through a fixture or appliance in gallons per minute (GPM), and the temperature rise, which is the difference between the groundwater temperature and the desired hot-water output temperature.
For example, you may be using the kitchen sink, washing laundry, and bathing all at the same time.
To find out the flow rate of a fixture or appliance (shower head, dishwasher, washing machine, and so on), consult the manufacturer’s handbook or look for the GPM stamped directly on the fixture or appliance.
If you have a bucket and a timer, you can simply compute the GPM of an appliance or fixture using the following formula: The amount of seconds it takes to fill a 1-gallon container with water from the appliance or fixture divided by 60.
Average GPM Usage for Common Appliances and Fixtures
It is critical to determine the size of the tankless water heater you will require. A water heater that is too tiny will not be able to appropriately fulfill your home’s hot-water demands, while a water heater that is too large will be an unnecessary expense for your household. Do you know how much water you’ll need at peak demand – when the dishwasher is running, you’re having a shower, and a load of laundry is in the washing machine? When it comes to meeting the demand, how much incoming water will be required to do so?
For example, you may be using the kitchen sink while also doing laundry and bathing.
Flow rates for fixtures and appliances (shower heads, dishwashers, washing machines) can be found in the manufacturer’s handbook or stamped directly on the fixture or appliance (shower head, dishwasher, washing machine, etc.).
- Northern Zone temperatures range from 37 degrees to 51 degrees
- Central Zone temperatures range from 52 degrees to 61 degrees
- And Southern Zone temperatures range from 62 degrees to 77 degrees.
Northerly Zone temperatures range from 37 degrees to 51 degrees; central zone temperatures range from 52 to 61 degrees; and southern zone temperatures range from 62 degrees to 77 degrees.
Point of Use Water Heaters
An region of your home may require an additional burst of hot water from time to time. When this occurs, the usage of a small point of use (POU) water heater might be beneficial. In the case of a hot tub that operates on electric heat, a POU heater can be added nearby to provide additional heat. Installed close to a room or appliance that requires more hot water, these compact tankless heaters provide instant hot water. Moreover, these appliances are useful for house renovations and extensions since they can easily be put in a cabinet or other compact location.
Hybrid Water Heaters
If you appreciate the convenience of a tank water heater while also seeking to reduce your energy expenses, a hybrid water heater may be the best option for you. These appliances, which combine the functions of a tank-style and a tankless water heater, are often more than twice as efficient as a tank-style water heater and may be installed utilizing your existing infrastructure. Hybrid water heaters are equipped with a heat pump that draws in and heats the surrounding air before releasing the heated air back into the area where the heater is located.
These hybrid water heaters, which heat water on demand, are extremely energy efficient.
Check with the manufacturer for installation suggestions.
With those figures in hand, a Lowe’s associate can assist you in selecting the most appropriate tankless water heater for your needs.