What Tankless Water Heater Do I Need

How to Select the Right Size Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are classified according to the highest temperature rise that may be achieved at a given flow rate. For this reason, in order to calculate the appropriate size of a demand water heater for your home, you must first estimate the flow rate and temperature increase that will be required for its application (either the entire house or a distant use, such as a bathroom). It is vital to note that you should never attempt to save money by purchasing a tankless water heater that is undersized.

Step 1:

Make a decision on the maximum number of devices that you wish to run and the overall flow rate of those devices. Then total their flow rates together (gallons per minute). This is the intended flow rate that you’ll need for the demand water heater that you’ve purchased. Consider the following scenario: you anticipate to be able to operate a hot water faucet with a flow rate of 0.75 gallons per minute while also running a shower head with a flow rate of 2.6 gallons per minute concurrently. It would be necessary for the flow rate via the demand water heater to be at least 3.26 gallons per minute.

Step 2:

Determination of the overall flow rate and the maximum number of devices you wish to run Calculate their flow rates by adding them together (gallons per minute). For the demand water heater, this is the target flow rate that you’ll want. Consider the following scenario: you intend to operate a hot water faucet with a flow rate of 0.75 gallons per minute while also running a shower head with a flow rate of 2.6 gallons per minute. At least 3.26 gallons per minute would need to pass through the demand water heater in order to be effective.

Step 3:

Example of sizing: An typical shower will be between 104 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit and utilize 2.6 gallons of water. Assuming that the water temperature entering your home is 40° and that you wish to create enough hot water to run two showers at the same time, what temperature rise would you need to produce to achieve this goal? Answer:You’ll need to boost the temperature of the entering water from 40 degrees to 105 degrees. The ability to heat a minimum of 5.2 gallon of water will be necessary.

Flow Rates

Is there a limit to how much hot water you may use at once? You need to operate two showers at the same time, or a shower and a pair of sinks, or anything similar. The figure below illustrates the range of water consumption ranges as well as the typical water temperatures for a variety of fixtures. In order to determine your total simultaneous water requirements, we recommend that you use the following reference points: 2.5 gpm for showers and 1.0 gpm for bathrooms.

Fixture

Tub 4.0 GPM 102°F
Shower 2.5 – 3.0 GPM 104°F
Washing Machine 2.0 GPM 120°F
Dishwasher 1.5 GPM 110°F
Kitchen Sink 1.5 GPM 110°F

Consider the following scenario: If you are taking two showers at the same time, you will require 5 gallons of hot water per minute from your tankless water heater. A shower and the washing machine would each use 4.5 gallons of water per minute from the water heater, thus you would need to turn on both at the same time. In any of these scenarios, you’ll want to make sure that the unit you choose is large enough to accommodate or surpass the amount of hot water you’ll require at the same time.

It is important to note that tankless water heaters are designed to heat only potable (drinking) water, and that the water entering a tankless device should not be pre-heated.

Other Sizing Notes

Gas tankless water heaters have the ability to create a greater temperature rise per gallon of water than electric tankless water heaters. The majority of demand water heaters are rated for a wide range of water temperature inputs. An average flow rate of 5 gallons per minute through gas-fired demand water heaters and 2 gallons per minute through electric water heaters allows for a 70°F temperature rise in the water. Increased flow rates or decreased intake temperatures can occasionally result in a reduction in the temperature of the water at the furthest faucet.

Recommended Reading:

  • Learn how to use a washer dryer combo
  • Learn about three common misconceptions about washer dryer combos
  • Learn all you need to know about wall heaters in this comprehensive guide
  • And more. Infrared Heaters 101: Your Complete Guide to Understanding Them

About Our Team

Jeff Flowers is just a person who is plagued by a chronic case of curiosity and who frustrates everyone around him with his rambling nonsense. In his journey from beer to house living, Jeff is simply attempting to hack his way through life while also writing a few notes about his experiences along the way. You can read his rants here, or you can listen to him whine about Austin traffic on Twitter at @Bukowsky. You can also follow him on Facebook.

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need? (For Family Of 2,3,4,5,6)

When it comes to tankless water heaters, one of the most common mistakes is purchasing a device that is not powerful enough to meet all of our hot water demands. You don’t want a tankless heater that’s too little, nor do you want one that’s too large and would waste energy unnecessarily heating your home. The size of your tankless water heater should be as close to your household’s hot water requirements as feasible. In what size tankless water heater do I need to invest my money? In order to determine how many GPM tankless water heaters I require for the gas unit and how many kW I require for the electric unit, I must first determine how many GPM tankless water heaters I require for the gas unit.

  1. What is the greatest amount of hot water you require? It’s important to know how much water per minute (measured in gallons per minute, or GPM) a particular tankless water heater can heat up, as well as how many degrees it can heat it up by.

It is necessary to establish a preliminary estimate of our maximal hot water requirements at any given point in order to properly design the tankless water heater. From 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., most families have the greatest demand for hot water. That is the time of day when we shower, brush our teeth under a hot faucet, and perhaps even have the dishwasher on. We need to keep track of how much hot water we’re using. Here’s a handy table that shows how many GPMs are required by different types of water fixtures:

Fixture Gallons Per Minute (GPM)
Shower 2.0 – 3.0 GPM
Faucet (kitchen, bathroom) 1.0 – 2.0 GPM
Dishwasher 1.5 – 2.0 GPM
Washing Machine 2.0 – 2.5 GPM

It is necessary to establish a preliminary estimate of our maximal hot water requirements at any given time in order to accurately design the tankless water heater. During the evening hours of 9 pm to 11 pm, the majority of houses have their greatest hot water demand. We shower, brush our teeth under a hot faucet, and perhaps even have the dishwasher running at this time. Count up all of the water we’ll need to heat the building. Listed below is a helpful table indicating how many GPMs are required by various water fixtures:

Difference Between Maximum Water Flow And Realistic Maximum GMPs

When comparing the specifications of different tankless heaters, you will see that they all list the maximum GPMs. When it comes down to it, the highest GMP that your tankless heater will truly reach might be far lower. What is the source of the discrepancy? Because the maximum water flow in GMP is calculated by heating water to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, The inlet temperature of the water that is currently in your pipes is quite important. For example, in south Texas, the inflow water temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • That represents an additional 40 degrees Fahrenheit differential that a tankless water heater must overcome.
  • Because the input temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit in Texas, we can really obtain 10 GPM of 110 degrees Fahrenheit water.
  • In Minnesota, on the other hand, the inlet water temperature is 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You don’t come from Minnesota or Texas, do you?
  • An additional example based on the infographics shown above is as follows: If you reside in Florida (inlet temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit), the Rinnai RU160iP SE+ Series tankless heater will have a maximum water flow of 7.1 GPM at its maximum temperature.
  • If you reside in New York, on the other hand (with an intake temperature of 52 degrees Fahrenheit), the same tankless water heater may deliver a maximum water flow of 4.5 GMP.
  • In New York, the heater must contend with an additional 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It’s important to consider the operating costs as well, especially with larger units.

You can find out how much power larger electric tankless water heaters consume by visiting this page. Another useful piece of information about propane units is how much propane is consumed by these on-demand hot water heaters.

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need For A Family Of 2, 3, 4, 5, Or 6?

When it comes to tankless water heater sizing, one of the most often asked topics is how much of a unit you need for a household of multiple people. Obviously, a tankless water heater designed for a family of three will be smaller than one designed for a family of five. But what are the specific GPM (for gas-powered engines) or kW (for electric-powered engines) figures? Because of the changing temperature of the water entering the tankless hot water heater, determining the correct size of the tankless hot water heater is difficult.

Unfortunately, the confidence ranges are extremely wide.

Number Of Family Members: Gas Tankless Heater Size (GPM) Electric Tankless Heater Size (kW)
What size tankless water heater do I need for afamily of 2? 6-8 GPM 10-18 kW
What size tankless water heater do I need for afamily of 3? 7-9 GPM 15-23 kW
What size tankless water heater do I need for afamily of 4? 8-10 GPM 20-28 kW
What size tankless water heater do I need for afamily of 5? 9-11 GPM 25-34 kW
What size tankless water heater do I need for afamily of 6? 11+ GPM 34+ kW

These data are provided just as a point of reference. The size of your tankless water heater is determined by a number of crucial criteria, such as the temperature of the water entering the tank and the amount of hot water you use on a regular basis.

Looking At Specifications Sheets

It is common to find manufacturers specifying a maximum water flow number in GMP or a maximum electric power number in kW on specification documents for their products. The GMP number for gas-powered tankless water heaters is often found on the product label, whereas the kW number for electric tankless water heaters is found on the product label. As we’ve shown, the maximum GMP is a function of context. It is dependent on where you live in the United States (because that affects the inlet water temperature).

  1. Comparing the maximum wattage of different tankless heaters (as we have done in the table of the best tankless heaters below) allows us to determine how powerful they are in comparison.
  2. Check here to see if investing in an energy-efficient tankless water heater is truly worth it (we performed some calculations).
  3. For example, if you want to replace your current 50-gallon water heater, the first question you should ask is what size tankless water heater you need.
  4. What size tankless water heater would be appropriate for a household of five, for example.

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need To Replace A 50 Gallon Water Heater? (Example1)

Here’s how things work in this situation: You now have a tank-style water heater that holds 30, 40, 50, or even 80 gallons of water and wish to upgrade to a tankless water heater. The most significant distinction, of course, is that a water tank provides, say, 50 gallons of hot water, but a tankless water heater provides water heating on demand. For example, during a typical 10-minute shower, you use around 10 gallons of hot water on average. Taking 3 showers, running a few of faucets, running a dishwasher, and so on will easily deplete those 50 gallons in no time.

Instead of storing hot water, the tankless heater’s strong heating exchanger warms the water as it is needed, up to a particular maximum GMP limit, depending on the model. In order to replace a 50-gallon water heater, you would require, approximately speaking, the following items:

  • How this scenario plays out is as follows. It is possible that you now have a tankless water heater that is 30, 40, 50, or even 80 gallons in size and would like to upgrade. The most significant distinction, of course, is that a water tank provides, say, 50 gallons of hot water, but a tankless water heater provides water that is heated on demand. It is estimated that you will use around 10 gallons of hot water during an ordinary 10-minute shower, for instance. Taking 3 showers, running a couple of faucets, running a dishwasher, and so on will fast deplete those 50 gallons in an hour or two! The tankless water heater, on the other hand, is a unique situation. There is no hot water in storage
  • Instead, the strong heating exchanger in the tankless heater warms the water as it is required, up to a set maximum GMP. In order to replace a 50-gallon water heater, you would require the following items, approximately speaking:
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As a result, Rinnai, the world’s leading manufacturer of gas tankless heaters, provides a broad range of models ranging from 7 GPM to 11 GPM: Rinnai’s gas tankless versions are available in a variety of sizes. As previously said, they are considered to be the top gas tankless water heater brand. Please keep in mind that this is simply an approximate estimation. The prudent course of action is to get a tankless heater that is somewhat more powerful than the anticipated need. It is preferable to be safe than sorry.

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need For A Family Of 5? (Example2)

If five individuals reside in the same house, they can use multiple faucets or showers at the same time. This must be taken into consideration while determining the appropriate size of a tankless water heater. Showers are the home hot water user that consumes the most hot water the fastest. 5 persons can also operate many hot water taps at the same time, as well as a dishwasher and do laundry, among other things. In summary, if you live in the northern portion of the United States, where the input water temperature is lower, you would require a 10 GPM gas tankless heater or a 27 kW electric tankless heater.

For those who reside in the southern part of the country, the tankless water heater’s capacity might be lowered by up to 30 percent.

Keep in mind that, especially with larger units, tankless water heater circulation pumps can save you a significant amount of money on hot water.

You won’t have to wait for hot water to start flowing, squandering all of the cold water that would have been wasted in the meanwhile.

How Many Tankless Heaters Do I Need?

This is a rather typical topic, especially when it comes to larger homes. Here’s how it works: In the majority of situations, one tankless heater is sufficient to heat an entire house. For those who live in really large homes (2 or more bathrooms), even the largest Rinnai gas tankless water heater with a flow rate of 11 GPM will not be adequate to meet all of their simultaneous hot water demands. It makes logical in these situations to install two tankless water heaters. The most common combination is as follows: The largest gas unit (11 GPM, 199,000 BTU) and the largest electric unit The large tankless water heater meets the majority of the household’s hot water requirements.

Alternatively, you might utilize two units for different parts of the home, one for one section and another for the other section of the house. Specifically, the plumbing for each units is separate in this instance. I hope this has been of assistance.

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?

Put it this way: Consider the following scenario: Astonishingly, the majority of American families waste water when they heat water. In order to ensure that we have hot water available whenever we need it, we fill large 40- to 50-gallon storage tanks and then continuously pump energy into them throughout the year. However, this isn’t always the case in real life. 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 bathtub.

Is there a chance of it bursting?

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Doug Adams created the illustration.

  1. 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

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?

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

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

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.

Higher Efficiency

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).

Wi-Fi Compatible

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:

  • 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
  1. 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)
  2. 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.
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Btus Output Estimate

To begin, take the following actions: On the next slide, a professional determines how many Btus per gallon of water heater is required to raise the incoming water temperature to 120 degrees. Flow rates for all of the appliances and fixtures that might be consuming hot water at the same time are then added together to form peak demand. (These rates are provided on the next slide.) As a result of not bathing or washing in 120-degree water, we save around 20% on our overall use. When possible, lower peak demand by updating to low-flow fixtures and water-saving appliances, or by delaying the washing while the shower is in use.

The greater the Btu rating of the model you choose is important if the output is in between two models.

  • 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 get the real gpm of a fixture, time how many seconds it takes to fill a bucket to the 1-quart mark and multiply that time by the number of gpm. gpm is calculated by dividing 15 by the number of seconds in a minute.

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:

Gas Line

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.

Venting

If you want your tankless heater to work effectively, you must connect it to a gas supply line that delivers enough volume at a high enough pressure to meet your needs. In many situations, this will need increasing the diameter of the supply pipe to 3-4 inches. The gas provider will have to make adjustments to the regulator on the meter if there is insufficient pressure. Note: Some tankless systems like as those manufactured by Rheem can be used with a conventional 12-inch gas line as long as it is not more than 24 feet in length.

Water Hardness

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

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.

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need?

Home warranty businesses with the best reputations. Home warranty reviews for American Home Shield, AFC Home Club, Select Home Warranty, and Choice Home Warranty are all available.

What a Tankless Water Heater Does

Traditional tank-style water heaters, in contrast to tankless water heaters, heat 40 to 50 gallons of water using a gas or electric burner to heat the water. The burner helps to maintain that temperature by turning on and off intermittently when the water temperature lowers. Maintaining the temperature of a pot of water on the stovetop by turning the burner on and off as needed is analogous to this. Tankless water heaters do not store hot water in a reserve tank like traditional water heaters.

  1. They are energy efficient.
  2. The majority of homes have one or two tankless water heaters, which are often positioned in the basement, mudroom, utility room, or hallway of the house.
  3. Customers with tank-style heaters experience the same transient temperature difference as those who use faucet-style heaters because of the distance between the water heater and the faucet.
  4. The installation of supplemental heat recirculators, which circulate the water in a continuous loop between the faucet and the heater, is an option for certain households.
  5. Some tankless water heaters are equipped with built-in heat recirculation systems.

How to Calculate the Right Size of Tankless Water Heater

Temperature rise is defined as the difference between the groundwater temperature in your location during the winter, or the coldest time of year, and the recommended set temperature of your tankless water heater. To find out what the typical winter groundwater temperature in your location is, look at a map showing average winter groundwater temperatures. Alternatively, during the coldest time of year in your location, you may use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of your water as it is drawn directly from the ground (usually, at an exterior faucet).

Determine Peak Hot Water Demand

When it comes to peak hot water demand, this is the greatest amount of hot water that your home may require at any given time. It is not intended to be a practical figure; rather, it is intended to ensure that your water heater is capable of meeting theoretical peak demands. Bathroom Utilities 2 gallons per minute for the clothes washer Estimate and include the maximum number of services that might be consuming hot water at any given time, such as the following: Shower = 2 gallons per minute 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) in the kitchen sink Dishwasher = 2 gallons per minute Total flow rate: 5.5 gpm Alternatively, in a household with a large number of individuals who need hot water: Shower = 2 gallons per minute 2 gpm in a tub 1.5 gallons per minute at the bathroom sink 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) in the kitchen sink Dishwasher = 2 gallons per minute Total flow rate: 9 gpm

Choose a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heater manufacturers provide calculation tables or online calculators to assist you in determining the best model for your needs based on peak hot water demand and the temperature rise in your location. For example, if the temperature rise in your location is 60 degrees, your residence may have a peak hot water demand of 6 gpm at its highest point. This may direct you to a few of models that meet the bill in this situation. However, if the temperature rises over 40 degrees Celsius, the manufacturer may propose totally other models.

You must compare and contrast the two sets of information in order to determine the most appropriate tankless water heater for your home.

Tankless Water Heater Pros and Cons

  • When compared to huge tank models, little units take up less room. There is no need to wait for the hot water to cycle because there is continuous hot water. Because of the elimination of standby hot water, there will be no unnecessary heating of water.
  • There is no hot water stored in reserve in case the electricity goes out
  • When all aspects are taken into consideration, it does not cost less than tank models. Excessive scaling as a result of the extremely hot burner, resulting in a larger requirement for routine maintenance

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What Size Tankless Water Heater Should You Buy: Sizing For Your Family Needs

Tankless water heaters are the way of the future when it comes to hot water usage in residential and commercial buildings. Tankless water heaters are characterized by their small form and ability to provide hot water on demand. On the other hand, on-demand does not always imply continuous service. Flow rate is the amount of water that may be produced in one minute by a tankless water heater (both electric and natural gas). If the demand for hot water in your household exceeds the capacity of your water heater, you may experience a lack of hot water.

  1. Gallons per minute (GPM) is the unit of measurement for tankless water heaters (GPM).
  2. During peak hours, the average family consumes around 6.5 GPM.
  3. A tankless water heater with a capacity of 4 GPM can deliver enough water for one shower and one appliance to run at the same time.
  4. When a tankless water heater is undersized, it will not be able to provide enough hot water to fulfill the needs of your household.
  5. A tankless water heater with a flow rate of 4GPM will be unable to heat enough water to fulfill this demand for hot water.
  6. A lar ge tankless water heater has greater installation and operating expenses than a traditional tank water heater.
  7. For example, a 4 GPM tankless water heater will cost between $400 and $700 plus installation, and an 8+ GPM tankless water heater would cost between $900 and $2000 plus installation.
  8. Hot water on demand is defined as having continuous hot water output for the duration of time that the hot water tap is open.
  9. If you have too many hot water faucets open at the same time, the water will become lukewarm if the tankless water heater’s output capacity is surpassed.
  10. Installation costs are in addition to the cost of the tankless water heater.

We’ve put together this complete shopping guide to assist you in making the best decision for your family when it comes to tankless water heaters. The following section will lead you through the many various considerations you should make while shopping for tankless water heaters.

Gallons of Hot Water You Need for a Tankless Water Heater

The first thing you’ll need to think about is how much hot water you’ll require from your tankless heater. In most cases, we refer to this as “sizing,” although you will not be using dimensional measures to determine the appropriate size for your tankless water heater. Instead, you’ll need to pay attention to two separate metrics: the flow rate and the temperature rise (or decrease).

See also:  How Much Does A Tankless Hot Water Heater Cost

Tankless Water Heaters GPM Flow Rate Explained

It is the time of day when you use the most hot water at one time that is referred to as peak demand. Tankless water heater size is determined by the flow rate, which is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). The majority of tankless water heaters are capable of producing between 2 and 10 gallons of water per minute on average. During peak demand periods, it will be necessary to total up all of the flow rates of the fixtures and appliances in your home that may be using hot water at the same time in order to establish your water flow rate need during those times.

However, the following list of normal flow rates for popular fixtures and appliancesshould assist you in making an estimate:

Fixture or Appliance Usage: AverageGallons per Minute(GPM) Used
Bathtub 4 GPM
Rainhead shower head Up to 5 GPM
Standard shower head 2.5 GPM
Standard dishwasher 2.5 GPM
High-efficiency dishwasher 0.5 – 1.5 GPM
Standard clothes washer 2.5 GPM
High-efficiency clothes washer 1.0 GPM
Sink faucet 1.5 GPM

Using the expected GPM production as a guideline. There are some fixtures and appliances that have a larger output than others. Using a normal shower head (2.5 GPM) consumes approximately half the amount of hot water as using a rainhead shower head, as seen in the following table (5.0 GPM). The kitchen faucet consumes approximately the same quantity of hot water as other sink faucets, regardless of where they are installed. It is uncommon for many sink faucets to function in tandem for extended periods of time.

What is a Tankless Water Heater’s Temperature Rise

Once you’ve determined the amount of water flow your tankless unit will require during peak demand periods, you’ll need to figure out how much “temperature increase” it will require. The temperature rise refers to the amount of degrees your hot water heater will need to raise the incoming average groundwater temperature in order to supply enough hot water for your household. For example, suppose the temperature of the entering cold water is 52 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want hot water that is 110°F, you’ll need a temperature raise of 58°F.

Putting Flow Rate and Temperature Rise Together

The flow rate and temperature rise of a water heater are both measured in the ratings. If you want to appropriately size your water heater, you must take into consideration both the flow rate necessary and the rise in temperature required.

Ground Water Temperature Expected Gallons per Minute Output
37 F 3.9 GPM
42 F 4.7 GPM
47 F 5.5 GPM
52 F 6.3 GPM
57 F 7.1 GPM
62 F 7.8 GPM
67 F 8.6 GPM
72 F 9.4 GPM

Another example is based on a tankless water heater with a 9.5 GPM output and a temperature rise of 35 degrees. Consider the following scenario: you have four gadgets that may all demand hot water at the same time:

  • 1 GPM / 110° for the hot water faucet
  • 1 GPM / 110° for the dishwasher
  • 2 GPM / 120° for the washing machine.

1 GPM / 110° for the hot water faucet; 1 GPM / 110° for the dishwasher; 2 GPM / 120° for the washing machine

Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth the Cost

When it comes to purchasing a tankless water heater, many individuals question if the investment is worthwhile. Tankless water heaters, in contrast to tank water heaters, are a good investment because of their longer lifespan, lower maintenance requirements, and ability to provide continuous hot water on demand.

  • Tankless water heaters have a lifespan of up to 20 years, whereas tank water heaters have a lifespan of as short as eight years. Due to the fact that tankless water heaters do not have a tank that might malfunction and leak, the danger of water damage is reduced
  • Tankless water heaters do not require any maintenance because they do not have a tank. Tank models require yearly flushing maintenance to maintain the tank’s integrity, which is commonly neglected, resulting in a shorter tank’s lifespan as a result. Tankless water heaters have the ability to produce hot water on demand when needed. A 50-gallon tank water heater can get depleted in as short as 30 minutes of continuous usage and requires a minimum of one hour of recovery time
  • However, this is not the case.

Electric vs. Gas Tankless Water Heaters

Once you’ve calculated the appropriate flow rate and temperature rise, you’ll need to choose between electric and natural gas tankless water heaters for your application.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters Cost Less to Buy and Install

It is one of the key advantages of purchasing an electric tankless water heater over purchasing a gas-powered tankless water heater because they are less expensive. Tankless electric water heaters for the entire house normally cost between $500 and $700, but whole-house tankless gas water heaters cost between $1,000 and $1,200 or more. Aside from that, the cost of installing an electric tankless heater is much lower than the cost of constructing a gas-powered tankless heater. Following your confirmation that your home’s wiring is suitable with the type you’ve chosen, installing the electric heater should be a reasonably simple and quick task to complete.

In order to work, some electric water heaters require up to four 220v breakers, which dramatically increases the expenses of installation and operating.

For starters, you’ll need to build a ventilation system to safely exhaust any fumes that your water heater may produce.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters are Easier to Maintain

Because electric units are simpler devices than gas-powered units, they are less expensive than gas-powered units. Because there are fewer components within, there are fewer moving parts that might break down and necessitate a costly repair job. The cost of fixing a propane-powered device is often cheaper than it would be if the equipment were fueled by gas. The majority of tankless water heaters will beep to alert you when tankless water heater maintenance is required.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters are More Energy-Efficient

The most efficient gas-powered tankless heaters have an energy efficiency of around 85%. When compared to most electric vehicles, which have an average energy efficiency of 98 percent, an 85 percent efficiency rating is considered inadequate. So even though natural gas is less expensive than electricity in your location, choosing an electric unit may result in you saving money on energy expenditures in the long run. Electric heaters are more ecologically friendly than other types of heaters.

The production of electricity is already less detrimental to the environment than the combustion of natural gas, and the greater energy efficiency of electric vehicles further adds to the disparity between the two modes of transportation.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters Can Require Significant Electrical Upgrades

The most important drawback of electric tankless water heaters is the difficulty in installing them on the premises. A separate 240v breaker is required for each burner on an electric tankless water heater. For large GPM models to work properly, three or four 220v breakers must be installed, which means you may need to install an electrical subpanel or make other electrical changes. If you choose an electric tankless water heater with a high output, you may need to build a new subpanel to supply electricity to the water heater.

You’ll need eight breaker slots to accommodate four 240v breakers.

According to industry standards, one heating element is required for every 2GPM of water production in an electric tankless unit.

Gas Tankless Water Heaters Produce More Hot Water

A variety of natural gas and propane types are available for tankless gas water heaters. Some purchasers choose a tankless gas water heater over an electric water heater because gas versions can handle higher flow rates than electric water heaters. The best electric units have a maximum flow rate of 8GPM, but some gas ones have a flow rate that is substantially greater. In the case of a big home or an industrial application, you may be forced to choose a tankless heater that is fueled by natural gas.

The majority of on-demand tankless water heaters are capable of operating at a variety of intake temperatures.

In an electric model, the same rise in temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Fahrenheit) will result in around 2 gallons of hot water per minute in hot water, which is a considerable drop in production.

Natural Gas is Cheaper than Electricity in Some Areas

Given the price disparity between natural gas and electricity, depending on where you reside, a gas-powered device may be more appealing than an electric model. However, even if natural gas is much less expensive than electricity, the gain in efficiency associated with electric models, as well as the anticipated increase in natural gas pricing, may still make turning electric the most cost-effective alternative.

Indoor or Outdoor Installation Options

In contrast to a standard tank-style water heater, which must be installed indoors, tankless water heaters may be installed either indoors or outdoors. Installation of your tankless water heater outside has the primary advantage of eliminating the need to install a venting system inside. Because electric units do not require ventilation, placing them outside provides no meaningful advantage in terms of energy savings. In warmer areas, it is possible to put a tank-style water heater outside; however, you will still need to construct an enclosure around it.

The majority of outdoor tankless water heaters include built-in freeze protection that can withstand temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Conclusion

Although you may not give it much thought, you use your hot water heater on a regular basis. Providing hot water whenever you need it is the one item that helps keep things clean and operating smoothly in any household! The question is, how do you choose the appropriate size tankless water heater for your household? Take into consideration the appliances that will be used at the same time. When two persons living in an average-sized home need to shower every day at different times of the day (for example, because they work opposing shifts), a 2 GPM model would be appropriate.

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