Tankless Water Heater Review– What You Need to Know
If you are reading reviews of tankless water heaters online, you are probably picking up a lot of information. Still, those reviews are for particular units which might vary in quality and demand. If you really want to make an informed decision on what you should buy, instead you should figure out what your needs are first.
The plumbers at Hackler Plumbing can help with informed suggestions for tankless systems for your family but first, we want to make sure you understand the basics.
As an overview, tankless water heaters use a gas or electric element that heats water as it passes through the system. This element is at a high temperature so it heats the water up quickly. It is limited by the volume of water it can cook at a time, so a higher demand family will need a more robust system.
If you are considering getting a tankless system, here are some benefits you can expect to see:
Fuel Costs: As opposed to a traditional heater, tankless water heater systems do not store water. Instead they produce instant heat upon demand. Because of this, the water does not have a chance to cool off while it is not being used. Realistically you can expect to see a tankless system use 1/3rd of the resources a traditional tanked system uses. So, as a result less energy is wasted, saving you hundreds of dollars yearly over its life-span.
Unlimited Hot Water: A tankless water heater will produce hot water until you turn off your faucets. Which is fantastic if you cannot keep up with the demand for hot water in your home. It can be an issue though if you have children that will run the shower all day. For some people this is a benefit while for others it is a frustration.
Space: This might obvious, but tankless water heaters take up much less space than a tanked system. In climates such as McKinney, Texas, where freezing temperatures are not as much an issue, you can even get external units that mount outside of your home. This extra space clears up room for things like tennis rackets and old boxes of concert tickets for shows you once attended. Maybe paint cans? Your decision.
We want to present to you some issues that come up with tankless water heaters in order to make sure you can make decisions for your home and business that take everything into account. When researching systems, consider the following issues some people have with them:
Mineral Buildup and Repairs: Since it is new technology, it costs more to repair a tankless water heater than it does a traditional tanked heater. You will also take in mind the water quality in your neighborhood. Some municipal systems let through a lot of calcium or other minerals, which collect in any heater you have. This can be resolved by installing a water softener to filter your water before it reaches your tankless system, or by making sure you clean it regularly.
Demand: One of the biggest issues with tankless water heaters is demand. Currently the largest gas systems produce 5 Gallons Per Minute (GPM). Electric systems can produce as much as 2 GPM.
A typical home will use 5 GPM if you are running a shower and dishwasher simultaneously. If you are considering upgrading your water heater to a tankless system, you might also want to look at your appliances as well. If it is an issue, it can be corrected with a bit of work. Low-flow shower heads reduce the burden on your system, as well as does high-efficiency dishwashers and clothes washers.
Upfront Cost / Infrastructure: While you save a lot of money with a tankless system, they can cost a bit to install up front. Current tankless systems can be well over a thousand dollars for the unit, whereas a water heater with a tank is a few hundred. Additionally, if you are converting an existing home from a tank system to a tankless system, you will need to move water pipes, gas pipes, or install a higher capacity electrical system to meet the demands of your new heater.
Are you are considering a tankless water heater, but want to have a professional opinion? If so, Hackler Plumbing would love to talk. If anything, we would be a great sounding board to help you make a decision. Give us a call!