What are the benefits of a tankless water heater?
The convenience of on-demand water heating: A problem with storage-tank style water heaters is that they rely on storing an adequate supply of hot water for typical usage.
But household usage may change, and there are times when a tank full of hot water doesn’t last long enough for everyone in your family to get a shower. Sometimes it runs out part-way through a shower. Brrrrr.
A tankless water heater solves this by heating water as it’s needed—whenever you turn the faucet.
As water is running through the heating elements, it is brought up to the proper temperature in seconds. This means that as long as the home uses hot water at a flow rate below the tankless heater’s maximum flow rate, the supply of hot water remains undiminished!
Important to note: Tankless units do not provide instant hot water; there is still the time needed for the hot water travel the pipe from the heater to your faucet!
The closer your tap is to the heating unit, the less time you wait for the hot water to arrive.
Efficiency: With a tankless water heater, there is no need to pay for the energy necessary to keep 50 or 70 or 100 gallons of water hot 24/7.
In tankless models the water is heated as it runs through the unit, sending hot water whenever a hot-water tap is opened.
Because of this, tankless water heaters generally save 20% to 40% on energy use compared with storage tank type water heaters.
The U. S. Department of Energy estimates that for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, on-demand, or tankless water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.
And for homes that use a lot of hot water (around 86 gallons per day), tankless water heaters can be 8%–14% more energy efficient.
SOURCE: U. S. Department of Energy
Space-saving: Tankless water heaters are much smaller units (about ¼ the size of a tank-style unit).
Since there is no need for the 50, 75, or 100-gallon capacity storage tank, the tankless water heater may be wall mounted in a much smaller space. This may well free up space inside your home or garage.
If you are finding that an old 50-gallon tank style heater is no longer adequate for family needs, and there isn’t room for a larger capacity heater, going tankless is a great solution.
How much do tankless water heaters cost?
Initially, they cost more than storage-tank style water heaters. Reasons for this include: a more powerful burner, computerized controls, and a possible need to reconfigure gas, plumbing and venting. But this initial cost is offset by both the energy savings and longer life-expectancy of a tankless unit.
Example: A tankless (condensed gas-fired) water heater can reduce water-heating energy costs by 60% or more compared to an equivalent 50-gallon storage, electric water heater.
A tankless unit might pay for itself in energy cost savings within the first seven years of its average 20-year life span.
To compare installation costs between tanks-style and tankless systems, you need to ask your local plumbers. But installation costs on tankless heaters have come down in recent years, and more tankless models are compatible with the existing gas line and ventilation stacks from previous tank-style heaters.
Tankless heaters are modern and more effective. They last up to 20 years with very little maintenance, as opposed to the typical 8-12 years of tank style heaters.
The U.S. Department of Energy helps you compare the purchase and annual operating costs of tankless water heaters vs. tank-style water heaters.
What size tankless water heater is right for my home?
The answer will depend on your home’s incoming water temperature, its maximum flow rate, and whether you will be using a gas or electric unit.
Let’s say you know your incoming cold water is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You then determine the maximum flow rate of gallons during use.
A shower might require 1.5 GPM (gallons per minute), with a desired temperature of 105 F. But someone else is also washing dishes, at 1.5 GPM in nice hot water.
Perhaps also the dish washer is running, at 2 GPM, and an average washer temperature is 120 F.
The total GPM for that time period is 5 GPM. Thus you want a tankless water heater capable of raising the temperature of incoming water from 50 F to 120 F (a 70 degree rise) at 5 GPM. Most gas-fired water heaters are capable of doing this.
Let RT Olson Plumbing help you determine what kind of tankless water heater you need.
Tankless water heater repair and maintenance
Flushing and descaling the heat exchanger is important for a long life and and worry free operation of your tankless water heater.
Tankless Manufacturers often require proof of proper service records before authorizing parts or unit replacement under a warranty claim.
Proper service includes one-hour flush with a descaling fluid, cleaning or “dusting” the unit of foreign objects, and cleaning the filters and condensation trap.
This service should be done annually.
Contact RT Olson Plumbing to set up annual tankless water heater inspections and servicing, at (951) 533-5071.
RT Olson Plumbing offers installations of Noritz brand tankless water heaters
Getting a new tankless water heater installed, step by step:
- Contact us for a phone quote or onsite estimate (Our phone quotes are always accurate and we will not be surprising you with extra charges once we arrive onsite).
- In discussion with you, we will help you determine the most appropriate tankless water heater brand and model for your home.
- We will arrive at the appointment date and time with the water heater and all materials needed, we will go over the project and explain you what are we gonna be doing and how the finished product will look.
- With your approval for the plans we will get to work. Typically, a tankless water heater installation takes 6 to 8 hours.
- We will remove the old water heater and clean and prepare the area for the new installation.
- We will mount the new tankless water heater on the wall, making sure we free up as much free space as possible. We will install all the new manufacturer’s approved air/exhaust vents, re-connect the water and gas supplies, making sure everything is up to-code.
- Once done, we will explain you how the water heater works and how to utilize its features.
- You begin enjoying endless hot water supply, while saving on you utility bill.
RT Olson Plumbing offers full-service, professional installations for the following brands:
Tank-style water heaters:
Tankless water heaters: