Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters, also called on-demand water heaters, heat water without using a storage tank. Rather than storing hot water, a tankless water heater uses either a gas burner or electric element that heats cold water as it passes through the unit. As a result, you get an unlimited supply of hot water instead of waiting for your water tank to refill.
Like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to installing a tankless water heater. You will not have to worry about running out of hot water because the hot water supply is endless. If your teenager wants to take an hour-long shower while you are trying to pour a bath- no problem! You may also see a lower utility bill because on-demand water heaters use less energy. A water heater with a storage tank is continually using energy to keep the water hot, whereas tankless water heaters only heat the water as it travels through the unit.
Another benefit of a tankless water heater is the space that you save. Storage tanks take up considerable space, usually in the garage or a closet. Tankless heaters are much smaller and mount to a wall. Also, tankless heaters have a longer life expectancy than tanks and generally require less maintenance.
One of the biggest disadvantages of a tankless water heater is the upfront cost. The effectiveness of the unit is dependent on it being sized correctly. Small units will not produce enough hot water for the average household. So, if you want to have a hot shower while the dishwasher is running, forget about it. Larger units, which are what most families require to meet their hot water needs, are significantly more expensive to install than tanks. Some families even require more than one tankless water heater to produce a high enough flow rate. Just the units alone cost more to purchase than a tank, and a more complicated and potentially dangerous installation process requires the time and expertise of a plumbing professional.
Installing a tankless water heater requires more plumbing work than a tank. Gas on-demand water heaters produce a higher flow rate than electric. However, most homes’ gas lines are not compatible with new tankless water heaters, which means a plumber will need to make modifications to your home. Electric tankless water heaters may require electric upgrades to your home, so you will also need to hire a licensed electrician.
Some plumbing shops will try to sell you on switching to a tankless water heater, even if that means installing a tankless water heater that is too small, just to make the sale. There is nothing wrong with having a water heater with a storage tank, so carefully consider your options. Our plumbing technicians will not recommend a product or service that you do not need or that is not beneficial to you in some way. Feel free to ask us questions. We will happily take the time to evaluate your family’s hot water needs, offer the best possible solution, and answer any questions you may have.
If you want to save space, a tankless water heater may be the way to go.
We recently replaced this water heater storage tank with a tankless water heater.
See how much more useable floor and wall space was created by making this change.