Keeping your water hot
Technology is everywhere in our homes today. From the doorbell with a camera to a smart thermostat, and televisions the size of a movie screen. Now, water heaters are smaller and without the cumbersome, space-eating tanks. Yes, tankless water heaters are here. They are included in new builds and people are upgrading their current water heater to a tankless water heater.
What’s the big attraction to a tankless water heater? Can you run out of hot water with a tankless water heater? Well, the big selling point is “you’ll never run out of hot water again!”, and while your hot water supply can’t be depleted because it heats the water as it is needed.
This means when you turn the hot water faucet on in a bathroom or the kitchen, the tankless water heater heats the water as it comes through. Your hot water comes on demand instead of heating 40 or 50 gallons of water at once and dispersing it to the faucet then heating up again when needed.
However, while a tankless water heater system won’t “run out” of hot water, it can be overwhelmed if there is demand in several points of the house. Like running the dishwasher and doing a load of laundry downstairs while somebody is showering upstairs. A tankless water heater can only heat so much at one time.
This can be resolved by installing multiple tankless water heaters. Since they are modular, they can be placed almost anywhere in your home without taking up a lot of space. So maybe having a tankless water heater for shower independent of the tankless water heater in the utility room for the kitchen could be something to consider. A professional plumber with tankless water heater experience can discuss these options with you.
Can a homeowner install a tankless water heater?
A homeowner with a DIY ability could install a tankless water heater in their home but having knowledge of the traditional water heater is recommended. Why? Because you’ll have to remove the existing water heater and they were not installed with a tankless water heater retrofit plan for the future.
An electric tankless water heater is easier to install and are less expensive. However, if your home is setup with a gas water heater now, you can’t have an electric tankless water heater without electricity. So, you’ll need to make sure enough of the right electrical power is available, which may need the service of a professional electrician. Then disconnecting the gas from the current water heater and permanently turning off at that connection.
You should consider the different sizes tankless water heaters too. Are you looking for a whole house use or one room only? Big box home improvement stores often have trained staff available to assist in choosing the right size and thorough internet searching is always helpful.
Do tankless water heaters need maintenance?
Another point in favor of a tankless water heater, it won’t require any more maintenance than the regular preventive maintenance you have done for your HVAC system. Any appliance or component that uses electricity or gas should have routine inspections. These maintenance inspections will find small issues that can be taken care of immediately before they become bigger problems.
Depending on where you live and the quality of the water, a water softener may be recommended. The buildup that hard water creates can cause havoc in a tankless water heater system with the erosion, scale buildup, and staining.
How often does a tankless water heater need to be flushed?
The general recommendation is to flush your tankless water heater once a year to keep it working efficiently. However, if you have hard water, you should consider flushing it twice a year. Some homeowners with a tankless water heater consider getting a combination tankless water heater with pump, aka a circulator pump.
The pump circulates the water periodically back to the tankless water heater and reheats it. This requires three pipes to be installed instead of two: cold water, hot water, and recirculation. While this is an option to be considered, you may need to flush the tankless water heater an additional time since it will have that additional pipe installed.
How long does a tankless hot water heater last?
Like a traditional water heater, the tankless water heater life expectancy can vary based on the quality of the water in your home and the maintenance performed, like flushing once, twice, or three times a year. The life expectancy of most tankless water heaters is up to 20 years. If you have problems with your tankless water heater, there are parts that make repairs easy and will extend the life of the unit a few more years. The traditional water heater will last on average 12 to 15 years.
Go Tankless Water Heater or Tank Water Heater?
Just because “everyone” is going with the tankless water heater style doesn’t mean it is right for your home. It is recommended to have a professional plumber give you a quote and discuss the install process with you, even if you’re going to do your own install. Consider these pros and cons of a tankless water heater system before making that commitment.
- Pro: Instant Hot Water
- Con: Inconsistent Temperatures
- Pro: Longer Lifespan
- Con: Initial Higher Cost
- Pro: Lower Monthly Expense
- Con: Hot Water Supply Limited
- Pro: Space Saving
- Con: Additional Equipment Required
- Pro: Special Financing, Tax Breaks
- Con: Gas Lines Require Rerouting
- Pro: Eliminates Standby Loss Hot Water
- Con: ROI Takes Years
- Pro: Hot Water never Runs Out
- Con: Water Usage Habits Require Change
- Pro: Available in Electric and Gas
Call 484-366-9362 today for tankless water heater installation in Pottstown, PA.