A tankless water heater provides water when needed. It is commonly known as an instantaneous or demand-type water heater. Intermittent use of a water heater considerably prolongs the life of your water heater. Tankless water heaters surpass stored tank water heaters. It is because they do not cause energy losses incurred by other water heaters. Below, we will discuss necessary information, ranging from whether a tankless water heater is the best for you, how to install a tankless water heater and its advantages as well as shortcomings.
A homes water heater influences the comfort while showering as well as the utility bill. A water heater should be energy saving. Storage water heater can be inconveniencing as it heats and reheats water in the tank that makes it costly. On the other hand, a demand-type water heater that uses gas solves this problem since the water heater only when in use. It is important to understand the mechanism behind water heaters
How a Tankless Water Heater Works
Simply, a tankless water heater instantly heats the piped water without a storage tank. Turning on the hot water tap sends cold water flowing into the pipe. There is an element that may be electrical or gas, say a gas burner, that heats the water as it flows. Consequently, a tankless water heater provides a stable hot water supply.
It is convenient compared to a tank water heater, which one has to wait till hot water fills up the storage tank. Conversely, beware that for a tankless water heater, the rate of the heater’s output affects the flow rate.
Most of the tankless water heaters deliver hot water of averagely two to five gallons per minute. Heaters that are gas-fired tend to supply hot water at a higher rate of flow compared to an electric one. However, a tankless water heater that gas fires may be unable to provide sufficient hot water concurrently for multiple users or uses.
For example, it does not supply enough for two people of the same household showering at the same time using hot water from a tankless water heater. One can overcome this by installing more than one tankless water heater, which one can connect in a parallel way to suit concurrent hot water demands.
Also, one can install the tankless water heaters with each having a specific function, say one for the shower and the other for kitchen appliances.
Uses of Tankless Water Heaters
- To boost water heating systems that run using solar
- Bathrooms, both remote and hot water
- Appliances such as clothes washer machines and dishwashers
How to Install a Tankless Water Heater
Correctly installing and maintaining your tankless water heater maximizes its energy efficacy. The proper installation is dependent on many factors such as; climate, fuel type, safety, and also building code requirements.
It necessitates the need for qualified personnel to handle the installation process. Others may prefer to install the water heater on their own. If so, consider talking to the manufacturer as some of them have instruction pamphlets. To get the best personnel, consider;
- Asking for the cost approximations, better if in writing
- Inquire for references
- Look up the company and see if the company can acquire a permit(Where there are building restrictions)
- Once you learn all the information, install the water heater through the steps given below;
- Measure the copper pipe and cut it.
- Ensure you burnish the pipe,
- After polishing, you should apply flux both to it and the fitting
- Wait for the copper pipes to dry- this ensures a tight fit
- Drill the copper holes before insertion and allow room for expansion
- Then place the copper pipe in place
- Heat the end of the tubes to fuse them
- Ensure the gas valve is shut, and mount the black iron gas pipe,
- Bind the pipe threads using Teflon tape
- Before installing the pipe for vents, ensure the pipe’s outlet is away from household ventilation sources such as doors, windows, and house ventilation openings
- A significant number of tankless water heaters need disconnect switches. Install the switches close to the heater.
- Before powering up the system, running water.
Solar water heater –
People are becoming more open to fundamental ideas of energy use. Using the suns heat to deliver water heaters is a smart move that people are randomly adopting. It fits many if not all geographical locations. Solar water heaters can be active or passive. An active solar water heater has circulating controls and pumps which a passive solar water heater lacks. It makes the active type more costly but more efficient too.
Tankless water heaters –
A demand type water heater is one that conveniently heats water when one desires. It needs less space for it to function and it is useful as it does not run shot of hot water. One can adjust the temperature to suit one’s needs, though it is at 125F. How much you save is dependent on how much hot water you need.
Factors to consider while choosing the best tankless water heater
The best water heater has to efficiently and conveniently provide sufficient hot water. Below are aspects to deliberate on as you decide which water heater suits you best;
Different people have different needs. However, survey results indicate that the significant needs of people have to use hot water without waiting and avoid interruptions of the water running out as they shower. All this at an affordable price
Does it save energy and by how much are there better energy saving alternatives available?
The initial cost of purchasing and installing should fit within your budget.
The size of the tankless water heater depends on the need for hot water. The more you gallons of hot water you need, the bigger the size you require. The effect of picking a wrong size water heater is that the hot water rapidly runs out.
- Type of fuel and the availability of the kind of fuel
- Kind of pilot light
A standing pilot light is more energy saving since one can turn it off after use. It makes it convenient.
If you are contemplating to purchase a tankless water heater and you are unsure of which is best. Compare the energy sticker on your tank with that of the tank you desire as a replacement. It offers the best choice.
Recently, the effectiveness of water heaters is through energy factor reports. The higher the water heaters` energy factor, the more efficient it is.
Majority of people inquire about which type of water heater is the best. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of using tankless water heaters.
Advantages of installing a tankless water heater
An instantaneous water heater lasts for 20 years or more. Their parts are easy to find and replace, that enhances their durability. Tank water heaters, however, continue for a maximum of 15 years
Statistics indicate that households that consume less than 41 gallons of hot water and less per day, tankless water heaters are averagely 29% efficient compared to tank water heaters. In households that us more than 41 but less than 86 gallons of hot water per day, the tankless water heaters are averagely 11% efficient.
One can enhance savings by installing more instantaneous water heaters for each use. Statistically, this can save energy of averagely 34%.
Bosch Greentherm 9900 series has an energy factor of one. It annually uses natural gas of 150 terms. Majority of storage tanks have a .67 energy factors. They then consume 225 therms annually. It then saves a significant proportion of income.
Minimized heat losses
Demand-type water heaters avert standby energy losses which are familiar with tank water heaters. It is because there is no tank. Therefore, no water needs conventional heating when it runs cold. It makes them effective and efficient.
These demand-type water heaters take up very minimal space. It is because one can install them on walls or even out-door so long as they have an anti-freeze kit. Moreover, one can connect smaller units that one can place beneath the cabinets, or even more conveniently, nearer to the place of desired use.
Tankless water heaters come with heat exchangers warranty.
Varying Operational Cost
Operational cost for a demand-type water heater varies according to the model. A tankless water heater with a standing pilot light allows you save more since one can turn the pilot light off while not in use. While choosing the best tankless water heater, contemplate selecting one with an IID- Intermittent Ignition Device.
Unlike storage water heaters that may rapture, this tankless water heater has absolutely no possibility of flooding due to a burst tank.
It continually supplies water for an individual user. This advantage eliminates the hassle that comes with limited water supply that ruins the whole showering relaxation
These tankless water heaters sources of heat can be gas or electric sources. The tanks that use electrical sources do not emit greenhouse gases. It makes them eco-friendly.
Most of the tankless water heaters have a $300 federal tax discount. It makes the final price cheaper.
High initial installation cost
Comparing a demand-type and tank storage water heater, the cost of installing a demand- type water heater is more elevated than the storage water heater. It costs thrice more than a storage water heater. Nevertheless, their cost of energy and operation is low, that neutralizes the high initial installation cost.
Furthermore, an instantaneous water heater that uses gas will require ventilation. This ventilation is especially of stainless steel material that is expensive to obtain and install.
Energy loss MAY occur.
Tankless water heaters whose source of heat is gas do have higher hot water flow rate than electrical sources. However, in the event where the pilot light is continuously burning, it may lose energy. A storage water heater has a pilot light responsible for heating the water to avoid wasting energy.
A demand-type water heater is unfit for simultaneous hot water uses. One who requires many gallons of hot water daily may need to purchase and install another water heater to meet the requirements. Storage tanks have an advantage since they can deliver as much hot water as the pipes can pass.
This challenge is mostly in cold climate areas or countries.
Takes long to deliver water
This instantaneous water heater compared to a tank water heater takes long to provide water since it has to undergo heating. Unlike the storage water heater that has already heat water, that only needs to go through the pipe
Unsuitable for hard water
Yes, hard water has a drastic effect on water heaters, but instantaneous water heaters are most affected. The demand-type water heaters do come with warranties, which do not cover malfunctions that arise due to mineral-build up, lime or scales. Most installation guides contain instructions as per the maximum level of water hardness. One can prevent this through regular flushing of the water heater.
Despite the challenges listed above, a tankless water heater is a modern way to conserve energy and add to savings.
If one decides to settle for a tankless water heater, then it is time for installation. Before installing a demand-type water heater, consult your gas company regarding the size of your gas. It is because the majority of instantaneous water heaters have a higher gas requirement than storage water heaters.
Reminder and Final Verdict
When shopping for a water heater that is convenient and effective, consider the size of your family, size of the water heater, space, and location where the water pipes will be.
Make sure you buy the water heater of a correct size to avoid inconveniences. Also, the market has a range of water heater choices. Beginning from the ancient storage water heaters to the tankless water heaters and the most modern solar water heater. Select a water heater that serves you or your family best and at the same time one that saves on cost. After reading this guide, you will have all the ideas on how to install a tankless water heater.