Tankless Water Heater Install

I love tankless water heaters! There, I’ve said it. Now, I’d like to tell you why. This article will demonstrate the benefits of getting a tankless heater instead of a traditional storage-type unit. The energy used by all kinds of electric heaters is relatively well studied and documented in the scientific literature, so I’ll stick to tankless for this article.

Switching to a tankless water heater is advantageous for many reasons. The first reason is that it provides more hot water because no storage tanks can deplete hot water. Another advantage is that they last longer than regular tanks, lasting 2-5 times longer, which means less money spent on repairs or replacements.

Because it works by heating water as needed instead of storing the heated water in a large tank where heat escapes, you will also save money on energy costs. It will require less power to run than standard models, so your electricity bill will decrease over time. Tankless water heaters usually take up less space than the traditional tank type, so you can fit them into smaller areas that may have been unable to hold the larger unit before.

Finally, they are environmentally friendly because no wasted water goes down the drain while waiting for the tank to refill.

So, with many of these benefits, it is easy to see why switching from a traditional water heater to a tankless one is a good idea.

The only drawback is that since they heat water as needed, you can’t run your dishwasher and washing machine simultaneously. However, this minor setback has little impact on the advantages mentioned above. If you want to switch from a regular water heater to something greener and more efficient, look into buying a tankless model.

tankless water heaters how it works

The most popular brand of Tankless units, Rinnai, details how the tankless heaters work in this photo above

So what is a tankless water heater?

This term typically refers to a water heater that has no tank for holding hot water, such as the units sold by Rheem and Noritz, two common brands of tankless heaters. These units can be plumbed right into your existing hot-water tank and provide hot water as needed.

The benefits of tankless heaters are many:

They provide instant hot water, up to a specific flow rate; you can’t run out of hot water because there is no tank to drain; tankless heaters typically have longer life spans than traditional storage tank heaters, and tankless heaters are more energy efficient. Let’s explore these reasons, one at a time.

Instant hot water tankless heaters provide instant hot water because they are on-demand units, meaning that you only get the hot water when you need it.

Traditional tank storage heaters will wait for an event to happen (someone turns on a faucet), and then they provide hot water. This wait time can vary depending on tank size, temperature, incoming water temperature, and other factors.

Tankless heaters are typically associated with the term endless hot waterbecause of their ability to provide infinite quantities of hot water at practically any flow rate you need. Unlike traditional tank storage heaters, you never run out of hot water with tankless. You will never run out of hot water with tankless because tankless units only provide as much hot water as needed; there is no tank to drain when you can’t get to the faucet right away.

Since tankless units only provide the exact amount of hot water that you need, they are very efficient because they don’t use energy to keep water hot that you aren’t using. One tankless unit can be used for multiple sinks, showers, and baths in your home, while tank heaters typically serve one tankful of water per tank (although larger tank heaters do exist).

As mentioned above, tankless units only provide hot water as needed. This does not mean tankless heaters are not suitable for all situations. Tankless units can offer energy savings in two cases:

  • The first is when you have a tank heater that is inappropriately sized for your needs. For example, tank heaters typically come in 30 gallons, 40 gallons, 50 gallons, and tank sizes. If you do not use enough hot water to justify a tank, tankless is the right choice for you!

The other benefit tankless provides in this situation is that your tank can always be 100% full of hot water because tankless units provide infinite hot water. Tank storage heaters typically only store one tankful of hot water, which means tankless heaters are always better suited for tankless use.

  • The second situation tankless is superior to tank storage heaters is when the tank heater isn’t properly insulated. Remember that tankless units only provide as much hot water as you need, which means that if your tank heater has poor insulation, tankless heaters will use less energy because tankless water heaters will only provide as much hot water as needed.

tankless water heaters Raleigh NCThe last point I’d like to mention is tankless heater longevity. Tankless heaters typically have a 10-year warranty, and tank storage tank heaters usually have a 6-year warranty, but tankless units tend to last around double the tank storage tank heaters. Part of tankless longevity has to do with tankless units being nearly 50% larger than tank storage heater tanks, which means the tank shell is much more robust and durable.

Tank storage heaters also provide hot water at a very high temperature (150-160 degrees F) to maintain the tank’s temperature. Still, tankless water provides the correct hot water temperature (120 degrees F), which means tankless heaters are exposed to minor wear and tear. If you’d like to learn more about tankless water heaters in Raleigh NC for your home, contact the Professional at Poole’s Plumbing today!

Tankless Water Heater External Maintenance

The Raleigh professional plumbers at Poole’s Plumbing are the number one water heater specialists across the Triangle area, however, even if you have been enjoying the water savings and convenience of a tankless unit you had installed by us, to ensure you keep your hot water flowing, here are several things that you can do at home to perform important Tankless Water Heater External Maintenance.

As noted in a series of articles which include video instructions at the official Noritz website that can be found here, the first step in your Tankless Water Heater External Maintenance is to do an inspection, visually around the unit. Take a good look to make sure there are absolutely no combustible materials present can help to avoid a future hazard. One thing to look for is any type of discoloring on the outside of your tank and its remote control. Wipe this outside surface first with a wet cloth and then be sure to dry it, as despite being water resistant, your water heater is not waterproof. In cleaning the remote control never use oil or fatty detergents or benzene, as either of these can and will be harmful to it.

Tankless Water Heater External Maintenance

Much like the first simple step above of Water Heater External Maintenance, next, simply listen to your water heater to be certain that you don’t hear any abnormal sounds as the unit is operating. If you do hear something that you find abnormal, it is best to troubleshoot this type issue with one of the water heater specialists at Poole’s.

Checking for leaks in the pressure release valve may seem obvious, but this too is a part of Tankless Water Heater External Maintenance that can help to avoid a larger issue down the road. You will want to open the valve to make sure that it turns off correctly and that everything is working as it should. If you do find a leak or drip in the pressure release valve, it will need to be replaced. A thorough check of all connections to the water heater to make sure everything correctly fits can also help to detect leaks and save on a much larger problem occurring down the road.

If your water heater is a DV condensing model you will want to regularly check for dust or soot that has collected in the exhaust. To do this, you will want to use the end of a screwdriver to remove the screen from the intake valve and check for any type of debris. Before putting it back in, thoroughly clean both sides of the screen with a brush and some water, then allow it to fully dry before placing it back in. This will help to ensure that there can be proper airflow into the system.

Tankless Water Heater External Maintenance is crucial in keeping your flow of hot water steady and plentiful and by following these simple at home tips you will be more likely to catch a potential problem or issue before it becomes disastrous and costly. Our next post will be a second part in doing Tankless Water Heater Maintenance with a focus in that entry on how to maintain the internal area of your unit.

Tankless Water HeatersThe Raleigh water heater specialists at Poole’s Plumbing specialize in an array of services, with one being installation and servicing of your water heater. With a wide selection of both Tankless Water Heaters and conventional model water heaters from all of the most trusted name in plumbing products at your disposal with our Raleigh water heater specialists at Poole’s, deciding whether or not  Tankless Water Heaters are the right fit for you is one that should be weighed out carefully.

The website, howstuffworks.com recently did an in depth analysis that can help you to properly analyze whether Tankless Water Heaters would be the most cost effective and best fit in your home or place of business, detailing both the benefits and drawbacks as follows:

Benefits:

  • Most Tankless Water Heaters come with a federal tax rebate of $300.
  • They never run out of hot water.
  • They last five to 10 years longer than tank heaters.
  • They’re more efficient with no standby heat loss.
  • Tankless Water Heaters take up less space and can even be installed on walls or outdoors with an anti-freeze kit.
  • Smaller units can be installed under cabinets or in a closet, closer to the point of use.
  • They only need enough power to heat the amount of water necessary at any given moment.
  • You can shave as much as 20 percent from your water heating bill.
  • Electric models don’t produce greenhouse gases.
  • Most units are operated by remote control and have up to four separate settings available.
  • There’s no possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank.

Drawbacks:

  • They cost up to three times as much as a tank water heater.
  • Your hot water output is split among all your household fixtures.
  • You may need to add a larger natural gas line to supply the unit with enough fuel.
  • Venting gas and propane units requires expensive stainless steel tubing.
  • Electric models may require an additional circuit.
  • Gas-powered units produce greenhouse gases.
  • Gas units require the additional expense of an annual servicing.
  • Electric models require a lot of energy.
  • They need a minimum flow rate of .5 GPM in order to activate the heat exchanger.
  • Lag time can require you to run your water in order to get to the hot water, increasing water waste.

Other Considerations:

  • Water heating accounts for about 20 percent of your home energy budget.
  • A whole-house electric model costs $500-$700.
  • A whole-house gas model costs $1,000-$2,000.
  • Electric models are generally cheaper to install than gas.
  • Natural gas is less expensive now, but expected to surpass electricity in the coming years.
  • A standard bathtub holds about 35 gallons, soaking tubs hold between 45-80 gallons.

In addition to these points, there are many other valid points to consider when looking into the possibility of going with Tankless Water Heaters. The entire analysis can be seen at this link, home.howstuffworks.com .