Tankless water heaters energize water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water.
They are smaller than conventional storage heaters, are wall mounted and do not take up floor space. Their size can make them particularly attractive in homes where square footage is limited
The primary disadvantage of on demand or instant hot water heaters is the upfront cost. The smaller units that you often see won't produce enough hot water to serve most households. They'll only serve one faucet at a time
Electric tankless water heaters are cheaper than the gas versions. Installation is easier and less expensive, and they’re generally not as difficult to maintain as gas models. Very few electric tankless models will be able to serve multiple outlets at once.
For a household of one or two people, a tankless electric unit will probably be adequate. For larger households, a gas-fired tankless water heater is probably the way to go.
Tankless units are complicated. Examine the internal workings of a typical tankless unit. You can quickly see how much could potentially go wrong with all the intricate technology tankless water heaters employ.
Tankless water heaters save money in the long run, but initial costs are higher than tank models. ... The U.S. Department of Energy estimates gas-fired tankless heaters save an average of $108 in energy costs per year over their traditional tank counterparts, while electric tankless heaters save $44 per year.
Gas tankless water heaters generate hot water only when you need it—and for as long as you need it—saving 27 to 50 percent of fuel costs over tank-type heaters. (A typical gas-fired tank wastes 40 to 50 percent of the fuel it burns.) And because there’s no tank to fail, there’s almost no chance of a catastrophic leak.
In terms of maintenance needs, there really isn’t much of a difference between maintenance care for tankless and traditional water heaters. Tankless should be drained entirely and their filters replaced monthly. They also need to be flushed and serviced on a regular basis. (Tank units need only be flushed every few years.)
Hard water is a problem for all systems because as water passes through the tank, its acidity causes buildup that drops to the bottom. This eventually affects the efficiency of the heat transfer, which can lead to premature system failure. The same thing can occur with tankless units, but more slowly. High heat settings can also add wear to a tankless, hard water will affect both tankless and traditional models.
They are durable and less likely to fail, causing potentially catastrophic flooding in your home. Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. They also have easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many more years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10–15 years. Tankless water heaters can avoid the standby heat losses associated with storage water heaters.
Installing a tankless water heater is definitely a job for a pro, as it involves making leak-free water, vent, and gas connections, in the case of gas or propane units, or upgrading the wiring and circuit-breaker panel, in the case of electric units. Maintenance for these units may seem simple in print but for these compact and intricate units, most owners will want professional service.
We would be happy to assist with your plumbing service needs. Call us at 828-589-9608