Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless Water heaters, also called On Demand water heaters or Instantaneous water heaters, do not have a tank to store the heated water. Most of them have a copper fin tube bundle which acts just like the radiator in your car, only in reverse. Although it uses gas faster to heat the water as you use it, there is no real wasted energy (gas) to keep the water hot while noone is asking for it and no cold water being added into the tank of already heated water cooling it down. It takes the same amout of energy (gas or electric) to heat a gallon of water, whether it is instantaneous or over a period of time. The real savings are realized by not having to keep 40 or 50 gallons of water or more hot all day and night waiting for it to be used and not keeping a pilot light burning 24 hours a day. We will list the Pros and Cons further down the page.
Since we are one of the leading installers of tankless water heaters you know you will be getting a quality installation done correctly and to local codes.
The cost to install a tankless water heater over a conventional tank type water heater is approximately 2 to 2-1/2 times. But they typically last twice as long or longer. They also have Federal tax credits and SoCal Gas Co. rebates available to help offset the cost.
There are 3 issues to be concerned about; gas line size, electrical, and hot vents when you are installing a tankless water heater where an old tank type water heater was used before.
Gas Line Size
You need to have a 3/4″ Gas line to the new tankless water heater. Yes, some companies will install the heater using the existing 1/2″ gas line (We won’t). This is bad, during peak use the gas control valve opens all the way and cannot get enough gas through the smaller line to heat the water to the preset set point. The gas burns so poorly at the lowered pressure, it causes soot to build up on your tube bundle which creates many other problems. I could write 3 pages on all the bad things this causes, but to the point,,,, this voids your warranty in almost every case.
Second, you need an electrical outlet for the electronic ignition not to mention all the sensors and the computer boards. Most cites want a dedicated circuit, meaning one that only the tankless water heater is on. Because it is next to a water source it must be a GFI (Ground Fault Interupter).
Next, the venting for the combustion gases. If you are going to install a new tankless water heater inside, the vent material must be made of Stainless Steel. This material is expensive and it really adds up on a 2 story home. For this reason tankless water heater companies now make models that can be installed on an outside wall. These in most cases do not need to be vented up through the roof. Even if you install the new tankless unit in the same spot as the old heater you will still need to change out the vent pipe.
There are mixed reviews on tankless water heaters. If you have time, talk with friends or anyone that has one to see what their thoughts are. Look for reviews on line and check with the manufacturers and their FAQ pages. You can go to the following links to the manufacturers we prefer.
Noritz FAQ Our Prefered favorite, Lots of FAQ’s here.
Rinnai Another good very unit.
Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater
- Higher efficiency
- Lower Energy Costs
- Possible Rebates
- Endless Hot Water
- You can actually fill the tub with hot water
- Longer Warranty on heat exchanger
- Green: Helps the Enviroment
- Space Saving
- Higher initial cost to install
- A slight delay to get hot water to a fixture
- A monentary decrease in water pressure while the heater is catching up to demand
- Endless hot water for the teenager to take longer showers or baths
- May need water softner or filter