Tankless Water Heaters
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing provides installation, repair and service for tankless water heaters in the Fort Worth and Arlington regions.
According to the U. S. Department of Energy, tankless hot water heaters can save you up to 24%-34% energy compared to conventional tank hot water heaters which repeatedly reheat water to keep it hot in the tank.
Some homeowners prefer the tankless hot water as it uses less space than tank style water heaters. Tankless gas models will require gas lines, electricity for controls and ventilation to be installed if these are not already present from a previous gas water heater. Electric tankless hot water heaters are available, but electric models fall short in performance and efficiency when compared to gas tankless models. Electric tankless models simply cannot heat the water as hot, or as fast as gas models and use large amounts of electricity to heat water. Most experts agree, if you are going to purchase a tankless water heater select the tankless gas hot water heater model for the best overall performance and energy savings. Only the gas version qualifies for Energy Star certification.
The gas hot water heater on demand appliance requires a high pressure gas supply to fuel the hot water demand that it provides. Less than this can result in insufficient hot water for even as little as two sources running at the same time such as when two persons shower at the same time.
Though manufactured to high standards with advanced technology the tankless hot water heater will require repairs eventually. The tankless hot water heater is manufactured with ‘sacrificial rods’ that will in time, rust. This becomes visible when you see rusty water exiting your appliance during use. When this occurs it is time to have it inspected and serviced by having the rods replaced. Everything wears out sooner or later and the tankless or hot water on demand is no exception. Most experts agree though, that a yearly inspection and service will prolong the life and maintain the efficiency of your tankless hot water heater.
If you live in an area with hard water higher than 11 grains per gallon it is recommended that you install a water softener to prolong the tankless water heaters service life. Failure to do so in hard water areas may even void your appliances warranty as well as shorten its service life. Mineral deposits from hard water can restrict water flow or even damage the tankless hot water heater.
There are various types of tankless hot water models available:
- The point of service hot water heater provides hot water on demand for one outlet.
- The flow controlled model can provide hot water for two closely connected supplies
- The whole house supply model is the one most people are familiar with and may provide for your whole home depending upon your hot water requirements.
Increasingly, people are choosing the hot water on demand appliance for other applications around the home. Pool houses, outdoor kitchens, remote bathrooms, guest houses, to assist solar hot water heaters, additions, workshops and outdoor Jacuzzi are examples.
Your needs are best determined by a trained plumbing professional to ensure you receive the appliance best suited for your particular application as location, model, demand and installation will affect its efficiency.
In general, tankless water heaters can provide hot water at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute, with gas tankless water heaters producing a higher flow rate than electric models.
The tankless system is not suitable for all households. Running two outlets of hot water at the same time can place a tankless water heater at its maximum limit. This can be prevented by providing two tankless water heaters to accommodate for increased usage. Models are available that conveniently connect to each other to provide continuous hot water during times of high demand. Self-diagnostic models are also available alerting you to the need for maintenance.
The Department of Energy states that homes using 41 gallons of hot water daily can be 24%-34% more efficient by using a tankless water heater. For households that use a lot of hot water, or about 86 gallons per day, a tankless can be 8%-14% more efficient than conventional water heaters. By installing tankless water heaters at each hot water outlet you can boost energy savings to 27%-50%.
The tankless water heater’s initial cost is greater than that of a conventional water heater, but costs less to operate and have a typical service life of 20 years, by far outlasting conventional water heaters. The long service life and energy savings of the tankless hot water heater can greatly offsets the initial cost.
Tips for Selecting a Tankless Hot Water Heater
- A gas tankless water heater uses a pilot light and the cost of operation can vary between brands. The best option is to consider a model with an intermittent ignition device (IID) rather than a standard pilot light.
- The Department of Energy offers information for calculating the correct size of hot water device you will need. Since most persons have no idea of the flow rates of faucets, shower heads, and other plumbing fixtures of water using appliances, your licensed plumbing professional is the best source for properly sizing a tankless hot water heater for your household.
- Know what fuel types are available for your home before purchase. For example, if you do not have natural gas available, you wouldn’t want to purchase a natural gas water heater if propane gas was your only source of gas. Propane will require the purchase or rental of a propane tank and your area may not allow it. Unless you already have a gas hook up, check building codes and regulations, before you purchase a gas water heater of any kind. Even replacement of a same kind may require a permit.
- Compare energy efficiency of tankless water heaters, and look for energy star in order to obtain the most energy efficient model.
- Compare operating costs between brands.
- Provide routine maintenance to keep your tankless hot water heater operating at peak efficiency for many years to come.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing-Fort Worth provides tankless water heater installation, maintenance and repair. Give us a call when you need prompt and professional service from a plumber in Arlington or the Fort Worth region.