How Practical Are Tankless Water Heaters

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Tankless Water Heater Repair Columbus Ohio, Water Heater Repair Columbus Ohio

There is a great deal of discuss the pros and cons of tankless water heaters verses storage tank water heaters. Water Heater Repair Columbus Ohio is going to start a discussion on tankless heaters today, explaining a few of the claims and going over the truths. They have advantages and disadvantages over traditional water heaters and it may just depend upon what ones specific usage demands are that will figure out which type of the proper one for ones home.Water Heater Repair Columbus Ohio

The fundamental theory of utilizing a tankless water heater is among being energy efficient. Water is heated up as it is utilized, and not saved in the large tank of a conventional water heater, continuously heated so it is prepared whenever it is to be made use of. Likewise, given that they can hold on the wall and take up practically no space at all, they are really useful.

Electrical Usage

Considering that tankless water heaters do require 240 volts of electricity and as much as 160 amps to set up, one may have to have ones electrical box updated to accommodate the power need of the system. For example, and not to get overly technical right here, a conventional tank water heater has around a 4500 watt heating element, verses four, 7000 watt elements of a whole-house tankless one.

As for efficiency, According to the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), and supported by Housing and Urban Development (HUD), “further testing is needed to determine if electric tankless water heaters will match the efficiency of tank-type heaters.”

Correct Sizing

Tankless systems are sized by the flow rate determined in gallons per minute (GPM). One will have to figure out when and what ones highest need of hot water is to correctly identify the best size system to purchase.

Here is the formula for figuring this out from Keltec Inc:

Flow rate (GPM)
Temperature rise ( T ºF)

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To determine the size and kilowatt rating you need, apply this formula:
“The result of this formula is the maximum kW needed to accomplish your project requirements for on-demand heated water. Other media will vary slightly. This formula is a nearly universal method of calculation for energy input to yield temperature at required water flow.”

Water Quality on the Tankless System

The quality of the water one has in ones house should be examined as well in order to get the most out of a tankless water heater. If ones water is high in mineral content, like calcium, they will develop on the coils gradually and decrease the life expectancy of the device. If the water hardness at ones house is above 11 grains per gallon, a water softener would be suggested. Makers do have de-liming directions and normally have a caution light on the device to recognize when this must be performed. Nevertheless, remember what the manufacturers guarantee covers. If it is just against maker’s defect, this will not cover any repairs needed due to ones water quality. In ideal conditions, a tankless system will last much longer than a conventional water heater, which can help validate the greater initial product cost and installation expenses, but one will should be mindful of keeping it running appropriately to make back ones financial investment.

Service and Repair Costs

These costs are generally greater for a tankless system than a traditional water heater, just to have a heads up. Lots of people normally do not have their traditional water heater services too regularly (unfortunately) however it is suggested to have a tankless system expertly serviced as soon as a year.

Instantaneous Hot Water

This ought to not be that big of a deal, but though producers do promote instant hot water. Certainly one understood that it takes a minute for the hot water being heated immediately to go through ones hot water pipe to the faucet or shower. Though, if one is simply using the faucet a little the tankless heater’s burner could not fire up if the faucet is not opened up more. For example, a flow rate of one-half gallons to 2 gallons per minute is needed for electric tankless heaters to heat water.

Depending on the amount of hot water one needs at the very same time, more than one unit will require to be set up. This is easy to do, however certainly increases the equipment costs while doing so.

Devices and Set Up Costs

A typical price range for tankless heaters is around $800 to $1200. A typical storage tank water heater it is around $300 to $500. Set up expenses are about $1200 and $300 respectively then too. One will, again, most likely require an electrical upgrade, as well as a different gas pipe setup (if utilizing a gas tankless heater), and a brand-new ventilation system. A benefit of replacing ones water heater with a system much like the existing one is many of these upgrades will not be needed – they are already in place.

Benefits of Going Tankless

No stored water, which in itself has several advantages. Initially, if there was to be a leak with a tank heater, there could possibly be water damage to ones house. Likewise, one should flush the tank a minimum of when a year to keep mineral build up reduced, however there is the capacity for foul-smelling water smells, bad tasting water, and the development of legionella bacteria in the tank if it is not at a sufficient temperature. Traditional water heaters take up much even more space as well.


Here is what Consumer Reports has found: “Gas tankless water heaters, which use high-powered burners to quickly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger, were 22 percent more energy efficient on average than the gas-fired storage-tank models in our tests. That translates into a savings of around $70 to $80 per year, based on 2008 national energy costs. But because they cost much more than storage water heaters, it can take up to 22 years to break even longer than the 20-year life of many models. Moreover, our online poll of 1,200 readers revealed wide variations in installation costs, energy savings, and satisfaction.”

The Center for Energy and Environment says that “A 37% savings of water heating energy per household was found for replacing a typical natural draft storage water heater with a tankless one. However, this savings was not enough to offset the high incremental cost resulting in paybacks from 20 to 40 years.”

Finally, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association concludes that “Tankless water heaters generally aren’t as energy efficient as well-kept tank water heaters. Insulation, temperature setback, timers, and heat traps can all lower energy costs with tank water heaters.”

One indicate is that yes, tankless systems will use less gas than a standard gas water heater which does have its ecological advantages. Nonetheless, a lot of electrical energy is made use of, for electricity takes longer to heat water than gas. And, a lot of electrical power is produced from burning fossil fuels.


Similar to any kind of innovation, the field of water heating is ever evolving. Efficiency advances are increasing with conventional gas and specifically electric storage type water heaters. There are various advantages with tankless and conventional heaters that one will should consider. Do not hesitate to let Water Heater Repair Columbus Ohio know of any concerns you might have in the decision process.

Check out our Columbus Winter Water Heater Precautions post too!