Tankless or Hot Water Heater Installation
Some people want the latest technology and will choose atankless water heaterover a conventional hot water tank heater. But each type of water heater has its merits. Before choosing either a tankless hot water heater or conventional hot water heater, consumers should first make an informed decision before purchasing.
Not sure what to do next? Contact GreenCity Plumber to help you determine what the next step should be.
Tankless Water Heaters
Are you concerned about saving money? Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient and therefore save money over the long term by heating hot water only when used. Energy is not wasted maintaining a hot water supply on a standby basis. So if you will be away for extended times, no energy will be consumed for maintaining a reservoir of hot water that no one will be using.
Tankless water heaters are available in both gas and electric models. Both models can be wall hung – freeing up valuable floor space than the standard 40-60 gallon hot water storage tank. For some families, having a space saving water heater is of more value because most of today’s homes are getting smaller.
The perception by most persons is that tankless water heaters instantly provide hot water. This is not the case. Just like conventional water heaters, cold water in pipes have to empty first before a continuous supply of hot water will reach the fixture. Also, before there is flow of hot water, there is also a time lag as the tankless water heater unit cycles on to start making hot water (albeit a minor time gap).
In most tankless water heaters, if you only need a trickle of hot water for washing dishes or shaving, the tankless burner may not initialize or ignite for this small volume of hot water. So in the end, you may have to use a greater volume of water than just a trickle of water to achieve hot water for a low volume hot water task. So not only are you paying for heating water, you are also paying a higher water bill to maintain a hot water stream.
Tankless water heaters are more expensive to install and maintain. Typically, if a gas fired tankless water heater is replacing a gas fired conventional tank type hot water tank the gas supply to the tankless heater likely will have to be increased. If you are considering replacing an electric on-demand water heater in place of a conventional electric water heater storage tank, the wiring and amperage from the panel may have to be increased, thus adding an additional cost to a new electric tankless hot water heater installation. All gas hot water heaters have gas exhaust vented to the outside.
Savings over the life of the of a tankless heater may only cover the incremental cost to upgrade to this technological marvel but the life of the tankless hot water heater could be double the 10 year expected life a conventional hot water heating tank.
After determining how you are going to use hot water, then you can determine the number of gallons to be heated to suffice the standard needs. Temperature differential between the supplied cold water and the specified hot water temperature will have to be taken into consideration. The greater the differential, the greater the capacity of the tankless water heater required. Don’t forget to take into account the seasonality of the supply water. In winter, the water supply to the heater could be 20° to 30°F lower than summertime, thus requiring additional sizing that will maintain adequate supply of hot water during frigid winters.
If you undersize the tankless water heater, even though the heater is heating water on demand, the volume of water will be not be sufficient to operate all the hot water fixtures at the same time. Sizing a tankless water heater properly is critical to the enjoyment and lifestyle in your home.
Conventional hot water storage tank
Like any workhorse, you can depend on a conventional hot water storage tank to make hot water 24 hours per day. However, if you will have an extensive use for hot water like extended showers or many washes, you could run out of hot water. But, if the tank is correctly sized for your normal household hot water requirements, there should not any issues.
A 60 gallon electric heated tank or industry equivalent 33 gallon gas heated storage tank should be sufficient for most family requirements.
With standard hot water storage tanks, no matter what the temperature differential between heated water and the supply water, the volume of heated water will always be the same within the storage tank.
However, as the temperature of supply water goes down, the time necessary to bring the water temperature to the specified heated temperature will be longer. This is even more critical in cold climates as the supply could be just above freezing in winter and in the range of 50°F-60°F degrees during the summer.
If you are constantly running out of hot water, the storage tank may be incorrectly sized for your needs and should be changed to a larger tank size or you should consider changing to a tankless hot water heater.
If you are having frequent problems or running out of hot water, Contact GreenCity. GreenCity Plumber can help you determine what the next step should be to remediate a hot water shortage or repair an older hot water heater.
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