How Practical Are Tankless Water Heaters

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Tankless Water Heater Repair Savannah GA, Water Heater Repair Savannah GA

There is a great deal of talk about the pros and cons of tankless water heaters verses storage tank water heaters. Water Heater Repair Savannah GA is going to start a discussion on tankless heaters today, pointing out some of the claims and discussing the realities. They have advantages and drawbacks over standard water heaters and it could just depend on what ones specific usage requirements are that will figure out which kind of the right one for ones home.Water Heater Repair Savannah GA

The fundamental concept of making use of a tankless water heater is one of being energy efficient. Water is heated as it is utilized, and not saved in the large tank of a conventional water heater, continuously heated so it is ready whenever it is to be made use of. Also, considering that they can hold on the wall and take up essentially no space at all, they are extremely practical.

Electrical Usage

Considering that tankless water heaters do need 240 volts of electricity and around 160 amps to establish, one might have to have ones electrical box upgraded to accommodate the power demand of the system. For instance, and not to obtain extremely technical here, a conventional tank water heater has around a 4500 watt heating element, verses 4, 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 determine when and exactly what ones highest demand of hot water is to correctly figure out the finest size system to get.

Below 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 at home have to be examined also 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 minimize the life span of the system. If the water hardness at ones house is above 11 grains per gallon, a water softener would be advised. Producers do include de-liming instructions and typically have a caution light on the unit to determine when this needs to be carried out. Nonetheless, keep in mind what the producers service warranty covers. If it is just against manufacturer’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 assist validate the greater initial equipment expense and installation costs, but one will should be mindful of keeping it running correctly to earn back ones financial investment.

Service and Repair Costs

These expenses are typically greater for a tankless system than a traditional water heater, just to have a heads up. Many individuals typically do not have their standard water heater services too frequently (sadly) however it is advised 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 market instant hot water. Clearly one realized that it takes a minute for the hot water being heated right away to travel through ones hot water pipe to the faucet or shower. Though, if one is simply turning on the faucet a little the tankless heater’s burner may not ignite if the faucet is not opened up more. As an example, a flow rate of 1/2 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 should be installed. This is simple to do, but certainly increases the equipment expenses while doing so.

Equipment and Set Up Costs

A typical price range for tankless heaters is around $800 to $1200. A common storage tank water heater it is around $300 to $500. Set up costs are about $1200 and $300 respectively then too. One will, once again, probably require an electrical upgrade, along with a different gas pipe setup (if making use of a gas tankless heater), and a new ventilation system. An advantage 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 st up.

Advantages of Going Tankless

No stored water, which in itself has a number of benefits. Initially, if there was to be a leak with a tank heater, there can possibly be water damage to ones house. Also, one should flush the tank a minimum of as soon as a year to keep mineral build up low, however there is the potential for stinky water smells, bad tasting water, and the development of legionella bacteria in the tank if it is not at a adequate temperature level. Traditional water heaters use up a lot more space too.


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 indeed, tankless systems will make use of less gas than a conventional gas water heater which does have its environmental benefits. However, a great deal of electrical energy is used, for electricity takes longer to heat up water than gas. And, most electricity is produced from burning nonrenewable fuel sources.


Just like any kind of innovation, the field of water heating is ever developing. Efficiency advances are happening with traditional gas and especially electric storage tank water heaters. There are various benefits with tankless and conventional heaters that one will should consider. Do not hesitate to let Water Heater Repair Savannah GA know of any concerns you could have in the choice procedure.

Check out our Tankless Water Heater Repair Savannah GA page too!