Myths and Facts About Tankless Water Heaters

When you figure that hot water usage in American households consumes between 15 and 30% of a home’s energy demand, it’s important to know the facts when considering a new water heater.  Among your options are tankless water heaters. There are many misconceptions about tankless heaters, so we thought we’d debunk a few:

Tankless water heaters don’t work as well as a regular tank water heater.

In reality, while most 40-gallon tank water heaters have a 35-45 minute recovery rate and can produce about one gallon of hot water per minute, some tankless water heaters can produce 3.3 – 7.5 gallons per minute. So in a half hour cycle, a tankless water heater can produce 115.5 – 262.5 gallons, considerably more hot water!

I may not have the space for a tankless system

Tankless hot water systems can be installed indoors or outdoors. They can be mounted on walls, and they are surprisingly compact. Using electronic (not open-flame) pilots, they can be placed in closets and other small areas that would not not accommodate a conventional hot water tank. Some systems have a compact electric recirculating system and tank, which can be placed on the floor or suspended from a wall.

A tankless hot water heater can’t provide enough hot water for an entire household.

An endless supply of hot water may be hard to imagine, but the technology in tankless units is specifically designed to provide a full and constant flow of appropriately heated water for an entire household.

Tankless water heaters heat the water to dangerous levels.

False. Tankless systems are actually safer to operate since they heat the water to only slightly above the level of intended use.Tank-based water heaters typically must overheat the stored water so that it will remain hot, even as the in-flowing cold water mixes with it. Tankless systems are also designed to keep out-flowing water at a constant temperature.

Tankless water heating systems cost more to operate.

Tankless water heaters have an initially higher outlay of cash compared to a traditional tank water heater. However, when you factor in the lower operating costs and longer (20 year) service life, tankless systems can save their owners a substantial amount of money. They require less maintenance, and nearly every component can be individually replaced without replacing the complete unit.

All tankless water heaters are covered by a 2011 tax credit

Actually, there are 3 types of water heaters covered by the tax credit, provided they meet Energy Star efficiency requirements: Gas, Oil, and Propane Water Heaters (including tankless); Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters; and Solar Water Heaters. Water heaters NOT eligible for the tax credit: Electricstorage tank and electric tankless water heaters.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what type of water heater to install in your home. We install several kinds of water heaters, so if you have any questions or like to know more about tankless, solar, or traditional tank water heaters, we’d be happy to help. Just give Barker and Sons plumbers in Orange County a call.