Tankless: Endless Hot Water Not Instant Hot Water
Often our clients are trying to save water and approach us asking us about a tankless water heater because they want to get hot water to their faucet and shower faster. If that is what you are looking for, then the tankless hot water heater is not the answer.
The tankless hot water heater promises to deliver hot water consistently so that it is endless. You don’t have to worry about running out of hot water because the water heater continues to heat as long as the faucet valve is open.
The tankless water heater is off until you turn on the faucet. When you turn on your faucet, the water heater is triggered to fire its burners at that moment based on the movement or flow of water through the heater. The heater then flash heats the water that goes through it.
The water heater is a certain distance away from the faucet and that is what determines how long it takes to get to your faucet or shower. It is really just a math calculation, whereby the distance from the water heater to the faucet or shower times the water pressure, and the diameter of the pipe determines how long it will take. It is certainly not instant. For this issue you would be better served by a circulation pump.
The benefits of a tankless water heater is that once you have hot water at the spout of the faucet or through the showerhead it stays hot until you turn it off. So, if you have company at your house or your college student’s home and take an extra long shower, you won’t have to worry about the limits of tank size. The last person taking the shower will get just as much hot water as the first person did.
The tankless is a small unit. When size matters it may be helpful that the unit is about the size of a piece of carry on luggage. Also, when it is off there is no turning on to stay warm like a tank style heater. It is only using gas when you need it to provide the hot water. Further, if there is ever a leak it would be a drip compared to the potential damage from a large size tank and that may be the biggest benefit of all.
There is a certain level of responsibility that is needed for tankless hot water heater owners. There are annual maintenance or filter changes to keep the warranty intact. Most warranties are 12 years or longer so it makes sense to keep the unit maintained or to use a pre-filter to reduce scale build up.
So, if you are considering getting a tankless consider the needs of your family. Do you travel a lot? You may have some piece of mind with a tankless. Do you have teenagers home who take a lot of hot showers? Then your water use and the bill may just go up with a tankless. These are all factors that you should consider and if you want to find out more about tankless water heaters or about circulation pumps to get you hot water faster, give us a call.