Tankless Water Heater Truths

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Tankless Water Heater Repair Pittsburgh, Water Heater Repair Pittsburgh PA

There is a great deal of talk about the benefits and drawbacks of tankless water heaters verses storage tank water heaters. Water Heater Repair Pittsburgh PA is going to begin a discussion on tankless heaters today, pointing out some of the claims and going over the realities. They have advantages and drawbacks over traditional water heaters and it could just rely on what ones specific usage needs are that will figure out which kind of the correct one for ones house.Water Heater Repair Pittsburgh PA

The standard theory of making use of a tankless water heater is one of being energy efficient. Water is heated up as it is utilized, and not kept in the large tank of a standard water heater, continuously warmed so it is ready whenever it is to be utilized. Also, since they can hang on the wall and take up practically no space at all, they are really practical.

Electrical Usage

Since tankless water heaters do require 240 volts of electricity and up to 160 amps to set up, one might need to have ones electrical box updated to accommodate the power demand of the unit. For example, and not to get extremely technical right here, a traditional tank water heater has around a 4500 watt heating element, verses four, 7000 watt elements of a whole-house tankless one.

When it comes to 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 require to identify when and exactly what ones greatest need of hot water is to correctly figure out the finest size device 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 in ones house should be examined too in order to get the most out of a tankless water heater. If ones water is high in mineral content, like calcium, they will build up on the coils in time and decrease the life expectancy of the unit. If the water hardness at ones house is above 11 grains per gallon, a water softener would be advised. Producers do have de-liming instructions and usually have a caution light on the device to recognize when this ought to be carried out. However, bear in mind what the producers warranty covers. If it is simply against producer’s defect, this will not cover any repairs needed due to ones water quality. In perfect conditions, a tankless system will last much longer than a conventional water heater, which can assist justify the greater initial equipment expense and setup costs, but one will have to bear in mind keeping it running properly to make back ones financial investment.

Service and Repair Costs

These costs are typically greater for a tankless system than a traditional water heater, just to have a heads up. Lots of people typically do not have their standard water heater services too routinely (regrettably) but it is advised to have a tankless system expertly serviced when a year.

Instantaneous Hot Water

This must not be that huge of a deal, however though makers do market instantaneous hot water. Obviously one understood that it takes a moment for the hot water being heated right away to go through ones hot water pipe to the faucet or shower. Though, if one is just using the faucet a little the tankless heater’s burner may not fire up if the faucet is not opened up more. For instance, a flow rate of 1/2 gallons to 2 gallons per minute is required for electric tankless heaters to heat water.

Depending upon the amount of hot water one requires at the same time, more than one system will require to be set up. This is simple to do, however obviously increases the equipment expenses at the same time.

Equipment and Set Up Costs

A typical price range for tankless heaters is around $800 to $1200. A normal tank water heater it is around $300 to $500. Set up costs are about $1200 and $300 respectively then too. One will, once more, most likely need an electrical upgrade, in addition to a different gas pipe setup (if using 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 most of these upgrades will not be required – they are currently st up.

Advantages of Going Tankless

No stored water, which in itself has several benefits. Initially, if there was to be a leak with a tank heater, there might potentially be water damage to ones house. Likewise, one ought to flush the tank at least when a year to keep mineral build up reduced, however there is the potential for stinky water smells, bad tasting water, and the growth of legionella bacteria in the tank if it is not at a high enough temperature level. Standard water heaters take up far more space also.


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 point to weigh is that indeed, tankless systems will utilize less gas than a conventional gas water heater which does have its environmental benefits. Nevertheless, a lot of electrical power is made use of, for electricity takes longer to heat up water than gas. And, a lot of electrical energy is produced from burning fossil fuels.


As with any type of innovation, the field of water heating is ever advancing. Efficiency advances are increasing with conventional gas and specifically electric storage tank water heaters. There are different benefits with tankless and traditional heaters that one will should think about. Do not think twice to let Water Heater Repair Pittsburgh PA know of any questions you might have in the choice procedure.

Check out our Why is My Pittsburgh Water Heater Making Noise post too!