Thoughts on Tankless Water Heaters

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Tankless Water Heater Repair Des Moines, Water Heater Repair Des Moines

There is a great deal of talk about the pros and cons of tankless water heaters verses storage tank water heaters. Water Heater Repair Des Moines is going to start a conversation on tankless heaters today, explaining some of the claims and talking about the truths. They have advantages and downsides over traditional water heaters and it may just depend on exactly what ones certain usage requirements are that will determine which sort of the proper one for ones home.Water Heater Repair Des Moines

The fundamental theory of using a tankless water heater is among being energy efficient. Water is heated as it is used, and not kept in the large tank of a traditional water heater, continuously heated up so it is all set whenever it is to be used. Also, since they can hold on the wall and use up practically no space at all, they are extremely useful.

Electrical Usage

Because tankless water heaters do need 240 volts of electricity and up to 160 amps to establish, one might need to have ones electrical box upgraded to accommodate the power demand of the system. As an example, and not to obtain overly technical below, a traditional tank water heater has around a 4500 watt heating element, verses 4, 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.”

Proper Sizing

Tankless systems are sized by the flow rate measured in gallons per minute (GPM). One will have to figure out when and exactly what ones greatest need of hot water is to properly figure out the finest size system to purchase.

Below is the formula for figuring this out from Keltec Inc:

Flow rate (GPM)
Temperature rise ( T ºF)

Water Heater Repair Des Moines IA

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 as well in order to get the most out of a tankless water heater. If ones water is high in mineral material, like calcium, they will build up on the coils with time and minimize the life span of the device. If the water hardness at ones house is above 11 grains per gallon, a water softener would be suggested. Producers do have de-liming directions and normally have a caution light on the device to determine when this must be carried out. However, bear in mind what the producers service warranty covers. If it is simply 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 help validate the greater initial equipment expense and setup expenses, but one will have to be mindful of keeping it running properly to make back ones financial investment.

Service and Repair Costs

These expenses are generally higher for a tankless system than a traditional water heater, just to have a heads up. Lots of people generally do not have their conventional water heater services too regularly (regrettably) however it is suggested to have a tankless unit expertly serviced as soon as a year.

Instantaneous Hot Water

This must not be that big of a deal, however though makers do market instant hot water. Undoubtedly one realized that it takes a moment for the hot water being heated immediately 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 could not ignite if the faucet is not opened up more. For example, a flow rate of 1/2 gallons to 2 gallons per minute is required for electric tankless heaters to heat water.

Depending on the amount of hot water one requires at the very same time, even more than one unit will have to be set up. This is simple to do, however certainly increases the equipment costs at the same time.

Equipment and Set Up Costs

An average price range for tankless heaters is around $800 to $1200. A common tank water heater it is around $300 to $500. Set up expenses are about $1200 and $300 respectively then too. One will, once more, probably need an electrical upgrade, as well as a different gas pipe setup (if making use of a gas tankless heater), and a new ventilation system. A benefit of replacing ones water heater with a system just like the existing one is many of these upgrades will not be needed – they are currently st up.

Advantages of Going Tankless

No stored water, which in itself has several benefits. First, if there was to be a leakage with a tank heater, there can possibly be water damage to ones home. Also, one ought to flush the tank a minimum of as soon as a year to keep mineral build up reduced, but there is the potential for stinky water odor, bad tasting water, and the growth of legionella bacteria in the tank if it is not at a high enough temperature. Conventional water heaters take up far more space as well.


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 use less gas than a traditional gas water heater which does have its ecological advantages. Nevertheless, a lot of electrical power is used, for electricity takes longer to heat water than gas. And, many electrical energy is produced from burning nonrenewable fuel sources.


Similar to any sort of innovation, the field of water heating is ever advancing. Efficiency advances are increasing with traditional gas and specifically electric storage type water heaters. There are different benefits with tankless and traditional heaters that one will have to consider. Do not be reluctant to let Water Heater Repair Des Moines know of any concerns you may have in the choice procedure.

Check out our Tankless Water Heater page too!