Tankless or on-demand water heaters heat water only when it’s needed, eliminating the need for a storage tank and therefore saving the energy normally used to constantly heat and maintain a tank full of hot water. In a traditional whole house water heater. Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of about 20+ years, up to more than double the life of a traditional tank-type water heater. They also eliminate the risk of tank leaks and associated water damage.
How It Works
When you turn on the hot water tap, cold water is drawn through a pipe into the unit and heated either by an electric heating element or a gas burner. The hot water never runs out, but the flow rate may be limited. Tankless electric water heaters typically deliver hot water at a rate of 2 – 5 gallons per minute.
Tankless Water Heater Types
There are two basic types of tankless water heaters – small units that are usually installed right at or near the point-of-use and larger ones that are capable of serving an entire house. The smaller models can reduce or eliminate heat losses through piping (in addition to eliminating standby losses from a tank), but multiple units are usually needed to serve an entire house. Small units can be placed under kitchen sinks and in bathrooms for instance providing pretty much instant hot water because there is no pipefull of cold water to be run out first before your hot water arrives as with a centrally located tank water heater. No longer do you have to wait for the hot water to arrive!
Larger “whole house” tankless water heaters can provide hot water for multiple points-of-use in the home. While these units eliminate the heat losses from a storage tank, there will still be some losses through the hot water piping unless it is insulated.
Advantages to on-demand water heaters:
● Tankless water heaters are compact in size, taking up less space than conventional tank type water heaters.
● They can virtually eliminate standby losses – energy wasted when hot water cools down in long pipe runs or while it’s sitting in the storage tank.
● By providing hot water immediately where it’s used, tankless water heaters waste less water.
● You don’t need to let the water run as you wait for hot water to reach a remote faucet.
● A tankless water heater can provide unlimited hot water as long as it is operating within its capacity.
● Expected life of tankless water heaters is 20+ years, compared to 10+ years for tank type water heaters.
● A single central Tankless electric water heater may not supply enough hot water for simultaneous uses such as showers and laundry unless it has the correct output capacity and is properly configured.
● Unless the system is equipped with a modulating temperature control, it may not heat water to a constant temperature at different flow rates. That means that water temperatures can fluctuate uncomfortably – particularly if the water pressure varies in different parts of the house.
● Electric tankless water heaters require a relatively high electric power draw because water must be heated quickly to the desired temperature. In some cases the home’s electric service may need to be upgraded.
Cost and Savings
Tankless water heaters range in price from $200 for a small under-sink unit up to $1,000 or even more for a unit with enough capacity for a whole house. But a tankless unit can last up to twice as long as a conventional storage type water heater, saving on replacement costs. By eliminating standby losses from the tank and minimizing losses from hot water piping, tankless water heaters may be able to cut your water heating energy costs significantly.
Pros and cons of tankless water heaters
● Saves money in the long run – According to Energy.gov, “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.”
● Doesn’t take up much space – They are small and can be installed in more places—even outside on a wall.
● Lasts much longer – Lasts 20+ years. Almost double a traditional water heater’s life.
● Delivers hot water on demand – Provides two to three gallons of hot water per minute on demand.
● Higher initial cost.
Call master electrician Kalin Seamans on (469) 475-5488 and he will be glad to help you make the right choice for your home or remodel project.
Adding much needed electrical outlets as you add more and more electronics and appliances to your home is ridiculously inexpensive. I’m a master electrician, so I know these things.
Daisy-chaining power strips and extension cord overloads electrical outlets and is a REALLY BAD IDEA. Not only can overloading outlets damage the expensive equipment being powered, this practice is a very real fire hazard.
More electrical outlets in your home can actually make your life more pleasurable. For example, I could add a strip of outlets inside of a cabinet under your bathroom sink or add it to the back of the vanity drawer where you store your hair dryer. I could also add extra outlets above and beneath the desktop of your home office to optimize efficiency and get rid of ugly power cords everywhere. How convenient is that!
PLEASE don’t risk your family’s safety linking extension cords all over the house trying to save a little time or money. The odds are not good for a happy ending. This is a simple fix that I would love to make for you. Respectfully, Kalin Seamans.