Tankless Water Heating System Installation & Repairs in Grove City

Tankless Water Heaters RepairA tankless water heater is energy-efficient as it only heats water when needed. This type of system can supply virtually endless amounts of hot water to multiple appliances simultaneously, without fluctuations in temperature.

If it’s time to get a new water heater and you want to know if switching to a tankless unit will save you money in the long run, compare the yellow “Energy Guide” stickers on your current heater and the tankless model that best suits your needs. This sticker will give you a good idea of what you can expect. Then weigh in all the expense factors that come with going tankless, including venting costs and gas line or electricity upgrades. Once you know the total costs involved, compare this to the cost of a new tank model and then figure out your energy costs for each. The amount of time it will take to make back your money with your monthly savings is called the payback period. You should also consider that a storage tank heater will need to be replaced again in about ten years — you’ll get roughly 15-20 years of use from your tankless model.”

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

An endless stream of hot water, and up to 40% in savings in energy costs are just two great reasons to select an energy-efficient tankless water heater over a conventional tank-style water heater.

For those who want to “go green,” because the tankless heating system prevents the loss of standby water and reduce energy consumption. They can also be located closer to the point of use, which helps to reduce water wasted while you’re waiting for hot water to arrive at the fixtures. These heaters can last up to 20 years, and, due to their smaller size, produce less waste for landfills.

What is the Cost for Tankless?

The purchase and installation of a tankless water heater in your Grove City home can easily be 3 to 4 times more than a conventional tank-style water heater, and homeowners should take this into account when evaluating the possibility of purchasing one. However, a tankless heating system is considered by many to be a better long-term investment when the energy savings and longevity are considered.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

The idea behind a tankless system is that it heats the water as you need it instead of continually heating water stored in a tank. Tankless heaters have been the norm in much of Europe and Japan for quite some time, but they haven’t gained popularity until recently in the United States — largely due to the green movement. If you’re a good candidate for a tankless system, you can save a substantial amount of money every year on your monthly bills while at the ­same time conserving natural gas. Tankless heaters also last about five to 10 years longer than a tank heater, take up much less space and provide you with an unlimited amount of hot water. On the downside, a tankless system can cost up to three times as much as a tank heater and often requires costly upgrades to your natural gas line and an expensive venting system.

tankless water heater maintenanceSo is it cost-effective to switch from your traditional tank heating system? Or should you just wait until your current water heater bites the dust to make the switch?

In order to understand how a tankless water heater works, it’s important to know how a standard tank heater operates. In a traditional heater system, there’s a large tank that holds and heats water. In order to give you hot water when you need it, the tank continually heats the water to maintain a constant temperature. The energy used to keep the water hot even when it’s not being used is called standby heat loss.

Tankless systems avoid standby loss by heating incoming water only as you need it — they’re also referred to as “on demand” water heaters for this reason. The elimination of the standby heat loss is what makes a tankless system more efficient, but we’ll get to that in more detail a little later.

In order to get you that piping-hot shower when you want it, a tankless water heater uses a powerful heat exchanger to raise the temperature. A heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat from one source to another. There are heat exchangers in your air conditioner, refrigerator and car radiator. In this case, it transfers heat generated by electric coils or a gas-fired burner to the water that comes out of your faucet. This exchanger is activated by the incoming flow of water. So when you turn on your hot water tap, the incoming water circulates through the activated exchanger, which heats the cold water to your preset temperature. All you need then is some soap and shampoo and you’re ready to wash, rinse and repeat.

Tankless systems come in two varieties — point-of-use heaters and whole-house heaters. Point-of-use systems are small and only heat water for one or two outlets — say, your kitchen sink. Because of their size, they can fit under a cabinet or in a closet. They’re beneficial because they can be installed closer to your outlet and avoid water loss due to lag time. Lag time is the amount of time it takes for the hot water to reach your faucet. In large houses, the lag time can be significant, sometimes as long as several minutes. This means that while your water heating bill may be going down, your water consumption will be going up, which is something you should consider when debating whether or not to go tankless. Whole-house systems are larger, more expensive and can operate more than one outlet at a time.

With tankless water heaters, you can choose from electric, propane or natural gas models. Point-of-use models are generally electric, while whole-house systems are usually powered by either natural gas or propane. Which model to go with and what heating source you should use depends on many different factors.

Pros and Cons of Going Tankless

If you’re considering making the switch to a tankless water heater, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons first.

Pros:

  • Most tankless units come with a federal tax rebate up to $300.
  • They never run out of hot water.
  • They last five to 10 years longer than tank heaters.
  • They’re more efficient with no standby heat loss.
  • They take up less space and can even be installed on walls or outdoors with an anti-freeze kit.
  • Smaller units can be installed under cabinets or in a closet, closer to the point of use.
  • They only need enough power to heat the amount of water necessary at any given moment.
  • You can shave as much as 20 percent from your water heating bill.
  • Electric models don’t produce greenhouse gases.
  • Most units are operated by remote control and have up to four separate settings available.
  • There’s no possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank.

Cons:

  • They cost up to three times as much as a tank water heater.
  • Your hot water output is split among all your household fixtures.
  • You may need to add a larger natural gas line to supply the unit with enough fuel.
  • Venting gas and propane units requires expensive stainless steel tubing.
  • Electric models may require an additional circuit.
  • Gas-powered units produce greenhouse gases.
  • Gas units require the additional expense of an annual servicing.
  • Electric models require a lot of energy.
  • They need a minimum flow rate of .5 GPM in order to activate the heat exchanger.
  • Lag time can require you to run your water in order to get to the hot water, increasing water waste.

Other Things to Consider

  • Water heating accounts for about 20 percent of your home energy budget.
  • A whole-house electric model costs $500-$700.
  • A whole-house gas model costs $1,000-$2,000.
  • Electric models are generally cheaper to install than gas.
  • Natural gas is less expensive now, but expected to surpass electricity in the coming years.
  • A standard bathtub holds about 35 gallons, soaking tubs hold between 45-80 gallons.

Sources

“How Tankless Water Heaters Work.” gotankless.com, 2008. http://www.gotankless.com/how-tankless-works.html

“Low Energy Systems.” tanklesswaterheaters.com, 2008. http://www.tanklesswaterheaters.com/tanklessfaq.html

“Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide.” tanklesswaterguide.com, 2008. http://www.tanklesswaterheaterguide.com/

“Tankless Water Heater: How Does it Work?” friendlyplumber.com, 2008. http://www.friendlyplumber.com/tankless_water_heaters/how_water_heater_works.html

“Tankless Water Heaters.” toolbase.org, 2008. http://www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/Plumbing/tankless-water-heaters

Bongiorno, Lori. “How Do I Choose a Tankless Water Heater?” thegreenguide.com, June 13, 2006. http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/ask/tankless

Carter, Tim. “Do tankless water heaters pay off?” clarionledger.com, February 1, 2008. http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080201/FEAT03/802010303/1194/FEAT03

Formisano, Bob. “Tankless Water Heater: What you need to know.” about.com, 2008. http://homerepair.about.com/od/plumbingrepair/ss/tankless_hwh_2.htm

Gregg, M. Scott. “Tankless Water Heaters 101.” tankless101.com, 2008. http://tankless101.com/

Watson, Jerry. “Tankless Water Heaters: Modern Technology to the Rescue.” googobits.com, September 6, 2005. http://www.googobits.com/articles/2437-tankless-water-heaters-modern-technology-to-the-rescue.html