Tankless water heaters have seen a huge boom in popularity in recent years, due in no small part to their energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, longevity, and accommodating size. It’s really not all too surprising that such a useful piece of hardware is enjoying wide-spread popularity. What is surprising, however, is how many folks out there are confused about just how tankless water heaters work. Being that a tankless water heater can be a very pricey piece of hardware, it is imperative that homeowners are as aware as possible of their system and how it functions.
In the interest of clearing the air, we’ve narrowed down the four most wide-spread misconceptions about water heaters. Time to set the record straight.
- Switching To And From Tankless Is a Simple Process If only this one were true. The reality is that swapping to and from tankless is not as simple as plugging in the new system. Old model water heaters were not designed with tankless in mind. Gas lines in older systems probably won’t be able to handle the gas output on a modern tankless water heater. When combined with the difficulties presented by tankless water heaters’ venting systems, it becomes clear that a proper professional installation is required when transitioning systems. An improperly installed water heater poses a huge safety threat to those occupying the home.
- All Tankless Water Heaters Are Identical This one is like saying a Hybrid and a monster truck are the same because they’re both technically cars. Yes, both perform the same basic function, but the design and efficiency of the models are totally at odds. As technology has progressed, tankless water heaters have improved; becoming easier to install, more efficient, and longer lived. Some models are better fits for a given situation than others. The best way to determine which model works best for you is to consult your trusted HVAC installation professional. They’ll know exactly which product is best suited to your home and water heating needs,
- I Do Not Need a Permit or Inspection To Switch To A Tankless System This one’s a little more complicated. Standards and regulations vary from municipality to municipality. Therefore, the best and safest option is always to consult with a city official about the regulations in your area. You may be surprised to learn what goes into swapping systems. Once you take any and all necessary legal steps, the (safe) installation process can begin. Standard heaters generally use around 40,000 BTU of gas. Tankless heaters can use anywhere up to 200,000 BTU, depending on the model. When you consider all the safety protocols required for proper installation, you can understand the need for permits and inspections before you begin.
- My Water Heats Up Faster With A Tankless System Again, we really wish this one were true too! Instant hot water sounds like a pretty good deal, but sadly, it’s not the case here. If hot water took ten seconds to travel the length of piping from your old tanked system, it will take about the same amount of time to travel that piping from a tankless system, barring any additional pipe work. Some models of tankless water heater activate only when they sense waterflow, which may increase the wait further, but ultimately, pipe length is the main factor in determining how long before you get the hot water. If the wait time is a huge factor for you, consult with your plumbing professional about installing a circulation system to the water heater, which essentially keeps the hot water constantly at-the-ready in the facet.