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Your Guide to Tankless Water Heaters

Traditional water heaters have a tank that heats and stores away water in its tank for later use. However, there is an innovative version of this product that heats water only when its needed as it runs through the unit. Many people are curious about tankless water heaters because they’re eco-friendly and compact. However, these water heaters also require a larger up-front investment to get those benefits.

Here are the basics about tankless water heaters, including how they work, their pros and cons, and where to find a great one for your home.

How Does a Tankless Water Heaters Work?

Tankless water heaters work by using energy only to heat water and not to keep it hot in a tank. Therefore, you aren’t using the system to unnecessarily let hot water sit still without being used. A system like this allows cold water to run into the unit and heat up the water as it runs through, just as soon as you open the hot water tap. It is necessary to have a tankless water heater with a flow rate that corresponds properly to your household needs so that you don’t run out of hot water when you need it.

What Tankless Water Heaters Are Used For

Tankless water heaters are used in residential settings to heat up water to use for showers, hand washing, the dishwasher, laundry machines, and doing dishes in the sink. These types of water heaters have been used extensively in parts of Europe and Japan, but they are just now gaining popularity in American markets.

Pros of the Electric Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are eco-friendly because they save water and can also save you money on your utility bills. Overall, tankless systems are more energy efficient, but on-demand systems can be run on electric or gas. Electric units are more energy efficient but can come at a higher overall usage cost than gas models.

They have a compact design that’s great for small spaces, and they can be repaired fairly easily. These water heaters are designed to last a long time – usually 20 years or even longer. They are made with parts that can often be replaced easily, they help prevent common water heating issues like leaks and floor damage, and they deliver fresher water because it hasn’t been sitting in a tank for long periods of time.

Cons of the Electric Tankless Water Heater

Going from a traditional tank water heating system to a tankless system requires plumbing retrofitting and maybe even upgrading your electric or gas lines. These can be costly endeavors, which is why many homeowners don’t consider making the switch until their current water heaters are getting old and in need of replacement. It can be a challenge for older homes, in particular, to accommodate tankless water systems without upgrading their electricity source, and venting materials can be expensive too.

It’s imperative to get the right size of tankless water heater for functionality in a home, and it may even be necessary to install two tankless systems for a large house with high demands for hot water. Tankless water heaters generally deliver two to five gallons of hot water each minute, which is the flow rate.

You can estimate your household’s flow rate by making a list of all the hot water devices you might use at the same time (shower, faucets, dishwasher, etc.) and noting how many gallons per minute they use. For example, showers tend to use between two and eight gallons per minute, while faucets use between one and five gallons per minute. Also consider your temperature rise amount, which means how many degrees your water must get heated between the ground water temperature (possible around 50 degrees) to your output temperature (around 120 degrees).

Where to Buy a Tankless Water Heate

Central Plumbing Specialties is your one-stop source for all plumbing and heating supply needs, including water heaters. We carry water heaters that work with a wide range of fuel types, including electric, gas, oil, dual fuel, indirect, and solar/geothermal. A tankless water may be a good option for your home, but this is not a decision to make lightly or without the experience and advice of an industry expert.

We have Central Plumbing Specialties locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Rockland, and Yonkers, with convenient hours Monday through Saturday. Stop by to learn more about our water heater options and choose the best model for your particular home.

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