You may not think of it this way, but a tank-type water heater, regardless of where it is installed in your home, is a liability. Somewhere in your home is a thin, metal tank containing forty to seventy gallons of water. The older a water heater gets, the more prone it is to failure, which can occur without warning, leaving you and your family with a tremendous mess to clean up.
In the last couple of decades, an alternative to the cumbersome old water heater has emerged with tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters offer endless on-demand hot water, along with a plethora of other attractive features, but is it worth getting a tankless water heater for your home?
Pros of a Tankless Water Heater
Endless Hot Water:
This is far and away, the most important innovation of the tankless water heater. Traditional tank-type water heaters store between forty and seventy gallons of hot water, and when that supply runs out, it’s out. Older tank-type water heaters will tend to have reduced capacity due to the build-up of mineral sediment as a by-product of hard water.
Tankless water heaters eliminate the “running out of hot water” issue by using a high-temperature copper heat exchanger. The heat exchanger pulls cold water in from your supply line and
Since tankless water heaters only heat water as needed, there are no “standby losses” that you would have with a tank-type unit. It is conceivable to see your energy bills decrease by between ten and twenty percent by eliminating the giant metal tank that needs constant heating.
Tankless or “on-demand” water heaters are the perfect modern replacement for the bulky, inefficient tank-type units of the past. If your tank-type water heater is in an area where it takes up a lot of space, you can put a tankless unit on a wall outside of your home.
Cons of a Tankless Water Heater
Compared to the installation of a tank-type unit, a tankless water heater is significantly more expensive. The two main reasons for the added expense are the high cost of the tankless unit itself and the cost of installing it. Tankless water heaters require a thoroughly different set of fittings, hoses, and other fixtures, making the cost of retro-fitting your plumbing higher.
Cold Water Sandwich:
This isn’t something fresh and tasty from the local deli; instead, it’s a horrible flaw of tankless water heaters that can ruin a good shower. The repeated on-and-off cycle of hot water can cause cold water to get trapped in the pipes, creating a series of hot-cold-hot water releases from your fixtures. The cold-water sandwich problem can be eliminated by adding a recirculation pump to your tankless system.
While tankless water heaters offer increased performance, greater efficiency, and a longer lifespan that their tank-type ancestors, they may not be right for every home. Give Nick’s Plumbing and Sewer Services a call today and set up a free estimate or free second opinion on a new tankless water heater installation.