Tankless Water Heater_ Is It Right For You_ Austin's Best Plumbing

Tankless Water Heater: Is It Right For You?

Tankless does tell part of the story up front, there’s more that you need to understand when you’re deciding whether a tankless water heater is right for you. So, sit back and let me give you a tour of one of the most impressive tankless water heaters I’ve seen so far.

I’ll explain the pros and cons of the technology in general, and then I’ll also show you some specific technical features that have impressed me the most.

Why Tankless Water Heater Is More Efficient ?

Most North American homes have tank style or storage water heaters. Now, these haven’t changed much since indoor plumbing became a regular part of American home construction, more than 200 years ago.

Here we will learn about some features that make tankless water heaters unique, energy  efficient and great performer. Let’s dive into the story. 

Features of Tankless Water Heaters:

Energy Source

An energy source, typically electricity, natural gas or propane warms the water stored in the tank until a thermostat shuts off the source of energy at a preset temperature level. 

No Standby Energy Loss

Now as that tank cools off, the thermostat turns on the source of energy. Again warming up the water brings it up to temperature, even if no hot water has been used from the taps at all the energy wasted making up for the heat loss from tank style heaters is called standby energy losses. And this is the main reason why tankless water heaters are more efficient than tank style. 

Small In Size

A tank heater is very large and taking up a lot of floor space. The average one is more than two feet in diameter and almost as tall as an adult. Now as you’d guess from the name tankless water heaters have no tank.That’s why they’re so small.

On Demand or Instant Water Supply

Tankless water heaters supply water instantly, as it’s demanded. As soon as a hot water tap is turned on anywhere in your home, internal sensors inside the heater detect the flow and ignite the propane or natural gas that heats the water for the secondary to that is flowing through the unit.

The moment you shut off a hot water tap anywhere in your house, the flame in the heater stops to fill a sink to do some dishes and the tankless heater is going to heat a gallon or two whatever you need.

When it’s time to take a shower, that same unit is going to heat a couple of gallons of water each minute up to 120 degrees or hotter whatever you need for as long as you want to stand in the steaming spray stream.

Never Run Out of Hot Water

Tankless water heaters never run out of hot water. The fact that tankless units, only heat water as it’s needed, is why this technology is sometimes called on demand water heaters. 

Benefits of Tankless Water Heater

Now besides a complete freedom from standby energy losses and a continuous supply of hot water as long as you want. 

Save space

These units are also very small. These are the three main advantages of tankless technology, where a typical 60-gallon water heater might take up 72 cubic feet of volume. For example, The Japanese-made Rinnai model and looking at it here takes up just two cubic feet of space, and yet it puts out more than 300% more heat than a typical natural gas tank heater.

Saving energy and saving space. These are the things that make tankless water heaters attractive.

Enough hot water

Now selected, and installed correctly. This model can deliver enough hot water for two showers operating continuously. Even if the incoming water temperature is a frigid 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius. 

Cons of Tankless Water Heater

Beside some unique features and lots of benefits  there are some cons of tankless water heaters.

Costly investment

Tankless water heaters do cost more than tank style equivalents and this is one reason why tankless technology is not for everyone. 

Water Type

tankless water heaters are definitely not bottom drawer technology. Another issue you need to know about is water chemistry. In cases with particularly hard water or unusual pH levels. It’s going to be a problem sometimes for some tankless units.

It’s not typical, but before you make any final buying decisions have your dealer check out your water chemistry first.

Less Time and Less Water Wasted

But there’s another thing that you might not have considered before because these units are so small it’s possible to locate them closer to the faucets and taps that are used most often. 

This means that there’s less time wasted and less water wasted waiting for that hot wire to arrive in the tub or sink after you’ve turned the faucet on.

Gas Vs Electric

Now as you might imagine, it takes a high rate of energy transfer to warm the water as quickly as passing through the tankless water heater. 

This is why natural gas or propane fired tankless units are superior to electric powered on demand water heaters, to keep this high rate of energy transfer happening efficiently.

Easy Maintenance

The rinnai model here includes an internal circuitry that monitors the cleanliness of the heat exchanger activating a warning light to win that exchanger needs some cleaning maintenance. 

Now that operation is quite easy. Thanks to these isolation valves. They allow a mineral dissolving vinegar solution to be pumped through the heat exchanger as occasional maintenance without removing any of the pipes exhaust venting is another issue to consider when you’re looking at any combustion style water heater. 

No Chimney

Many tank style gas water heaters require a full-blown chimney, while the rinnai model here extracts so much heat from the outgoing exhaust stream that you can vent it directly through the wall if you want to. 

Single Pipe Vent

Another issue is that many tank style water heaters require a dual pipe powered venting system. Well this model vents with just a single concentric vent. One very important issue to consider when choosing a tank style water heater is heating capacity.

In the early days, some Americans were disappointed with undersized tankless water heaters that didn’t put out enough heat to keep multiple faucets hot at the same time, the unfortunate result was a lukewarm shower, if you happen to be taking one when someone else in the house was washing their hands or filling up the bathtub.

Now, the rinnai model here impresses me because it puts out so much heat in this tiny package. 180,000 bt use per hour. Now, even with an incoming water temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit that’s about 10 degrees Celsius, and an outgoing hot water temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit or 49 degrees Celsius. 

This is enough to produce four gallons of steaming hot water every minute, and that’s enough for two decent showers being taken at the same time. Although the RL 75 model shown here is intended for interior use it’s got an interesting feature that’s especially welcome here in the USA.

If the unit is installed in an indoor room that happens to drop below freezing sensors, turn on a little electricity to stop that internal water from freezing and damaging the unit. This happens, whether water is demanded or not, and just protects the unit from any accidental damage due to subzero temperatures tankless water heaters are not for everyone in every situation, but they do make sense for more American households that have them now.

Saving energy, saving space, and a continuous supply of steam and hot water, are the reasons that tankless makes sense if you think about it. What could be more comforting and civilized than that.


If you have more information to learn about tankless water heaters or any assistance, just contact Austin’s best plumbing company plumberson. We will consult you free of cost and offer an affordable charge to install or repair tankless water heaters.

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