There's a puddle under your water heater. Or maybe your showers have suddenly gone from warm and toasty to freezing cold. When your water heater starts malfunctioning, you need a fix fast.
But sometimes a water heater is beyond repair. Whether the cost to remedy the situation outweighs a replacement or your appliance is too old to realistically repair, knowing all your options is an important next step. Along with the traditional tank-style water heaters, a tankless (or demand) water heater is a popular choice for homeowners.
What do you need to know about tankless water heaters? Take a look at the answers to some of the most common questions about this type of design.
Are There Really Energy Savings with a Tankless Model?
One of the top reasons that homeowners have for choosing a tankless water heater over a traditional holding tank type of appliance is the supposed energy efficiency. Tankless models tend, in general, to cost more than the tank kind. This may mean that you want proof that something (primarily energy savings) will offset the higher price tag.
What exactly are the energy and cost benefits of a tankless water heater? The answer to this question may depend on how much water you and your family use. If you're not a huge water consumer, meaning that your household uses under 41 gallons per day, you'll use between 24% and 34% less energy than you would with a tank type of model. If you use more water, the energy savings may be somewhat less, falling to between 8% and 14% daily.
The energy savings will translate into cost savings you'll see in your monthly utility bills. Homes with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless system can save over $100 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
How Much Hot Water Do These Heaters Make?
It's disappointing when the hot water disappears half-way through your shower. Beyond that, it can make for family fights. Having to decide who gets to shower when, just because the hot water might run out, doesn't make for household peace.
A tankless water heater warms the water on demand. This means you get hot water when you need it. If no one is using the hot water, it doesn't need to warm things up. But if your family of four wants to take one shower after another, you'll have hot water for each person.
The average tankless water heater gives the user between two and five gallons every minute.
Are There Limitations of a Tankless Water Heater?
The answer to this question depends on how much water you use. A single person who doesn't have guests over is likely to use far less hot water, in general, than a family with two adults and four children. Along with the number of people in your household, if you regularly use two different water sources that require heating at the same time, you may run out of hot water.
Even though using the shower and running the hot cycle on the clothes washer may make create a load that's too high for your water heater to handle, you don't have to suffer with cold water. Installing two water heaters can solve this problem and keep your water warm.
Who Can Install a Tankless Water Heater?
An on-demand water heater isn't an appliance that a weekend DIYer can easily install. It takes specialized plumbing knowledge to swap out a tank style model with a new tankless one. Never attempt to install either the gas or electric water heaters on your own. An improperly installed tankless appliance won't work correctly and can pose a serious safety risk.Are you ready to heat your water with a tankless model? Souza & Viviani Plumbing can help you with the selection and installation process. Contact our team of experts today for an estimate.