So you are thinking about going Tankless ? If you are like most homeowners you have seen or heard about tankless water heaters, but what are they exactly? In the U.S. we have been installing tank type water heaters for decades. In essence we keep a tank full of water hot at all times so it is there when we need it. Depending on the size of the tank you have you are heating anywhere from 5 gallons to 120 gallons of water hot even when you are not using hot water. Think about how much energy and money we waste everyday keeping water hot in our basement while we are at work, on vacation, running around with the kids etc. Now think about the time you spend every day using hot water in your home. 10 minutes in the shower, or if you are like my daughter 30 minutes, a few minutes here or there when you are cooking, and a few minutes while you are washing your clothes or dishes. So roughly one hour a day at most we use hot water, but the other 23 hours a day we pay to heat a tank of water that just sits there. Kind of a waste huh?
A tankless heater obviously has no tank to hold water. It instead heats the water when you call for it. Tankless heaters have been around for a long time. As a matter of fact we have one in the entry to our office that we took out of a house that was still working. We are not real sure when the heater was manufactured or installed, but the first patent on the heater was in 1901.
The process for heating the water on-demand is pretty much the same, but obviously the technology is much different. Below are a couple of pictures of a heating system we installed for a large restaurant last week. Their old tank type water heater was way too small for the needs of the restaurant. The new system has three separate tankless heaters that are linked together. They fire in a series and rotate operation based on demand to prolong the life of the units.
This is the water heater they had in place that could not keep up with demand and was used up in 2 years.
This picture shows the new units in place and almost completed. You can see the insides of these heaters are much different than the one we have in our lobby. Unlike a tank heater these units have to be sized and calibrated to run efficiently. The load has to be calculated for the water flow and the demands for the BTU’s used to heat the water. Flue has to be sized right and installed correctly. If any short cuts are taken in the planning stage it will result in a system that does not work as expected.
This is the completed install. Now this customer will have unlimited hot water on demand. The install takes up much less space and will be more efficient and save the customer money in the long run by not having to pay to heat water that is just sitting in a tank.
If you are thinking about going tankless, give us a call and let one of our licensed plumbers consult with you on what is need to make the switch. Not just any one can install one of these systems. You need an experienced licensed plumber to do the calculations and install for a properly functioning system.