Traditional Or Tankless: Which Water Heater is Best for You?
FACT: We don’t typically recommend tankless water heaters to homeowners.
That might sound counterintuitive to selling them, but there are three good reasons for this.
Reason #1 Not to Go Tankless: Initial Cost
Tankless water heaters will cost you about three to four times as much as a standard tank style water heater to properly install. A high quality unit, plus all of the additional parts (venting, isolation valves, gas piping, regulators, etc.), and approximately 16+ labor hours to properly install it, make it much more expensive up front.
Reason #2 Not to Go Tankless: Ongoing Cost
Tankless heaters need to be cleaned about once a year. While traditional units should also be cleaned once a clear, they will still perform well (you may hear a knocking noise). But, if tankless heaters go uncleaned, you will most likely void the warranty and risk quicker deterioration of the heat exchanger.
Reason #3 Not to Go Tankless: Repairs are Generally more Expensive and Complicated
With a tankless water heater, repairs are generally more complicated. Even homeowners who have strong knowledge about them will typically end up calling tech support to work through the problem. Parts generally have to be mailed causing longer lead times than standard tank units, with parts more commonly in stock and able to service the same day.
All of this said, (are you still reading?), there are four reasons you may still want to consider a tankless water heater or even a tankless system (i.e. more than one heater).
Reason #1 to Consider Tankless: You Need Endless Hot Water.
You will always have hot water (well, as long as you have water, power, and gas). If you live in a house with 5 people, it may make sense to consider a tankless water heater. It’s just like a really nice mattress or large T.V. It will add to your overall comfort in your life. Endless hot water isn’t the same as a high peak demand though…
Reason #2 to Consider Tankless: You Need A Lot of Hot Water for a Sustained Period of Time
Say you need 20 gallons per minute of hot water? Sounds like you need 4 or 5 tankless hot water heaters to power up your human car wash of a shower. We can help with that.
Reason #3: to Consider Tankless: You Want to Heat Water More Efficiently
Tank style water heaters (specifically gas*) are less efficient (around 64% or so) than tankless water heater (80% to 95%+). That said, you have to have a very high water demand for this to start to make sense economically. If you own a hotel or dormitory, you should get a bid for a tankless system. You will never make it up in a single-family residence, unless the generous federal tax credits of a few years ago return.
Reason #4 to Consider Tankless: Space is a Concern
Tankless heaters are smaller than tank units and can be fitted into unconventional spaces.
The Facts About TANKLESS ELECTRIC HEATERS
Tankless electric heaters aren’t a great idea for a residence. You will need about 100 AMPS to run a properly sized tankless electric water heater in a one-bathroom home, In the dead of winter, it will probably be able to power only one shower (no doing the dishes while you’re taking that shower). However, they are great for single lavatories that are far away from conventional hot water sources and for emergency showers in industrial settings.
For more pros and cons, and a list of questions to help you make an informed decision, click here. Whether you’re considering a traditional water heater, or its tankless counterpart, Maplewood Plumbing can help! Give us a call at (314) 300-0216, or contact us online here.
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