Is a Tankless Water Heater What I Need?

There has been a lot of talk about tankless water heaters in the last couple of years. I was a little skeptical like everyone else, but attracted to the idea of endless hot water and, lower energy bills. Will they save the earth? I doubt it. Will it save you money? Maybe. Can it provide endless hot water? Happy to say yes on this one! They can be the absolute best choice in certain applications. When installed in larger homes, and homes with recirculating systems, we might want to look at other options.

Through this discussion please note that when I say tankless water heater what I mean is a high quality, professionally sized unit. Rinnai and Noritz are the only brands that I can confidently recommend. These are very reliable units, and should give you years of trouble free hot water.

Tankless might be right for you if you fit in one or more of the categories.

  1. An understanding that when high demand fixtures like the roman tub or washing machine are running you may notice a drop in pressure at other fixtures across the house. On the flip side, you can fill up all of the tubs in the neighborhood and when you are finished you will still have endless hot water for your shower.
  2. Guest houses, or weekend houses are the ultimate application. There is no cost to having these units wait for you to show up and use them. They should have an extremely long life in these applications.
  3. Small house with one or two bathrooms, one kitchen, and one utility room. One tankless will handle your needs.
  4. A large house with defined zones and a sizeable budget. You guys are going to need multiple tankless units to serve your needs comfortably.

If you feel like this is you, there are three other things you should know.

These units require a much higher volume of gas than your conventional water heater. In most applications the plumber will have to run a new (larger) gas line to your tankless. In some cases this is easy, in others it might be very costly.

You will almost certainly need to get an electrician involved. Standard gas water heaters do not require electricity to run and your new tankless will need a 120v outlet within 3 feet of the unit.

Your old vent pipe will not work with your new tankless. We will be installing new vent pipe, and you may need to get a roofer to install the new roof flashing.

One last note. Your tankless will need to be flushed every year by a plumber due to the hard water that we have here in Austin, Texas. It will keep it preforming at its best and you will get the the best performance through the life of the heater. Who wants to deal with an unnecessary plumbing repair?

Give us a call, and we will get a service plumber out to your home.

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