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Making the Switch to a Tankless Water Heater: What to Expect

tankless-water-heaterYou have big plans for your water heater in Corona, CA. You’re going to replace your old, inefficient tank water heater and put in a tankless one. We think this is a great idea, although we recommend you first consult with professionals about making the decision, since tankless isn’t ideal in all situations. You’ll need professionals to handle the installation, so you might as well have our team working with you from the start.

What can you expect when you make the change over to a tankless water heater? Many positive things, and most of the time you’ll just be enjoying hot water like you’re used to. But there are a several changes that come along with your new system.

You may need retrofits to pipes and the water meter

Your house was built with a storage tank water heater in mind. Your gas piping, meter, and line to the meter may require retrofits to accommodate the new unit. When the changes are extensive, it’s a situation where a plumber may recommend staying with a tank water heater. But the changes may only be minor.

The upfront cost is higher, but so are the long-term savings

Yes, a tankless water heater costs more to install than a tank water heater. Tankless systems are much more complicated devices using intricate technologies, and they may also come with the extra price tag of adding new ventilation and pipe retrofits. However, the long-term savings are often immense—you may end up saving 50% on your annual hot water costs and can expect to payback the higher installation cost over the system’s long service life.

You have a continuous hot water supply…

This is one of the advantages of tankless water heaters that people love the most. Because a tankless water heater heats up water as it is needed (“on demand”), it won’t run out of a supply of water like a storage tank. You won’t have to worry about the shower going cold on you in the morning because three people were already ahead of you for the shower.

…but you can overwhelm it

We want to be cautious about saying tankless water heaters “never run out of hot water,” because it is possible to overwhelm the system with demand from multiple taps at the same time. For most units, the flow rate is 2–5 gallons per minute. That’s more than enough to take care of someone showering, but perhaps not multiple showers or running another appliance at the same time like a washing machine. Technicians can help ensure you have the right gallons per minute, but you may need multiple tankless water heaters if demand is high in your house.

You won’t get “instant hot” water

This is a misunderstanding some people have about tankless water heaters. They have many advantages over tank units, but they deliver hot water to the taps at approximately the same speed. You’ll still have a few seconds to wait before the water heats up. “Instant hot” is a different type of installation known as a hot water recirculation system.

Call The Sunny Plumber SoCal to learn more about going tankless. Bright and Shiny and won’t show our Hiney.

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