You’re in the market for a new water heater. You’ve had a conventional heater for years, but now you are thinking you might try a tankless water heater. They’re eco-friendly and supposedly easier on the utility bills: While these devices offer an alternative, they are not without problems. At Mr. Rooter of Santa Cruz, we believe that informed customers make the best decisions. We did the research and found some warning signs about tankless water heaters you need to consider before making the decision to switch.
How They Work
Tankless water heaters operate like microwaves. The main water line enters the home, splitting to send a line to the heater. When you turn on the hot water, the tank’s element, inserted into the water line directly instead of in a tank, flash heats the water to your desired temperature and sends it on to wherever you are asking for it.
While this sounds like an ingenious solution, the water heater can face a lot of problems, depending on its design or how it’s installed.
- Increased cost – These heaters could run you three times the cost of a conventional water heater, coming in between $500-$700 for electric models and $1,000-$2,000 for gas. Smaller units cost less, but you need more of them, eliminating the savings.
- Limited hot water – These heaters have a minimum water flow you must maintain for the heater to turn on. Additionally, if you install a whole home model, the hot water will go to one source at a time. Point-of-use tanks at sinks or bathtubs/showers help this problem, but drive up the costs.
- Gas requirements – If you choose a gas-powered heater, you will need to upgrade the gas line to a larger pipe and install a special vent system for the heater. They also need annual inspections.
- Electrical requirements – Electric models may require a new circuit in your electrical panel. They can use a lot of energy in one go.
If you’re in the Santa Cruz area and you’re in the market for a new water heater, give our trained professionals at Mr. Rooter of Santa Cruz a call to schedule a consultation regarding your plans.