Picture yourself groggy and shaking off the cobwebs of sleep. A hot shower is next on the agenda and you begin the 10 minute ritual of waiting for the hot water to reach the shower. Do you go through something similar to this everyday? Does it take what seems like forever for the hot water to get to your shower or washing machine? We discussed comfort systems last time and now can look at tankless water heaters. Are tankless water heaters right for your current situation? What are some of the benefits? Are there clear disadvantages?
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
In the simplest of terms, a tankless water heater is, are you ready for this, a water heater without a tank. Ok, so it is not that simple, but that description is not much of an exaggeration. Water heaters are essentially large vessels that store water and heat it to a predetermined temperature. As a hot water faucet is opened, the hot water drains out of the water heater to be replaced by cold water. This is why you do not allow your teenage daughter to take her shower first, because when you get in the shower, the 50 gallon water heater has not had enough time to sufficiently heat the water.
A tankless water heater is the perfect compliment to a repipe and a replacement for the upright tank water heaters that continually heat stored water. A tankless heater only heats water when the faucet is opened. When that faucet is opened, a heating element or burner heats the water on demand thus eliminating the need for a large storage tank. Next, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heater installations.