Four Things to Know About Switching to a Tankless Water Heater

For many homeowners, upgrading to a tankless water heater is one of the most lucrative things they can do. Tankless water heaters save you money on energy, provide you with an endless stream of hot water, and can last for decades when properly cared for. However, while just about every home can upgrade to a tankless water heater, the conversion process comes with its own share of things that a homeowner needs to know. If you’re in the process of researching your own upgrade, then this blog is full of things you should keep in mind. These shouldn’t discourage you from upgrading in any way, but it’s best to completely understand the upgrade process before getting started.

Carefully Consider How Much Hot Water You’ll Need

When upgrading to a tankless water heater system, there are a number of things you’ll need to take into consideration. Primarily, your budget is the most important one. However, your budget will also influence what your tankless water heater is capable of. This is particularly important when it comes to one key measurement: output capacity.

Tankless water heaters are only capable of producing up to a certain amount of hot water at a time. Why is this important? Because if you plan on using your hot water across your home all at the same time, you may find that your new tankless heater can’t supply enough hot water to meet these heavy demands if you don’t get a system that’s large enough. If you’re never planning on doing anything more than having one person shower or one appliance running at a time, then this is almost a non-issue. However, if your lifestyle regularly revolves around running the dishwasher, the washing machine, and multiple showers or bathtubs in your home all at the same time, you’re going to need a tankless water heater with pretty substantial output capacity, and that means your system’s cost will go up. We encourage you to talk to a tankless water heater expert about your usage habits and needs to determine what size water heater is right for you.

Your Gas Line May Not Be Adequate

There are electric-only tankless water heater models on the market, but they’re far less common than gas-burning counterparts. If you have a gas-burning water heater to begin with, then you may think you’re already in the clear. However, gas-burning water heaters need a rather substantial amount of gas to produce enough heat to bring your water up to the ideal temperature. For some people, this means their standard gas line that comes already installed in their home may not be enough.

It’s not necessarily common to have to upgrade your gas line that leads to your water heater in order to complete this upgrade, but it also isn’t unheard-of. When you’re considering upgrading to a tankless water heater, your in-home installation consultation should include an inspection of your gas line to determine what kind of fuel capacity it can deliver. If it can’t deliver enough to adequately supply a tankless water heating system, then you may have to add the cost of upgrading your gas line to your project as well.

Tankless Water Heaters Need Annual Maintenance

Most people don’t realize that their water heater could benefit from annual maintenance, including a flushing service, but tankless water heaters in particular need this annual service in order to maintain energy efficiency, capacity, and peak functionality. Likewise, while the average person may be able to flush their tank-style water heater if they have the right tools and use caution in doing so, we strongly recommend having a professional flush your tankless system. This will ensure that critical components are properly checked and that the job is done thoroughly.

However, there is a trade-off to this: while maintaining your tank-style water heater may buy you an extra year or two of longevity, maintaining a tankless water heating system can actually sustain its lifespan indefinitely. With proper maintenance and the occasional repair or replacement of an aging component, a tankless water heater may never need to be fully replaced. That means a tankless system could be the last new water heater you ever have to buy again for as long as you own your home.

Tankless Water Heaters Can Break, but Can Be Fixed

As we mentioned previously, tankless water heaters are not immune to problems, and they will eventually break. Leaks can form from worn-out seals, pipes can corrode or degrade over time, and plenty of other issues can happen. While it’s without question that these types of water heaters are exponentially more reliable than their tank-style counterparts, it’s important to know that they can and do experience their own problems.

But that comes with an upside: almost any problem with a tankless water heater can be fixed. Leaks, electrical problems, and just about anything else can be tracked down and fixed with a new component, a quick fix, or a different service. That means you won’t have to worry about replacing a water heater when it breaks, and ultimately your repair costs will be far smaller than the repair-and-replace cycle of tank-style heaters.

Interested in upgrading to a tankless water heater? Contact John Owens Services by dialing (415) 942-6565 today.