Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide

Over time, more and more homeowners have been changing their sights to tankless water heaters. Traditional water heaters only have a lifespan of about ten years. As their heaters approach the end of their lives, homeowners opt to replace them with tankless models. With this buying guide, you can learn whether or not these heaters are for you and why you should consider tankless water heater installation and repair in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

What are Tankless Water Heaters?

If you have a water heater in your home, you probably have one of two types of heaters. You either have a traditional heater with a tank, or you have the tankless variety. For decades, traditional water heaters have been warming up water for home and business owners. They store the water in a tank and rely on gas or electricity to heat up the water and keep it warm. When you use up all the water in the tank, you need to wait for the tank to refill and reheat. A tankless water heater is a more modern appliance. Although the technology has been around since 1929, it wasn’t ideal for home use until about 30 years ago. Today, these water heaters are coveted for their small size and energy efficiency. People also enjoy the convenience of having on-demand hot water, which is possible because of the system’s design. If you have a tankless heater, water heats up as you need it. The system is about the size of a briefcase and includes heating elements that warm water as it passes through. It only heats the water when you turn a hot water tap, and then the water immediately passes through to your plumbing fixtures. The system doesn’t constantly heat up water, which is where the energy savings come in.

The Flow Rate

Perhaps the most important detail of the system is the flow rate. Much like a traditional system has limitations, a tankless system can only heat up so much water at a time. The flow rate refers to how much water the system is able to heat at one time. If you pick a unit with too low of a flow rate, it won’t be able to provide enough hot water to your home. When you install an appropriately-sized system, you don’t need to worry about running out of hot water. For this reason, the flow rate is one of the first factors you should consider when you decide to buy a tankless heater. Fortunately, a skilled plumber can guide you through the process.

What to Consider When Buying a Tankless Water Heater

As you shop for the right tankless heater, there are a few details you should consider. For one, how large is your household and how many hot water appliances do you have? If you have several people in your home and use the shower, washing machine, and dishwasher at the same time, you need a system with a high flow rate.

Size of the Heater

Although the flow rate matters, the size of the actual unit isn’t as important. Generally, tankless water heaters are about the size of a briefcase. You can hang it on your wall to take up less space. When looking for a new heater, consider where you will place it and if it will fit.

The Type of Tankless Heater

There are two basic types of tankless water heaters – electric and gas. If you want a gas heater, you need to install gas lines. Even if you’re replacing a traditional gas heater, you can’t keep the same gas lines. The lines on a tankless heater are thicker, which means you should consider the extra cost of changing out the gas lines. Furthermore, they cost more to run because gas models are less energy-efficient than electric ones. Despite costing more, gas tankless heaters may be appealing to you. They heat water faster, which makes them able to provide better water pressure. You can get a gas model with an intermittent ignition device to lower the cost of running the system. Meanwhile, electric water heaters are more energy efficient. They’re easy to install and don’t require gas lines. However, electric heaters don’t have as much of an output as gas heaters.

The Brand

As with every other appliance around your home, the hot water heater is one that varies by brand. Before you pick a new model, you should ensure it’s a reliable brand that will last you for years. The best way to do this is to speak with someone who deals with tankless heaters on a regular basis. When you call a reputable company for water heater repair and installation, you can rely on their knowledge to help you find the best water heater for the job. They understand what to look for when it comes to installation, reliability, and more.

Where to Buy Your Tankless Heater

As far as purchasing your water heater goes, you have a few options. Most big box stores sell tankless systems. If you search online, you may also be able to find a few sellers. However, you can also buy directly from your plumber.

What to Expect from the Purchase

Once you pick out the water heater, you should prepare for the installation. And while you might think that the installation of a tankless water heater is easy, it’s not. If you try to install it yourself or hire someone underqualified to do it, your system may not work the way it should. It could leak and cause water damage. With a gas system, there’s a danger of a gas leak. Even an electric heater can result in a fire or shock. Only an experienced professional should handle your installation. It’s not enough to install a quality tankless water heater. After the installation, you need to be sure to keep up with regular maintenance. Hard water can take a toll on your system, as can years of use. When you have a professional perform regular maintenance, you extend the life of your heater.

Call us for Water Heater Installation and Repair

Whether you need water heater installation and repair or maintenance in Tulsa, Oklahoma, trust us at Infinity Plumbing Services. To learn more about how to pick the right tankless heater, call us now.