Q. What is a tankless water heater?
A. A tankless water heater is a water heater that heats water without the use of a tank. The water is instead heated on demand as it flows through a heat exchanger. Most newer homes are being built with tankless water heaters for their efficiency and ability to heat non-stop water.
THE HISTORY OF WATER HEATERS IN AMERICA
The first tank type model produced in the USA was made in Michigan by a Kalamazoo company called Humphrey. This model made in 1894 was about 90% efficient. In comparison, today's tank heaters are only about 75% efficient. The older models were made of a thick copper and nickel alloy metal. Many of these are still in use. To be affordable, today's tank type heaters are made from thin metal with a glass shield coating. To be affordable, modern tank heaters are 20% less efficient than those of 110 years ago. The typical USA homeowner spends as much as $600 per year for heating water. Making the hot water heater the second highest energy consuming appliance after climate control devices like furnaces and air conditioners.
By comparison, tankless water heaters are still largely a new technology, often thought of as being too expensive or unproven by the majority of homeowners and even certified plumbers. It's a sad truth that there is a very high percentage of plumbers that will not even mention the option of a tankless water heater because they themselves suffer from a fear of the unknown.
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
Tankless water heaters offer a few large advantages vs a standard tank water heater. Tankless water heaters use much less space, as they have no tank for water storage (the majority of the space used by a standard water heater is used as water storage). The water flows back and forth through a copper heat exchanger, absorbing heat from the forced air as it pass through the fins of the heat exchanger. Digital smart tankless units, will measure the inlet water temperature and flow rate to self adjust the gas regulation. This technology allows for efficiencies of up to 97% with condensing tankless water heaters. Most storage tanks suffer from heat loss when not in use, this STAND-BY Heat Loss is the major reason for tank types efficiencies of around 75%.
TANKLESS = NEVER RUNNING OUT OF HOT WATER
Because a tankless water heater heats the water as it flows, you can have a never ending supply of hot water. This is especially great for large families, apartment buildings, living communities or anywhere else that has a great demand for continuous hot water. We've actually found that the portable tankless water heater units, like the EZ 101 Propane Tankless are great for RVers as they replace their 6 Gallon water heaters that were only good for a single shower. Now while on the road, the entire family will have a chance to take a hot shower.
What is GPM (Gallons Per Minute). Tankless water heater manufacturers size their heaters via GPM specifications. Often this is also included with fine print about the temperature rise. If your groundwater is 45 degrees, and the temperature rise is 45 degrees at 3.2 GPM. What this means is that the output temperature of the water coming from the heater will be 90 degrees at a maximum flow of 3.2 Gallons Per minute. Tank type heaters are sold as total gallons held in reserve in the tank. For example, a typical tank type heater may hold forty gallons of water. Comparing a 3.2 GPM tankless water heater to a forty gallon tank type heater is possible. For example, if a tankless unit produces hot water at 3.2 gallons per minute, this rate of flow will run a 40 gallon tank type heater out of water in only ten minutes. Our 3.2 GPM (at 45F degree rise) EZ Deluxe tankless heater will still be making hot water long after the 40 gallon tank heater has ran out!
Tankless heaters do not store water. Therefore, you will not be using hot water that has been stored in a tank full of rust and sediment. Over the years, a tank heater accumulates rust and sediment which builds-up inside as a scale deposit that coats the sides and fills the bottom of the tank. Just think, this is the place where your hot water is being stored for your use.
Tankless heaters can be placed almost anywhere on an exterior wall. They are also much smaller than a tank heater. We have models that can be mounted indoors or outdoors.
The exhaust on a tankless heater is much different. Most of today's models use forced-air ventilation or are direct vent.(Direct vent is also known as "balanced" or "dual chamber" exhaust-intake) Because of much higher exhaust temperatures, stainless steel pipe designed for this purpose is always used. This is an important part of any indoor installation and is a requirement of industrial, local and national safety codes. This type of pipe has special sealed joints. This pipe is not the same as normal water heater or furnace exhaust pipe and the components do not interchange. With this type of exhaust the gasses are forced outside under pressure, not by a natural updraft as in a tank type heater.
Tank type gas water heaters typically use a natural updraft exhaust. This method relies upon the suction (draft) of rising hot air to draw out the gasses though a flue exhaust pipe. The natural draft method is not an exact science. Wind and weather conditions, condition of and method of connections as well as internal household drafts and air movement can allow exhaust gasses to escape into the interior of the home. Malfunctioning water heater and furnace exhaust is a common cause of exposure to carbon monoxide gasses. Water heater exhaust by-products include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitric oxide, microscopic particulates and additional harmful combustion bi-products. These particles can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as causing nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. An indoor tankless heater with a sealed forced air exhaust eliminates these potentially harmful gasses as they are evacuated via the sealed stainless exhaust pipe.
The first models of tankless heaters sold in the USA years ago were small and could not meet the needs of a typical household. They were primitive and often broke down. Sometimes the homeowner had to wait for a visit by a qualified technician and then parts were needed and had to be ordered. Because of these experiences of years past, tankless heaters have a reputation for malfunctions and an inadequate supply of hot water. Today's models are designed to last fifteen to twenty-five years, and are much more reliable. If the unit being installed is properly sized to meet the needs of the home or business, and properly maintained, it will supply reliable continuous hot water for many years to come.
The biggest enemy of any water heater is hard or sediment filled incoming water. As with any type of water heater, the tankless variety also work best when used with a water softener or at least a filter installed on the incoming water supply. Just like a tank type heater, manufacturers of tankless models recommend diligence in performing periodic flushing and internal cleaning as recommended. The interval period for this maintenance depends on the hardness of the water and the type of filtering and/or treatment being done to the incoming water. Learn more about proper tankless water heater care.
GAS OR ELECTRIC?
Typically, electric models are used only for a single sink or a half bath installation, or for use in a workshop or small cabin. Electric units require 60 to 150 amps of 220V electricity on a stand-alone circuit breaker. In comparison, A Toyota Prius Hybrid car uses 201 Volts and 80 amps to propel itself at highway speed. Many older small town rural homes still operate on a 60 amp capacity service. Large whole house electric models may consume more electricity than the combined demands of the whole dwelling. Gas models are preferred for multiple bath installations as they are almost always more economical to operate.
BATHROOM REMODELS AND ADDITIONS :
If you remodel or add another bathroom, a tankless heater may be a perfect solution to expedite the plumbing and hot water needs. It can be installed on a garage or basement side wall and a short run of plumbing can be installed to serve this new bath. By doing this, you may avoid expensive updates to the plumbing or installing a new larger tank type heater to serve this addition. After remodeling, sometimes a stairwell is changed or eliminated and then at a later date, it is time to replace the tank type heater and the homeowner realizes that there is no practical or easy way to get a new water heater into the basement. A tankless model may be the perfect solution for this dilemma as well. Or as a backup for an existing water heater which may not be large enough to serve the current needs of the home due to a growing family or the existing tank type heater may be new enough that it still meets the needs of a portion of the home. In this case, a tankless can be designated to run one bathroom, and the hot water plumbing for the remainder of the home can be serviced by the tank type heater as always. The possibilities are endless.
For service stations and convenience stores, restroom hot water can easily be supplied by a small tankless unit mounted in the utility room, basement, or store room. The restroom lavatories will have a reliable hot water supply and no worries about tampering of the unit or the costs associated with constantly heating a large tank of water when the business is not open. A tankless heater will easily meet these needs. Not only will there be a savings in gas consumption, but the removal of a large tank type gas heater will eliminate the open flame pilot light as well as adding additional floor space and storage room.
BARN, TOOL SHED, OR WORKSHOP:
A workshop or outbuilding is the perfect place for a tankless heater. Rural homeowners often have a barn, tool shed, pole building, or workshop that is located some distance away from the home. If cold water is available in this building, an electric or gas model tankless will give needed hot water for general washing and cleaning. If the need is just for a hand washing sink, then a small unit will be economical to purchase and is all that is required for this purpose. LP gas models are available and a small LP tank can be easily installed for this purpose. One of these small tanks of LP can easily last a year or more. It is important to remember to turn off the gas valve after using the water heater to insure that the LP gas does not leak away. Some rural homes have large LP tanks for the furnace and cooking. There are several models designed specifically to use with this type of gas. Remember that modern tankless units do not use a continuous pilot light. So, when used in a home, workshop, or garage installation there is no open pilot light to worry about.
In colder climates, if the building where the tankless heater is located is not heated, drain the water system thoroughly each fall before the first hard freeze. Q. What's the biggest benefit of a tankless over a tank type heater? A. The time it takes for hot water to arrive at the tap is the same on both types. The best thing about the hot water that comes from a tankless model is that you will receive an endless supply of hot water for as long as you open a faucet. With traditional tank type water heaters, you have hot water until the hot water tank's supply is depleted. Then you must wait for the storage tank of cold water to re-heat before you again have hot water.
If you are running out of hot water with your current tank type heater, and are thinking of purchasing a tankless model, you may wish to conduct a simple test by keeping track of the amount of time from when you turn on the hot water to the moment the hot water runs out. Take the total capacity of your tank-type heater. (This information can usually be found on the information stickers on the side of the tank.) Divide the capacity of the tank type heater (in gallons) by the number of minutes that it takes to run out of hot water. This is your peak usage of hot water and this calculation should be the minimum GPM that you need when selecting a tankless heater.
To perform this test, the home owner must decide which hot water devices to run for this test as the more valves open the higher the total GPM will be. So, if you have two showers and sometimes they are in use when the hot water runs out, then this would be the ones to use for the test.
If your test results in your 40 gallon heater running out of hot water in 12.5 minutes. Use the equation, G ÷ M = GPM, where G is equal to the total Number of Gallons of your tanked water heater and M is equal to the total time the water was running before it went cold. To be accurate in your calculation it is recommended that you wait an hour before running your hot water, only to make sure that your hot water heater is full of hot water.
40 gallon water capacity divided by 12.5 minutes = a flow rate of 3.2 gallons per minute. Q. If a tankless water heater doesn't have a tank, how does it make hot water? A. The tankless water heater heats water as it flows through the tubing in the heat exchanger inside the heater. When you open a faucet or turn on the shower, a sensor detects water flow and turns on the burner which heats the water. You can learn more from this site, it is very informative on how a tankless water heater works: http://homerepair.about.com/od/plumbingrepair/ss/tankless_hwh_2.htm
Q. Is this water heater technology new? A. No. In fact the technology is now considered "mature". Mature means that the device has been determined to be developed to the point that it is considered reliable and that drastic changes to the components of the device in the near future are unlikely.
However: If you think you know about tankless heater technology or someone you know is giving you advice about a tankless heater, if your knowledge is ten years or even five years old, you are probably misinformed. Even though they have been around for a long time, today's tankless heaters are not the same as those from only a few years ago. All manufacturers have made improvements in this product line and these heaters are now much more efficient, consume far less energy and are much safer and easier to operate. You are reading one of the largest and most informative unbiased databases on this technology available anywhere. Do yourself a favor and take the time to review everything in this faqs page. Even if you buy one of our competitor's products, you will be doing so as a wise and informed consumer with the confidence necessary to make an intelligent decision.
Tankless water heaters have been around for over 100 years. During World War II, conserving water and energy became a serious concern and the popularity of tankless heaters increased ten-fold. Since that time period, tankless hot water heaters have become a standard fixture in homes and businesses the world over. Adults in Europe and Asia know of no other method to heat water.
Tank type heaters are very old technology. Primitive cave-people heated water in a clay pot over a fire and a tank type water heater is actually an improved version of this method. Modern tankless models heat water in the most efficient manner possible.
Most people use hot water only in the morning and the evening. The remainder of the time, the tank model is slaving away cooking the tank of water and keeping it at the correct temperature setting so that the people in the house can have hot water when they need it. In the modern world, a tankless heater provides hot water whenever it is needed and no energy is wasted by constantly heating water held in a big tank.
Energy costs are unlikely to go down in the future. It makes perfect sense to change to a tankless heater. When a new heater is required, that is the perfect time to make the switch. It is predicted that within a few years, many USA states will require tankless heaters in all new home construction. Q. Does a tankless water heater have a pilot light? A. Some do and some don't. Every tankless water heater from EZtankless.com has an electronic ignition. This means you can save even more money when comparing them to a tank type water heater. As there is no open flame, you do not have to try to re-ignite the pilot or even worry about it. Q. My water heater is almost worn out and it is twenty years old. Recently it has been malfunctioning and I am thinking about getting a new tankless model, is it a good idea to switch now? A. We see no reason to cling to the old inefficient heater design. The USA is the last remaining western culture on Earth using tank type heaters. The rest of the world has been using tankless heaters for many years and know nothing but that method.
It is time that we learn from the rest of the world. We must change our wasteful ways and this is a step in the right direction. We would never leave our car running for days at a time just to keep the engine warm in case we need to drive somewhere or keep our oven on 24 hours a day just to prepare food when we decide we are hungry.. Why do we constantly heat a large tank of hot water? If our society replaced the tank type heaters with tankless models, we would dramatically reduce our nation's gas consumption. When we upgrade to a tankless, we can save a substantial amount on our energy bill. (How much is saved depends on individual hot water use habits and other variables. For more information, see additional related posts on this web page.) Q. What is the life expectancy of a Tankless Water Heater? A. Depending on your usage, the type of installation, and the quality of your water, they can last from 15 to 25 years. With optimal water quality and a quality installation a tankless water heater should have no problem lasting 20 years or more. With periodic cleaning, and proper maintenance, our tankless water heaters can last significantly longer than a traditional tank heater. This technology is reliable as these heaters have been well developed and tested in all climates for long periods by millions of homeowners in Europe and Asia. Modern tankless heaters are manufactured with the highest quality standards and put through rigorous testing and quality control. Before packaging and shipment to our warehouse here in the USA, all of our units have passed several quality control test procedures. Q. I have been told that tankless units are unreliable. Will it break down frequently? A. If someone you know is giving you advice about a tankless heater, if their knowledge is ten years or even five years old, they are probably misinformed. Reliability, safety and comfort are the best words to describe the performance of today's modern tankless water heater. There have been rumors circulating in the past, but the technology has advanced dramatically in the past few years. Q. How do your water heaters compare to other models from other manufacturers? A. Our heaters are built by a leading manufacturer in this field. They have been producing these for decades and they build millions of them each year. These units are used in all countries in Europe and Asia as well as Australia, South and Central America. Our models are specifically designed to be used with our USA A/C electrical current and our natural and LP gas. (As well as our electric models) We are confident you will like our quality water heater. We have tested them here in our USA Indiana warehouse and have actually installed them in our own homes, and the homes of friends, neighbors and family. There are more expensive ones on the market, and there are cheaper ones. The construction and the quality of the components that go inside is what separates the good ones from the bad ones. Like the old saying; (You get what you pay for.) Q. What size tankless water heater is best for my needs? A. You must first determine the needs of the home or business. These needs must be compared to the GPM capacity of the water heater being purchased.
How many people are showering and at what time? Is there a specific time when more people are typically bathing?
When is the washing machine, or dishwasher in use? Are these machines needed at the same time family members are bathing or showering?
(Most families are familiar with using appliances that consume hot water. Typically they do not operate them in time periods when bathing and showering are required.)
Is there a large hot tub, spa, or whirlpool? Is it used in a time period when the washing machine or dishwasher is running? Remember, tankless water heaters never run out of hot water. What is important is the total gallons per minute required during peak usage.
Finally, establish a reasonable "peak demand" flow estimate in GPM. (Gallons Per Minute). This is done by adding up the flow rates of all hot water consuming appliances, faucets and showerheads that may be in use at one time.
NOTES: (Please keep in mind that part of operating a more efficient home is the sensible use of energy and other natural resources. No different than recycling paper, glass, aluminum and plastic requires more effort than simply throwing everything into a trash bin, saving energy and natural resources requires a change of habit and honest economizing efforts on behalf of all members of a family. Do this and true energy savings and satisfying environmental results are easily seen by the residents of the home. Does your home have low flow water saver plumbing fixtures? Water saving shower heads consume much less than those of the past. Tankless heaters can be used without modern faucets and shower heads, but does this make sense? When using water-saver plumbing fixtures in combination with a tankless water heater, a family can enjoy the same comforts while consuming less energy and water. Additionally, there is the added benefit of saving money on utility bills. Q. Will a tankless water heater save us money on our utility bills? If so, how much money will it save us? A. Most people will see an actual savings on the utility bill. There are variables that may reduce how much is saved. For instance, as the user will never run out of hot water, that person may take much longer showers. This practice will probably cut into the savings. The cost of electricity, LP gas and natural gas varies widely across the USA and this will affect the amount of money saved. The higher the cost for the energy used to heat water, the quicker recovery of the initial cost of installing a tankless versus tank style water heater. Generally speaking, most manufacturers claim as much as 25% to 50% savings, depending on what type of energy the tankless water heater uses. i.e. City gas, bottle gas (LP), or electricity.
Because of these variables, we are reluctant to make statements or promises on actual savings. Simple common sense tells us that these modern technologies will save energy and thusly money. And of course, we are not wasting energy which is good for our planet.
A reminder about direct-vent technology: Remember that in addition to the safety features, a modern direct-vent tankless model does not use room air for combustion, therefore it is not extracting heated or air conditioned air from your home. Buy using outside air for combustion, these balanced dual-chamber direct-vent models saving even more energy. Older tankless heaters that use room air for combustion are extracting the heat from the home. In the past, this factor was not usually taken into consideration. If a person wouldn't leave a window open in the winter, why would they want a tankless heater to be sucking the heat out of the home? In fact, tank type heaters also extract heat from the home. Take a look at the image below.
Q. Why does a tankless water heater save money on utility bills and what is the payback period? A. Tank type water heaters typically lose about 3% or 4% of their heat every hour and they run 24/7. Tankless water heaters heat water only when the faucet is turned on. With a tankless water heater, there is no standby heat loss. A tankless heater only uses energy when it is making hot water that is being used at the same time.
The payback period for a tankless water heater is typically three to seven years depending on how much hot water is used and the cost of energy in the area where the unit is installed. (The smaller the quantity of hot water that is used, the faster the payoff period will be realized.) For a single person living alone who is seldom at home and using hot water, the energy bill reflects the low consumption because tankless water heaters DO NOT EXPERIENCE STANDBY HEAT LOSS. Additionally, the user is contributing to protecting the planet as well as the future of fuel and fresh water supplies for us all. Q. How much money does a Tankless water Heater cost? A. Tankless water heaters vary in price and quality. There are less expensive models for summer homes, small apartments, and cabins. Deluxe whole house models are more expensive because they are made to heat water for much larger consumption needs. The installation costs are not something that we can determine as there are a number of installation variations. However, most manufacturers charge extra for the exhaust components.
Our heaters come with the basic exhaust/intake components at no additional charge. (This can save as much as $250.00 or more)*
Some installations are simple and some are more complex. We recommended that a person who is contemplating a tankless heater first speak to a contractor/plumber to assess the potential costs for the proposed installation.
*Additional extension pieces maybe necessary to complete an installation . Q. How hot is the water from the tankless water heater? A. Most tankless heaters have computer-control systems which can be pre-set to deliver a desired water temperature. This temperature can be regulated up or down. Traditionally, 120 degrees is the setting on a water heater. Q. Can I use more than two water fixtures at the same time? A. Many tankless water heaters will handle more than two fixtures at the same time, or two showers simultaneously. Some units can handle three showers at the same time, depending on the model of heater, the type of nozzle on the faucets and showers, and the plumbing system. Q. Can I use more than two water fixtures at the same time? A. Yes. Many tankless water heaters will handle more than two fixtures at the same time, like two showers simultaneously. You can even use three showers at the same time, depending on the model of heater, the type of nozzle on your faucets and showers, and your plumbing system. Q. Why do I need electric power for my gas tankless? A. If the model you are considering does not have an electrical plug-in, then we recommend that you reconsider your intentions. If there is not an electrical requirement, then the unit cannot be anything but a natural draft type heater. We consider these to be obsolete for any user except outdoor mounting for sheds, barns, rustic cabins and campsites. If a unit is to be installed inside a dwelling, it should be forced air and the best and safest choice is a dual-vent (balanced dual-chamber type intake/exhaust). Most modern tankless heaters have forced air exhaust, and many are also forced air intake as well. These units have a small electric fan motor inside the enclosure. The electric power required is 120V AC, which is the standard power outlet in U.S. homes. Most local codes have specific requirements on the electrical connection. Most local codes do not allow extension cords when connecting to the power outlet. Our on-demand gas water heaters use natural gas or propane (LP) to heat the water, but electricity is required for the blower fan motor, the digital remote and to power the circuit board. It has no pilot light and uses an electronic ignition. Actual electrical consumption is minimal. Q. Which model of tankless water heater should I purchase? A. For indoor mounting, the best and safest choice is a direct-vent (balanced dual-chamber type intake/exhaust). We recommend only this type of heater. The natural draft ones still being sold by some manufacturers are considered obsolete by most experts. Proper sizing of an on-demand water heater is important. For any application, the first thing to do is to estimate the peak flow capacity that will be needed in the home. This is the maximum GPM to be supplied by the water heater at any one time. For residential use, this will most likely be the maximum number of fixtures that may be used simultaneously, multiplied by the flow rate of these fixtures. Preferably, this calculation should only be done by a qualified plumber or contractor. Once this maximum flow rate is calculated, consult the specifications for each heater to determine which model meets the peak demand GPM sum. For best results, it is recommended that the shopper first consult with a trusted plumber or contractor.
NOTE: There is no harm in installing a heater larger than the calculated needs. As the tankless on demand water heater only makes hot water as it is needed, a larger model will ensure that when relatives or family are visiting, and peak usage exceeds the original calculations, there will be still be enough hot water. Q. Will I get instant hot water with a tankless water heater? A. This is a common misconception of tankless water heaters. A tankless water heater does heat water on-demand instantly. Just like a tank water heater, it still takes the same amount of time for the hot water to travel through the pipes and flush out the standing water that has cooled down and is already inside the hot water plumbing. No matter what type of heater is installed, it will always take time for the hot water to travel through the plumbing inside the home. The length of time it takes always depends on the length of the pipes, the amount the faucet or shower valve is opened and the water pressure. Q. If a tankless on demand water heater requires higher BTUs and a larger gas line, doesn't this mean it uses more gas? A. The amount of energy or BTUs required to heat water is actually the same. A simple way of explaining this is when a person boils a pot of hot water on the stove. If they were to boil two identical pots of water, one pot is on high heat and the other pot is on low heat, the actual amount of BTUs required is exactly the same. The difference is in the amount of time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point. Think of the tankless heater as the high heat pot and the tank type water heater as the pot on the low heat setting. The energy savings comes because the tankless water heater has much higher energy efficiency and only turns on to heat water when it is needed. A tank type water wastes gas by constantly heating the water in the tank to maintain the desired pre-set temperature. Q. I have a fairly large home; do I need more than one tankless water heater? A. Our large model on-demand tankless water heaters are designed for an entire home. Our smaller units can provide hot water for a small home, or summer cabin with lower GPM needs. If necessary, our heaters can be linked together to provide higher GPM output levels.
To answer your question specifically, we must ask you: How many gallons of hot water do you actually need for your home?
Here are some helpful tips for you to consider:
1. How much hot water (in GPM) do you use at one time? A standard shower head, dishwasher, washing machine is about 2.5 gallons per minute each. (Low flow shower and faucet heads use substantially less water. For example, a low flow shower head may use only 1.5 GPM.) If you typically use all three of these fixtures at the same time, that would require approximately 4.5 to 7.5 gallons per minute. Bath tubs are sometimes as high as six to eight gallons per minute, and rain head showers and body sprays definitely require more hot water than a standard shower head. So if your demand for hot water is higher than the typical home you will need a larger sized unit or another identical unit connected as a pair.
2. Remember to pick the right size unit for realistic situations rather than for your current situation. For example if you have three showers in your home, but you only use one, you might think the smallest unit is plenty for your situation. But if you have visiting guests for the holidays or if you sell your home, the hot water demand may be different and the heater may be too small.
3. Here's the most important tip to understand. Ultimately, a tankless water heater's gallon per minute (GPM) output depends on your tap water's temperature. Simply put, the colder the ground water temperature the less output you will get from the tankless heater. This is because the colder tap water temperature requires the heater to heat the water more than if it was heating water that is warmer. We recommend choosing your heater based on your winter season's worst case scenario tap water temperature. This way you are covering for the lowest temperature you will experience in your area (We recommend that you consult your local plumber or contractor as they will know the ground water temperatures from prior experience and will help you with the calculations for final application sizing).
Q. Can I install my heater in a manufactured/mobile home? A. Yes, but for indoor mounting, the best and safest choice is always a direct-vent (balanced dual-chamber type intake/exhaust). We recommend only this type of heater. The natural draft ones still being sold by some manufacturers are considered obsolete by most experts. Yes, we have models that can be used for this application but mobile homes are more complicated conversions, especially older ones. In warmer climates a common conversion is the installation of an outdoor model which can be installed to service a manufactured/mobile home. Q. Do I need special water faucets when I use a Tankless water heater? No. Tankless water heaters work best when also using water saving faucets that have built in aerator (screens) that run at flow rates of 1 to 2 gallons per minute. Bath and sink aerator (screens) are available at local home improvement stores and are inexpensive. Tankless water heaters work best using hand held shower heads that mount on the wall and can be held in your hand. You can usually purchase one from a local store for about $20-$30. A 2.5 gallon per minute aerator shower head will actually flow at about 1.5 to 2.0 gallons per minute (most shower head aerator are calibrated using water pressure of 80 psi and the typical residential water pressure is between 40 - 60 psi, with the average being 50 psi).
Additionally, why would a person "go green" and install an energy saving tankless water heater and not use the energy saving faucet and shower heads? Tankless heaters are designed to be used with a water and energy saving combined philosophy. Q. What type of tankless water heaters are most common? A. Most units are Natural Gas or Propane (LP) models. Electrical heaters are more commonly used in smaller GPM applications such as a single sink in an office or workshop lavatory application. Most experts agree, for larger GPM requirements, gas powered heaters are more economical to operate than electric ones. Q. Can two people use two showers at the same time? A. Yes, most of our water heaters will operate two showers at the same time. Q. How many gallons per minute of hot water will the Tankless water heater produce? A. This is difficult to answer due to variables in pressure, flow rates, diameter of the water pipes, and the incoming water temperature. The average home uses 1-3 gallons per minute., it is unusual for any family to use over three gallons of water per minute. Also keep in mind the average faucet and shower run about 1.5 to 2 gallons per minute. With these figures in mind, our model can easily meet this demand. Q. What is the average temperature for bathing, showering and washing hands? A. Baths, hand washing & showers are comfortable between 95 & 105 degrees. Q. What is the recovery time before someone can take the next shower? A. Immediately! The hot water that comes out of a tankless water heater is constant unlike a regular tank type hot water heater where you would have to wait for it to reheat; a tankless water heater never runs out of hot water. Q. What is the average cold water faucet temperature in homes? A. 60 degrees is the average in Middle America.
NOTE: We have placed a map of typical ground water temperatures on our web site for your convenience. Q. If the average incoming cold water temperature is 60 degrees what will the temperature of the hot water be using a tankless water heater? A. At 1 gallon a minute based on a cold water temperature of 60 degrees all of our tankless water heaters would be at 120 degrees or higher. Keep in mind the average temperature for washing hands and taking a shower or bath is between 95 & 105 degrees. With the average faucet producing 1.5 gallons per minute when using newer type faucets made within the last 10 years. The lower the gallons per minute the higher the hot water temperature will be. Q. My home has plastic plumbing pipes (PVC or PEX), can I use a tankless water heater? A. Yes, you can. All of our tankless water heaters will work with both types of plastic piping. Q. Will a tankless water heater work with my dishwasher? A. Yes, especially if your dishwasher is less than six or seven years old. In which case it probably has built in water heating elements similar to an electric tankless water heater so no extra heating in necessary.
If your dishwasher is six years of age or older it uses about 14 gallons of water, most dishwasher manufacturers state that the temperature should be 130 to 140 degrees, and most dishwasher run about 1-2 gallons per minute. Using the average incoming cold water temperature of 60 degrees, the hot water temperature would easily be sufficient. Q. Where Can I buy your tankless Water heaters? A. In order to keep the price low, at this time our water heaters are not sold in retail stores. EZtankless' goal is to bring the latest high quality tankless technology directly to the consumer at the best prices. To do this, we have streamlined our operation to reduce costs. This is why we only sell them directly from our web site. Q. Do I need to turn the faucet all the way on to get hot water? A. The minimum required flow rate to activate the burner is very low so this is not necessary. Q. What type of venting or exhaust is required? A. This depends on the type/model of tankless water heater. Some have a power venting system and are ran through a sidewall. (In warmer climates, an outdoor installation is also possible.) Others are direct vent. If our web site does not answer your questions, please contact us for more information on vent type and requirements. Q. What's the difference between a conventional flue and a direct vent? A. A conventional flue is what most people are familiar with. It typically consists of a double-wall flue pipe going from the top of the heater through the roof or side wall, venting outside. Sometimes it ties into the furnace vent at a "Y" or "T" union. The fixture draws its combustion air from the space around it (utility room, garage, hallway, etc.).
Our indoor gas fired models are the "direct-vent" type unit with forced air exhaust. The large pipe that exits the top of the heater both vents and draws its combustion air through a specially designed double stainless steel pipe from the outside via an adjacent wall. This special pipe has sealed joints and the outer joints must also be wrapped with a special aluminum sealing tape. In this design, the interior pipe is the exhaust and it has sealed interior joints. The outer pipe is the one that draws the combustion air into the unit. This has an added safety benefit of dramatically lowering the outer pipe temperature. Q. Where can a tankless water heater be installed? A. Tankless water heaters can be installed indoors; typically on a wall with direct access to the outside, some models can be installed outdoors. Q. Are there any accessories or additional items to consider when installing a tankless water heater? A. Yes; typically, the exhaust pipes are the most common additional items required. These pipes are absolutely necessary. NOTE: Our heaters come with the basic exhaust/intake system free of charge. (As there are many variables to the installation, it is not possible to supply a one size fits all standard exhaust kit with each heater. Some of our heaters come with the exhaust, but additional elbows and/or extension pipes may be necessary for your application.) When you locate your mounting point, you can measure how much exhaust tubing you require and purchase that additional amount. The recommended optional accessories are listed with the products. Watch a typical install below.
Q. How do I properly ventilate my Heater? A. A major element to a quality installation of a tankless water heater is the ventilation of the heater. Due to the pressurized exhaust, a tankless heater requires the use of a category III stainless steel vent pipe. Once again, we recommend only a direct-vent type heater for indoor use. WARNING: The most common error in amateur and some professional installations is combining the tankless exhaust into a standard natural draft vent or re-connecting to an existing draft type vent pipe from the previous tank type heater. THIS MUST NEVER BE DONE! See the above video for the explanation of proper venting of a tankless heater. Q. How do I install my Heater? A. In order for your warranty to be valid, the heater must be installed by a licensed contractor/plumber. This is to ensure all basic code and safety standards such as water line size, gas line size, and proper ventilation are present for the heater to operate safely and at its optimal potential. Q. Do I need to upgrade my gas line? A. Sometimes, on-demand tankless water heaters may need a larger gas line since it's required BTUs are often higher than tank type heaters. The reason why the BTUs are higher is because it needs the energy to heat the water to your set temperature in mere seconds. The actual gas line upgrade size will depend on which tankless model you choose and the distance from the gas meter. All of the water heaters on our web site have the gas line size stated in the specification area. Q. Can I use my existing venting for my tankless water heater? If not, why not? A. Generally speaking the answer is always NO. Absolutely not.
Why? There are a few important things to keep in mind when purchasing the gas venting for your Gas-Fired Tankless Water Heater.
(1) By code, tankless water heaters must use Category III stainless steel exhaust venting. Category III venting is corrosion resistant and has gas tight sealed joints. The venting must be corrosion resistant because a slightly acidic condensation is formed during combustion. This condensation can eat away at your current vent pipe's galvanized metal and cause major damage to your tankless water heater's internal components. More importantly, the venting must be gas tight to avoid carbon monoxide leakage. They must be gas tight because tankless heaters use a powered exhaust fan to push the exhaust gasses out, as opposed to tank water heaters which use a natural updraft.
Be absolutely sure that you purchase Category III stainless steel (UL1738 certified) venting for your Gas-Fired Tankless Water Heater. "Type B" venting accessories are never acceptable. Also, be sure to check local building codes to ensure that you are in compliance.
Additionally, many Tankless Water Heater manufacturers offer gas venting "kits". Many of the modern tankless heaters use pipe specifically designed for use with each manufacturer's specific product. It is best to use only the manufacturer's recommended pipe. If their product uses special pipe, they will offer this as well. It is recommended that customers evaluate the needs of their specific installation to ensure that they will be getting all of the necessary gas venting accessories. Many tankless heaters have a maximum allowable vent pipe length and number of elbows (or bends), especially the direct vent models. Depending on where you will be installing the Tankless Water Heater, a pre-made kit will probably not meet your needs. Ensure that you measure out the vent route and consider where the discharge will go through the wall or ceiling, consider the necessary clearances, and consider ample access to air for combustion. At that time, buy the appropriate gas venting pieces.
Electrical Note: Gas-Fired Tankless Water Heaters may still require an electrical connection. Always review all installation requirements on the heater you are considering. Q. Can I install the water heater myself? A. Yes you can, however, we always recommend that you hire a licensed professional. In fact our warranty only applies when the heater is installed by a professional. Tankless heater installation is similar to a tank type water heater install. Many of our customers have installed the tankless water heaters themselves. The customer is fully responsible for the installation & cost of the tankless water heaters. Installation cost is not refundable. Q. Do you provide installers? A. No, Just like a tank water heater that you buy at a local home improvement store you would have to hire a professional of your choice. The install is similar to a tank type water heater and most competent contractors can do the job without difficulty. Many of our customers ask a professional to view the information on our web site and then give them an estimate. The customer is fully responsible for the installation & cost of the water heater. We don't recommend you to set install appointments or do install pre-prep work until the water heater actually arrives. Installation cost, uninstall cost and to and from shipping costs are not refundable. Q. Can any plumber perform the installation? What is involved? A. Locating a company to perform your install should be easy as many plumbers are embracing tankless technology. We recommend calling around your area to find a plumber who is experienced with the tankless systems, and if you find someone who isn't, ask them why. Let them know that the demand is there and that tankless is the way to go. For the most part, installation is the same as the tank. Tankless units require water lines and gas lines and are simple to mount to the wall. Corrosion-resistant stainless steel ventilation is required. Our deluxe models are vented horizontally due to the fan assisted combustion. Please do not forget the added convenience of the wall mount! A tankless water heater will help you save space and save money. Q. Do I need to install a water softener for my tankless unit and how resistant is one of your tankless water heaters to hard water and sediment? A. No. It is not required to install a water softener, but if you do live in an area that has very hard water it will eventually harm the performance of your tankless water heater. Something that we recommend that you do is to add a water filter which reduces scale which over long periods of time can form inside the heater's internal piping. A water softener system (non-reverse osmosis type) works well and many homes already have this. Additionally, we recommend that you do a routine flush maintenance of your tankless heater. (frequency depends on your water hardness level) There are ways in which you can tell if you have hard water. You may contact your city's water department for their water test report, test your water by purchasing a water hardness kit (fairly inexpensive), or by simply looking at your water fixtures to see if you have mineral build-up.
The bottom line is that hard water kills all water heaters. We advise anyone that owns any water heater to use a softener and/or filter to prolong the life of any water heater. Hard water prematurely damages and eventually ruins water heaters and appliances. Q. At what temperature should the water heater be set? A. The set temperature of the water heater depends on how it will be used. A comfortable shower temperature should not be much higher than 105° (temperatures above 125° are scalding). Most water heaters have been traditionally set at 120 degrees. Q. How do I change the temperature on the water heater? A. Most of our tankless water heaters come standard with a digital temperature controller, which allows you to adjust the water temperature. The water temperature is displayed on the easy-to-use control panel, and can be adjusted using the up and down buttons.
Note: If you want to go above 140°F, please contact your installer.(scalding can occur) Q. I have a lake cabin we use only in the summer. When I close it for the winter season, I need to drain the plumbing. Is it possible to drain a tankless water heater to prevent freeze damage when not in use? A. Yes. Simply drain both lines 'to' and 'from' the unit. As long as there are no check valves in the way, that should drain the water from the unit. To guarantee that there is no water in the unit, we recommend two drain valves - one before and one after the unit - as well as blowing air through the water line.