Should I replace my water heater with a tankless water heater?
The biggest reason to consider getting a tankless water heater is if you need the space. Tankless water heaters are excellent space savers. They are able to be mounted in the attic, on the wall in your garage, or even on the exterior wall of your house.
Another reason to consider getting a tankless water heater is the operational savings cost. The only disadvantage is if you have a large family the savings does not outweigh the cost to use. However, if you travel frequently the savings can be considerable. You also save if your hot water use is not very high (i.e., already living in a hot environment)
Also consider the maintenance of the tankless water heater. Generally you need to flush it out once a year with vinegar to keep it running smoothly.
How do I go about picking out a tankless water heater?
The two biggest factors in considering which tankless water heater to pick out is the ease of installation and the location where it can be installed. There is no point in buying the fanciest or most expensive heater if you cannot install it at all because of the layout of your house. Consult with your plumber if you have any questions about which tankless water heater you should get.
Another thing to keep in mind is the ease of maintenance for your tankless water heater. The easier it is to maintain, the less issues and less cost you’ll have to deal with in the future in the long run. It is generally recommended to flush your heaters with vinegar once a year to balance out hard water or water with a high PH level.
Is it normal for a tankless water heater to sometimes leak gas?
No, it is not normal for a tankless water heater to leak gas. If you ever smell gas from your heater, turn off the gas, ventilate the house, and replace it as soon as possible.
Which is better: a tankless or with-tank water heater?
Many tankless water heaters come with a long warranty which can be up to 20 years. Compared to some conventional tank heaters, this is a really long time. However, some brands offer a lifetime warranty so keep your eyes open for those. Other advantages the tankless has over the with-tank is the savings in space and the locations where you can put them.
Keep in mind that the tankless water heaters will need to be serviced every year. If you don’t want to do this yourself, there will be additional costs to have the plumber do it. Some plumbers will not mention this in their sales pitch.
The biggest advantage the tank water heater has over the tankless water heater is the cost. Some units can have up to 50% in cost saving. But keep in mind the amount of times you had to replace your water heater. Some places with horrible water systems can cause the water heater to be replaced after five years, far earlier than normal. The multiple replacements will cost more than the savings.
Finally, some heaters cannot heat water below 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm). If you have a weak stream, that water will not be hot. Be sure to ask your plumber about that.