The idea of having a tankless water heater probably appeals to you on several levels. They are said to reduce your energy usage, give you as much hot water as you want for your bath or shower, and take up less space than conventional water heaters. What you may overlook are the things that the salesman doesn't tell you. Here are a few things you should know about tankless water heaters that you may not learn during a consultation.
The Hot Water Isn't Instant
One of the misconceptions that many people have about tankless water heaters is that the hot water is instant. The truth is there are several steps a tankless hot water heater has to go through before it can get the water to your location as hot as you want it. The first thing that will happen is your flow sensor will turn on. This indicates to the tankless system that you want water. A fan will turn on in the system that will start the water heating process. This can actually take a few seconds to work, around 10-15 seconds on gas energy systems.
Break Downs Happen
If you live in a cold weather area or where the winter temperatures can drop significantly, then your plumber may want you to rethink the whole tankless water option. Many things can go wrong with this type of system if it isn't drained properly. According to some sources, the tankless system needs to be completely drained meaning the water from the pipes needs to be out so it doesn't freeze. You also have to worry about lime buildup that can break down the system . Depending on the technology of your tankless system, you may have to replace just a few pieces or the entire system.
One of the key points that your plumber may want you to know, and what you may not consider, is the output of your new tankless system. With a traditional hot water heater you can run the shower, dishwasher, and even washing machine without a loss of pressure or very little loss. With a tankless water heater, you may not have that luxury. This is due to what is known as the throughout limit, meaning it can only supply a limited amount of water over a span of time.
These are only a few of the drawbacks of tankless water heaters. If you want to know what a tankless system could or could not do for you, then contact a professional like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating and ask them their honest opinion before you get into hot water.