Due to its high efficiency, endless supply of hot water, and compact size it's no wonder gas tankless water heaters are increasingly popular, and have the most attention in continuing technological advancements.
Perhaps one of the most popular types of water heaters in the states prior to tankless is the gas tank type. For many people that don't need an endless supply of hot water the traditional tank continues to be a very economical choice.
Fairly new to the market is the hybridization of an electric tank heater and an AC style heat pump. Efficiency of hybrid water heaters exceed tankless heaters. Although it's a tank type they have a faster heat recovery but still require a lot of space.
Just as popular as the gas tank type; the electric tank heaters are the most economic choice from an installation standpoint since they have the simplest design. Unfortunately they have a higher operating cost due to it's low efficiency rating.
One of the most inefficient and higher cost options available yet a few situations that make them a great choice. As the amount of required water increases so does the required voltage. Due to compact size single point of use is the best.
Harnessing the power of the Sun makes solar the most efficient way too heat water. Drawbacks are high installation costs and no heating without sunlight. Installation requires solar tube panel, storage tank, and a complex control system.
Anything is definitely possible to achieve however we want you to be aware of what may be required in various water heater installations. Whether you decide to replace with the similar type you already have or looking to upgrade to a more efficient model, there may be some obstacles to consider. These vary from one home to the next due to how the home was originally plumbed and constructed.
When our experts arrive we will be able to provide multiple options whether you choose to replace your water heater with a similar type or another type such as tankless. We stand behind our work and the products we install so we make sure everything is installed correctly.
The question we hear from our customers... "How often or do I even need to flush my tankless heater?"
What we do during routine flush & maintenance
If you have a tankless heater more than likely there is a display module either at the unit or inside the house. Sometimes the display is hidden in a closet or under a sink counter. Tankless heaters are full of sensors that help us diagnose what may be causing issues. If your display is showing a number other than a temperature setting it is likely an error code. Be sure to take note of the error code when calling in for support to help diagnose issues.
The instant you turn on a hot water faucet; the hot water has to travel the distance from the water heater to the faucet. Depending how your home is plumbed this may take over a minute to warm up. There are several ways of reducing the delay of hot water. In new construction we size the pipe at the minimum size required for the maximum amount of use. With a centrally located tankless water heater the wait time becomes minimal because the smallest acceptable diameter pipe requires less displacement of water volume. The most common way to truly get near instant hot water is by using a circulation system. These advanced systems drastically reduce the time spent waiting for your faucet to warm up. These can add much comfort and efficiency to your home!
I'm sure everyone has been in the scenario of being the last person taking a shower ending up with a very brisk and quick freezing rinse! This is what makes tankless heaters champions in the water heater industry. Imagine how long it takes to boil 50 gallons of water in a pot as opposed to about a cup passing through heat exchanger. When traditional tank water heaters are used the time taken to heat cold water that flows into the tank up to the set temperature is the recovery time. When the amount of water used all at once is faster than the recovery time the electric heating elements or gas boiler can't keep up. This is why it will gradually go from hot to warm then cold. Using larger sized tank heaters will help but tankless heaters are the ultimate choice for endless hot water.
Tired of wasting time waiting for the shower to warm up? Circulation systems are the answer to that problem. The concept has been around for a very long time, and is almost always utilized in large commercial buildings. In the past the only way to have a circulation system at home was connecting additional pumps and controllers to a tank style heater. Nowadays tankless water heater manufacturers are developing high efficiency water heaters with built in circulation pumps.
How it works
There are two types of hot water circulation systems one is gravity fed and the other being the more common forced circulation system.
In a gravity fed system the water circulates because heated water is lighter than cold water causing it to rise. As the hot water exits the tank it rises through the recirculation loop. towards the end of the loop the pipe is uninsulated and as it cools the water is thermo-siphoned back into the tank. Unfortunately there are some limitations to this setup; one being it only works best using a tank type heater, the other being the tank and the circulation loop needs to be at the same level and the entire loop needs to be sloped. Homes with varying ceiling levels make this a challenge.
With the more popular forced circulation setup a water pump is used to move the water around the recirculation loop. When the pump comes on both the pump and the water heater will be running. Obviously it's not desirable to run the circulation loop all the time to keep energy usage down. so most systems are configured with a control system to improve the efficiency. There are several different ways that can control when the pump is activated the main ones being time or temperature. The type of controls vary from one product to another but the concept is the same. There are also some on-demand type controls available as well. These include motion sensors and on-demand push buttons.
Time controlled circulation - Depending on the pump or water heater some models are equipped to activate the pump on an interval timer or preset schedule. There are even some newer tankless heaters that can optionally be configured to learn your regular usage for each week.
Temperature controlled circulation - Common on tankless heaters which have built in circulation pumps and very popular in commercial applications and also . Basically the returning hot water line has an inline thermostat. Once the water travels the entire path of the circulation loop and reaches a set temperature the pump turns off. Gradually the water temperature dissipates and drops below another set point as it cools, at which the pump turns on.
Crossover valves - These are a mechanical form of temperature controlled circulation. In these setups a valve is installed under the furthest sink. The valve connects the hot to the cold water. Inside the device is an aqua static valve which uses a wax filament to open the valve when the temperature falls below 95°F. When the pump comes on (typically setup on a interval timer in these setups) hot water flows into the cold side until the temperature reaches approximately 105°F and the crossover valve turns closes. Crossover valves are great to retrofit in homes where running a dedicated return line is not possible.
Motion sensors - If you are a big fan of Internet-of-things type devices then your'e well aware of motion sensors. These sensors can be utilized for specific areas of the house to get water circulating right as you step into the room.
On demand button - Much like the motion sensors but instead a physical button. Instead of waiting for hot water by running water down the drain you can simply press a button to activate the circulation pump.
Circulation systems can provide a great balance of efficiency and comfort to your home!
Residence 1 Before: tank to tankless upgrade.