Ask Vince #7 tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters, installation

QUESTION: It’s time we replaced our old water heater, and recently I’ve been hearing about “tankless water heaters.” Are these better than the traditional water heaters? And if so, could a homeowner install one himself or is the job better left to a professional? Thank you for any information you can give me. Margie Ballenger

ANSWER: “Tankless water heaters have been popular in Europe and Asia for years and sales of tankless water heaters there far exceed tank-type units,” says Vince McDonald of McDonald Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning in Sacramento. “Sales of tankless water heaters in the Western states are growing like never before because these units provide the following three distinct advantages: Unlimited hot water supply Tankless water heaters supply continuous hot water that is activated by water flow. As long as the water is running, the unit will continue to provide a stream of hot water up to its designed flow rate. Providing hot water for those long showers or large bathtubs is no longer a problem. Energy savings Traditional tank water heaters require energy to store gallons of water and keep it hot. Tankless water heaters consume little or no energy when they are not in use. Space-savings size Small in size (about the size of a piece of carry-on luggage) tankless units mount on the wall, thereby conserving valuable floor space.” “Outdoor models save even more space and provide more options for new home builders and existing home remodels by getting the water heater out of the house,” McDonald says. “These units are ideal for special situations, such as vacation homes, cabin homes, pool houses and families or singles who travel frequently.” “Changing an existing gas water heater inside the home with a tankless water heater definitely requires the services of a professional plumber because the gas line and vent through the roof will more than likely have to be upgraded. Tankless water heaters are available in both gas or electric models, though the gas ones are much more efficient and economical,” McDonald says. “I suggest that any consumer that is interested in this type of technology consult with the manufacturer or an educated contractor who can design and system that will meet their needs. The contractor can also inform the consumer of both the product benefits and limitations.”

More Information onTankless Water Heatersin Your Sacramento Home or Office

Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which can save you money. Here you’ll find basic information about how they work.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. However, a tankless water heater’s output limits the flow rate. Typically, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons (7.6–15.2 liters) per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. Sometimes, however, even the largest, gas-fired model cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households. For example, taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch a tankless water heater to its limit. To overcome this problem, you can install two or more tankless water heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can also install separate tankless water heaters for appliances — such as a clothes washer or dishwater — that use a lot of hot water in your home. Other applications for demand water heaters include the following:

  • Remote bathrooms or hot tubs
  • Booster for appliances, such as dishwashers or clothes washers
  • Booster for a solar water heating system.

Contact McDonald Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning in Sacramento to Replace Your Water Heater with a Tankless Water Heater

Since 1957 McDonald Plumbing, Heating Air Conditioning has been replacing water heaters with tankless water heaters for Sacramento residents and businesses. We also serve Sacramento and the surrounding communities with a full line of plumbing, heating and air conditioning repairs such as tankless and regular water heater installation and repair, air conditioning installation and repair, home energy audits, home comfort systems, sewer and drain cleaning, sewer and water line repair and repair of slab leaks.

Sacramento, CA

Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the seat of government of Sacramento County. It is at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California’s expansive Central Valley. With an estimated 2011 population of 477,891, it is the sixth-largest city in California and the 35th largest city in the United States. Sacramento is the core cultural and economic center of the Sacramento metropolitan area which includes seven counties with an estimated 2009 population of 2,527,123. Its metropolitan area is the fourth largest in California after the Greater Los Angeles Area, San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Diego metropolitan area, as well as the 27th largest in the United States. In 2002, the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University conducted for TIME magazine named Sacramento “America’s Most Diverse City.


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