Tankless Water Heater Installation

Read This Before You Get a Tankless Water Heater Installation

Is running out of hot water getting you cold? That will not be a problem with one of our compact, super-efficient tankless water heater installation units. This is what you need to know about choosing, installing, and living with a tankless water heater installation.

Think about it: The way most homes in the U.S.A heat water is totally reckless. We fill up big 40- to 50-gallon water tanks, then heat energy into them 24 hours a day, year after year, to ensure we have hot water available whenever we need it. But often it does not work out that way. If someone takes a long shower, or another person settles in for a bath soaking, you can be waiting a long time for that empty tank to fill up & re-heat. Then there are the problematic concerns: Did it fill with energy-sapping sediment? Will it start to leak? Both are important concerns since water heater tanks only last 7 to 12 years.

These are the advantages of investing in a tankless water heater installation. It gives you hot water only when needed—and only for as long as it is needed—which saves 28 to 51 percent of heating charges over a traditional water heater (A regular gas-burner water heater throws away 41 to 51 percent of the heat it burns.) And because there is no tank to fail, there is virtually no chance of a disastrous leak. Also, since they arrived in the U.S. in the 90’s, the tankless water heater installation has become more and more advanced, with features like built-in recirculating pumps (for “instant” hot water), and remote operation or programming via a smart phone app that tells you when your tankless water heater installation needs maintenance.

The following is our manual to the tankless water heater installation and more. In it, we’ll explain how a tankless water heater installation works, tell you what you need to know before you buy one—and before the tankless water heater installation—and let you in on the equipment’s operating features, so you won’t be surprised with your tankless water heater installation.

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Tankless Water Heater Installation Services in Riverside CA

How a Tankless Water Heater Installation Works

  1. It all begins when you open the hot water faucet (1).
  2. flow sensor (2) recognizes water entering the tankless water heater installation and sends a signal to the computer to start making hot water.
  3. In a gas-burner unit, the computer (3) turns on the fan (4), which draws in exterior air, unlocks the gas valve (5) that allows in the gas, and in turn, lights the burner (6).
  4. The heat exchanger (7) captures heat from the fire and shifts it to the water moving throughout the exchanger’s tubes.
  5. The mixing valve (8) moderates the super-heated water leaving the exchanger.
  6. If the temperature sensor (9) senses that the water surpasses or is deficient of the needed setting, the computer will adjust the gas valve, the mixing valve, and the flow-regulated water valve (10) appropriately.
  7. A closed vent (11) (or twin vents) through a roof or exterior partition carries away waste gases and transfers combusted air to the burner.

Thank you to the Following Companies: Rheem, Noritz, Rinnai and Bosch Thermotechnology

What to Know About A Tankless Water Heater Installation?

How Much Does A Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost?

Parts cost ranges from $170 for a tiny gas-burner unit to over $2,000 for a high-output tankless water heater installation that can supply 2 showers simultaneously; $1,000 is about average.

An electric tankless water heater installation runs between $90 and $900. Initial installation costs run more than a simple water heater tank replacement.

How Long Does A Tankless Water Heater Installation Last?

A gas-fired tankless water heater installation should keep running for close to 25 years or more, two or three times longer than tank-type heaters. Tankless water heater installation electric models have shorter lifespans of about 8 to 11 years.

Where Can I Buy a Tankless Water Heater Installation?

Plumbing-supply stores, big-box stores, and online retailers all carry these heaters. Or order one through your local plumber if a professional tankless water heater installation is not your strongest skill.

How Hard is a Tankless Water Heater Installation?

This is absolutely a job for a master plumber, as it involves making leak-free water, vent, and gas connections, in the case of gas or propane units, or upgrading the wiring and circuit-breaker panel, in the case of electric units.

Does A Tankless Water Heater Installation Need Maintenance?

Jim & Sons Plumbing & Rooter of Riverside CA offers an annual service, which includes cleansing or exchanging water and air filtration and inspecting the burner. If you are in a geographic area that has hard water, a vinegar wash & flush every 600 hours guards from mineral accumulation—scale—from clogging the heat exchanger. That 30-minute task can be done by either a professional plumber or a homeowner.

Advantages & Disadvantages: Is It Time for A Tankless Water Heater Installation?

Advantage: A Tankless Water Heater Installation Fits in Small Places

New tank-type water heaters are bigger now as governmental regulations now mandate an increased thickness of insulation to decrease idle tank heater loss.

So, there is a good chance it will not be small enough for places where an old water heater of the same capacity could go. Tankless gas water heaters are the size of a briefcase and can easily be hidden.

Advantage: A Tankless Water Heater Installation is Many Times Safer

Unlike a tank-type water heater, they won’t discharge huge amounts of water if they start to leak, or contain Legionella bacteria, or fall down in an earthquake. And due to the supply of air and exhaust vents are closed, carbon monoxide can’t get into the home because of backdrafting.

Advantage: A Tankless Water Heater Installation is Easy to Prepare for Winter

Owners of vacation homes know well how long it takes to drain a water-heater tank before shutting down a home for the winter. A tankless water heater installation takes seconds to drain; then you just pull the plug of the cord.

Disadvantage: A Tankless Water Heater Installation is Easily Affected by Slow Water Flow

If there is a considerable amount of scale accumulation in your pipes and faucets, or showerhead aerators are clogged, or a half-closed faucet decreases water flow to 0.3 GPM or less, these units automatically turn off.

Disadvantage: The Payback on a Tankless Water Heater Installation Takes Awhile

Contrasting a tank-type water heater being around $500, a $2,000 tankless gas water heater may save a household only about $150 per year, based on how efficient it is and the amount of hot water that is used.

But because these tankless gas water heater units last longer, the savings kick in after six years, about when many tanks are nearing the end of their life.

You can get more information on how much it costs for a tankless water heater installation

What New Technology Comes with A Tankless Water Heater Installation?

Tankless water heater installation technology is constantly improving. Here are some of the latest improvements:

Increased Efficiency on A Tankless Water Heater Installation

Condensing gas water heaters can pull out up to 96 percent of a fuel’s heat—a 18% improvement over first-generation tankless water heater installation units—thanks to a second heat exchanger that catches most of the exhaust heat before it exits the outlet.

A tankless water heater installation is about twenty-five percent more costly than noncondensing water heaters, and they create an acidy condensate that must be balanced. If a water heater does not come with a built-in neutralizing cannister, the plumber must install one.

Instant Hot Water with A Tankless Water Heater Installation

Tankless water heater installation units need about 15 seconds to bring water up to the proper temperature, but you still have to wait for hot water to get to your showerhead or faucet, just like a tank-type water heater.

When the distance between tankless water heater installation and fixture is more than 50 feet, look for models with an integrated re-circulation pump, which lowers water usage and decreases wait time. The pump, which can be started with a timer, a switch, a motion sensor, a smart speaker, or a smart phone, injects the cold water through the pipes back into the water heater.

After about 60 seconds, the pump turns off and hot water dispenses seconds after opening the faucet.

Wi-Fi Compatible

Tankless water heater installation with wireless capability allows you to change the temperature and observe gas and hot-water usage on your smartphone.

More importantly, the smart phone app can pinpoint the source of a problem. Give that information to your plumbing contractor and he or she will arrive knowing precisely how to work on your tankless water heater installation. That feature also removes any doubt about when it’s time to descale.

Pro Advice: Save with Tankless Water Heater Installation Rebates

“A condensing tankless water heater installation is so efficient, they are endorsed by the federal Energy Star initiative, making them qualified for energy discounts in all 50 states. These rebates can make up the difference in price between the costlier tankless water heater installation models and the lower-priced non-condensing models. This makes it a free or low-cost improvement that will save money for almost 25 years or more.” —James Costilow, Jim & Sons Plumbing & Rooter, Master Plumber

What Size Tankless Water Heater Installation Do You Need?

The following shows how the experts make sure your tankless water heater installation delivers enough hot water.

It takes a huge surge of BTUs for a tankless water heater installation to turn cold water into hot water in only a few seconds. But if a heater’s BTU output cannot keep pace with demand, it will decrease the output, or worst case, supply lukewarm water.

To evaluate if a tankless water heater installation can satisfy a household’s requirements, a plumber looks at three factors: the temperature of the water entering the water heater, the peak demand for hot water in gallons per minute (GPM), and the water heater’s efficiency, as designated by its Uniform Energy Factor, found in the product manual specifications.

  1. Amount of BTU’s Per Gallon: A professional plumber finds out how many BTU’s per gallon a water heater requires to increase the outside ground water to 120 degrees (see map below).
  2. Peak Demand: This is the total of the flow rates for every device and fixture that could be uses hot water simultaneously (rates listed below). The total gets cut by 20%, since we do not shower or wash in 120-degree water. You can decrease peak demand by installing low-flow water efficient fixtures and water-saving appliances, also by not washing when the shower is in use.
  3. Total BTU output is determined by inputting the BTU’s-per-gallon and peak-demand numbers into the formula. If the output lands between two units, get the one with the higher BTU rating. And if the output passes 198,000 BTU’s, the highest for residential gas water heaters, you will need two smaller models that work together.

Rule-of-Thumb Sizing

Do you hate math? Use this scale to calculate how much tankless water heater installation output you will need:

1 bathroom, 1–2 people: 140,000 BTU’s

2 bathrooms, 2–3 people: 190,000 BTU’s

3 bathrooms, 3–5 people: 380,000 BTU’s

BTU’s Per Gallon by Geographic Region

Fixture flow rates (Gallons per Minute)

Shower Head: 1.25–2.5 GPM

Kitchen or Bath Faucet: 1.5–2.2 GPM

Tub Filler Faucet: 4 GPM

Dishwasher: 1–2.5 GPM

Washing Machine: 1.5–3 GPM

To know the correct GPM of a fixture, time the number of seconds it takes to fill a bucket to a 1-quart mark. Here is the formula: 15 / (# of seconds) = GPM.

Consider an Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Option

Contributed by Stiebel and Eltron

Homes that have no gas line or propane tank capability, can also reap the benefits of on-demand hot water with tankless water heater installation powered by electricity. These units, which heat water with large copper poles, make less noise and are 33% smaller than gas or a propane tankless water heater installation. And because they do not need outlets, you can install them virtually anywhere, including underneath sinks and inside small utility rooms.

One disadvantage to electric models are their limited output, which maxes out at 35 kilowatts, or about 123,000 BTU’s. That may be enough to supply a whole home in areas with warm groundwater, but in colder climates they are better fit to point-of-use service, where the requirement for hot water does not get too high. No matter which type you pick, it will require enough amperage at the main electric panel and thick-gauge wires.

Also, electric water heater installations last only about half as long as gas units: Typical warranties are three to five years. Once the heating elements go bad, the price to replace the parts are about the same as purchasing a new water heater.

The Correct Way to Perform a Tankless Water Heater Installation

Illustration by Doug Adams

What your plumbing contractor will determine before the tankless water heater installation day:

  1. GAS LINES: For the flame in a tankless water heater installation to perform properly, it must be connected to a gas-supply line that supplies enough volume at the correct pressure. Oftentimes, that means the diameter of the supply line must be enlarged to 3⁄4 inch. And if the pressure decreases, the utility company will have to adjust the regulator on the meter. FYI - Some tankless water heater installation units, such as those made by Rheem, are able to work with a standard ½-inch gas line, as long as it isn’t lengthier than 24 feet.
  2. PLACING VENTS: Noncondensing tankless gas water heaters use stainless-steel outlets that can withstand high exhaust heat. Condensing models have a cooler outlet and use less costly PVC pipes. A concentric outlet, which has an exhaust pipe inside a bigger air-intake pipe, makes for an easier tankless water heater installation since just one hole needs to be made in the wall. FYI: Generally, vent runs have been restricted to only 10 feet. But stronger fans, similar to those in Rinnai’s Sensei series, now permit vents to travel up to 150 feet.
  3. HARDNESS OF WATER: Mineral scale deposits formed in a heat exchanger (or on electric heating models) reduce heat transfer and inhibit water flow. Scale won’t be a problem if you already have whole-house water-softening. But if your water is not being treated or softened, and the hardness is greater than 115 milligrams per liter, then you should invest in a water softener installation treatment system. FYI: A dedicated, point-of-use cannister such as the TAC-ler water conditioner (Stiebel Eltron) changes hardness without the addition of salt or other chemicals.

Take it Outside

Photo by Matt Risinger

Consider the benefits of hanging a tankless water heater installation outside if your climate and local codes permit.

  1. Saves Space: That is one less appliance you must make room for in your home.
  2. Simple Installation: The integrated exhaust vent removes the necessity to cut a big hole (or two) between the side of the house.
  3. Easy to Service: A plumber can easily access, whether you are home or not. But keep in mind...
  4. Building regulations: You may need authorization from the city building department to put it outside.
  5. Cold weather Internal heaters keep components warm down to −22-degrees F, but bare or uncovered water pipes should have insulation and be covered in heat tape that turns on automatically in subzero temperatures. Pipes that are frozen are less of a concern south of Pennsylvania.

Pro Advice: Vent it Right

“Old tank-type gas water heaters habitually channel their vapors into chimneys, but that is no place to vent a gas tankless water heater installation. It must be attached to assigned vent pipes that egress through a roof or an exterior wall.” —James Costilow


Other Plumbing Services Our Professional Plumber Team Offers

Including tankless water heater installation, Jim & Sons Plumbing & Rooter also provides other plumbing services you may require for your home or business in Riverside, Ca. We’re here to repair your clogged drain, fix water leaks and main water lines, and remodel and maintain your plumbing system. We’re also here to keep your home or business in perfect order with our sewer & drain services. Be sure to check out our special offers and contact us today to schedule an appointment or call now at (951) 248-9134.

Courtesy of Rinnai