Tankless Water Heaters

There has been much talk to over the past number of years in regards to tankless water heaters. This style of water heater is often called tankless, on demand or even instantaneous. While there are a variety of names associated to the style of water heater they all function in the same basic manner.

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. This flow of water will then activate the heating action within the tank (gas or electric) Once the flow of water is turned off the heating source is also turned of. Thus the name on demand.

In general, the two main obstacles in regards to having a tankless water heater installed are price and performance.

  • PriceOpen or Close

    The typical installed cost of a tankless water heater is between $4,000 – $5,000. With tankless gas water heaters the majority of the cost is associated with the following:

    √ a hole must be cored into the concrete foundation wall for the vent system to exit the home

    √ most times special venting material is required

    √ an electrical supply must be available

    √ modifications to the water lines must be made

    √ a wall bracket must be installed to hang the water heater

    √ the existing gas line is almost always undersized for the increased demands of a tankless  water heater. In these circumstances, it is typical for a new gas line to be run from the gas meter to the tank location

    √ if you are looking at having an electric tankless water heater installed they require at least an 80 amp breaker. In most homes, this will involve the installation of an electrical sub panel.

    √ most tankless water heaters require an annual maintenance program to be implemented whereas standard water heaters do not.

  • PerformanceOpen or Close

    While a tankless water heater may work well in warmer climates our even during our summer months, they can have some limitations during a typical Winnipeg winter. Since the incoming cold water can be as low as 37F, the water heater is unable to obtain enough temperature rise in order to provide the right temperature for a nice hot shower.  The way it compensates for the issue is to slow the flow of water down as it travels through the water heater. When this happens, the water pressure at the shower is greatly reduced. The same problem can occur year round if more than one source of hot water is being used at a time.

    These are the two main factors which will effect the decision making process when deciding whether or not to have a tankless water heater installed. Click here to view a more detailed description of the pros and cons of tankless water heaters or watch our video below: