Water Heater Buying Guide 101!

Some options and considerations are involved in the purchase of a tankless water heater. The best strategy is to learn the pros and cons of each option and then make decisions based on your specific situation. This process ensures that your final decision will be a good one.

Heating Options

In demand for water heaters are available in gas (natural or LP) and electric models. Some brands offer so much while others specialize. If your house is all electric, the decision is automatic, since the addition of a gas tank just to heat the water makes little sense.

Otherwise, the gas in front of the electrical outlet can depend on whether you decide to heat the water for the whole house with a centralized unit, or as a complement to an existing system with the “point of use” tankless units. It is not practical to use gas as the heating option for the small point of use heaters.

If you decide on a centralized heater for the entire house, the gas offers significantly lower operating costs in most areas. This was partially offset by higher installation costs due to the need for specialized ventilation and in some cases a larger gas line. An electric unit in general offers lower cost, a simpler installation and better operational efficiency. For more information on heating options in water heater you should check this article.

Sizing

To evaluate any of the heating options, you should know how much water should be heated and by how much. The latter is determined by subtracting the temperature of the incoming water from the desired hot water temperature. Tankless units are classified in degrees of temperature increase at a given flow rate indicated in gallons per minute. Make sure the unit you choose meets your needs. Since there are various sizing options available, it is important to choose the best that fits your needs.

Electric heating

Using electricity as the heating option allows you to add point-of-use heaters to complement an existing system. This may make sense if your goal is to avoid long waits for the hot water at the point of use is far from being the central heater. The use of one or more small heaters without an electric tank can be very profitable when added to an existing structure.

If you choose the electric option to supply water to the whole house, check with your electric service provider to make sure that the wiring of the unit is adequate. If not, factor in the cost of an upgraded wiring to meet the requirements.

Gas Heating

This frequency is the best way to go when you are replacing a traditional gas supply unit with hot water throughout the house. There are, however, two important factors to consider before making the change.

A unit without a gas tank will require the gas flow capacity substantially higher than the heater will replace. Check with your gas or propane service provider to determine if larger lines or pressure adjustments are necessary.

You will have to replace the existing ventilation pipes with stainless steel ventilation holes. In many cases, ventilation will require a condensation drain and a flap to prevent the return flow of cold air.

These costs can be significant and should be taken into account as you make your final decision.

How to Maintain a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters must have regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly and increase their useful life. At least once a year the tankless water heater should be emptied with white vinegar and water. Annually running the water from the tankless water heater will give it a much longer life. For this, you need a submersible water pump. Submersible water pumps can be purchased at any home improvement store and hardware such as Home Depot and Lowe.

Instructions

1. Turn off the water heater.

2. Close the water inlet and outlet valves by turning the handles clockwise.

3. Fill a bucket or bucket with one liter of white vinegar.

4. Connect a short length of garden hose to the outlet water valve. Place the vinegar tub under the hose and valves.

5. Connect a garden hose to the water inlet valve. Connect the other end of the hose to a water pump.

6. Place the submersible water pump in the vinegar tub.

7. Open the incoming/outgoing water valves, and turn on the water pump. The pump will begin to rinse the vinegar through the tank. Let the tank rinse for 15 to 30 minutes. After you have finished washing the vinegar through the tank, flush a little clean water through it for a few minutes to clear all the vinegar.

Tips and warnings

Although it is not necessary to use service valves, it is highly recommended that you do so, since it makes the job much easier.