Homes without a gas line or lp tank can likewise enjoy the benefits of on-demand warm water by installing tankless units powered by electricity. These systems, which heat water with thick copper rods, are quieter and about a 3rd smaller than gas or propane tankless heaters. And since they do not need vents, they can be installed almost anywhere, including under sinks and in small closets.
One downside to electric systems is its limited output, which peaks at 36 kilowatts, or about 123,000 Btus. That may suffice to supply a whole house in areas with warm groundwater, but in colder climes they’re much better suited to point-of-use service, where the need for warm water doesn’t get expensive. Whichever type you pick, it will need sufficient amperage at the main panel and heavy-gauge wires.
Also, electrical heaters last only about half as long as gas units: Normal guarantees are three to 5 years. When the heating elements fry, it typically costs about as much to change the entire heater as it does to swap in new elements.
Tankless Water Heater in Winnetka Setup
What you and your plumber need to examine before installation day:
1. GAS LINE: For the burner in a tankless heater to perform effectively, it has to be attached to a gas-supply line that provides enough volume at adequate pressure. In most cases that indicates the size of the supply pipeline needs to be increased to 3⁄4 inch. And if the pressure falls short, the gas company will have to change the regulator on the meter.
FYI: Some tankless units, such as those made by Rheem, are able to work with a standard 1/2- inch gas line, supplied it isn’t longer than 24 feet.
2. VENTING: Noncondensing tankless gas heaters utilize stainless-steel vents that can withstand high exhaust heat. Condensing systems have a cooler exhaust, and use cheaper PVC pipes. A concentric vent, which has an exhaust pipe inside a larger air-intake pipe, streamlines setup because only one hole needs to be cut in the wall.
FYI: Usually, vent runs have been restricted to just 10 feet. However more powerful fans, like those in Rinnai’s Sensei series, now permit vents to run up to 150 feet.
3. WATER HARDNESS: Scale deposits that form in a heat exchanger (or on electrical heating elements) slow down heat transfer and restrict water circulation. Scale will not be an issue if you currently have whole-house water-softening. But if your water isn’t being softened, and its hardness exceeds 120 milligrams per liter, then it deserves purchasing a treatment system.
FYI: A dedicated, point-of-use cartridge like the TAC-ler water conditioner (Stiebel Eltron) changes hardness without including salt or other chemicals.
Outside Tankless Water Heater in Winnetka
Consider the advantages of hanging a heater outdoors, if your climate and regional codes permit.
Saves space: That’s one less appliance you need to make room for inside.
Simple to install: The built-in exhaust vent eliminates having to cut a big hole (or 2) through the side of your home.
Easy to service: A plumbing professional can get to it at any time, whether you’re home or not. But keep in mind …
Building regulations: You might require authorization from your regional structure department to put it outside.
Cold weather: Internal heaters keep elements toasty down to − 22-degrees F, but exposed pipes must be insulated and wrapped in heat tape that switches on immediately in freezing temperature levels. Frozen pipes are less of an issue south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT TANKLESS WATER HEATERS in Winnetka
Tankless Water Heater: What You Need to Know Before You Purchase in Winnetka