tankless water heater installation san francisco

Tankless Water Heater San Francisco

Have you been giving thought lately about installing a tankless water heater? A lot of folks similar to yourself are doing just that, and for good reason. Skyrocketing fuel costs, along with trying to lessen our impact on the environment, has many homeowners desperately searching for livable alternatives. Here are some points to consider about replacing the old, rusty, leaky tank type with a smaller, efficient tankless water heater.

Tankless is everywhere lately.
By now, most people have probably heard about tankless water heaters such as the Rinnai or Bosch or Titan on various radio shows or have possibly seen an ad in publications such as This Old House or some other DIY (do it yourself) periodical. Without a doubt, they’ve probably created questions in your mind such as: “Could these really be that good?” or “How tough are they to install?” or “Would there be enough savings to justify the cost?” Let’s see what a little investigation reveals.

There are many tank-type water heaters that are looking a little long in the tooth and, if they haven’t already, they will shortly begin to show signs of their age. Leaks, prolonged heating times, constant cycling on and off, and lukewarm water are good indicators that a change is on the horizon. Using some of the many resources on the web, such as manufacturer websites, forums, blogs, etc. we can find answers that most of us have about replacing them. However, reliable information from a professional is always best. Here is a good starting list of some areas that should be considered:

What size unit do I need?

How are they installed?

How big IS a tankless water heater anyway?

How much does a tankless water heater cost?

Will a tankless water heater save me money?

The results are very comforting:

1) What size unit do I need?

The size of the unit would depend on the usage involved. (Similar to the concerns for the tank type.) However, since the unit never preheats and stores the water, flow rate and water temperature are now factors. Faster flow rates and/or very cold water (such as in the Northeast) may require a larger unit or smaller units run in parallel. Flow restrictors help tremendously and also help a homeowner to save money because they’ll use less water.-

2) How are they installed? Is it a true DIY job, or should professionals be brought in?

The installation may require bringing in the professionals if the homeowner isn’t proficient with wiring and plumbing. Knowledge of local codes is also helpful. Friends that are electricians and plumbers can come in handy right about now, but a skilled technician is often required.
A larger unit might require a larger gas line. When replacing a tank-type water heater, which typically uses a ½ inch gas line, a larger gas line is often needed and will need to be installed. Also, If you don’t install a water heater correctly, it may not run at all. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you’ve attempted to install your unit only to find you’ve done it incorrectly, and costly repairs are now needed. The investment in a tankless water heater is valuable enough that it’s worth having it done professionally.

3) How big IS a tankless water heater anyway?

The unit’s size will vary depending on the manufacturer, needs of the home, and whether the unit is electrically run or uses gas. Generally, the size can be found ranging from roughly slightly larger than a case of beer to about the size of a briefcase. This can be a great benefit because you gain back the space formerly taken up by the larger tank.
Most tankless water heaters were initially designed to fit in a stud bay (14 ½ inches wide). The increased efficiency and capacity have broadened, so it now takes up slightly more space.

4) How much does a tankless water heater cost?

Pricing is variable to the tank type. Often a professional can get you the best deal as they have wholesale suppliers.

5) Will a tankless water heater save me money?

Depending on what they’re replacing, the savings can be up into the range of 30-40 percent. Many see at least a 20% return, and that’s just on the fuel bill. Factor in the lessened water usage if you apply the flow restrictors, and it looks more and more palatable.

It’s difficult to say precisely how much you’ll save in the long term, but it definitely saves to go tankless. There’s an energy star sticker that states the savings you can expect to save each year on the side of new water heaters. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you also save energy. With the rising cost of fuel and the concerns for the footprint we leave on the environment, it’s nice to know that we can be responsible AND save some money along the way.


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