Include the Installation Price When Getting a Quote!
If you are looking at tankless water heater prices then you might want to consider pricing them at sites that have installation available in your area. Proper installation is critical for tankless water heaters, much more so than standard tank type water heaters.
Even years down the road if the heater breaks down it could be due to improper installation and this can greatly reduce the life of a tankless water heater.
Storage Gas Hot Water Heaters
Good old storage water heaters (gas) are basically a tank with a burner and a thermostat. They are a great do it yourself project. Remove the old heater and put in the new one. Hook up the gas, vent, hot and cold water connections and you are ready to go take your shower.
If the hot water is too hot or not hot enough then adjust the thermostat knob. If you live in an area with particularly hard water you may want to flush your water heater yearly. This will prevent sediment build up.
When gas storage hot water heaters fail it’s usually a leaking tank. The puddle that begins to form is an early warning letting you get your tank replaced without having to do without hot water.
Gas Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Gas tankless water heaters are NOT a simple tank and burner. They are sophisticated appliances with micro computers in them with, sensors, modulating valves, and flow switches. The internal computers monitor variables such as water inlet and outlet temperature, exhaust temperature, gas flow etc.
Tankless hot water heaters require larger venting due to the larger burners, often require stainless steel venting, and larger gas lines to supply the larger burners. Often mounted outside, tankless heaters need freeze protection which is often built into the units. Combine freezing weather and a power outage could be a disaster!
Tankless water heaters are complex in their operation and can often shut down unexpectedly leaving you without hot water. The heater may be working along fine at low flow and when you increase the flow it suddenly shuts off because the exhaust temperature got to high or the gas flow was insufficient. And if it breaks down there is no warning… just no hot water when you turn on the faucet.
Most problems with tankless water heaters turn out to be due to improper installation. Most plumbers are not well versed in troubleshooting modern tankless water heaters, especially any one particular brand.
Because installation is so very important you should have a professional install your tankless heater and a specialist in the brand you are having installed would be a plus.
Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Electric tankless water heaters big enough to supply hot water for a shower typically require a tremendous amount of electricity. The gas heaters require bigger gas lines and the electric tankless water heaters require larger wires. They usually require their own dedicated wires and their own circuit breakers.
In many cases the existing electrical service to the house needs to be upgraded which can be pretty expensive. Be sure to include that kind of cost in your tankless water heater prices if you need to upgrade your electrical service.
You may find that by the time you get the thing installed the price will turn out to be far higher than the cost of the tankless water heater.
Check out my recent article about controlling the Chilipepper with Motion Sensors.