We get a lot of questions about tankless water heaters. Here are some of the common questions from customers, and the answers. If you still have questions, contact Atomic Plumbing at (757) 464-2934, and we will be happy to help, and discuss whether or not a tankless water heater is right for you!

What is a tankless water heater?
A tankless water heater is a unit that heats water on demand without keeping any stored in a tank as opposed to a tank type water heater which stores hot water ready to use.

How can a tankless water heater heat water instantly?
When hot water is turned on, the tankless unit immediately turns on, so the gas burners are continuously heating the water as it travels through the unit. It heats only the water that is used. When the hot water is done being used the system immediately shuts off.

What are the advantages of a tankless water heater?
The advantages of a tankless water heater include:

  • A smaller unit compared to the large tank type.
  • Less power and energy needed to heat water.
  • The most prominent advantage is the endless supply of hot water, you never run out.

How much money can I save?
Like tank type water heaters, there are different models and options for tankless water heaters, so depending on what model you choose, you can save in the range of 5% to 65% off of your hot water heating bill. Some reports estimate a savings to be in the range of $50-$150 per year.

Are there other benefits of using a tankless water heater?

  • A tankless water heater has a better warranty and has a much longer life expectancy than tank type units.
  • No tank and no storage of hot water.
  • A tankless water heater hangs on a wall and takes up considerably less space compared to a tank type heater.

Will one tankless water heater be enough to heat my entire house?
Yes. In most cases, similar to a tank type water heater, you must choose the right tankless unit for your specific needs, which is based off how much hot water is needed and being used.

How do I properly size my tankless water heater?
The best way to figure out what type of tankless unit works for you is to figure out what kind of demand you have, and how many fixtures you expect to be running simultaneously. Once you know you demand for how water you match up the right size unit for the demand.

Is this a new technology?
Tankless units have been around in the United States since 1979, but have been growing rapidly in popularity for about the last 10 to 12 years. Europe, Asia and South America have been regularly using tankless units for well over half a century, and have enjoyed the energy cost savings that come with the unit.

What is a point of use water heater?
A point of use water heater is used on a much smaller scale and usually to supply hot water to one area or fixture that is isolated from the main hot water heating unit.

What is the life expectancy of a tankless water heater?
With regularly scheduled cleaning and proper maintenance, a tankless water heater should last between 15 to 25 years, and if installed to the right specification and the previously mentioned cleaning and maintenance schedules are properly utilized, a tankless water heater should be on the older end of the 15 to 25 year spectrum. The technology is built to last, and with a lack of storage tank, there are less reasons for failure. Life expectancy of tank type unit is 10-12 years.

How much money does a tankless water heater cost?
The cost of a tankless water heater can vary depending on the make and model, and the installation costs. Also depending on the work needed to meet the needs of the unit. The best way to figure out the cost of a tankless unit for your specific needs is to have us come out and develop a plan for what would be required.

How hot is the water from a tankless water heater?
Normally, the temperature is set at 120 degrees, but tankless water heaters have a computer control system that can be pre-set and this temperature can be turned up or down.

Why do I need electric power for my gas tankless?
Electricity is required for the tankless unit to run the fan motor, the power for the circuit board and the digital remote. Electrical use remains very low for the tankless unit. A tankless unit also uses an electric ignition compared to the standard pilot light on tank type heaters.

Will I get instant hot water with a tankless water heater?
No, not instantly. When a tankless unit is not in use it is not heating water, so the standing water in the pipes is cooling. When water begins to be used there will be a short period of time (depending on how far the water needs to travel from the unit) where the cold water is cycled out. Instant hot water is a common misconception with tankless water heaters. Endless hot water is true in the fact that once the unit begins going it can work continuously.

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