Tankless Water Heaters
Repair, Installation, and Maintenance Services for Milwaukee-Area Homes and Businesses
If you like standing under a hot shower until your fingers resemble prunes, there’s a good chance a tankless water heater would be a welcome addition in your home. Hartlaub Plumbing would be happy to help.
About Tankless Water Heaters
Known as “on demand” or “instant” hot water heaters, tankless units mount on the wall (interior or exterior) and use natural gas, propane or electricity to heat water. Unlike conventional water heaters (aka “storage water heaters) that have to constantly keep 40 to 50 gallons of water hot, tankless water heaters only heat water when the faucet is turned on.
Tankless water heaters also use less energy than conventional tank units—30 to 50% less. According to the Department of Energy, a gas-fired tankless unit will save the typical household about $108 per year, while an electric unit saves about $44 per year. Gas-fired units cost more than electric units, but you’ll recoup your initial investment sooner. Both electric and gas-fired tankless water heaters cost more than conventional storage water heaters.
You can buy tankless hot water heaters at most of the big box stores, but installing one isn’t exactly a DIY job. The high-powered burners in tankless units require their own sealed vent system, and units powered by natural gas usually require a larger diameter gas pipe than what most homes have. You may also have to upgrade your electrical system. Better to leave the work to a pro.
Are Tankless Water Heaters Worth the Cost?
If you plan on staying in your home, a tankless system is usually a good investment. Factoring installation costs into the total price, most gas-fired tankless systems will save you enough on your energy bill to pay for themselves after 20 years, which is about how long they last. Even if you’re planning on moving, though, it can be a great selling point when you put your home on the market.
If you really like the idea of an endless supply of hot water, it can be easy to justify spending more for a tankless system. Just bear in mind there are limitations--you can’t have 3 people in the house taking hot showers while the dishwasher is running and expect a tankless system to supply hot water to everyone.
Tankless Water Heater PROS
- Compact design saves space
- Last longer than conventional water heaters (avg. service life of 20+ years vs 10 – 15 for storage water heaters). The warranties are longer, too—typically 15 years versus 6 years for a conventional water heater
- Parts are easily replaced
- No buildup of rust or minerals in the tank
- No big water heater tank to end up in a landfill somewhere
Tankless Water Heater CONS
- Upfront cost is much higher than a conventional water heater—up to three times as much as tank storage heaters.
- Smaller tankless units are only able to heat enough water for one faucet at a time, so there’s not enough hot water to run the dishwasher and take a shower at the same time.
- If you opt for an electric tankless heater, you may need to upgrade the electrical system currently in your home. This can be an expensive proposition.
Two Other Types of Tankless Water Heaters to Consider
Point-of-use Water Heaters
These are compact, tankless water heaters installed in near an appliance for use with it only. For instance, a point-of-use water heater might be installed in the kitchen for use with the dishwasher, or in the laundry room to supply hot water to the washing machine.
Hybrid Water Heaters
A hybrid water heater is a combination tank and tankless water heater. A heat pump on top of the tank pulls heat from the surrounding air and uses it as supplemental heat for heating the water. This makes these units more than twice as efficient as a conventional water heater.
Hartlaub Plumbing Sells, Installs and Services All Makes and Models of Tankless Water Heaters
If you’re considering a tankless water heater, it’s a good idea to have an experienced plumber assess your needs and your home’s electrical and gas systems before you buy any kind of tankless system. If you’re looking for a whole house tankless water heater, there may be some work involved in updating your electrical system or running a new gas line.
Contact us to set up an appointment with one of our tankless water heater installers. Once we’ve had a look at your home’s electrical system and gas lines, we’ll be able to recommend the tankless water heater system that will work best for your home.
If you’ve already purchased a tankless system and just need someone to install it, we can do that too. Give us a call to get an estimate. If you’re still shopping around, check with us before you buy anything. We can get virtually any type of tankless system.
Tankless water heater brands we install:
- Stiebel Eltron