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Tankless Water Heater FAQ

Upgrading to a tankless water heater is a big commitment, and you’ll want to make sure you’re doing the right thing. There’s a good chance you have a few questions, whether they’re about the technology, the installation process, or how this system will affect your life once installed. Believe it or not, you’re probably not the first person to have the questions that you do, and as professional plumbers we get those questions quite a lot.

To set the record straight and help you put your mind at ease, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked tankless water heater questions.

Interested in upgrading to a tankless water heater? Call Dupree Plumbing now at (770) 766-9478 to request a quote.

What is a tankless water heater?

A “tankless” water heater, as the name implies, is a water heater that does not have a tank of water that it keeps at your ideal temperature. Rather, it heats the water you need as you need it, meaning they are also often called “on-demand water heaters.” This quality means they can be smaller and more powerful than your average tank-style water heater, and also more durable, as they are not prone to some of the nasty problems that many of their predecessors face.

How does a tankless water heater work?

Tankless water heaters have a high-power heating element that is wrapped around a coiled-up water line. As water flows through this coil, it is bombarded with a ton of heat, quickly increasing its temperature. At the end of the coil, the water should be right at your set temperature, where it can then flow through your home’s plumbing and out to where you need it. This process continues indefinitely, so long as something in your home continues to demand hot water. When the water flow in your hot water lines stops, the heating elements shut off, preserving energy.

Do tankless water heaters need to be maintained?

Yes. Whereas tank-style water heaters could continue to operate on little to no attention or maintenance, tankless systems depend on it to a much greater extent. Most systems need to be professionally serviced at least once per year, including a comprehensive flush, thorough inspection, and other tune-up services. With proper tune-ups every year, your tankless water heater can run nearly indefinitely. Even the most well-kept tank heater could never dream of being able to say that.

Can you run out of hot water with a tankless water heater?

In theory, no! Of course, real-world conditions are constantly changing, and that means we can’t guarantee you will never have hot water again. For example, if your power shuts off or your gas line experiences a problem, then your tankless water heater won’t be able to operate. Likewise, if a plumbing problem impacts your heater’s water supply, the hot water flow will stop as well. However, so long as all of your utility connections remain solid and your heater is in working condition, the system will continue to produce hot water at a rate up to its maximum throughput. That means you’ll never run out of hot water again!

Are tankless water heaters expensive?

Tankless water heaters are a considerably larger investment than a standard tank-style heater. The units themselves cost more, and they do require annual maintenance. However, the term “expensive” is subjective. For many people, tankless water heaters may be a larger upfront investment, but actually end up cheaper over the long term. In fact, many estimate that tankless systems pay for the difference in cost over the life of an average tank water heater.

How much is a new tankless heater? This is an impossible question to answer via FAQ. There are dozens of different models on the market from several major manufacturers, and everyone’s home is different. Your installation will be different from anyone else’s—where is your heater located? Do you need a new gas or water line installed? These are just a few factors that will influence how much your conversion will cost. We recommend having a professional come to your home to check it out for themselves, and then they can give you a fair and accurate price quote.

How long do tankless water heaters last?

Tankless water heaters have a significantly longer lifespan than tank heaters. Tank heaters on average last between eight and ten years before they need to be replaced. Tankless water heaters, when properly cared for, can easily last 20 years or more. Plus, tankless heaters have another advantage: virtually every part on a tankless heater can be replaced. That means most tankless systems can be kept running indefinitely with proper repairs and services. It may be the last water heater you ever have to buy!

Are tankless water heaters gas or electric?

Both! There are models on the market that run on both gas and electric power. However, all units require electricity in some form. Gas models often use an electric ignitor to fire up the heating element, and that means they will all need some form of a power connection. However, there are models on the market for homes that are equipped with gas lines and those that are completely gas-free as well.

Where can I buy a tankless water heater?

You can purchase a tankless water heater from the experienced pros at Dupree Plumbing! We offer a wide selection of models, and our experienced crew will help you choose the perfect system for your home or business. Take a look at our tankless water heater installation page and give us a call to schedule an installation consultation!

Still have questions? We'd be happy to help. Click here to contact us online or give us a call today.

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