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Tankless vs Traditional Water Heaters?

You’re probably quite familiar with a traditional water heater as you may have one in your home. However, you may also be interested in the features and benefits that might give a tankless water heater the edge over a traditional one. If that’s the case, read on. We think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.

Size Differences Between Tankless and Traditional Water Heaters

When selecting a water heater, size can be an important factor. Depending on the configuration of your home, you really need to be conscious of the size of your water heater. For example, can you afford to have a large vent coming out of your water heater and taking up additional space? Where will you put your water heater? These are important things to consider.

In terms of size, tankless water heaters are significantly smaller than traditional water heaters. In addition, a tankless water heater does not have a huge vent coming out of it. This makes a tankless water heater an attractive option if you’re really looking to conserve the space you have. Perhaps you’d like to put your water heater in a fairly small closet, for example. In that case, a tankless water heater may be the best option for you. A traditional water heater requires a lot more room in your home. Having a smaller water heater can be very beneficial, especially if space is a premium at your home.

One interesting thing to note about tankless water heaters is the fact that they require a change in mindset. With a traditional water heater, you’d be thinking about the size of your equipment in terms of gallons. For example, some people may require at least a 65-gallon tank. Well, tankless water heaters supply endless hot water as we will discuss below. So, you’re not going to have to be concerned about the “capacity” of your water heater anymore. You have to think, instead, about the water “flow rate.” The metric you’re going to want to keep in mind is gallons per minute, or GPM.

To calculate the GPM your household will require, you’ll need to figure out how many gallons your family might be using at the same time. You won’t need to worry about how many gallons you’ll be using over the course of a day, just how many sinks, washers, tubs and showers might be functioning at once at a given time. For example, if you have a two-bathroom house with four people, you might have two showers that are being used simultaneously in the morning or evening. In addition, someone may be doing laundry. Someone else might be in the kitchen preparing breakfast or washing the dishes from last night’s dinner.

So, you’re going to want to calculate how many gallons of water per minute each of those items would use. This will help you figure out what GPM you need your tankless water heater to provide. Let’s say a shower uses 3 GPM, your kitchen faucet uses 2.5 GPM and your washing machine uses 2.5 GPM. If two showers are running in the morning along with your kitchen faucet and washer, you’d need a tankless hot water heater that provides 11 GPM in this scenario.

At We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air, we have a tremendous amount of experience helping people in Murrieta, Orange and throughout Southern California with water heaters. We’d be happy to assist you with calculating the size of water heater you may need.

What Does “Endless” Hot Water Mean?

Tankless water heaters also provide an “endless” supply of hot water. This basically means that when you’re in the shower or you’re running the faucet, the hot water can keep flowing as long as you want it to. Of course, this is not the case with traditional water heaters. They have only a certain amount of hot water available before it runs out.

A tankless water heater works by sensing water running from a tap or flowing from the shower. It then heats the water as it goes through the system. Because it is electric, it can continue heating the water as long as you need it to be hot. That alone makes most people want a tankless unit.

Many people prefer this because they like to take long showers. Or, perhaps they have multiple people in the household, and at certain times of the day, the hot water can get used up quickly when everyone is doing something that requires it. Nothing is worse than not being able to take a shower because your kids just took up all of the hot water in the morning.

It’s important to note that this does not necessarily mean the hot water is “instant.” Instant hot water is something that we can set up for you, but endless hot water is a different thing entirely. Endless hot water just means that the water will remain hot as long as you need it to be.

The Importance of Maintenance for Tankless Water Heaters

You might be sold on a tankless hot water heater at this point, and if you are, we understand. However, we do want to let you know that because the water in Southern California is so hard, you definitely need to make sure to get annual maintenance for your tankless hot water heater so it continues to operate properly well into the future. You want that endless hot water to last for years, don’t you? Well, let us ensure that it does.

Neglecting your investment isn’t wise. If you don’t have annual maintenance performed, there can be calcium buildup in the orifices of the tankless water heater. Corrosion can also clog them up. Either impediment can negatively impact water flow and potentially damage the equipment. That’s why it’s important to have someone come out and flush the system at least once a year. During that maintenance visit, the plumber can also make sure that all of the circuit boards in your unit are operating properly.

Again, a tankless model is a little bit different than a traditional water heater in terms of maintenance; however, many people absolutely love the tankless water heater for the reasons we’ve outlined above.

Choosing Your Water Heater

Since 2000, We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air has helped customers all over Southern California with water heaters. We understand this is an important decision for you, and we’re happy to assist by answering any further questions you may have about tankless water heaters versus the traditional type.

We also offer a full range of installation, repair and maintenance services for any of your needs related to heating, air conditioning, indoor air quality, PV solar power and plumbing. Our team provides 24/7 emergency repairs to all our customers. We’re very proud to have received the prestigious Dave Lennox Award for eight years in a row. This is presented to only the very best 25 dealers out of 25,000 contractors in North America. We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air has an office in Murrieta and another in Orange. Please feel free to contact us today and let us help you in any way we can!

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