We don’t understand how much we rely on our water heaters until we don’t have hot water at an important time. Whether you’re trying to shower, cook, wash clothes, or clean, a lack of hot water can make your day difficult — not to mention unsafe if you can’t properly sanitize!
Earl’s Plumbing never wants your water heater to disappoint. That’s why we offer several water heater options for all kinds of homes and hot water demands! Tankless water heaters are an extremely popular option for nearly limitless, dependable hot water. However, do you know how these systems work or whether your home is a good fit to go tankless? We have the answers to your tankless water heater questions!
If you’re familiar with traditional water heaters, then you know that they use a large tank to hold and warm water for your home. When you turn a hot water faucet, the tank slowly starts to drain, sending hot water to your location. If multiple appliances use hot water at one time, the tank could deplete rapidly and either run out of hot water or have to start replenishing as fast as it can.
So, how does a tankless water heater work without the tank? Inside the water heater, there are a series of metal tubes. When you turn the hot water faucet, the water heater is signaled to start heating these tubes. Water is then pushed through the tubes, warming it and sending it directly to your location. When you turn off the faucet, the water heater also shuts down and waits for the next time you need hot water.
This process eliminates the need for constant heating from heating elements to keep the water warm. This is the primary reason why tankless units are so much more efficient than their tanked counterparts!
There are so many follow-up questions that need to be asked to properly answer this one simple question. And because Earl’s Plumbing is the #1 installer of Navien Tankless Water Heaters in the Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Allen, and Little Elm area, we end up getting that question a lot.
If you’re curious about going tankless, then you likely have traditional tank-type water heaters. When the possibility of switching from tank heaters to a tankless water heater is a viable option, there are many other questions that Earl’s Plumbing would want to ask in order to provide you with the best advice and the various pros and cons of each option.
Many homeowners think they want to go to tankless, but they currently only have one tank heater. That’s fine! We can make that work, but it might not be the most cost-effective or efficient decision. From a price comparison standpoint, a tankless heater installation is a considerable investment. It’s a lot closer in total price to two tank heaters versus one — especially if the tankless heater will be located in the attic.
Ultimately, a tankless water heater will pay for itself in utility savings, but that happens a lot faster when the savings comparison is versus two tank heaters instead of one. That’s why an experienced plumber from Earl’s Plumbing is so important to the water heater investment process. We give you the real, true recommendation for your home — not an up-sell.
The majority of the existing tank heaters installed in this area are classified as “6-year builder grade” water heaters. They typically last between 9-and 12 years. That range can vary, but not too much — especially if the units are in the attic or above a living space.
To a certain extent, the lifespan can even be brand-specific or supplier-specific. Also, the word “lasts” is a subjective term. To some homeowners, a working water heater is fine until it leaks (and causes damage to the home). Others wait until the unit stops functioning or heating. Some may choose to replace both water heaters when one is having trouble or notice inefficiencies that require a replacement.
It’s most important to be proactive in replacing tank heaters if:
Based on our observations in the field, certain heater brands and certain suppliers tend to:
The location of your water heater is super important from risk of property damage standpoint but also from a cost to install standpoint. Without going into a ton of detail, a tankless heater installed in the attic is considerably LESS expensive than installation in the garage. Therefore, from a price standpoint alone, going tankless in the attic is usually an affordable option.
Earl’s Plumbing rarely installs two-tank water heaters in the attic when homeowners are given the choice between tankless and tanks. Storing and continually heating 100 gallons of 140+ degree hot water in rusting metal tanks located above your living room is far riskier than installing an energy-efficient, heat-on-demand, Navien tankless water heater that has less than 3 gallons of water inside stainless steel tubing and enclosed inside a combustion chamber.
If you’re ever running out of hot water — regardless of if you have one or two traditional tank water heaters — a Navien tankless water heater may be an excellent option. A tankless heater installed by Earl’s Plumbing provides an unlimited amount of hot water at a fraction of the cost. In addition, depending upon the version of the tankless water heater that we install, we can significantly reduce the hot water wait times at all of your fixtures. This could save you THOUSANDS of gallons of wasted water every year.
Depending upon the answers to this question, we may also ask the ages of the residents. Teenagers tend to take longer showers and baths. Younger children will eventually become teenagers. And vice versa, if only two people live in the home with no plans to grow that number, and you never run out of hot water we will recommend a different solution.
In the case of a larger family or a larger house, it may require two tankless heaters to meet the required expectations. This question also applies more to the long-term nature of a tankless heater. For example, a Navien tankless water heater has a 15-year warranty on the heat exchanger. Current testing indicates that — in conjunction with the expected routine maintenance and upkeep — Navien engineers think the current versions of their tankless water heaters may exceed 20 years or more! We have removed and replaced older and lesser quality tankless heaters that exceed 18 and 19 years old.
Square footage of the home is one of the least important things we’re concerned about. However, some special considerations around capacity and recirculation have to be taken into consideration when the house is over 5000 square feet. Conversely, when a house is less than 2000 square feet, other water heating options may make more sense. That’s a decision that you can ultimately make based on your individual needs and preferences. We just provide you with the options and pros & cons.
Your location is important for a couple of different reasons. Certain codes were in place based on the year your home was built and which city it was built in. Since Earl’s Plumbing installs more tankless water heaters than anybody else in the cities that we serve, we’re quite familiar with the code and installation obstacles that we could encounter in one particular area versus another.
Other follow-up questions or considerations about your particular city could include:
If you already have a gas water heater installed, you could be eligible for extra benefits as opposed to an electric water heater. In 2021, both Atmos and CoServ participated in a bill credit rebate program when you converted from tank heaters to a tankless water heaters. These utility-provider rebates — along with a $300 IRS Federal Income Tax “Energy Upgrade” tax incentive and your annualized cost savings often exceeding $450 a year — make for huge first-year savings in comparison.
Unfortunately, CoServ did not continue their rebate for 2022 and the IRS Federal Tax incentive was also not renewed for 2022. However, if you’re an Atmos customer, you can still qualify for a bill credit rebate of up to $250 (currently through June 2022). There is still the annualized savings of around $450 each year to consider which makes the conversion to a tankless water heater a pretty wise financial move.
If you called numerous plumbers for quotes on tankless heaters, this is the one question that only Earl’s Plumbing is going to ask. Why? Because Earl’s Plumbing is the only plumber in Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Allen, and Little Elm that includes the full turnkey installation with a licensed roofer in our price.
It may be hard to believe, but roofing work is required in over 95% of tankless water heater installs to properly vent and complete a proper installation.
We know this because we used to do it the same way that everyone else does. At least, we would tell our customers that you need to get a roofer out to complete the venting only to later return for another job months or a year or more later, and the roofing was still not completed. Since this oversight could void the warranty of the investment, we started including the roofing part in our service and price.
If you struggle with your water heater or are interested in going tankless, don’t wait! Earl’s Plumbing wants to streamline your hot water as soon as we can. Stop suffering through cold showers and annoying hot water wait times. Give us a call and get your optimal water heater solution today!