Two men looking at a water heater.

The Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

Your alarm went off late. Your spouse and the kids are up, and they’ve already showered. You’re the last one. You turn on the faucet and wait for it to heat up. And wait. And wait some more.

There’s no hot water.

Your morning isn’t off to a great start. You just bought a new water heater—you know nothing is wrong with it. If only you could have an endless supply of hot water!

We’ve got great news for you. You can!

The solution to your endless supply of hot water is a tankless water heater.

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Meet the Tankless Water Heater (The Pros)

Morris-Jenkins tech standing next to a water heater
Our plumbers are trained how to resolve issues with tankless water heaters, so if you decide to upgrade to a tankless, know that you have a great team ready to support you throughout the life of your water heater!

With a tankless water heater, you don’t have to ever use the phrase “out of hot water” again!

Tankless water heaters don’t use storage tanks like typical water heaters. Instead, they produce hot water on demand. With a standard water heater, when you turn your shower on, it pulls water from the tank, and that water has already been heated. If you have a tankless water heater, your shower would instead pull water through that, and the water would come fresh from the source, heating rapidly on its way to your shower as it passes through the pipes, past the heating elements.

Endless Supply of Hot Water

The tankless water heater is—you guessed it—tankless! Because there’s no tank, it doesn’t work off of capacity; it works off demand. A tankless water heater heats up water as you need it, and it brings hot water to your appliances quickly—and never runs out.

Ar Tankless Water Heaters Energy Efficient?

Since the tankless water heater only heats water up when you want it to, it saves energy. Tank water heaters heat their capacity of water 24/7, whether or not you need it. It works hard to keep the temperature up, and that eats up energy. With a tankless water heater, if you don’t need hot water all day, it won’t heat up all day.

For every dollar you put into heating your water, about 82 cents of it actually heats your water when you have a tankless water heater. When you have a tank water heater, only 60 cents of that dollar is used to heat water. The rest goes down the drain!

Space Savings

Morris-Jenkins technician working on a heating unit.
Tankless water heaters take up less space, and in the event of a leak, they won’t flood your home like a tanked water heater.

Have you dreamed of what you would do if you had more space in your garage or your home? A typical water heater is about two feet wide and five feet tall. A tankless water heater, however, is only about 16 inches wide, 26 inches long, and 6 inches deep. It’s much smaller than a tank! Goodbye, giant tank—hello, new laundry room!

How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?

Some people hesitate to decide on a tankless water heater because they can be a slightly higher cost; however, you get significantly more life out of one. A standard water heater tank lasts about 8-12 years. A tankless water heater can last as long as 25 years!

Related: “7 Common Beliefs About Plumbing”

Peace of Mind

Have you ever had a water heater leak? Average water heater tanks hold around 50 or more gallons of water. If your tank gets a leak, that could cause a huge mess and a lot of water damage! Tankless water heaters don’t have that risk, since there’s no tank that holds water. A tankless water heater could only cause about as much damage as a leaky faucet, so you don’t have to worry about a catastrophe!

No Stale Water

Since there’s no tank involved in a tankless water heater, you don’t have 50+ gallons of water just sitting in a stale water heater. Tankless heats on demand, so it always pulls fresh water.

What to Watch Out for in Tankless Water Heaters (The Cons)

No Hot Water During Power Outages (But We Have a Solution!)

Because the tankless water heater runs off of electricity, if you experience a power outage, you won’t have hot water. Even though the unit uses only a minute amount of power, it requires at least some in order to get started. A tankless runs off an electric ignition, which means you don’t have a standing pilot light that uses unnecessary gas. The downside? If you have no power, you have no hot water. But don’t worry! We’ve got an option for a battery back-up generator that can be added to your tankless water heater so you’ll always have hot water when you need it!

Related: “Wait! Don’t Flush That!”

Output Challenges

Smart water heaters on display in a store.
Our plumbers are tankless water heater pros! Thinking about switching? Let one of our pros install your new water heater so you can enjoy endless hot water!

As long as your tankless water heater is sized properly, you won’t experience an output challenge. It’s vital to know the product’s capability compared to the house’s demands. If both are taken into consideration during the decision-making process and the installation, there won’t be an output problem. This challenge is a big reason why you need to seriously consider hiring a professional plumber to install your tankless water heater. At Morris-Jenkins, we believe in doing things the right way, not the easy way! That means we take the time and care needed to select and install your new tankless water heater so your family can easily enjoy hot water with no worries!

Higher Upfront Cost

A tankless water heater does have a higher upfront cost compared to your usual water heaters. Not only is it a more expensive piece of equipment, but the installation itself is a factor in the final cost.

It takes a true professional to properly install a tankless water heater on a retrofit for several reasons. First, the technician needs to find a place to install the tankless water heater. This usually is a delicate balance of meeting customer desires while still adhering to code requirements.

When that’s all said and done, the technician also needs to make sure we have a way to vent the unit in a safe way—it can’t vent the same way as the old unit.

The technician then needs to find a way to provide proper gas flow. Tankless water heaters burn gas more efficiently; however, it needs access to at least four times the amount of gas available compared to a tank unit. Finding the right amount of gas based on the pressure and size of the home can get tricky.

After all that is done, the technician still needs to find the right size water lines to provide the correct amount of supply to the home.

Knowing how involved the installation process is gives people an idea of where the higher upfront cost is coming from. Long term, the cost comparison weighs in favor of tankless water heaters.

Morris-Jenkins team.
We are the biggest group of service plumbers in the Charlotte area, so you know we’ll be available to help you whenever you need!

Your Tankless Water Heater Team 

Because tankless water heaters are still a fairly new concept, there are a lot of plumbers who don’t know how to work on them yet. Fortunately, Morris-Jenkins plumbers are trained on how to install and repair tankless water heaters! We like to stay up to date with new technology so we’re always ready to help you!

Interested in talking about getting a tankless water heater installed?

Give us a call at (704) 357-0484!

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