Unlike Europe and Asia, where tankless on-demand waterheaters are common, in the USA storage type units are prevalent. This type of technology is well developed, understood by most homeowners, but really quite wasteful. In today’s world more people are making an effort to preserve our natural resources and conserve energy. Conventional tank type heaters are throw way appliances and their carcasses are clogging landfills nationwide.
USA WATER HEATER HISTORY
The traditional residential whole house gas model tank type heater dates to 1894. The first model with 90% efficiency was produced in Kalamazoo, Michigan by a company named Humphrey. Today’s tank models are only about 75% efficient. The reason is because of simple economics. The older models were made of “Monel” which was a copper-nickel alloy. Many of these that were produced in the 1940s and ‘50s are still in use today. These days, the primary concern for consumers and contractors is simply the lowest possible price. To be competitive in today’s marketplace, tank type heaters are made from very thin metal with a glass coating. Essentially, we accept new heaters that are 20% less efficient than those of 100 years ago. The average American household spends $400 to $600 per year for water heating, making water heating the second highest energy expenditure behind furnace and air conditioner operation.
Today, after 100 years without change, North Americans are beginning to accept new water heater technology. The technology that is familiar to families in Europe, Asia, Central and South America seems new to the average American homeowner. In fact, this technology is now considered “mature”.
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
In comparison to conventional tank heaters, tankless models differ in the fact that they do not have a large water storage tank. In theory, on demand type instantaneous water heaters should be the best way to go since there is no energy wasted by heating a large tank of water for indefinite periods of time. These models supply instant hot water in a continuous supply as needed. Sensors turn on the instant heater when a hot water tap is opened, and the unit turns off when the faucet or shower head is closed and the flow of hot water stops.
No Storage = No Shortage
Tankless water heaters are capable of supplying more hot water than a tank water heater which has a stored total capacity. Exceed this capacity of stored hot water and you need to wait for another tank to heat. Depending on your model and type of tank type heater, this can take several hours. On demand means there is no energy being wasted re-heating a tank of hot water. On demand means never worrying about running out of hot water. Imagine the luxury of always having enough hot water for your showers, your hot tub and still have an endless supply of hot water for the rest of your household needs. For large homes or small businesses with greater GPM needs, tankless heaters can be joined together and work simultaneously to supply larger volumes of hot water.
A few words about water flow in gallons per minute (GPM). Tankless water heater manufacturers speak in gallons per minute, tank type manufactures speak in total gallons held in reserve in the tank. For example, a tank type heater may hold 40 gallons of hot water and a tankless heater may be capable of producing a maximum constant flow of hot water at 3.2 gallons per minute. Comparing a 3.2 Gpm tankless water heater to a 40 gallon tank type heater is in fact an interesting thing. At the flow rate of 3.2 gallons per minute, a 40 gallon tank type heater will run out of hot water in 12.5 minutes. Our 3.2 Gpm EZ Deluxe tankless heater will still be providing hot water at the same flow rate long after the 40 gallon tank heater is running cold…
In a tankless type heater, the water is heated as it passes through the unit so you will never have to use hot water that has been stored in an old rusty tank. As the years pass, a conventional tank-type water heater begins to accumulate rust and build-up scale inside the tank, which is where your hot water is being stored for use.
Tankless water heaters can be installed virtually anywhere. Compared to traditional water heaters, the most obvious difference is its small size. Our tankless water heaters mount on the wall, inside or outside.
Tankless heaters require a different concept in exhaust. Because they use a forced air duct system that has higher temperatures, stainless steel pipe designed for this purpose is an essential part of any installation of an indoor model. This special forced air exhaust pipe is unique to this technology and has sealed joints. (On this type of exhaust, the gasses are forced outside under pressure.)
In comparison, conventional gas water heaters use a draft method of exhaust. This exhaust method relies upon natural suction to draw out the gasses though a flue. These gasses contain carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, respirable particulates and other harmful bi-products of combustion. These combustion products may result in eye, nose, and throat irritation; fatigue; dizziness; and nausea. With an indoor on demand tankless heater using a sealed forced air exhaust, these potentially harmful gasses are evacuated from the home through the sealed stainless steel exhaust system.
Years ago, early tankless heaters could not keep up with the demands of the typical American household and they often broke down. For this reason, they have acquired a reputation for premature failure and inadequate supply. In reality, today’s models are a lot more dependable and can keep up with any household’s needs if the unit being installed is properly sized. Today’s tankless heaters are designed to last 15 to 25 years or more.
As with any type of water heater, the primary enemy of a tankless heater is hard and/or sediment heavy incoming water. All tankless heaters work best when used with a water softener and/or a filtered incoming water supply. As with any type of water heater, periodic flushing and internal cleaning is recommended.
GAS OR ELECTRIC?
Typically, electric models are best for single sink, or half bath type installations, Or for use in a workshop or cabin.* When in operation, larger whole house electric models can easily consume more electricity than the usage demands of the entire house combined. For this reason, gas models are preferred for whole house multiple bath installations. (*If an adequate supply of electricity is available. - Typically, these units require 40 to 60 amps of 220V electricity on an independent circuit breaker. Some older and small rural homes are still operating on a "60 amp service.")
If you add another bathroom near the garage, a tankless can be installed on a garage wall and a short run of plumbing can be installed to serve this new bath. This way, you do not have to do extensive plumbing modifications or update your existing water heater which may not be large enough to serve this additional need, or may be new enough that it still meets the needs of the remainder of the home.
If you operate a small service station or diner, the hot water for the restrooms can be supplied by a small tankless unit mounted on an interior wall in the utility room or storage space. This way, the restroom sinks have an independent and reliable supply of hot water and there is no worry about tampering of the unit. A small tankless unit can easily meet the needs of two restrooms that have no showering facilities. In this scenario, there is large savings in gas consumption and removing a large tank type heater will eliminate the open flame pilot light and make additional floor space.
Barn, tool shed, or Workshop:
A workshop in an outbuilding installation is perfect for a tankless type water heater. In rural America it is common for a homeowner to have a barn, workshop or tool shed that is some distance from the home. If cold water is plumbed to this building, an electric or gas fired tankless can supply needed hot water for washing vehicles, hand washing, and general cleaning needs. You may wish to install the unit near the sink and in this case a small unit will be perfect and economical to purchase. You may wish to use one that is fired by LP gas and a small tank can be easily installed for this purpose. In this type of use, a small tank of LP can easily last the whole season or longer. Just like your outdoor barbeque, you must remember to turn off the gas valve after each use to insure that the LP does not leak away. Some people have large LP tanks for the furnace in the workshop and/or rural home. We have models for this type of gas. Additionally, in a home, workshop, or garage installation there is no open pilot light to worry about.
(With all water systems used in colder climates, if your outbuilding is not heated, you must address the possibility of freezing temperatures and drain the water system thoroughly each fall.)
*LEGAL DISCLAIMER: We at EZTANKLESS.COM do not make spectacular claims about energy savings, our intention is to provide accurate and all-inclusive information for those who wish to gain a better understanding of this water heating technology. Certainly, a tankless heater is more energy efficient than a large tank type heater, but simple common sense tells us that the way in which each household uses hot water makes calculating actual individual savings virtually impossible. For these reasons, we assume no responsibility or liability for errors or omissions regarding statistics or statements. As with all conservation studies, the figures are only estimates, actual results will vary and may be lower or higher depending on the ways in which these products are used.
Certainly, there are companies making claims that are outrageous and spectacular. Certainly there are companies who will tell you how much you "will" or "can" save. Statements that say "as much as" are no more than hypothetical best case scenarios used to "boast their wares." We certainly accept no liability for assumptions of spectacular claims from other entities being projected onto our products or assumptions that these outside claims apply to anything that our company sells.
Persons researching tankless heaters should take the time to compare the technical specifications of the products in mind. Those which are similar but have much higher claims of savings, efficiency, or faster payback periods must be considered suspect.
Furthermore, all of the above information is based on documents and information that can be easily found within the public domain. We have organized this information on this web page for the convenience of our potential clients and those who have been looking for answers.
NOTE: If you are considering a purchase of a tankless water heater with the intention of taking advantage of the tax credits, please consult your accountant or inspect in detail the terms and requirements of federal tax credits. Some of this is unclear at the time of this writing as this was entirely new legislation enacted to take effect in early 2009, some of which has not been thoroughly clarified.
We cannot be held responsible for errors or misinterpreted conclusions from any of the above information.
Reliability, safety and comfort are now the best words to describe the performance of today's tankless water heaters. They were rumored to be unreliabe in the past, but the technology has advanced dramatically in the past few years
Our tankless heaters are built by one of the leading companies in this field. They have been making tankless water heaters for many years and they build millions of units each year. These units are used in all countries in Europe and Asia as well as Australia, South and Central America. The models we sell are specifically designed to be use the US A/C electrical System.
There are a few factors to take in consideration when deciding which hot water heater is best for you and your family.
1. Determine the total maximum GPM of hot water that your household uses at one time, say it be one shower, one shower and a faucet, two showers, whatever combination. Make sure to choose a unit that will supply a sufficient amount of hot water for your entire household.
2. Examine your install space, understand what extra parts and fittings may be necessary to complete an install. Are you going to install inside or outside? If installing inside try to learn about the Direct Vent Exhaust Pipe, what are the current state regulations on the install of such a flue pipe? If installing outside learn about the side intake models, and how to mount them outside.
3. And price. You should always consider the cost of anything you are purchasing for your home. Be sure to consider all elements before making your tankless water heater purchase.
A Simple Install Made In Earl Park, Indiana by the fellas at EZtankless.com
We started by inspecting the previous traditional tank-type water heater installation.
After shutting off the gas and water valves, we unhook the gasand water hookups, then drain the water heater of water.
After moving the previous tank-type water heater we are ready to begin installation of a new energy efficient EZ Deluxe tankless water heater. We begin by installing new shorter water pipes through the floor to the basement, using the previous holes in the floor. We screw two two foot long 2" x 4" pieces of wood to the studs inside the wall, giving us a secure place to mount our EZ Deluxe tankless water heater. We then use Stainless Steel Wound Water hoses to go to the cold water intake and hot water output. Our tank-type water heater left a great place for our new Dual-Chamber Intake/Exhaust Flue Pipe.
After the install was complete, Jim held the exhaust after 15 minutes of run time to show how the Dual-Chamber Intake/Exhaust Flue Pipe creates very little heat along the pipe.
Our mission was complete in one afternoon, completed by three guys with general knowledge in plumbing and construction.
Tankless water heaters have to be cared for as with any household appliance. Tankless water heaters can be flushed and cleaned in little time.
Drain/Flush Operation For A Tankless Water Heater
WARNING: Very hot water may be present in the system during this process. The risk is especially high if the heater has just been running prior to the cleaning operation. Always use extreme caution when servicing a tankless water heater. Hot water can cause personal injury, death and/or property damage.
Note: Vinegar is the typical agent used to clean a tankless heater. The reason that you must use a cleaner of this type is simple. This is a potable (drinking water) system and harmful chemicals must never be used in the cleaning operation.
WARNING: NEVER USE CHEMICALS for cleaning a tankless heater. THIS IS A DRINKING WATER SYSTEM! Even minute amounts of chemicals can remain in a plumbing system even after thoroughly flushing and rinsing, and are possibly harmful or fatal if ingested by humans or animals.
These are suggested instructions for the use of service valves for the purpose of draining and flushing a tank¬less water heater.
You may wish to also refer to the product owner’s manual for more specific instructions.
1. Disconnect the electrical power supply to the water heater. Close the main water valve handles on the cold water valve (blue handle) and the hot water valve (red handle) by rotating each until they are perpendicular with the respective valve body. This shuts off the incoming cold water to the water heater and isolates the water heater from the hot water pipes going into the plumbing system of the home or business.
2. On the cold water valve (blue), there is a purge valve with a small T-Handle. This is used as the flushing inlet and the opposite purge valve on the hot water side (red) is used for the flushing outlet or return drain. Be certain that the outlet hot water purge port (red) is closed (perpendicular to the purge port valve body) before removing the purge port valve cap.
3. Slowly open the drain caps on each purge port valve. Always be sure to inspect the cap to ensure that the rubber washer sealing disc stays in each respective cap.
4. Continue with the manufacturer’s recommended procedure for attach¬ment of the lines and for specific draining and flushing instruc¬tions. To open the purge port valves, the T-Handles on the port outlet pipes are rotated so that they are parallel to each purge port valve body.
5. When flushing is complete and before the lines are removed, verify that the purge port valves are closed. Remove the lines and reinstall the purge port valve caps, ensuring that the rub¬ber washer is in the cap, and tighten. (NOTE: To prevent damage to the rubber sealing discs (washers), do not over tighten these caps.)
Re-start-up & return to normal operation
6. Before turning on the supply water to the heater, make sure that the main valve handles on both the hot & cold valves are closed (perpendicular to the main valve bodies). Also ensure that the purge port valve caps are tightened down and that the valves are in the closed position (T-Handle perpendicular to the purge port valve body). WARNING: NEVER RELY ON THE PURGE CAP TO STOP THE WATER FLOW
7. For water heater start-up, refer to the water heater owners’ manual.
8. During normal operation, the main water valves are open when the main valve handle is parallel with the main valve body and closed when the main valve handle is perpendicular to the main valve body. To return the heater to operation, rotate the main water flow handles to a parallel position in alignment with the main valve body. At this time, water will begin entering the heater. Slowly open a hot water tap in the sink and allow the air to pass through the system until the water no longer is burping air. With the hot water tap opened and running, wait for several seconds to be sure that the lines are cleared of air. At this point, you should run the hot water tap for a minute or two to clear any residual air and cleaning agent from the system.
Reminder: For the purge port valves, the purge port valve is open when the T-Handle is parallel with the purge port valve body and closed when the T-Handle is perpendicular to the purge port valve pipe.
TYPICAL MATERIALS NEED TO FLUSH A TANKLESS WATER HEATER:
1 utility pump (Typically, this type of utility pump is self-priming.)
3 hoses (Typically the utility pump comes with 1 hose. Additionally, washing machine hoses work well for this operation.)
2 buckets (one or five gallon)
2 gallons (+/-) white vinegar
SET-UP: Attach one hose from the hot outlet service port of the tankless water heater to one of the buckets.
Attach one hose from the inlet of the pump to another bucket.
Attach one hose from the pump to the cold water inlet service port of the tankless water heater.
HOW IT WORKS: The flow from the first bucket filled with fresh vinegar goes into the pump. The pump sends the vinegar into the water heater via the cold water service port and then out the hot water outlet port into the second bucket.
PROCEEDURE: Simply open the service port valves and turn on the pump. The vinegar will begin to flow through the tankless heater and come out of the hot side outlet service port into the return waste bucket.
WHAT PERIOD OF TIME IS NECESSARY: Due to many variables, the time that this cleaning procedure will take is not something that can be predicted. Depending upon the preparedness and abilities of the person doing the work, the hardness of the water, if there is a softener in use, and how long it has been since the last cleaning, it may take as little as 45 minutes or as long as a couple of hours. Repeat this procedure as many times as necessary until the vinegar runs clean into the return bucket.
During this operation, you may chose to let some vinegar sit in the heater for a few minutes. Do this by isolating the vinegar by turning off the port valves. First close the outlet hot side port service valve, followed by the cold side port service valve. Then immediately turn off the pump. Then, in a few minutes re-open the service valves, re-start the pump and see if this may have loosened any additional scale.
Finally, do the same procedure with fresh water to flush all remaining vinegar from the tankless heater. Do this until you have run about five buckets of clean water through the heater.
DISPOSAL OF REMAINING SOLUTION: Vinegar is not harmful and even the most environmentally conscious person can simply pour this solution down the household drain.