Do you want to replace your bulky old hot water heater with a sleek, space-saving tankless water heater? Every homeowner dreams of unlimited hot water. Tankless systems are efficient and deliver what you need, when you need it. Coupled with a modern recirculating system they can give you instant hot water anywhere in your Waukesha WI area home.
I makes sense to employ a system that heats just enough water for your shower or to wash the dishes. Why heat 30 gallows when you’re going to use 10, right? And, if you need 50-60 gallons of hot water for multiple showers, dishes and laundry, you’re putting a real strain on a standard water heater tank. Fortunately, a tankless hot water heater heats whatever you need as you need it. No limits.
Are you intrigued? Consider these additional benefits:
- Energy-efficient operation – you only heat the water you need so that giant 30-gallon tank doesn’t need to keep it hot for days or weeks when you’re not using much or any water. A U.S. Department of Energy report suggests a tankless installation can be as much as 34% more efficient than a traditional heated with a bulk tank.
- Unlimited supply of hot water – since there’s no tank to drain there’s no limit on the amount of hot water available. It provides the right amount for one shower or 12 in a row.
- Long life span – most tankless systems, with proper maintenance, outlast water heaters with tanks. Not only do tankless units last up to twice as long as standard versions, most come with much more extensive warranties, too.
- Saves space – since there’s no large tank to take up floor space a tankless heater is more convenient for a wide range of installations.
- Safer units – with no tank there’s less risk of leaks.
Tankless Water Heater – Not For Everyone
When you read all the good things people say about a tankless water heating system do you wonder why more people don’t have one? They do have many glowing reviews, but they have drawbacks, too. Consider these less desirable attributes as you make your buying decision:
- Cost – the biggest disadvantage is initial cost. Even though they last longer and cost less to operate than traditional heating systems, they cost significantly more to install. It takes time to see your savings in energy costs, too.
- Limited flow of hot water – wait a minute, isn’t a major advantage “instant hot water?” Yes, a tankless system will deliver hot water to your faucet or showerhead immediately but it might struggle with volume. If you have a dishwasher and washing machine going when you want to take a shower there could be water volume problem. (A heater with a tank just runs out of hot water and you get a cold shower!)
- Maintenance and installation concerns – a tankless system must have special venting and often requires rerouting a gas line or other power source. In areas where hard water is an issue an additional water treatment system aides efficient operation.
Most plumbing professionals suggest that if you have a hot water heating system with a traditional tank and it’s serving your needs, don’t change. But when you need a new hot water heater or are planning a new home, a tankless water heating system is worth considering.
Tankless Heaters vs. Hard Water
Hard water is a fact of life in southern Wisconsin, especially in Waukesha County. Working around hard water is a problem for water systems of all kinds. When water is rich in calcium and magnesium it severely limits any unit’s ability to heat water – and adds a mineral scale inside that takes years off a heater’s lifespan. If you live in Waukesha or Lake Country you can be you have hard water, but the only way to be sure is water test. Is knowing for certain worth calling in an expert? Consider the potential damage to your home’s pipes, fixtures and appliances. The Upper Midwest is reported to have the “hardest water in America.”
Hard water’s threat to water heaters is lime scale. When water gets hot minerals separate out and become solid. The minerals fasten to the sides of water heater tanks, pipes and appliance water lines. If the scale builds up long enough it reduces water flow and appliance efficiency. Eventually lines and tanks leak.
Like dishwashers, ice-makers and washing machines, tankless hot water heaters are very sensitive to hard water. The heat exchanger inside the tankless system becomes overworked when scale builds up. Not being able to transfer heat properly, the unit itself can overheat.
Water conditioners and water softeners are a big help. In areas like southern Wisconsin they’re almost a must. Modern water conditioning products work well either with city or well-water.
Employ A Routine De-scaling Service
To get maximum life and performance from a tankless system, a routine de-scaling rids it of mineral buildup. The service is available from Schoenwalder Plumbing for most tankless hot water installations, including:
- Chimney vents for natural gas powered systems
- Power vents for a natural gas powered system
- Hybrid styles
For maximum efficiency for a new how, as part of a remodeling project or as a replacement, consider the fuel source you have available. Typical installations will use natural gas, propane or electricity. Gaining in popularity in areas where other sources are limited or alternative power is the goal, solar-powered units are available. Electrically-powered units are popular because they work anywhere. Natural gas is available throughout the area so it, too, is a popular source – especially in a home with a natural gas furnace. Propane is an excellent option in rural areas or for lake-side homes where natural gas may not be available.
Tankless Water Heater – Choose Wisely
Schoenwalder features and extensive lineup of tankless water heaters installed and serviced by Factory-trained technicians representing major tankless water heater brands like Rheem and A.O. Smith Water Heaters.
When you need a new hot water heater give Schoenwalder Plumbing a call at 262-542-7908 and make an appointment to have us evaluate your home’s hot water delivery system. We’re ready to provide everything you need from a new heater to parts and repairs. Our certified plumbers can install a tankless water heater to deliver hot water throughout your Waukesha WI or Lake Country home.