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The Pros of Tankless Water Heaters

Updated on May 25, 2014

Example of Usage

(click column header to sort results)
Bathroom 1
2 Per Day
Bathroom 2
2 Per Day
Dish Washer
1 Per Day
Laundry Room
Clothes Washer
9 Per Week

Analyze Water Usage

Great efforts are emphasized on cosmetic changes to our homes, nonetheless the inner workings of a house is where the greatest value is gained. It is important to analyze the daily water usage of your home. This does not require months of keeping a water diary, just a few minutes to determine how, what where, and when. One of the main issues with water on-demand heaters are the number of gallons per minute it can produce. These water heaters are available with gas, electric or propane connections and can be found in various sizes. They used to be on the low scale of gallons per minute producers; however they are gaining in volume every year.

Average Water Demands

Household Appliance
Average Usage
Gallons per Minute
Cloth Washer
Shower & Bathtub
Kitchen & Bathroom Sink

Basic Operation of Tankless Water Heater

The function of a tankless water heater is very different from that of a standard hot water tank. The size of your current hot water tank determines the quantity of hot water you will receive. I am sure most of us at some time have run out of hot water at an ill-chosen time. The tank is filled with water and heated to a determined temperature. As the water cools the tank will restart and reheat the water to the set temperature. This operates basically the same way a furnace or air conditioner would function. Water on-demand systems do not store water at all. The water is moved though a series of heating elements when and only when you turn your hot water on. If the water is coming from a very cold outside source it may take a few minutes to heat to the temperature you wish, however it will remain at the heated temperature for as long as you want.

Diagram of Tankless Water System

Benefits of On-Demand Hot Water Tank

Traditionally a hot water tank is located on the lowest floor of the house, which in some homes is the basement. The tanks are usually set on the floor with the fuel hook up exposed. Having lived in a region where floods are quite common, one of the first problems is the location of the furnace and hot water tank. A tankless hot water system is encased in a box and can be located in any area of the home. A common installation is for use in the master bathroom. A family of five was having problems every morning getting everyone ready and out the door. The showers were timed to the minute and usually the last one in had no hot water. Instead of adding a second hot water tank the couple chose to add a tankless hot water system to their master bath area. Adding more hot water was a must, however adding more time in the bathroom was not. When the unexpected flood of 2013 hit southern Alberta the traditional hot water tank was destroyed and needed replaced. At this time there was a waiting list for plumbers and hot water tanks were on back order. It was the on-demand system that got them through the intern.

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What other names are associated with tankless water heaters?

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Upgrade In-floor Heating
Upgrade In-floor Heating

Pay As You Go

The largest growing usage of an instantaneous water heater is often found in summer cottage or winter cabin. If a residence is only used part of the year there are many preparations that have to be done to close up a house for the season. One of the tasks is to drain the hot water tank and ensure the lines are taken care of. With a tank less water tank there is no draining and the hot water is available with little effort. The bulkiness of a traditional hot water tank will never be missed, and the wall mounting ability of an on-demand water tank is always appreciated. There are many different chemical make-ups such as hard or soft water throughout the land that require different plumbing installations. It is wise to ask your local plumber what type of plumbing materials should be used. The energy savings are best shown here with the difference of the two water systems. The traditional hot water tank has a pilot light that burns continuously and is designed to continuously heat a great volume of water. The on-demand water system does not have a pilot light, instead it uses an electronic ignition system and only when needed. This truly is a pay as you go system.

Gas Tankless Water Heater

Portable Tankless Hot Water System

Most of the new trailers, campers, and RV’s with modern appliances have tankless hot water tanks in use. They can also be found on house, pontoon and other boats. The weight of a traditional hot water tank is not appreciated with recreational facilities, nor is the additional space requirement. The newest use of an on-demand water tank is the portable camping shower. This is being used all over campgrounds for washing dishes and other hot water usages as well as showering.

Part Of An Upgrade

A popular upgrade with many homes, especially master bathrooms, is in-floor heating. There are numerous applications and designs available today. If a tankless water heater is being considered in the new design the function could be used for your in-flooring. I recommend the same system your shower uses can be also used for the in- floor heating system.


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