When you are worried about your domestic gas bill or your home is cramped and you want to enjoy taking a warm bath or wash your laundry with hot water in the winter, you opt for a tankless water heater instead of the usual large storage water heaters. Tankless water heaters are chosen because of two reasons:
♦ They are small in size.
♦ They are claimed to be using less fuel or electric.
Tankless water heaters heat water directly. When you turn on the hot water tap, the cold water moves towards the heater where gas burner or electric element is hot enough to heat it. In this way hot water is continuously supplied. They are also called “On Demand Water Heaters”.
If Tankless Water Heaters are this good what is their downside then?
Tankless water heaters are good but they do have some flaws. We are going to discuss few imperfections that a Tankless water heater has but overcome by the hybrid water heaters:
I. High Upfront Cost:
Tankless water heaters are small as well as expensive. A simple and cheap tankless heater costs more than a good heater with a large tank.
In addition, a professional plumber is needed to install them that’s why their installation and labor fees are so high and obviously included in the upfront bill.
These all factors syndicate to make tankless water heater higher in cost than heaters with storage capacity.
II. Limited Supply of Hot Water:
Tankless water heaters constantly supply hot water but they can only give a few gallons of water. This means that if a single person is using it they work best, but if two people are using water at the same time for instance one is washing clothes while other is having a shower (both at the same time), they run out of hot water and then it takes some time to resume hot water supply.
III. Erratic Temperature:
One of the major drawbacks of tankless water heater is that it does not provide water on a constant temperature, especially when it is used simultaneously for different works. If the faucet is opened slightly, it does not start working. For instance, if we are rinsing our tooth brush, we would only open water tap slightly but tankless water heater will not work.
Although it is equipped with a modulating temperature control, still it may not provide constant flow rate of hot water and temperature can fluctuate very uncomfortably, especially if there is a difference in water pressure over different parts of the house.
IV. High Electric Power Draw:
Tankless water heaters require a higher electric power draw as they require heating water instantly and quickly to the desired temperature. Even in some cases all electric system is needed to be upgraded to install a tankless water heater. High electric draw can be harmful as it can produce current resistance or even short circuit at few parts of the house where electric wiring is not in a good condition. Due to this issue a professional electrician must be hired while installing a tankless water heater, to avoid any electric short circuit. This once again increases the cost of installing a tankless water heater.
V. Proper Vent Is Required:
Tankless water heaters can increase the humidity and temperature of the place where they are installed. So, a proper vent must be installed with them. A tankless water heater needs to be vented towards outdoor by using a direct vent or a traditional exhaust fan. Once again, it increases its cost of installation.
VI. Pilot Light of a Gas-Powered Heater:
If a tankless water heater is powered by gas supply, its pilot light consumes and wastes energy because it has nothing to do with water heating, it is only meant to start the heating process. In conventional water heaters with storage, pilot light not only starts the heating process but also it increases the temperature of water.
VII. Additional Maintenance Is Required:
The owners of tankless water heaters must perform annual maintenance as well as run a water softener. Although the operating cost of tankless water heater is very low due to less energy consumption, these tasks can counteract the saving which is achieved by lower consumption of energy.
VIII. Requires Significant Setup:
A tankless water heater requires a complete setup which may include expanding or upgrading water supply or gas supply pipes, A proper electric supply setup is also required. So, professional plumbers and electricians must be hired to install it, which will again increase its upfront cost.
IX. Most Expensive Yet Competitive:
Tankless water heaters are the most expensive water heater but still they are competitive with many conventional water heaters with storage. They have same or less properties than a normal geyser.
X. Non-Useable In Northern Climates:
Tankless water heaters use an instant water temperature raising modulator, which raises the temperature from room temperature to 50 o – 60 o. This is not easily done in northern climates.
XI. Not Available Instantly:
Tankless water heaters do not start work instantly. For suppose you have to take a quick bath, you are running out of time for your job interview, you are in a hurry, the heater will take its time to start and raise the temperature of water. So, be sure to have enough time to wait for tankless water heater to get water from cold line, heat it and throw it towards your shower.