Our main focus is to provide you with the best tankless water heater reviews, but there are some tidbits of information we would like to share with you. The perceived performance of your water heater has a direct correlation to the location in which you install it.
The best place to install a tankless water heater is as close as possible to the demand source. The closer you are to the demand source the less waste you will have. You will have less standing cold water to purge out of the supply line. Also, when the demand is terminated there will be less hot water left standing in the supply lines. Having the source close to the demand will save water and save heating energy, this means saving money. Also, you will save time, since there is less water to purge.
In a perfect world we could have a tankless water heater at each source of demand. However, the cost to install 5-10 tankless water heaters and the ongoing maintenance is totally cost prohibitive and just not realistic. The best thing to do is evaluate how your household functions and determine where the highest demand is. This is typically the master bathroom and the bathroom used to support the adjoining bedrooms. A family of 4 will use 400 gallons of water a day. A majority of that water is for bathing and getting ready in the morning.
Replacing/Upgrading from a conventional tank water heater
If you are in going to have a tankless water heater installed to replace your current water heater the most likely place you will install the unit will be in the same area as where your current water heater is. The gas line, water supply line and hot water line are going to be very close by and the installation cost will be minimal. In most cases the venting will need to changed to accommodate the new tankless water heater. The water inlet for most on demand units is ¾” and hot water supply is ¾”. For newer homes (last 30-40 years) you shouldn’t have an issue.
Ideally, you will want a dedicated gas line. In homes where the furnace and water heater are located in the same room, there will be one gas line which supplies both the furnace and the water heater. This can create an issue. If the gas supply line is not large enough and both the furnace and the new tankless water heater is running simultaneously one or both appliances will be starved for gas and not run at their peak performance. In some cases we have seen where the tankless water heater wouldn’t function. Why the difference? A conventional water heater is going to run around 30,000 BTU to 40,000 BTU. A new tankless water heater is alike a fire breathing dragon, it will require 3-5 (135,000 -199,000 BTUs) times the amount of BTUs to operate.
Installing a tankless water heater in remodels and new construction
If you undergoing a major renovation or a having a custom home built, then there is a greater flexibility on where you have you tankless water heater installed. As mentioned before you want to have the water heater placed close to the most demand areas. So if your home is 2 stories plus a basement, the basement is the worst place to put the tankless water heater. If the washer an dryer is going to be on the 1st or 2nd floor, then it would be best to place the unit on the 2nd floor, assuming all the bedrooms are on the 2nd floor. This will limit the amount of water which needs to be purged in the morning to have a hot shower. The only drawback is having to run a gas line to the 2nd story. However, the ROI on this will certainly be recovered in about 10-12 years.
Tankless water heaters are a great long term investment. In most cases you will see the adanvatges right away. Here to having hot water all the time.