Tankless Water Heater Myths

image of facts vs myths depicting tankless water heatersAs the name implies, a tankless water heater or instantaneous water heater has no storage tank. This means that it heats water instantly as it flows through the unit. This is unlike conventional or storage water heaters that heat the water stored in a reservoir. It pumps it out when you turn on the hot water. Since tankless water heaters are fairly new on the market, there are a lot of myths surrounding them. To make everything clear, this article debunks some common tankless water heater myths.

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Tankless Water Heater Myths

In this article, we discuss some of the common myths that surround tankless or on-demand hot water heaters.

Myth #1: Tankless Water Heaters Require High Operational Expenses

image of expense of tankless water heating costsConsidering they are less bulky and more efficient, tankless water heaters tend to be a bit more costly compared to those with storage tanks, according to the US Consumer Reports. However, this fact has influenced people to assume that tankless water heaters are expensive to operate. Contrarily, they actually save you a lot of energy bills. The water is only heated on demand, unlike storage tank heaters. Conventional water heaters continuously heat water even when you don’t need it. It is worth noting that a tankless water heater is a good investment that will reduce your energy costs in the long run. Therefore, they have an excellent return on investment.

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Myth #2: Instant Water Heaters Require Annual Inspections

Similar to tank water heaters, tankless water heaters require regular maintenance, too. This is due to various reasons, such as the accumulation of minerals found in hard water. While modern tankless water heater units can flush out the accumulated scale, you should get a qualified plumber to inspect and clean your heater regularly. A large amount of scale build-up would likely cause your unit to malfunction, potentially leading to expensive repairs. To avoid such a situation, you should schedule regular professional tankless water heater maintenance.

Myth #3: On-Demand Water Heaters Heat Water To Dangerously High Temperatures

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Because only a small amount of water passes through the heat exchanger at a time, tankless water heaters can heat water to extremely high temperatures, meaning they can create a scaling risk. For this reason, these tankless heaters typically come with an in-built anti-scalding device (thermostat), which allows you to adjust the water temperature to a safe temperature. As such, you should always make sure that your thermostat is correctly tuned before opening the heater outlet.

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Myth #4: Tankless Water Heaters Deliver Hot Water Instantly

As mentioned earlier, tankless water heaters are also known as instantaneous water heaters because they heat water instantly. However, it is important to note that the amount of time it takes for hot water to reach your faucet depends on the distance that water has to travel from the heater. If your water outlet is near the heater, then no doubt, it will deliver water instantly. In case it is far, you may have to wait a few seconds before you access hot water.


Myth #5: Tankless Hot Water Heaters Do Not Work With Well Water

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), well water usually contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which cause the formation of scale on heating appliances. In the long run, the scale can damage these appliances, and that’s why it is prudent to soften the water before using it for domestic purposes. Even so, this does not mean that your tankless water heater will not function with well water. This is because water quality differs from one well to another, and hence, you should not rely on this myth. To eliminate doubts and keep your appliances in good condition though, you should consider hiring a qualified plumber. They will be able to determine the best solutions.

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Myth #6: Switching To Tankless Water Heating Systems Is Straightforward

Older residential buildings usually have storage tank water heaters. If you want to switch from this type to a tankless water heater, there are some modifications you may have to make to your plumbing system. For instance, a tankless water heater requires a special venting system considering it exhausts excess heat differently. As such, be sure to contact an expert plumber for a tankless water heater installation. This is not a DIY task. Hiring a licensed plumber will ensure you have an efficient and safe system in your home.


Myth #7: All On-Demand Water Heaters Require Natural Gas

Per the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas is a widely used source of energy in the US. While some tankless water heaters use it as a source of energy, others use propane or electricity, and all sources of energy work just fine. Take note that electric-powered tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient compared to their storage tank counterparts.

Myth #8: Tankless Water Heaters Do Not Heat Enough Water

image of homeowner taking shower and running out of hot water

Tankless water heaters heat water instantly as it flows through the unit. In other words, you will have access to hot water so long as your source does not get depleted. That said, suggesting that tankless water heaters do not produce enough water is just a myth. It is important to note that you will need to work with a licensed plumber to determine the tankless water heater size that works best for your home and your hot water needs.

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These are some of the myths that people say about tankless water heaters. That said, always rely on experts’ advice as well as your personal experience instead of what others say. With this in mind, contact a professional plumber to come and help you with all your tankless water heater needs.

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