A tankless water heater control panel - Robins Plumbing, Inc.

If you’re considering a tankless water heater for your home or business, consider these four plumbing myths about tankless water heaters before you invest into an upgrade. Presented by Robins Plumbing!

Myth Number 1 – Electric Tankless Water Heaters Provide Instant Hot Water

Myth busted!

Tankless water heaters do not provide INSTANT hot water, but what they can do provide is ENDLESS hot water.  You can upgrade some tankless water heaters to have a recirculating pump inside of them, but many electric models on the market today cannot keep up with the demand of a recirculating pump, and instant hot water can only be accomplished through the use of a recirculating pump.  The endless hot water that a tankless hot water heater will provide is an incredible feature but be aware, the cold water that is in your water line will still be there, so It will still take the same amount of time to get hot water with a tankless water heater as it does with a standard tank style water heater unless you have a plumbing service install a recirculating pump.

Myth Number 2 – Electric Tankless Water Heaters Can Be Easily Installed

Myth Busted! 

While you may have heard that you can easily upgrade your tank style electric water heater for an electric tankless water heater, let’s be clear:  THIS IS NOT A DIY PROJECT.  That person at the plumbing aisle of your local hardware store that says it’s easy to install is just wrong.  Your existing electrical has to be upgraded in order to handle the demand of an electric tankless water heater, and your plumbing has to be modified and customized for the new electric tankless water heater.   While there are YouTube videos out there that make this project look easy, it is only easy for an experienced and licensed plumber.  What you don’t know about your install can end up costing you!  Trust your upgrade to a licensed professional for both the plumbing modifications to ensure your system is installed up to plumbing code, as well as hiring a licensed electrician to ensure that your electrical line is done up to electrical code and will accommodate your electric tankless water heater.  It is a potential fire hazard to not upgrade the electrical line going to the new tankless water heater.

Myth Number 3 – Electric Tankless Water Heaters Don’t Need To Be Maintained

Myth Busted!

Standard electric tankless hot water heaters need to be maintained and flushed on an annual basis at the very least. Tank style water heaters also need to be flushed and maintained on an annual basis.  The rumor is that since there isn’t water being stored in a tank that a tankless water heater does not require flushing to be maintained, and that just isn’t the truth.  Unless you have a self-cleaning model like one of the leading brands we carry here at Robins Plumbing, your tankless electric water heater will require flushing with a descaling solution on an annual basis, in order to clean out sediment and mineral build up from within the manifold.  Your electric tankless water heater will need to be installed with a flush valve kit for this annual procedure. 

Myth Number 4 – Electric Tankless Water Heaters Reduce the Flow of Hot Water

Myth Busted!

There are a ton of reviews online that state that electric tankless water heaters reduce the flow of hot water, but this is a miscommunication that I want to clear up.  Some electric tankless water heaters cannot keep up with demand from multiple plumbing fixtures at once.  While an electric tankless water heater can produce endless amounts of hot water, it can only produce so many gallons a minute.  The gallons per minute varies on the brand of the water heater.  For example, the primary brand that we sell produces 7.5 gallons a minute of endless hot water.  For comparison, a modern shower head has a gallonsperminute rating of 2.5 gallons, so at this rate our electric tankless water heater can supply endless hot water to three showers at a time without a reduction in hot water to any fixture.

The misconception comes when someone in need of hot water turns on a kitchen or bathroom faucet and the electric tankless water heater cannot keep up with the demand of the gallons per minute, which has now exceeded 7.5 gallons.  The “flow” of water isn’t reduced, just the demand on hot water.  The pipe size and pressure have never changed, but the demand on the tankless heater at this point exceeds what it is capable of, so the three people that are showering are going to notice a drop in temperature of their hot water, but not the volume of water coming out of the shower head.  

For most homes and general household use, our electric tankless water heater exceeds the demands of their lifestyle and their need for endless hot water.  Before considering an electric tankless hot water consider your family’s lifestyle   do you have 3 or more people showering at the same time on a regular basis?  Do you have any fixtures with a high gallonsperminute rating, like a roman tub valve for a large tub? If these two questions were answered with a yes, an electric tankless water heater may not be able to keep up with your lifestyle demands and you may need to have two units installed or possibly consider a hybrid water heater. 

Don’t get me wrong, in the right circumstances I am a big fan of tankless water heaters, I am weary of the poor performance we see in cheap brands that are sold online and by some brick-and-mortar retailers.  As a licensed plumbing company, we replace cheap electric tankless water heaters in an average of 2-3 years after their original installation.   Those cheaper models also have a lower gallonsperminute rating, so people notice almost immediately that they can’t use hot water at multiple fixtures at once without a reduction in temperature. 

Robins Plumbing Can Help You With A New Tankless Water Heater

If you’re in the market for a new tankless water heater for your home and need guidance from a professional, look no further! Robins Plumbing, Inc. can help you with the plumbing problems you can’t handle yourself.  With 15 years in the plumbing business, we can resolve any plumbing-related issue with professionalism and courtesy.  In addition to tankless water heater advice, sales and installation, we can also help you with commercial and residential drain cleaning, sewer inspection, and faucet repair.

Contact Robins Plumbing Inc. today!