Sizing Your Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater is a good investment both in terms of durability and efficiency. After all, the U.S. Dept. of Energy reports annual savings of $25 to $107 due to installing a tankless water heater as it helps lower the energy bill and offers other benefits such as access to unlimited hot water.
However, you will enjoy all the benefits only if you install the unit properly. Here’s all you need to know about installing a tankless water heater:
Sizing your tankless water heater is an important part of the installation process. Hence, be careful and choose the right size based on these factors:
- Flow rates per minute (GPM): You can calculate the flow rate by counting the total number of fixtures that will require hot water and adding their flow rates together.
- Temperature rise: Temperature rise is the difference between the heater’s desired temperature and the coldest groundwater temperature in your area. To calculate the temperature rise, subtract the incoming water temperature from the preferred output temperature.
Moreover, you can ask experts to help you find the right size according to your requirements.
Checking The Gas Supply
Next, check if you have adequate gas pressure for your heater to work smoothly. According to this guide, most tankless water heaters have outputs between 150,000 to 200,000 BTU per hour, but the amount of gas required can fluctuate depending on the number of fixtures and temperature.
In addition, gas lines should be considered when installing the heater since they ensure that sufficient gas is supplied to the water heater. Ideally, a gas line should be ¾ inch, but you can also opt for ½ inch if there is enough pressure being provided.
Fulfilling Air Requirements
Installing a tankless water heater also requires a proper amount of airflow to work effectively and increase energy savings. Generally, tankless water heaters require 50 cubic feet of air per 1,000 BTUs per hour.
Although most tankless water heaters do not require indoor air or additional ventilation for combustion, it is still recommended to check with your plumber and ensure that all air requirements are met before installation.
Managing The Condensation
If you opted for the condensing tankless water heater, you can expect it to produce a significant amount of condensation. To manage the condensation properly, look into safe disposal methods like installing a condensation drain.
Placing The Heater
Deciding where to place your tankless water heater should also be one of your prime concerns when installing it. In the case of replacing your conventional water heater, you can place your new tankless water heater in the same location. However, if it is your first time then pay attention to these factors:
- Your water heater is in a properly ventilated area. Since tankless water heaters let off more exhaust than traditional water heaters, they should be at least 3 feet from windows and near the vent terminals.
- The location is warm. Your tankless will work more efficiently in a warm place.
- The location is free of mixture and dust as dust, dirt, excessive moisture, and debris can compromise the functioning of your heater.
- The place is free of harmful environmental factors like sunlight, rain, insects, etc. Tankless water heaters don’t take up much space so they can easily be placed almost anywhere inside your home.
- The heater is accessible for maintenance and repairs.
Installing a Tankless Water Heater: FAQs
- What temperature should I set my tankless water heater to?
After installing your tankless, you may be wondering about what temperature to set it to. Experts recommend setting it to 100-115 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if you have children or elderly present in your home. This will ensure there are no third-degree burns. You can, however, go up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit if you want very hot water but never above it.
- How do I maintain my tankless water heater?
The best option is to go for regular repairs and not delay them. You can also consult with a professional to ensure you have all the information needed to maintain your tankless water heater. Ideally, sanitize your unit’s interior twice a year to make sure that it remains clean. Furthermore, clean the exterior with a washcloth to remove any traces of dust and rust.
In addition, inspect the valves and the water pipes for any cracks or damage. Lastly, remember to flush your unit to avoid any dirt and debris built-up.
- What is the average cost of installing a tankless water heater?
According to Fixr, the average cost of installing a smaller and less complex unit can cost up to $1,060. Apart from that, costs for installing larger (80-gallon systems) can go up to $6000.
Interested in installing a tankless water heater? Get Delmar can make the job easier. Get in touch with us today to know more about how we can help you.