Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "How does a tankless heater provide hot water without a storage tank?"
A. Tankless water heaters heat on demand. The water is heated as it flows through the unit. Automated valves control water and gas flow so that your water comes out at the temperature you set it to.
Q. "Your products specify the 'temp. rise' based on the GPM flow; what do you mean by this?"
A. Temperature rise is the amount the heater raises the temperature of the incoming water, based on the flow rate shown of that water.
Q. "What's the difference between a conventional flue and a direct vent?"
A. A conventional flue is what most people are familiar with. It typically consists of a double-wall flue pipe going from the top of the heater through the roof, venting outside. The fixture draws its combustion air from the space around it (utility room, garage, hallway, etc.). A direct-vent unit not only vents exhaust to the outside but also draws its combustion air through a specially designed pipe from the outside via an adjacent wall.
Q. "How does the Water Heater Scale Inhibitor System prevent corrosion?"
A. It forms a thin protective layer on the inside of pipes and metal parts. This film or layer is microscopic in thickness and will not build up over time.
Q. "How does a condensing tankless water heater differ from a traditional tankless water heater?"
A. A traditional tankless water heater has one burner assembly that heats the water as it passes back and forth through one heat exchanger. A condensing tankless water heater uses two heat exchangers. Water is heated as it passes through a primary heat exchanger and also a secondary heat exchanger. The secondary heat exchanger is positioned above the primary heat exchanger and captures the heat from the exhaust gas used during the heating process of the primary heat exchanger. The incoming water is plumbed to enter up through the secondary heat exchanger first, allowing the incoming water to be preheated before it flows into the primary heat exchanger.
Q. "What are the best reasons to install a Scale Inhibitor System?"
A. A Scale Inhibitor System helps protect the system by reducing scale buildup and adding to the longevity and efficiency of the heater.
Q. "What do you mean by commercial grade heat exchanger?"
A. This Noritz tankless hot water heater has a heat exchanger made with Type K copper piping, which is 25% thicker than the average heat exchanger in most tankless water heaters. Since the heat exchanger is what conducts the heat from the burner to the water, it is subject to a lot of stress. Having thicker copper means that the unit is more durable and will heat more water before the heat exchanger needs to be replaced. This Noritz residential tankless water heater has a 12 year limited heat exchanger warranty for residential use.
Q. "Will an instantaneous water heater save me money on my utility bills?"
A. In many applications you can see a savings. There are some variables that could reduce the amount you save. One example is you will not run out of hot water, so longer showers could cut into your savings. Also, the cost of electricity, propane and natural gas in your area will affect the amount of money saved. The higher the cost for the energy type used to heat your water, the quicker you can recover the higher initial cost of installing a tankless versus tank style water heater.
- You will never run out of hot water. "You want an hour long shower? No problem!"
- Electric units can be installed at the point of use.
- You're not paying energy costs to heat water 24 hours a day.
- They're easy to install.
- Our electric units don't require a T&P valve (no tank!) - if code allows
- Installing a tankless water heater can indeed be a bonus to the environment (why should we choose wastefulness when
we're talking about finite natural resources?)
- They all need a minimum flow rate & pressure to turn on.
- The faster water flows through them, the lower the temperature rise. So, if you expect to take a shower while the clothes washer is running, you will need to select a unit sized to your maximum hot water flow requirements. (Gas units generally handle this a little better than electric models)
- Electric units need heavy gauge wire. Example: the 9.5kw must have 8ga wire and a 50amp breaker.
- Gas units need a much larger, special flue pipe and larger gas supply than a conventional water heater.
- At times they can produce very hot water. It's easier to get scalded.
- Gas units are more complicated than a conventional water heater.
- With some brands, parts are hard to find (not a negative if you originally purchase from us, as we like to carry parts for the units that we sell).
Tankless water heaters have their place. They're not "the answer" to every hot water need, but if they're used correctly they can be the solution to many of them.