Gas or Electric Tankless Water Heaters: Which is right for you?

If you are in the market for a tankless water heater and want some help deciding if you should go for a gas powered or electric powered unit, this article is for you!

There are advantages and disadvantages of both and we will explore them in depth so you can make the right choice. If you need help buying a tankless water heater, check out this guide.

Gas Powered Units:

Gas powered units in general are much more powerful than electric, in terms of maximum flow rates and maximum temperature rise. Of course, they use more energy and produce emissions that will require ventilation and a natural gas hook up. Currently, the cost of natural gas is cheaper than electricity (check out this calculator to prove it) so that additional energy is negated with lowered cost. Gas powered units are much more expensive up-front and require professional installation since you will need to hook up natural gas.

Electric Units:

Electric tankless water heaters are smaller and less expensive than gas powered units. Usually, they are best suited for providing hot water to a single room, instead of an entire house. Their flow rates will range from 1 GPM to 4.0 GPM and will be able to raise temperature between 20F – 40F for the most part. If you only need to provide hot water for a single room in the house, you can definitely use electric. If you want to use electric for your entire house, you will need to purchase and install multiple units to achieve it. Currently, there is no electric tankless water heater capable of providing hot water for the average American household.

For most households, a Gas powered unit is going to be the logical choice. If however you don’t have access to natural gas, or electricity is especially cheap for you (or you have an offgrid setup), you may want to consider going with electric.


How to conduct maintenance on your tankless water heater

Untold numbers of people are saving quite a lot on monthly energy cost by carrying out the transition to tankless hot water heaters. Since the price savings over time are extremely enticing, it is advisable to remember that these water heaters call for yearly routine maintenance. Traditional hot water tanks need very little to no maintenance, where by tankless water heaters build up a substantial amount of limescale and calcium which need descaling.

Depending on how hard the water is in your area, the more or less frequently you will need to carry out upkeep on your unit. You can easily call your local city council or Google water hardness by area. This will be imperative that you set your routine maintenance on the water heater. In some areas, you will have to do it every three years or so, in others, you’ll have get it done up to Three times each year! This is usually a serious thing to consider before selecting a tankless water heater.

Precisely what is Calcium and Limescale deposits?

It does not matter where you live, all water coming into your dwelling will have some trace quantities of sediments. Calcium and Limescale have a tendency to collect around metal and that’s why tankless water heaters call for standard upkeep. These sediments can easily severely obstruct the quantity of energy transfered from your heat exchanger towards the water chamber, and will even bring about total breakdown of the unit.

How to flush a tankless water heater

Fortunately, descaling a tankless water heater is exceedingly simple and should take you no more than an hour. After entirely shutting down the power source, gas or electricity, and shutting off the water, you are prepared to disassemble the machine. Whilst all units are different, they all share the exact same operation. Making use of your user guide, locate the anchoring screws and clips which are keeping the cover on the heat exchanger. Disconnect the inbound water pipe and the outgoing pipe. Using healthy white vinegar, fill the top of the chamber with vinegar. Go on to flush it out with water. Pay attention to the water flowing from the unit, and you may see the sediments being released. Carry on and flush with vinegar and water till the flushes don’t have any sediment left. After that, position the cover back again, turn the power sources back on and test out the device.

Using commercially made descalers

Despite being marketed as safe products, several of these descalers carry damaging chemicals that, if not properly purged from the device, can be quite risky to humans. Bear in mind, this is your source of drinking water, so it’s vital to keep it as protected as is possible. That is why we recommend using vingear, where your worst case scenario may be the first amount of water might include some vinegar.

Suppose the water heater fails after I perform routine maintenance?

If your water heater breaks down, most of them will have error codes. Start using these error codes in google to make an effort to specify what section of the water heater is failing. Usually, it is as a result of pressure in the lines and may demand some time for your plumbing system to repressurize. In other cases, you may not have sealed the pipes properly which can be rendering it impossible for the system to arrive at the proper internal pressure.

If you’re still having problems after performing maintenance, you should contact a local plumbing professional for support. Ask them to explain to you exactly what went wrong so that you don’t encounter the same issue the next time you conduct maintenance. Since maintenance needs to be carried out often, it is vital you are aware of how to get it done so you don’t have to pay a qualified professional every time.