Tankless Water Heaters San Diego

Have you been considering upgrading to a tankless water heater and live in San Diego County? You are not alone! Tankless water heaters are growing in popularity as alternatives to the standard heaters that have been around for generations, offering numerous benefits.  Since they’re something new to most home owners, and even some facility managers and business owners, we’ll start by describing how they work, and then go into those benefits.  We’ll follow that up with discussions of tankless water heater installation, repair, and maintenance.

How Are They Different, How Do They Work?

bradford white tankless water heatersStandard water heaters use a large tank to store hot water to meet large demands such as showers, clothes washers, and dish washers. (We’ll discuss commercial tankless water heaters as well, a bit later — they work the same way as residential units.)  As that water is used, a burner or electric resistance element heats it back up.  As most of us have experienced, it may take a while for the tank to heat back up enough.

A tankless water heater has a much higher capacity heating element or burner, so that it can warm up the water sufficiently as it flows through the unit.  A flow-sensor turns on the heating only when water is actually being used.  All this means that within the flow and temperature rating of the tankless unit, you have an endless supply of hot water and a big bulky tank isn’t needed.  A tankless is very complex inside in order to provide all the many functions needed (burner and exhaust fans, flow sensors, high-performance heat exchangers, timers and controllers, etc.), but surprisingly high-tech tankless water heater repairs are few and far between so long as the unit is properly maintained.

The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

One of the biggest benefits of residential tankless water heaters is that “endless supply” — you won’t run out of hot water if several people use a shower right after one another, or if you’re running multiple loads of clothes or dishes.  Their small size (about that of a suitcase) means that they can be located at the point of use such as a bathroom or when an isolated area in a facility needs hot water.  Here you’ll get hot water in seconds rather than a minute or so, as there’s no waiting for heated water to work it’s way through lengths of plumbing.  That feature alone is why many people choose tankless over standard units.  For homeowners, a tankless improves the HERS (home energy rating system) score, increasing home value.

Other benefits that apply to both residential and commercial applications include the following.

  • Efficiency.  A tank, even if well insulated, sits there all day losing heat.  When it cools down enough, the burner or element turns back on.  This happens over and over, using energy that never actually gets utilized.  Tankless units may use up to 40% less energy than standard heaters; you’re heating only the water you use, as you use it.  With a point-of-use location, there’s no waste of water from running the tap until hot water arrives.  That saves time, water, and energy to help you and the planet.
  • All parts are replaceable.  With proper tankless water heater maintenance, lifetimes can be as long as 20 years.
  • Small size.  Without a large tank there’s a lot more flexibility in locating a tankless, often avoiding special “closets” or larger mechanical spaces.
  • Energy-efficiency alternative.  New regulations increase the size (and cost) of standard units, and for larger tank sizes require expensive heat-pump technology to replace electric resistance units.  A tankless water heater installation may be a cost-effective alternative, especially if one or two small point-of-use can reduce the main heater to below the 55-gallon threshold of the new requirements.
A tankless alternative may also be the best choice when a remodel or expansion adds a new demand for hot water remote from the existing heater.

Tankless Water Heater Installation

At ASAP, we’re water heater specialists, experienced with both standard and tankless installations.  We’re fast and efficient, true professionals.  Well trained, we genuinely care about our clients and their homes and businesses.

Our experts will determine the proper sizing, and help you in making your cost-benefit decision, as well as walk you through various options such as modulating burners and indoor versus outdoor installation. For residential and commercial tankless water heaters, our master plumbers can complete any necessary gas-line upgrades to meet the increased gas demand.  We also know that in the greater San Diego area, known for it’s hard water, water softeners are often a must to maintain full warranties.

Tankless Water Heater Repairs

With regular tankless water heater maintenance, these units rarely have internal problems.  Most repairs are to external components, such as venting and inlet filters.  Sometimes repair service calls result from unexpected aspects of normal operation, such as fans staying on for awhile, a momentary drop in water temperature, and the need for a minimum flow rate for the heater to be on.  We’ll discuss these issues with you while you’re making your tankless versus standard heater decision.

Whatever and wherever the issue is, an ASAP troubleshooting expert can be there promptly to diagnose the problem and go straight to any necessary tankless water heater repairs.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Compared to standard units tankless water heater maintenance is much more important, but relatively straightforward and inexpensive.  The key concern is annual flushing and cleaning calcium build up.  That’s critical in maintaining the high efficiency of the heat exchanger required for rapid heating and high performance.