Our Thornton plumbing contractors does almost half its business replacing and repairing conventional water heater systems. That's because they are designed to last about 10-15 years. If you plan on living in your home for 45 years or more, you'll probably have to replace your existing water heater 2 or 3 times. We don't think that you should have to do this. There is a better option out there. Not only do tankless water heating systems last 5-10 years longer than traditional heaters, but they are far more energy efficient leading to lower utility bills over the long run.
One of the first things we do when we are called in for a water heater repair is to check the condition of the tank. Around year seven, the efficiency of a older storage water heater will begin to seriously deteriorate. Eventually it makes more sense to replace your water heater with a higher efficiency model than to get more life out of your low efficiency heater.
If you've never used one before, a tankless water heater is truly a luxury you can afford. While they do cost a little more than a conventional water heater, the benefits are hard to deny. Finally you'll be able to run the hot water for as long as you want without fear of running out. Your showers can be as hot and long as you want, and you won't have to race the clock to do dishes. Tankless water heaters are also much more energy efficient - your power bill will actually drop without changing your usage habits - and the units themselves are much more durable. They also take up a fraction of the space of a conventional heater, which means you can use your old water heater cabinet as storage!
Tankless water heaters aren't without their drawbacks, however. Some homes require more than one tanklesss water heater because each unit's throughput is only about 4 gallons of 150 degree hot water per minute. This would limit hot water usage to one application at a time. For example, you might have some problems if you try to run the washing machine and take a shower at the same time. Having two heaters will double this capacity and deliver the same amount of hot water you are used to with your traditional system with the added bonus of never running out of hot water.
While there are several different models to choose from, our Thornton plumbing contractors typically install Takagi and Rinnai tankless heaters. They have fewer maintenance issues and better heat rise statistics than units offered by other manufacturers.
There is, however, one other product that our techs are quick to recommend – the Insinkerator Insta Hot. This tiny water heating unit can be installed in even the tightest spaces, but can instantly deliver 120 degree water with no heat up time, and no help from an additional water heater. It's great when you need to get water boiling in a hurry!
If you haven't considered a tankless water heater before, or are trying to decide on the best unit for your particular needs, call our Thornton plumbing contractors today to schedule a consultation. We're always happy to help you make sense of your options, and we're always careful to only recommend products that make sense for your home, lifestyle, and budget.