10 Tankless Water Heater Tips: How to Get the Most Out of Your Unit

Last Updated On August 7, 2022
tankless water heater tips

Every year, more people upgrade their traditional system to a tankless water heater thanks to their energy efficiency, long lifespan, and endless hot water. 

It’s important to know what to consider prior to purchasing and also how to take care of it after you do.

In this blog post, we will discuss 10 tankless water heater tips throughout the consideration process and after your installation.

What's In This Guide?

      Tankless Water Heater Tips

      1. Pick the Right Tankless Water Heater: Gas vs. Electric

      When it comes to choosing a tankless water heater, there are two main types to choose from: gas and electric. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to pick the right one for your needs. Popular manufacturers include AO Smith, Rheem, and Rinnai

      Gas tankless water heaters tend to be more powerful, making them a good choice for large homes or homes with multiple bathrooms. They also tend to be both less expensive upfront and less expensive to operate than electric tankless water heaters. 

      However, gas tankless water heaters require venting, creating a more complicated installation. They also come with more hazards than electricity. These should also be considered when calculating the true cost of going tankless.

      Electric tankless water heaters are less powerful than gas models, but they don’t require venting, making them easier and cheaper to install. Electric tankless water heaters also prove to be the safer option. More electric tankless water heaters have digital control panels and connectivity capabilities.

      What’s the best water heater for off the grid? Well, this will be driven by your access to electricity, gas, or propane as your main factor.

      1. Pick the Right Tankless Water Heater: Water Flow

      One important factor to consider when choosing a tankless water heater is the water flow rate. This is the rate at which water flows through the unit, and is usually measured in gallons per minute (GPM). 

      The water flow rate will determine how much hot water the unit can produce, so it’s important to choose a model that can meet your needs, or you’ll get cold water.

      To find the right GPM for your needs, simply multiply the number of fixtures you’ll be using by the desired flow rate. For instance, if you have three fixtures and each one requires a flow rate of 1.5 GPM, you’ll need a unit with a flow rate of 4.5 GPM.

      Keep in mind that the flow rate also depends on the temperature of the incoming water. Colder water in a cold climate will require a higher flow rate to reach the desired temperature than water from a warm climate.

      Do you only need additional hot water in one area of the house? Consider an isolated point of use solution instead. These can also be installed directly under a sink

      did you know tankless water heater tips
      1. Get Professional Installation For Initial Upgrade to Tankless

      Making the switch to a tankless heater is not a do-it-yourself project. Not only do you need to purchase the correct unit for your home, but you also need to have it professionally installed. 

      New tankless water heater installation requires running new gas lines and at times installing electric circuits, as well as making sure that the venting is properly installed for gas models. As a result, it is best to leave the water heater installation to the professionals.

      1. Register the Warranty

      Any time you make a major purchase, it’s important to register the warranty. Doing so will ensure that if anything goes wrong with the product, you’ll be covered. In many cases, the warranty will even cover shipping and handling charges for returned items. 

      To register a warranty, simply fill out the form that came with your purchase and mail it in. You may also be able to register online or over the phone. Once you’ve registered the warranty, be sure to keep a copy of the confirmation in a safe place. That way, if you ever need to file a claim, you’ll have all of the information you need at your fingertips.

      1. Read the User Manual

      By reading the manual, you’ll be able to learn about all the features of the product and how to use it properly. Additionally, the manual will also provide troubleshooting information in case you run into any problems. In short, taking the time to read the user manual can save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.

      1. Don’t Exceed 120 Degrees

      If the water temperature is set too high, the risk of scalding increases dramatically. Scalding means burns from hot liquids or steam at temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, it only takes a few seconds of contact to cause serious injury. 

      For this reason, it’s important to never exceed 120 degrees when using a tankless hot water heater. This also goes for adjusting the temperature on your traditional water heater if its too hot. See this post for detailed instructions on how to adjust the temp on your tankless unit.

      1. Perform Regular Inspections For Leaks and Damage

      It’s important to regularly inspect your tankless water heater for leaks and damage. Tankless heaters are susceptible to scale buildup for all water types, but especially if you have hard water. This can lead to leaks and other problems. If you notice any leaks or damage, schedule a water heater repair as soon as possible.

      1. Clean Components Annually

      A small but important part of your regular maintenance is cleaning the exterior components, such as the isolation valve and drain valve, annually. This will help to remove any buildup of mineral deposits and prevent corrosion.

      Sediment buildup accumulates at different speeds based on the water hardness of your water supply. Hard water produces mineral deposits more quickly than soft water.

      1. Flush Your Tankless Unit Annually

      The main task during routine maintenance of your water heater is to flush the unit.  

      Flushing your water heater involves forcing water or a descaling solution through the unit at high pressure with a water pump to force out any hard water mineral deposits that developed inside of the unit throughout the year. 

      You don’t want the sediment buildup to accumulate on the heating element or heat exchanger, as it can impact the performance of the tankless system and the water quality. 

      Not sure how to do this? See this post for how to properly flush a tankless water heater, and this post for the best flush kits.

      1. Utilize a Programmable Thermostat

      Tankless water heaters already offer greater efficiency than storage tank water heaters. Improve efficiency even more with a programmable thermostat. The thermostat will control the temperature throughout the day to prevent unnecessary energy usage. 

      Most programmable thermostats also give you the opportunity to control your water heater temperature from your phone if you need to make changes when you aren’t at home. The app will also monitor usage for you and alert you if it notices any irregularities.

      Final Thoughts on Tanklesss Water Heaters

      Tankless units are a great addition to any household and can not only save energy costs but make for a happier household when everyone gets a warm shower.

      Follow these tips to purchase the right model for your household objectives, and if you’re not 100% confident, call a plumber to assist with proper installation.

      Once installed, be sure to use these tips to help ensure your unit lasts as long as possible, as a well-maintained unit will pay for itself faster as you eliminate unnecessary repairs.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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