Irvine Plumbing Tip: New Features to Consider Before Buying a Tankless Water Heaters

Posted by Bill Chronister

Are you considering buying a new tankless water heater for your home? At Saddleback, our Irvine plumbers can help you choose the right model, and we’ll make sure you get the right size and install it for you. If you’re considering a tankless new water heater or if you’re looking for ways to reduce your energy consumption, here are some things to consider:

Energy Use

There are two basic types of water heaters: traditional storage tank and tankless. Tank water heaters use a large tank of water that’s kept hot all the time by an electric or gas burner. As the hot water is consumed, more water fills the tank. Tankless water heaters convert cold water to hot water as the water is being used. In terms of energy consumption, tank-style heaters consume energy to maintain a large supply of hot water throughout the day, even if it’s not being used. Tankless heaters consume energy in short bursts, so you’ll want to take that into consideration.

Flow Rate

The other consideration is flow rate. Tankless units vary in their ability to produce hot water on demand. The amount of hot water they produce is measured in gallons per minute. Deciding which size tankless unit is correct for your home should be based on your family’s typical hot water needs. For 1 to 2 bathroom homes, look for models that can deliver at least delivers 3.4 gallons per minute. A shower and a dishwasher each consume about two gallons of water per minute. So for a tankless unit to comfortably serve both with a little to spare would probably require a capacity of five gallons per minute.

Size and First Hour Rating

All water heaters, whether traditional tank models, tankless, or hybrid, have different hot water delivery capacities. A water heater’s capacity is measured by its First Hour Rating (FHR), which is the number of gallons of hot water it delivers in an hour. Getting a heater with a low FHR could mean taking cold showers. Getting one that’s too large could mean you’re wasting energy.

When thinking a new water heater, first think about how much hot water is used in your home each day. Secondly, call the Irvine plumbers at Saddleback Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning. Our staff would be glad to help you calculate which size tankless unit is right for your Irvine area home.

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