3 Things to Know About Tankless Water Heaters Before Making the Switch

3 Things to Know About Tankless Water Heaters Before Making the Switch

Have you heard about the incredible performance and energy-efficiency of tankless water heaters? If you’re eager to save on your water heating bills and enjoy an endless supply of hot water, you may be ready to make the switch. However, before you do, there are three things you need to know about tankless waters to ensure you have the correct expectations.

Tankless Water Heaters Require Maintenance

Because traditional water heater maintenance is intended to counteract the negative effects of storing hot water, some homeowners mistakenly believe that tankless units don’t require maintenance. However, even though they don’t hold hot water, tankless water heaters still need attention to run well for years to come.

Tankless water heater maintenance involves flushing the internal burner system with a special solution to remove calcium deposits. The harder your water, and the more people you have living in your home, the more frequently you should take this step to ensure a long life for the unit. We recommend flushing your tankless water heater as often as once a year.

Tankless Water Heaters Don’t Work During a Power Outage

The myth that gas water heaters, whether tankless or storage, can work during a power outage simply isn’t true. While natural gas is the primary fuel source, water heaters still have electrical components to them. Without power during a blackout, they can’t fire up the burners.

This is an important point because, if you have a storage water heater, you still have access to one full tank of hot water for critical tasks while the power is out. However, because tankless units generate hot water on demand, a blackout means you are instantly out of hot water until the power is restored.

Exterior-Mounted Tankless Water Heaters Require Freeze Protection

It’s always an option to install a tankless water heater within the heated envelope of your home. With such a small footprint, there’s almost always space to install one in a utility closet, basement, or garage.

However, here in San Jose where freezing is rare, you also have the option to install a tankless unit on an exterior wall. Even though temperatures rarely dip below 32 degrees F, you should still take precautions against freezing just in case. The main body of a tankless unit is protected down to about 5 degrees F, which we never see here in San Jose. But the plumbing at the base of the unit is vulnerable to freezing without insulation and heat tape. These simple additions prevent the pipes from freezing so you always have hot water, no matter what the weather is like outside.

If you’re still mulling over which type of water heater to buy, Mike Counsil Plumbing can help you make your final decision. With our water heater services in San Jose, you can trust us to keep your unit in good repair and install a replacement water heater when the time comes. To learn more, or to schedule services, please contact us today.


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