Mr Rooter Explains Five Things The Homeowner Needs To Know Before Hiring A Plumbing Specialist To Install A Tankless Hot Water System

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Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day: Tankless systems avoid standby loss by heating incoming water only as it is needed — also referred to as “on demand” water heaters for this reason.

The elimination of the standby heat loss is what makes a tankless system more efficient.

“The idea behind a tankless system is that it heats the water as you need it instead of continually heating water stored in a tank,” says Bob Beall, the Pittsburgh master plumber who offers the free second opinion and expert plumbing advice daily. Mr Rooter Plumbing Tankless Water Heaters®, now offered in the Pittsburgh and Youngstown market, exemplify the tankless water systems that have been the norm in much of Europe and Japan for quite some time, but they haven’t gained popularity until recently in the United States — “largely due to the green movement,” Beall explains.

“Tankless heaters last about five to 10 years longer than a tank heater, take up much less space and provide you with an unlimited amount of hot water,” says the most referred and trusted plumbing specialist in the Northeast Ohio and Southwest Pennsylvania region.

“Tankless systems avoid standby loss by heating incoming water only as you need it — they’re also referred to as “on demand” water heaters for this reason. The elimination of the standby heat loss is what makes a tankless system more efficient,” says Beall.

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With tankless water heaters, you can choose from electric, propane or natural gas models, according to Beall. He adds that point-of-use models are generally electric, while whole-house systems are usually powered by either natural gas or propane.

Tankless Terminology Explained

Desired Flow Rate: Rate determined by listing the number of hot water devices expected to be open at any one time, and adding their flow rates.

Temperature Rise: Temperature established by subtracting the incoming water temperature from the desired output temperature. The incoming water temperature can be determined by calling the local water utility or checking the supply with a thermometer. Desired output temperatures are usually 120° F for most uses.
(See also, scalding and preventing waterborne pathogens.)

Stand-by Losses: Stand-by losses account for 10 to 20 percent of a home’s annual water heating bill. They occur when heat is conducted and radiated from the walls of a hot water tank, or through the flue pipe in gas heaters.

Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day

Tip #1 Determine the role of the tankless unit(s) in the home. Decide if the home will use a centrally-installed whole-house unit, multiple point-of-use units, or both. Tankless units can be the home’s sole water heating source, or can be used to supplement traditional or solar water systems.

Tip #2 Determine the home’s water heating needs. Water heater capacity should be determined to ensure that the right size of tankless water heater is selected to meet peak demand. A Mr Rooter qualified plumbing specialist will assist the homeowner to determine system size.

Tip #3 Assess initial cost versus operational cost and other benefits. Compare higher initial costs for tankless units with operational cost savings from increased energy efficiency and longer life expectancy. Also consider benefits such as house-design flexibility and unlimited hot water supply.

Tip #4 Select fuel type. Installation considerations differ for electric and gas units. Electric units may require multiple circuits and in some cases, a larger service size. Tankless gas water heaters generally require a power vent and may require a separate gas supply. Electric heaters generally cost more to operate than natural gas units. Propane units are also available in most instances.

Tip #5 Educate the Homeowner. Provide the homeowner with information on the performance of the system, such as endless hot water, and lower utility bills. Additionally, a qualified Mr Rooter plumbing technician will be able to provide basic information on operating the unit and proper documentation and contact details in the event a maintenance service call is warranted.

FYI About Contamination Residing In Home Plumbing Systems

One other thing to consider is the sediment that lays in the bottom of a traditional hot water tank. This sediment is a breeding point for waterborne pathogens. Rubber hoses, supply lines, home spas, whirlpools and hot tubs should always be thoroughly disinfected to prevent making your family sick. How sick? Read how Legionnaire’s Disease could have been prevented in recent alleged deaths at the VA Medial Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Debra Santavicca PR, SMM, WebIT
Mr. Rooter Media Center

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Rooter (Pittsburgh)

Robert A. Beall
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