Tankless hot water heaters are becoming more and more common. Instead of warming water and storing it up in a tank, these water heaters heat water as you need it. They're energy-efficient, space-efficient, and long-lasting, but some people still have concerns about these appliances that prevent them from wanting to install one. Here are a few of those concerns, along with some explanations that may make you feel more comfortable about getting a tankless water heater installation.
Concern: The water heater may get clogged with mineral buildup.
If you've ever had a water dispenser or coffee maker get clogged with mineral buildup, you may fear that the water heater will suffer the same fate. This does happen, but there is an easy way to prevent it. Install a water softener, which will remove the minerals from the water before that water flows into your water heater. If installing a water softener is not an option, there are various mineral-dissolving cleaning solutions you can run through the tankless water heater every few months to keep buildup at bay.
Concern: The water heater won't be able to keep up with demand.
It's true that tankless water heaters can only heat so much water at one time, so you won't be able to run an endless number of taps and have hot water at them all. But tankless water heaters do come with different capacities. You can tell your plumber how you plan to use your hot water, and they'll recommend a heater with the right capacity for you. If you want, for example, to be able to take a hot shower, wash dishes, and do laundry at the same time, then you'll just need a higher-capacity unit.
Concern: You'll waste a lot of water waiting for it to get warm.
The water won't be hot as soon as you turn on the tap. You'll have to wait and let it flow for a few seconds until it warms up. This may sound wasteful, but there are plenty of ways to make it less so. Trap that cold water in a watering can, and use it to water your garden. You could also catch it in your dog's bowl so he or she can drink it.
If you have any additional concerns about tankless water heaters, do not be afraid to bring them up to your plumber. They can tell you what has worked for their other customers.