Anytime we get a call about a water heater replacement, we get asked the question, is tankless the way to go. So, I wanted to touch on this subject a little bit and shine some light on the unknown. So here are the pros and cons so everyone can make a good, logical decision.
Anybody who knows me knows I am brutally honest, to the point, that it may get me in trouble. Some people don’t want to know the truth. They want everything to be sparkles and sunshine, but I just lay out the facts. Your choice is yours and only yours.
I love tankless water heaters, boilers, and combination units (does both hot water and heat)!! But they are and should be used as any other tool in your tool bag, when they are practical. Tankless heaters are extremely efficient, quiet, and take up very little space. What they are not; cheap to install, cheap to maintain, or give you “instant” hot water. I recommend a tankless anytime a client needs “endless hot water” or space. That’s it!! If you don’t need either of those two things, then in my opinion, a tankless is not needed. Ok, I’m sorry, there is one more reason; if you want to reduce your carbon footprint a tankless is the best solution.
Let’s expand on this so everyone understands. Most companies out there don’t tell you about the negatives because they want to make the sale. I see it as a disservice to the customer and realize it will come back to bite you because a company like mine will show up to repair the unit (because client has lost trust) and explain exactly this. Any efficiency you may get from a tankless will be lost in maintenance costs over the life of the unit, unless steps were taken (at an initial extra cost) during the installation. (Ex. Putting in a filter to eliminate hardness). A tankless typically needs extra things that are not needed for a tanked installation. They most always need a larger gas line, a point of disposal for condensation (which may also need neutralization due to acidity and the types of waste lines in the home), and two vents (intake and exhaust) ran outside of the home. All of this adds to the cost of the install.
Positives are endless hot water, an extremely small footprint, and great efficiency. If you need space because you have a tanked water heater and a boiler you will solve all these problems with a combi boiler. If you have two young kids who take extremely long showers, tankless may be a great solution to not running out of hot water ever again. If you are extremely thoughtful of your surroundings and want to reduce your carbon footprint, then tankless is the best way to go.
So why do I love tankless so much?? After all, I do own a residential plumbing company. The one main thing we do better than everyone else is constantly train. I send our plumbers and apprentices to tankless classes where we learn the manufacturers way that they want their products installed. It is here that we learned that 75% of all contractors install the units improperly. We have become extremely proficient in repairing these units. Therefore, I love tankless heaters. They keep us busy correcting installs.
If you ask me which tankless brand I prefer, I will tell you Navien. This is because they have the best customer support as well as training. Personally, I’ve been to at least ten classes because I go every time I send MyGuys (see what I did there… wink wink). I’ve been to others, and they just don’t compare. I also have 90% of the parts for every type of unit in our area always stocked so I can almost promise zero downtime. Therefore, I only recommend Navien tankless water heaters, boilers, and combi units. I’m also super proud to have been featured multiple times of numerous guys in our shop on Navien’s Facebook page as installer of the week or of the month. So, if you are on the fence and want an honest answer, give us a call at MyGuy Plumbing & Drain and Drain. We will shoot you straight. As you can read on the side of our building, HONESTY, INTEGRITY, EFFICIENCY, and FAMILY are our core values and we hold them to a high standard in every facet of our lives, business and personal.
Ryan Matthews, CEO MyGuy Plumbing & Drain and Drain