How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater for Your Home

How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater for Your Home

How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater for Your Home

How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater for Your Home

 

Several factors need to be taken into account when searching a water heater. To make your choice informed, you should start by examining the general strengths and weaknesses of tankless heaters.

Pros

Flow-through water heater devices have many benefits. They are more compact and, as a rule, several times cheaper than tank-type models (boilers). After all, they do not have a water tank, which is the most expensive and inconsistent part of the storage tank design. At the same time, tankless water heaters are less susceptible to breakdowns. They do not leak, are not afraid of frost, and do not require serious maintenance.

Cons

The main disadvantage is the high load on the network. Models designed for a single-phase power supply have an average power of 3 to 8 kW (three-phase, respectively, from 10 to 15 kW). Not all electricity suppliers can provide such power, especially for old country and country lines, for which connecting a load of more than 2.5 kW may not be possible at all. In urban environments, a 5 kW device can severely overload the network and cause, for example, regular power outages. Therefore, determine whether your network can handle the heavy load before purchasing an instantaneous heater. In urban conditions, the estimated power per apartment is usually 3.5 kW (in apartments without electric stoves) and 8–10 kW (with electric stoves). You can check the possible power of the connected heater with the electricians at the organization responsible for operating your network.

Types

You need to start selecting models with the type of water heater you want. To decide on the type, you can also read about the cost of a tankless heater installation project.

Closed

A closed-type water heater is constantly under pressure from the water supply network. Such models can be used to supply water to several water collection points. When selecting a closed-type model, ask what material the flask in which the is made of and what pressure it can withstand. Find out the temperature range in which the device can operate. As a rule, it is from 20 to 60 ºС. Some manufacturers also offer to heat the water to 75–80 ºС, but not everyone needs such boiling water from the tap, which may be unsafe.

Open

An open-type water heater is non-pressure. The water supply is regulated by a tap at the inlet, and the heated water flows out freely (through a watering can or spout). The heating is turned on only after the water supply tap is opened. Accordingly, devices of this type are connected to only one water supply point.

Built-in

An interesting variety of water heaters are models built into water taps. These can be either kitchen faucets with a water heating function or kitchen dispensers for obtaining boiling water (the latter are equipped with a small water tank located under the countertop). Thanks to dispensers, you can quickly and conveniently prepare hot drinks such as coffee and tea, sterilize baby bottles, or wash off stuck food residues from dishes.

Control Mechanism

The second aspect you need to pay attention to is the control mechanism. It can be hydraulic or electronic.

Hydraulic

The first option is simpler and cheaper: you turn on the water. Cold water under pressure presses on the membrane, behind which there is a contact that closes the electrical circuit. Such a mechanism usually does not provide automatic switching of heating intensity.

Electronic

In electronic versions, the signal from the flow sensor is sent to the control unit, which sends a command to turn on the heating elements – the stronger the flow, the more heaters are turned on. This mechanism is more comfortable. You always get water at the right parameters. They are also more economical because the water does not overheat.

Extra Options

Having additional features can significantly improve the user experience.

Temperature AdjustmentF

Electronic systems allow precise regulation of water temperature. Such precision is probably not needed for a kitchen, but it won’t hurt for a bath. The control can be stepped (usually three to eight steps; the more, the better) or step-less, which is more convenient. Some more advanced models may also display temperature and flow range and energy consumption level, and a number of other parameters.

Remote Control

Some water heaters can also be equipped with remote controls, which is very convenient, especially if they are located out of reach of a person in the bath or shower.

Memory Function

Among the additional conveniences of electronic control, we note the memory function. To use this function, set the device to the desired water temperature and then enter this parameter into memory by pressing the appropriate button. In the future, you can set the heater to operating mode with the selected settings with one click.

Automatic Water Flow

The electronic control unit, in turn, can be supplemented with a water flow control mechanism. This mechanism includes an electronically controlled valve. Suppose you turn on too much flow (for example, you are taking a shower, and someone opens the kitchen faucet simultaneously). The microprocessor calculates that the heater cannot provide the required amount of water at the set parameters. In that case, the valve will close and reduce the flow. Without such a system, a person washing risks inadvertently receiving a portion of refreshingly cold water, which not everyone will like.

Conclusion

When selecting a water heater, consider your home’s conditions and needs. It will allow you to select the optimal model and get the best user experience.