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10 Common Tankless Water Heater Myths & Misconceptions

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Tankless water heaters can be a great choice for many homes in the Charlotte area. Still, there are a variety of myths and misconceptions that can give you the wrong idea about their performance, efficiency, and effectiveness. For a more well-rounded, realistic view, read on to learn about the facts behind some of the most common tankless water heater myths.

Are you considering a tankless water heater for your home in the Charlotte area? Talk to our experts at Three Way Plumbing today to learn more about the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision. Dial 704-766-0049 or contact us online today!

Misconception: Tankless water heaters are unproven new technology.

Reality: False. Tankless water heaters have been used worldwide for more than 60 years. In fact, they are the standard in most of the world; you’d be hard-pressed to find a tank-style water heater anywhere in Europe or Asia.

Misconception: Tankless water heaters reduce water pressure.

Reality: False. If you’re experiencing low water pressure with a tankless water heater, it’s likely you have the wrong model for your household’s water usage or flow rate. When properly installed, a tankless water heater will produce hot water within 2 degrees of the set temperature. Water pressure is only restricted to achieve that temperature when the model is not adequate to keep up with the difference in pressures.

Misconception: Tankless water heaters waste water and take a long time to get hot water to fixtures.

Reality: False. Water travels from your water heater to the fixture at the same rate regardless of your water heater! But even the best water heaters can’t heat the cold water that’s already sitting in your pipes, so there will be some cold water released before the hot water arrives. If you want to cut down on that cold water, consider moving your water heater closer to the fixture. Or talk to a Three Way technician about installing a recirculating pump.

Misconception: Tankless water heaters have a lot of costly maintenance.

Reality: False. Because they don’t have a holding tank, tankless water heaters don’t suffer the same mineral buildup and corrosion as tank styles. At Three Way, we recommend maintenance cleaning every other year unless you are on a well, while manufacturers recommend it annually for tank-style water heaters.  

Misconception: Tankless water heaters provide instant hot water.

Reality: Not exactly. The beauty of tankless water heaters is that they provide endless hot water. Water is heated as it passes a heat exchanger, so as long as water is flowing through your unit, it’ll be heated. The cold water in the pipes needs to be pushed through before the hot water arrives at your fixture. If the wait is just too long, talk to a Three Way plumber to make sure you have the right model for your home, that its settings are right for your needs, or whether a recirculation pump is right for your home.

Misconception: Tankless water heaters cost more to operate and really don’t save energy.

Reality: Mostly false. Per gallon of hot water, a gas whole-house tankless water heater will save energy, as you’re not keeping water hot 24/7. (Depending on their size, electric tankless water heaters can be more expensive in the long run than gas if they require upgraded electrical service.) Additionally, tank-style water heaters will become less efficient over time as minerals and sediment build up in the tank; tankless styles don’t have this issue.

Misconception: Tankless water heaters cost a lot more than a tank-style water heater.

Reality: False. To some extent, “cost a lot” is in the eye of the beholder; some households value low monthly costs, and some prefer to pay less upfront. But in general, tankless water heaters cost less to operate and last longer than tank-style. Talk to your Three Way plumber to find out which models will work for your home, your lifestyle, and your budget.

Misconception: All tankless water heaters are the same, and any one will work in your home.

Reality: Not at all! Water heater manufacturers make several different models, and for good reason: Each household is unique. Your family size, water use patterns, and even your home’s layout can affect which model is best for you. That’s why it’s important to choose a company that knows tankless water heaters inside and out: not just repairing and servicing them but selecting and installing them.

Misconception: The venting from a tank water heater can be used on a tankless water heater.

Reality: False! Venting is designed to remove the exhaust gases to the outdoors safely. There are different types of venting designed for standard tank water heaters as well as direct vent tank water heaters and tankless water heaters. The venting should always be manufacturer/factory-approved venting for the type of unit being installed for both safety and carbon monoxide poisoning reasons. There are even safety codes regulating the distance of a particular type of vent from windows and air conditioned spaces for safety reasons. Gas can be dangerous, but exhaust fumes can be just as dangerous, so always consult with a professional when working with any type of gas appliance and venting.

Misconception: Outdoor tankless water heaters freeze in the winter.

Reality: Mostly false. One of the benefits of a tankless water heater is that it can be located just about anywhere in the home ― and some are even designed to be installed outside. Here in the Southeast, our temperate winters mean freezing is rarely an issue. On the rare occasion that temperatures are going to be below freezing for more than 24 hours, you can leave a slow stream of hot water running overnight to keep water moving through the pipes and prevent freezing. This is also recommended for tank-style water heaters.

Tankless Water Heater Installation & Service in Charlotte, NC

Whether you need help installing a tankless water heater, servicing one, or correcting installation problems, turn to our team at Three Way Plumbing for expert service and professional results. We have been serving the Greater Charlotte area since 1998, and we feature licensed, experienced plumbers and quality work backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Call us today at 704-766-0049 or contact us online to schedule water heater services anywhere in Charlotte or the surrounding areas.

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