Tankless Water Heater 101

Tankless Hot Water Heaters:

Are They Really All That?

So…Michael recently completed Rinnai’s Top Level III Tankless Hot Water Heater Repair Training. He was pretty impressed with the inner workings of the system, which he compared to a computer…It got me thinking, ‘tankless water heaters…are they really all that’…so I did a little research. Read on….

I’m like most everyone else here in good ‘old Waxahachie, Tx….USA. I have that gigantic tank variety water heater in a closet out in my garage. It’s behind that scary door that I never open…I dont really ever ‘think’ about my water heater…unless it’s not heating my water, that is! I am also that person who starts the shower in the morning (or afternoon, lol) and lets it run for 5 or 10 (or 20) minutes while I run around, to let the water get good and hot. By the time I’m done, no one else can take a shower for at least 30 minutes because the hot water is pretty much gone. So the idea of having instant hot water that never ends is pretty sweet. I could run the dishwasher, take a shower, bathe the kids and still have hot water to wash a load of towels. Sounds cool…

Tankless water heaters are pretty much the norm in Europe and Japan, where energy efficiency and space savings are a top priority. We are still a bit behind our neighbors to the East and West.  Are they really better?

Michael’s class got me thinking. I had lots of questions…so I did a little research on a few of the top names in the industry and here’s what I found:

What is a tankless water heater? A tankless water heater is an energy-efficient water heating system that heats water only when it’s needed. This small, space-saving water heater can supply endless streams of hot water to multiple appliances simultaneously, without any fluctuation in temperature. 


tankless hot water heater

Tankless Hot Water Heater (2 shown) 

Why Tankless? An endless hot water and up to 40% savings in energy costs are just two reasons people select tankless water heater over a conventional tank-style water heater. Why heat gallons and gallons of the same old water over and over?

How much will a tankless system cost? The upfront costs of a tankless water heater is usually 2 to 2.5 times more than a conventional tank-style water heater. This is the biggest drawback I’ve found.

Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks to consider:


  • Tankless units come with a federal tax rebate of $300.
  • They never run out of hot water.
  • They last 5 to 10 years longer than tank heaters (15-20 years).
  • They’re more efficient with no standby heat loss.
  • They take up less space and can even be installed on walls or outdoors with an anti-freeze kit.
  • Smaller units can be installed under cabinets or in a closet, closer to the point of use.
  • They only need enough power to heat the amount of water necessary at any given moment.
  • You can shave as much as 20 percent from your water heating bill.
  • Most units are operated by remote control and have up to four separate settings available.
  • There’s no possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank.


  • They cost 2-2.5 times as much as a tank water heater.
  • Gas are the best option.
  • Gas units require annual servicing.
  • If you don’t have gas, you’ll need to install a gas line.

Other Considerations:

  • Water heating accounts for about 20 percent of your home energy budget.
  • A whole-house gas model costs $1,000-$2,000.

I suggest you compare the yellow “Energy Guide” stickers on your current heater and the tankless model you’re considering. This sticker will give you a good idea of what you can expect as far as energy expendature.  The amount of time it will take to make back your money with your monthly savings is called the payback period. You can expect 15-20 years of use from your tankless model.


  1. munaf shaikh says:

    Hello Service Tac

    we want to know. we have the commercial business is it a hotel with 30 rooms what do we need and how many do we need please late us know thank you.

    Munaf Shaikh

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