A tankless hot water heater will help you make your home more energy efficient, because it will only heat water when necessary. This saves on the unnecessary energy use of a traditional hot water tank that has to maintain the temperature of water stored in a tank. Before you switch that tank for an on-demand system, though, you need to know that you're getting one that is going to meet the needs of your family. These steps will help you ensure you get the right one.
Assess Your Water Consumption
One of the most important things to consider when you're dealing with an on-demand water heating system is how much demand you put on the water heater at any given time. For example, if you tend to do laundry and run your dishwasher when you're in the shower, you need to be sure your on-demand system has the capacity to meet the needs of all of it. In order to do that, you need to find out the flow rates of each appliance and fixture that uses hot water.
Calculate the Flow Rates
On-demand hot water heaters are rated based on the volume of water they can process, so this is an important consideration. The ratings are evaluated in gallons per minute, so here's a look at how you can measure it.
Measure each hot water faucet individually. Place a container under the faucet or fixture, turn the hot water on to the average pressure you would use, and let the water run into the container for ten seconds. Shut the water off, then measure how much water you collected. Multiply that amount by six to find the actual flow per minute. For example, if you collected a half-gallon of water in that ten second span, the fixture's flow rate would be three gallons a minute.
Add up the gallons per minute for each appliance and fixture that you typically use at the same time. This will tell you the maximum number of gallons per minute you'd demand of your water heater. Select a tankless system with at least that capacity.
With the steps presented here, you can evaluate your water needs to choose an on-demand system that will fit your home. Talk with a local plumber if you want more guidance or professional support to remove your full-size heater and replace it with an on-demand system. Plumbers like Blount's Speedy Rooter can help answer your on-demand water heater questions.