Tankless Hot Water Heater Selection Guide
Introduction to Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heater technology has been available for many decades. As the focus on energy efficiency becomes more important, many homeowners have exchanged their old inefficient hot water tank with a tankless model. But tankless water heaters aren’t just for home use, they are now used in cabins, RV’s, boats, construction sites, and even while camping as they are convenient, lightweight, require less space, and use less energy vs a conventional tank heater.
The major difference between a conventional tank & tankless water heater are:
• A conventional hot water tank uses energy (gas or electricity) to heat a large volume of water stored in the tank to have ready for use at all times, regardless of whether you need it or not. Although the tank is insulated, it still loses heat over time and will use energy to keep the water heated to the desired temperature.
• A tankless water heater is ‘on demand’. When you aren’t using hot water, the tank sits idle using zero or almost no energy (depending on the model). When you turn on your shower or open the hot water faucet, the system detects the water flow and only then uses energy to heat the water immediately to the desired temperature. When you’re finished and turn off the hot water tap, the tankless heater shuts down and waits for the next time you need hot water.
Gas vs Electric Models:
Almost all tankless water heaters operate using Propane gas (LPG), with some larger models designed to work with Natural Gas (NG) or electricity. The latter are typically used for larger homes and where Natural Gas & grid electric services are available.
The Cabin Depot™ specializes in off-grid living solutions. As such, we offer primarily Propane Gas (LPG) models as 20lb, 30lb, and 100lb tank options are readily available and portable.
We do offer a variety of larger whole-home electric and Natural Gas (NG) models, but neither are suitable for off-grid applications and are reserved for grid-tied applications only:
• Electric models all require 220-240vAC and typically 1-3 x 50A breakers to operate. Generally speaking, the larger the family and the more hot water taps used at one time, the larger the electrical requirement. You will need dedicated wiring to your breaker panel, and an electrician required to install.
• Natural Gas (NG) models are a good alternative for larger homes where that service is available.
While the actual operation of gas & electric tankless heaters are very similar, we will only reference gas models for the remainder of this guide.
Still Unsure about which tankless hot water heater is right for you? Fill out this form and allow our trained and qualified staff to assist you: Tankless Hot Water Heater Selection Form.