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Paster Plumbing.
We know tankless water heaters inside out.

Here's a list of the 20 most popular questions we get about tankless water heaters.

Q1:    How does a tankless water heater work?
Q2:    What kinds of safety features do the units have?
Q3:    What's the advantage of a digital control panel?
Q4:    Can I mount a tankless water heater outdoors?
Q5:    I've never heard of a "tankless water heater."  Is it proven?
Q6:    Who makes tankless units?
Q7:    Why are tank water heaters so inefficient?
Q8:    Why are tankless water heaters so efficient?
Q9:    Can I use a tankless to boost a hybrid hot water system?
Q10:  How much money can I save in operating costs?
Q11:  Do I get a $300 federal tax credit?
Q12:  Does it cost more to install a tankless water heater than a tank?
Q13:  How does a tankless maintain its lifetime efficiency?
Q14:  How much interior space can I save with a tankless?
Q15:  What's scalding protection?
Q16:  What's an automatic fill feature?
Q17:  Can I fill up my big whirlpool tub more quickly?
Q18:  How do tankless water heaters help the environment?
Q19:  What's a hot water flow rate?
Q20:  What are the commercial and residential uses of tankless?


Q1: How does a tankless water heater work?
A: Let's take the cover off and look inside. A tankless water heater consists of five basic parts: gas burner, microprocessor (computer), sensors, electrical connections, and heat exchanger.
Tankless Water Heater Inside View

Tankless Hot Water In 4 Basic Steps
Step 1: You turn on a hot water device.
(A hot water device is anything in your house that uses hot water. For example, your shower, tub, washing machine, dishwasher, and so on). Tankless water heaters heat water only when you need it. When you turn on a hot water device in your house the water begins to flow. Your tankless unit has a sensor that detects the water flow to the unit and tells the computer that you want hot water.

Step 2: The sensors talk to the microprocessor (computer).
The sensor automatically ignites the gas burner. It also calculates the precise power output, the desired temperature setting, and the flow rate. Then the water flows across the heat exchanger and is sent to your hot water device. As the water flow changes, a thermostat controls the burner to ensure a constant temperature is maintained. The start-up process takes about five seconds.

Step 3: Cold Water In. Hot Water Out.
Cold water comes into the tankless unit, circulates through the heat exchanger (it takes a few seconds) and exits the unit at the desired temperature. Remember that the hot water will reach your hot water device based on the physical distance between the tankless unit and the hot water device. The longer it has to travel, the longer it takes to get there.

Step 4: Tankless Unit Shuts Off.
When you turn off the hot water device, the unit automatically shuts off. As soon as the flow sensor detects that water has stopped flowing the microprocessor shuts down the burner. The big benefit: When hot water is not being demanded, absolutely no gas is being consumed.
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Q2: What kinds of safety features do tankless units have?
A. Tankless units have automatic thermal switches that turn off the unit if the water output reaches a predetermined temperature.
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Q3: What's the advantage of a digital control panel?
A: Tankless units can protect children and the elderly from scalding accidents by using a digital control pad like the one pictured below. Some models come with this kind of control pad that you mount at the hot
water device location. For example, if you want your bathtub water to be exactly 120 degrees, you simply go to your bathtub, adjust the temperature on the control pad and set it to 120 degrees. The result:
you'll have 120 degree water coming into your bathtub—from the first drop to the last drop—all at precisely 120 degrees.

Tankless Water Heater Panel

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Q4: Can I mount a tankless water heater outdoors?
A: Yes. Tankless water heaters can be mounted inside your house or on an exterior wall near your gas meter. The unit can be placed in a recessed box or flush-mounted to the exterior of your home.
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Q5: I've never heard of a "tankless water heater."
Is tankless technology proven?
A:
Tankless water heaters have been used in Europe, Asia, and South America for more than 75 years. Tankless are popular in these areas because tankless units are so efficient compared to tank water heaters.
There are millions of tankless water heaters in use throughout the world.
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Q6: Who makes tankless water heaters?
A: Some of the world's largest water heating manufactures like Rheem, Rannai, Bradford White, Bosch, Noritz, and Takagi.
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Q7: Why are tank water heaters so inefficient?
A: Because tank units use so much energy—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tank water technology hasn't really changed since the early 1870s.

Imagine looking at a tank water heater while it's working. When you use a hot water device—a shower, tub, washing machine—your tank water heater does two things at the same time:
1. It sends hot water to the hot water device; and
2. It replaces the hot water you just took out of the tank with cold water——lowering the overall water temperature in the tank. This triggers the heating unit to draw more energy to reheat the water up to the
set temperature.

A tank water heater cycles on and off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep hot water in the tank. A tank unit cycles cycling on and off whether you're using hot water or not. So it uses a lot of energy just to keep the 30 or 50 gallons of water hot. If you are like most people, your house uses hot water for about an hour per day. Yet, a tank water heater keeps the water 24 hours a day.

A tank water heater wastes energy. To make the hot water supply last, a tank water heater heats water up to 140 degrees. So you use cold water to cool it down. With a tankless you set a temperature, let's say 120
degrees, and you have the perfect temperature without wasting energy. Furthermore, since a tankless water heater has no refresh rate (it is heating the water as you need it.), there is no need to overheat the water to 140F (or higher) as with a conventional tank. You can select an output temperature that matches your actually needs (usually about 105F). This also saves considerable energy.
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Q8: Why are tankless units so efficient?
A: With a tankless water heater it only uses energy when you turn on a hot water device in your house—the tankless water heater flash heats the water and sends it to the device. The result: you only use energy when
you use a hot water device.

How much can you save? It depends. It depends on the size of the tankless water heater, what size storage tank you have on your tank water heater now. Having a system that eliminates the storage and heats water only as you use it can dramatically reduce your energy
consumption.

In general, the bigger the house, the more the savings. Efficiency is higher than most tank type water heaters because standby losses are virtually eliminated. Energy usage can be decreased by 10-20 percent compared to a conventional water heater.
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Q9: Can I use a tankless to boost a hybrid hot
water system?

A: Yes. This is useful when using a solar water heater for preheating the inlet water. When you connect a tankless water heater to the outlet of a solar system the tankless water heater only has to raise the water   temperature a few degrees depending on the amount of solar gain that day.
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Q10: How much money can I save in operating costs?
A: A lot. Tankless water heater can reduce your energy bills from about 20 to 50 percent based on a number of factors like: how much hot water you use per day, the layout of your house, and so on.

Here's how you’ll save. A tankless water heater uses less energy than a tank water heater. A tankless only uses energy when you turn on a hot water device, while a tank cycles on and off 24 hours a day to keep the tank at a specific temperature.

First, let’s take a look at your current tank water heater.
The Big Tank. Imagine looking at a tank water heater as it's working. When you use a hot water device—a shower, tub, washing machine—your tank water heater does two things at the same time:
1. It sends hot water to the hot water device; and
2. It replaces the hot water you just took out of the tank with cold
water—lowering the overall water temperature in the tank. This triggers
the heating unit to draw more energy to reheat the water up to the
set temperature.

> A tank water heater cycles on and off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep hot water in the tank. It’s cycling on and off whether you’re using hot water or not. So it uses a lot of energy just to keep the 30 or 50 gallons of water hot. If you are like most people, your house uses hot water for about an hour per day. Yet, a tank water heater keeps the water 24 hours a day.

> Wastes energy. To make the hot water supply last, a tank water heater heats water up to 140 degrees. So you use cold water to cool it down. With a tankless you set a temperature, let's say 120 degrees, and you
have the perfect temperature without wasting energy. Furthermore, since a tankless water heater has no refresh rate (it is heating the water as you need it.), there is no need to overheat the water to 130 or 140F (or higher) as with a conventional tank. You can select an output temperature that matches your actually needs (usually about 105F). This also saves considerable energy.

Now, let’s look at a tankless water heater.
With a tankless water heater it only uses energy when you turn on a hot water device in your house—the tankless water heater flash heats the water and sends it to the device. The result: you only use energy when you use a hot water device.

How much can you save? It depends. It depends on the size of the tankless water heater, what size storage tank you have on your tank water heater now. Having a system that eliminates the storage and heats water only as you use it can dramatically reduce your energy consumption.

In general, the bigger the house, the more the savings. Efficiency is higher than most tank type water heaters because standby losses are virtually
eliminated. Energy usage can be decreased by 10-20 percent compared to a conventional water heater. With natural gas cost currently at $1.20 per therm of gas, the estimated operating costs for a 50-gallon gas tank heater is over $400 per year.
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Q11: Do I get a tax credit?
A: Yes. Tankless provide a $300 federal tax credit when you buy the unit as well as Southern California Gas incentives. Not only will you save
every month on your energy bills, but you'll also receive a one-time $300 income tax credit on your federal taxes. Tankless water heaters qualify for the Residential Energy Tax Credit with a cap of $300.

To qualify for the income tax credit you must:
1. Purchase the qualified units no earlier than January 1, 2006, and no later than December 31, 2007.
2. Buy a tankless water heater with an Energy Factor of .80 or greater.
3. The home must be occupied by a taxpayer as their principal residence at the time the equipment is installed.

> Southern California Gas Company incentive programs.
The Southern California Gas Company has an incentive
program for tankless water heaters. The following
information is quoted from SCGS.
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Q12: Does it cost more to install a tankless water heater than a tank water heater?
A:
It costs about twice as much to install a tankless water heater, but when you look at the installation costs of a tank versus a tankless they're about the same over the lifetime of the unit. This is based on the fact that a tank water heater lasts about six years and a tankless lasts about 18 years. A tankless can last 2 to 3 times longer than a tank unit because there is no tank to rust, crack, or leak and no anode rod to replace. So you'd have to buy 2 or 3 tank units, have them installed, to last as long as one tankless.

Plus, you get government rebates (up to $300 for qualifying units), utility incentives, and lower operating costs—about 20% to 50%.
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Q13: I've heard that a tankless unit maintains its efficiency over the lifetime of the unit? How is that possible?
A:
It's because a tankless doesn't use a storage tank—so minerals and other interior parts don't bake onto them.
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This is an important issue: Tank water heaters loose their efficiency over time because the minerals in the water build up inside the tank. And, then these minerals are baked onto the interior components of the water heater—elements, side walls, and so on. So as every month goes by, the tank water heater looses its efficiency. But, because the tankless does not store water in a tank, the efficiency of the unit over its lifetime stays at same level it left the factory with.

Q14: How much interior space can I save by using a tankless water heater?
A: Depending on the size of your current tank water heater—up to 16 square feet. Tankless water heaters can be mounted indoors or outdoors. They vary in size, but a good rough guide is it’s about the size of a piece of carry on luggage. If you have your tank water heater indoors it can take up to 16 square feet.  A tankless frees up this space for additional closet
space.
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Q15: I've heard that a tankless has some kind of scalding protection" features. What does this mean?
A:
Kids and senior citizens are the ones who usually have some sort of scalding accidents—the water temperature is too high and they don't react to it.  A tankless can come with a digital control pad installed separately from the wall-mounted heating unit. This way you can have a digital control pad near the tub or shower and set it at a precise temperature.
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Q16: What's an automatic fill feature?
A: Some tankless units have a feature called auto fill. For a tub, it sets to fill at a pre-set temperature automatically. For a shower, it sets the
temperature of the shower at a pre-set temperature.
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Q17: I have a hard time filling my big whirlpool tub with hot water. How can a tankless help?
A:
Yes.  This is where a tankless water heater really shines. Let's say you have a 50-gallon hot water tank and you're trying to fill up a 75-gallon whirlpool tub. By the time you put in the first 50 gallons you've emptied out the hot water tank. Remember, that as you are filling the tub the hot water heater is putting in cold water to refill the tank. The result: you can't fill up the tub with enough hot water.
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Q18: How do tankless water heaters help the environment?
A: Every time you buy a water heater you're making a decision that affects the environment and your health. When you properly install a tankless water heater you'll use less energy, use less water, reduce pollution, reduce global warming, and make your local landfill happy.

>Reduce energy consumption and its environmental impacts. The energy you use to heat your water comes from a variety of sources: coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. So when you use less energy using a tankless water heater you'll make a positive environmental impact in the following ways:
> reduce harmful waste bi-products
> reduce expensive remediation costs
> reduce the depletion of the natural resource base, and
> reduce wildlife habitat loss and biodiversity threats.

> Reduce pollution. What's so important of a pilot light? Pilot lights are
a very dirty source of pollution and pilot lights are polluting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That's why organizations like the Southern Californian Air Resources Board are pushing so hard for tankless water heaters—reducing pollution by eliminating millions of standing pilot lights in Los Angeles.

> Reduce CO and Nox emissions.
Some tankless models receive approval for low emissions (CO, Nox).

> Tankless water heaters are recyclable. Tankless units are almost entirely recyclable. The materials in a tankless are very different than a tank water heater.

> Tankless water heaters don't end up in a landfill. Every year more than 7 million used tank water heaters are taken to landfills in the United States. A tankless water heater is, for the most part, recyclable, so they don't end up in your local landfill. It is estimated that if people replaced
their tank units with tankless there would be a savings of millions of gallons of oil a year, millions of gallons of propane, and billions of kilowatt-hours.
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Q19: What's a hot water "flow rate?"
A: Tankless water heaters are rated by the maximum temperature rise possible at a given flow rate. Therefore, to size a tankless water heater your Paster Plumbing technician will determine the flow rate and
the temperature rise you'll need for your house.

To give you an idea, take a look at some typical flow rates for a typical house (in gallons per minute) we've listed below. The capacity of a water heater is measured by how many degrees it increases water temperature at a given flow, usually expressed in gallons per minute (gpm).

> Bathroom Faucet (.75 to 2.5)
> Bathtub (4.0 to 5.0)
> Low Flow Showerheads (1.2 to 2.0)
> Non-Low Flow Showerheads 2.5 to 3.5)

> Multi Shower Heads (2.5 to 12)
> Kitchen Sink (1.5)
> Dishwasher (1.0 to 2.0)
> Clothes Washers (1.0 to 2.0)

Your mileage may vary. Remember, these numbers are averages and may not accurately reflect your actual usage because of water pressure differences, appliance and hot water fixture efficiencies.
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Q20: What are the residential and commercial applications
for tankless water heaters?

A: Tankless water heaters can be effective anywhere a tank water heater system is used. In addition, tankless units can be used where tank units are impractical. Applications include:
> single family homes
> multifamily homes
> restaurants
> hotels
> schools
> business
> industrial applications
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Paster Plumbing. 
We know tankless water heaters inside out.
Our technicians are factory trained by some of the largest tankless water heater manufacturers in the industry.  We service most major tankless water heater manufacturers like: Rannai, Bradford White, Takagi, Noritz, and others.  If you don't see your manufacturer listed call us for details.


Thank you for the opportunity to earn your business.
To schedule a service, give us a call at:
818-539-8305


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