Do Electric Tankless Water Heaters Work Well: An Unbiased Opinion

Beginner Info, Tankless Water Heater

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Frankly speaking, do electric tankless water heaters work well is a relative question, and not absolute.

Well, to find out whether an electric tankless water heater works well or NOT, I would be comparing it with a tank-styled water heater.

By doing so, you’ll have a fair idea or its pros and cons.

Moreover, you’ll also be able to visualize whether an electric tankless water heater will suffice for your need or NOT.

Trust me, the day I was standing in the shower and the water turned cold, I realized the importance of a water heater.

And, in order to not have such experience in the future, I decided to find a tangible and long-lasting solution.

To be honest, if you’ve got a big family then you don’t have a choice but to schedule shower time around the hot water supply, isn’t it?

Needless to say, a water heater is bound to impact both your daily routine as well as utility bills.

Whether you’re planning to replace your current water heater with an upgraded version or planning to buy a new unit for your newly built house, you need to look for certain parameters such as cost, efficiency, and longevity so that the investment that you’ve made is worth in the long-run.

If I’m not wrong then the heater that you would be purchasing would at least be with you for a decade.

Be with us, as we would be walking you through the nook and corner of a tankless water heater and I can affirm post this article, you wouldn’t only be able to make an informed buying decision but will also be able to guide others with the same.

As said earlier, the best way to find out whether a tankless heater is worth your investment or not is to compare it with a tank-styled heater.

Does it make sense?

What is a tankless water heater?

As the name suggests, a tankless water heater is a device that is used for full filling the hot water requirement as it can heat water instantly and on-demand.

The tankless heater doesn’t come with a tank and so there isn’t any standby heat loss.

In fact, it uses high powered burners to rapidly heat water as it runs through the heat exchanger and is delivered directly to your faucet, and shower.

Mainly, there are two ways to power a tankless water heater, that is, electric and gas.

Again, if you’re considering a gas-powered tankless water heater, then you’ve got two options to choose from, that is, propane and natural gas.

These tankless water heaters can also be differentiated on the types of installation, that is, indoor tankless water heater and outdoor tankless water heater.

Moreover, tankless water heater have models exclusive made for home use.

Similarly, they have models that are exclusive made for commercial purposes.

Cutting long-story-short, and coming back straight to the topic.

These tankless heaters are highly energy-efficient and don’t require much space for installation because of their small, compact, and sleek structure.

You can use them as a point-of-use or even in your RV to cater to your endless hot water requirements.

I too have a couple installed under the sink and a couple well placed in my RVs.

However, the whole house tankless water heaters are capable of handling your small to mid-sized home hot water requirements effortlessly, and the credit goes to the high flow rate that they possess.

Some of the tankless hot water heater popular brands are Rheem, Noritz, Rinnai, Bosch, etc.

In this world their is nothing like an ideal product, indeed.

And, a tankless water heater isn’t an exception as well.

Definitely, it has its own share of pros and cons.

How does a tankless water heater work?

Do Electric Tankless Water Heaters Work Well

Whether you’re planning to buy an electric tankless or its gas version, the working principle remains the same.

To be honest, it all starts as soon as you turn-on the hot water tap.

The unit comprises sensors that detect the incoming groundwater and thus sends a signal to the control panel to expedite the healing process so that hot water can be produced effortlessly.

If you’re using an electric tankless heater, then it comprises a heating element that is used for heating water.

The water gets heated while passing through the heating system.

On the other hand, if you’re using a gas tankless heater, then the control panel turns on the fan which draws in outside air and opens the gas valve that lets in gas and ignites the burner.

Moreover, the heat exchanger captures heat from the flames and transfer it to the water moving through the exchanger’s tubing.

The unit also comprises of mixing valve that tempers the superheated water exiting the exchanger.

Furthermore, if the temperature sensor detects that the water exceeds or falls short of the desired setting, the panel will adjust the gas valve, the mixing valve, and the flow-regulating water valve accordingly.

A sealed vent through a roof or outside walls carries away exhaust gases and conveys combustion air to the burner.

Important Things That You Need To Know About A Tankless Water Heater

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, you need to be aware of certain terms so that you can make an informed buying decision.

Tankless Water Heater Cost

The good thing about a tankless hot water heater is that even though you’re on a shoestring budget you can easily afford it.

Price range typically in the range of $200 and $2000.

However, outliers are bound to be there.

In general, electric tankless has a lesser cost as compared to the gas tankless.

You can bring home a high-quality premium brand electric tankless heater in case, your budget is approximately 1000 dollars.

On the other hand, you need to spend somewhere around $2000 on a premium gas-powered tankless heater.

How long does a tankless water heater lasts?

Well, it depends upon the type of model you’ve opted for.

The electric version of the tankless heater would last somewhere in the range of 7 and 10 years.

On the other hand, the gas-fired tankless water heater can last up to 20 years or even more which is approximately twice that of a tank-styled water heater.

Does my tankless hot water heater requires routine maintenance?

Frankly speaking, even the top quality premium brand models such as Rinnai RUC98iN isn’t excluded from regular maintenance.

In order to reap the maximum benefits from the maintenance process, you need to read the users’ manual to be well equipped with the recommended frequencies and specific maintenance needed.

As per my knowledge and experience, my suggestion would be to get your water heater professionally serviced in order to prevent any last-hour misadventure.

Regular maintenance elongate the lifespan of the device by descaling any mineral buildup around the heating elements.

You need to at least descale the heater once every year to reap the maximum benefits out of it.

However, you might have to descale heater twice every year if you’re residing in an area that has hard water or you set the temperature too high.

At the same, wherever you live on this planet, the incoming groundwater will definitely bring in some sort of minerals with it that needs to be flushed before they become a point of concern and start interfering with the performance.

In layman’s term, hard water means concentration of minerals.

Setting temperature to a very high level also increases the frequency of minerals build up as many minerals dissolve very fast once the heat is applied.

Is your water heater is set too high?

As a newbie or a first-time buyer, you might not be sure whether your heater is set too high or not, right?

The simplest and most feasible way to find it out is by using a thermometer to see what temperature it’s set at.

Just for your information, if the temperature is set at anything above hundred and twenty degrees, then it’s probably the right time for routine maintenance.

What is hard water?

Well, some of you might not be well aware about hard water, right?

Let’s discuss this age-old decade and come to a conclusion so that in the future, you can help your fellow men to understand what literally hard water means.

Does it make sense?

In layman’s terms, hard water simply means that the water in your area is loaded with minerals, mainly magnesium and calcium.

Moreover, if you own an on-demand water heater, then definitely, you’ll have to deal with the mineral build-up inside the heat exchanger.

With the increasing mineral buildup, it will start plugging up the passages where the water flows, significantly affect water flow speed.

In simple words, this forces the water heater to work much harder in order to deliver hot water.

Needless to say, the lifespan of the heater would be drastically reduced in case, you’ll fail to clean out the heat exchanger.

And, as a result, you can expect a surge in the electricity bills which is definitely, the last thing you would want to happen, right?

The worst part is the build up can lead to irreversible damage.

In severe scenarios, it has been found that the user doesn’t have any option but to replace the entire unit.

Unfortunately, most of the manufacturers don’t cover such damage in the warranty.

I hope now it’s clear that why you need a maintenance drive on the regular basis.

Pros of a Tankless Water Heater

Let’s have a quick look at some of the pros of a tankless water heater that might force you to think to have one in your home.

Longer Life Span: Yes, you heard it, RIGHT. A tankless water heater has a longer lifespan as compared to a tank-styled water heater. In fact, you can expect these little beasts to last up to 20 years or even more which is almost twice the lifespan of a tank-styled water heater.

Takes Up Less Space: Tankless water heaters are compact, small, and sleek in design making them a preferred choice for installation in non-traditional spaces including the attic, closet, etc.

Endless Hot Water Supply: If sizing is done correctly, then a tankless heater can provide endless hot water. You need to be very careful with the flow rate selection so that you get an uninterrupted hot water supply.

Energy Efficient: Almost all the tankless water heaters including the affordable ones are highly energy-efficient and can definitely, help you save money in the longer range.

No Standby Heat Loss: Since the tankless hot water heaters heat the water only when it is required so the standby heat loss is almost negligible. And, as a result, it contributes to saving on electricity bills.

Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

As we all know, pros and cons are two sides of the same coin.

So, our discussion would definitely be incomplete if we failed to throw light on the cons, right?

Higher Upfront Cost: This is perhaps the biggest drawback of a tankless water heater. The higher upfront cost along with higher installation cost makes them less accessible to the “affordable” category user.

Output Limitation: If sizing is not done correctly, then you might end up having a bizarre experience as the flow rate might dip. For example, if you bought a 3.5 GPM flow rate tankless water heater and you’re trying to run multiple showers then it would be a complete failure.

What is a storage-tank water heater?

Frankly speaking, you’ll find storage tankless water heaters in most of the homes.

In recent years, the demand for tankless water heaters has increased tremendously because they are equipped with cutting edge technology.

The traditional storage-based tankless heaters are known to store and heat water in a reservoir.

A typical storage-tank water heater will store hot water between 30 and 50 gallons.

Since the unit stores water so you don’t have to wait for it, you get it instantly.

The hot water is supplied to the destination via pipe so standby heat loss is a major issue leading to an increase in heating bills.

Once the hot water is fully used, the tank is filled with water and heated for future use.

It follows a typical cycle of storing and heating water.

They last somewhere around 7 to 10 years.


  • Storage-tank water heaters have a low initial installation cost. The installation cost would fall in the range of $500 and $800 depending upon the type of model you’re opting for
  • Storage water heater maintenance and repair costs are less
  • They are known to provide hot water instantly without any wait time as the water is already stored in the tank
  • A good alternative for those who are on a shoestring budget


  • They are large and bulky so take more space in your home and can’t be installed in unconventional places such as the attic and closet
  • They have a shorter lifespan as compared to tankless water heaters. Most of the tank-styled water heaters last somewhere between 10 to 15 years
  • Definitely, the utility bills are quite high because the tank water heater heats then reheat the water to a pre-set temperature. Moreover, if the water is in a cold climatic zone, it will have to work really hard especially in the winter months to heat the water
  • A typical storage-tank water heater can support a maximum of three showers simultaneously, and by any means, if you switch on the fourth shower then most probably will not function accurately

Wrapping Up

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

Secondly, I would like to bring to your notice that I along with my core team member have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this piece of information.

And, in case, you’ve liked our effort, then feel free to share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.

Selecting the type of water heater isn’t as difficult as you think.

Well, when deciding which water heater is better for you, the first thing that you need to think about is that if your bank account can handle the initial cost of the tankless water heater.

At the same time, you also need to keep in mind that in the long run a tankless water heater could be more economical and can save you a decent amount of money.

However, you need to be able to pay the high upfront cost.

In simple words, if you’re on a shoestring budget then my suggestion to you would be to opt for a tank-styled heater.

So, do electric tankless water heater works well?

All I can say, both tank-styled and tankless water heater works well.

And, it is clearly visible from the benefits that a tankless water heater brings to the table.

So, if you’re not on a shoestring budget then definitely you should give it a try.

Trust me, it’s worth the investment and will definitely, pay you in the long-run in more than one way.

Longer lifespan, energy-efficient, lower electricity bills are some of the major benefits that come as a bundle with a tankless water heater.

Rest assured, it would be a great long-term investment, indeed.

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