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Tankless Safety, Features & Environment Concerns

Answers from the St. Paul Tankless Water Heater Experts

When you install and maintain as many tankless water heaters as we do, you’re bound to run into some questions and concerns from customers who are hesitant about making the switch. These concerns are usually well-meaning, and most of the time exist purely because people don’t have all of the information they need to know.

Safety Concerns

It’s a fairly common question we receive: “Are tankless water heaters as safe as a tank heater?” The answer is a resounding “yes” and in fact, more often than not they’re actually safer than a tank water heater. Tank heaters, particularly modern high-efficiency heaters, put out a ton of heat to try and get the water in your tank up to temperature as fast as possible so there’s minimal delay while you wait for it to refill. This comes at a cost: these heaters are far more likely to build up pressure than their older counterparts. Especially when you consider that modern tanks have more insulation to try and contain heat, the heating of the water causes the air in the tank to expand, as it is a gas and expands with heat.

For this reason, your tank heater has a pressure release valve, but if this valve fails to open when too much pressure has built up, your tank can quite literally explode. This is exceedingly rare, but it can and has happened.

Tankless water heaters don’t have this problem: because there’s no tank, you’re simply heating up the water as it passes through your plumbing line. Because liquid water expands at a much slower pace than water vapor, and your plumbing line is vented by you turning on the water tap, there’s no risk for an explosion. Thus, a tankless heater is safer than a tank!

Likewise, because tankless systems are far less prone to leaks than their predecessors, there’s a much lower risk of serious damage to your home.

Environmental Concerns

Are tankless water heaters safe for the environment? Yes! In fact, they’re better for the environment than their tank counterparts. Tankless water heaters don’t need to keep a tank of water at your ideal temperature while waiting for you to use it. They heat the water as it’s needed, so they actually consume less energy to do so. This saves both electricity and natural gas, which means lower utility bills and a better impact on the environment.

Do they impact the water in any way? No, not at all. The water that comes out of a tankless water heater system is exactly the same as it went in, which means no added chemicals or substances that could harm the water supply or potentially cause damage to drains and sewer systems.

Tankless Water Heater Features

There are a few features you need to keep in mind when making your selection. First of all, a tankless system does need to be vented, just like your tank-style heater was if it was installed inside. So you’ll have to install it where it can easily be vented, or where a new vent can be installed as well. Second, you’ll need to know how much gas can be supplied to the heater. Units that produce more hot water need more gas in order to heat the water effectively. The overwhelming majority of tankless conversions we see will work just fine with their existing gas line, but on occasion you may also be required to expand your gas line in order to draw a bigger supply for your water heater.

If you have any questions about your tankless water heater system, call the experts at HomeWorks at (651) 401-8068 to request a consultation!