Tankless water heaters have become increasingly popular with homeowners around the world. Conveniently sized, durable, and hyper-efficient tankless water heaters greatly reduce the amount of energy your home consumes each day. However, the life and performance of a tankless water heater are dramatically affected by the quality of the incoming water. Scale, a primary enemy of all appliances, can suffocate the heating element and destroy the unit prematurely. Sediment buildup can clog the system and cripple the efficiency of the unit. A tankless water heater filter preserves the life of your heater by protecting the unit against mineral and sediment buildup and protecting the heater from damage.
Tankless water heaters heat water directly and only when needed. They don’t require bulky storage tanks and use much less energy than their traditional counterparts. The tankless water heater receives an alert that there is a demand for hot water. An electric heating coil or gas burner is ignited and heat is transferred to the water circulating through the heater pipes. These powerful heating elements raise the water temperature quickly.
The water then enters a mixing valve, where cold water is added to the water to regulate the scalding temperature of the water. On leaving the heater, the water passes through a second sensor. This temperature sensor reads if the water is cold. too hot (or not hot enough) and adjusts the internals accordingly. The water is then circulated through the house’s pipes and out of the shower head. request, they only use energy when hot water is demanded.
Traditional tank heaters use energy almost constantly to keep water hot and ready for use. These heaters fill large 40- to 50-gallon storage tanks with water, then drain energy keeping the water perpetually hot. hot, or if there’s a soul in the house, power is poured in to keep the stored water tank warm. Plus, conventional tank water heaters are incredibly inconvenient. a bathroom, you must wait for that storage tank to fill with water and then wait for it to warm up before accessing it. This can get in the way of cleaning, laundry, bathing, and simple housework (and means settling with a cold shower if the rest of your home uses up all the hot water before you have a chance). Tankless water heaters not only reduce energy use but also produce hot water on demand. With innovations in design,
A tankless water heater will cost between $2,000 and $6,000, including installation. Electric tankless water heaters tend to be less expensive, averaging around $1,500. Installing a gas tankless water heater usually costs $3500.
This is a higher price than storage tank water heaters, which typically range from $500 to $800 to install. However, keep in mind the longevity of a tankless heater and the significant energy savings you will pay. system over time. Storage tank systems typically last about 10 years, while a tankless system has a 20-year lifespan. If the tankless system saves you only $100 a year, that means savings of $2,000 in energy over its lifetime, plus the additional $800 saved where you didn’t have to replace the system ten years later. Most high-efficiency tankless water heaters will save you well over $100 per year, especially in smaller homes.
It is also important to note that these costs include the plumber’s estimated installation fees. Installing a tankless water heater is a complicated electrical job and should not be attempted as a DIY installation by a homeowner. Use a licensed professional plumber for this installation.
Electric tankless heaters are cheaper, require less maintenance, run on electricity, and do not require extensive installation. Gas tankless heaters are priced significantly higher than electric units, require propane or natural gas to operate, and require venting and ventilation. fresh air supply. Gas heaters will need annual maintenance inspections by licensed professionals. Since the price of natural gas is slightly cheaper than the price of electricity, the operating costs of gas heaters tend to be higher. Gas tankless heaters, however, produce greenhouse gas emissions during use, and the price of natural gas tends to fluctuate. Electric tankless heaters tend to boast higher efficiency (about 98% of the energy used goes directly to heating the water). In contrast, gas heaters hover around 85% efficiency.
Both gas and tankless heaters can claim several energy and cost-saving advantages over storage tank units. So ultimately, the choice between an electric or gas tankless heater will depend on personal preferences, available space, and the homeowner’s budget. Generally speaking, electric tankless heaters are preferred. They are cheaper, greener, and much easier to install. Especially if you plan to install multiple tankless heaters, electric units are a more robust option. Since they release exhaust gases as part of the healing process, gas units require ample ventilation and air circulation, a consideration you should not consider if you are installing an electric heater. Electric heaters Tankless units do not release any exhaust, which broadens your choice of installation locations. Gas units also require larger maintenance and are much more difficult to repair. Electric units are usually easy to troubleshoot and repair, which generally means they tend to have a longer lifespan than gas tankless heaters.
Yes, a tankless water heater filter is essential in protecting your water heater from damage by inhibiting scale buildup. they will destroy the heater. A tankless water heater filter removes calcium and magnesium (minerals responsible for creating scale) from the water, preventing scale buildup and preserving the life of your heater. A tankless water heater is a worthwhile investment. They will save you energy costs, eliminate long waits for hot water, and will last for decades if properly maintained. Letting hard water clog your unit with scale can be detrimental and prematurely ruin your investment or at least incur costly maintenance services. maintenance.
When scale forms along the heating elements inside a water heater, the heater loses efficiency. When a call for hot water begins, the heating elements are forced to heat the calcified crust of scale in addition to the heating element, causing them to work extra hard. A scale buildup will make heat transfer within the heater much more difficult. The unit is forced to work twice as hard to achieve the optimum temperature range. over the heater. A flaky tankless heater will overexert itself during operation. This will inevitably cause the unit to fail well before its expected life. no tank to start with. All your energy savings will be lost if the machine is coated with scale.
Tankless water heaters are particularly vulnerable to hard water. When the water is heated, the calcium and magnesium will emerge as scale much more quickly. The hot water helps the mineral content convert into a solid form. that both tankless heaters and storage tank water heaters choke on the scale. Other appliances that use hot water, such as dishwashers, clothes washers, and shower heads, are also prime targets for scale buildup if not protected.
Hard water is water with abundant calcium and magnesium ions present in it. As water passes through the layers of the earth’s crust, it absorbs calcium and magnesium from rocks such as gypsum and limestone. These natural minerals create water hardness. Calcium and magnesium resist remaining in a dissolute form and are eager to reemerge as a solid precipitate. This precipitate is called calcium carbonate, also known by the names lime and tartar. Scale is a crusty white buildup that clogs the pipes, leaves soap stain streaks on glass, and is known to destroy appliances. Hard water is one of the most common water quality problems in the United States.
Tankless water heater filters remove scale-forming minerals and sediment from the water. This protects the tankless water heater from damage, corrosion, and decreased efficiency. prevent scale from forming inside the heater. These methods include phosphate, mold-assisted crystallization, and proprietary scale control blends. An ion exchange water softener will also remove minerals that cause hardness from the water.
One of the properties of phosphate crystals (polyphosphates) is the ability to inhibit the crystallization of magnesium and calcium. Because of this, phosphate filters are known as scale inhibitors. they attach to calcium and magnesium ions. These sequestered water hardness minerals cannot emerge from the water, obstructing scale formation.
Phosphate cartridges deplete over time and depending on the severity of the water’s hardness. The harder the water, the more phosphate is used to isolate and neutralize hardness minerals. Most phosphate cartridges will last between six months and one year. However, phosphate filters are generally not the first choice for a tankless water heater filter. Hot water causes phosphates to break down, drastically reducing their effectiveness as an anti-scaling agent. For the phosphate scale, make sure it is installed on a cold water line for the best results. If hot water passes through the filter, the heat will break down the phosphate before the phosphate can sequester it. and magnesium enters the tankless heater and forms a scale.
Some carbon filters incorporate phosphates to add an anti-scaling component to the filter. These are often used in restaurant and commercial beverage applications. Increased water hardness has a disastrous effect on coffee, espresso, and fountain beverages. Composite filters of carbon and phosphate ensure that the mineral content of the water does not undermine the flavor profile of your coffee or refreshing carbonated beverages.
One of the most popular ways to prevent scale from entering a tankless water heater is by using an in-line template-assisted crystallization filter in front of the filter. Template-assisted crystallization (also called TAC) prevents scale minerals from calcium and magnesium emerge from the water and creating scale. TAC filters use small polymer beads covered by craters called nucleation sites. When hard water flows over these beads, calcium and magnesium ions are deposited on these nucleation sites. nucleation sites continue to collect mineral ions and form microcrystals of calcium and magnesium.
These crystals will eventually break up and flow through the heater. However, these microcrystals are completely stable. They do not stick to pipes or cause scale build-up on appliances or heating elements. pre-existing scale formations in your pipe. TAC is the technology used in many whole-house salt-free water conditioners (or sometimes deceptively marketed as salt-free water softeners). While they do not soften the water, they make hardness minerals unable to come out of the solution to create scale. They are also popularly sold in cartridge form for installation directly in front of tankless water heaters.
TAC media can continue to isolate hardness ions and create microcrystals for 3-5 years before requiring replacement. However, it is vital to note that TAC beads are sensitive to chlorine. as a water disinfectant, killing waterborne pathogenic bacteria. However, the chlorine will prematurely wear out the TAC medium. Chlorine will monopolize nucleation sites and microcrystals will not form. exorbitant levels of chlorine, it is recommended that all TAC filters be preceded by a carbon filter. The carbon filter will absorb the chlorine content, which will improve both the efficiency of the TAC filter and the taste of the water.
If you have hard water, one of the best and most traditional solutions is a water softener. A water softener will not only protect your tankless water heater from scale but will also ensure that your entire home is free from hard water damage. Your dishwasher, washing machine, and all your hot water fixtures will fall victim to the scourge of hard water if not treated properly. Hard water also prevents soap from foaming, dries out hair and skin, and causes streaks to form on surfaces. shower doors and kitchen counters. If you’re concerned about preserving your tankless heater, it’s worth investing in a water treatment system that will protect your entire home.
Water softeners are whole-house water filtration systems that completely remove hardness from water. Phosphates and TAC neutralize hardness minerals in water and prevent them from turning into scale. Only a water softener completely removes hardness from water. water. Water softeners remove hardness from water by passing hard water through a bed of polystyrene resin beads. These beads are washed with a salt-rich brine solution, which leaves each resin bead charged with Sodium. When hard water passes through the column of resin beads, a process called ion exchange occurs. Calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to the positive charge of the resin beads. They seize the mineral ions and release the sodium ions into the water. The water then leaves the tank and flows home softened and free of minerals. When the resin beads have absorbed enough mineral ions, a regeneration cycle is initiated. This rinses the resin, sending hardness ions to the drain and recharging the beads with sodium ions.
Water softeners are a fantastic way to preserve not only the life and performance of your tankless water heater, but they are also a worthwhile investment for anyone living with hard water. They will protect your heater from drowning in scale, and they will also eliminate the myriad of headaches that hard water brings to a home.
A sediment filter is another valuable pre-filter for tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters have a narrow inlet designed exclusively for water flow. Dirt, debris, and particles will cause the unit to clog. on a tankless heater, the unit will malfunction and eventually stop working altogether. Depending on the extent of the damage, you will have to purchase replacement parts or possibly a completely new unit.
Tank-type water heaters are better equipped to handle sediment. Sediment will collect in the tank and settle at the bottom. The tank is then flushed periodically, cleaning the tank of sediment. Waiting too long to flush a water heater from the storage tank will eventually result in leaks and decreased efficiency. However, tankless heaters have no place to store sediment. Any internal blockage in a tankless heater will result in immediate damage to the system and a significant reduction in efficiency. If the inlet valve becomes clogged with sediment, water will not even be able to enter the system, let alone fill the tub with hot water.
If your home relies on well water, you are the most vulnerable to sediment buildup. Everything from sand to specks of dirt and solid debris can get into the water. While sediment filters will not reduce heavy metals or mitigate scale, will ensure that the passage to your tankless heater remains open. Installing a spin-on whole house sediment filter or 5-micron pre-filter before your tankless water heater will keep it clean of debris and preserve the efficiency of the unit.