Which is the Best Brand of Tankless Water Heater?
That's the question I put to a friend of mine who installs tankless water heaters. If he doesn't know which brand of tankless water heater is the best, then I don't know who would. I sure can figure out from the available literature which is the best tankless hot water heater. So here is the response he sent me.
Oh yeah... don't forget... Every brand of water heater (storage or tankless) works better with a Chilipepper hot water on-demand system.
The best thing that a storage tank or traditional water heater has going for it is simplicity. A tank type heater traditionally has a standing pilot light, a tank, a burner, and a thermostat. No electronics to speak of. With only a few parts there isn't much to go wrong. They usually don't stop working all of a sudden. Typically they begin leaking and you know it's time for a replacement water heater.
Tankless water heaters are not so simple.
Tankless water heaters are another story. Today's tankless water heaters are highly sophisticated machines equipped with microprocessors, temperature sensors, flow switches, modulated gas valves, and even remote controls.
The best tankless water heater is one that is reliable. Reliability is the only thing that really matters. If the water heater delivers hot water to the fixtures you are happy, if it doesn't you are unhappy. They all deliver about the same amount of hot water for the amount of fuel used.
Through the years we've seen quite a few different models and brands of tankless hot water heaters, and the resulting frustration on the part of the customer when while taking a shower the water heater suddenly stops producing hot water.
It's not like a tank type water heater that has a tank of hot water that will gradually cool off as the hot water is drawn out. With the tankless unit you go from hot to cold in seconds.
A tankless water heater is not a product you want to purchase at your local hardware store and have it installed by a local handyman or your local plumber.
Most plumbers are not trained to work on or install tankless water heaters. Being able to clean a sewer pipe, install a toilet, or unblock a drain does not prepare you for the installation of a state of the art tankless water heater.
Trained professionals are able to devise the best solution for the particular type, ,brand, and model best suited to your application. Factors that are included in the evaluation are what size, what location, what gas supply, what type of venting and where it is needed. This is required for a tankless water heater to perform reliably.
A tankless hot water heater can shut down suddenly due to exhaust temperature over-temperatures or a gas supply volume or pressure drop or other reasons that are often the result of a failure to correctly install the heater.
In my view therefore, the BEST tankless water heater is the one sold and installed by a company with an excellent track record installing tankless water heaters, one with experience and specializing in tankless water heaters.
A company like Just Tankless that specializes in tankless water heaters will not sell a brand that has technical problems because the customer's troubles mean many unnecessary service calls, unhappy customers, and a financial burden on the company.
A customer usually doesn't call the manufacture's toll free number that most likely connects to a very far place in a different country; they call the company that installed the tankless unit as they tend to be local.
So it is important to purchase a tankless water heater from the same company that installs them. If not you may end up with each company pointing their finger at the other one.