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Tankless FAQ

  • Is a tankless installed in the same place as my old conventional tank?

    Because tankless systems take up less space, the location is much more flexible than conventional systems. Tankless systems have different venting requirements than conventional systems, so the old pipes may or may not be used for the tankless system. The homeowner can also help to determine the tankless system’s location, for example on an opposite wall or a nearby location.

  • What types of tankless systems are there?

    Aside from different brands and manufacturers, there are different types of tankless systems. Most manufacturers produce both condensing and non-condensing models.

    Regular Tankless: In a regular tankless, a primary heat exchanger heats water to the desired temperature on demand as it’s needed. This type is 80-84% efficient, and common models include RL75i or NRC83.

    Condensing Tankless: A condensing tankless system utilizes two heat exchangers. The primary heat exchanger is used to provide all necessary hot water for your home. The secondary heat exchanger is positioned at the top of the system, and captures heat from the exhaust (which is normally wasted) to preheat the incoming water. Condensing tankless systems increase efficiency by approximately 12%. Common models include the RU98i, NEP210 and NRC98.

  • Can I expect any savings from a tankless?

    A number of factors dictate the potential savings from a tankless, although most homeowners do report decreased water heating bills. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recently conducted an extensive study on tankless systems to assess their relative performance and energy efficiency in the Canadian marketplace, and revealed some interesting findings:
    • Homeowners use an average of 2% more hot water with a tankless system
    • Tankless systems us an average of 46% less natural gas
    • Tankless hot water heaters saved approximately on cubic meter of water daily

  • What is the Cold Water Sandwich?

    The cold water sandwich is largely a thing of the past, as the new generation of tankless systems has been designed to avoid this problem. However, in older tankless models, warm water already present in the system would be pushed out as the hot water was turned on, and cold water would enter and exit the system before it was fully heated. Consequently, a brief moment of colder water occurred until the burner could catch up. However, newer systems slow incoming water down for several seconds so that it is dispensed at the proper temperature.

  • What is a tankless water heater, and what are the advantages?

    A whole home tankless water heater is wall-mounted, and heats water as it is needed rather than storing it in a tank, as in conventional systems. A tankless saves storage space so is great for compact homes. Further, it doesn’t expend energy to continuously heat hot water when it’s not needed, so is much more energy-efficient than conventional hot water heaters, substantially trimming down heating bills. Finally, a tankless supplies as much hot water as needed, so never runs out like a conventional water heater.

  • How much will a tankless cost?

    The installation process of your tankless will vary depending upon your home, so the price cannot be estimated without an in-home consultation and quote. However, the baseline is likely be approximately $2600-$3500. This price includes removal and draining of your original tank, venting installation, and mounting and hookup of the new tankless system. Check your current water heater rental bill to see what you’re paying for your conventional water heater. Our tankless rental statrs from $39 per month, which is about $14 more than the cost to rent a 40 or 50-gallon power vented system. Additionally, a tankless is around 92% efficient and a conventional heater about 45%, so your energy savings will also offset the initial expense.

  • What is the hot water sandwich?

    In a hot water sandwich, the initial cold water flow runs through the heat exchanger before it fires, meaning that it isn’t sufficiently warmed before being dispensed. This happens most often when system repeatedly turns on and off, such as tooth brushing or hand washing. However, homeowners rarely notice this, and the issue has nearly been eliminated in the new generation of tankless systems.

  • Which would be the most reliable tankless system for a home in Ontario?

    We are very selective about which tankless systems we rent, as we want to ensure that our customers receive dependable, problem-free products. We rent the following systems:

    • Rinnai
    • Noritz
    • Navien
  • What sort of venting do I need?

    A tankless must be vented to meet both Ontario and manufacturer’s specification, so we are fastidious about this particular aspect of installation. A tankless cannot be vented through a lined chimney due to safety concerns and building code regulations. To vent a tankless, a designated vent pipe is necessary, and a second pipe may also be used to bring fresh air to the tankless system, in order to completely isolated it from the home’s air. For a non-condensing tankless stainless steel vent pipe is required, as exhaust gases are very hot. A condensing tankless, which extracts some of the exhaust heat, can use 636 or another approved plastic vent piping, as the exhaust will be cooler as it exits the system.

  • Can I rent a tankless? How much will it cost?

    We offer the rental of both conventional and tankless water heaters. Renting a tankless has the same benefits as renting a conventional heater, but with the added benefits of energy savings. It has been shown that tankless water heaters save about 46% on your water heating energy bill, so a tankless is more environmentally friendly and potentially more economical. When you rent a tankless, the system, installation and maintenance are offered at no cost to you – your only responsibility is the rental fee ranging $39-$45 per month.

  • Flow Rate Calculations

    Flow rate is very important for tankless systems, and varies regionally based upon the temperature of your municipal water supply. In Toronto and Ontario, at 77-degree Fahrenheit temperature increase is a good baseline for your winter water output. Note that some companies utilize 45 or even 35-degree water output rats characteristic of warmer climates in order to install smaller, inexpensive units that are cheaper but don’t provide sufficient water heating. Also be aware that some home renovation stores geared towards DIY sell smaller systems that are similarly priced to a conventional water heater but don’t get the job done. A conventional water heater with a 40-50 gallon tank puts out about 7-9 gallons of hot water per minute until the water runs out, regardless of the water supply’s temperature. A tankless heater has roughly the same output in the summer, but the output drops in the winter, when the water supply is colder. In the coldest days of Toronto’s winters, a tankless may drop to the 4-6gpm range, which is still sufficient to run two showers and an additional appliance. However, the smaller, cheaper tankless systems may not be able to keep this pace up.

Tankless FAQ | Consumers Energy Management Inc. Toronto, Ontario