The most enjoyed benefit of modern indoor living, and the most taken for granted, is an inexhaustible supply of fresh, hot water on demand. You may not realize it, but only a few generations ago, this was an unheard-of luxury in over 90% of homes. Water was pumped and heated on the stove for bathing in winter, and cold baths were the norm all summer.
Modern conveniences have certainly come a long way, and today, you simply turn a faucet handle, and in a few seconds at most, there is clear, hot water for various uses. Who doesn’t enjoy a hot shower after a long, hard day or after sweaty, back-breaking work? Who hasn’t basked in a long, hot soak in the bathtub for pampering and relaxation?
The unsung hero of plumbing fixtures you must thank for this luxury is your hot water heater. There are various types and sizes to meet the different needs of modern Wisconsin homes, but the tankless water heater is experiencing the most growth in popularity.
If you are facing a water heater replacement or choosing plumbing fixtures for a new home construction project, you may seriously consider a tankless water heater installation. Plymouth Plumbing and Heating have experienced tankless water heater plumbers near me in Sheboygan who can help.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters, sometimes called “on-demand” or “instantaneous” water heaters, provide hot water only at the time it is needed and without using a storage tank. By not keeping a supply of water heated in a large tank, less energy is used, and you save money. But a correctly-sized tankless water heater installation can provide more than enough hot water for your family’s needs.
A tankless water heater heats water directly as it passes through the unit and then sends it to your sink, shower, or appliance. No water is stored in a holding tank, as with the more traditional tank water heater. Cold water enters the heating unit when a hot water tap is turned on, and is heated with electricity or a gas burner.
Because these units do not utilize a large storage tank, they are considerably smaller than traditional hot water heaters and occupy less space. There is often plenty of room for installing more than one tankless water heater for different uses. Some larger families with more significant needs for hot water may consider this option.
Considering the Right Tankless Water Heater Near Me
The average tankless water heater near me can supply a steady stream of hot water at 2–5 gallons (or 7.6–15.2 liters) per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters typically generate higher flow rates than electric models. Depending on your family’s usage habits, even the largest, most efficient tankless water heater model may not supply enough hot water.
For example, if you routinely have a family member taking a shower while someone else runs the dishwasher, this can stretch your tankless unit to its limit or even beyond. Larger households that require simultaneous showers or other multiple uses of hot water may require separate tankless water heater installations to handle the load.
With this system, one tankless water heater may supply only appliances, such as the clothes washer and dishwasher, while another separate unit supplies the sinks and showers. Other notable applications that will likely demand multiple tankless water heaters include the following:
- Bathroom jacuzzi tubs or remote hot tubs
- Booster for a solar water heating system
Getting Help with Choosing a Tankless Water Heater Near Me
Choosing the correct size of tankless water heater for your home’s needs is critically important. As we have seen, a unit that is too small cannot produce enough hot water, leaving your family frustrated and unhappy. Conversely, a too-large unit can waste energy and cost more than necessary — and no one likes to waste money.
Two factors guide how you can choose the correct tankless water heater near me for your home:
- Flow Rate (GPM) – This is how much hot water you need at any given time.
- Temperature Rise (ΔT) – This is the difference between the temperature of the incoming water and your desired hot water temperature.
Calculating Flow Rate
To calculate the flow rate, you must identify the fixtures you will likely operate simultaneously and determine how much hot water each fixture will use. Then, you must combine these amounts to generate the total flow rate necessary for your tankless water heater in gallons per minute.
How much hot water will you need at one time? Is it necessary to operate two showers simultaneously or one shower and up to two sinks? These are some of the basic questions you must ask to begin calculating the size of the tankless water heater you need.
Below are some average water usage rates for various fixtures. When determining your total simultaneous water requirements, it is prudent to estimate about 2.5 gpm for a shower and 1.0 gpm for a bathroom.
Fixture/Appliance Average Water Flow in GPM
- Kitchen Sink 1.5
- Dishwasher 1.5
- Bathroom Sink 1.5
- Bathtub 4
- Shower 2.5 – 3
- Washing Machine 2
So, for example, if you wish to operate a dishwasher and at least one shower simultaneously, your tankless water heater will need to produce at least 4 GPM of hot water. Other variations could include:
- Two showers and two sinks: 8 GPM
- One sink and the washing machine: 3.5 GPM
- One shower and the washing machine: 4.5 GPM
Calculating Temperature Difference
Now, you must calculate the change in temperature necessary from the incoming water supply to your desired hot water temperature at the fixtures. Professional plumbers call this your temperature rise (symbolized like this: ΔT).
Consider that the average groundwater temperature in the United States is 57°F, and the average desired temperature at the faucet for most homes is between 110°F and 120°F. Here in Wisconsin, groundwater temperatures average about 50°F.
This is important information because a more significant difference between the groundwater temperature and your desired hot water temperature means your tankless water heater can supply fewer fixtures or appliances simultaneously.
Figuring the Size of the Tankless Water Heater You Need
For example, your home’s shower uses 2.5 GPM, and you want the water temperature to be about 104–106°F. If the water temperature is at 50° coming into your home, your tankless water heater will need to be capable of producing a 54-degree rise in temperature at 2.5 gallons per minute. But remember, this is only for the shower. If you plan to run two or more fixtures or appliances simultaneously, they must also be factored into the equation.
Determine the likely combination of appliances and fixtures you will use simultaneously and add the total gallons per minute. This will help you determine the unit size you need to meet your hot water demands or if a multiple tankless water heater installation is warranted. Remember, when figuring out the most likely usage at one time, you want the size or combination of units that will meet or slightly exceed your hot water needs.
Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater Installation
Suppose your Wisconsin home consumes 40 gallons or less of hot water daily. In that case, a tankless water heater can save you between 24% and 34% on your energy costs over traditional tank storage water heaters. For homes that consume more hot water and larger families that use around 80 gallons per day, the savings can be between 10% and 15%. You could achieve savings of between 30% to 50% in multiple-unit installations.
A tankless water heater installation will cost more than a conventional storage tank heater. But a tankless water heater will last longer, need less maintenance, and have lower operating costs. This will offset the higher purchase price in almost every case. Compare that to the typical storage tank water heater that lasts an average of 10–15 years.
Professional Tankless Water Heater Plumbers Near Me
Look no further if you’re wondering where to find professional tankless water heater plumbers near me in Sheboygan or Plymouth, Wisconsin! You need trained, experienced, and reliable plumbing professionals who can handle all the wiring, gas lines, and plumbing tasks associated with a tankless water heater installation. Plymouth Plumbing & Heating serves all of eastern Wisconsin with licensed, knowledgeable, and experienced repair and installation services, including tankless water heater installation.
Any water heater installation will require some electrical wiring and plumbing, which are typically best left to professionals. If your tankless water heater near me uses gas to heat water, there are additional risks with plumbing gas lines. Not to mention acquiring the necessary permits and inspections to ensure safety.
We can help you select the proper size and configuration and install the complete system. And remember, you can call Plymouth Plumbing & Heating for professional repair service with a 24-hour plumber near me, available 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call us now to ask for assistance from tankless water heater plumbers near me.