Best Tankless Water Heater – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

On the search for the best tankless water heater reviews? 

Your search ends here! 

We take a look at some of the most popular tankless water heaters on the market and show you only the best tankless water heaters you can buy. We review electric and gas tankless water heaters and show you what to look for in our comprehensive buyers guide and in-depth reviews. Wondering what size water heater you need? Check out our guide here.

Product

Award

Our Rating

Price

Stiebel Eltron

Best Electric Water Heater

Rheem Performance Platinum

Best Gas Tankless Water Heater

Rheem Performance Platinum

Best Propane Tankless Water Heater

Tankless Water Heater Reviews

Best Tankless Water Heater

The question of what is the best tankless water heater comes down to your preference of gas vs electric (read our full guide here). However, here at lahaaland we are big fans of electric tankless water heaters over gas ones.

Note: We link to the most popular sized water heaters. You may need to go for the same model in a bigger or smaller size depending on your requirements.

Best Electric Tankless Water Heater

Electric tankless water heaters are cheaper to buy, install, run and easier to maintain over gas tankless water heaters. That's why we believe they are the best tankless water heaters. Below we review the top 3 best electric tankless water heaters on the market today and show you what to look for in our buyers guide.

Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus - Best Electric Tankless Water Heater


file-image-o
cog
Quality

A high quality and durable water heater

dollar
Price

More expensive than others but worth the investment due to its high quality and efficiency.

certificate
Our Rating

We rate this the best electric tankless water heater on the market due to its high quality and efficiency.

Stiebel Eltron was founded in 1924 in Berlin, Germany. Today it is Germany's largest water heater manufacturer that exports all over the World as well as employing over 3,000 people WorldWide. 

The Tempra Plus comes in six sizes to suit your flow rate and groundwater temperature needs. These range from 12kW to 36kW and can output a maximum of 2.34 GBM to 7.03 GPM. Enough to accommodate small to big homes/families. Size guide.

Note: The Tempra comes in 2 models. 

  • Tempra
  • Tempra Plus

For this tankless water heater review we highly recommend the Tempra Plus (the model we review here).

Features 
  • On demand hot water
  • Energy saver
    • Electric tankless water heaters use 15-20% less energy than conventional water tanks. Making a tankless water heater a sound investment.
  • Auto-modulation
    • The Tempra monitors flow rate to ensure that only the least amount of energy is used to heat just what you need. This smart feature enables you to save money as the Tempra will use less energy than other electric tankless water heaters.
  • Digital temperature display and constant temperature output
    • No more guessing your temperature thanks to the accurate digital display. Ensures the heater outputs exactly the temperature you desire.
    • The Tempra features smart microprocessors which ensure the temperature output remains constant no matter what the change in flow rate.
  • Advance Flow Control
    • An exclusive patented technology found in the Tempra Plus since 1970.
    • Ensures if demand exceeds supply that the water temperature does not drop.
      • Instead the Tempra Plus decreases the flow rate slightly to maintain the same level of water temperature.

PROS

  • check
    Sleek/Stylish design
  • check
    Energy saver
  • check
    Reliable
  • check
    Easy to install
  • check
    No cold water when demand exceeds supply.
  • check
    Great customer service

CONS

  • check
    Pricier than other heaters.
Conclusion

The Tempra Plus is a great choice if you are looking for a high quality, durable, energy efficient and sleek water heater. It is packed full of features and the patented Advanced Flow Control is a useful feature for those who plan on using multiple fixtures/appliances (such as families). 

Overall we give the Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus the award of best tankless water heater and best electric tankless water heater. A worthwhile investment that will save you money compared to traditional water heaters.

EcoSmart Eco - Best Budget Electric Tankless Water Heater


file-image-o
cog
Quality

A well made product but some customers complain of issues with lifetime warranty and the speed of getting the desired hot water.

dollar
Price

A budget friendly electric tankless water heater. Although the addition of extra amp breakers can add to overall costs.

certificate
Our Rating

Overall this heater is ideal for those looking for a budget water heater. If you are able to stretch your budget we highly recommended choosing the Stiebel Eltron above.

EcoSmart tankless electric water heaters range from their ECO 8 to ECO 36 model. With the number representing the kW of the heater. So you can be confident that they are able to handle most household needs depending on the model you purchase.

Features
  • Self-modulating
    • Will adjust energy usage depending on hot water demand.
  • Digital temperature control
    • Set the exact temperature desired with the handy 1-degree increment digital temperature control.
  • Compact and stylish design
    • A space saver compared to water tanks this heater not only saves space but looks good.
  • Durable componenets
    • The heater is made from copper and stainless components which help to increase efficiency and durability.

PROS

  • check
    Reliable
  • check
    Easy to install
  • check
    Budget friendly

CONS

  • Will require extra amp breakers
  • Electrics and plumbing may need to be re-done which will add to overall costs.
  • Lifetime warranty will be voided if installed yourself.
  • Times
    Can take a  little longer to heat up versus other electric tankless water heaters.
Conclusion

Whilst this is a great budget heater there are a few things to consider. First is the costs. This heater requires extra amp breakers and professional installation. Secondly is the issue with the lifetime warranty. There are a few fine print details and one of the major ones is that in order to qualify for the warranty the water heater must be professionally installed.

However, this water heater is still a solid heater thanks to its budget friendly price, ease of installation and reliability.

Rheem Performance (RETEX)


file-image-o
cog
Q​​​​uality

A high quality product from a respected manufacturer.

dollar
Price

A well priced and good value heater. A good alternative to the EcoSmart.

certificate
Our Rating

A high quality product. The main issue with this product is the ease of installation is not as good as other models due to the electrical requirements of this water heater.

Rheem is an established and respected company that started in 1925 with a strong establishment in heating and cooling products. It is the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America.

The RETEX series is available from 3-36kW giving it a wide range to suit most households.

Features
  • Unlimited on demand hot water
  • 99.8% efficient
  • Copper heating elements
  • Digital temperature display
    • Can be adjusted in increments of 1 degree.

PROS

  • check
    Great customer service
  • check
    Compact design
  • check
    Adjustable temperature control
  • check
    99.8% Efficiency

CONS

  • Requires 3 x 40 AMP Double Pole Breakers
  • Large electrical service needed to handle max load.
Conclusion

A good value, high quality and reliable water heater. The only real issue with this heater is its electrical requirements. Rheem heaters are ideal for the home, office, boat or even RV.

Best Electric Tankless Water Heater - Buyer's Guide

You can’t beat waking up with a great hot shower in the morning. But if your water heater breaks or just isn’t large enough to cope; you may find yourself with precious little hot water and moans all around in the morning! Not, a great start to the day.

If you are thinking of replacing your current water heater system with an electric tankless water heater – where do you begin? Well don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the process and in this article, we will explain the ins and outs of electric tankless water heaters and how to choose the perfect model, so you have a plentiful supply of hot water throughout your home.

First let’s start with the basics – what are tankless water heaters? Traditionally houses were constructed with large hot water storage tanks. Water was heated once or twice a day to service the entire house. Using a thermostatic control and timer, water was heated once or twice daily to service the entire house. However, there are some pitfalls to these traditional style water heaters, such as –

  • Not enough water when you need it,
  • Limited tank capacity,
  • Bulky, large tanks which take up precious space.

To help combat these issues manufacturers designed the tankless water heater, sometimes called demand-type or on-demand. They heat water as and when you require it, flushing the piping hot water around your home to your showers and faucets. Units are compact and take up a fraction of the size of a conventional tank system. And because of this small footprint, they can easily be wall-mounted in a convenient, safe location. Because of their demand-type style, users typically find them more economical to run which may reduce your utility bills. And since around 30% of your utility budget is sucked up by water heating, it might well be time to upgrade to a tankless system.

energy.gov estimates that –

‘For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8%–14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water -- around 86 gallons per day. You can achieve even greater energy savings of 27%–50% if you install a demand water heater at each hot water outlet. ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.’

However, along with the positives there are a couple of things you need to consider alongside them, such as:

  • Higher purchase price compared to a traditional tank system,
  • Installation costs (including any additional upgrades necessary to your electrics).

Things to consider when deciding which model of electric tankless (instantaneous) water heater is right for your home, include –

  • Fuel Type,
  • Efficiency,
  • Space,
  • Price,
  • Size,
  • Maintenance,
  • Safety.

FUEL TYPES

Tankless water heaters traditionally use either natural gas, liquid propane gas (LPG) or electricity to run. For the purposes of this article we are going to be concentrating on the electric tankless water heater. If you are interested in learning more about tankless water heaters run by either gas or propane (LPG), then please read our separate articles on these two options.

  • Electric - units utilise electric systems within your home and can be sited in relatively small spaces. Due to their small footprint and use of electric as their power source, they are convenient to use and will often be cheaper to install than their natural gas counterparts.
  • Propane – units use individual Propane gas canisters as their fuel source. For homes where no mains power or natural gas line is available these provide a practical way of running a water heater.
  • Natural Gas - units utilise the natural gas plumbed directly int your home. Because of this, the location of the heater can be more limited than electric however, in homes where power outages are common, or no mains powers is available, gas units work well.
  • In general, a gas unit is more efficient and capable of heating larger amounts of water than their electric counterparts. So, despite their costly initial purchase price and possible, higher installation charge they tend to be more efficient and heat water faster.

EFFICIENCY

The input or amount of electric used per hour is measured in Kilowatt per hour or kWh.

At around 98%, electric units are extremely efficient and with a more stable utility price, they can be a good long-term investment on your energy bills.

Energy.gov have a wealth of useful information on selecting the correct size and style of water heater on their website. Here’s some advice which may help you further in your decision-making process. You can read the full piece here.

‘To decide which model is right for you, check the water heater for its Energy Factor (EF). Here’s some excellent advice from energy.gov about EF –

‘The energy factor (EF) indicates a water heater's overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. This includes the following:

Recovery efficiency – how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water,

Standby losses – the percentage of heat loss per hour from the stored water compared to the heat content of the water (water heaters with storage tanks),

Cycling losses – the loss of heat as the water circulates through a water heater tank, and/or inlet and outlet pipes.

The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the water heater. However, higher energy factor values don't always mean lower annual operating costs, especially when you compare fuel sources.’

SPACE

Unlike a gas or propane water heater which requires venting which may impact where it can be positioned. An electric unit can be placed in a greater number of locations without the need to worry about gas venting. Electric units tend to be smaller in size than gas and because of their compact size they can be easily wall-mounted to further save space.

Because of this versatility you will be able to install an electric unit in a lot more places than a gas unit, including crawl spaces, beneath sinks and basins and closets for example. The closer you can install a water heater to the point of use i.e. the sink the better.

Just be sure to measure the space you have available, so your new heater will fit.

PRICE

As with most everything today, there is a huge range of different manufacturers, models and sizes of tankless water heaters. Electric models do tend to be cheaper than gas with an average of between $500 - $700. But, like most things, there’s a wide range of different models, specifications and sizes so a lot will depend on your specific needs.

Models will vary considerably dependent on the features that they have such as digital displays and advanced technology. If you want a water heater that connects to your phone or you can talk to using one of the various voice-controlled home assistants, this will come at a cost. Look at the things you’ll actually use and decide from there what’s necessary and what you might not really use that often.

Although they typically have a higher initial purchase cost, tankless water heaters tend to last longer than their tank (storage) heater counterparts or average a tankless unit lasts 20+ years whereas typically a tank heater will last between 10 to 15 years.

Maintenance tends to be easier with a tankless system with easier to replace parts which will further lengthen their useable lifespan. 

Installation costs tend to be cheaper than gas.

SIZE

An important consideration when purchasing a new tankless water heater, is the size of unit required. To ensure you opt for the correct size and therefore have a plentiful supply of hot water. You need to consider –

  • Household Size - the number of people living in your home,
  • Flow Rate - the number of sinks, basins, and showers in your home and how often two or more of these will be used simultaneously, and finally
  • Local Climate - this alters the ground temperature which affects how rapidly your water heats up.

It might surprise you to learn just how much water the average family uses each day. Knowing this figure will help you to purchase the correct size unit for your home.

Flow Rate – the flow rate is basically how quickly water flows out of your faucets or shower. This is measured in Gallons Per Minute (GPM). A quick way to roughly calculate this is to time how long it takes to fill a five-gallon bucket. For example, if it takes 3 minutes to fill a five-gallon bucket, the flow rate is 3 x 5 (3 minutes x 5-gallon bucket size) = 15 or 15 GPM. Note, this is a guide only, naturally your faucets may have a different flow rate to your shower but, this at least gives you a number to work with to see which size water heater will best suit your home.

You’ll need to consider how many faucets and/or showers you’ll likely have running at the same time to get a clear picture of the size of water heater to purchase. So, consider your average morning routine in your home; how many people will want to take a shower at the same time and/or use a wash hand basin etc. Here’s an example of how much water is used from a –

  • Shower – average between 2 to 2.5 GPM,
  • Faucet – average between 2.1 to 2.5 GPM,
  • Dishwasher – averages around 1 GPM,
  • Washing Machine – averages around 0.25 GPM.

Local Climate – the local climate will affect the temperature at which water leaves the ground and enters your pipe system. In hotter climates the difference in temperature between the water leaving the ground and heating up to take a shower, will be less than in colder environments where the water will need to be heated more to reach the same output heat.

Check for models specifically made for warm to hot climates as well as those for cooler to extremely cold climates as both will have additional features which will be better suited to each individual environment.

This useful map by the Bradley company, gives a good indication of the groundwater temperatures across the country. Use this as a rough guide to further assist you when purchasing your new gas tankless water heater.

INSTALLATION

Check your manufacturer’s manual for electrical requirements and consultant a qualified professional for installation.

If you confident about home repairs and improvements, then it is possible to install your new demand-type system yourself. A project such as this will typically take between 2 – 4 hours but this will depend on your skills and abilities.

If you do decide that you’d like to install your new water heater, The Home Depot has a great guide online, with step-by-step instructions that should help you through the process. You can access the guide here.

Note: check the manufacturer’s manual before you attempt to install a water heater yourself, some will void their warranty if it hasn’t been installed by a licensed professional.

Contact a qualified electrical contractor for a professional install if you are at all unsure on how to fit such an item. When dealing with any electrical appliance it is vital that it is correctly fitted.

MAINTENANCE

A lot of people will assume that an electric water heater will require little or no maintenance compared to the essential annual check-up that is necessary with a gas unit. However, regular attention will keep your electric appliance not only working well but also working efficiently.

If you live in an area that is prone to lime-scale or scale deposits (that crusty whitish deposit that can be seen forming on your showerhead or around your faucets) then an annual check is well worth it. The build-up of limescale (which is basically the separation of calcium from water) occurs in all appliances that use water, including your water heater.

A significant build-up means the heater is having to work harder and therefore will be consuming more energy – costing you money. A professional can flush your system and get rid of the scale deposits but, you can do this job yourself.

SAFETY

With all electrical appliances, it is essential that they have been installed correctly with the necessary power source breakers. This prevents an over-heat or malfunction in the unit from causing a fire.

Check for models with Temperature Pressure Relief Valves and Overheat Protection for additional safety.

If you are at all unsure as to whether your home has sufficient power to support an electric tankless water heater, or you aren’t competent in electrics. Then it is strongly advisable that you consult a professional electrician to undertake your install and any maintenance.

CSA Certification – any heaters with CSA Certification have undergone rigorous external testing outside of their own companies’ stringent testing, to ensure their customers receive high-quality, well-constructed and above all, safe products to the consumer.

If you still can’t decide between the electric or the gas tankless water heater - you’ll find further information and comparatives between the two in our helpful guide here.

Best Electric Tankless Water Heater - Conclusion

An electric tankless water heater is the best tankless water heater you can buy in our opinion. There low costs, high efficiency and ease of installation make them ideal for any size home. 

  • Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus - Best Tankless Electric Water Heater

Best Gas Tankless Water Heater

For whatever reason you may decided that the best tankless water heater for your home is a gas tankless water heater.

Rheem Performance Platinum - Best Gas Tankless Water Heater


file-image-o
cog
Quality

A high quality product from Rheem.

dollar
Price

A well price water heater.

certificate
Our Rating

We believe this is the best gas tankless water heater you can buy.

Another solid product from Rheem. This high efficiency natural gas tankless water heater will give you unlimited hot water on demand. 

Features
  • Unlimited on demand hot water
  • Water and energy saver
    • Estimated savings of up to 1,100 Gal. of water per year (with water savings setting) and an estimated saving of more than $1,100 on your energy bill over 12 years.
  • Compact design
  • Maintenance alerts
    • Know when it's time to call for a regular service or when hard water is building up in the system thanks to the Rheem's easy to read flashing warning codes.

PROS

  • check
    Unlimited on demand hot water
  • check
    Cheaper running costs than traditional tank water heater.
  • check
    Compact design.
  • check
    Helpful maintenance notice setting alerts.

CONS

  • A little loud but nothing that can be heard through a wall. 
  • May take a minute to get hot water from the furthest fixture/appliance from the water heater.
  • Installation costs can be expensive compared to electric water heaters.
Conclusion

Overall this is a good water heater from Rheem. This heater will save you both water and money on your gas bill. Unlimited hot water on demand makes those cold winter days just that bit more bearable as your morning shower/bath will heat up instantly. No more running the tap/shower in your cold bathroom whilst you wait for hot water.

Takagi T-K4 - Best Budget Gas Tankless Water Heater


file-image-o
cog
Quality

Well built.

dollar
Price

Budget friendly.

certificate
Our Rating

A good value indoor tankless water heater.

Takagi have been around since 1952 that specializes in just tankless water heaters. They feature a number of different sized products and have a helpful size guide on their website. The T-K4 (190,000 BTUs, 8.0 GPM)  should be suitable for most homes but it is worth checking the sizing guide as you may need more or less GPM from your water heater. 

Features
  • Remote control and power cord supplied
  • Category III stainless steel venting
  • Safety features
    • Freeze, overheat and surge protection
  • Troubleshoot diagnostic codes

PROS

  • check
    On demand hot water
  • check
    Great value
  • check
    Compact design

CONS

  • Can take time to get hot water flowing.
  • Can struggle with high demand.
  • Installation materials can be expensive.
Conclusion

At a maximum of 8.0 GPM and 190,000 BTUs this indoor non-condensing gas tankless water heater from Takagi is solid option for those on a budget. The remote control, safety features and easy diagnostics all together are the reasons why we have voted this the best budget gas tankless water heater.

Rinnai High Efficiency Plus (RL75eN) - Best Outdoor Gas Tankless Water Heater


file-image-o
cog
Quality

High quality product from a well respected Japanese company.

dollar
Price

Great value water heater considering the features included.

certificate
Our Rating

A superb outdoor gas tankless water.

Rinnai is a Japanese gas appliance company that has been around since 1920 and started making water heaters in 1964. There impressive history is shown in their 30 million tankless water heaters installed worldwide which includes 2 million in North America.

Rinnai has three categories of tankless water heaters:

  • High Efficiency (HE) Non-Condensing
  • Super High-Efficiency (SE) Condensing
  • Hybrid Tank/Tankless

The High Efficiency Plus line is an example of the companies high quality line of tankless water heaters but at an affordable price. This particular outdoor tankless gas water heater has a maximum 180,000 BTUs and 7.5 GPM, however Rinnai does offer a larger model in the same range that has a maximum of 199,000 BTUs and 9.8 GPM. Both models are suited for up to four fixtures. A rundown of a few of the features available in the RL range:

  • 0.81 Energy Efficient Rating/Uniform Energy Factor (UEF)
    • The higher the more efficient the heater is and therefore the more money you will save using it.
  • Average shower head capacity of 4
    • This is the heaters capacity to run 4 showers simultaneously at an assumed 2.5 GPM.
  • CIRC-LOGIC Technology
    • Provides faster hot water by recirculating water through your plumbing system. No more waiting around for your shower to heat up on those cold winter mornings.
  • Voice-Activation
    • The RL range is Alexa compatible with more than 20 voice commands. Say you're ready for a shower, you can tell Alexa to command your Rinnai heater to start circulating hot water so when you turn on your shower it's hot right there and then. No more waiting around for the shower to heat up.

If you have the budget then you might want to consider Rinnai's next model up (SE range) as these have a higher UEF (0.92), are Energy Star Qualified and use Rinnai's ThermaCirc360 technology which can provide you with hot water to your fixtures and appliances even quicker. Remember, a more efficient heater may costs you extra but will save you money over heaters with a lower rating.

PROS

  • check
    Fast and endless hot water
  • check
    Energy efficient
  • check
    Good value

CONS

  • Might have a little delay in outputting hot water in areas far away from the heater.
Why Choose an Outdoor Heater?

With gas tankless water heaters venting is a must. This is because when you burn natural gas, or propane, moisture and gases are produced. One of the gases produced is the highly poisonous carbon monoxide. As a result indoors you must have proper ventilation to remove the harmful gases from inside as well as condensation that is produced (which much be drained away from the heater with venting attached to a drain). It is also highly recommended that you purchase carbon monoxide alarms as these provide a warning system if carbon monoxide is in the air in your home. 

With an outdoor heater the unit is vented by the free air flowing around it. Outdoor heaters are better suited for existing homes as less plumbing work is required. However, it is important to note that being outdoors your heater needs to be properly protected from the elements such as freezing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Rinnai is a very high quality manufacturer of tankless water heaters who have been in the gas appliance game since 1920 and as a result have built a solid reputation for their products.

The HE +Series (RL/RLX Models) are the best outdoor gas tankless water heaters you can buy in our opinion. We love the smart (Alexa) capabilities, energy efficiency and recirculation technology which provides you hot water to your fixtures/appliances faster.

Best Gas Tankless Water Heater - Buyer's Guide

You can’t beat waking up with a great hot shower in the morning. But if your water heater breaks or just isn’t large enough for an expanding family; you may find yourself with precious little hot water and moans all around in the morning! Not, a great start to the day.

If you are thinking of replacing your current water heater system with a gas tankless water heater – where do you begin? Well don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the process and in this article, we will explain the ins and outs of gas tankless water heaters and how to choose the perfect one so you have a plentiful supply of hot water throughout your home.

First let’s start with the basics – what are gas tankless water heaters? Traditionally houses were constructed with large hot water tanks in which water was heated once or twice a day to service the entire house. Using a thermostatic control and timer, such heaters can be programmed to provide hot water as required. However, there are some drawbacks to this type of system –

  • Insufficient water available when you need it for the size of your family,
  • You are limited to the amount of water the tank can hold,
  • Tanks are usually large and bulky and will require thought as to their placement within your home.

To help combat these issues manufacturers designed the tankless water heater, sometimes called demand-type, which heats water as and when you require it and then flushes it across your home. One of the main advantages to this unit is its small footprint in contrast to a tanked system. They can also be more economical and may lower your utility bills. However, as with all good, there are some things you should take into consideration when choosing a tankless water heater. You need to consider the higher initial purchase price of the tank and any additional upgrades you might require to your gas line etc.  However, if used efficiently, a tankless system should lessen your utility bills.

And as approximately 30% of your utility budget is taken up by water heating, it might be worth looking at upgrading to a tankless system.

There are a few things you need to consider when deciding which model tankless water heater is right for your home, these include –

  • Fuel Type,
  • Efficiency,
  • Internal or external,
  • Space,
  • Price,
  • Size,
  • Ventilation,
  • Condensing or non-condensing,
  • Safety.

FUEL TYPES

Tankless water heaters traditionally use either natural gas, propane or electricity to run. For the purposes of this article we are going to be concentrating on the tankless gas water heater. If you are interested in learning more about tankless water heaters run by either electric or propane, then please read our separate articles on these two options.

  • Natural Gas - units utilise the natural gas plumbed directly into your home. Because of this, the location of the heater can be more limited than electric however, in homes where power outages are common, or no mains powers is available, gas units work well.
  • In general, a gas unit is more efficient and capable of heating larger amounts of water than their electric counterparts. So, despite their costly initial purchase price and possible, higher installation charge they tend to be more efficient and heat water faster.
  • Electric - units utilise electric systems within your home and can be sited in relatively small spaces. Due to their small footprint and use of electric as their power source, they are convenient to use and will often be cheaper to install than their natural gas counterparts.
  • Propane – units use individual Propane gas canisters as their fuel source. For homes where no mains power or natural gas line is available these provide a practical way of running a water heater.

EFFICIENCY

The input or amount of gas used per hour is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs as you will most often see them referred to. Tankless water heaters will have a range from low to high and this will determine how quickly they can heat the water.

Energy.gov have a wealth of useful information on selecting the correct size and style of water heater on their website. Here’s some advice which may help you further in your decision-making process. You can read the full piece here.

‘To decide which model is right for you, check the water heater for its Energy Factor (EF). Here’s some excellent advice from energy.gov about EF –

‘The energy factor (EF) indicates a water heater's overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. This includes the following:

Recovery efficiency – how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water,

Standby losses – the percentage of heat loss per hour from the stored water compared to the heat content of the water (water heaters with storage tanks),

Cycling losses – the loss of heat as the water circulates through a water heater tank, and/or inlet and outlet pipes.

The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the water heater. However, higher energy factor values don't always mean lower annual operating costs, especially when you compare fuel sources.’

INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL

Tankless gas units can be placed both inside the home or outside. If you already have a tankless water heater or are exchanging a tank to a tankless than you will probably position your new water heater in the same place as the old one. This will save on the additional expense of re-routing pipework etc. However, if you are unable to position your heater in the desired space within your home, then purchasing an external unit may well be the answer.

External units have been specifically constructed to withstand the elements and can save you valuable space within your home as well as allowing you to choose the best position for your needs.

The big advantage is there is no requirement for external venting as the unit simply expels the gases into the outside air.

SPACE

One drawback of the gas system is their placement limitations. Due to the need for a natural gas feed they can only be positioned where this is piped in or you can expect a large contractor’s bill to reroute pipes to a different location. If you are simply replacing a like-for-like or swapping a tank system to a tankless than this shouldn’t be an issue. A good contractor can help you find the optimum location for a new tankless water heater.

Or, has been mentioned above, you may wish to consider opting for an external heater where you have more flexibility on positioning and don’t require ventilation.

Another consideration is the need for adequate ventilation and, this too may be a further limiting restriction on where you are able to place the unit. Again, speak to your contractor and they will advise you on your options.

But a large advantage of the tankless system is their relatively compact size when compared to a tank unit. Due to their small size, they can be wall mounted and are generally much neater units than their tanked counterparts.

Just be sure to measure the space you have available, so your new heater will fit.

PRICE

As with most everything today, there is a huge range of different manufacturers, models and sizes of tankless water heaters. But, on average you can expect to pay from about $1,000 upward.

Installation costs tend to be more for gas over electric due to the complex nature of fitting and connecting required. Note: if your home doesn’t already have a natural gas supply, the cost of connection may make installing a tankless gas water heater prohibitively high.

Along with the purchase price of the heater and any installation costs, you should also remember to include the cost of annual servicing (vital if you are to ensure your unit is running efficiently and safely) and the ongoing costs such as fuel and repairs/maintenance (though these should be limited in the first few years after installation and while covered by warranty etc. (all warranties are different)

SIZE

An important consideration when purchasing a new tankless water heater, is the size of unit required. To ensure you opt for the correct size and therefore have a plentiful supply of hot water. You need to consider –

  • Household Size - the number of people living in your home,
  • Flow Rate - the number of sinks, basins, and showers in your home and how often two or more of these will be used simultaneously, and finally
  • Local Climate - this alters the ground temperature which affects how rapidly your water heats up.

It might surprise you to learn just how much water the average family uses each day. Knowing this figure will help you to purchase the correct size unit for your home.

Don’t be tempted to buy a larger sized unit than you require, this is often a false economy and may end up costing you more money rather than saving it! A properly installed, correctly sized unit will be more cost effective than a larger unit than what is required for your household.

Flow Rate – the flow rate is basically how quickly water flows out of your faucets or shower. This is measured in Gallons Per Minute (GPM). A quick way to roughly calculate this is to time how long it takes to fill a five-gallon bucket. For example, if it takes 3 minutes to fill a five-gallon bucket, the flow rate is 3 x 5 (3 minutes x 5-gallon bucket size) = 15 or 15 GPM. Note, this is a guide only, naturally your faucets may have a different flow rate to your shower but, this at least gives you a number to work with to see which size water heater will best suit your home.

You’ll need to consider how many faucets and/or showers you’ll likely have running at the same time to get a clear picture of the size of water heater to purchase. So, consider your average morning routine in your home; how many people will want to take a shower at the same time and/or use a wash hand basin etc. Here’s an example of how much water is used from a –

  • Shower – average between 2 to 2.5 GPM,
  • Faucet – average between 2.1 to 2.5 GPM,
  • Dishwasher – averages around 1 GPM,
  • Washing Machine – averages around 0.25 GPM.

According to energy.gov gas tends to have a higher flow rate than electric. If having a high flow rate is an issue, a low-flow water fixture can be installed.

Local Climate – the local climate will affect the temperature at which water leaves the ground and enters your pipe system. In hotter climates the difference in temperature between the water leaving the ground and heating up to take a shower, will be less than in colder environments where the water will need to be heated more to reach the same output heat.


VENTILATION

Appliances such as these must have ventilation to expel toxic gases such as Carbon Monoxide and excess water vapour. Proper ventilation ensures those in the home remain safe and well. It is therefore imperative that the correct ventilation is in place for the model, size and design of your tankless gas water heater.

You can usually opt to vent either through a side-wall or through the ceiling. This will depend on the design of your home, available space and the model heater you choose. If you have an existing water heater it is possible you can use the current venting hole. Always be guided by the manufacturers instructions as to the correct way to install adequate ventilation.

You have several options when deciding which type of ventilation to use. You may have to purchase additional venting or opt for a different style of ventilation than what’s included with your tankless water heater. Options include:

  • Concentric Vent – usually come in stainless steel or uPVC. This enables both ventilation processes, that is the fresh air intake and exhaust, to use the same pipe. Exiting either through the roof or the side of the house.
  • Direct Vent – usually exits from a side wall or the roof, it is quick and easy and because so much of the energy is used for the hot water and not lost, the exhaust is warm, but not hot.
  • Installing direct venting isn’t a difficult job and there are a lot of accessories and designs to choose from depending on whether you are installing the unit against a side wall, within a central location that isn’t next to a side wall (or venting through the roof is the harder of the two options) or venting out of the roof.
  • Power Vent – using a power vent enables you to be more flexible with where you plan to position your LPG or natural gas tankless water heater. Though in principle it’s the same as a conventional water heater, these designs use a fan to push the exhaust out of a side wall opening instead of it needing to raise up through a roof vent.
  • One thing to consider with this design is the possible noise associated with the fan but, this should be minimal.

If you don’t want to have your unit inside, it is possible to purchase an external tankless gas water heater. These have been constructed to withstand the elements and may be an option if you are unable to fit an internal unit in the desired place within your home.

For further safety tips including what to do in the event of Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposure see the Safety section towards the end of this article.

CONDENSING OR NON-CONDENSING

The simple difference between these types of gas tankless water heaters is that the by-product of heating – the steam or water vapour, is either –

  • Non-Condensed – which vents the by-product of heat, steam or water vapour and expels them outside through a ventilation system of pipes etc.
  • Temperatures of this steam can reach up to 1500 centigrade so the pipes needed to carry this safely outside need to be able to withstand high temperatures.
  • Heat wastage of approximately 20% through venting the condensation means the efficiency of a non-condensing unit is only running at around 80%.
  • Condensed – the heat produced is recycled back into the system for further use, saving you money.
  • Temperatures of this steam are only around 390 centigrade and as such the pipes required to vent this away need only be standard PVC for example, which is more than capable of withstanding this lower temperature.
  • Heat wastage is minimal with a condensing system with an efficiency of approximately 98% making it more economical to run.

There usually isn’t much difference in the actual purchase cost with both units retailing at similar prices. The difference will be in the long-term running costs between the two units.

INSTALLATION

If you are keen on home repairs and improvements, then it is possible to install your new system yourself. You will need a good selection of tools and be confident in their operation, such as a propane torch and reciprocating saw. A project such as this will typically take between 2 – 4 hours but this will depend on your skills and abilities.

If you do decide to self install, The Home Depot has a great guide online, with step-by-step instructions on how to self-install your new heater. You can read the guide here.

You need to read the manufacturers installation instructions carefully and be realistic about your capabilities. As with any gas appliance the correct installation is essential for safety purposes. It will also ensure your unit runs at optimum efficiency.

Therefore, it’s advisable to have your water heater fitted by a professional. Fortunately, most home improvement stores offer an installation service.

You should also check with your town or city planning office to ascertain if a permit is required and any other regulations they may have concerning the purchase, installation and use of a gas tankless water heater.

In general, it costs more to install a gas system than electric.

SAFETY

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a tankless gas water heater is safety.

As with all gas appliances, there is a potential for gas leaks. So, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, family and loved-ones at home. Ensure that you are competent to install the water heater, if you don’t feel you have the necessary skills higher a contractor with the necessary training and experience.

Fit a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector and make periodic checks to ensure it is dust free and in good working order. CO is the gas leaked from faulty gas appliances, it is deadly and can kill humans and animals in a matter of minutes. It’s often called the silent killer as it is odourless and silent.

Click here for a simple guide on how to prevent CO poisoning and the signs and symptoms you should be aware. Remember if you suspect yourself or someone else might have CO poisoning –

DO NOT DELAY – PHONE 911 IMMEDIATELY. Leave the area and seek fresh air.

CSA Certification – any heaters with CSA Certification have undergone rigorous external testing outside of their own companies’ stringent testing, to ensure their customers receive high-quality, well-constructed and above all, safe products to the consumer.

Best Gas Tankless Water Heater - Conclusion

The best tankless water heater really depends on your choice and preference of fuel type. While we believe electric is a better option than gas the latter still has its place and offers some benefits over electric. In summary:

  • Rheem Performance Platinum - Best gas tankless water heater 

Best Propane Tankless Water Heater

The third type of tankless water heater is a propane tankless water. These water heaters work in the same way as a natural gas tankless water heater. They use a gas burner at the bottom of the tank to heat the water and a venting chimney runs through the center and runs outside of the house to take the carbon dioxide and water vapor produced.

Rheem Performance Platinum - Best Propane Tankless Water Heater


file-image-o
cog
Quality

Very high quality product from Rheem.

dollar
Price

More expensive than other propane tankless water heaters but you get a lot for your money and you will save on average of $2,700+ over 12 years.

certificate
Our Rating

Smart, high quality heater packed full of features.

Rheem again makes it into our list of best tankless water heaters. This model again is part of Rheem's Platinum Series of high efficiency tankless water heaters.

Features
  • 9.5 GPM
  • Indoor
  • 0.94 UEF
  • Built-in leak detection/auto shut-off
    • This can potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs.
  • Water saving setting
    • Save up to 1,100 Gal. of water per year
  • Energy Saver
    • Save an estimated $2,700+ over 12 years. 
  • Smart
    • Control and receive alerts from your phone with the EcoNet App

PROS

  • check
    Very quiet
  • check
    Energy/Money saver
  • check
    Smart features with the EcoNet App
  • check
    Leak detection with auto shut-off.
  • check
    Unlimited on demand hot water

CONS

  • More expensive than other heaters. However, this is a high quality heater that is packed full of features and will end up paying for itself and more over its lifetime. 
Conclusion

Not much to fault with this heater. In our opinion this is the best tankless water heater you can buy if you are looking for a propane tankless water heater.

Rheem Performance Plus - Best Outdoor Propane Tankless Water Heater


file-image-o
cog
Quality

Very high quality product from Rheem.

dollar
Price

Superb value for money. 

certificate
Our Rating

Not much to fault with this outdoor heater.

You might notice a trend on this best tankless water heater guide.... Rheem keeps popping up on our list and for good reason. The Performance Plus model is a mid efficiency range of tankless water heaters. This particular model is for 8.4 GPM but you can also buy this same model in a 7.0 or 9.5 GPM depending on your hot water demands.

This particular model is ideal for homes with 2-3 bathrooms.

Features
  • 8.4 GPM
  • Requires no additional venting
    • This is an outdoor tankless gas heater
  • 12-year limited warranty
  • 0.81 UEF
  • Remote digital display
    • Displays accurate temperature setting and maintenance codes. 
  •  Freeze protection to -30 F
  • Water saving setting

PROS

  • check
    12-year warranty
  • check
    Freeze protection
  • check
    Unlimited on demand hot water

CONS

  • check
    Suitable for 2-3 bathrooms. We suggest looking at the 7.0 or the 9.5 GPM model if you think your hot water demand will be lower or greater than 8.4 GPM.
Conclusion

Again, another difficult to fault product from Rheem. The best outdoor propane tankless water you can buy in our opinion. Perfect for homes with 2-3 bathrooms.

Takagi T-KJr2 - Best Budget Propane Tankless Water Heater


file-image-o
cog
Quality

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

dollar
Price

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

certificate
Our Rating

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Another Takagi product makes it on our list and once again a budget and good value product recommendation.

Note: Takagi also sell an outdoor version of this heater. If you are looking for a good value and budget friendly outdoor heater then we strongly recommend it as the best tankless water heater for you. You can find the outdoor model available to purchase here.

This indoor heater is ideal for those with up to two bathrooms in warmer climates. For colder climates this is suitable for just one bathroom.

Features
  • 6.6 GPM
  • Indoor propane tankless water heater
  • 15-year limited heat exchanger
  • Remote control
  • Category III stainless steel venting
  • Freeze, overheat and surge protection
  • Easy to read diagnostic codes for troubleshooting

PROS

  • check
    Great value
  • check
    Ideal for low demand/small homes.
  • check
    Small and lightweight

CONS

  • 6.6 GPM. We would recommend looking at our suggestions above (Rheem Performance Plus or Platinum range) if you are in need of a higher GPM.
  • Some delay in hot water

Takagi once again features on our list of budget and good value tankless water heaters. This time it's a propane model. This heater is ideal for smaller homes due to its lower GPM (6.6). The last item on our list in this best tankless water heater buyers guide but by no means compromising on quality. This model is both compact and lightweight making it ideal for those with less space to work with.

Best Propane Tankless Water Heater - Buyer's Guide

You can’t beat waking up with a great hot shower in the morning. But if your water heater breaks or just isn’t large enough for an expanding family; you may find yourself with precious little hot water and moans all around in the morning! Not, a great start to the day.

If you are thinking of replacing your current water heater system with a gas tankless water heater – where do you begin? Well don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the process and in this article, we will explain the ins and outs of liquid propane gas tankless water heaters and how to choose the perfect system, so you have a plentiful supply of hot water throughout your home.

First let’s start with the basics – what are tankless water heaters? Traditionally houses were constructed with large hot water tanks in which water was heated once or twice a day to service the entire house. Using a thermostatic control and timer, such heaters can be programmed to provide hot water as required. However, there are some drawbacks to this type of system –

  • Insufficient water available when you need it for the size of your family,
  • You are limited to the amount of water the tank can hold,
  • Tanks are usually large and bulky and will require thought as to their placement within your home.

To help combat these issues manufacturers designed the tankless water heater, sometimes called demand-type, which heats water as and when you require it and then flushes it across your home. One of the main advantages to this unit is its small footprint in contrast to a tanked system. They can also be more economical and may lower your utility bills. However, as with all good, there are some things you should take into consideration when choosing a tankless water heater. You need to consider the higher initial purchase price and any additional upgrades you might require to your gas line etc.  However, if used efficiently, a tankless system should lessen your utility bills.

And as approximately 30% of your utility budget is taken up by water heating, it might be worth looking at upgrading to a tankless system.

There are a few things you need to consider when deciding which model tankless water heater is right for your home, these include –

  • Fuel Type,
  • Efficiency,
  • Internal or external,
  • Electric,
  • Space,
  • Price,
  • Propane,
  • Size,
  • Ventilation,
  • Condensing or non-condensing,
  • Safety.

FUEL TYPES

Tankless water heaters traditionally use either natural gas, liquid propane gas or LPG as it is sometimes referred, or electricity to run. For the purposes of this article we are going to be concentrating on the propane tankless water heater. If you are interested in learning more about tankless water heaters run by either electric or gas, then please read our separate articles on these two options.

  • Propane – units use individual LPG canisters as their fuel source. For homes where no mains power or natural gas line is available these provide a practical way of running a water heater.
  • Electric - units utilise electric systems within your home and can be sited in relatively small spaces. Due to their small footprint and use of electric as their power source, they are convenient to use and will often be cheaper to install than their natural gas counterparts.
  • Natural Gas - units utilise the natural gas plumbed directly int your home. Because of this, the location of the heater can be more limited than electric however, in homes where power outages are common, or no mains powers is available, gas units work well.
  • In general, a gas unit is more efficient and capable of heating larger amounts of water than their electric counterparts. So, despite their costly initial purchase price and possible, higher installation charge they tend to be more efficient and heat water faster.

EFFICIENCY

The input or amount of gas used per hour is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs as you will most often see them referred to. Tankless water heaters will have a range from low to high and this will determine how quickly they can heat the water.

Energy.gov have a wealth of useful information on selecting the correct size and style of water heater on their website. Here’s some advice which may help you further in your decision-making process. You can read the full piece here.

‘To decide which model is right for you, check the water heater for its Energy Factor (EF). Here’s some excellent advice from energy.gov about EF –

‘The energy factor (EF) indicates a water heater's overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. This includes the following:

Recovery efficiency – how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water,

Standby losses – the percentage of heat loss per hour from the stored water compared to the heat content of the water (water heaters with storage tanks),

Cycling losses – the loss of heat as the water circulates through a water heater tank, and/or inlet and outlet pipes.

The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the water heater. However, higher energy factor values don't always mean lower annual operating costs, especially when you compare fuel sources.’

INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL

It is possible to install a propane tankless water heater either inside the home or outside. Due to their relatively compact size, some of the LPG units are ideal for setting up outdoor showers or for cabins, outhouses and even camping trips and surfing at the beach! Of course, if you are considering placing your unit in the elements you need to ensure that it has be manufactured for outdoor use and is therefore able to withstand the elements.

Positioning your system outside means you don’t have to worry about squeezing it into a place inside that perhaps isn’t ideal, but due to the pipework, can’t be placed anywhere else. It also cuts down on any noise emitting from the unit when it fires up etc. This may save you money paying a contractor to reroute pipes etc.

 The big advantage is there is no requirement for external venting as the unit simply expels the gases and water vapour straight into the external atmosphere.

ELECTRIC

Some propane and natural gas tankless water heaters still require an electric connection to power certain elements such as electric direct ignition, the digital remote if there is one, and internal computer components which are often used for further controls within the water heater.

If you need a model which doesn’t require electric, then be sure to check the manufacturers description before you purchase that model.

SPACE

One drawback of the gas system can be their limited positioning within your home. If you need to connect them internally to existing pipework or place them in a certain area for example if you are replacing an old unit. A good contractor can help you find the optimum location for a new tankless water heater.

Or, has been mentioned above, you may wish to consider opting for an external heater where you have more flexibility on positioning and don’t require ventilation.

But a large advantage of the tankless system is their relatively compact size when compared to a tank unit. And the LPG tankless water heaters come in a range of sizes from portable to large models capable of heating water for an entire house. Due to their small size, they can be wall mounted and are generally much neater units than their tanked counterparts.

Just be sure to measure the space you have available, so your new heater will fit. You should also take into consideration how much room it will take to house the LPG canisters required to run your heater. Propane gas tanks come in a range of sizes from the smaller 120 gallon size to 1000 gallon sizes which should be more than adequate for most homes.

PRICE

As with most everything today, there is a huge range of different manufacturers, models and sizes of tankless water heaters. But, on average you can expect to pay from $300 to $1,000 and above.

Installation costs tend to be more for gas over electric due to the complex nature of fitting and connecting required. Note: if your home doesn’t already have a natural gas supply, the cost of connection may make installing a tankless gas water heater prohibitively high.

Along with the purchase price of the heater and any installation costs, you should also remember to include the cost of annual servicing (vital if you are to ensure your unit is running efficiently and safely) and the ongoing costs such as fuel and repairs/maintenance (though these should be limited in the first few years after installation and while covered by warranty etc. (all warranties are different)

PROPANE

Another thing that you must take into account is the propane tanks themselves. Some things to consider are –

  • Size of Tanks – canisters are available in a variety of sizes (and shapes either horizontal or vertical) from portable tanks suitable to take camping to large industrial sized canisters capable of running a large factory or office for example.
  • Storage – you will need space either inside or outside of your home to safely store your gas canister/s.
  • Cost – you must factor in the cost of purchasing your canisters as this becomes your utility bill in effect for providing the hot water in your home.
  • Safety – you must ensure that you take adequate precautions to ensure that your gas tanks have been connected properly and that children and/or animals can not tamper with or damage the gas tanks.
  • Further information on safety can be found towards the end of this article.

SIZE

An important consideration when purchasing a new tankless water heater, is the size of unit required. To ensure you opt for the correct size and therefore have a plentiful supply of hot water. You need to consider –

  • Household Size - the number of people living in your home,
  • Flow Rate - the number of sinks, basins, and showers in your home and how often two or more of these will be used simultaneously, and finally
  • Local Climate - this alters the ground temperature which affects how rapidly your water heats up.

It might surprise you to learn just how much water the average family uses each day. Knowing this figure will help you to purchase the correct size unit for your home.

Household Size – this table, courtesy of the good folks at The Home Depot, gives you an idea of the water usage of homes with 1 or 2 to 5 or more people, and is a good guide to how much water you may be consuming.

Don’t be tempted to buy a larger sized unit than you require, this is often a false economy and may end up costing you more money rather than saving it! A properly installed, correctly sized unit will be more cost effective than a larger unit than what is required for your household.

Flow Rate – the flow rate is basically how quickly water flows out of your faucets or shower. This is measured in Gallons Per Minute (GPM). A quick way to roughly calculate this is to time how long it takes to fill a five-gallon bucket. For example, if it takes 3 minutes to fill a five-gallon bucket, the flow rate is 3 x 5 (3 minutes x 5-gallon bucket size) = 15 or 15 GPM. Note, this is a guide only, naturally your faucets may have a different flow rate to your shower but, this at least gives you a number to work with to see which size water heater will best suit your home.

You’ll need to consider how many faucets and/or showers you’ll likely have running at the same time to get a clear picture of the size of water heater to purchase. So, consider your average morning routine in your home; how many people will want to take a shower at the same time and/or use a wash hand basin etc. Here’s an example of how much water is used from a –

  • Shower – average between 2 to 2.5 GPM,
  • Faucet – average between 2.1 to 2.5 GPM,
  • Dishwasher – averages around 1 GPM,
  • Washing Machine – averages around 0.25 GPM.

Local Climate – the local climate will affect the temperature at which water leaves the ground and enters your pipe system. In hotter climates the difference in temperature between the water leaving the ground and heating up to take a shower, will be less than in colder environments where the water will need to be heated more to reach the same output heat.

VENTILATION

Appliances such as these must have the correct ventilation to expel toxic gases such as Carbon Monoxide and excess water vapour. Proper ventilation ensures those in the home remain safe and well. It is therefore imperative that the correct ventilation is in place for the model, size and design of your tankless gas water heater.

You can usually opt to vent either through a side-wall or through the ceiling. This will depend on the design of your home, available space and the model heater you have chosen. If you have an existing water heater it is possible you can use the current venting hole. Always be guided by the manufacturer’s instructions as to the correct way to install adequate ventilation.

You have several options when deciding which type of ventilation to use. You may have to purchase additional venting or opt for a different style of ventilation than what’s included with your tankless water heater. Options include:

  • Concentric Vent – usually come in stainless steel or uPVC. This enables both ventilation processes, that is the fresh air intake and exhaust, to use the same pipe. Exiting either through the roof or the side of the house.
  • Direct Vent – usually exits from a side wall or the roof, it is quick and easy and because so much of the energy is used for the hot water and not lost, the exhaust is warm, but not hot.
  • Installing direct venting isn’t a difficult job and there are a lot of accessories and designs to choose from depending on whether you are installing the unit against a side wall, within a central location that isn’t next to a side wall (or venting through the roof is the harder of the two options) or venting out of the roof.
  • Power Vent – using a power vent enables you to be more flexible with where you plan to position your LPG or natural gas tankless water heater. Though in principle it’s the same as a conventional water heater, these designs use a fan to push the exhaust out of a side wall opening instead of it needing to raise up through a roof vent.
  • One thing to consider with this design is the possible noise associated with the fan but, this should be minimal.

If you don’t want to have your unit inside, it is possible to purchase an external tankless LPG water heater. These have been constructed to withstand the elements and may be an option if you are unable to fit an internal unit in the desired place within your home.

For further safety tips including what to do in the event of Carbon Monoxide (CO) exposure see the Safety section towards the end of this article.

CONDENSING OR NON-CONDENSING

The simple difference between these types of gas tankless water heaters is that the by-product of heating – the steam or water vapour, is either –

  • Non-Condensed – which vents the by-product of heat, steam or water vapour and expels them outside through a ventilation system of pipes etc.
  • Temperatures of this steam can reach up to 1500 centigrade so the pipes needed to carry this safely outside need to be able to withstand high temperatures.
  • Heat wastage of approximately 20% through venting the condensation means the efficiency of a non-condensing unit is only running at around 80%.
  • Condensed – the heat produced is recycled back into the system for further use, saving you money.
  • Temperatures of this steam are only around 390 centigrade and as such the pipes required to vent this away need only be standard PVC for example, which is more than capable of withstanding this lower temperature.
  • Heat wastage is minimal with a condensing system with an efficiency of approximately 98% making it more economical to run.

There usually isn’t much difference in the actual purchase cost with both units retailing at similar prices. The difference will be in the long-term running costs between the two units.

INSTALLATION

If you are keen on home repairs and improvements, then it is possible to install your new system yourself. You will need a good selection of tools and be confident in their operation, such as a propane torch and reciprocating saw. A project such as this will typically take between 2 – 4 hours but this will depend on your skills and abilities.

If you do decide to self install, The Home Depot has a great guide online, with step-by-step instructions on how to self-install your new heater. You can read the guide here.

You need to read the manufacturers installation instructions carefully and be realistic about your capabilities. As with any gas appliance the correct installation is essential for safety purposes. It will also ensure your unit runs at optimum efficiency.

Therefore, it’s advisable to have your water heater fitted by a professional. Fortunately, most home improvement stores offer an installation service.

You should also check with your town or city planning office to ascertain if a permit is required and any other regulations they may have concerning the purchase, installation and use of a gas tankless water heater.

In general, it costs more to install a gas system than electric.

SAFETY

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a tankless gas water heater is safety.

As with all gas appliances, there is a potential for gas leaks. So, it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, family and loved-ones at home. Ensure that you are competent to install the water heater, if you don’t feel you have the necessary skills higher a contractor with the necessary training and experience.

Fit a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector and make periodic checks to ensure it is dust free and in good working order. CO is the gas leaked from faulty gas appliances, it is deadly and can kill humans and animals in a matter of minutes. It’s often called the silent killer as it is odourless and silent.

Click here for a simple guide on how to prevent CO poisoning and the signs and symptoms you should be aware. Remember if you suspect yourself or someone else might have CO poisoning –

DO NOT DELAY – PHONE 911 IMMEDIATELY. Leave the area and seek fresh air.

CSA Certification – any heaters with CSA Certification have undergone rigorous external testing outside of their own companies’ stringent testing, to ensure their customers receive high-quality, well-constructed and above all, safe products to the consumer.

Best Propane Tankless Water Heater - Conclusion

Rheem comes out on top if you are looking for a best tankless water that is fuelled by propane. They offer great indoor and outdoor models for those looking for the most efficient (Performance Platinum) tankless water heater packed full of features and also a solid value choice with the mid-efficiency performance plus range. 

  • Rheem Performance Platinum - Best Propane Tankless Water Heater

Best Tankless Water Heater - Conclusion

So, what is the best tankless water heater? Well, as we said in our introduction to this article it really depends on what fuel type you decide to use. Here at lahaaland we favour electric tankless water heaters over gas (natural gas and propane). Here is a run down of the best tankless water heaters we believe stand out from the crowd.

  • Stiebel Eltron - Best Electric Tankless Water Heater and Best Tankless Water Heater
  • Rheem Performance Platinum - Best Gas Tankless Water Heater
  • Rheem Performance Platinum - Best Propane Tankless Water Heater
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply:

Scroll Up