Best Tankless Water Heaters For Residential Water Heating

How To Choose The Right Water Heater

You’ve just moved into a new home, and you’re looking to purchase a water heater. You know that a water heater is a pretty hefty investment, but you’re unsure as to what factors make that investment worthwhile. You want a water heater that fits your budget, your fuel sources, and your overall home. There are three important criteria to keep in mind when looking to find your perfect water heater

Energy Efficiency/Cost

We’ve lumped these together because the cost of running your system goes hand in hand with its energy efficiency. Your instinct might be to jump at the least expensive water heater you find, but that’s not always your best bet. Keep in mind that your water heater is a long-term investment. Being a little generous with your initial purchase is going to save you from frequent repair bills down the road or pre-mature replacement.

Fuel Type

Before deciding on a specific type of water heater, you need to know what type of fuel it takes, and how available/expensive that fuel is in your area

Most of these power sources are offered throughout the United States, but costs and rates vary. If you are purchasing a water heater for the first time, compare local fuel costs against water heater types. If you’re looking into water heater replacement, consider switching fuel sources for potentially lower utility bills

Heat Coverage

How many bathrooms and sinks do you have in your home? If you’re leaning towards a small, barely-there system in a house that has several bathrooms, you won’t have enough hot water. Similarly, large systems are inappropriate for smaller homes that have fewer bathrooms and sinks. Think about this sizing when deciding on which type of water heater to purchase.

What Type Of Water Heater Is Right For You?

Few things are more unpleasant than a cold shower. If you’re suffering through a frigid blast of water every morning, it’s time to invest in a new water heater.

As you might expect, there are many options when it comes to purchasing a new hot water heater. You’ll need to choose the right one in order to meet your home’s needs, while also reducing energy costs and your environmental impact.

Here are some factors to consider when shopping for hot water heaters:

Size: You’ll need a water heater with the capacity to provide your household with enough hot water.

Efficiency: To save on heating costs and minimize your environmental impact, choose a water heater that delivers the best energy efficiency.

Cost: Compare the annual costs associated with running different water-heating systems. Generally, there will be trade-off between up-front costs (higher for more efficient systems) and annual costs (higher for less efficient systems).

Fuel: The energy source (gas, oil, electricity) you use to heat your water will have an impact on running costs, energy efficiency and capacity.

Storage Tank Water Heaters

The most common water-heating system is the storage tank, which provides a ready supply of hot water.

The tank is insulated and can store 20 to 80 gallons of water. When you turn on the hot water tap, the tank releases hot water from a pipe on the top of the tank. The tank is then replenished with cold water. Because storage tanks use energy to ensure the tank water is constantly heated, they can drain energy even when you aren’t using hot water.

Electric water heaters: criteria for choosing

Looking for a new water heater? If your old one has given up the ghost or is about to do so, keep a cool head and take the time to make the right choice. Your hot water needs may have changed, and the characteristics of heaters have evolved in recent years.

Water heater capacity

Too large a water heater will push up your energy bill, whereas too small a heater will leave you without hot water just when you need it. To choose the right size, first determine whether your consumption is normal or high. In general, consumption is considered high if there are teenagers (great lovers of showers!) living in your home or if you have a large-sized bathtub, a spa or a multi-jet shower

Energy efficiency

Since the Energy Star program evaluates the performance only of gas, heat pump or solar models, you need to turn to various yield measurements to judge the efficiency of an electric water heater

In particular, you should consider its heat loss, in other words the loss of heat in unused water through the tank’s fairly well insulated walls. These losses vary according to the temperature of the hot water and that of the ambient air: the cooler the room where the heater is located, the greater the losses.

Quality of construction

An electric water heater must meet the requirements of Standard C-191 set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Choosing Your Water Heater

Available Energy Sources

After reading on the different energy sources available, such as gas water heaters, thermodynamic water heaters, solar water heaters and electric water heaters, you’ve chosen the electric water heater, which requires little space, no ventilation nor maintenance.

Tank Capacity

40 or 60 gallons? Here are some things to consider to make the right choice: number of family members, number of bathrooms, number of simultaneous uses and the use of a whirlpool bathtub. The best reference is the tank capacity of your old water heater: did it sufficiently meet your hot water needs?

Warranties and Service Contracts

There are two types of warranties: the manufacturer’s warranty and the supplier’s warranty. Manufacturers who offer longer-term warranties on their water heaters usually use superior quality materials and design to ensure their products’ reliability. One point to consider: the staff’s availability before and after the sale.

Installation

Will you choose the worry-free and mess-free installation carried out by a professional in your area, or will you choose to do the installation yourself? This decision will have an impact on the warranty of your water heater. Hardware stores offer standard water heaters, but the installation service is rarely included. You then have to think about the tools you’ll need to acquire if you decide to do it yourself or consider the service fees of a plumber.

Water Heater Features

The construction, the insulation, the cold water entry, the safety accessories like the safety valves and the drain pan, the anticorrosion parts, the number of elements are all factors you need to consider. Ask the advice of your local water heater experts to help you better identify these features.

Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide

Tired of running out of hot water in the shower (or anywhere else, for that matter)? Is your current water heater on the fritz, ready to succumb to years of constant use? Whatever your situation, when it concerns a new water heater, there’s a big choice to make: tank or no tank? Tankless is becoming more and more popular, but how do you know if it’s right for you?

Unlike conventional tank water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water only as it is used, or “on demand”. Tankless units have a powerful burner or heating element that’s activated by the flow of water when a hot water fixture is used. Free of the limitations of the tank, hot water can be produced in perpetuity. They’re touted as water and energy savers, but as always, it depends on the situation. To choose the best water heater for your home, you’ll need to consider your usage habits, your plumbing fixtures, and the limitations imposed by the house and its existing plumbing.

What Is A Tankless Water Heater?

We’re all familiar with standard tank water heaters, which work well but aren’t all that efficient. No matter how great the tank’s insulation is, the hot water inside will give up its heat over time – that’s just how the universe works. The only way to keep that water hot is to regularly warm it up – a constant cycle that consumes energy and costs you money. Standby heat loss typically accounts for 10-20% of total annual water heating costs. In some homes with standard tank heaters, the energy consumed for heating water is even greater than that used for heating the home itself!

Tankless water heaters were designed to avoid the shortcomings of standard heaters, providing a more energy-efficient way to have a steady hot water supply. Utilizing powerful gas burners or electrical elements, they’re able to rapidly heat water at the time of use, as opposed to storing (and perpetually reheating) it for eventual use. Heating water only when you need it makes sense, and eliminating standby heat loss almost always results in lower energy bills.

In addition to avoiding standby heat loss, tankless heaters are also smarter in how they use fuel (be it gas or electrical energy). By modulating their fuel use, these units use only what’s needed to heat water at the flow rate actually being experienced. If you open up a sink faucet that’s drawing 1gpm, less fuel is used to heat that water than would be used for a tub spout running at 5gpm. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see fuel-use reductions of up to 50% compared to a tank heater

How To Handle Other Causes Of Electronic Leak Detection

How To Choose A Leak Testing Method That’s Best For Your Needs

When deciding on the best solution for a leak testing challenge, many factors need to be taken into consideration including the risk, suitability and cost of each method.  Various technologies are available and it’s critical to choose one which is optimal to your application requirements

In recent years, huge strides have been made in electronic leak testing methods that use air or tracer gases resulting in new techniques, enhanced sensitivity and faster test cycles.  These changes have resulted primarily as a response to cost pressures as well as the need to adapt to a changing environmental and safety regulatory environment.

Air leak testing with micro-flow sensor at pressure conditions.

In this method, the test part is pressurized from a pressure source with the regulator and valve isolating the test part from the source once pressurization is complete.  The pressure sensor then monitors and measures the pressurized test part and if the pressure measurement decreases, air is leaking out of the component or assembly under test.  As air leaks, the micro flow sensor replenishes the lost air to maintain a constant pressure, with the loss causing an electrical signal which is proportional to volumetric or mass flow. This method has a sensitivity of 5 x 10-4 mbar*l/s.

Air leak testing with mass extraction (vacuum conditions).

This method is an extension of the micro flow sensor one detailed above, and operates on the basic principle of rarefied gas flow.  The test is done under a vacuum in order to achieve a higher sensitivity, with sensor designs operating either in a shallow vacuum (continuum/slip flow conditions) or a deeper vacuum (transitional/molecular flow regimes).

This method can be done in a number of ways.  The closed container under test can be placed into a vacuum chamber (with a vacuum as low as 1 mbar or less) and the leak rate determined by measuring the remaining flow between the chamber and the vacuum reservoir once the item has been removed.   The vacuum can also be applied inside the part under test and the barometric air leaking in can then be measured.

Eight Quick Tips for Electronic Leak Detection

Use Your Detector Second

Before starting to use your detector — stop! Look for signs of leaks and corrosion throughout the entire system. I see many techs who use an electronic leak detector with a very large leak when they would have been better served pressurizing and pinpointing the leak with soap bubbles.

Get a Good Detector

Use a good quality leak detector. Hint: If it costs less than $300, it probably isn’t great. I am fan of the H10G and the H10Pro, although we are testing the Tifzx-1 as a possible option on the recommendation of a few good techs I trust.

Test Your Detector

Check your detector and make sure it actually works every time. The H10G has a reference bottle for testing — use it.

Let the Detector Warm Up

Many leak detectors require a warm up time for the sensor. With the H10G I allow it to run for at least five minutes before I start to use it.

Start Testing at The Top

Most refrigerants are heavier than air. Starting at the top and working your way down will help keep you from picking up a leak below the actual point of origin.

How to Choose and Why Use Leak Detectors?

Refrigerant leak detection

The chart below shows the most common groups of refrigerants we use. With the wide variety of refrigerants now available we have to ensure that the type of leak detector we are using is both suitable and SAFE to use with the refrigerant in the system. Most electronic leak detectors are suitable for CFC, HCFC and HFC’s. Caution should be taken to use suitable electronic leak detectors with HC’s which are flammable. We must not forget soapy water as a very effective leak detector. Many people discount it, but for finding leaks it is possibly the most effective method and lots of people have certainly used it to successfully find some very small leaks.

Corona discharge detectors pull air through an electrical field (corona discharge) around a wire. The presence of refrigerant or other gases in the air changes the current in the wire and triggers an alarm. The problem with this is that it’s not compound specific so any substance the leak detector senses could give false alarms including cleaning chemicals. Not HC suitable!

Heated diode detectors use a heated ceramic diode. The diode generates an electrical current when it comes into contact with halogenated gas which the electronics convert into an alarm. The heated diode sensor is sensitive to contamination, especially from moisture or oil and will need replacement after approximately 100 hours of operation. This type of detector is much less likely to give false alarms and works especially well with R134a. The more expensive models have their own built in sensitivity check mode to ensure the sensing head is actually working. Not HC suitable! This type of leak detectors is produced by such trademarks as: ExTech, Fielpiece, Testo etc.

Infrared detectors have an optical bench that the refrigerant passes through. The refrigerant absorbs IR radiation. The bench senses this and converts it into an alarm dependent on the amount of IR absorbed. The technology is very accurate and less prone to contamination. It has only been recently deployed in small hand held technology but has been widely used in larger fixed environmental detectors for many years. Check with manufacturer before using with HC’s. One of the best wellknown manufacturers of IR leak detectors is Bacharach.

Ultrasonic detectors work on sound waves emitted when gas or vacuum escapes through a small orifice (leak). The sound is well above the frequencies sensitive to the human ear. The electronics pick up these frequencies and amplify them into an audible output that we can hear. The technology isn’t new but has only recently become cheap enough to use in hand held leak detectors. The notable benefit of this type of detector is it will detect any gas or vacuum leak including nitrogen and HC refrigerants. Suitable for HC’s. This type of leak detectors is offered to you by AccuTrack, Reed Instruments, Wohler and other manufacturers

Residential Leak Protection: How To Choose The Right Leak Detection System

Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog

Whether it is a slow leak from a plumbing fixture, or a catastrophic pipe failure, leaks can be destructive for a residence and extremely costly. We have all heard the stories of homeowners receiving extremely high water bills due to a flapper on a toilet starting to fail, or seeing disaster recovery companies at a residence due to a pipe or valve failure leading to major flooding. With todays technology, there are a myriad of ways to avoid leaks and detect them when they start, but which technology is the best?

How Do Leak Detectors Work?

In short, leak detectors will sense water flow in a building usually through a unit mounted on the incoming waterline. Messages can be sent out either via Wi-Fi or through a homes automation system. Ideally, the leak detection system will let you know if there is a small leak (showing water usage even if there should be no water flow at all). It will also shut the entire water system down if it detects a catastrophic failure such as a break in the main waterline.

What To Consider When Choosing A Leak Detection System

Important factors to consider when suggesting a leak detector for your customers are features, types of communication protocol, how the unit is powered, and whether the system will work if there is a breakdown in connectivity.

Automatic Water Shut-Off

While receiving a message about a leak in a residence is great, damage can be done between when the leak occurs and the time the homeowner receives the message. Automatic shut-off features will ensure that in the event of a catastrophic failure, the message is sent, but in the meantime, the system is shut down immediately.

HOW TO SELECT THE CORRECT TYPE OF WATER LEAK DETECTION SENSOR FOR YOUR APPLICATION

Air Conditioning Drip Trays

Two sensors are available, the optical DTS sensor designed to sit in a drip tray, IP65 rated with no external electrical electrodes, and our leak detection cable type WDC4, this being very flexible, it can can be shaped around the tray for maximum coverage

Drip Trays underneath Water or Chilled Water Pipework 

For long runs of drip trays our water detection cable type WDC4 is best suited as it can be serpentine in the tray to give maximum coverage.

Water or Chilled water Pipes with no Drip Tray

Our WDC4 detection cable can be fixed to the underside of the pipework along its entire length so any leak will be detected. Whilst care should be taken not to over tighten, cable ties can be used around the pipe at approximately 1 to 1.5 metre intervals

Service pits, Sump or Drain Pits

The best sensor for this application is our Optical spot probe. With no exposed electrical electrodes, this sensor is not susceptible to impact damage to the sensing part of it. Being IP65 rated, the sensor can be screwed to the inside of pit and fully submerged in water

Room perimeter monitoring and underfloor areas.

Two sensors are available, our standard WDC4 detection cable that will report a leak found anywhere along its length, and our DMWD cable, that when used with the DMWD alarm unit gives a measurement in metres from the controller to the leak. Both types of cable should be Clipped to the floor every 1 to 1.5 metres