Tag Archives: tankless water heater

Why We Chose Tankless Water Heaters

The best reviews always come from people who have used a product over the long term, right? Well, we sell plumbing and plumbing related products, but we also use many of the products we sell.

Photo of the Eemax EZ95 point of use water heaterSo we think we’re in a great position to offer our opinion on the Eemax EX95T point of use thermostatic electric tankless water heater.  We have had two Eemax EX95T electric tankless water heaters installed in our building since 2001 and we love them. They work great and have needed service very rarely. Elements have been very easy to replace and last quite a while, even though both units are used at least a dozen times daily (like many bathroom sinks). Best of all, they do exactly what we need them to do – bring water to a good temperature for washing hands.

So, why are we so happy with our Eemax EX95T units? We knew exactly what we needed the water heaters to do, and knowing  how tankless water heaters work, we were able to choose the best unit for our needs. Since we got what we expected, we have been thrilled. Make sense?

How do you know if an electric tankless water heater is for you? Well, there’s a few main points to consider.

The first thing to consider is your needs. How hot does the water need to be and how much of it needs to be heated? If you need 80 gallons per minute at 140 degrees, your needs are dramatically different than someone who needs 1 gallon per minute at around body temperature.

The next thing to consider is electrical. What does electricity have to do with plumbing? In this case, you need an electrical supply available to meet the needs of the heater. Many point of use tankless water heaters can simply use standard 120V while most whole house units need dedicated 240V circuits, like most major appliances.

Example of the guts of a whole house unitThe main things to consider with any electric tankless water heater is the “rise.” It takes a certain amount of energy to raise the temperature of water, and an electric tankless water heater only draws a certain amount of energy to heat water. So, if the tankless water heater you’re considering has a rise of 30 degrees at it’s minimum flow rate of a half gallon per minute, and your incoming water temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, then the water will come out at 80 degrees Fahrenheit at 1/2 gallon per minute. With me so far? When you compare that 80 degrees Fahrenheit with the average human body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, you can guess that this water will feel very cool to the touch, which would make this hypothetical tankless water heater a good choice for a restroom sink, but not so great for providing a hot shower.

Another thing to remember with tankless water heaters is their minimum flow rate. To prevent the water heater from prematurely burning out the element, tankless water heaters all have minimum flow rates, usually around a half gallon per minute for point of use heaters, which means that a dribble out of a faucet will never get hot. Considering a dribble from a faucet even on a tank style water heater will not get hot before you get tired of waiting, this doesn’t make much of a difference for most people. However, if you have an extremely low flow faucet, you will need to pay greater attention to the minimum flow rate of tankless water heaters, while people with higher flow faucets will need to pay more attention to the temperature rise at higher flow rates.

Now, the Eemax Ex95T we installed will turn on at .75 gallons per minute and has a rise of 65 degrees Fahrenheit at a flow rate of one gallon per minute. Our ground water temperature has a tendency to average around 62 degrees Fahrenheit according to our local water authorities. This means that we’ll definitely be able to have nice warm water for hand washing, which is what we want. However, with that rise and our average water temperatures, it’s possible this heater may make the temperature too hot for comfortable hand washing. We could have added a thermostatic mixing valve to control the top end temperature, but the Eemax EX95T is a thermostatic model, which means it can handle this task too. So we now have the power to have the perfect hand washing temperature even if our incoming water temperature varies a bit (which is common) without the worries of ever having water that’s too hot and without the hassle of additional pieces of equipment.

If we didn’t know what our local water authorities had to say about the temperature, we could simply run the cold water line for a few minutes and test with a thermometer. Compare that with the average body temperature of the human body (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and you can get a pretty good idea of whether the water will feel cold, lukewarm, or rather hot once you raise the water temperature with a point of use electric water heater.

A few different styles of Eeemax electric tankless water heaters

As you can see, point of use electric tankless water heaters can be exactly what you need if you know what you’re looking at. If you don’t, we’re here to answer questions and provide direction.

Your turn: have you ever had a water heater selection turn out unexpectedly?

Energy Efficient Upgrades Can Save Money For Renters And Home Owners

Whether you are a renter, homeowner or landlord, just about everyone has heard that switching out your old light bulbs, turning off lights, lowering the thermostat, etc might save you a little money on your energy bill. Renters can usually find easy, non-permanent energy saving solutions like switching out the shower head for one that has low-flow water-saving features. But, if you are the property owner much more can be done according to a recent report by CNT Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

“We have billions essentially sitting untapped in our apartment buildings. We can harness that by simply setting better policies for efficiency for apartment buildings,” said Anne McKibbin, CNT Energy policy director and coauthor of the report.

Improving the energy efficiency of multi-family buildings like apartments can save money for the building owners and also for the renters themselves. Things like an outdated water heater, older toilets flushing 3 gallons each time… or even that refrigerator from 1972 that came with the apartment can really add up when the renter gets their energy and water bills. Sometimes, that can even cause tenants to start looking for a new place to call home. So, renters, if you are living with some not-so efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures, you may think about using this information to encourage your landlord to make some necessary upgrades.

There are plenty of energy saving upgrades that are fairly inexpensive and can actually put a little back in the pocketbooks of renters and property owners. For example installing an energy efficient tankless water heater can offer a great deal of savings on your energy bill. There are often generous rebate intensives offered by energy companies and some states that can make the decision to upgrade much easier.

For more energy efficient upgrade ideas such as low-flow faucets for kitchen and bathroom, and water saving showerheads visit PlumbingSupply.com