Take a look inside a typical tankless water heater…. Who do you call to service this? A plumber? An electrician. A gas technician? A lot of service technicians will criticize the product calling it junk because they are intimidated by all the parts. The fact is, they don’t know where to begin to diagnose what the problem is. I have personally seen situations where the customer has been told they have a defective heat exchanger and that they have no option but to replace the unit, when in fact the real problem was a dirty filter screen. It’s occurrences like this that give tankless water heaters a very bad name.
Why are their so many bad tankless water heater reviews? I can answer that for you, but be warned, if you read my explanation, you may end up purchasing one. Simply put, “Satisfaction is Proportional to Expectations.” Many buyers’ purchase a tankless water heater with great expectations of cheap, endless, instant hot water. Still, others buy with the thought of having the fuel savings alone pay for the product and installation. While there are plenty of other great reasons to own a tankless water heater, the aforementioned seem to lead the race. So now that you have done your homework and convinced yourself that you deserve all the nice benefits of owning a tankless water heater, you contract to get one installed. You ask your contractors the usual question “How much (or realistically speaking, how little?) he will do the job for?” Contractors know that usually the best price gets the job. To be aggressive on price, he installs the smallest capacity heater that he thinks he can get away with. Now this is just the start of your disappointments. Tankless water heaters do not provide the users with instant hot water. They are not capable of that function. If you wanted instant hot water from your tap, you should have called a plumber and had him install a hot water recirculation loop on your hot water piping. That was not an option your installer was paid to provide. You however, were expecting instant hot water. In some cases, depending on the manufacturer of the water heater, hot water delivery to the fixtures will take much longer than the wait time from a tank type water heater. So if all this was not enough to thoroughly disappoint you, what about when your gas bill skyrockets after the install? But I was promised a 20% savings you say? Yes, savings on the cost of production for a specific volume of hot water as compared to a tank type water heater. With a limitless supply of hot water, your family may alter life style to enjoy longer costly showers.
So, why buy a tankless water heater? Simply put, because they are awesome. I frequently get requests for service from customers that are convinced that their tankless water heater is malfunctioning or not installed correctly. While this is sometimes the case, usually I get the unpleasant task of showing the customer that they got exactly what they paid for. Or more accurately said, they “never got what they never paid for.”
As an installer, I have observed a common denominator in listening to customers concerns. They all purchased a product that was not compatible with what their expectation was.
Many people ask me what I think the best tankless water heater on the market is; everyone gets a different answer, depending on their specific application and circumstances.