When you’re changing your water heater type in Richardson, TX, our experienced water heater installation at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of North Dallas helps avoid surprises. Some water heater changes are simple, such as replacing an existing unit with the same type, while others involve a bit of adjustment, such as replacing an electric unit with a gas-powered one. You’ll need a little bit more headroom for most hybrid water heaters to fit them in the space where your standard tank-based unit was, and room for air to circulate around the heat pump components that gather heat for the water. For tankless water heaters, you typically gain space as there’s no tank taking up room in your basement or other location, and while these units save a significant amount of energy due to their on-demand operation, instant hot water requires a lot more energy when it’s happening, so you’ll probably need an upgraded electrical supply or gas line to the unit. These are just a few of the considerations that our experts will cover as you make the switch and plan a new water heater installation, and we’ll help make it a smooth one, with expert follow-up care as your plumbers of choice.
Switching from Tank-Based to a Tankless Water Heater
When we perform a tankless water heater installation to replace a tank-based unit, we free up a lot of space where the tank used to be. In addition, the family enjoys an endless supply of hot water that can be exciting for larger families or ones that quickly consume their typical 40-gallon tank with appliance use, leaving someone in the cold at shower time. It’s important to size the flow rate of the tankless unit to meet your family’s needs, otherwise, the endless hot water supply may be affected by a demand for hot water that’s higher than the unit’s capacity to supply it. For example, a typical family of three might need a 7-9 gallons per minute capacity, while for four an upgrade to 8-10 GPM is appropriate.
The heating energy supply, an important factor in providing a steady flow of hot water, is typically 15-23kW for the family of three, and 20-28kW for four, which is a substantial amount of electricity. Similar energy requirements exist for the gas units, and both will typically require upgrades such as adding a high-capacity electric circuit or larger gas line, even incoming to the home. Compare this to 4.5kW for a typical 40 gallon tank-based heater. Tankless typically has a much longer service life than tank-based units, so the energy savings over time should compensate for the higher upfront water heater installation costs. Interestingly, some tankless water heater manufacturers have been moving the plumbing connections to correspond more closely to typical tank-based water heater plumbing for ease of installation, suggesting that you’re in good company if you’re making this change.
Switching to Hybrid Water Heater Technology
A hybrid water heater is similar to a tank-based unit, with many of the same maintenance concerns to preserve the tank’s integrity over time, and a similar lifespan based on the tank condition. The hybrid unit needs a bit more space above because of the compressor and other components mounted on it to perform the heating function, and enough room for airflow so the unit can efficiently collect heat from the surrounding air using heat pump technology. If the hybrid water heater can’t collect enough heat to properly warm your water, it will use an electric element as a backup. In most cases, the change from standard to hybrid tank-based is fairly straightforward, as long as the electrical connection available when switching from a gas-fired unit has sufficient capacity for the backup heating element.
What About Tankless to Tank-Based?
If you decide to install a tank-based unit to replace your tankless water heater, you’ll need space for the tank along with the proper plumbing and energy supply, either all electric or electric for controls, and a moderate gas supply for the burner. An important consideration, however, is locating the unit where any leaks from the tank or the pressure and temperature relief valve will not cause damage to the floor, rugs, or items located nearby. For changing from tankless to hybrid units, the same tank concerns apply.
Local Tankless Units as an Alternative
Some homeowners who want the shower in the master bedroom, sink water in the kitchen, or other local hot water supplies to be hotter than the recommended 120 degrees F for whole-house hot water, install small electric tankless water heaters as a local supply. This can also save a significant amount of time, energy, and water for homes where these locations are far from the home’s water heater. The reason is that opening the tap initiates a long trip for hot water through the home’s often uninsulated plumbing, with lower temperatures on arrival, too.
Leaving Your Water Heater Installation Area Clean
Even when we make a complex change from one water heater type to another, with plumbing and energy source changes, we end the work with a clean sweep of the installation area so you can just relax and enjoy hot water without any further concerns until it’s time for your first regular water heater maintenance for the new unit later on. That’s our professional plumbing way!
Your Water Heater Installation Experts in Richardson, TX
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of North Dallas can make your transition to a new water heater system smooth, even if you’re making a change from tank-based and ordering tankless water heater installation or another significant adjustment in Richardson, TX. Our expertise makes deciding on the right water heater installation for your home easier, since you know we’ll cover all the bases and make sure the details of proper fit, energy supply, and sizing for your home’s needs plus energy efficiency rating are right. Call us to begin your new water heater installation process today!