Hear it From the Experts
Wondering about tankless water heaters? Well, what better way to learn about them than from a tankless water heater expert at Jones Services?
Anthony Paolicelli, Service Manager, answers some of the most common questions surrounding tankless and provides insight on what you, as a homeowner, needs to know about them.
We are going to discuss tankless water heaters today, but first tell me about Jones Services.
We are an all inclusive residential service company. We've been in business since 1986. We are a proud member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. We are very proud of that. We provide high quality service in the heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, generators, water treatment, and hearth industry. Our mission is to help our customers identify what's important to them by offering options and encouraging them to make the best decisions based upon their needs. Our team here consists of 35 dedicated professionals that care about each and every customer.
Going back to tankless, which tankless model do you prefer to install and why?
We have been installing Navien tankless water heaters. And the reason why we chose Navien is because their model lineup is very small. They have just 3 models for residential homes. They are high quality and they are very compatible to residential homes so when you are removing a tank water heater and putting in a tankless, you want to try and get a very compatible install to try and keep the costs down with the installation for the customer.
If I'm a homeowner, why would I want to choose tankless over a conventional water heater?
Good question. So a tankless water heaters provide an endless amount of hot water. The days of everybody needing a shower to go out to a party or out on a Saturday night - the kids jump in, the parents jump in, mom and dad are taking cold showers - those days are over. So the hot water will never run out and, on the flip side, they are very efficient. There's no need for the water heater to go on and off all day when nobody is in the house to maintain that temperature. Once the water goes on, the flame inside the tankless water heater heats the water immediately to each of the faucets or showers in the house.
With the better energy efficiency, that means that I will also save money?
Absolutely. With regular water heaters, if you are not home they are constantly going on or off all day to keep the water warm or hot. It keeps it at 120 degrees whether you are using water or not. Tankless cuts out that whole keeping temperature high during the day, so yes it would be more efficient and just make hot water when you need it. That's the thing about tankless - it only makes the water when you need it.
In comparison to the conventional water heater, how long does a tankless one last?
A tankless water heater should last 15 to 20 years as long as they are maintained properly. There's no tank to it and that's usually where the tanked water heaters have a problem - the tanks start to leak. And once the tank starts leaking, then you need a new one. With a tankless water heater, there is no tank so there will be no leaks and it would just be more of a life expectancy thing for when it's time to replace it.
For replacement or repairs, what does the warranty look like for the specific model that you like to install?
We include 2 years of labor with all of our tankless water heaters. There's a five-year part warranty from the manufacturer so Navien covers their parts for five years. Also their heat exchanger is covered for fifteen years.
Can you tell me a little bit about the installation process?
One reason why we chose Navien is that with the installation there are certain things that are very important to keep the water heater A) efficient and B) working properly. They are very sensitive to certain things. One thing would be gas pressure and another thing would be water pressure. With Navien, the gas piping side only needs to be a half inch. Most tankless water heaters need a one-inch line and in most residential home, the water heater was always hooked up with half inch so Navien is compatible to the other water heater that we're removing.
This means we could put the Navien in the same place as the old water heater - connect right to the water lines, connect right to the gas lines - and then we do run a different type of flue for the flue gasses outside through a plastic PVC pipe. With the old conventional water heaters, it was a galvanized steel flue that would rot away over time if there was some moisture buildup. Everything now goes through plastic PVC and is direct vented right outside through the foundation of the home.
You mentioned the gas hookups. So what type of hookups would I need to have in my home - gas, electric, either one?
They all run on gas so it would either be natural gas or LP.
Just going off of common objections that I've heard about tankless water heaters , one of them is that they are inconsistent and that I will experience cold showers. I know you mentioned that won't happen, so how has the technology changed in recent years?
The technology of the Navien - they have, in the past, experienced what's called thermal sandwich where you have hot water, cold water, then hot water and it's just an inconsistent pattern of flow through the water heater. Navien has engineered their water heaters to have a looped piping system inside the water heater where it'll constantly circulate the hot water inside the water heater to deliver constant hot water and eliminates the thermal sandwich.
Most tankless water heaters on the market don't have this looping system, which will cause that complaint from some customers, that it takes very long to get the hot water to the shower or faucet. And, once it's there, they get breaks in the hot water and start feeling cold water. So, with the Navien - another reason why we chose it - was for that looping feature.
What other questions or objections have you heard from your customers about tankless?
Our customers, up front, would have a little bit of a problem with the price. They are more expensive up front when you are first putting the tankless water heater in, but once we explain the savings that you would see in your gas usage, usually most customers will see that, over some time, if you were to finance a tankless water heater, what you save on your fuel bill you could use to pay the monthly payment. That usually covers the water heater. If you are saving $50-$100 a month by having a tankless water heater, what it costs per month with financing covers that expense.
As a homeowner, you want to keep your tankless water heater for as long as possible. So, how do I maintain that to make sure that I can have it for all those years?
Maintaining a tankless water heater is recommended yearly. Flushing out the water heater with the solution that's made for a tankless water heater that keeps the coils clean on the inside. Hard water is something that could actually hurt the efficiency of a tankless water heater and cleaning out those coils, making sure they are clean of scale, is important. Having a professional like Jones come in and checking the coils and doing a combustion test on it to make sure that the fuel mixtures are proper and carbon monoxide is not present. Maintaining a tankless water heater is very much like maintaining a furnace or a hot water boiler. You want to give it that same type of attention yearly.
Does Jones Services offer a maintenance program?
Absolutely. We offer a maintenance program on tankless water heaters. We also offer that same program on a gas furnace. This program is a yearly visit to the home where we'll come out and clean your coils, do an efficiency test, check all the electrical components, and clean out any dust or particles that may be in the flue.
Each of our customers that buy the maintenance program for the tankless water heater also gets 15% discount on all of our other services, they get priority service, 24/7 - anytime of the night just in case something may go wrong with anything in the home - as long as they have the plan for the water heater, we'll be there for you.
Besides the benefits that you've already mentioned, are there any others that you'd like to talk about?
A lot of customers appreciate the extra space. By having this up on the wall, instead of on the floor in the middle of a closet, customers have some extra floor space. Just by being more efficient, it's something that we should all be looking to do - saving the ozone and helping out with the pollution. That's important. These are one of those things that could help in that situation.
Having an unlimited amount of hot water is another big deal. I think it's great to always have hot water when needed. Just knowing you're never going to run out of hot water is great. You can have your dishwasher, your washing machine for clothes, your showers on, your kitchen sink - you can turn on everything in the home, and you'll have hot water all the time. It's a nice benefit.
If I'm interested in a tankless, or just learning more about Jones Services, how do I contact?
Www.1800jonesco.com and 845-294-1010 - that's our number. We're there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have a live person answering that line and our technicians are also connected 24/7 to that same number so it's 845-294-1010 and again our website is www.1800jonesco.com.