Wooten Plumbing

Thinking About a Tankless Water Heater? Read this First.

Oh, hot water, we adore you. The steamy showers, the sanitized dishes, the miraculously-white-again t-shirts. But here’s the deal: We’re starting to think our love is unrequited. After all, you tend to disappear quickly. Sure, we just started both the dishwasher and a load of towels—but is that really an excuse to run out on our kids’ bubble bath? Don’t their chattering teeth make you feel a tiny bit guilty? Really, hot water! What’s your problem, anyway?

OK, OK—that’s a little ridiculous. When you “run out” of hot water when you really, really, really wanted it, we’re guessing your internal dialogue sounds a bit more… heated (buh-dum-dum-tss).

If you’re that frustrated with your hot water situation, you may have been talking with Google quite a bit, trying to come up with a solution. Sooner than later, you’ll find yourself wondering about switching from a traditional tank-style water heater to a tankless water heater.

That’s a terrific “I wonder” to entertain. We’ve installed hundreds of tankless water heaters for our Tulsa plumbing customers, and they’re often (but not always) a fantastic fix. Before you start tearing out that big silver cylinder in your basement, let’s just cover some tankless water heater basics. (And, regardless, please do NOT attempt a DIY water heater removal. Way too many things can go wrong!)

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Unlike traditional water heaters that keep many gallons of water hot at all times—even when you don’t need it—tankless models heat water on demand.

Here’s how it works: When you turn on a faucet, a sensor registers the flow of water. It responds by sending a signal to a control panel that it’s time to start pulling in and warming up some air. As water flows through the unit, a heat exchanger transfers the warmth from the air to the water. (Yes, that’s a simplified explanation, but we thought we’d spare you the mechanical engineering/thermodynamics lecture.)

Poof! Hot water—when and where you need. Sounds dreamy, right? There’s more!

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have a couple of drawbacks, which we’ll get to in a minute. But first, let’s talk about why they’re great.

  • Speed. Tankless units produce hot water at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute, and the hot water never “runs out.”
  • Cost-saving. Tankless water heaters are pricey (again, we’ll get to that in a minute), but over time the unit may pay for itself in energy savings. Typically, tankless units save homeowners between 8% and 24% on utility bills, according to energy.gov. You may also score a tax rebate for installing an energy-efficient appliance.
  • Shelf-life. Gas-powered tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years—twice that of traditional models.
  • No flooding. Tankless heaters don’t have… tanks. So, you’ll never have to worry about 50 gallons of water swallowing up your college momentos and those boxes of clothing you swear you’ll be able to get back into one of these days.
  • Energy-saving. Unlike traditional water heaters, the tankless versions use energy to heat water only when you need it.
  • Small footprint. Tankless units won’t gobble up a bunch of floorspace. In fact, most of them are wall-mounted.
  • Smart. Newer tankless water heaters allow you to adjust water temperature via a mobile app and will notify you when they need service.

Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are a great investment for many homeowners, but there are a couple of cons to consider.  And you can probably guess the first one.

  • Cost.  Tank-style water heaters run about $400; tankless models can be three times that. Sure, you’ll save some money on your energy bills—but it’ll take a good amount of time to recoup your investment. If you’re considering tankless to save money alone, you’ll likely be disappointed.
  • Installation. Whether you’re replacing your water heater with a traditional or tankless model, you should absolutely involve a professional Tulsa plumber. Installing a tankless water heater tends to be a bit pricier, especially if you need upgraded gas or electrical connections.
  • Capacity. Although you technically won’t “run out” of hot water, tankless water heaters still have some capacity considerations. They typically can’t support multiple hot water uses at once, but they’re compact enough to be installed at multiple places in your home.
  • Flow rate sensitivity. If you don’t have consistent water pressure, the temperature of hot water produced by tankless units may be inconsistent.

We Can Help With Your Decision

Considering making the switch to a tankless water heater? We’d love to offer a free estimate. Call us today to get started.

5 Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters


5 Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

One of the best improvements you can make on your Tulsa home.


When homeowners hear “water heater,” most people picture the large, gray tank in the corner of their basement. They don’t necessarily understand how it works; they just know they need it to do its job. In fact, they don’t give much thought to their water heater at all—until it quits on them, of course.

But did you know approximately 17% of our energy consumption can be attributed to our water heaters—more than all other household appliances combined? For homeowners who are looking for ways to conserve energy and save money, it’s worth thinking about upgrading to a tankless water heater.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Enjoy continuous hot water.
Unlike traditional water heaters that continually heat and store water in a tank, tankless water heaters heat water directly and only when it’s required. Cold water travels to the unit, where it’s warmed either by a gas burner or an electric heating element. Hot water is produced at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute, and it never “runs out” as it does with tank water heaters.

Save money. According to energy.gov, you can save between 8% and 24% on your energy bills by installing a tankless water heater, depending on your water consumption. Although tankless units are more expensive than storage models and installation costs may be higher, tankless water heaters last longer (up to 10 years longer) and are less expensive to operate.

You may also qualify for a significant  
tax rebate the year you install a tankless water heater.

Conserve energy. Storage-type water heaters waste a significant amount of energy in standby heat loss. Electric, tankless water heaters don’t have that issue, because they expend energy to heat water only when it’s needed. If you’re considering a gas-powered tankless water heater, look for one equipped with a intermittent ignition device (IID) so your energy gains aren’t lost to a constantly burning pilot light.

Save space. Tankless water heaters are small and typically wall-mounted. They can be installed in multiple areas throughout your home to increase hot water production. If you tend to need hot water in multiple areas of your home at the same time—such as the shower, dishwasher, and washing machine—it’s worth considering multiple units.

Avoid plumbing emergencies. Ruptured water heaters are among the top five sources of water damage to homes, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Because tankless water heaters don’t store gallons and gallons of water, you’re never at risk of water heater-related flood.

Have questions about tankless water heaters? Wondering if making the switch is a smart move for your family? Tulsa plumbing experts Wooten Plumbing is happy to help. We’ve been helping Tulsa area homeowners make smart plumbing decisions for decades. Give us a call today.

tulsa plumbing


Wooten Plumbing is your trusted Tulsa plumbing expert. If you suspect your water heater needs attention, contact us today.

© 2017 by Wooten Plumbing & Utilities, LLC