Tankless Water Heaters: #1 Guide To The Smart Heating Choice

Tankless Water Heaters: #1 Guide To The Smart Heating Choice

Overview of Tankless Water Heaters

Looking to upgrade your home’s water heating system to tankless water heaters?

Tankless water heaters might be the perfect solution for you. 

Unlike traditional water heaters that store a large volume of hot water, tankless water heaters heat water on demand, providing a continuous supply of hot water without the need for a bulky tank. 

This innovative technology has gained popularity due to its efficiency, compact design, and long-term cost savings.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach, SC, is a leading provider of tankless water heater installation and maintenance services. 

With a strong reputation for professionalism and quality work, they serve the Myrtle Beach area, including Conway, SC. 

Whether you need a new installation or are looking to upgrade your existing system, their team of experienced technicians can provide expert advice and top-notch service.

Ensuring your home benefits from the latest in water heating technology.


Tankless Water Heaters.
Photo from iStock – Credit: KangeStudio

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Space-Saving Design

One of the most notable benefits of tankless water heaters is their compact design. 

Traditional tank-style water heaters can take up significant space, often occupying a large portion of a basement or utility room. 

In contrast, tankless water heaters are much smaller and can be mounted on walls, freeing up valuable floor space. 

According to Prudent Reviews, the average tank-style heater is about 54 to 60 inches tall with a 20-inch diameter, while a typical tankless unit measures around 27 inches tall, 18 inches wide, and 10 inches deep. 

This makes tankless models an ideal choice for homes with limited space, providing flexibility in installation locations, such as closets or small utility areas.

Versatile Installation Options

Tankless water heaters offer versatile installation options that further enhance their space-saving benefits. 

These units can be installed indoors or outdoors, depending on the model and local climate conditions. 

Wall-mounted designs not only save space but also reduce the risk of water damage associated with floor-standing units. 

This versatility allows homeowners to install tankless water heaters in various locations, optimizing their living space and maintaining a clean, uncluttered environment.


Energy Efficiency

Reduced Energy Consumption

Tankless water heaters are renowned for their energy efficiency. 

Unlike traditional water heaters that continuously heat and reheat a large volume of water stored in a tank, tankless units heat water only when it is needed. 

This on-demand heating process eliminates the standby energy losses associated with tank-style heaters, leading to significant energy savings. 

The Department of Energy states that tankless water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy efficient for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily. 

For households with higher hot water usage, the efficiency gains are still substantial, ranging from 8% to 14%​​.

Long-Term Savings

The energy efficiency of tankless water heaters translates into long-term savings on utility bills. 

Although the initial cost of purchasing and installing a tankless water heater is higher than that of a traditional tank unit, the reduced energy consumption can offset these upfront expenses over time. 

Homeowners can expect lower monthly energy bills, and the extended lifespan of tankless water heaters—typically over 20 years—further enhances their cost-effectiveness.


Safety and Reliability

Lower Risk of Leaks and Water Damage

One of the significant advantages of tankless water heaters is their reduced risk of leaks and water damage. 

Traditional tank-style water heaters can corrode over time, leading to leaks that can cause substantial water damage. 

Tankless units, however, do not store water, which minimizes the risk of such issues. 

Prudent Reviews highlight that tankless water heaters eliminate the possibility of a tank bursting and flooding your home, offering peace of mind and reliability​.

Consistent Water Quality

Tankless water heaters provide consistent water quality by heating water on demand.

Ensuring that the water delivered to your faucets is fresh and free from the sediments and rust that can accumulate in traditional tank systems. 

This results in cleaner, purer water that is safer for your family and appliances.

Enhanced Safety Features

Tankless water heaters come equipped with advanced safety features, such as precise temperature control, which reduces the risk of scalding. 

Unlike traditional heaters that can overheat water stored in the tank, tankless models heat water to the desired temperature, enhancing user safety. 

Additionally, tankless water heaters do not pose the risk of exposure to toxic metals, as they do not corrode in the same manner as tank-style units.


Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters

Purchase and Installation

While tankless water heaters offer numerous benefits, one of their primary drawbacks is the high initial cost. 

The purchase price of a tankless water heater can be significantly higher than that of a traditional tank-style unit. 

According to Prudent Reviews, the average cost of a tankless water heater, including installation, ranges from $2,500 to $5,000, compared to $1,000 to $1,700 for a tank-style heater. 

This higher cost is largely due to the complexity of the installation process, which often requires upgrading electrical systems or gas lines to accommodate the unit’s demands. 

Additionally, special venting systems may need to be installed, further increasing the overall expense.


Potential for Higher Maintenance

In addition to the upfront costs, tankless water heaters may require more maintenance than traditional systems. 

Regular descaling and cleaning of the water filter are necessary to prevent mineral buildup from hard water, which can reduce efficiency and lead to malfunctions. 

Professional maintenance services, typically required annually, can add to the long-term costs. 

Neglecting maintenance can void warranties and shorten the lifespan of the unit.


Performance Limitations

Delayed Hot Water Delivery

One of the operational challenges of tankless water heaters is the delay in delivering hot water. 

Unlike tank-style heaters that have a reserve of hot water ready to use, tankless units heat water only when needed. 

This process can result in a brief wait for hot water to reach the faucet, particularly if the unit is located far from the point of use. 

This initial delay is often referred to as the “cold water sandwich” phenomenon, where a burst of cold water is followed by hot water, which can be inconvenient for users.


Flow Rate Limitations

Another limitation of tankless water heaters is their flow rate. 

While they can provide a continuous supply of hot water, the rate at which they can heat water is finite. 

This means that if multiple taps or appliances are in use simultaneously, the unit may struggle to meet the demand, resulting in a reduced flow rate and inconsistent water temperatures. 

Larger households with high hot water usage may need to install multiple units or choose a model with a higher flow rate to ensure adequate performance.


Tankless water heaters.
Photo from iStock – Credit: Aramyan

Selecting the Right Tankless Water Heater

Flow Rate and Capacity

When choosing a tankless water heater, one of the most crucial factors to consider is the flow rate, measured in gallons per minute (GPM). 

The flow rate determines how much hot water the unit can deliver at a given time. 

It’s essential to select a unit that meets your household’s hot water demands, especially if multiple fixtures or appliances will be used simultaneously. 

According to This Old House, flow rates can vary significantly between models, with higher GPM units better suited for larger households. 

For example, a family might need a unit that can handle 7.5 GPM to support the concurrent use of showers, dishwashers, and washing machines.


Fuel Type

Tankless water heaters are available in both electric and gas models, each with its advantages and considerations. 

Gas models typically offer higher flow rates and are more suitable for larger homes with significant hot water needs. 

However, they may require more extensive installation work, including proper venting and gas line upgrades. 

Electric models are generally easier to install and maintain but might not provide the same flow rate as gas units. 

The Department of Energy suggests evaluating the availability and cost of fuel in your area to determine the most cost-effective and efficient option for your home.


Brand and Model Selection

Choosing a reputable brand and model is essential to ensure reliability and performance. 

Top-rated brands like Rinnai, Stiebel Eltron, and Rheem offer various models with different features and capacities. 

Reviews and expert recommendations can provide valuable insights into the best options for your specific needs. 

This Old House highlights several top-performing models, such as the Rinnai Indoor Gas Tankless Hot Water Heater, known for its high flow rate and efficiency, making it an excellent choice for whole-house applications.


Installation and Maintenance Tips

Professional Installation

Proper installation is critical for the optimal performance and safety of a tankless water heater. 

It is highly recommended to hire a qualified plumbing and heating contractor to handle the installation. 

According to the Department of Energy, professional installers can ensure that the unit is correctly sized, vented, and connected to the appropriate fuel source. 

When selecting a contractor, consider factors such as cost estimates, references, and compliance with local building codes.


Regular Maintenance

Maintaining a tankless water heater is vital to prolong its lifespan and maintain efficiency. 

Regular descaling, especially in areas with hard water, and cleaning of the water filter are essential tasks. 

Many manufacturers provide specific maintenance guidelines, including annual professional servicing to flush and descale the unit. 

This preventative maintenance helps prevent mineral buildup and ensures the unit operates at peak efficiency.


Comparing Tankless Water Heaters to Traditional Water Heaters

Energy Consumption

One of the most significant differences between tankless and traditional water heaters is energy consumption. 

Traditional water heaters continuously heat and reheat a large volume of water stored in a tank, leading to standby energy losses. 

In contrast, tankless water heaters heat water only when needed, significantly reducing energy consumption. 

According to the Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy efficient for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, and 8% to 14% more efficient for homes using around 86 gallons per day. 

This efficiency translates into lower energy bills and a smaller environmental footprint.


Performance and Hot Water Supply

While traditional water heaters store a ready supply of hot water, they can run out during periods of high demand, requiring time to reheat the tank. 

Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, provide a continuous supply of hot water as long as the demand does not exceed the unit’s capacity. 

This makes tankless units ideal for households that require hot water for multiple uses simultaneously, such as running a shower and dishwasher at the same time. 

However, it’s essential to select a tankless model with an adequate flow rate to meet your household’s needs.


Maintenance and Longevity

Both types of water heaters require maintenance to operate efficiently, but the nature of this maintenance differs. 

Traditional water heaters need periodic flushing to remove sediment buildup and regular inspection of the anode rod to prevent corrosion. 

Tankless water heaters require regular descaling, especially in areas with hard water, and cleaning of the water filter. 

Professional maintenance is recommended annually for both types to ensure longevity and efficiency.


Durability and Lifespan

Tankless water heaters typically have a longer lifespan than traditional models. 

While traditional water heaters last about 8-12 years, tankless units can last over 20 years with proper maintenance. 

This increased durability, combined with easily replaceable parts, can make tankless water heaters a more sustainable and cost-effective option over time.


Why Choose Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach, SC

Expertise and Experience

When it comes to tankless water heaters, having an experienced and knowledgeable technician handle the installation and maintenance is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. 

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach, SC, stands out as a leader in the field due to its extensive experience and commitment to excellence. 

Their team of certified professionals is trained to handle all aspects of tankless water heater services, from initial installation to ongoing maintenance and repairs.


Comprehensive Solutions

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing offers a full range of plumbing services beyond tankless water heaters, making them a one-stop solution for all your plumbing needs. 

Whether you need routine maintenance, emergency repairs, or advice on upgrading your home’s plumbing system, their team is equipped to provide comprehensive solutions tailored to your specific requirements. 

Their specialized knowledge in tankless water heaters ensures that you receive expert guidance and high-quality workmanship, maximizing the efficiency and lifespan of your system.


Serving Myrtle Beach and Conway, SC

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing’s strong local presence in Myrtle Beach and Conway, SC, allows them to provide prompt and reliable service to the community. 

Understanding the unique needs and conditions of the local area, they can offer personalized recommendations and solutions that are best suited for your home. 

Their quick response times and availability ensure that any plumbing issues are addressed swiftly, minimizing inconvenience and potential damage to your property. 

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is the ideal choice for homeowners looking to install or upgrade to a tankless water heater.



In summary, tankless water heaters offer numerous advantages over traditional tank-style heaters, including space-saving design, enhanced energy efficiency, and improved safety and reliability. 

While they come with higher upfront costs and potential maintenance requirements, the long-term savings and consistent hot water supply make them a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach, SC, provides expert installation and maintenance services for tankless water heaters. 

Their experienced technicians ensure that your system is installed correctly and maintained properly, maximizing its efficiency and lifespan. 

With a strong local presence and a commitment to customer satisfaction, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is the go-to service provider for all your plumbing needs in Myrtle Beach and Conway, SC.



  1. What is a tankless water heater?

    A tankless water heater heats water on demand, providing a continuous supply of hot water without the need for a storage tank. This technology saves space and energy compared to traditional tank-style heaters.


  1. How much does it cost to install a tankless water heater?

    The cost of installing a tankless water heater can range from $2,500 to $5,000, including the unit and installation. This is higher than the cost of traditional tank-style heaters, but the long-term energy savings can offset the initial expense.


  1. How long do tankless water heaters last?

    Tankless water heaters typically last over 20 years, significantly longer than traditional tank-style heaters, which usually last between 8 and 12 years. Regular maintenance can further extend the lifespan of a tankless unit.


  1. Are tankless water heaters more energy-efficient?

    Yes, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient because they heat water only when needed, eliminating standby energy losses associated with traditional storage water heaters. This can lead to significant savings on energy bills.


  1. What maintenance is required for a tankless water heater?

    Regular maintenance for a tankless water heater includes descaling to prevent mineral buildup and cleaning the water filter. Annual professional servicing is recommended to ensure the unit operates efficiently and to maintain warranty coverage.


Interested in learning more or scheduling an installation? Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach, SC, today to get expert advice and service for your tankless water heater needs.



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