In the December print issue, I highlighted five key ways contractors can reduce installation hassles and increase revenue on tank water heater jobs. Now here are some important tips for tankless units:


1. Smaller size is a big advantage.

One of the biggest benefits of tankless water heaters is the space savings that comes from not requiring large diameter tanks. Many homes have little space to spare, so tankless technology becomes more attractive. Look for tankless units that can be rack-mounted for additional space savings and simpler operation.


2. Use water softeners to increase product life.

Scale buildup can shorten the life of any water heater. Fortunately, preventing scale buildup is an easy and manageable process. Anti-scale filters are available for both tankless and tank water heaters. I suggest finding one that uses a non-chemical, non-salt scale reduction substance that causes the calcium and magnesium in the water to bind together in a form which won’t stick to the inner surfaces of the tank. This technology allows contractors to simply replace a cartridge in the filter every two years. Many other anti-scale solutions require filter replacement every three to six months.


3. Tankless energy savings appeal to homeowners.

Tankless water heaters are efficient and can save the average family of four nearly $100 a year compared to a gas storage water heater. The more efficient the model, the greater the savings. Choosing an Energy Star-certified model can save an additional $20 a year.


4. Size tankless models based on peak demand.

Since a tankless unit heats water on demand, the contractor needs to size it for the maximum number of showers and laundry cycles that a household anticipates. If it’s sized for average daily use, it’s possible the tankless unit will run out of hot water or reduce flow.


5. Steer customers to a tankless unit that lets you “set it and forget it.”

Some tankless models feature a simple user interface and an onboard computer that automatically modulates combustion to deliver exceptional efficiency. This way contractors don’t have to worry about maintenance callbacks and the homeowner gets years of reliable hot water on demand. RJ 2.0


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