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Everything You Need To Know About Tankless Water Heaters

Not only do tankless water heaters save you space in your mechanical room but they also help you save money in the long run.

That's because these machines are built with energy efficiency in mind and only provide water heating when you need it.

Some of the most common questions we get from our customers about tankless water heater are:

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How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work

The tankless hot water heater is an increasingly popular option in households across Calgary. This type of water heater differs from traditional water tanks because traditional tanks will heat water and hold it within the tank, whereas tankless water heaters will instead supply hot water on demand, heating the water as it passes through the heat exchanger.

The capacity of the water heater is dependent on the incoming water temperature, output water temperature and BTU input. As tankless water heaters heat the water, they will restrict the flow to meet the output temperature. This restriction will often limit the number of fixtures that can be operated at the same time.

These tankless water heaters may sound like a miracle machine but in order to provide water on demand, it is worthwhile looking into selecting a system that has the capacity for your home and its needs.

Once the unit is producing hot water it can continue indefinitely as it heats the water instantly as it passes through the heat exchanger.

You can get in touch with our professional plumbing company if you need any help selecting a tankless water heater for your needs.

If you are looking for a professional trustworthy plumbing company to help with your plumbing needs give us a call at


Benefits Of A Tankless Water Heater

Traditional water tanks are still the most commonly used water heater across Calgary and its surrounding areas, but tankless water heaters are beginning to become the more popular option.

The technology behind the tankless heater has been around since as early as 1990 but only recently have they become the more popular choice when compared to traditional tank water heaters.

Some benefits that may encourage you to go tankless are:

Unlimited Hot Water

Unlike traditional storage tank systems which only provide a limited supply of hot water, the new tankless water heater system can provide you with an unlimited supply of hot water on demand.

You’ll never get frustrated when taking a shower or washing the dishes because the water just went cold. If you select the right unit, you will be supplied with an endless supply of hot water.

We understand how important it can be to have endless hot water in a climate like Calgary.

Space Saving

Making space in your furnace room just got a whole lot easier. Since these new systems do not store hot water, they will take significantly less space in your home.

Energy Savings

You will save tons of energy with tankless water heaters since they are not continuously heating your water back to its desired temperature.  The unit will modulate the energy needed to heat the water you use to the desired temperature.

Did you know the Canadian government did a study in 2018 that mentioned that households that converted to tankless water heaters saved roughly 30% on energy?

It goes without saying that these energy savings can be realized only if you use the same amount of hot water as with your original hot water tank. If you use more hot water now that you have the unlimited capacity, you will not realize these savings.

Call us today to talk about your plumbing and heating needs—we would love to help you with these services.

Long Life Span

A standard hot water tank has a life span of roughly 10-12 years, whereas a tankless water heater will have a life span of 20 years. So not only will you save money on energy but you’ll also save money in the long run since you do not have to replace your hot water heater every 10-12 years.

Note that some insurance companies are requiring water tank replacement at the 12-year mark even if the water heater is still functioning properly. This will limit their exposure to potential damage.


Over the years a standard water tank may develop a bacterial problem in the water, corrode from the tank anode rod depletion or allow rust to pass into the water from the tank which can stain clothes and fixtures.

Tankless water heaters should be serviced every year to properly maintain your warranty. A descaler such as vinegar should be circulated through the heat exchanger to keep the small passages open and free from hard water deposits.

We can teach you how to perform this maintenance and can even sell you a pump so you can take care of this yourself.

We can also take care of this for you and recommend having one of our experienced technicians clean the heat exchanger and confirm proper combustion at least once every two years.  The maintenance interval is dependent on contaminants in the combustion air and incoming water.

Minimal Carbon Foot Print

If you are concerned about the planet, reducing your carbon footprint through changing your water heater can really help make a difference.

Using an energy-efficient tankless hot water heater saves your money while you save the world!

A key way tankless water heaters use less energy is by modulation. As the water is heated the unit will slow the flow of gas to meet the output temperature. This allows the unit to only use the amount of gas needed. The other way high-efficiency tankless water heaters use less energy is by condensing the flue gases.

If you can condense the vapor within the flue gasses you gain an extra 15-17% efficiency. You will, however, need to dispose of the condensate which is acidic, so you need to handle it with care.

Metal drains and fittings should not be used for condensate drains as the acidic nature of the condensate will eat through the piping, possibly causing extensive damage.

Different Types Of Tankless Water Heaters

The two types of tankless water heaters are gas tankless heaters which are natural gas-powered and electric tankless heaters that primarily use electricity to heat water.

Gas-powered tankless water heaters will generally have simple installations and cost around the $3900+ price range. Newer high efficiency units are close to 97% efficient. A gas tankless water heater is best for homeowners who have a household that has a high demand for hot water.

Electric tankless water heaters will typically have an easier installation process. Costs for the unit will start at around $1000 plus installation, but have a much lower hot water production rate. This may not supply you with enough hot water to meet your needs and can often be limited by the size of your electrical service to your home.  The added costs of electricity vs. natural gas means the electric tankless unit can be much more expensive than gas to operate.

The high amount of electricity needed to heat the water as it passes the heat exchanger means larger expensive copper wires need to be run into the unit. The high demand can use up a large amount of the available power leading to your home. That said, the electric tankless water heater is an option for homes with out natural gas.

Downsides Of Tankless Water Heaters

While there are several benefits to a tankless water heater there are also some cons. As an expert in tankless water heater installations in Calgary, we believe knowing the pros and cons will help you decide whether this service is for you.

More Expensive Upfront

Tankless water heaters are very efficient machines that use significantly less energy when heating the water for your home. However these great machines may cost more than traditional hot water heaters.

The average price of a tankless water heater with installation will be $3900 whereas a traditional system may cost around $995+.

The installation process of a tankless unit will also be a more time-intensive service. This in turn will lead to the installation of the unit being a little more costly. Be sure to choose a trustworthy and experienced professional plumbing company to help with your tankless water heater installation.

Each of these systems will have varied instructions. When we install your new unit we will take the time to ensure that the installation meets all codes and offers years of faithful service. Our team will be sure to walk you through the safe operation of your water heater and make sure you know how to operate it.

Additional Services May Be Required

When you choose a new water heater for your Calgary home, you should contact us so we can tell you what your system will need in order to provide you with endless hot water. Each tankless water heater unit may require additional systems to function properly.

A water softener is highly recommended to ensure that your new water heating system operates well in your home. A water softener will help if your Calgary home has any issues with hard water. The water softener would be installed within your mechanical room.

Contact us if you have any questions about what type of water heater unit your home requires, based on your hot water usage, selection of electric or natural gas power and brand will help us tell you what is required for your installation.

Cold Water Sandwich

A cold water sandwich is caused when the water flow is turned off at one fixture causing the system to shut off and then is restarted by another person.

For example, let's say the next person turns on the shower. They test the water temperature finding it nice and warm, but not realizing that when the system shut down it takes 4-10 seconds to safely restart. While the system relights and heats the water to the desired temperature, cold water has just passed through the system following the warm water from when it was first turned on. While 4-10 seconds doesn’t sound like a long time, it will be an unwelcome surprise when you are hit with ice cold water with no warning.

Most systems combat this by allowing the system to run for a time after a demand just in case you start using hot water again. Recognizing this as an issue will allow you to plan for it accordingly.

Tankless Water Heater vs. Hot Water Tanks

Year after year we are seeing a rising trend in the plumbing industry towards the convenience and energy efficiency of tankless water heaters.

One of the most noticeable differences between tank and tankless is the slightly extended time it takes for the hot water to arrive at the faucet. Some call this style of water heater an instant water heater.  This does not mean you will have instant hot water on tap.

When you open the hot tap with a hot water tank the hot water immediately leaves the tank traveling through the waterlines to the faucet. With a tankless unit, when you open the hot tap, the unit senses the flow once it reaches .5 gallons per minute and starts the fan. The fan clears out the combustion chamber in case some gas leaked passed the gas valve. Once clear the unit starts the ignition process and looks to the flame sensor to confirm proper burner operation. With the burner operating the unit will ramp up to setpoint temperature and modulate until a steady temperature is reached. The process often takes between 4-10 seconds before hot water even starts to leave the unit.

A tankless water heater helps save you money and can heat your water instantly all year long. Some tankless units offer a combination of domestic water heating plus space heating. These units will heat your house and your water.

What Is The Price Of Tankless Water Heaters?

When you are choosing a tankless water heater the price can vary significantly based on the unit that you select. Whether you use a gas tankless or electric heating system can change the services and materials required.

The average price of an electric water heating system will be around the $1000 mark plus install, whereas gas-powered units will start around $2500 plus install. Installation costs can vary depending on what your system requires and which Calgary plumbing company you choose for the installation.

Easy financing is available on our financing page.

Get endless hot water today by giving us a call now so we can help give you a quote based on what you need, and the services/work required to complete your job.

Why Use Northern Oasis Plumbing & Heating?

All our installations follow the gas and building code.

We understand the rules are there for a reason. More than likely, someone lost their life which leads to the rule being added to the codebook. There are people out there who do not have proper gas tickets and insurance to install this equipment and thus offer reduced prices, but “ you get what you pay for” is so true in this situation.

Without proper permitting, saving yourself a few dollars on the install could cost you your insurance. When companies install without following installation requirements to reduce what they charge they are placing your financial future at risk.

If your house were to burn down and the investigators find an unpermitted installation, even if it had nothing to do with the fire, the insurance companies can cancel your insurance. Don’t risk your family or home to save a few dollars.

FAQs About Tankless Water Heaters

How long is the tankless water heater installation process?

Each install is unique and can take a variable amount of time. This is because our plumbing company needs to understand what type of water heater you need and the work that it will require. Once we gather enough information about your plumbing needs, then we will be able to provide an accurate quote for time.

Is a tankless water heater worth the price?

We believe that choosing a professional plumbing company to install a tankless water heater in your home is a great investment.

Studies have shown up to a 30% reduction in operating costs with tankless water heaters. Tankless water heaters are better suited to low volume constant draws than a tank. Running a shower one after another with a large family is perfect for a tankless system.

New tankless water heaters operate at much higher efficiency than compared to tank models.  Even older model tankless do not stand up to the new condensing efficiency.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

If You have a plumbing problem get in touch with our team by calling 587-777-5588 or visit our contact page to reach out!