Monday, July 21, 2008

Takagi Tankless Water Heaters

Takagi USA has been manufacturing tankless water heaters heaters here in the States for more than 10 years. While that isn't very long, Takagi has been in the business for more than 50 years in Japan.

What sort of features and benefits can a Takagi tankless water heater offer you? Like other tankless models, the main selling point is the endless supply of hot water that is offered through the heater.

Takagi tankless heaters are also highly efficient. In fact, one tankless water heater from Takagi boasts and efficiency rating of 92% for the natural gas model, and 95% for the propane (LP) model. Compare that to the average rating in the 50-60 range for a standard water heater, or 82% for some of the Bosch water heaters, and you can see the difference.

Takagi heaters only operate when you ask for hot water. When the hot water tap is turned on, water begins to enter the heater, which then is detected by a flow sensor. This in turn activates the burner, and water begins to circulate through heat coil, or exchanger as it is also known. The heat exchanger then heats the water to the preset temperature in less than 7 seconds. This can continue on for an indefinite period of time, so no more worrying about running out of hot water. When the hot water tap is turned off, the heating unit stops as well.

Takagi tankless heaters are also more compact than a regular water heater. They range in weight from 30 pounds to 90 pounds, and are generally about the size of a medium to large suitcase. Most of the units are designed to be placed inside, and can be mounted on a wall. This frees up floor space in your home that can be used for other things. Because Tagaki water heaters are natural gas and/or propane powered, they require proper venting, thus a professional installer is your best bet. Category 3 stainless steel vented pipe is recommended by the manufacturer, and the tankless heater cannot share venting with any other appliances.

One thing that confuses some consumers is that they expect instant hot water when they put in a tankless hot water heater. While a Takagi heater can provide unlimited hot water, it is not instantaneous. It still takes time for the water to reach each faucet or shower head, so if you want immediate hot water, an alternative would be a recirculation pump.

According to Takagi, their tankless heaters have an average life span of 15 to 20 years, which is about 5 to 10 years longer than the average standard water heater. Takagi tankless heaters have a 10 year warranty on the heat exchanger, and 5 years on all other components on the units. Tankless units cost more up front, but generally make up the difference in lower operating costs and longer lifespans.

Based on the model you select, a Takagi tankless water heater can provide you with between three and five gallons (GPM) of hot water per minute.

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