What is a point-of-use tankless water heater, and why are many considering the installation of one in their home?
A point of use tankless hot water heater is a much smaller device that can be placed right under a sink where you use hot water. These units can also be used to supply hot water in a shower or bathtub, although the flow rate, or gallons per minute may not be enough for at tub all dependent on the power of the device.
So what is the reason for using a tankless hot water heater like this? One scenario where this might be a great idea is when the sink is in a part of the home that is far away from the home's main hot water heater. If it is taking a long time for you to receive hot water, it is usually because of the "run" of the pipes going to your sink. When the run is fairly long, and you have a long wait for the hot water, you're letting water run down the drain. If you put in a point of use hot water heater under the sink, then you will be good to go. Now with this setup you will have to pay more for electricity to run the heater, but you will save money on your water utility costs.
A point of use heater can truly be called an on-demand or instant water heater as it is always just a few moments before you have hot water delivered right out of the faucet. These point-of-use water heaters will eliminate what is referred to as stand-by losses.
Another method to use one of these systems would be in the kitchen, but a word of caution is necessary. A point of use demand heater could be placed near your sink and thus offer extremely hot water that would be needed for cooking or for making hot drinks. The warning here is the risk of scalding, as some of these demand heaters can produce very hot water.
Investigate the heat settings and the overall operation of these point of use heaters, due to the fact they can heat water with up to temperatures as hot as 180 degrees. Many tankless water manufacturers have now built the units with anti-scalding controls. This will cap the temperature so that the water will not go above about 120 degrees.
You can see how this is necessary to investigate if you have kids in your home. Today the automatic control systems are usually standard and built-in on these point-of-use units, so if you desire a unit that does offer very hot water, you may have to do a little shopping.
There are several manufacturers of these mini tankless water heaters, there shouldn't be much difficulty in finding something for $200 dollars or less.
Overall, a point of use tankless water heater can certainly make life easier when installed in the right situation.