You probably landed here because you are looking for the best option of fulfilling your instant hot water needs. You have heard about tankless water heaters but you are not quite sure on what these are, how they work and more importantly their benefits.

You have come to the right place to help you make an informed decision. Here is our top picks for both electric and propane tankless water heaters:

EcoSmart ECO27 Electric

EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review

Best Value For Money

Marey Power Gas 10L

Marey Power Gas 10L Tankless Water Heater Review

What type of water heater to choose?

Several types of water heaters can ensure hot water production for your home. To help you choose the most suitable one for your needs, we give you a short descriptive of the different models.

Here are the main type you can find on the market:

– The solar water heater

– The thermodynamic water heater

– The gas water heater

– The electric water heater

The solar water heater

It is the most economical because it uses a renewable energy: the sun. It consists of a hot water tank and solar panels. These are installed in your garden or on your roof. They will capture the heat scattered by the sun’s rays and return it to the balloon to heat the water. This type of device is more suited to sunny regions.

The thermodynamic water heater

It is often installed in new homes because it meets the criteria of RT 2012. It also uses a renewable energy. It recovers the heat contained in the ambient air of the room in which it is and uses it to heat the water. It is a device that must be installed according to specific rules. It works with an electric booster. It can easily be installed to replace an electric water heater in a laundry room or cellar.

The gas water heater

The gas water heater is also called “bath heater”. It is located near a water stop valve and is made for very low needs in hot water. (A sink for example).

The electric water heater

There are two types of electric water heaters: instantaneous or tankless and the one with a tank. The tankless one is designed for low hot water needs. It heats water on demand, so it does not store water.

The electric tank water heater can supply more hot water for a whole family needs. There are several capacities and several locations are possible (wall or pedestal and vertical or horizontal).

These systems therefore fill different needs. If you live in a house in the sunny region, a solar water heater can meet your needs. If you are on a new home, the thermodynamic water heater will be suitable. Finally, if you live in an apartment, the electric water heater will be the easiest to set up.

A Tankless water heater, what is it?

This type of water heater, also called water heater “on demand”, or instantaneous water heater, is particularly interesting from the environmental point of view since it has no tank. It heats the water on demand, only when someone opens the faucet, eliminating the losses inherent in the conventional tank system (where some of the water remains stored along the walls or in the pipes).

A rudimentary system consists of an electric element or a gas burner around which fresh domestic water circulates en route to its point of use.

What kind of no tank heater do I need?

Electric models

Although effective in Europe, Asia and the United States, this is not the case in Canada! This technology is simply not adapted to the Canadian climate, the power required for instantaneous heating of water near 0 ° C during the coldest months is very important.

It is therefore reasonable under these conditions to prefer the use of gas as a fuel. The instantaneous electric water heater is a practical solution for sanitary water distribution. The appliance has the capacity to supply hot water immediately, without limit and on demand. Its advantages are numerous.

Savings related to the electric water heater

This water heater is ideal in small houses. Indeed, it comes in small sizes. It is also easy to install and generates energy savings. It consumes only during the time of use, unlike a heater with a tank that must keep a constant temperature. It also saves water because it does not need to run for long to be able to wash your hands or take a shower.

On the other hand, this supplied water can reach 55 degrees, which is a temperature largely sufficient for a sanitary use. It does not require maintenance either. The problem of calcium deposits, harmful to the device does not arise. As there is no stagnation in the tank, no need to worry about bacterial growth.

Finally, and the advantage is not negligible, this water heater has a lifespan of 20 years. It is therefore superior to that of other models, between 10 and 15 years.

Who is an electric water heater for?

While the benefits of the system are numerous, the fact remains that it is not suitable for all households. Large families will not benefit from this device. It is not at all suitable for the distribution of domestic hot water in very large quantities.  Heating this quantity of water would be way too expensive! This water heater is therefore useful to feed a single water point or small houses.

The instantaneous electric water heater, how does it work?

This device will use a resistance to raise the temperature of the water. When the tap is opened, a connection is made inside the device. The water’s temperature raises in contact with the resistance and then flows through the tap.  The resistances are made according to the desired temperature of the water. They also take into account the desired flow rate. A resistance of 7.3 Kw will deliver 2.6 liters of water per minute at 55 degrees. It will deliver 4 liters of water per minute at 40 °. Be careful in case of low flow: the water may be lukewarm.

Propane Boilers Models

As previously mentioned a heater using propane is a system that consists of gas burner around which fresh domestic water circulates.

How does a gas heater work?

The device allows the water to be heated at the precise moment of the request, thanks to a burner which turns on and off according to whether or not a sensor detects a movement of water due to opening or closing a tap. The energy efficiency of the gas water heater is generally between 78 and 85% for standard models, that of condensing models – gas also – ranging between 91 and 96%.

The advantages: saving energy and space, at home … and at the dump
  • Few energy losses; zero consumption in the absence of consumption;
  • Reduced costs of use;
  • Compact and easy to use;
  • Space Gain (no need to reserve space for the tank);
  • No bacterial proliferation;
  • They help reduce the amount of water heaters in landfills;
  • They have a long life (over 20 years), compared to conventional water heaters (10 to 15 years);
  • Hot water on request unlimited, at any time.
Disadvantages: a high purchase and installation price and some water flow problems
  • High purchase and installation cost (from $ 1,000 to $ 1,500 for the purchase and $ 1,000 for the installation, note that an efficient electric water heater for a family costs $ 3,000);
  • Volume of hot water available simultaneously quite low;
  • Electric models create a large load on the network and may require replacing the electrical panel and wiring (an additional $ 2,000);
  • It can cause a temperature inconsistency if several faucets discharge the water simultaneously;
  • There may be a delay of several seconds before getting hot water every time the tap is turned on: some prefer to let the tap run continuously;
  • If the water flow is low (a stream of water running during shaving for example), the water may not be very hot.
  • Need to change one’s habits: avoid drawing hot water simultaneously in several places, no longer add cold water to hot water to take a shower or do dishes, etc … The slight time of waiting (a few seconds) to get hot water can also be perceived as a disadvantage.

Why choose a gas instant water heater?

Forget the electric models if your budget is limited. Smaller units, priced starting at $ 500, will be unable to adequately feed more than one faucet.  To meet the needs of a family, a very powerful model is needed (at least 28 kW), but for a cost quickly rising to $ 3,000, not to mention the possible additional costs for a particular electrical connection… Indeed such power may require to completely review your electrical installation.

Fireplaces with electric heating normally have a 200-amp input at a voltage of 240 volts, which corresponds to a maximum power of 48 kW (200 x 240 = 48,000). With an instantaneous water heater you will certainly have to switch to 300 amps and replace the electrical cable connecting your panel to the water heater, work that represents a significant additional investment (at least $ 2,000).

In these conditions … choose a gas model. The average additional cost is $ 525 according to a study conducted by Gaz Métro, but generally, between $ 600 and $ 1800 to purchase depending on the heating capacity.

How to choose an instant gas water heater?

Instant gas water heaters can run without electricity, but it is mostly low-end using indoor air in the home rather than outside air for combustion. This type of system is unsuitable because it sucks and removes heat from the house, and because an unsealed combustion chamber can pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the event of depressurization or back-flow of gases.

The higher-end models operate by sealed combustion: one pipe feeds the burner with fresh air from the outside while another provides flue gas discharge (several configurations are possible). Appliances operating with an ignition pilot are a little less efficient because there is a slight but constant consumption of gas to keep the pilot on, even outside periods of use.

In Europe, where the propane instant water heater has been in widespread use for over 25 years, users have developed the habit of turning off the pilot when the use of the water heater is not required.  However, manufacturers now offer electronic ignition devices that eliminate this drawback: make sure that the selected model has one. Finally, for second homes or in remote areas, an instant water heater running on propane gas seems appropriate.