If you do not already include tankless water heaters as part of the signature features in your homes and remodels, you should at least understand why so many folks are in love with the benefits. The reasons just may surprise you — and hopefully motivate you to learn how to sell more of them and how to better satisfy your clients.
When I sell tankless water heaters, I do not sell them based on their perceived water efficiency or that they provide instant hot water. In fact those are myths that I usually have to dispel first before talking about their benefits.
I explain that hot water users will still have to wait for the hot water to travel from the water heater (tanked or tankless) to the location you want the hot water. No, they are not wireless, and the only way to get hot water immediately from the tap is either by moving the water heater (tank or tankless) closer to the tap or by installing a hot water circulation loop. Tankless water heaters instantly heat the water, but they do not instantly transport it.
Next I explain that users may actually end up using more water, not less, because tankless water heaters mean they will never run out of hot water. Thus their teenagers can take endless showers knowing they will never run out of hot water. That’s why the Rinnai website is www.foreverhotwater.com and not something else!
So if they are not so green, what about tankless water heaters makes them so attractive? First and foremost, if you live in a warm climate, you can install them unobtrusively outdoors. That means you can (a) more easily service the unit because the plumber does not have to come in the house to flush it, (b) you have no need for a vent stack, which saves money on the stack and labor to install it, (c) No stack means one less ugly roof penetration and thus one less place a roof can leak, (d) Exterior installation gives you the option of a hot water hose bib right outside the house, and (e) Exterior installation also frees up the closet it was located in for more storage, or it gets a ticking time bomb out of the attic which is where most tanked water heaters are stored in our region of the country.
But regardless of location, a tankless water heater makes sense when dedicated to the master bathroom. A tankless enables the user of an oversized 6-foot tub to actually fill and keep it filled with hot water. And when you install dueling shower heads in a new oversized shower, a tankless ensures the same.
The bottom line in bathrooms is that we have yet to remodel one in order to make it smaller — nobody ever asks for a smaller tub or shower! When you locate that tankless near the master bath, you can get very close to achieving instant hot water right when you turn on the tap. And the client can still keep the existing tanked water heater in the home if it is operating OK — adding a tankless and dedicating it to the master bath will actually extend the life of the existing tanked unit because it will get less use!
And finally, whether installed inside or out, stand-alone or in conjunction with a tanked water heater, tankless models simply resonate with homeowners because they understand the easiest concept to grasp of them all — when you are not using hot water, you aren’t using energy to heat it!