Bill Van Mastrigt, owner of Advanced Plumbing and Rooter Service, lists some potential pros and cons for converting to a tankless water heater.

Bill Van Mastrigt is owner of Advanced Plumbing and Rooter Service. To reach Bill Van Mastrigt call (925) 276-5616.
Video: Tankless Water Heater Considerations
Complete Video Transcription:

SAN RAMON – Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re thinking about switching from a conventional water heater to a tankless model, there are a few practical considerations you’ll want to address. Today we’re in San Ramon with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Bill Van Mastrigt of Advanced Plumbing and Rooter Service to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Bill Van Mastrigt: Today I want to talk to you about a subject that is an everyday question for us. And that is, “When my water heater goes bad, should I get a tankless?” Well, it’s a great question. And my answer usually is that it depends. Tankless water heaters definitely have an advantage, but there are some disadvantages. So, let’s talk about it.

Okay. Your average water heater in your house is going to be much less efficient than a tankless water heater. That being said, there is a tremendous cost savings using a conventional water heater. Now, what are the advantages of a tankless water heater?

Well, number 1, you have an endless supply of hot water. Okay, you can let this thing run for 24 hours, and you’ll never run out of hot water. That’s a huge advantage if you have a need for that, okay? And I’m a real big believer in selling people what they need and not so much just what they hear is the next greatest thing. So, what is a good need for a tankless water heater?

Well, for example, if you have a large Jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom, and you have a 50-gallon water heater, it won’t fill that tub and maintain the temperature that you want. So, that might be a good reason. And, you know, if there’s a medical need and/or you just like to fill this tub often, you know, it’s a good reason to consider switching to a tankless water heater.

Another good reason could be that there’s many people living in the house that are, you know, sharing a 40- or 50-gallon water heater, and the water heater is just constantly running out of hot water. That might be a good reason.

So, another advantage of a tankless water heater is the efficiency. Now, what efficiency means is: How much is it costing you to use the water heater when it’s on? So, tankless water heaters, compared to a conventional water heater, are typically about 98% efficient. Well, that’s a good thing. So, when you’re using natural gas, you’re not wasting any of that gas. That heat value is going right into the water, okay?

So, let’s talk about some disadvantages. Tankless water heaters are expensive. Oftentimes you can spend three times the price of a conventional water heater, installing a tankless water heater. Another disadvantage is they’re complicated to work on. You know, usually, you need somebody that’s trained by the factory that can get into this thing, and take it apart, and service it, and make it work again. A tankless water heater can use three times the gas of a regular water heater when it’s operating. Therefore, we have to look at, number 1, do you have a large enough gas supply? Okay?

And the other thing that a tankless water heater requires is a different type of a vent system. Typically, we can’t use the existing vent of a conventional water heater when we install a tankless water heater. Oftentimes we have to drill a hole in the side wall and re-route that vent to the outside.

And when you look at the disadvantages versus the advantages, you really just have to ask yourself, “Is it worth spending three times the price of a regular water heater to go tankless?” So, the decision whether or not to switch to a tankless water heater really depends upon your personal circumstances, your situation, and what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at

Bill Van Mastrigt is a 20-year veteran of the plumbing industry and owner of Advanced Plumbing and Rooter Service, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 276-5616 or by email.

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