Unlike tank-style water heaters, tankless water heaters are installed right inside of your walls. That means you have way more options about where you can install them. And that’s a good thing because the close the tankless water heater is to the faucet you’re currently using, the shorter your wait for hot water. So, which is the best place to install a tankless water heater? It depends, but here are some thoughts to help you narrow it down.
Not the Basement
By and large, people agree that the basement is the worst place to install your tankless water heater. It is the furthest place from your shower, kitchen faucet and other spots where you may want hot water quickly. Plus, your tankless water heater is more exposed to outdoor elements when installed on an exterior basement wall. To increase its longevity, you should install it somewhere it is at a more consistent temperature.
Close to Demand Spots
When you ask for hot water, it will run from your tankless water heater to the tap or showerhead you’re using. The cold water in the pipes will have to be cleared first. Plus, the further the water needs to run, the more heat it will lose in transit. For both reasons, it is wise to install the heater close to where you’ll use hot water the most.
The second floor is often a smart choice to install your tankless water heater. It’s closest to your shower, so you’ll get the hottest water, the fastest, here.
In general, tankless water heaters should not be installed near other potentially combustible things. You should consider installing them away from gas-powered furnaces and other appliances. Also, if you have a gas-powered tankless water heater, your plumber will also need to consider if the gas line can be safely run to where you’d like the heater installed. They will also need to ensure the heater can be properly vented. Sometimes this means it is not wise to install the heater on an internal wall.
Multiple Tankless Water Heaters
When you are installing more than one tankless water heater, you can usually position one so that it is closest to your highest demand spot for hot water, which is usually the shower. The other can then be positioned away from it, to supply faster hot water to other areas of the house. With two tankless water heaters, the exact position may matter less, as your faucets will, on average, be closer to a heater than they would if you just had one.
Ease of Access
Your plumber will want to install the water heater somewhere it is easily accessible for regular maintenance and for any repairs it may need down the road. You do not want to put it somewhere that you will constantly be patching the drywall.
Check with your building codes before you choose where to install your tankless water heaters. Sometimes they have restrictions or even spots where you must install the heater.