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Boiler replacements

tankless water heaters

Tankless Unit Size

Size relates directly to heat output of a tankless water heater. The "larger" the unit, the more hot water it can output at one time. "Large" tankless water heaters in the Chilliwack area can typically output enough hot water to run three showers simultaneously at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to typical hot water requirements in our area most homeowners opt to install the largest tankless water heater as there is no such thing as "oversizing." Some homes which have only 1 or 2 bathrooms may accomodate a smaller tankless unit.

The Different Types of Tankless

There are several different types of tankless water heaters on the market:

  • Standard Natural Gas/Propane
  • Advanced Natural Gas/Propane
  • Electric
  • Point-of-use
Standard Gas type tankless water heaters are the most common whole house tankless units. This style of water heater is popular throughout the world but can take some time to adjust to when switching from a tank style water heater. Advanced Gas tankless water heaters were designed with North America in mind. These units incorporate re-circulation pumps and can be installed with re-circulation valves to completely remove the " cold water sandwich" effect and provide near instant water at your taps. Electric tankless water heaters are not popular in Chilliwack due to the high electrical requirements and the high cost of using electricity. Point-of-use tankless water heaters are designed to be installed at each individual tap. These units are electric and typically produce enough hot water for a single faucet. Due to the electrical requirements and high electrical rates these units are only recommended in specific situations.


Are you curious about the initial cost of switching or replacing your tankless system? In the Fraser Valley, the price for a complete installation of a tankless hot water system is approximately $4,999, but prices range between $3,999 to $7,499. Multiple factors contribute to the total cost of your complete tankless system installation.

Installation Requirements

Chimney: Tankless gas water heaters require special gas rated, plastic chimneys. Placement of your water heater within the home dictates the cost of installation. For example, a water heater banking an exterior wall will likely not require much additional work; however, a water heater located centrally in your home may require a labour intensive install affecting the overall cost. Gas: Gas tankless water heaters operate far less than tank type water heaters as they burn fuel only when hot water is needed. This translates into fuel savings since water is not required to be continually heated on standby. Large tankless water heaters can require up to 199,000 BTU of gas flow when in use; significantly more than a standard tank water heater which requires 40,000 BTU on average. This does not mean that a tankless uses more gas overall, but that the gas piping from the gas meter all the way to the tankless water heater must be large enough to support the gas flow demand. In situations where the existing line is undersized, upgrading the gas line will add cost to the installation. Drainage: Many high efficiency hot water tanks produce condensation that must be safely channeled out. If there is no useable drain near the tankless unit additional components, such as pumps, will need to be used. Power: In new installations or conversions, line voltage power from the electrical panel may need to be run to the water heater. Wire size, length and difficulty of installation will factor into the overall cost.

Installing Contractor

Anytime you are having a tankless system integrated into your home you should be employ a qualified professional backed by a reputable company. Working with a company that adheres to high standards will affect the value of your installation both short term and long term. You can expect to pay more for a company that:

  • is insured, licensed and bonded
  • is qualified to determine the size requirements for the system
  • has experienced and highly trained installers
  • offers longer warranties
  • is associated with industry standard groups (TECA, Fortis, BBB, etc)
  • maintains a great reputation locally and on-line
You may pay less for an individual or company:
  • without insurance or valid licenses
  • who is inexperienced
  • who offers little to no warranty
  • has a bad or non-existant local or online reputation (no website, reviews, unmarked vehicle)
The adage holds true. "You get what you pay for." Systems that are installed correctly and maintained properly have long lives, produce great comfort and low utility bills. Whereas systems improperly installed function incorrectly, require frequent repairs, and can increase your utility costs. Make sure your company:
  • Provides you a written and detailed quote. You should feel comfortable asking related questions. A professional should be able to respond to your questions with confidence and assuring answers
  • Can provide details regarding the equipment they will be installing. Don't get caught with a contractor installing a product he/she has never seen or worked on before
  • Offers a written warranty and has a guarantee on their work
  • Is insured and possesses a valid gas license
  • Has good on-line reviews (Google, Homestars, Facebook, etc...) A contractor with active and positive on-line reviews is a good indication that they are looking to make their clients happy not just make a buck

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