If you're thinking about purchasing a new water heater, you may find the process to be quite overwhelming. There's plenty to consider and so many different manufacturers and models available on the market today. But if you haven't looked at Bosch tankless water heaters, you really should.
Bosch has been around for a long time and they offer a wide variety of tankless water heaters to match nearly every need. They create high-quality tankless heaters which are a favorite among homeowners. This article will give you a solid overview of the company's water heaters to help you decide if they are the right match for your home.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
As you might have guessed, tankless water heaters differ from tank-style models in that they don't have a storage tank. This means that they're capable of fitting into smaller spaces and able to deliver hot water on demand. It also means that that tankless water heaters operate very differently than their tank-style cousins.
Water heaters with tanks are designed to heat water and save it to be used later. This process requires a significant amount of energy. However, tankless water heaters simply heat the water when it's needed. Which means, in theory you'll never run out of hot water.
Because hot water isn't being stored for future use, a tankless water heater could save up to 20% on your next energy bill. But there are other advantages too.
Benefits of Bosch Tankless Water Heaters
All tankless water heaters share the benefit of an endless stream of hot water, but there are other advantages too. Here's just a few:
One of the primary benefits of a tankless water is the amount of money they can save on your energy bills. Most households save around 15% on their annual energy costs after they switch to a tankless water heater. Over the service life of the heater, that can be a significant amount of savings.
There are two basic types of tankless water heaters: Point-of-use and whole house. A whole house tankless is designed to heat the water for your entire household, but a point-of-use heater is meant to be installed exactly where you need hot water.
This is beneficial because it allows you to make targeted increases in the hot water capabilities of various showers and sinks throughout your home. In fact, they can work independently of your main water heater or in conjunction with it to give it a boost.
For example, maybe you have a sink that never quite produces enough hot water. You could install a tankless water heater underneath the sink to solve the problem. Or maybe you want to add a sink into a garage that doesn't have access to hot water. Installing a tankless is an excellent solution. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
Tank-style water heaters tend to rust, corrode, and scale within the tank. This is the result of storing the water for extended periods of time. But a tankless water heater won't have the same problem. Each time you open the hot water tap it'll deliver fresh hot water, not water that has been sitting in a tank of debris.
Increased Service Life
With the proper maintenance and care, a tankless water heater can have a service life of 20+ years! When you compare that to the 8 to 12 year service life of a tank-style heater it's easy to see the advantages.
When a tank-style water heater's tank begins to leak, there's nothing you can do other than replace the unit. But tankless water heaters are designed for a long service life. The individual parts can be replaced, and when they are installed properly and maintained regularly, the tankless water heater you install today should last a very long time.
Drawbacks to a Tankless Water Heater
Although there are many benefits to tankless water heaters, they aren't perfect. Here's a few drawbacks to keep in mind before making the switch to a Bosch tankless water heater.
If you're simply installing a point-of-use tankless, then the cost of installation isn't an issue. In addition, electric tankless whole house water heaters are inexpensive to install since they don't need to be vented. However, they do require a great deal of electricity to operate, which can be a problem for older homes.
However, if you're installing a whole house gas tankless, than you may want to talk with a professional plumber as part of your decision making process. Gas tankless water heaters require professional installation and depending on the amount of retro-fitting required and type of venting necessary, the installation costs could be very expensive.
Electric tankless water heaters are very reasonably priced, however, a gas unit can be quite expensive. Like most appliances, there are less expensive models, but they tend to be of lower quality with less features. When shopping, one thing to take into account is the installation costs when selecting your tankless model.
Purchasing a higher quality gas powered tankless will often mean that they are easier to install because of the way they vent their exhaust gases. In this case, you'll spend more in upfront costs for the tankless unit, less in installation, and you'll have a higher quality heater that will likely have a longer service life.
Sizing is Critical
Just browse a few tankless water heater customer reviews on Amazon and you'll find that a common complaint is the unit can't deliver enough hot water. Although, this is a serious problem, in most cases it's not the tankless water heater's short-coming. It's simply being asked to produce more hot water than it was designed to deliver, in other words, too small of a heater was purchased.
Determining the right size tankless water heater is called "Sizing", and it's a critical part of selecting your heater. If you calculate your maximum usage of hot water too low, your tankless heater will be "output challenged" and not able to keep up with the demand.
Let's say that during your peak hour of usage you calculate that you'll need 4 gallons of hot water every minute, but the reality is, you'll need 5.5 gallons. Well, as hard as your tankless works, it'll never be able to deliver enough hot water to meet the demand. This is why proper sizing is such an important part of buying a tankless.
Is a Bosch Tankless Water Heater Right for You?
When deciding if a Bosch tankless water heater is right for you, the first question is typically whether you are committed to buying a tankless heater. Buying a tankless water heater isn't right for every household. As we've outlined above, they have plenty of advantages, but also a few shortcomings.
If you're not planning on moving from your home in the next 5 years, a tankless is probably worth the investment. Plus, it will also increase the value of your home when you do decide to move.
Once you've determined that buying a tankless water heater is the right move for your household, it's time to decide the manufacturer and features. Bosch is a solid performing manufacturer. The company was founded in Germany in 1886 and has been manufacturing water heaters for decades.
In the competitive world of water heaters, Bosch is a well-respected brand. They have a wide product line-up for both point-of-use tankless whole house tankless water heaters. If you're looking for a tankless water heater, Bosch is an excellent choice. They are reasonably priced, well built, and come with a solid warranty.
Why Buy a Bosch Water Heater
Cost - For many homeowners, cost is the first priority when shopping for a new water heater. Bosch heaters can vary tremendously in price based on their size, flow rate, and fuel source (gas or electric). Keep in mind, that if you're purchasing a point-of-use water heater, your cost will be far less than if you're buying a whole house heater.
Reliability - Bosch has a reputation for building reliable water heaters. They use high quality materials that make them very durable and help resist rust and scale. In fact, it's a reasonable expectation to see a 20+ year service life when the unit is properly maintained.
Quality Heat Exchanger - The heat exchanger on Bosch's gas tankless water heaters are made with high quality copper which is corrosion resistant. This design will not only protect the tankless, but also improve the energy efficiency since it will discourage corrosion and scale build-up.
Precise Temperature Control - Equipped with advanced electronics that monitors and adjusts the outgoing temperature. Adjustments can be easily made with a knob located on the front panel and an LCD displays the current temp. There's even a diagnostic system which alerts you to issues.
Buying the right size tankless water heater for your household hot water needs is one of the most important decisions you'll make. We have plenty of information available to help you calculate the size, or you can consult with a professional plumber to help you.
It's important to know that flow rate is one of the primary measurements used to properly size your tankless water heater. It's measured in gallons per minute (gpm) and takes into account the incoming water temperature. You'll definitely want to spend some time determining your household hot water requirements to ensure that you find the right sized tankless to match your family's needs.
A simple rule of thumb, the higher the flow rate, the more hot water the tankless water heater can deliver. Although we recommend recommend going through the process of sizing the heater to your needs, it's nice to know that Bosch offers a wide range of sizes to choose between.
Best Bosch Tankless Water Heaters
With so many Bosch tankless water heaters to choose between, here are a few product lines to consider. Each has a variety of sizes within the series:
Bosch Tronic 3000 Series
This group of electric point-of-use Bosch water heaters are far more compact than the 6000C series. They're designed to be used under sinks, cabinets, and are excellent if supplemental hot water is needed in a specific part of your home, or you have a shop or garage that does not have access to a water heater.
There are four sizes in the 3000T series: US9; US7; US4; and US3. Each size is easy to install and the 360° installation offers endless mounting options for the tightest of spaces. They're 98% energy efficient and have a 0.3 gpm activation flow rate.
Bosch Tronic 3000 US7
Bosch Tronic 6000C Series
The Bosch 6000C series contains three different sized electric whole house water heaters. The WH12 is perfect for smaller homes. The WH17 is a powerful mid-sized tankless capable of handling multiple hot water outlets simultaneously. And for high demand households, the WH27 is designed with large families in mind.
The 6000C series operates at an average thermal efficiency rating of 95%, which means nearly all of the energy used goes to the heating of water.
The sleek design has a built-in flow sensor which ensures that a constant output temperature is maintained among all outlets. And the LED display allows for easy temperature adjustments.
Bosch Tronic 6000C WH17
Bosch Gas Tankless Water Heaters
Bosch carries three line-ups of gas powered tankless water heaters: Their top-of-line Greentherm 9000 Series has all the bells-and-whistles, complete with Wi-Fi accessibility and condensing technology that delivers an impressive 0.96 energy efficiency rating, which is simply not seen in gas tankless systems.
The Bosch Therm Series consists of 24 units that are ultra low NOx certified non-condensing tankless units. They are available in both natural gas and propane options, and are also very energy efficient with a 0.93 rating. The ProTL series is also ultra low NOx certified, but it consists of both condensing and non-condensing tankless water heaters.
Bosch Greentherm C 950 ES
How to Maintain a Bosch Tankless Water Heater
Generally speaking, tankless water heaters from high-end companies like Bosch are fairly easy to maintain. They should be flushed regularly and a few other general maintenance tasks. We highly recommend installing a pre filter on the incoming water line to screen any water debris before it enters your heater.
Hard water is another concern. Flushing your tankless regularly will help remove any build-up, but there are preventative measures you can take which is a good idea if you live in an area that experiences especially hard water.
If you are a DIYer you should be able to do all of these things yourself. However, if you own a gas fueled tankless water heater, you should have a professional inspect it annually to ensure it is properly operating. This should help the unit not only run at optimal performance, but also maximize the service life.
If you are a first time tankless water heater owner, we highly recommend hiring a professional plumber to walk you through the maintenance and preventative maintenance tasks. You can take notes, ask questions and maybe even video the procedures. In the future you'll know exactly what needs to be done to keep your tankless in peak performance.