There is a new start-up company from the US that is producing what they call a new tankless water heater. The Heatworks Model 1 appears to be a point of use electric instant water heater. We haven’t tested or have even seen their product but we feel there are a few things to clarify.
Although it is tankless it is important to realize that this a small point of use system.
It is also electric, and here in Ontario we pay some of the highest prices for electricity.
They don’t address incoming water temperatures as well as hot water output.
What Is Interesting
They claim to have eliminated anodes that are the prime source of heat in a conventional electric water heater. Additionally those anodes are most commonly the area of failure due to calcium and lime build up. The calcium and lime accretion is an issue in all water heaters but so far the tankless system deals with it the best by building in the ability to isolate the affected areas and flush them out.
The Heatworks Model 1 uses graphite electrodes, which they imply eliminates the issue of calcium and lime build up. Since graphite is a dry lubricant, deposits will not adhere to it. Additionally, ISI’s patented heating method, Joule heating, completely eliminates the high temperatures that cause scale and mineral buildup. If this is accurate they would likely have a revolution in water heaters in their hands. Your conventional electric tank type water heater loses 2% efficiency per year due to the insulating effects the calcium cause on heating elements.
Will It Work In Ontario
This hasn’t been addresses on their website. In fact they leave a lot of details out regarding the system they are building. We have contacted them in hopes of clarifying some of the issues we have mentioned. Hopefully we can get a demo model to test here at our office.
They have contacted us and addressed all the questions we had regarding the system. A test model has be offered once available and we will be certain to provide a full overview of the system. We are excited with this new technology and cant wait to perform a full review.
In the mean time check out their website and their funded Kickstarter .
This is an interesting video produced by Rinnai that talks about how a tankless works. They go over the very way to address the amount of water that a tank produces verses that of a tankless. They also talk about the lifespan of a tankless compared to that of a conventional tank.
With a tank water is continually heated and reheated wasting valuable energy when hot water is not in use. On top of that your hot water supply is limited to the gallons of water your tank can hold. A Rinnai tankless water heater is more efficient, providing endless hot water only when you need it. A Rinnai tankless has double the lifespan of a tank, making it ultimately the better value system.
Maybe its time you contemplate going tankless in your home?
The Canadian Competition Bureau has issued a fine of 25 million dollars to both Direct Energy and Reliance Comfort. The charges suggest that the two water heater rental companies have been gouging customers and making it ridiculously difficult to end contracts. Both Direct Energy and Reliance offer rental water heaters throughout Ontario.
Critics suggest that the industry is mainly a big scam as the cost of renting a water heater is nearly high enough to cover the cost of owing one. In addition the penalties to exit a contract are exorbitant and designed to confuse and frustrate a customer into giving up.
Interestingly this isn’t the first time that Direct Energy has been in hot water. In 2002 following a similar investigation the Competition Bureau enforced new rules and conduct guidelines that Enbridge Services (now Direct Energy) was required to follow under a 10 year consent order. The investigation found that Direct Energy re-engaged in the sleazy conduct in February of 2012.
As for Reliance, the company was apparently in a co-operative discussion regarding its hot water tank return policy. They also suggested that the company had initiated the difficult return policy in an attempt to thwart rival water heater companies.
I cant think of a better reason to simply purchase your own water heater, be that a tankless or just your conventional power vent. The rental business can be full of bureaucracy and technicalities. If you must have the peace of mind that comes with a full service, 24 hour emergency replacement then it might be worthwhile to look into maintenance plans. These are usually only 5-10 bucks a month, depending on equipment and gives you a full sense of security, oh ya, also no long term contract.
Interested in moving away form a rental and into owning your water heater?
We have helped many of our customers escape their long term contracts.