The Ultimate Tankless Water Heater Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Tankless Water Heater Quiz
Image: iStockphoto.com/BanksPhotos

About This Quiz

Tankless or not - that is the question. Will you get hotter, purer or more immediate water if you switch to a tankless water heater system? And will you save on water, energy or your monthly bill if you do? Keep cool as you take this hot hot-water quiz.
How much time does it take for a tankless water heater to heat the water?
It takes as long as a conventional water heater.
It works immediately, heating the water as needed.
Unlike a conventional water heater that continually heats the water in a tank, the tankless water heats it on the spot, as needed.
It takes about 90 minutes.

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In which regions have tankless heaters been in use for a while?
Europe and Japan
In Europe and Japan, tankless water heaters have been in vogue for a while, whereas in the U.S., they're only starting to come into fashion.
Australia and Asia
China and the U.S.

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Are tankless water heaters cost effective?
Not really; they are expensive to install and they cost more per month.
Yes, they are cheaper to install and cheaper to run.
They cost more initially than a conventional one, but they save you a lot on monthly bills.
Tankless systems require an initial outlay of three times the cost of a conventional one, but ultimately they cost less per month.

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What are the main advantages of a tankless water heater over a tank heater?
It can be used to both heat water and circulate hot air through your home.
It is far easier to install and it conserves water.
It lasts longer than a tank heater, offers hot water continuously and takes little space.
The tankless water heater lasts a lot longer than a conventional one, provides unlimited hot water and takes up much less space.

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What is the function of "standby heat loss"?
to keep tank water heated even when it is not needed
"Standby heat loss" refers to the functioning of a water tank system whereby the water temperature is maintained, even when hot water is not currently needed.
to keep the pressure within the water tank at a standard level
to keep the water within a tankless system on standby, ready for heating as necessary

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Where would you find an "on demand" water heater?
in both tank and tankless water heating systems
only in a tankless water heating system
You'd find "on demand" only in tankless systems, which heat your water literally according to demand.
only in a tank water heating system

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How does the water heat up in a tankless system?
A manual pump is operated on demand to heat the water as it pumps out through the faucet.
You turn on the hot water faucet and, as it flows out, the water heats up via a heat exchanger, generated by electric coils or gas burners.
A device called a heat exchanger, run on electricity or gas, transfers heat to the water is it flows through the hot water faucet.
Pressure in the pipes builds up to allow for a pre-set temperature to act on the water.

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What is the use of point-of-use tankless water heaters?
They're used because they can hold a large amount of water in the pipe at any given point of time.
They're not much use at all - actually they're quite pointless.
They're used because they're small systems and can be installed tidily near the faucet.
Point-of-use systems, because of their tidy size, can be installed near the water outlet even in a cabinet or under the kitchen sink.

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What do whole-house water heaters usually run on?
electricity or propane
electricity or natural gas
natural gas or propane
They usually run on either natural gas or propane, as opposed to point-of-use systems that usually run on electricity.

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What is the problem with lag time?
It wastes water because of the distance between the water source and the outlet.
Lag time, the time it takes for the water to reach the outlet, causes water wastage or excess water consumption.
It would necessitate a delay between the turning on of the faucet and the outflow of water.
It might jeopardize the heating system because of the time loss involved.

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Why do some people use aerators?
to aerate the water so that it tastes purer
to limit the water flow
Some people use aerators solely in order to limit the water flow and thus conserve water.
to aerate the water in order to maximize the mineral content

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The 1992 Federal Energy Policy Act stipulated a set water flow of _____
0.5 gallons (1.9 liters) per minute at 20 pounds per square inch (PSI) for household outlets
1 gallon (3.8 liters) per minute at 40 pounds per square inch (PSI) for household outlets
2.2 gallons (8.3 liters) per minute at 60 pounds per square inch (PSI) for household outlets
It stipulated a set water flow of 2.2 gallons (8.3 liters) per minute at 60 pounds per square inch (PSI) for household outlets, in order to conserve water.

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In order to determine what water heater would be suitable for you, what two factors should you take into account?
the temperature rise and water flow rates
Depending on the temperature rise and water flow rates, you would install a water heater system accordingly.
the purchase price and installation fees
the amount of water you're likely to need and the water pressure limit

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How do you know what is your ground water temperature?
You ask the installation expert.
You measure it with an industrial thermometer.
It's about the same as your mean annual air temperature.
Your ground water temperature is usually about the same as the average air temperature. This, of course, varies according to location and season.

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With a whole-house water heater system, what would happen if you turned on all the faucets at once?
You would still have hot water throughout, but it would be split among the faucets.
Not that anyone would do this too often, but if you did turn on all the faucets, you'd still have hot water, but it would be distributed among all outlets and of course not last very long.
You would not have sufficient hot water for them all.
The system might crash due to overload.

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Which of these are benefits of a tankless water heating system?
They're powerful, cheap and eco-friendly.
There's no potential flooding from a burst tank, they're cost effective and they never run out of hot water.
Aside from many other benefits, tankless systems won't flood from a burst tank, are cost effective in the long run and always provide sufficient hot water.
They are suitable for all locales and can be installed by a layman.

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Are there any drawbacks to the tankless water heater?
Yes, but the drawbacks are minimal.
As with any appliance, no matter how good it is, there are drawbacks. Some of these are the cost, the necessity of additional gas or electric lines and the lag time involved.
Not at all.
Yes. They cost more, may require additional gas lines or electricity circuits and may involve lag time.

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What cost could be expected with the purchase of a whole-house tankless system in a U.S. home?
an initial outlay of $500 to $1,000
an initial outlay of $1,000 to $2,000
In the U.S. it would cost between $1,000 and $2,000 to purchase a whole-house tankless water heater system.
an initial outlay of $2,000 to $3,000

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What is the average lifespan of a tankless system as opposed to a tank water heating system?
the same for both: 15-20 years
10-15 years for a tankless system vs. 20 years for a tank one
15-20 years for a tankless system vs. 10 years for a tank one
There's no debate over this one: Tankless systems last significantly longer, with 15-20 years on average compared to 10 years for a tank one.

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Can you get a rebate in the U.S. on the cost of a tankless unit?
usually about $300
Usually yes. You can get a federal tax rebate of about $300.
no
usually about half of the purchase price

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You Got:
/20
iStockphoto.com/BanksPhotos

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