Tankless electric hot water heaters can save energy; however, it’s also possible your existing electrical service may not meet the instantaneous, electrical demand these appliances require. If this is the case, you will need to pay the cost of upgrading the electrical facilities that serve your home to use a tankless system.
What should I know know before going tankless?
What is a tankless water heater?
Tankless water heaters, also known as “point-of-use” water heaters or “on-demand” units, turn on when you open a hot water faucet and turn off when you close the faucet. Therefore, the energy consumed is only for hot water used at that moment. A traditional tank water heater stores and keeps water hot when you’re not using it, so it’s ready when you need it.
What do I need to do if I want to install an electrical, tankless water heater?
It is important to call the Idaho Power Customer Service Center at 208-388-2323 in the Treasure Valley or 1-800-488-6151, for a free electrical assessment. A customer service representative will put you in touch with a distribution designer who will check Idaho Power’s electrical equipment and facilities at your address. This review tells you if an investment to upgrade the electrical service to your home is necessary.
Does Idaho Power recommend the use of tankless water heaters?
Idaho Power does not recommend use of electric tankless water heaters for two reasons:
- The temperature of the incoming water can affect the performance of electric tankless water heaters, and some customers have been disappointed in the ability of these water heaters to maintain an adequate volume of hot water.
- To supply instant hot water, tankless water heaters require a large amount of power in a short amount of time; and if the service to your home is inadequate for this demand, it can create power quality problems for you and your neighbors’ homes.
What are Idaho Power’s requirements and limitations for electric water heaters?
The limitations for electric water heating equipment are detailed in “Schedule 1: Residential Service” for both Idaho and Oregon customers.
The Public Utilities Commissions in both Idaho and Oregon have approved the Rule K: Customer’s Load and Operations Tariff, which outlines limitations and responsibilities as they relate to your power quality and reliability including the requirement for customers to give notice to Idaho Power before making significant changes in either the amount or character of their electrical load.