Emphasize the benefits of tankless, reinforce your professional skills through training, and learn how to counter common consumer misgivings.
Although still considered a luxury in some developing countries, hot water is regarded as a necessity by most. You turn the water to the hottest setting to get ready to shower without thinking twice about the water heater that provides it — until one day, it breaks down, leaving cold water and frigid bathers in its place.
In most scenarios, the water heater is one of the most neglected appliances in the house. Most homeowners don’t proactively estimate how much time their current water heater has left, as long as it routinely meets the household’s daily hot-water demands.
As a consequence, when the unit breaks down, most homeowners are caught off guard and seized by the panic of replacing the water heater as soon as possible. But even in these tense moments, a qualified plumbing professional will leverage the opportunity to introduce homeowners to tankless water heaters.
In this blog, we’ll explore some key tips to sell tankless water heaters in the residential market.
Emphasize the Benefits
In a homeowner’s eyes, the plumber is considered the professional and most likely the first point of contact in a plumbing emergency. With the internet at our fingertips, anyone can research websites, watch YouTube videos, and read reviews to learn about a product. But, at the end of the day, most homeowners consult a professional before making the next big home investment.
It’s important for the installing contractor to explain clearly and simply the advantages of tankless water heating to a homeowner. Some of these benefits are as follows:
- Longevity: According to the Department of Energy, most tankless water heaters will have a life expectancy of more than 20 years, with their adversary (conventional storage-tank water heaters) holding a life cycle of 6 – 10 Tankless units are less susceptible to corrosion and sediment buildup with the storage component removed from the picture.
Tankless units also have replaceable parts that help extend unit life. For example, the Noritz EZ Series maintains an industry-best, 25-year warranty on their recently redesigned, dual stainless-steel heat exchangers.
- Endless Hot Water Supply: Unlike a storage-tank water heater, whose hot water availability is based on storage capacity, a tankless water heater delivers a continuous supply of hot water based on demand. As long as someone in the home is using hot water, a properly sized tankless water heater will meet that demand with the right amount water at the right temperature.
Tankless water heaters can also be equipped with the technology to deliver that hot water at the correct temperature quickly — that is, almost as soon as the faucet or shower is turned on.
For example, the Noritz NRCR Residential Condensing Tankless Water Heater Series uses a fully integrated circulating pump to minimize the wait time for hot water at the tap, even at farthest outlet in a home, which is often the master bathroom. The water heater’s Auto Mode tracks and adapts to daily hot-water usage throughout the home over time. It will then use that knowledge to trigger a recirculation-loop activation automatically at the appropriate intervals; e.g., morning showers, evening baths, etc.
- Cost Savings: The overall savings in operating costs over the life of a tankless water heater outweighs the sticker shock. That’s because, as noted, tankless operates solely on demand, so it is not burning fuel — and money — to heat stored water to the setpoint temperature around the clock, seven days a week, including all those times when household demand is zero.
According to Consumer Reports, the annual operating cost for conventional, storage-tank gas water heaters is $245 based on an average price of $10.86 per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. Tankless has an annual operating cost of $195.
- Compact Design: Tankless water heaters are significantly smaller than their comparably sized tank counterparts, freeing up usable space. Their compact design makes tankless an ideal choice where installation space is limited. Of added consequence is its ability to be wall-hung. That means a zero footprint, not only saving space, but making cleanup around it easier as well.
Gain Expert Knowledge
With homeowners leaning on professional installers for guidance, the latter must master every aspect of the tankless product to communicate effectively. The pro must have the confidence to explain products in depth.
The best method for providing expert advice is quality professional training. Although in-person, hands-on training is the best method, online training rose rapidly in popularity during the pandemic. Either way, a well-trained professional can learn the ins and outs of each model in a tankless range: how they work, what they do and do not do, and what to expect.
Furthermore, professionals will also learn how to install and service products competently, and perform repairs properly. Noritz University provides training on-site at its headquarters in Fountain Valley, California. For more information on this offering, click HERE.
In addition, online training is available from Noritz in self-paced courses or webinars. To access information on this opportunity, click HERE.
Combat Common Hesitations
When the stress of water heater failure hits suddenly and out of the blue, most homeowners go down the easy path of least resistance, choosing to replace like for like; i.e., a new tank water heater for their old one. Expert training on tankless products allows the installer to see this stress, not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity to switch this homeowner to tankless.
- Cost: Although a few changes need to be made to accommodate the transition from tank to tankless water heating, focusing on the benefits of tankless helps the homeowner shift the perspective away from upfront costs to long-term savings. In addition, models like the Noritz EZ Series are specially engineered to streamline the plumbing work in the tankless-for-tank replacement process, cutting installation time and labor costs.
The EZ Series by Noritz speeds the replacement of conventional storage-tank water heaters, featuring a fully integrated non-return valve for common venting for up to two heaters and direct venting with extended vent lengths. This series features redesigned, dual stainless-steel heat exchangers with an industry-best 25-year warranty.
The EZ Series has top-mount, hot, and cold-water connections to increase labor cost savings, reducing the work required to transition from tank to tankless water heating. Maximum venting flexibility allows the repurposing of the existing flex vent from the tank model to be used as a chase for new venting, shortening installation time.
Click HERE for more information on the EZ Series.
- Time: Although wintertime cold-water plunges are growing in popularity, the thought of cold showers does not appeal to most people. Having a tankless unit on hand, ready for immediate replacement, can sway a potential customer in your favor. Some installers will carry a tankless unit in their vehicles when making water heater calls to minimize wait time for homeowners.
With these tips and resources, you can seal the deal in selling tankless technology on your jobs. For more information on selling tankless, visit our podcast HERE.