An expert review of the American tankless water heaters for on-demand water heating in residential and small commercial applications. Explore the main advantages and benefits of the condensing and conventional models from this well-known HVAC manufacturer.
American water heaters with the tankless technology are designed for the efficient on-demand heating and continuous supply of hot water in residential and light commercial applications. They are available in several sizes, covering from smaller homes and apartments to large homes with multiple bathrooms, even for heating hot tabs and space heating. Due to its wall-mount and compact design, the tankless heaters occupy much less space than conventional, resulting in additional storage.
American tankless water heaters are designed with the full power modulation; making it ideal for the point-of-use and whole-house water heating, and offering superb features and components, as found in the top selling and popular brands, such as Rinnai, Noritz or Navien.
The American manufacturer offers a decent number of tankless models for potable water heating; six non-condensing models, and three Energy Star compliant condensing models. All models are designed to use natural or propane gas:
American tankless water heaters from GT-110 series are the smallest conventional tankless models designed for residential water heating in the apartments, cabins, and homes with up to two bathrooms. The modulating gas valve allows them to work in the power range between 19,500 and 140,000 BTU and provide a maximum of 6.6 gallons of hot water per minute. One of the great benefits is the installation flexibility - 110 series can be installed indoor, outdoor and as a direct vent.
The 310 series comes with the gas input ranging from 11,000 to 190,000 BTU and greater capacity than the previous model, 8.0 GPM, what makes them great for homes with up to three showers. As the previous models, these are available for residential indoor and outdoor installation including direct venting.
Water heaters from 510 series are the strongest models in this non-condensing group and they utilize more robust heat exchanger made of the strong HRS35 copper alloy. This is what allows American tankless water heaters from 510 series heavier usage and not only in residential but commercial applications too.
The water heaters are designed for use in potable water and space heating and also for recirculation systems due to its ability to use circulation pumps.
As opposed to two previous series, tankless water heaters from 510 series can be combined through the Easy-Link or Multi-Link systems to provide more power and higher water flow.
All models are able to provide maximum water flow of 10 GPM which makes them great for homes with up to four applications while being able to change its power from 15,000 to the maximum of 199,000 BTU - thanks to the modulating gas valve.
And this is not the end of awesome features this group offers, because water heaters from 110U, 310U, and 510U series are able to meet ultra-low NOx requirements and therefore contribute significantly to environmental protection.
GT-240H models are, with the maximum water flow of 6.6 GPM, the smallest condensing units available, designed for installation in smaller homes, apartments, condos, and cottages. The gas input is in the range from 13,000 to 160,000 BTU and thanks to the high-efficient gas combustion, the energy factor is 0.95.
GT-340H, as the above series, is available for the indoor and outdoor installation, also direct venting, and can modulate its power from 13,000 to 180,000 BTU, while providing the maximum water flow of 8.0 GPM, enough for supplying hot water to 3 fixtures simultaneously.
Indoor and outdoor water heaters from GT-540H series are designed for larger homes with more than three showers or bathrooms, as they heat water with the maximum power of 199,000 BTU and provide water flow of 10 gallons per minute. These tankless units are recommended not only for residential but commercial applications due to its commercial-grade heat exchanger, robust design and great resistance to mechanical and thermal stress. As the above 510 series, 540H series can also use the Easy-Link and Multi-Link system and connect up to 20 units. Only this group is capable to increase the temperature up to 185 F while other models up to 140 F.
See the reviews and prices on Amazon.com.
All tankless water heaters from American, either non-condensing or condensing are high-efficient since the thermal efficiency goes from 84% to high 95%, but only condensing water heaters are Energy Star compliant.
Heat exchangers are built strong for better performance and long life. For example, condensing water heaters have one primary HE made of the commercial-grade copper HRS35 and the secondary, which is made of the high-quality 316L stainless steel. Great quality and characteristics of the above materials make the heat exchangers resistant to corrosion and high thermal stress.
Models are built in a variety of sizes, so they can provide enough hot water from smaller homes, such as apartments, condos or cottages to larger houses with several bathrooms. This is possible since the water flow goes from low 6.6 to high 10 gallons per minute and with the help of the connecting cable or connection kit, more units can be combined into one system.
Features such as the Easy Link and Multi-Link, as found in 510 and 540 models, allow you to connect up to 4 or up to 20 units, so you can get even more hot water - great for high demanding applications such as hot tubs.
American tankless water heaters can be installed indoor or outdoor, depending on the type you are buying. The indoor models are very safe, since the unit has the sealed combustion, so no interior combustion air is used for gas burning. The venting system makes them very flexible, as they can be installed far away from the exterior walls (up to 100 ft). All models are factory built to use natural gas, while they can be converted to use propane or LG gas.
The built-in temperature controller found in indoor models is very useful and convenient. The outdoor models come with the wall mount remote. With the precision of +/-2 degrees, it allows you, not only to change and monitor the temperature of the outgoing hot water but diagnose problems, get the error codes for easier repair and readings such as the energy usage, water flow, etc. The temperature can be set on the remote controller from its minimum of 99 F to the maximum of 140 F, or 185 F on some models (510 and 540H series, for example).
The water heater uses an electronic ignition to light the gas burner automatically, and as soon as the hot water tap is opened.
To provide the safe and reliable work, American Company protects its gas-powered tankless water heaters with several safety features:
Air-Fuel Ratio (AFR) sensor helps to maintain the proper and clean combustion
Overheat protection against high temperature using the Hi-Limit switch
Flame failure protection when the burner flame is extinguished
Power failure when the unit loses power
Fusible link when overheat protection fails to protect the water heater
Internal freeze protection that includes electrical heating elements that keep the water temperature inside the heat exchanger above the level that prevents freezing
All the functions from above are controlled by an onboard circuit board.
American tankless water heaters for residential use come with the warranty of 15 years on heat exchanger and five on all other parts, while in the commercial application the warranty is 10 years.
Picture is courtesy of American WH company