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AD8BC
Senior Member

309 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2009 :  10:32:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What do you all think about tankless water heaters? My gas water heater is original, about 16 years old, still works great but when the time finally comes and it breaks, I want to be informed about tankless models, mainly because I could use the extra space in the garage where my water heater is.

Do you know if they can use the same chimney as a tank type water heater (so I don't have to core-drill the brick exterior)?

Jill75
Junior Member

52 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2009 :  01:50:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This idea is nice. I would also do something with the space my heater is taking up. Still looking around if someone has the technology already but for sure someone has just not sure where to find it...

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oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
2374 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2009 :  09:44:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a tankless system. Works well, but temperature can fluctuate with flow rates until the unit reacts to the change. Also, it takes a few seconds for the unit to produce hot water, which noticably lengthens the time it takes to get hot water at the tap.

Of course, the upside is that I never run out of hot water. Also, I believe (have never actually measured) that I use less fuel (natural gas in my case) for hot water. Taking less space in the utility room is also a good things.
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EricTheRed
Starting Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2009 :  10:36:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I see that this has been here a long time but have to add:

If you pay demand charges on your electric bill it will cost you money to go tankless.
This will not affect most residential customers.

The reason is:
Common water heaters are not sized to take winter entering water temperature (in the mid to upper 40s) to 120+F. They are sized to heat a given amount of water (40 gallons) to 120 over a period of time. Usually 15 to 30 minutes. So the energy neeeded NOW is lower. With modern water heater insulation the heat loss over a 12 hour period might have to run once for a short period to reheat. Usually there is use prior to that.
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AD8BC
Senior Member

309 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2009 :  1:16:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would use a natural gas one so demand charges wouldn't apply... not that I have them on the electric side but I imagine that someday they will try to go that route...
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EVIL Teken
Advanced Member

Canada
1223 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2009 :  5:07:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some other points to consider regarding the tankless units. You must be sure to *size* the unit to your normal day to day living style. Or learn the hard way that you cannot be running the washer, taking a shower, and have the dish washer running at the same time. Most people do these chores in stages, so I don't see that being a huge problem. But, I thought it should be mentioned just in case noone realized this.

As the other poster mentioned, the units require a *FULL ON* for a certain time before the hot water will come. Unlike stardard water tanks, you cannot run the water at 20% and expect the hot water to be called to kick in.

I thought this was odd, but since actually using, and watching some others home installations it seems some brands seem to require this full on, to make hot water come on. I would gather it would be common sense to base it on water flow, and not the amount of water being asked for?

Regards

EVIL Teken
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AD8BC
Senior Member

309 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  11:44:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, after paying my June natural gas bill, I decided that, when the time comes, I'll just put a new tank water heater in.

My June gas bill was $17.50. In the summer our only gas usage is the gas dryer and the water heater and we are not very efficient with the dryer (loads are not often full, mainly because my wife needs to wash her work scrubs frequently and I often have to do a small load before a business trip).

So, if my tank water heater really doesn't cost that much to run, it would take forever for a tankless unit to pay for itself.
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
10871 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  12:37:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately, energy saving is not always synonymous with money saving. We use a hot water recirc. system because, here in SoCal, saving water is more important than saving electricity

Of course, I'd rather save both. Too bad adequate solar water pumps cost thousands.

Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
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AD8BC
Senior Member

309 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2009 :  10:25:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree but there are some limits :-) My neighbor was quoted $3500 for a new tankless unit. This included popping up a new chimney (the one from the tank unit was undersized) and running a new gas line (the tankless unit requires a larger line for higher gas flow).

I can go to Home Depot and buy a new tank unit for under $600 and install it myself... Sweating copper (especially exposed like it is in my garage) doesn't scare me, and I can hook up the gas myself... the worst part is actually lighting the pilot!

I was also debating the recirc valve but we rarely use the second bathroom... the kitchen and master bathroom don't have a bad wait for hot water and we use those most often. If we start using that second bathroom alot (when we have kids), I'll throw in one of those recirc pumps...


Edited by - AD8BC on 07/21/2009 10:34:01 AM
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Kevin Rose
Starting Member

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2009 :  6:46:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not sure these things ever pay off unless you need endless hot water. As mentioned, most current homes have undersized facilities (gas line, exhaust) which are expensive to retrofit. As far as efficiency, again not sold. We go away for long weekends and I switch our tank to "pilot light only." When we come home, most times the burner doesn't even ignite when stitched back on. The pilot alone was enough to (almost) hold temperature in the tank. They hold their heat well, like a Thermos.
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
10871 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2009 :  7:33:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Note that the topic is Energy Saving, not money saving. You could save a lot of money by never seeing a doctor or dentist. Sorry

We (spouse + self) save energy, for example, by automating lights to go off automatically that we sometimes don't turn off (any parents of teenagers out there?). I doubt we'll ever save enough to pay for just the equipment we have to accomplish this. But we are saving energy and that's important to and for us.

We use a water recirculation pump to conserve water use. Here, in SCal, water is more valuable than electric although, I agree, both need to be conserved.

My point is, saving energy may have to cost more until we get better at it. And I also agree that there's a limit to how much more.

Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
MathLandia High school mathematics fun and learning.
Both Stu's Views and MathLandia are free websites that do not sell anything.
Saving energy is not always free. Be a world saver.
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AD8BC
Senior Member

309 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  09:06:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, the time came a few weeks ago. Hot water tank blew. My wife was in the kitchen and heard water running where there should have been no water running. Amazing how you get used to the sounds of your home and can instantly know something is wrong.

Luckily it was in the garage, most of the water dripped out the bottom into the garage, only a little came through the wall into the breakfast nook.

I decided to have a pro plumber come in and do it. I saved some money by removing the old water heater myself. With install, a good 50 gallon gas water heater came to just over $800.

And, now I have a drip pan underneath! In another 17 years, when it happens again, at least the water will go where I want.

I didn't go with a tankless, for obvious cost reasons. I talked to the plumber about it and he says he rarely gets to install one. He doesn't even recommend them.

Our master bathroom gets hot water really quick, it's not far from the garage as the pipes go. It takes a good minute to get hot water to our second bathroom but we rarely use it... I suppose I'll put in a recirc pump should we ever have kids and they use that one.
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Benjamin Hammer
Starting Member

4 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2010 :  2:13:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Benjamin Hammer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The last home I had contained a tankless water heater and I have to say it was more than sufficient. One of my roommates tended to take extremely long showers with a good amount of hot water, and on the few occasions I needed to jump in right after they were done, I never really had an issue with being out of hot water.

I don't know about the installation of one, but as far as sheer practicality of the unit itself goes, I was very pleased with it.
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peter2010
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2011 :  10:59:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit peter2010's Homepage  Reply with Quote
even considering relatively lower federal tax rebates for 2011, i believe it's still worse it to install a tankless water heater.

Edited by - peter2010 on 04/08/2011 11:04:52 AM
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hmca
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2011 :  09:38:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have used one for 4 years now. Not your normal type though. Kerosene powered BS-36UFF by Toyotomi. Why Kerosene? I heat with Kerosene (L73AT by Toyotomi) so it was a natural. I use about 3/4 gal of Kero a week for all the hot water I need. The unit is regulated by an Appliance module to be off during the night and when I am away. From stone cold it takes 90 seconds to full heat (5 gal on-board storage tank).
Before you install a tankless water heater you should install a 1 micron cartridge filter in the intake line and a Clearwave electronic water softener to condition the water or you will get buildup inside.
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