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Tankless hot water heaters - Any experiences?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Q&A Tankless hot water heaters – Any experiences?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
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  • #77507

    Likes Old Houses
    Participant

    I want to replace my circa 1988 hot water tank with one of the on-demand tankless versions. Does anyone have one of these and care to pass along experiences? You can qualify for a “green” tax credit, and considering it is just my wife and I, it would seem to make sense for us. Any comments, testimonials, preferred brands would be a great help.

    #293725

    Matthew
    Participant

    Likes Old Houses wrote >>
    I want to replace my circa 1988 hot water tank with one of the on-demand tankless versions. Does anyone have one of these and care to pass along experiences? You can qualify for a “green” tax credit, and considering it is just my wife and I, it would seem to make sense for us. Any comments, testimonials, preferred brands would be a great help.

    The only negative I’ve heard is about the electric ones and having no hot water when the power is out. I’ve considered installing a point of use unit in my rental because the tenant runs the dishwasher 8 million times a day then cries about hot water. I’d be interested in hearing other feedback too.

    #293726

    We were on the verge of buying one to replace our 25yr old heater, when my uncle (with a Rinna/sp?) did an intervention.

    He hates his with a burning passion -hates it so bad he had his ripped out and replaced with an old-school one. I’m trying to recall all the awful things he said about it on the telephone (it was a really scarring conversation).

    Let’s see:

    1) Wanna wash your hands? Wait thirty seconds for hot water (maybe it was more time -I can’t recall)

    2)I tend to turn the sink on and off when rinsing dishes. You’ll need to keep the h2o running the WHOLE time if you want it to stay hot

    3) Something happened frequently in the shower (worse than what happens with normal h2o heaters) where an increase in household usage resulted in either no water or cold blasts

    This is second-hand, so my info may be off in small ways. Whatever it was, we still have our older heater . . . which is miraculously doing fine.

    #293727

    Tenzo
    Participant

    We have one and have no problem.

    1) waiting for hot water is no different than a regular tank. It takes the same amount of time for water to reach the user from the tank no matter how you heat it.

    2) Makes no sense.

    3) I find it’s the opposite with a tankless, if you run the shower long enough, a tank is replenishing the resivior with cold water, so the longer you shower, the colder the hot water gets. Tankless provides a steady supply, so you could shower for 4 hours straight and the water would be the same temp.

    It’s true that you can’t get hot water if the power is out, just like you can’t create hot water if the tank model’s power goes out.

    The only advantage of the tank model is IF your power goes out, at that time you have 40 gals of hot water. With a tankless water heater there is never a hot water reserve.

    I think you are on the right track. Tankeless is a lot better for point of use applications.

    But in the end, we have a tankless and are happy with it.

    #293728
    Porky
    Porky
    Participant

    Do your homework! I was hell bent on one of the tankless but after much research and talking to some experts I decided against it.
    In addition to all the above mentioned problems, ask someone about servicing one of these bad boys. Take a look inside of one, very complex circuitry. It’s gonna take a tech who is well versed on these things to know what they are doing.
    In the end we went with one of the newer more efficicent floor models and we’re happy we did.

    #293729

    JackieC
    Participant

    I lived in a house for about 2.5 years overseas with one, never had a single problem or complaint.

    #293730

    groundrules
    Participant

    a lot of the problems mentioned can be related to the particular installation, not necessarily the unit itself. There are plenty of factors to consider that go beyond just a straight swap of one type of unit for the other, so I’d talk to a pro who can come to your house, look at your layout and consider things such as projected use, type of piping, distance of piping runs, degree of insulation on your piping, etc. all that can make a difference in how well the thing performs for your application.

    #293731

    Tenzo
    Participant

    JackieC wrote >>
    I lived in a house for about 2.5 years overseas with one, never had a single problem or complaint.

    In Japan, it’s what they use.

    We have one.
    But I added a little computer UPS to the feed line, so we get hot water even when we don’t have power.

    In our last house we had a two person soaking tub. With a 40 gal tank, we could never get it full of hot water. I’m happy with tankless

    #293732

    CDS sherman
    Member

    i dont suggest the electric. my experience has been less then satisfied…. the electric ones are VERY LOUD. the ones that im familiar with have a limited range of use. one full bath or a half bath and kitchen. the last job i did we had to install 3 just to cover 3 baths and a kitchen plus laundry. over 5,000 dollars for sketchy hot water and loud noise. the big complaints were the shower, the temp would fluctuate wildly but if you ran the sink at the same time it would stay even….. ive been told the gas version is much much better. i would just do a new efficient 40 gallon tank and if you want the instant hot water add the circulation pump for the extra 200 bucks.

    #293733

    Tenzo wrote >>
    But I added a little computer UPS to the feed line, so we get hot water even when we don’t have power.

    OH! That is a really good idea Tenzo! An Ex gf of mine had one, I loved that thing! She’d beat on the door while I drained the oceans of water enjoying a never ending stream of hot water. Greatest thing ever. I was really sad after I broke up with her because I missed the tankless water heater… and still do. ;o)

    Only issue that ever occurred was the vent got blocked by snow. It doesn’t produce hot water without that vent open… but, it was very easy to fix… of course… when I did, I upped the output temperature on it! Haha. :)

    #293734

    michaelcoyote
    Participant

    I’ve seen installs with both the electric and gas tankless heaters and stayed with a friend in Japan who had a gas tankless heater there..

    Just from what I’ve seen, gas is the way to go..

    The one my friend had in Japan was great.. it was easy to get very hot water quickly..

    #293735

    Tenzo
    Participant

    For clarification, I was talking about gas.
    They just need a small amount of electricity to start the pilot light. So a cheap UPS lasts for weeks.

    Nice thing about gas is that the lines dont go down

    For installations that use solar to heat water they are often inline as a booster.

    As for ‘very complex circutry’….

    #293736

    Likes Old Houses
    Participant

    Gas was definitely the way I am going to go.
    Tenzo – What brand do you have? Have you been able to see a reduction in your gas usage/cost with this model?

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    #293737

    jennyw
    Participant

    I’d never encountered a tankless water heater until a trip to Japan a couple of years ago–wish they were the standard over here, as they make so much sense. Anyway, Renest has a good discussion about the tankless water heaters and the merits of gas vs. electricity; Treehugger also has some great discussion/info here and here.

    #293738

    ionltd
    Member

    We just had a tankless heater installed and my advice is DON’T DO IT!

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