Tankless hot water heaters - Any experiences?
March 15, 2010 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #293739
You must have had quite a bad experiance to revive the thread.
Oh, and a s a side note:
As I was doing my taxes I noticed that tankless water heaters count toward the energy efficiancy tax break.March 15, 2010 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #293740
Sizing them for the worst case temperature rise that we have here in Col (say water temp in upper 30s in the winter and requirement for water about 100 higher) typically requires upgrading the electric or natural gas service to the house.
I was all hell bent on getting one myself, but extra cost for the unit plus the cost of upgrading my gas service and my vent (requires B-vent, IIRC) made it cost prohibitive for me.
When I was in India we had one. Difference there is you have to turn it on before the shower. It’s so warm if you forgot, you might be only limited to the cold water temperature of 90-some degrees. Those units were small and electric. They only needed 20 some degrees of temperature rise.March 15, 2010 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #293741
Likes Old HousesParticipant
As the OP, I would like to say that I am pretty happy with the Rinnai, on demand gas hot water heater we had installed by Water Heaters Plus. The only draw back is that it takes about 30 seconds to get hot water to the faucet. We have an old house, 200 amp electric sevice and had no problems with finding a spot to vent it. Like Cosmo Kramer, I could stay in the shower all day.August 4, 2010 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #293742
A tankless heater will be better than any traditional tank by about 20% per the DOE EERE site. The big thing is sizing the heater and making sure if it’s electric, you have enough breakers, gas the line is big enough. Be careful you don’t let people linger in the shower, now that it’s not going to cool over time, people don’t jump out… that will negate savings. Be sure to buy the heater from some one who knows how to size it and sells the venting (if gas) The credit is available on gas units that meet the Federal requirements. It does not apply to elec untis. I would look at http://www.houseneeds.com/shop/atop/productswaterheaters.asp . I purchased one there and they helped me throgh the whole process.October 15, 2010 6:25 am at 6:25 am #293743
Tankless water heater is a good thing to buy for your own needs. Not only are they convenient, they are reliable and efficient also. Any plumber would advise you to buy a tankless water heater in your house.March 17, 2016 9:49 am at 9:49 am #1118935
Any new experiences with these as technology has evolved? I’m considering putting them in my rental properties, so any input people have on these things would be fantastic and much appreciated! I’m curious if the instant ones still have bugs, or if the tank ones are still more reliable?
Thanks in advance!March 17, 2016 10:09 am at 10:09 am #1118942
There is no need to upgrade natural gas service for these units in most cases. Do not go electric. Gas is more efficient and much cheaper to operate. The bad rap these units have on line is a text book case of the Internet amplifying the stupidest voices. These units when installed and sized right are incredible. Used the world round successfully for ages. Have had one added to every house we’ve lived in. Would never have a tank heater. Don’t do electric! They cannot deliver the energy the way gas does. they will almost always need panel upgrade.March 17, 2016 10:40 am at 10:40 am #1118945
I agree: don’t do electric! I had one in a former home and it was a maintenance nightmare. Unless you’re willing to diy all aspects of installation and service, finding one technician to handle both the electrical and plumbing side may be difficult. The amount of power it draws for a 2.5 bath house is scary and not to be messed with by the inexperienced: 4 x 30 amp breakers.
That said, the modern gas units are fabulous. I have relatives who are very happy with their units with no issues even eight years after switching.March 17, 2016 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #1118979
As the OP, I would like to say that I am pretty happy with the Rinnai, on demand gas hot water heater we had installed by Water Heaters Plus. The only draw back is that it takes about 30 seconds to get hot water to the faucet. We have an old house, 200 amp electric sevice and had no problems with finding a spot to vent it. Like Cosmo Kramer, I could stay in the shower all day.
A regular water heater takes like a minute to get hot water to the shower. You can add a point-of-service booster heater if you have a sink that’s really far from the water heater and just want quick warm water.
Probably the best advantage is that they take up so little space. In a small residence that can free up enough space to put in a utility sink or something.March 17, 2016 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm #1119040
Tankless gas heaters are cheaper to operate and much more Eco sensible.
Tank water heaters are always keeping a batch of water hot no matter if you need it or not. Tankless heaters are on demand as needed only. Tankless heaters if sized right and used with the right flow sized fixtures can provide hot water as long as you have water on. Endless hot showers! You can get crazy with circulation systems that will keep cycling to certain fixtures for instant hot water. Also available with tank heaters.March 18, 2016 10:20 am at 10:20 am #1119068
We installed a gas tankless water heater in our 3-floor Victorian house 20 years ago. There are pros and cons. On the plus side, our gas bill went down and there’s now a limitless supply of hot water. On the down side, you DO have to run the water for a bit before hot water reaches the faucet/shower head, depending on where it’s located. The closer the fixture is to the heat source, the less wait time. In the basement, where the heater is located, the water is hot immediately. In the 1st floor kitchen, it’s pretty much the same. In the 2nd floor shower, it starts to get inconsistent: sometimes it’s right away, sometimes not. On the third floor, you definitely have to wait. Some commercial establishments install heaters right next to each bathroom. Our old-style water heaters used to blow out every 10-12 years, so I think it’s worth it.March 19, 2016 9:38 am at 9:38 am #1119157
I should have posted why I’m putting them in rentals. Electric is what I’m aiming for. There’s this phenomenon with tenants over the years to allow gas to be shut off, but they never seem willing to part with electric probably due to xbox & phone chargers. So I’ve been flipping all the gas furnaces out to electric and that problem has suddenly resolved itself – so now working on water heaters. I found a Richmond tank one at Sutherlands that is a powerhouse and next to nothing cheap – but I also found some electric tankless on Amazon for similar pricing – so I’m curious if anyone has had experience with the electric ones. I know they’re more expensive to operate, but aside from that are there any other cons?March 19, 2016 9:47 am at 9:47 am #1119160
The electric heaters don’t have the temperature rise that gas has if I’m not mistaken. I know that even for hand washing stations they don’t impress. We had one commercial bath room that was a failure. I would go with electric tank heater rather than on demand for your application.
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