Jump to content

Menu

Tankless hot water heater


Amethyst
 Share

Recommended Posts

 I have one and do not love it. True, you never run out of hot water, but that is one shower at a time. We did not have this one-hot-water-user-at-a-time issue with a tank. Also, and this happens more often than one would think, the second your power goes off, you instantly have no hot water, even with a gas-heated tankless. Electricity runs tank itself even when gas heats the water. With gas and a tank, you have hot water even when you do not have electricity.  Finally, check the upper water temp on any tankless. Ours originally was too low, and the installer assured us that was as hot as it would go. We eventually googled a way to override the pre-set. I am sure that varies from one model to another, so just something to check. Finally, think about where it will go. Ours was slapped onto the outside of our house instead of being tucked into a basement closet. Some models can go inside, but it never occurred to me to ask about that.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, plansrme said:Ours was slapped onto the outside of our house instead of being tucked into a basement closet. Some models can go inside, but it never occurred to me to ask about that.

Thank you for the input. 
 

And I would never have even thought about the possibility of it being outdoors - I’ve only ever seen them in basements. You must live somewhere where it doesn’t go below freezing much in the winter. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We talked with a plumber about tankless just yesterday.  We opted to go with a larger capacity gas water heater.

A tankless water heater costs more than a traditional water heater.  The cost is offset by greater fuel efficiency and a life-span of two to three times longer than a traditional water heater.  Plus there is the promise of hot water on demand.  In a new build it is probably worth it.

But, retrofitting an older home is expensive.  There is much more to installing tankless than simply swapping it for the tank.  To go with tankless, we would need to run dedicated electrical line and if our panel did not have sufficient capacity, install a new or auxiliary electrical panel.  We would also need a new vent, involving roof work, so a third contractor.  This is on top of the plumbing costs.    Multiple contractors also mean greater potential in delays.  

We were replacing the tank because ours failed.  We were not willing to go days (more likely weeks) with no hot water.  Plus, we do not consider this our forever home and it would take ten years or more to recoup the costs. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have one and it is in our patio closet. We also have people have to stagger bath times to get hot water issue. Also my kitchen tap would get hot water much faster than the bathroom sink faucet and bathtub tap; that might be due to piping.

We live in a condo complex that was completed in 2005/2006. Many of my neighbors have changed their water heater because theirs have failed. The earliest my neighbors have their water heater failed was after ten years.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Sherry in OH said:

We talked with a plumber about tankless just yesterday.  We opted to go with a larger capacity gas water heater.

A tankless water heater costs more than a traditional water heater.  The cost is offset by greater fuel efficiency and a life-span of two to three times longer than a traditional water heater.  Plus there is the promise of hot water on demand.  In a new build it is probably worth it.

But, retrofitting an older home is expensive.  There is much more to installing tankless than simply swapping it for the tank.  To go with tankless, we would need to run dedicated electrical line and if our panel did not have sufficient capacity, install a new or auxiliary electrical panel.  We would also need a new vent, involving roof work, so a third contractor.  This is on top of the plumbing costs.    Multiple contractors also mean greater potential in delays.  

We were replacing the tank because ours failed.  We were not willing to go days (more likely weeks) with no hot water.  Plus, we do not consider this our forever home and it would take ten years or more to recoup the costs. 

This is really good info. Thanks. We’re in the same situation too (our hot water tank is causing problems). Sounds like major major work. And like you said, probably only worth it with a new build. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

We have one and it is in our patio closet. We also have people have to stagger bath times to get hot water issue. Also my kitchen tap would get hot water much faster than the bathroom sink faucet and bathtub tap; that might be due to piping.

We live in a condo complex that was completed in 2005/2006. Many of my neighbors have changed their water heater because theirs have failed. The earliest my neighbors have their water heater failed was after ten years.

Why do people have to stagger bath times? I thought there is limitless hot water? Isn’t that supposed to be one of the advantages?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Amethyst said:

Why do people have to stagger bath times? I thought there is limitless hot water? Isn’t that supposed to be one of the advantages?

After one person have a warm shower, the hot water doesn’t come fast enough for a second person to have a warm shower. It’s less of an issue if the second person wants a warm bubble bath. Ours isn’t instant, it takes awhile for the tap water to run warm.

 

ETA: one of our neighbors replaced hers with this model 

https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-water-heaters/details/2316604

Edited by Arcadia
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We love ours. We bought one that has a really high throughput, so we don’t have trouble with multiple showers at the same time. We do get a temporary drop in water pressure if we’re running a laundry load on the extra hot sanitary mode in our washer at the same time. Which is annoying, but not enough to ruin a shower. Previously, our tank water heater couldn’t handle two showers at the same time or back to back without running out of water. Now people can just shower whenever without clearing their plan with everyone else. Ours is a Navian. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, plansrme said:

 I have one and do not love it. True, you never run out of hot water, but that is one shower at a time. We did not have this one-hot-water-user-at-a-time issue with a tank. Also, and this happens more often than one would think, the second your power goes off, you instantly have no hot water, even with a gas-heated tankless. Electricity runs tank itself even when gas heats the water. With gas and a tank, you have hot water even when you do not have electricity.  Finally, check the upper water temp on any tankless. Ours originally was too low, and the installer assured us that was as hot as it would go. We eventually googled a way to override the pre-set. I am sure that varies from one model to another, so just something to check. Finally, think about where it will go. Ours was slapped onto the outside of our house instead of being tucked into a basement closet. Some models can go inside, but it never occurred to me to ask about that.

Yes, models do vary. The one at our old house was over-specified and two showers at once was no problem. Ours was floor-standing indoors. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Caraway said:

Ours takes FOREVER to get hot.  Living in a drought-plagued state I feel insanely guilty waiting for the water to get hot every time I want to wash the dishes.  😬

How far is the heater from the kitchen tap? Ours was about six feet.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

How far is the heater from the kitchen tap? Ours was about six feet.

 

6 minutes ago, Caraway said:

8ft?  It seems to be the same amount of time regardless of distance.  

Ours is 207.5”/ 17.3 feet/ 5.27m from the water heater closet to the kitchen. It is slightly further to the bathroom.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had one at a second home.  It was perfect for that situation, and could accommodate simultaneous showers and a laundry load.  We had one in a rental and were happy with it, as well.

Retrofitting an existing property is expensive, though, and the cost was not worth it compared to the cost of repeated the existing hot water tank.

I would buy a house that had a tankless water heater (assuming it was up to date), but not expect to retrofit a house that had a water tank.

On the point of loss of electricity: that is a benefit to a gas-heated water tank, but we have a built-in generator so the point is moot for us.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Amethyst said:

Anybody have one? Pros? Cons?

We have a Rinnai gas one. It attaches to our outside wall. The temp control is easy to adjust.  We set it lower when the kids were younger. Love that everyone can take showers, do laundry, dishes etc and not run out.  We used to run out just filling a bathtub.  We’ve had multiple showers and stuff running at the same time without issue.

cons:  hot water takes a while to get to the faucet, especially in our master.  So I feel like we waste water waiting for the warm water to make it through the pipes.  But our washer- next to the heater almost- is instantaneous. So that is good.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just replaced ours.

Our house came with one that was about 20 years old, and it was not doing its job.  After talking to our plumber (who was amazing, keeping that thing going with all sorts of tricks because they stopped making parts for it), we opted for replacing it with a similar, updated model.  It's still a standing one, rather than a wall mount, which required less work to the house. The wall mount ones take up less space, but our basement has a dedicated room for the heater so we didn't care how much space it took.  Especially if we already had the footprint there.  And we compared the specs of the two the plumber recommended - both were by the same company, same model, really, but one was wall mounted and one was floor, but both had the same specs and output.

How well does it work? In the winter, the hot water is immediate.  That's because we also have radiators that put constant demand on the heater.  As we get closer to summer, it does take a minute or two to heat up, but there is no problem with the water once it does.  Our gas bill went noticeably down with the newer model and our house stayed warmer compared to the previous year.  I have no data on the water because we have a well (and even if we didn't, water is so plentiful here that the town only bills 2x a year, about $15, to those on city lines)

It's true, we have no hot water without power, but we also have no water without power because the well pump is electric.  We're slowly working through a list of needs for the house and the generator is up next (house is already set up for one).  Our work around last power outage was just making sure we had a supply of water in advance and using the gas stove to heat anything we need.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Amethyst said:

Why do people have to stagger bath times? I thought there is limitless hot water? Isn’t that supposed to be one of the advantages?

We had a tankless in our last house and we loved it.  We did not stagger showers. Never had an issue.  It seems like one time there were two showers going and someone started the dishwasher and that did not work,  but it wasn’t a problem for us to not try that again,

The retrofitting is not that easy.  Dh did all of ours and he is quite handy and skilled and it was still a lot of work.  I remember he asked our plumber friend a lot of questions.   And I think I remember that he charges $2000 to install(plus cost of the unit) and we are low cost of living here.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Previous owners switched to a tankless system, so we have one at this house. Ours takes a very long time to produce water warm/hot enough to take a shower or wash dishes, and I hate how much water it wastes. If two people shower at the same time or back to back, it produces enough hot water, but once the showers are over, and the water stops running, it has to heat up again for the next person. I find this particularly annoying, because I will often get the residual warm/hot water from the tank when I am showering after someone else, then the water turns cold for a few minutes in the middle of my shower while it reheats. I hate this lag time problem.

It took so long for hot water to get to my sink faucet that we installed an instant hot faucet when we were redoing the kitchen last year.

I am not a big fan for these reasons. I'm not sure how much energy it saves us, compared to having a traditional system, but it definitely seems to waste more water.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of systems have the option for a recirculating line that keeps the hot water circulating through the pipes so it’s always ready and hot. We didn’t do that, because using propane to keep water always hot is more of a concern for us than running water while we wait for it to warm. Ours doesn’t take any longer than it did to wait for the hot water to get to the tap from the hot water heater, though. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it looks like we’re okay for now. Repairmen were able to fix the problem. For now. But from what all of you have said and other articles we’ve read, it does sound like the cost to retrofit would be prohibitive. So, when the time comes, we’ll probably just replace this one with another traditional hot water heater. Thanks for all the input!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Storygirl said:

Previous owners switched to a tankless system, so we have one at this house. Ours takes a very long time to produce water warm/hot enough to take a shower or wash dishes, and I hate how much water it wastes. If two people shower at the same time or back to back, it produces enough hot water, but once the showers are over, and the water stops running, it has to heat up again for the next person. I find this particularly annoying, because I will often get the residual warm/hot water from the tank when I am showering after someone else, then the water turns cold for a few minutes in the middle of my shower while it reheats. I hate this lag time problem.

It took so long for hot water to get to my sink faucet that we installed an instant hot faucet when we were redoing the kitchen last year.

I am not a big fan for these reasons. I'm not sure how much energy it saves us, compared to having a traditional system, but it definitely seems to waste more water.

Instant hot water at kitchen sink?

tell me more please!- ours is on the other side of house froM the water heater a d runs under a cold crawl space.., water takes forever to heat up!! Thanks

eh- never mind. I looked them up. Seems awesome but I have a granite counter and no extra spot (hole) for the faucet dispenser

ha, reading more I can get one without a separate faucet, this is Amazing!

Edited by Hilltopmom
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...