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Tankless Water Heaters

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Bill P

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Tankless Water Heaters

by Bill P » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:27 am

When my dual electric water heaters belly up (they are 8 years old now), I've been pondering swithing to a tankless model. We are a two person household who shower regularly :P and have a dishwasher that gets run a couple times/week.

Any first hand experience with these tankless gizmos?

'Winger
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Brian Taylor Clark

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by Brian Taylor Clark » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:50 am

Bill, in my research (and a real desire to switch to tankless), I read and talked to as many of my plumbing subs as I could before making a decision. The resounding answer was that for a high use/high fixture household they just cant keep up. The unbiased apples to apples research indicated to me that a high efficiency hot water heater will cost just about as much as tankless in the long run. For say a vacation cabin or limited use area they can work well, but for anyone who uses them for relatively high volume, will probably be dissapointed. For instances where the dishwasher is running, someone showering, laundry or sink be used, most really can't keep up. Just what I've found, someone may have another take on them
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Carla G

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by Carla G » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:04 am

Bill I can't speak from experience but I can tell you they are used all over Europe and are very popular. That's all my friends in London have and they never have a problem running out of hot water. (This includes my daughter who roomed with a houseful of 20 year old girls. If anybody was going to run out of hot water...!
Keep us informed as to what you decide. I am looking to do the same thing in the next year or so.

PS With only 2 of you in the household I don't think you'd be considered a "high use" candidate anyway. Maybe if you were a family of four or something...
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Dan Thomas

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by Dan Thomas » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:00 pm

I lived in a little house in the Highlands that had one and for me as a single guy, I thought it worked pretty well when it worked. I had to infrequently hit the breaker box and the reset button on the unit when dripping wet. But I suspect that had more to do with the way it was wired by my somewhat handy landlord. It was a big space saver! It was about the size of a desktop computer mounted on the wall behind the stove.
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TP Lowe

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by TP Lowe » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:37 am

Bill,

Our home is kind of large, so we have three tankless heaters. We've had as many as four adults getting ready for work/leisure at the same time and have never run out of hot water. A downside is that it takes quite a long time for hot water to reach some parts of the house, but we never run out once it's going strong. I lost two heaters in the ice storm a couple of years ago and was stunned at what has happened to the prices of the heaters. It's also not all that easy to find someone to work on them, but it's becoming more common for good plumbing shops to have some experience.
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Lois Mauk

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by Lois Mauk » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:54 pm

I've been lobbying to replace the water heater at our little country church with a tankless water heater. The building sits empty 95% of the time. Doesn't make sense to keep 30 gallons of water hot all the time when people only need to wash their hands on Sunday morning and, from time to time, we need to fill the baptismal pool (which has a submersible heater). A tankless system would seem perfect for our application. But, the Property Committee acts like they don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Guess I'll have to wait for the current water heater to breakdown before they'll listen to me.
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Brian Taylor Clark

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by Brian Taylor Clark » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:38 am

Lois Mauk wrote:I've been lobbying to replace the water heater at our little country church with a tankless water heater. The building sits empty 95% of the time. Doesn't make sense to keep 30 gallons of water hot all the time when people only need to wash their hands on Sunday morning and, from time to time, we need to fill the baptismal pool (which has a submersible heater). A tankless system would seem perfect for our application. But, the Property Committee acts like they don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Guess I'll have to wait for the current water heater to breakdown before they'll listen to me.


That seems like the perfect application for them.
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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by John Greenup » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:31 pm

I've heard strong pros and cons about tankless water heaters (some of which have been expressed in this thread), and I'm not certain the technology has reached a level where they are the best choice for every household...do your research CAREFULLY before making such an investment...hybrid may be the next step for you - though the entry cost can be higher than a "conventional" water heater, they can be more cost-effective in the long run.
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TP Lowe

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by TP Lowe » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:14 am

I think the technology is probably pretty good - they've been used in Europe for decades.
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Brian Taylor Clark

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by Brian Taylor Clark » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:57 pm

TP Lowe wrote:I think the technology is probably pretty good - they've been used in Europe for decades.


He may be referring to the heating elements, which from what i understand have a high failure rate in alot of the manufacturers. Also there is a cfm requirement for gas volume on the higher output units that can require new gas lines being plumbed to the unit, especially with older homes/original cast iron gas lines.
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Re: Tankless Water Heaters

by TP Lowe » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:19 pm

I had the advantage of the house being built with the heaters in mind. I did learn an expensive lesson during the ice storm - if power goes out, drain the heaters in a big hurry.

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