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Old 01-03-2012, 01:12 PM   #1
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


So the old Electric Hot water heater is about ready to die (by the looks of the rust around the bottom) and while looking at new tanks i came across the tankless, on demand hot water systems. My questions are.
Researching them is getting confusing.
What size would work well in a tiny (1224 sq foot home) with a dish washer, laundry machine, shower with two heads, kitchen sink and double bathroom sinks.
First off, even now witht he tank system, we never run anything while the other one is in the shower, no dishwasher or laundry and if either of us runs the kitchen sink, its to fill a glass or bowl with cold water.

The double sinks are just that, two sinks in one bathroom. Again, we never use both at once, we have been in this house 2 years and have never ran the two sinks at the same time.

As for the two shower heads, its a big double shower but I only use one head, my wife uses both, I dont know why, to me it doesnt make any difference in water pressure or anything like that.

So here in Southern CT with the incoming water being about 40-ish in winter, how big a system would I use? and If I cant do electric (100 AMP Service in this old house..lol) Im figuering ill go with propane.

What do these things use for propane? if I got a 100 gal or 150 gal tank, would that be enough for a whole season if the water heater was the only thing ran off it?

Thanks!

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Old 01-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #2
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


I do not think there worth it, just make some calls and see what it cost to get one installed. All new gas line will need to be run (far larger line)
It's got to be vented somehow.
And plan on it going down because the sencers tend to build up mineral deposits and stop working and it will need to be serviced.

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Old 01-03-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


Quote:
Originally Posted by zacker View Post
So the old Electric Hot water heater is about ready to die (by the looks of the rust around the bottom) and while looking at new tanks i came across the tankless, on demand hot water systems. My questions are.
Researching them is getting confusing.
What size would work well in a tiny (1224 sq foot home) with a dish washer, laundry machine, shower with two heads, kitchen sink and double bathroom sinks.
First off, even now witht he tank system, we never run anything while the other one is in the shower, no dishwasher or laundry and if either of us runs the kitchen sink, its to fill a glass or bowl with cold water.

The double sinks are just that, two sinks in one bathroom. Again, we never use both at once, we have been in this house 2 years and have never ran the two sinks at the same time.

As for the two shower heads, its a big double shower but I only use one head, my wife uses both, I dont know why, to me it doesnt make any difference in water pressure or anything like that.

So here in Southern CT with the incoming water being about 40-ish in winter, how big a system would I use? and If I cant do electric (100 AMP Service in this old house..lol) Im figuering ill go with propane.

What do these things use for propane? if I got a 100 gal or 150 gal tank, would that be enough for a whole season if the water heater was the only thing ran off it?

Thanks!
just get a new electric heater ...stay away from tankless .we do way to much repair work....just the facts...sorry
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


Quote:
Originally Posted by zacker View Post
So the old Electric Hot water heater is about ready to die (by the looks of the rust around the bottom) and while looking at new tanks i came across the tankless, on demand hot water systems. My questions are.
Researching them is getting confusing.
What size would work well in a tiny (1224 sq foot home) with a dish washer, laundry machine, shower with two heads, kitchen sink and double bathroom sinks.
First off, even now witht he tank system, we never run anything while the other one is in the shower, no dishwasher or laundry and if either of us runs the kitchen sink, its to fill a glass or bowl with cold water.

The double sinks are just that, two sinks in one bathroom. Again, we never use both at once, we have been in this house 2 years and have never ran the two sinks at the same time.

As for the two shower heads, its a big double shower but I only use one head, my wife uses both, I don't know why, to me it doesn't make any difference in water pressure or anything like that.

So here in Southern CT with the incoming water being about 40-ish in winter, how big a system would I use? and If I cant do electric (100 AMP Service in this old house..lol) I'm figuring ill go with propane.

What do these things use for propane? if I got a 100 gal or 150 gal tank, would that be enough for a whole season if the water heater was the only thing ran off it?

Thanks!
I have to disagree with you all, in 08' we had a house fire, pretty much a total loss as far as interior belongings from water and smoke damage. The fire was started from a faulty gas control valve on our 50 gal BW hwt. (thats what the insurance inspector said was the cause). Any how when we was in the rebuilding phase i elected to upgrade to a Rinnai R75 LS .I did an awe full lot of research and even when to a couple classes on them before deciding to go ahead and get one.I have a full bath (master) and a half off the kitchen.

I have a dishwasher, laundry, laundry slop sink and a Master Spa hot tub. For a couple of years i had my son and daughter in law, as well as the two grandkids all living with us.Between The dishwasher, shower or laundry seems like the hot water was always running, i thought to my self i am going to burn up my brand new Rinnia, but I have had ZERO problems with it. I just did the recommended back flush on it and it had literally no sediment build up.

The only draw back, and its minor.....is it takes a bit longer to get hot water to the faucets.......we are talking 15 seconds at the most. My gas usage has gone down 50% since we moved back in after the fire. A normal HWT with a t-stat and 40 gal reservoir, may run up to 10 times in a single day (5 to 7 is common). the only time a tankless runs is when a hot water faucet is opened. I don't want to be accused of mis-leading, so i will say that these units use a modulating gas control valve.....the more points of use you use at one time the more gas they will burn. Mine maxes out at 300,000 BTU per hour.

The vent is a simple straight rise with 1 90 and the termination, I installed a condensate trap, although I rarely see any condensate coming out. The gas line is simple 3/4 war flex to the main line coming into the house.

In my opinion this is the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #5
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


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Originally Posted by harleyrider View Post
I have to disagree with you all, in 08' we had a house fire, pretty much a total loss as far as interior belongings from water and smoke damage. The fire was started from a faulty gas control valve on our 50 gal BW hwt. (thats what the insurance inspector said was the cause). Any how when we was in the rebuilding phase i elected to upgrade to a Rinnai R75 LS .I did an awe full lot of research and even when to a couple classes on them before deciding to go ahead and get one.I have a full bath (master) and a half off the kitchen.

I have a dishwasher, laundry, laundry slop sink and a Master Spa hot tub. For a couple of years i had my son and daughter in law, as well as the two grandkids all living with us.Between The dishwasher, shower or laundry seems like the hot water was always running, i thought to my self i am going to burn up my brand new Rinnia, but I have had ZERO problems with it. I just did the recommended back flush on it and it had literally no sediment build up.

The only draw back, and its minor.....is it takes a bit longer to get hot water to the faucets.......we are talking 15 seconds at the most. My gas usage has gone down 50% since we moved back in after the fire. A normal HWT with a t-stat and 40 gal reservoir, may run up to 10 times in a single day (5 to 7 is common). the only time a tankless runs is when a hot water faucet is opened. I don't want to be accused of mis-leading, so i will say that these units use a modulating gas control valve.....the more points of use you use at one time the more gas they will burn. Mine maxes out at 300,000 BTU per hour.

The vent is a simple straight rise with 1 90 and the termination, I installed a condensate trap, although I rarely see any condensate coming out. The gas line is simple 3/4 war flex to the main line coming into the house.

In my opinion this is the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread.
that is great to know harley you are 1in 20maybe 25 thats has had good results I honestly can't reccommend them based on the amount of service calls we get ....maybe the model ...bosch.... what ya think
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:14 PM   #6
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


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Originally Posted by ben's plumbing View Post
I honestly can't reccommend them based on the amount of service calls we get ....maybe the model ...bosch.... what ya think
Shoot!!! I was looking at the Bosch!!!
lol

So whats the difference between these getting the sediment build up and the tank ones getting it? I thought the only real diff was no tank to hold heated water? And it takes longer than 15 secs to get Hot water at the tap now, with the heater we have now.

So, are these really that bad? I figured it was just a copper pipe running through flames... controlled by a thermostat that told it how hot to get.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Ben, I have never personally worked on a bosch......I will tell you that we have a couple hundred Rinnai's installed with out a single problem. The ones that we have worked on were not our installs and all the problems could be traced back to being improperly installed. Mostly improper plumbing practices, and gas lines that are to small, or not dedicated off the main as required. I will also share this with you.....i am a "Made in America" type of guy , Rinnani's are made in Japan, so it took alot of convincing for me to agree to using them.....so far they have not let me down, but that doesn't mean you will ever find me in a Toyota in my driveway.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:22 PM   #8
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


Go on Amazon.com and look up tankless heaters, then look at the bottom of the listing.
There's comments from people that have bought one.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:31 PM   #9
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Ben, I have never personally worked on a bosch......I will tell you that we have a couple hundred Rinnai's installed with out a single problem. The ones that we have worked on were not our installs and all the problems could be traced back to being improperly installed. Mostly improper plumbing practices, and gas lines that are to small, or not dedicated off the main as required. I will also share this with you.....i am a "Made in America" type of guy , Rinnani's are made in Japan, so it took alot of convincing for me to agree to using them.....so far they have not let me down, but that doesn't mean you will ever find me in a Toyota in my driveway.
well i do have to agree with installation problems..alot are not installed to there specs... contruibutes to the service....thanks ben
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:39 PM   #10
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So, are these really that bad?I figured it was just a copper pipe running through flames... controlled by a thermostat that told it how hot to get.
They're not "bad"... just wayyyyyyy expensive.

The first level of issues are the initial equipment cost as well as the initial plumbing or wiring changes that are almost always required. Short of a more substantial remodel going on with more work to hide those costs among...

The next level of issues are the service costs when something fails.
(something always fails). You have to need a LOT of hot water to justify a modestly lower operating cost to provide that HW to make up the upfront cost difference.

Then you have the risk of not having hot water at all when the electric goes out. Does your power ever go out? This applies to induced draft WH's as well btw; and God forbid you ever need a part.

All in all? No thanks.

Quote:
So whats the difference between these getting the sediment build up and the tank ones getting it?
Very few standard WH owners will do the suggested sediment flush.
It's not hard at all. That flush and a later anode replacement and most water heaters will serve for a LONG time... rarely ever needing anything more than a $5 thermocouple to keep them running.

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 01-03-2012 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


my problem now is we have a 50 gallon electric HWT now and its starting to leak and the bottom is rusting. I dont want this thing to go belly up in the night and then have to scramble to get a new one. And being that its electric, its expensive to run. I guess I could go for a propane one but everything I am reading on the tankless ones are they are more cost effective to run. So now Im hearing they are but they are also more apt to break down than the tanked ones?
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:57 PM   #12
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my problem now is we have a 50 gallon electric HWT now and its starting to leak and the bottom is rusting. I dont want this thing to go belly up in the night and then have to scramble to get a new one.
Yeah you need to replace it. Do that on your terms.
Shop and buy your replacement this week.

Quote:
And being that its electric, its expensive to run.
I missed that you are on electric... but 'meh' on the cost whine.
What's your Kwh rate up there?

When you do get your new STANDARD old school water heater...
read the manual and plan to do the maintenance.

Also check the drain valve before you install it. If it isn't a hefty brass model put one in before you need to drain the tank.

hth
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:10 PM   #13
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my problem now is we have a 50 gallon electric HWT now and its starting to leak and the bottom is rusting. I don't want this thing to go belly up in the night and then have to scramble to get a new one. And being that its electric, its expensive to run. I guess I could go for a propane one but everything I am reading on the tankless ones are they are more cost effective to run. So now I'm hearing they are but they are also more apt to break down than the tanked ones?
No, if they are installed correctly they will run flawlessly for years to come with very little maintance.....do your homework, get a company that has installed them regularly and in many different situations. As previously stated I personally have a Rinnai 74 and I absolutely love it.They are easy to install, and require only minimal wiring.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:47 PM   #14
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


Zacker if you use a lot of hot water they're good but a standard 2-3 person household will never recoup the up front cost. Ours, for a comparison, is a cheap gas 40 gallon and the gas usage for just the water heater runs less then $6 a month. The tankless would have to run with no break downs for 40+ years before the break even point.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:44 PM   #15
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Last year my indirect fuel oil powered hot water heater died, after about ten years of service. Right at Thanksgiving, of course. I installed an electric GE heat exchanger type hot water heater, 50 gallon. I got an energy efficiency credit for it, even so it cost about $1000, which of course is a lot more than a standard 50 gallon electric tank heater. However, it uses about half the electricity of a standard resistance type heater, and has the odd bonus of dehumidifying my basement in the summer. There are heat exchanger gas fired units available, which in theory are significantly more efficient than standard gas fired hot water heaters.

This is a little bit difficult to verify, since efficiency for a direct heat source is measured differently than efficiency for a heat exchanger type of device (basically an air conditioner run backwards). However, you may want to look into these types of units. Based on the fact that MA has about the highest per kilowatt hour cost in the United States, I figure to recover the cost differential in about 3-5 years, so if the heater lasts 10 years I will be OK with the decision.

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