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Old 08-16-2007, 02:00 PM   #1
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Tank vs. Tankless


I have a tank water heater that is about 18 yrs old. Needless to say it is starting to go (the small puddle that is by the base is proving that point.) Since I have to replace it asap should I get another tank or go tankless.

There are 2 people in the house now but the family will be growing within the next year or so. I have 2 story home with 2 1/2 baths, washer, dishwasher and the current water heater is natural gas.

I'm most worried about is the cost short term vs. long term.

How much are we going to save per year on the gas bill?
Will we save money on water and gas?
What will it cost to install?
What is the best model?

I know that some of these questions cannot be answered with exact amounts but an avg number is what I'm looking for.

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Old 08-16-2007, 03:50 PM   #2
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Tank vs. Tankless


Whatever size you think will work, get the next one larger.

When my gas HWH bites the dust, I'm going tankless. My uncle just had one installed.

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Old 08-16-2007, 04:21 PM   #3
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Tank vs. Tankless


IMHO They have NOT convinced me yet on tankless. They may be great on low demand systems however when you have bunches of folks all wanting hot water NOW sorry give me my tank With gas you are probably at the cheapest hot water anyway. Go git a new tank and for the little diff up size.
Guessing u r bout a 30 or so. Hell go 50.
In case u r wondering I have a stand alone oil fired 30 gal unit that has 95 gals per hour output. NO you dont want to buy one, today unit is close to 900 bucks.That said there is no unit on the market that will produce this level except its bigger brothers. I am contractor bought 25 yrs ago and yes got a break:}
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:30 PM   #4
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Tank vs. Tankless


Not a high demand right now for water in the house.

How long does a tank last vs. a tankless??
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:53 PM   #5
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Tank vs. Tankless


Irishman: I cant answer for tankless, however my thoughts are : How long can anything last if it has to run EVERY SINGLE TIME you want a drop of hot water? The principle is that it has to run constantly while a REDUCED FLOW run thru heated coils. This is NOT new furnaces have been doing this for years and years and they never were any good at it.
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PS where in jursey? :}
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:12 AM   #6
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Tank vs. Tankless


Tankless heaters have been in use in Europe for years now. Last time
I researched them, a company was developing a microwave version. That would seriously cut down energy bills.

I like the fact that it turns on when hot water is needed. That way when I'm sleeping or at work, I'm not heating the water for no reason.

I actually keep my t-stat on the hwh just hot enought to use only the hot water for showers. The dishwasher has a heater, don't need hot for clothes, and why heat up something just to cool it off again?
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:54 AM   #7
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I'm going tankless for my next one. In europe and asia, these are very common and the biggest complain in North America is that they're only good for "low demand".

I think this is easily remedied by sizing it appropriately. Based on the size and cost for the one I want/need, I'll never find a economic reason to justify it. But having never to run out of hot water is very appealing to me as whenever my extended family vists with 6-10 people in the house, a hot shower is a luxury I'm not going without!
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Old 08-17-2007, 03:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeekinz View Post
Tankless heaters have been in use in Europe for years now. Last time
I researched them, a company was developing a microwave version. That would seriously cut down energy bills.

I like the fact that it turns on when hot water is needed. That way when I'm sleeping or at work, I'm not heating the water for no reason.

I actually keep my t-stat on the hwh just hot enought to use only the hot water for showers. The dishwasher has a heater, don't need hot for clothes, and why heat up something just to cool it off again?
Nice idea!
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:45 PM   #9
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Tank vs. Tankless


I would have gone Tankless except for 2 things-

- The unit may require a larger gas pipe ( 1 inch)
- the venting required is more than the original, and through a chimney may not be allowed without a liner.

In my case it was too much trouble to change.

The cost of the unit is a little more, but my in-law put one in, and as long as he only run 2 things at once - he is OK. (Shower, Dishwasher, washer)
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:23 PM   #10
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I'm with skymaster on this one . If you have natural gas available, I don't think you can go wrong with a good quality tank model. The modern tanks with good insulation do not burn lots of gas just to keep the water hot enough, like the tankless people would have you believe. Besides their inconvenient low flow rate ( even the good units) , in my opinion they are very inefficient, in that they use huge amounts of gas when they turn on (thus the large lines required for the bigger models) to try to raise water temp in the few seconds that it travels through the heat exchanger. I would use them in a limited use situation, like small vacation home, but personally I don't know of anyone who is satisfied with them in a house full of people.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 08-18-2007 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:54 PM   #11
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You will be unsatisfied with the quantity of hot water with anything less that a 5+ per gallon rating. Such units require 1" gas supplies and special venting (the one I just installed is 175,000 btu and the vent gets unbelievably HOT).

We installed this unit to service just the master bath. If you have multiple people taking showers at once, you will definitely want the largest unit you can afford.

As for longevity, hard water can be particlarly hard on tankless water heaters. Be sure you have a water softener if they are allowed in your area.

You will see higher efficiencies, but I agree that a new traditional tank water heater may be better suited to your needs.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:09 PM   #12
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I installed mine about 6 months ago. No problems with demand(gotta size them properly) lowest electric bills ever. We switched from electric tank to LP tankless and the gas usage is alot less than I had planned. The cost of the tankless was $695, but with the energy tax credit(which will expire 12-31-07) the real cost was about $400. As far as life exp. I was told 7-15 years depending on your water quality. Overall

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