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leezarrd 11-17-2007 08:02 AM

Tankless water heaters?
What is your experience with tankless water heaters? Gas and electric?

majakdragon 11-17-2007 08:36 AM

I have heard good and bad about them. Cost is the big thing. Like everything else, there are good units and not-so-good ones. If you have hard water or lots of minerals in your water, you don't want one. They clog easier. Make sure there is someone in your area that does service work on them. Many Plumbers will install them but, do not do service work on them since they are complicated. Just some thoughts.

leezarrd 11-17-2007 03:00 PM

We have well water with a whole house filter at the pump. The filter seems to catch a lot of shale. We figured we would avoid sediment in the tank...
Why are the tankless ones so complicated?

majakdragon 11-17-2007 05:50 PM

I am not really familiar with the workings of them. From what I understand, the water goes through small tubing which makes it easier to heat faster. This is similar to a heat exchanger with lots of tubing in a small container. Thats why the problem with scale and calcium deposits. The controls must be complicated also. I wish I could tell you more about them but I don't work on them nor have I installed one.

leezarrd 11-18-2007 08:29 AM

Thanks for your post!

That one Guy 11-19-2007 01:45 AM

I have no experience with electric. I have instaled Rheem Tankless and a few Noritz. These companys do not make electric units and are almost the same except a few differences.

As far as working on them they are mainly error codes that flash on the temp control that tell you what to check. The printed circuit boards are expensive but easy to replace because its held in by 4 screws and uses color coded molex connections so you cant screw it up. Basicly you can take both of these units apart with a philips screwdriver. Taking out the gas valve, blower, water flow inlet valve, air filter switch, burner plate cover and burner assembly is fairly easy. Unless you have huge hands because space is tight. Unfortunatly the heat exchanger is not replacable in the Rheem because of the overheat film wrap (that is also not replacable) in the way that if overheated or removed the heater will throw up an error code and not function correctly. As far as I know they do not sell a replacment film wrap.

A water softener is recomended and the units have built in filters on the cold inlet. If you run a reciculation pump a storage tank is recomended usually a small heater set to the same temp as the tankless.

leezarrd 11-19-2007 05:46 AM

Thanks for the info!

Bacardi 151 11-19-2007 06:04 AM

There's a $300 tax credit on them only good until Dec, 31st...Act quickly, lol...

LawnGuyLandSparky 11-19-2007 09:10 AM


Originally Posted by leezarrd (Post 74444)
What is your experience with tankless water heaters? Gas and electric?

Electric tankless use a ton of electricity, some require more than on 50 amp 240 volt circuit. Better off with an electric WH if electricity is your water heating fuel.

If gas, tankless may be a better option but the payback is measured in years. Standby losses for a regular gas water heater aren't as great as the tankless brochures claim.

leezarrd 11-23-2007 02:13 PM

From everything I have read on the net, I've decided to go with a 30 gal. Marathon Electric Hot Water Heater. We were hoping to use that space for something else, but tankless heaters sound like a lot of trouble. Thanks for all your input!

Mike Swearingen 11-23-2007 05:14 PM

I've been DIYing for more than 50 years.
I know from all of the DIY sites that I visit and DIY tv shows that I watch, that the tankless water heaters are FAR more energy efficient, but like anything else, you have to factor in maintenance, parts availability, etc.
For that very reason, I'm still with a conventional 50-gal electric water heater (although gas heaters are supposedly less expensive to run).

moneymgmt 11-26-2007 11:25 AM

My 2 cents: I just installed an electric tankless unit and wouldn't change it back if you paid me. SO much nicer. And as for clogging, they have warranties.... supposedly the heat is so hot impurities are disintegrated. I did the research, and there is no bottom-line "best" way to go when it comes to gas vs electric. Depends on your usages, utility costs, incoming water temp, and where you're installing it. And for those who assume its waaaaay expensive, my electric bill went up $20/month which I am perfectly happy with!

DIY4EVER 11-26-2007 12:20 PM


shouldn;t your electric bill go down if you just installed a tankless electric water heater that is supposedly more efficient than a conventional tank?

just a little confused and wanted to clarify since I too am considering a tankless system

moneymgmt 11-26-2007 12:29 PM

Ha! Good call... let me clarify.... I had a GAS tank heater, but wanted to build a staircase where the tank was and there isn't enough room for a 40gal tank under it. The tankless heater is now under the staircase hidden. I could have gone to a gas tankless but the need for combustible air and the vent created 2 problems, so I went electric. (In addition, the electric unit is about 80% smaller!!!) While my gas bill has obviously gone down, I expected my electric bill to go way up based on what most people allege. In reality it didn't increase anything like what I was told to expect.

And in case you're wondering why I couldn't vent through the old tank's stack: I tore down the chimney to create a hallway next to the staircase..... thus my venting problem.

DIY4EVER 11-26-2007 01:52 PM

I see! Now it all makes sense.

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