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Old 12-13-2017, 12:54 PM   #1
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New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


So 3 1/2 months into our new home, our gas water heater is going out. We've been expecting it as it's 21 years old. When we bought the house, we also purchased a home warranty, which we haven't done before. Called the warranty company this morning and we're waiting on a call back to schedule an appointment.
In the meantime, we visited HD to look at the water heaters and get our first opinion on how we should go. What we have now is a 70 plus gallon water heater. The family before us consisted of a married couple with no children, but a huge jacuzzi for a tub. FYI, the HD guy said a 50 gallon gas water heater costs about $650 and is that much to install. He said the tankless is $2000 to install and he didn't have any in stock so we couldn't easily get a price.
So what are you thoughts on whether we should remain with this size water heater or go tankless.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:00 PM   #2
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


Here is a good write up on it.
http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/Lon...r-heaters.html
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:21 PM   #3
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


Thanks Neal! It looks like it'll be way too expensive in the beginning and we'd be unlikely to recoup the costs. I appreciate the article.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:11 PM   #4
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


I just dumped an electric water heater opting for a Rinnai tankless. I figured a new electric was going to cost $500. I got the Rinnai for about $1000. Savings on electric should offset in a few years. Face it, you are heating water while you are asleep, out eating, at work, etc, with a conventional water heater. The tankless is spot on.
I won't have any figures for 30 days, but I expect that getting rid of the hog will help on the electric bill considerably.
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:16 AM   #5
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


Hi Neal, Please let me know how your water/electric bills change. Thanks so much! Diane
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:27 AM   #6
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


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I just dumped an electric water heater opting for a Rinnai tankless. I figured a new electric was going to cost $500.
In all fairness you have gas and could have gone that route with a water heater too and gas is cheaper to operate so it won't be exactly an apples to apples comparison. I replaced my gas with a GE gas heater because I could install my own. Well, I guess I could have done a tankless too but had no familiarity with them.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:38 PM   #7
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


Actually the only propane we had was a 100# tank for the emergency generator, gas logs and a stove in the basement for emergencies. I had the gas company drop in a 320 gallon tank, repipe it all with proper regulators (Rinnai takes a 2# regulator). Yeah, for me it was apples to rutabagas switch. But since gas is cheaper, my hopes are the drop in the electric bill will eventually help offset the cost. May be a few years, but hey, I ain't got that long anyway
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:52 PM   #8
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


Having looked into this in detail a few years I have to chime in again about your gas supply. A gas tankless is a very large demand and it can exceed the capacity of the branch you are planning to connect to, which will require a new line and higher install costs. Plus, it is possible that the tankless unit will cause your total demand to approach or exceed your meter capacity, which requires a call to the gas company. Not worth it in my case. Not even close. Then there is the issue and cost of needing to run the PVC vent and intake. Tank water heater much cheaper for the life cycle.
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Old 12-16-2017, 05:12 PM   #9
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


Diane, if the installation is doable & you invest in tankless & stay in same location for 10-12 yrs, the tankless cost vs a tanked cost will break even (but only until the original tanked heater fails). In yrs 13-25 that same tankless heater (even with $750 in maintenance factored in) will save you enough in operational costs to pay for its replacement vs 2 tanked water heaters. Once you have bought your 3rd tanked heater vs 1-2 tankless heaters, your finances will be In the red for thousands... be advised - tank technology is now designed to fail every 10-15 years. if U aren't staying in same location for next 10 years, U should still consider tankless technology simply for the resale value vs old tank technology...
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:54 PM   #10
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


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exceed the capacity of the branch you are planning to connect to
I had the gas company run a dedicated line with a 2# regulator directly to the Rinnai with an external shut off valve. I also had them run the main line into a manifold with 3 shut offs, one to the gas logs, one to the generator and one to the emergency stove in the basement. Yes, there are special considerations, but it was done right the first time. We're on propane, BTW. No NG for a hundred miles.
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:13 PM   #11
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


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Diane, if the installation is doable & you invest in tankless & stay in same location for 10-12 yrs, the tankless cost vs a tanked cost will break even (but only until the original tanked heater fails). In yrs 13-25 that same tankless heater (even with $750 in maintenance factored in) will save you enough in operational costs to pay for its replacement vs 2 tanked water heaters. Once you have bought your 3rd tanked heater vs 1-2 tankless heaters, your finances will be In the red for thousands... be advised - tank technology is now designed to fail every 10-15 years. if U aren't staying in same location for next 10 years, U should still consider tankless technology simply for the resale value vs old tank technology...
Peace
Hi Dr P. Ray, my husband, turned off the pilot Friday and drained the tank as we were mopping the area every two hours. The warranty company came out Saturday and found the TMP and another valve leaking and said the hot water heater doesn't need replacing. Ray had seen the TMP leaking slowly, but nothing that would have caused the water we saw every two hours. We going what??? Anyway, the plumber turned the pilot off when he left and said we were free to turn it back on after he left. We turned it on this morning and still no massage leaks. ??? Anyway, the plumber is going to bring it up to code by replacing two valves and some copper piping. He also said it was 17 years old vs 21, so that was good news.
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:30 PM   #12
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


Quote:
He also said it was 17 years old vs 21, so that was good news.
Not wanting to make it difficult, but EOL of water heaters is usually between 12 and 15 years. Burners, etc. less than that. 17 to 21 years old in human years is the difference in 105 and 110 years old . You're dead, but you just don't know it

If your plumber thinks it is OK to fix, then he's on site, not us. Good luck with it, but don't dump a lot of money in it.
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:52 PM   #13
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


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Anyway, the plumber turned the pilot off when he left and said we were free to turn it back on after he left. We turned it on this morning and still no massage leaks. ??? Anyway, the plumber is going to bring it up to code by replacing two valves and some copper piping. He also said it was 17 years old vs 21, so that was good news.
I have a hard time believing that's a legit plumber. He's going to do work on a 17 year old hw tank? And he wouldn't light it back up? And after he turned it off? Could be he's just wanting to do some warranty work knowing full well you'll be replacing the tank soon. You'll save time and money to replace the tank now and not repeat steps. A larger tank is going to mean modifying the piping, which may be necessary anyway if the TPR valve attaches on top or side or visa versa.
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Old 12-17-2017, 04:28 PM   #14
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


wow - tech going 2 replace a T&P valve, copper piping, and ISO valve on aged out tank because it is still less $ than buying new 75g gas unit and hey u guys might just MOVE B4 the tank `dies`... love to meet the actuary genius that spun this justification of probabilities...

Is this tech the warranty's man, do you pay him or does warranty take care of charges, and what are deductible and premium costs? (not that u have 2 answer but I felt compelled to ask at least the name of the insurance co)

Diane - please make sure u have a new functioning CO2 detector nearby this tank and another inside your bedroom... cheap insurance & just because your home warranty co wants 2 gamble does not mean u have 2...

I'm gonna throw my BS flag & call thermal expansion issues compounded from failing PRV and or failed thermal expansion tank (presuming there is 1) that caused the T&P to lift/dump...makes more sense why piping and another valve also needs replacement...

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Old 12-18-2017, 02:43 PM   #15
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Re: New Gas Water Heater or Tankless Water Heater


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Not wanting to make it difficult, but EOL of water heaters is usually between 12 and 15 years. Burners, etc. less than that. 17 to 21 years old in human years is the difference in 105 and 110 years old . You're dead, but you just don't know it

If your plumber thinks it is OK to fix, then he's on site, not us. Good luck with it, but don't dump a lot of money in it.
I know, I was thrilled when it started leaking as I thought it would be replaced. When the plumber (chosen by the home warranty insurance) came out, he waited until the tank filled and heated some before he left. He called the warranty company and we'll end up spending $125.00. For the life of me, I can't figure out why it was leaking so badly before Ray turned it off and wouldn't leak with him. We even turned it back up and it hasn't started leaking like it was before. Any ideas?
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