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Old 09-03-2016, 03:35 PM   #1
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Tankless water heater


My 17 year water tank is finally cropping out on me so I'm in the market for a tankless. Currently I have a 50 gallon tank taking up half of my pantry so I definitely want to go tankless this time. My main breaker for the house is 200 amps also.

I saw an electric tankless at lowes that would be good for my whole house but requires 4 double pole 40 amp breakers and I only have 1 double pole breaker currently so I'll need 3 more added and probably a heavier Guage wire ran also. I'm going to have an electrician out for an estimate on that.

I have looked at rennai gas tankless also but it appears they need to be installed outside. I got an estimate for one of those 2 years ago for $2000 installed which is more than I can afford at the moment.

Any suggestions? Are electric tankless any good? Any recommendations on brands?
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:07 PM   #2
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Re: Tankless water heater


My simple rule is: better to burn gas to make heat.

Switching from a tank to a tankless heater is not an easy thing. An older home will most likely need a service upgrade for an electric one, and possibly a larger gas service for a gas fired one.

There's no helping the cost issue. 17 years is a very long life for a water heater. Replacing it will cost you about $500. Converting to tankless could easily cost you ten times as much.
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:15 PM   #3
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Re: Tankless water heater


Which tankless are you looking at ?

If it is the Eemax 36kW, lowes says it needs a 300 amp service.

I don't know what a 300amp service will cost in your neighborhood, but in my area it would be substantially larger than the $2k quote you got for gas.
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Old 09-03-2016, 05:22 PM   #4
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Re: Tankless water heater


The one I'm looking at now is an ecosmart 27 which requires 3 double pole 40 amp breakers as apposed to the 4 the larger one needed at lowes. I'm getting an electrician to come out and look at what I have and let him/her know what the unit I'm planning to buy requires. Looks like I'll need 3 double pole 40 amp breakers and an 8 Guage wire ran to the pantry for this particular unit. Running the wire should be fairly easy since the existing wire runs under the house and up the wall with the plumbing. I can see both the water line and the wire under the house.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:03 PM   #5
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Re: Tankless water heater


IMO youu will not be happy with a electric tankless.

Gas one do not have to be installed outside, but you have to have room for the exhaust.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: Tankless water heater


That's a lot of power, how much is it going to cost to run? Performance wise, it may not heat up the water fast enough.
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:22 AM   #7
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Re: Tankless water heater


On amazon it's go well over 500 reviews with 4.5 stars. A lot of the negative reviews are for broken units or missing parts and not necessarily poor performance. If it's going to cost $2000 to get this one installed then obviously I'll just get the gas for the same price. From my research this unit has 3 heater "elements" and each one requires it's own breaker. It only draws current while hot water is on and a lot of reviewers say it reduced their electric bills compared to the tank setup they had before.
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:12 AM   #8
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Re: Tankless water heater


If i go gas is rinnai the only brand I should even consider? The rheem units seem good from my research and are a little cheaper. Any opinions on gas tankless brands?
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:30 PM   #9
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Re: Tankless water heater


I installed a Bosch electric water heater. The install was easy. The one I purchased required only two circuits. I didn't need a high GPM. I also live in Florida, so the incoming water is not cold. It heats the water fast. I mounted it high on the wall, and it does save a lot of room.

If I had gas, I would have went that route. I would just get a couple more estimates. I would think DIY gas would be pretty easy as well depending on where your meter is. It sounds like you have good access to running plumbing.
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Old 09-04-2016, 02:39 PM   #10
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Re: Tankless water heater


Plumbing and electrical is easy to get to and I have a gas line running under the house to my fireplace. I'll just disconnect that and use it for the water heater since we never use the fireplace. I want professional install mainly for the warranty so I'm waiting on some estimates. The local gas company (revere gas) quoted me $2000 a couple years ago so I'm assuming it'll be about that much with anyone.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:48 PM   #11
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Re: Tankless water heater


That is amazing that the electric works so well.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:12 AM   #12
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Re: Tankless water heater


I guess the space is your primary concern because backfitting tankless will be much more $$ than replacing the tank in kind. And don't forget the venting. If you are on an outside wall it might not be too bad but the code has lots of requirements as to where the exhaust and intake can go relative to doors, windows, etc. and you will need to be cutting holes in the wall. And this thing being in your pantry... do you realize that it will really roar while it's running?


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Originally Posted by nikeman View Post
Plumbing and electrical is easy to get to and I have a gas line running under the house to my fireplace. I'll just disconnect that and use it for the water heater since we never use the fireplace. I want professional install mainly for the warranty so I'm waiting on some estimates. The local gas company (revere gas) quoted me $2000 a couple years ago so I'm assuming it'll be about that much with anyone.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:22 AM   #13
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Re: Tankless water heater


Which one is loud while running? Gas or electric? Pantry is basically dead center inside the house so if I go gas the unit will be relocated to the crawlspace.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:31 AM   #14
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Re: Tankless water heater


Gas one for sure. They have very large burners and move a lot of air. Not sure about electrics but they should be quieter.

Also, if you put the gas unit under the house in the crawl space look up on the exhaust/venting requirements for Category 4 appliances. Most install maunals include a section on the pretinent national code. I am just DIY but these things are generally designed to be exhausted through a side wall or roof. If yours is center of house in the crawl space you may need to run the exhaust out to the perimeter. Then needs to be above snow line, away from doors and windows, etc. The pros here can probably discuss this better than I since I have never seen one of these in a crawl space, only wall mounted indoors.

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Originally Posted by nikeman View Post
Which one is loud while running? Gas or electric? Pantry is basically dead center inside the house so if I go gas the unit will be relocated to the crawlspace.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:33 AM   #15
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Re: Tankless water heater


If i go gas which I'm still on the fence based on everything I have read, the unit will mount right up beside the foundation wall. Crawl space has about 6' of height where I'd have it mounted. I'm having professionals out to give me estimates for both gas an electric so basically the price difference will be my deciding factor. I have read a lot of good on both gas and electric and very little bad. My head hurts now from all the reading I have been doing the past couple days. Lol

I have an electrician coming today and another tomorrow. I have a gas company coming probably tomorrow also along with an estimate I got for gas a couple years ago.
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