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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I planning to buy a house need to do a lot of work. House is small. The closet where the water heater is small. I was talking to some friends they told me which "tankless electric water heater". Say it would save you energy on the bill. Just avoid the propane all together. I don't know any about kw or anything of that nature.just need a straight fact. If so which one on home Depot or Lowe's is good and energy saving?
 

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I would never buy an electric tankless if gas is available. Electric tankless require between 80 and 120 amps to operate, depending on the unit you need. You probably will need to upgrade your electric service if you go that route.
 

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Maintenance / Locksmith
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The tankless water heaters at Lowe's or Home Depot are usually too small in btu capacity for whole house use. You will need to size based on your house and personal needs.


Go to the manufacturer websites such as Navien, Aqua Star, Takagi, etc and use their sizing tool.


Never, never install an electric tankless as most require a whole house electrical upgrade. Natural gas and/or propane are the most efficient but may require a pipe size upgrade to deliver fuel. If you have a 3/4" natural gas line in the install area then you are probably OK.


If you have any doubts about your ability to install a new unit and do it safely then please hire a professional plumber.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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What size is you electric service and how much will it cost to increase to 200 amps?
 

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flipping slumlord
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I planning to buy a house need to do a lot of work.
House is small. The closet where the water heater is small.
And the small WH is likely perfectly adequate.

I don't know any about kw or anything of that nature; just need a straight fact.
I was talking to some friends they told me...
The straight facts are 1) is to stick with the standard type WH
and 2) your friends don't know anything.
 

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Maintenance / Locksmith
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STOP listening to friends that are not educated on the subject. Tankless water heaters are lower cost to operate but higher cost to buy and install. Stay away from the electric units.


Tankless heaters are "demand" style units and only heat the water when you call (demand) water flow.


If your current water heater is nearing end of life or causing problems then look for a replacement. If not.......move on to higher priority projects. IMHO
 

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I would not buy tankless for a small house. Your hot water use will be easy to satisfy with a modestly sized tank type. Tankless are too expensive and if they break, expensive repairs have to be done because you have a big investment in it. You can heat 4 gallons of water with natural gas for the energy cost of heating 1 gallon with electricity. Propane falls in between depending on local cost and whether you own or rent a tank. And new tank type have upgraded insulation from previous models that are a few years old.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The only reason he said electric. Because he said the home is old. And it best to stay away from gas. Don't want any gas leaks or when the home foundation start to shift to cause leaks or damage the pipes. That we live in a new age. Start to think on energy saving instead.
 

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Naildriver
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Who says stay away from gas? Why? When will the foundation shift, and why is that? You definitely won't be saving energy by installing an electric tankless water heater. Where are you located? Your profile is incomplete.
 

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If your ground is shifting enough that you need to worry about gas lines breaking then you have bigger concerns about the house falling down.
Tankless can be more efficient but only if they are gas powered.
 

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A tankless gas heater needs an exhaust vent which is OK if it is next to an exterior wall where you can make the hole.

For a standard gas water heater see if your area requires a 95% efficiency one and if not go with a 90% efficiency one. The 95% heaters us an electronically controlled damper and when the circuit board fails this is a $500 repair and often not covered under warranty by the manufacturer.

The new gas water heater will probably be larger in diameter as they now come with more insulation in the shell. If that is a problem you may be able to install a taller but narrower heater.
 

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Modern water heaters are well insulated.
So much so they are actually cool to the touch.
Electric water heaters do not run constantly and save more money.

Just installed a 60 gallon electric water heater and the expected yearly use is $424
 

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Naildriver
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Based on fuel usage, but including generator and gas fireplace use my yearly propane gas bill for our Rinnai tankless has been $546 (averaged over 2 years). Wifey likes the gas logs, so I figure it is a hog.
 

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In our area, electricity is much more expensive, BTU-for-BTU, than natural gas. I think it's also quite a bit more than propane, long-term.

Tankless or not, I'd stay away from electric if you have other options.

I think the standby losses from a well-insulated tank, in an environment where there's frequent use of hot water, are minimal. It's a simpler system and in many cases you get quicker and more stable hot water at the tap. Add lower installation and maintenance costs and to me it's an easy choice. I've also seen a number of relatively new tankless systems thrown away due to breakdowns and unavailable repair parts. At least one was a well-respected "name" brand.
 

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Never heat water with electricity (tankless or tank) if you have gas available. Heating water is the most energy intensive thing you can do, and electric is more expensive, on a heat unit basis, than propane or natural gas (methane).

Go with tankless. It is more money up front, but it pays for itself rather quickly, and you NEVER run out of hot water. We had my daughter's wedding at my house. 15 women took showers, one after the other, and we never ran out of hot water, because it gets heated as it flows. We could've had 500 people shower without a problem.
 

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I had a tankless propane gas water heater in my apartment in Madrid, Spain. It was great BUT the pilot light was always on. So I too feared leaks and explosions. I'm sure(?) there is an automatic shut off if the flame is blown out. IT WAS very energy efficient though. It served the bathroom sink and shower and the kitchen sink and clothes washer, and it vented to outside the "piso".

Which did you finally decide on?
 
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