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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone had any info on tankless water heaters.

I am thinking about swapping out my current water heater for an electric tankless water heater.

Does anyone have any experiences, good or bad with them ? I know they are very popular in Europe. They really seem to be a smart alternative to replacing my current tank heater.

The reason I was thinking about this is because we use hot water only in the evening. So the water heater runs during the day for nothing.

Anyone have any input ?

Chris
 

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My folks got one. ONLY problem with it is they bought one that can only support ONE source at a time. So one cannot run the dishwasher while someone is in the shower. Not that big a deal, but they should have gone with a 2 source.

The savings from not running a water heater 24/7 is well worth it.
 

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I don't have any info on the tankless ones, but my brother-in-law installed a timer on his water heater. Shuts off in the morning when they leave for work and on around the time they come home from work. Then off again at night. Seems to work really well for them.
 

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I know a fair bit about them. Have had two in custom homes and just bought one for the cabin.

Does yours have to be all electric? In an all-electric environment, the perks go down a bit. They don't heat nearly as fast as the gas models, and will take longer getting hot water to the tap than a traditional tank heater. But buy the right model (with appropriate gallons-per-minute capacity) and once the hot water starts flowing, it will never stop.

But if you can go the natural gas route, then tankless water heaters are just stunningly awesome. I've had a Bosch model and a Rinnai (both well reviewed whole-house models that can accomodate multiple sources drawing hot water at once).

There are also point-of-service kind of tankless heaters. They are cheap, but they pretty much just support the one item they are attached to (the shower or the sink, but not both, etc.). That's just a different conversation.

But anyway, we bought an ELECTRIC tankless for the cabin because it does not have gas and we wanted to save space and reduce the sulfur smell that comes from keeping well water in a big tank heater. But other than the space savings, there's not a significant upside to tankless electric over tank electric. The real leap is when you are talking gas heaters.

Query: what's your main goal? Faster hot water to the tap? Not running out when a bunch of people shower within the same hour? Energy efficiency?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just did a quick cost analysis based on the amount of money saved on the electric bill. The payback is about 6 years. :) Screw that.

I am going to look into a timer for he current tank heater. Our hot water usage is mainly at night so I think this will be the biggest bang for the buck and give me a quicker payback.

I have no idea why the USA is so far behind on this technology. The tankless heaters have been in use in Europe and Japan for over 50 years.

This is one of the things I have always enjoyed about world wide travel. I have seen some **** interesting things. It made me realize that we do not have a corner on all the technology. :)

Thanks everyone for your input. I am still exploring my options so any other suggestions are appreciated.

Chris
 

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I just did a quick cost analysis based on the amount of money saved on the electric bill. The payback is about 6 years. :) Screw that.

I am going to look into a timer for he current tank heater. Our hot water usage is mainly at night so I think this will be the biggest bang for the buck and give me a quicker payback.

I have no idea why the USA is so far behind on this technology. The tankless heaters have been in use in Europe and Japan for over 50 years.

This is one of the things I have always enjoyed about world wide travel. I have seen some **** interesting things. It made me realize that we do not have a corner on all the technology. :)

Thanks everyone for your input. I am still exploring my options so any other suggestions are appreciated.

Chris
Ah, I didn't even factor cost into the decision. I just LOVE having hot water, WAY hotter than I need it, whenever I need it and for as long as I want it. That, and working on water heaters ranks right down there with working on septic tanks in my personal home repair enjoyment stratification.
 

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Chris, it you decide to replace the tank heater with a tank heater, check into the one at Lowes, maybe Home depot that has the energy saving brain, it learns when to produce hot water and when not to. It's a little more than a standard tank, but the saving on the electric bill are worth it.
 

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It's recommended that tank-less heaters have annual maintenance ( flushing with chemicals ) as the inside of the heating coil gets deposits that build up rendering it less effective .
 

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It's recommended that tank-less heaters have annual maintenance ( flushing with chemicals ) as the inside of the heating coil gets deposits that build up rendering it less effective .
How often you have to do this depends on your water.

If you live where there is hard water, you are going to end up cleaning or replacing tank heaters every few years anyway. At the very least, you end up replacing the heating elements, until there is so much buildup you can't open the drain valve anymore.
 

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How often you have to do this depends on your water.

If you live where there is hard water, you are going to end up cleaning or replacing tank heaters every few years anyway. At the very least, you end up replacing the heating elements, until there is so much buildup you can't open the drain valve anymore.
I have a 40Gal. tank /gas water heater thats 13years old and still working good(hope I don't jinks myself!) and we get our water from a aquifer and have very,very hard water ,as soon as it craps out were going to get a water softener and a new water heater,P.S. never had to clean it.
 

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How often you have to do this depends on your water.

If you live where there is hard water, you are going to end up cleaning or replacing tank heaters every few years anyway. At the very least, you end up replacing the heating elements, until there is so much buildup you can't open the drain valve anymore.

As an 30 year Master Plumber and Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector for the last 10 years, I recommend draining and flushing a storage type water heater at least once a year, regardless of water condition. ;)
 

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As an 30 year Master Plumber and Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector for the last 10 years, I recommend draining and flushing a storage type water heater at least once a year, regardless of water condition. ;)
^This. Doesn't take long to do, and not that difficult to clean out the burner and thermocouple while you are at it.
 

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As an 30 year Master Plumber and Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector for the last 10 years, I recommend draining and flushing a storage type water heater at least once a year, regardless of water condition. ;)
Yeah, things I learned after I removed the drain valve and chipped the lime scale away enough for the tank to drain.

Not my water heaters, but still. The point is, they ALL take maintenance.
 
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