Tankless Water Heaters

13 responses

  1. Harold Terranova
    July 23, 2012

    Tim - I've used your web site from time to time over the years and get your newsletter. I happened to do a search on tankless water heaters and your info came back in the search. I live in Fl and am switching from electric to gas. You are the best!! After reading your info I'm now leaning towards a tank system. It's just da little women and myself, so the water useage with be minimal, which is why I thought that the tankless would be of benefit. But perhaps a high effeciency tank sysem would be the smarter choice.

    • Tim Carter
      January 11, 2013

      Harold, you need to schedule a 15-Minute call with me. There's simply too much to talk about and type.

  2. RixceU
    November 15, 2012

    Even though a tankless heater may have a maximum rating of 165,000 BTU as with the example used in your cost comparison for 90 minutes a day of hot water, you probably are not using the maximum flow for all those 90 minutes every day. Tankless heaters adjust the BTU output depending on the actual demand of water, so the calculation in your comparison is off.

  3. David H.
    December 5, 2012

    Dear Mr. Carter,
    My two cents on the water heater controversy: I have replaced (3) hot water heaters in our house and there is never any warning when they go. (But the failure always occurs in the morning when everyone needs to shower.) I can always get to a plumbing supply store or big box store, even on the weekend for a new one and hook it up myself. (I would say I have slightly above average DIY skills, but only slightly.)
    When the tankless unit goes (and it will) now what? Order a new one; wait for delivery, schedule the installer; I bet it could be 10 days to two weeks of down time. Let's hope you're on good turns with neighbors who won't mind sharing their shower.

    Dave H.
    Watertown, NY

  4. Mat Cartier
    December 5, 2012

    I have had a tankless Bosch water heater for about 3 years now and while I can say nothing of the savings seen ( It was the first piece in my conversion from oil to natural gas) I can say that I will never buy another. Indirect will be a more efficient choice with my high-effieciency boiler. One thing that I don't believe you mentioned in your article is the pre-purge and post-purge cycles that most of these units have. These cycles are basically a firing of the boiler where NONE of the heat is transferred to the water in your shower/sink, etc. People like to fall back on the stand-by loss of tank based heaters but with higher efficiency tanks and insulating blankets these can really be cut back to days of a tank holding it's heat. Just some info...

  5. David Bowling
    December 6, 2012

    I did my own study after hearing Paul Harvey talk about it years ago. I talked with about 10 plumbers who shared their experience and they all had the same conclusion. Higher maintenance cost, need to have it close to use area, low output, higher purchase cost, was only good for plumbers and utility companies.
    The exception might be for a second small vacation home that got used for 2 weeks a year and 5-10 week ends per year. But even then just turn down or off the conventional water heater.

  6. Ed Nemec
    December 6, 2012

    I remember when you could only buy a tankless through a contractor. I always wanted one but as time went on I was not sold on the efficientcy or troubles with using well water. I believe the heat exchanger has to be cleaned like a commercial boiler to be efficient. I wanted the space where my hot water heater is for a slop sink. I have a small utility room and no basement. My thoughts now are to purchase a lifetime fiber glass tank electric 50 gallon hot water heater and put it in the crawl space. I do not see a big expense having used the present electric 40 gallon for 5 years. It comes up to temperature faster than my gas heater at my other house. I figure any heat leaving the storage tank will help heat the house in the Winter and I dehumidify the cool insulated encapsulated crawl space in the Summer so the heat escaping the tank will not add to the Summer cooling cost. Plus no chimney loss of heat which can be a big factor on overall heating expense.
    This subject and your past on attic ventilation are close to my thoughts on both subjects. All statement should not be taken for granted as gospel. Your gas formula stated and the BTU's per Watt are standards for energy. People are gulible and should investigate or sign up for your emails. You tell it like it is and I like that kind of information.

  7. s,watts
    December 6, 2012

    Very interesting.
    About 6 years ago? I wanted to replace water heater. And I wanted tankless so badly. I'm sure it would have worked out for me. I live alone in the very small townhouse, after my husband passing 15 years ago, so not much hot water needed as I have when my children were growing up in the larger house.
    It wasn't so much the cost of water heater or energy saving for me as I was salivating on the space I may have.
    After reasearching on web, I decided not to only because not so many reviews were there. I still wish I had for the sake of space.
    Incidently my mother and many other Japanese use them but their system of taking bath is totally different. Hot water is made strictly for the deep bath. It does not come from water heater. So tankless water heater is used for just dishes and cleaning, etc.

    Thanks Tim for all these information you give us.

  8. Alice Ng
    May 6, 2013

    My neighbor installs tankless water heater machine
    facing my bedroom window (It's 10 ft away from my window). Then, They build the fence between my window and the tankless water heater. Should I be concerned about my heath? I don't know much about tankless water heater. Please advise

  9. Kelly Stevens
    June 2, 2013

    We bought a tankless through Home Depot. The outsourced plumbing company is great, but the Eternal tankless product is JUNK.

    It keeps failing due to poor manufacturing. The plumber is fast to replace it for free so far, but 4 units failed already.

    I wish I had installed a 50 gallon tank rather than spend $3700 on this Eternal mess.

  10. Joe Renehan
    January 27, 2016

    I just bought a 60 year old home with a four zone oil boiler- baseboard. In DE. Love the heat, but our hot water comes from there also. Bad enough I'm running the "furnace" during the summer. The water has to run a while for the shower in the morning. I think it has to run long enough to kick the boiler on, then wait for water to heat. Then get a shower. It's city water, plenty of pressure. Totally inconsistent temps though. My elderly Mom stays with us now and the serious fluctuation in temperature makes her more than a little nervous. (my wife's havin' a fit too gettin ready for work) it's worse now that it's freezing out. There's a coat closet on the other side of th shower wall with access to the diverter. I really want to put a "point of use" tankless electric water heater in there. I usually do things in overkill mode, so I'm thinking about a Rheem model RETE 18 or 27. Just for the shower. I'll do everything myself, as I'm a HI contractor and do all my own plumbing and electrical, as well as frame to finish, trim, tile, etc. Your thoughts ?
    Thanks so much for your time.

  11. Mark
    May 1, 2016

    My current hot water tank is older and I want to replace with a tankless. I want to use the current tank as a input reservoir. I just want the old tank to get the water up to room temp prior to it entering the tankless. This way the tempature of the water should be more constant. Does this make sense??

  12. Peter
    May 26, 2016

    Thanks for the information. It will be a great help. I am confused between electric and gas tankless water heaters. Would you like to clarify me which one I should go for. Thanks in advance.

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