Tankless Water Heaters

Lounge By CakesByJen2 Updated 20 Nov 2009 , 8:50pm by lchris

CakesByJen2 Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 8:27pm
post #1 of 11

Does anybody have one of the new tankless water heaters, and if so, how does it compare?

Our water heater is acting up, and since it's 17 years old, we are going to go ahead and replace it. But we can't agree on whether to stick with another 40-gal gas tank, or try one of the new tankless types. I have been quite happy with what we have, it provides ample hot water, and in the summer we can have the washing machine, dishwasher, and shower all going at the same time with no problem at all (in the dead of winter we can only have 2 at a time).

My husband seems set on the tankless, based soley on one person's recommendation, and that person doesn't even have one! They are significantly more expensive, and even with the tax break, and I am just leary about whether they can really keep up with heavy use. Also, we have problems with mineral deposits in our water, and it just seems like this would be a bigger problem with the tankless, and all those coils.

I'm willing to consider it, but I want more to go on than the opinion of one person, who doesn't even have one! When I tried to have a rational discussion of the pro's & con's, hubby just got all mad and pissy and said "Fine, get whatever you want" icon_rolleyes.gif

10 replies
DianeLM Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 8:48pm
post #2 of 11

I'm very interested in the responses to this. I'm looking at replacing my 2 water heaters BEFORE they start to act up since they're in the attic! My recurring nightmare has been a reality for others in my subdivision.

We're down to only 2 of us in the house now, so keeping up with usage isn't one of my main concerns.

There is such a wide price range, I'm less interested in whether or not I should get one, but WHICH tankless I should get.

Suzycakes Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:26pm
post #3 of 11

Here is your first testimonial to purchase a tankless water heater!

We built our house in 1987 - and installed a tankless water heater and we are still using the same one today - 22 years later. About 6 years ago some of the major parts went out and we called the company and purchased rebuilt parts for about $200.00, DH installed them, and we have not had any trouble since. (Knock on wood!)

We have terrible well water with lots of iron in it, so we have a softener to counter the iron and other deposits. Every once in a while it won't quite kick in like it should and DH will go in and clean out some build up deposits and all is fine for another few years - but he says this happens to regular water heaters also.

I worked for a fuel company at the time we purchased it and paid wholesale cost for it and I think it was about $800.00 or so.

Would I do something different knowing what I know now? Yes - I would install the same size I have now for the bathrooms/laundry only and install a smaller one for the kitchen/dishwasher. Just like a regular water heater - if someone turns on the hot while you are in the shower you will get a rush of cold water. We both grew up on the regular tank water heaters and we can't tell any difference between then and now when it comes to 'sharing the hot water'. But - you never, ever -- EVER -- run out of hot water with a tankless. The heat is instant and quick. However fast your water comes into your house is how fast the hot water will get to the faucet.

Our washer/dryer is in our large bathroom and that is why I divided my future water heater up like I did in the above paragraph. But if my w/d were closer to the kitchen - then I would put kitchen/dishwasher/washer all on the same one and leave the bathrooms together on a different water heater.

When we go on vacation - we do not have to worry about turning down (or off) the water heater so it won't kick on unneccesarily. It never kicks on unless you turn on a faucet.

Now - I don't know if the new ones are any different - but when we bought ours the manufacturer stated that we would always need to have faucets that have seperate handles for hot water and cold water. You cannot have a swing arm type faucet - this totally confuses the water pressure/flow through the water heater and it usually will not kick in properly.

When we have to replace the tankless we have now - we will definitely purchase a new tankless. I would check Consumer Reports and see how they rate the different brands.

HTH

Suze

CakesByJen2 Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 9:34pm
post #4 of 11

Okay, I just did some quick research and found an article on Consumer Reports that brings up a lot of the cons, including some I hadn't even thought of:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/heating-cooling-and-air/water-heaters/tankless-water-heaters/overview/tankless-water-heaters-ov.htm

Suzy, what's your take on some of these issues, from your experience??

costumeczar Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 12:50am
post #5 of 11

I have heard that they're great, but not if you have the electric ones. One plumber who would have been the person to install it told me that it wasn't going to be a good choice if I had an electric version installed. We don't have a gas line down our street, so I wouldn't be able to get a gas one, so we didn't have it installed.

CakesByJen2 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 2:04am
post #6 of 11

Well, I think we have decided against it, primarily because of the issue of having electronic controls, so if the power goes out, no hot water icon_sad.gif That's one thing I love about having a gas water heater & gas logs - we still have heat & hot water even when the power is out! The cost is another. Also, for us, having an endless supply of hot water would not be such a good thing; we would NEVER get our teenage daughter out of the shower, LOL! She takes long showers as it is, and I usually try to time doing laundry and/or dishes at the same time to purposely use up the hot water to force her to hurry up icon_biggrin.gif

costumeczar Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 2:48am
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByJen2

Well, I think we have decided against it, primarily because of the issue of having electronic controls, so if the power goes out, no hot water icon_sad.gif That's one thing I love about having a gas water heater & gas logs - we still have heat & hot water even when the power is out! The cost is another. Also, for us, having an endless supply of hot water would not be such a good thing; we would NEVER get our teenage daughter out of the shower, LOL! She takes long showers as it is, and I usually try to time doing laundry and/or dishes at the same time to purposely use up the hot water to force her to hurry up icon_biggrin.gif




Wow, I never even thought of that! icon_lol.gif I have a 14-yr-old son, so I know your pain!

heddahope Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 3:01am
post #8 of 11

When we rebuilt our home after Katrina one of the things we were definitely getting was the tankless water heater. We have the electric and Looooooooove it. We also have a swing arm faucet in our shower and it works perfectly.

Just my 2 cents.

-Tubbs Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 6:19am
post #9 of 11

Tankless water heaters have been the norm in Europe for years. We were amazed when we built our house here and it was quite a big upgrade. It's probably standard now though, since all the builders have gone 'eco'.

We do have one at our cabin. I really like it for the fact that we don't have to heat water we won't use. There was a bit of a problem with the water going hot and cold for a while, like the balance was off, but that was resolved by turning down the temperature a bit.

costumeczar Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 11:37am
post #10 of 11

Haha, I just saw the Mythbusters show where they overloaded the pressure on the water tank heater and it shot through two floors and the roof of a house like a rocket. Makes the tankless look pretty good! icon_lol.gif

lchris Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 8:50pm
post #11 of 11

We put one in when we built our house over 2 years ago. Love it!

Our butane guy (for the tankless HWH, and the stove) said when his HWH goes out, he's getting one. In the two and half years we've been here, he's only filled our butane tank twice!!! icon_lol.gif

I would recommend one, no doubt.

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