advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: JEBB
Date: August 11, 2018 09:09AM
Natural gas service has just come to my neighborhood. I am thinking that having a tankless water heater installed is a good use of that service. The energy used will be much less than with an electric water but the installation charges will be greater. Opinions or experiences? Thanks.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 11, 2018 09:24AM
Long term savings, short term expense.

Stayed in a house with one. A retrofit from a gas water heater. You couldn't tell the difference. Nice!
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: August 11, 2018 09:24AM
A plumber friend of mine has one, and loves it. Naturally, his cost of install was zero, since it's what he does for a living.
I've looked into them as well (especially after a recent malfunction of my water heater.... which cleared itself up, fortunately).
If you get one sized properly for your uses, they're great.
If you get one too small, you won't be happy with it.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 11, 2018 09:54AM
50 gallon tanked instead.

Will be less to buy/install and a whole lot less trouble, as long as you check the anode.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: billb
Date: August 11, 2018 10:07AM
It takes a very long time/large amount of water to recoup your initial investment.
If ever.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: testcase
Date: August 11, 2018 10:45AM
A 50 gallon (or any other large) hot water tank uses a LOT of energy keeping all that water hot while waiting for actual use of that hot water. If you opt for a traditional tank, get one that features "quick recovery". With QR, you can have ample hot water and, use less energy when hot water is not being used as there's less water to keep hot.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: August 11, 2018 10:48AM
We've had a couple of models since we moved in to my current house (living here a little over a decade now).

Upside: You never run out of hot water, which is great with teenagers in the house.

Downside: You never run out of hot water, which is terrible with teenagers in the house.

Seriously, though; it's wonderful to never have to worry that there's going to be enough hot water for your shower b'c of other showers, dishwashing, clothes washing, etc. And since it's on-demand, I'm not paying to heat a water tank in a cold attic during the winter months.

Other downside is that faucets that are seriously removed from the system -- i.e., kitchen sink -- take many minutes to warm up. That adds up when you live where water isn't cheap.

In our old house, pre-Katrina, we installed two tanks in tandem. This was maybe six months before the storm, so I never did get to experience the long-term usefulness of it, but I will say I cannot recall running out of hot water.

If I had the funds, I'd add an on-demand unit at the kitchen sink for it and the dishwasher, since that seems to be the worst offender for the "wait a long time" problem.



It's spelled " y'all "

Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: August 11, 2018 10:52AM
We have one, it was already installed when we bought the house. Quite nice, although as noted it does take a few minutes for the hot water to reach the shower/sink/washer/whatever once you turn the tap.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 11, 2018 10:58AM
You can reduce the cost of a tankless by getting a direct vent model that mounts on the outside of the house. It will only need a 120v line to run the electronics and since it is outside, running the gas lines is very easy.

I bought ours 10 years ago and have never regretted it. I did all but the gas line myself - extremely easy. I had the gas company run their lines not because I couldn't, but because my homeowners would void if I did and something went bad.

This is the current version of what I use costs about $750 - [www.takagi.com]



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: billb
Date: August 11, 2018 11:05AM
If you live in an area with cheap nightly off-peak rates your cheapest bet might be to take that gas equipment investment money and put it into PV solar panels and either batch heat water using electricity during the day or batch heat during off-peak hours with the money you made selling power from your PV panels during the day.
A family of four most likely will run out of batch heat hot water without being very careful and frugal so this might not work for you.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: davester
Date: August 11, 2018 11:29AM
There have been some recent studies showing that electric heat pump water heaters are generally cheaper to run than gas water heaters of any kind. The premium for a heat pump vs electrical resistance heater has come way down.

A negative aspect of tankless gas water heaters is that their power venting systems can be quite noisy. Our neighbor has one that makes an annoying racket at all hours of the night.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2018 11:31AM by davester.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: rz
Date: August 11, 2018 11:42AM
We've had one for about two years. When they ran the gas through our yard, we decided to do the dryer, range and water heater. Wife loves it. Gas dryer dries really quickly. Cooking with gas is better too. Only drawback of the water heater is mentioned above: it takes a while for the shower to heat up. But once it does, you never run out of hot water.

We have a wood burning fireplace, which we do use even though we live in Central FL. We get about a dozen nights a year or so where my wife wants a fire. So we probably won't switch it to gas. I've thought about getting a natural gas grill, but will wait for my current grill to get to a point where it needs to be replaced.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 11, 2018 12:28PM
Other downside is that faucets that are seriously removed from the system -- i.e., kitchen sink -- take many minutes to warm up. That adds up when you live where water isn't cheap.

that would be the same for tank and tankless models, right? if the water in the pipe is at room temperature, you have to wait for hot water to come, regardless if you have a tank or tankless model.

You can reduce the cost of a tankless by getting a direct vent model that mounts on the outside of the house.

Good idea if you live in a place where water does not freeze. I don't know how that would work here in North-East.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: sekker
Date: August 11, 2018 12:36PM
Quote
Paul F.
A plumber friend of mine has one, and loves it. Naturally, his cost of install was zero, since it's what he does for a living.
I've looked into them as well (especially after a recent malfunction of my water heater.... which cleared itself up, fortunately).
If you get one sized properly for your uses, they're great.
If you get one too small, you won't be happy with it.

This is my experience and advice too.

Around here, they didn't used to be allowed according to building code. But once the plumbers realized they were still needed to install these, it's been better.

My experience has been that these can work well. They are very common in Europe, Hong Kong etc. I've found them to work well.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: August 11, 2018 12:46PM
Quote
space-time
You can reduce the cost of a tankless by getting a direct vent model that mounts on the outside of the house.

Good idea if you live in a place where water does not freeze. I don't know how that would work here in North-East.

Given your location, you will want to pay attention to how much of a temperature increase you can expect. I believe that most instant systems can raise the water temp around 35-40 degrees. So if your winter water comes in at 60 degrees,, the temperature coming out of the heater is not going to be more than 100 degrees.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Don C
Date: August 11, 2018 01:49PM
Our neighbors have one and love it. When the whole large family is there they never run out of hot water.

I looked into it but decided that we don't use enough hot water to justify the expense.

The run from the water heater to the farthest shower/faucet is the same regardless of the heat source, of course. In this house that run is just about as far as it can be (not easily corrected).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2018 02:44PM by Don C.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 11, 2018 02:23PM
I am also curious in an apples to apples comparison, where a tank system and a tankless can be compared year over year (all other variables being roughly equal, like consumption and fee rates).

The vacation house we use has one and that seems a good use for it, no need to heat a whole tank full of water just for weekend use, and have to cycle it on and off. However, the tankless goes on full blast when you turn the hot water on, every time, whereas the tank would not do that. Obviously, there are deficiencies in the tank system, like storage, but I wonder in a household that uses hot water daily, on multiple occasions, if this system is really worth it.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: WHiiP
Date: August 11, 2018 02:25PM
A tank water heater can have a small recirculation pump installed at the tank and a loop added in a far away line to return that water to the tank. More like a fast experience in getting hot water to the faraway shower or bathroom.

recirculation pumps



Bill
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Carpe Vino!

Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire.
— David Rains Wallace
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: DinerDave
Date: August 11, 2018 03:05PM
We went with a 40 gallon heat pump system hot water heater. I know it uses less energy than the tank it replaced, but I can't tell you how much less, as we installed that at the same time as the mini split heat and AC. Plenty of hot water, and the heat pump actually sucks enough heat and humidity out of the basement that I don't need the dehumidifier anymore. So no more loud inefficient power sucking dehumidifier that needs to be emptied all the time.
The unit was pricey at $1,750 installed, but had a $750 rebate to make it much more reasonable. Then there is the energy savings.

Dave



Welcome to Dave's BBQ!

Many have eaten here....

Few have died
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Bernie
Date: August 11, 2018 06:04PM
Natural Gas tankless since 2006.
Upgraded last year to newer model.

No way I would do electric tankless.

I have a 4-6 gallon electric TANK mounted under (crawlspace) the guest/ children bathroom. That is the longest run. Kitchen, laundry room, and master bath are a stones throw from each other.

Lowes 7.5 gallons per minute / under a grand. Mount it to an outside wall and this is your in and out vent. My older one was vented through the roof with double wall stainless. That was not cheap. This is presently $59.16 at Lowes and what I am presently using.





Staunton, Virginia
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: iamrfixit
Date: August 11, 2018 07:31PM
Quote
billb
It takes a very long time/large amount of water to recoup your initial investment.
If ever.

Not necessarily always as expensive to install as you might think. A tank type heater is much more expensive than it used to be thanks to government regulation on efficiency a couple years ago. I installed a power vent 50 gallon in 03 and it cost me $400, the same exact water heater in 2017 was over $750, that's not including labor. That's just my cost for the water heater from one of the big box stores. Funny part is the new one is not really more efficient, it had the same foam insulation for almost twice the price. I went tankless with a Takagi, condensing, 10 gal/min unit for right at $1100 with the valve kit.

Cold water temps in winter will reduce the output. We have plenty of cold weather and the water temps can get very cold so I bought a unit with some extra capacity, the cold hasn't been a problem. I tested it out and could still get 120 degree water at 7-8 gallons per minute of flow. If you hire the water heater installed I expect you'd pay 2-3 times more for a tankless.

I installed it myself and it really wasn't much more difficult than installing a tank style. I did carefully study the venting to make sure I was doing it as specified. It uses 3" pvc for both combustion intake and exhaust, so it was real easy to work with. The water heater is the only gas appliance on the meter with a large gas line through the house, so I knew gas supply would not be a problem for me.

It will take slightly longer to get hot water, about 15-20 seconds is what I've found. When you add that on to the time it already takes to get water at distant sinks it can get annoying.

It's pretty sensitive to flow changes, if you're in the shower and the water turns on and off repeatedly like many front load washers do, you will probably notice a temp change. It's not radical or anything but it is noticeable.

Unlike a tank type water heater, no power=no hot water. A standard gas tank style will work just fine without power. A power vent will have some stored hot water, the tankless does not. Power goes off while you shower, you will almost instantly get cold water.

You won't find just anybody to come repair it if you do have problems. These are pretty sophisticated units so not just any handyman is going to be able to diagnose them, you'll need a trained tech. Of course if you have a brand they don't sell, they probably won't want to work on it.

Really great for large water uses, I can set the temp at 105 and fill my hot tub with water and it's ready to go. It takes most of 24 hours to heat up if you fill it cold water. Back to back showers, one after another, laundry, whatever you never run out.

I've had it for over a year and pretty consistently save about $7 per month on my gas bill over what the tank style cost. The power vent I had was obnoxiously loud, even being located in the basement the fan was very shrill, I did not want another one like that. My house has no flue pipe so it's either power vent, direct vent or electric. The Takagi is almost totally silent, just a click and a very slight fan noise. Unless I'm right beside it I can't hear it run.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: August 12, 2018 05:46AM
A plumber I know won't install a tankless water heater in areas where the water is very hard unless there is a water treatment system in the house. Hard water tends to plug tankless heaters up and there isn't a viable solution to unclog them.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Bernie
Date: August 12, 2018 07:09AM
Quote
macphanatic
A plumber I know won't install a tankless water heater in areas where the water is very hard unless there is a water treatment system in the house. Hard water tends to plug tankless heaters up and there isn't a viable solution to unclog them.

agree smiley
It is also the killer of coffee makers.




Staunton, Virginia
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 12, 2018 03:36PM
Quote
testcase
A 50 gallon (or any other large) hot water tank uses a LOT of energy keeping all that water hot while waiting for actual use of that hot water.

Nonsense.

You'll never save enough on fuel costs to compensate for the disadvantages of the below.

Tankless gas or electric heat pump water heaters are more expensive to install & maintain.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 12, 2018 03:42PM
A tank water heater can have a small recirculation pump installed at the tank and a loop added in a far away line to return that water to the tank. More like a fast experience in getting hot water to the faraway shower or bathroom.

A friend has this same setup in his home.

Hot water almost instantly just about everywhere in the house, and they never run out of hot water as they did in the past with a 50gal tank.

The water is HOT.

I don't know about recouping his investment, but short term he's lowered his monthly utilities.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: jawg
Date: August 12, 2018 08:38PM
My wife and I bought a house 4 years ago that had a tankless, natural gas water heater.
The house is a large story and a half and we have six grandkids that visit.
It drove my wife crazy waiting for hot water, particularly in the kitchen which is the farthest room from the water heater. The model we had was barely adequate and when we did a remodel, we went with a double tank with recirculation pump. We really like the recirculation and have essentially instant hot water in the kitchen now. For us, this worked out best.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Tankless gas water heater?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: August 13, 2018 03:54PM
Quote
space-time
Other downside is that faucets that are seriously removed from the system -- i.e., kitchen sink -- take many minutes to warm up. That adds up when you live where water isn't cheap.

that would be the same for tank and tankless models, right? if the water in the pipe is at room temperature, you have to wait for hot water to come, regardless if you have a tank or tankless model.

Just guessing here, but with tankless there is no store of hot water so it can take some amount of time to actually make the water hot. Also, I suspect that metal pipes connected to a hot water tank will always be conducting some of the heat energy from the hot water inside the tank down the lines to the end points. With a tankless on-demand system there would be no hot water sitting in the lines, potentially keeping them warm and reducing the amount of time a user would experience hot water.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 117
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 2330 on October 25, 2018