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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed last night that our water heater is leaking a little. I wiped up the water, and checked again this morning and there was another little puddle. Great, I thought--now's my chance to get the tankless water heater I've been wanting. My laundry room is small, and a tankless unit would work so much better than the conventional one. I mentioned to DH that if it needs to be replaced, could we consider a tankless. He said that it would have to be vented (thinking a propane unit, like we have at the dairy barn, as opposed to an electric one), and where I want to put it is on an interior wall, about four feet from the exterior wall. When I suggested that we get an electric one, he didn't seem too keen on that idea. Does anyone here have any experience with the electric ones?
 

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I know quite a few people with gas on-demand or tankless water heaters, and they all like them. There are units available that vent out the sidewall, but the ventpipe can be expensive. Electric ones are okay if they are serving one sink or appliance and can be installed right at the point of use, and are located where anything else would be to difficult to install. They draw lots of power for a short time.
 

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ours is on an inside wall but we already had a vent through the attic for our tank water heater (gas) We have had out tankless for 7 years and really like it.
 

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You'll have to work out exactly how much $$ you'd end up saving with a tankless, between the cost of the unit, installation, potential utilities savings, etc., compared to a "normal" tank and its utilities costs. You might actually NOT be better off going tankless, at least not financially.

Example: my dad bought a motorcycle last summer when the gas prices went through the roof. He got it only to run errands around town (going to the post office, the hardware store for small items, etc.), not for "touring." His rationale was that he'd get 50+MPG with the bike and only 30 MPG with the car, even less for the pickup truck. Well that's all fine and dandy-- but let's say gas costs $3/gallon. The motorcycle cost $4K and gets 50 MPG ($.06/mile); the car (already paid off) gets 30 MPG ($.10/mile), so the motorcycle saves $.04/mile. At those rates, he'd have to put 100,000 miles on the motorcycle before he'd recoup the sales price and actually start "saving" money, just based on what he paid for it! And since they live in the snow belt, the motorcycle can only realistically be used for maybe half the year... so, in the long run, NOT very cost-effective.
 

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Hi,
The electric ones that have a descent capacity take a whole lot of current, and would probably require a new circuit -- and for some people a new circuit breaker panel.

Going from a gas tank style water heater to a gas tankless heater will save a fair bit of energy -- efficiency goes from about 60% up to 85%. So, a good saving in fuel, and in CO2 emissions, plus a lot of space saving. We have a Takagi tankless and like it a lot.
As was mentioned, the vent is double wall stainless steel, so it adds up if you have to go a long way, but its not bad if you have a nearby wall you can vent to. I put our tankless in myself, and with some looking around for deals, the total cost was a bit over $500, and it has a longer life expectancy than I do :)

Going from a tank style electric water heater to a tankless electric heater does not increase efficiency as much since the new electric tank style heaters are pretty well insulated and don't have the flue that loses a lot of heat. But, gas is usually the cheaper fuel and is also lower CO2 emissions.

Gary
 

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You'll have to work out exactly how much $$ you'd end up saving with a tankless, between the cost of the unit, installation, potential utilities savings, etc., compared to a "normal" tank and its utilities costs. You might actually NOT be better off going tankless, at least not financially.
There's a Chinese vendor selling new tankless water heaters for around $250 at eBay. They're available to operate on electricity, natural gas, or propane. I have to use propane so a conventional water heater would cost around $350 to $400 to replace. When my water heater goes out I'll be replacing it with a Chinese tankless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies. Well, it sounds like the electric tankless water heater wouldn't be a good option for the whole house. I called my plumber friend, and he can come out on Saturday morning. I'll just pray that the leak doesn't get any worse by then. Maybe it's just a fitting or something, and I won't have to replace the unit anyway. BTW, DH is very handy about things he wants to work on (anything to do with the dairy, farming, equipment, etc.), but goes into denial mode when it comes to household stuff. :rolleyes:
 

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Thanks for all the replies. Well, it sounds like the electric tankless water heater wouldn't be a good option for the whole house. I called my plumber friend, and he can come out on Saturday morning. I'll just pray that the leak doesn't get any worse by then. Maybe it's just a fitting or something, and I won't have to replace the unit anyway. BTW, DH is very handy about things he wants to work on (anything to do with the dairy, farming, equipment, etc.), but goes into denial mode when it comes to household stuff. :rolleyes:
If you change your mind, here's one for $200 that will ship from Florida with free shipping.

http://cgi.ebay.com/TITAN-WHOLE-HOUSE-TANKLESS-HOT-WATER-HEATER-N120-NIB_W0QQitemZ230311543138
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nevada, you go ahead and get it and try it out first! "New" and "Chinese vendor" kind of scares me! :)
 

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Nevada, you go ahead and get it and try it out first! "New" and "Chinese vendor" kind of scares me! :)
Relax. That one doesn't happen to be a Chinese vendor, and he's got a 100% feedback rating.
 

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I would also wonder what the components of the Chinese unit of made of? Stainless steel like many others from around the world or an inferior material to cheapen the price. I haven't looked at the ad and it may state the material. I do realize that China CAN make some good products, it just that they prefer to make cheap instead of good normally.
 

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I would also wonder what the components of the Chinese unit of made of? Stainless steel like many others from around the world or an inferior material to cheapen the price. I haven't looked at the ad and it may state the material. I do realize that China CAN make some good products, it just that they prefer to make cheap instead of good normally.
Again, you can relax. The particular water heater auction I linked to is a Titan brand heater. That company is a USA manufacturer based in Miami, FL.

http://www.titanheater.com/

You can call them toll-free at 888-697-8456 with any questions.
 

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One thing you need to check out is how many degrees above incoming temperature the heater will raise the outflow.

I had a small tankless in my kennel/grooming shop, and it only raised the temp of inflow a few degrees when the faucet was fully open (necessary for rinsing dogs thoroughly). Thus it worked great in summer, but a really cold winter gave me only barely lukewarm water... That is OK when you are bathing dogs, but not really when you are showering yourself.

For my own home, I considered a tankless as an auxiliary because I have one of those stupid "garden tubs" that the regular tank can only fill an inch or two of before the hot water runs out. I was advised against that. Can't remember all the details, but something to do with disruption and possible burn out of the temperature feedback controls???

Mary
 

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I looked into the whole home electric "on-demand" heaters myself. To service the whole house you almost for sure need a new circuit (60 Amps rings a bell) and the cost makes the whole thing not worth it, unfortunately. It would be a huge savings over keeping 40-60 gallons hot all the time though.

What is more feasible without the extra circuits is a local device that heats water for just 1 shower, or for your kitchen say. When I was in India these "geisers" were all over the place and the main way you would get water. The downside is that you have to plan ahead when you want the hot water. For example, when you want to shower, you switch on the unit about 15-20 minutes ahead of when you want the hot water. After we got used to it, it didn't seem like a big deal at all.

Chris
 

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The electric tankless that I had checked into a few years ago recommended that you install 2 back to back in order toget water as hot as you would want it.
 

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I repeat what Mary said. My gf had a tankless (gas) in her home in MPLS, and between the months of November and April, no one EVER had a hot shower or bath. Just the time of year you really want one! She had a guy come out and look at it, and he said the feed lines (gas) weren't adequate to provide enough fuel to bring the btu's high enough. He suggested replacing all the gas lines in the house, but I didn't know if even that would work, frankly.

I always thought tankles heaters were a neat idea, but I hated that thing.
 

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I repeat what Mary said. My gf had a tankless (gas) in her home in MPLS, and between the months of November and April, no one EVER had a hot shower or bath. Just the time of year you really want one! She had a guy come out and look at it, and he said the feed lines (gas) weren't adequate to provide enough fuel to bring the btu's high enough. He suggested replacing all the gas lines in the house, but I didn't know if even that would work, frankly.

I always thought tankles heaters were a neat idea, but I hated that thing.
I'm sure that if the gas were to be plumbed properly that it would be satisfactory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK, I've got another question. If I were to put a propane tankless water heater on the outside wall in my laundry room (where it could vent easily), is there anything to prevent it from being placed ABOVE the washer and dryer? That outside wall in the laundry room is just wide enough to accommodate the washer & dryer, and the only way to put it on that wall would be to put it up quite high.

(There are quite a few people with water heater issues on the forum today, aren't there??? :))
 

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OK, I've got another question. If I were to put a propane tankless water heater on the outside wall in my laundry room (where it could vent easily), is there anything to prevent it from being placed ABOVE the washer and dryer? That outside wall in the laundry room is just wide enough to accommodate the washer & dryer, and the only way to put it on that wall would be to put it up quite high.

(There are quite a few people with water heater issues on the forum today, aren't there??? :))
You don't want it outside due to freeze danger.

Actually, I don't have any issues with my hot water. I got a 40 gallon propane water heater for free and it works great. I'll probably be replacing it with a tankless, but for free I'll use the one I have until it dies.
 
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