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Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you had any experience with tankless water heaters?

Asked by Dutchess_III (44395points) August 5th, 2021
10 responses
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JLeslie's avatar

Yes, I had a gas tankless. It still needed electricity to heat water. If your electricity goes out you instantly have zero hot water, unlike a tank you can usually have warm water 2–3 days if you conserve. Maybe less in a very cold climate.

The hot water never runs out. You can fill your bathtub and then take a long hot shower, and then all your grandkids take a shower, you have constant hot water. Although, if you have multiple faucets open at once you can have a situation where there is not enough hot water to go around, but if you get the right size that shouldn’t be the case. That’s similar to a tank anyway.

It does not mean instant hot water at the tap. The water still needs to travel through the pipes the same as a tank water heater. There are appliances you can buy that you install right at the kitchen sink or bathtub That basically give you instant hot at the location.

Takes up less space than a tank.

filmfann's avatar

^What she said.
Another issue is water flow. Just turning on the hot water doesn’t activate the heater. You have to have on the flow high enough for the hot water heater to turn on.
This matters if you want to take a cool shower, but not a cold or hot one.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann I never noticed that, but I’m in Florida so it might be less noticeable here. Or, maybe not. Our cold water is warmer than cold water in other parts of the country.

kritiper's avatar

Someone tried to get me to install an electric one when my 40 gallon low-boy konked out.
The circuit breaker panel would have been replaced to a 200 amp service. The heater needed two 30 amp breakers and heavy 3-way electric cable. The heater itself would have cost around $500. Electrician labor extra. Other labor supplied by myself. Initial cost would have been about $200 more than just replacing the unit I had, but the overall operating savings would have been substantial.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So the savings of a tankless water heater could be substantial @kritiper?
Rick says he looked at one that was gas. It had an electronic ignition.

filmfann's avatar

We had no savings. The advantage was never ending hot water.

JLeslie's avatar

I think you get minor savings because you aren’t heating water all day long like you would with a tank. I don’t know how often tank gas goes on when not in use.

Do gas tanks use electricity? The tankless are always using a mini bit of electricity too.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes. Because you get hot water when you want/need it, it isn’t sitting in a tank, continuously heat maintained, when not being used. Electric is best if there is no way to vent the natural gas fumes, like a gas water heater has a chimney (vent) pipe.

I suppose savings can be substantial depending on how many people are in the house who shower often, how much laundry is done weekly, how many loads of dishes are run through the washer.
I am a single adult who lives by himself. Keeping 40 gallons of water at 130 degrees for 24 hours,... See what I mean?? I don’t use much hot water.

To the other posters here: How many people are in your house?

kritiper's avatar

Oh, and electronic ignition does not use very much electricity, not like the heating elements of full-on electric heaters.

Dutchess_III's avatar

There are 2 here, with influxes of random children.

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