Tankless water heaters?

11 Replies

Can anyone share their experiences with using tankless water heaters? I had to replace an electric water heater recently, and someone at the city building department recommended using a tankless unit. I was surprised to find that there are models available for only $300 to $400, which would meet the needs of my homes, since most of my homes have only one bath..

There is this natural gas model by Marey that generates 4.3 GPM for around $310.

Home Depot sells an electric model EcoSmart that produces 3.5 GPM for $362:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/EcoSmart-18-kW-Self-Mod...

It seems like these could actually be cheaper than the old tank style, and would be fairly easy to install.

I have a tankless in my current house. Install can be quite tricky depending on what your particular model requires. I know my model needed a 3/4" water and gas line feeding the unit in order to have the proper water flow and heat transfer. Also, I needed to upgrade the exhaust pipe to a stainless steel double walled pipe so it could exhaust and pull in fresh air through the same pipe. The pipe itself cost a couple hundred for about 8 feet. If your current tank already has the double walled ss pipe and 3/4" lines then I don't really see much of a downfall. 

Is this a rental or a flip? If it is a rental, are your tenants paying utilities? I can't say much as to how much a tankless adds to resale, but if your tenants are paying utilities, in my opinion, go with the cheaper, old tank style. 

Just make sure that you look at the tanks requirements and what you currently have in terms of piping before you buy. 

@Wilson Churchill

I would think think that you would get complaints about the lack of hot water if you put this water heater in.  Sometimes, economy costs.  

This would be for all rental replacements. At $300, the tankless seem actually cheaper, at least for materials. I suppose electric is the way to go if new vent piping would be required.

Originally posted by @Bob B. :

@Wilson Churchill

I would think think that you would get complaints about the lack of hot water if you put this water heater in.  Sometimes, economy costs.  

 That is one of the things I need to figure out: How much GPM do I need for a 2 b 1 ba house that has one bath and one kitchen. This is my typical rental.

I have used gas and electric tankless units with no complaints.

Frank

I have a gas tankless in my home.  I love it.  The manufactures have charts that answers your question. 

Makes sense if there is another reason to do it  but if tenants are paying the electric there are more minuses then plusses ( complaint on volume, cost for you).  I am not saying you will get less water but any time they run out they will blame it on the equipment.  We put a tankless one in our house which is electric and it truly works great, never run out of water.  We had a tankless on the oil furnace and I was always running out of hot water. I was blaming it on the supply but part of it was you had to adjust the flow rate.

There is a big difference on recovery time on gas vs electric and for a whole house water heater I would be surprised that a $3-400 tank would work.  A gas one would work better but at $310 would probably work on a RV.  I'm not a plumber but have installed several water heaters.  My neighbor just got quotes for $3-5.5K for a gas tank-less and opted for a traditional unit.  Maybe the one you are looking at would be good for a localized area like a sink.

Let us know what you do and the results.  I'd like to replace my units with a cheaper one if it works.

The key point is tankless can last twice as long as a tank.  Most tankless heaters have 20yr+ lifespans.  Mine cost over $2K so a couple hundred bucks isn't what your looking for. 

Originally posted by @Bob B. :

There is a big difference on recovery time on gas vs electric and for a whole house water heater I would be surprised that a $3-400 tank would work.  A gas one would work better but at $310 would probably work on a RV.  I'm not a plumber but have installed several water heaters.  My neighbor just got quotes for $3-5.5K for a gas tank-less and opted for a traditional unit.  Maybe the one you are looking at would be good for a localized area like a sink.

Let us know what you do and the results.  I'd like to replace my units with a cheaper one if it works.

 Unfortunately, I already installed the old tank style, and it cost more than the tankless would have. There are definitely much more expensive models, and I imagine plumbers may charge $1,000+ to install it. Fortunately, a friend of mine is a master plumber. I will watch the installation of the first one so that I can do it myself in the future. I'll try to remember to post an update when I get another chance to install one.

Tankless water heaters are the best for 3 reasons. 1.  It's a selling feature  2. It's a space saver 3. Instead of your old tank running all day just so someone can take a bath the tankless is instant hot water and it's ready when ever you need it :)

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