200 Amp Service, Tankless water heater

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wrote:

Just to be clear what that included: New electric panel. (30 breaker capacity - but only 13 installed) New service pipe through roof. A conduited 240v circuit to other side of basement. He drove a copper grounding rod into the ground outside. He probably had $300 in materials/permit cost. He split up some house circuits, since the old box only had 8 breakers.
I don't know if he did it, but there were new wires run to the house from the pole. And a new meter. He put in a good 6-7 hours. Maybe 8. He asked if he could have my old breakers, saying they were worth $20-30 apiece. I told him to keep them, and he volunteered a new conduited 120v circuit to the back of the basement. I said sure. As I recall, he was actually my only estimate, but I knew the price was good. I liked him from the getgo. Never had a second thought. And I needed the 240v for new central air. I've had some experience with various contractors and haven't been burned yet.
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On 03/26/2015 9:45 AM, Meanie wrote: ...

If "all are still the same" then it seems there wasn't anything that really was done for the $300?
Can't fathom the above being anything close to "the whole story"...
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wrote:

You almost certainly already had 100 amp to the stack/meter. It's been over 40 years since anything else has been run. 200 amps requires replacement of the service feed cable from the transformer, and MAY require replacing the transformer, depending where you are and how heavily loaded it already is.
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On Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:19:57 -0500, Vic Smith

To put 200 amps in mine would be almost $4000 - have to replace the entire underground service from thr transformrt vault to the house including new rizer and meter base.
I have to replace the meter base regardless when I replace my panel - and I can go up to 125 amps (from my current 100)
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On 03/26/2015 07:53 AM, Dave C wrote:

This last summer I upgraded to 200 amp service and it was about $2800
My old wiring did not meet present day code and they had to do more than just replace the breaker box. The entire input conduit had to be replaced as well as the entire grounding system etc.
The guy was here for the better part of four days working his butt off, so I think I got a decent deal.
BTW: If you have natural gas , I'd go that route.
No need to re-wire your house and the energy cost will be less.
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On 3/26/2015 8:53 AM, Dave C wrote:

These guys say typical 120 amps. Wow! http://www.hoecoop.org/?q=tanklessheatersinfo
Sounds like a lot of bother to get unlimited hot water. Do you have natural gas? In NYS, natural gas is cheaper than electric heat.
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On 3/26/2015 8:53 AM, Dave C wrote:

Depending on the length, it sounds about right. OTOH, I'd not do it. Makes no economic sense to spend that much to go tankless.
I live in CT too. I use an alternate supplier and save about $20 a month over CL&P rates. There are a few reputable supplier, just watch out for the scammers. I'm paying .099 for generation until next month and then I'm going to call to see what is available.
Better alternatives are propane, or an indirect fired heater off of your boiler if that is what you have. Take your time and look at alterntiaves that may be a better solution. Even a propane tankless if you are hung up on that type of system.
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In typed:

The short answer regarding the cost for the 200 amp upgrade is that, yes, it is a reasonable (if not low) price for the job.
About whether it is a good idea to upgrade to 200 amps and switch to a tankless water heater, that is a different question. As others have said, it may not make sense or be a good idea but you would know better why you want to do that and whether you should spend the money to do it.
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On Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 8:54:04 AM UTC-4, Dave C wrote:

OP is better off to upgrade to 400 amp service, 200 for the tankless and 200 amp for everything else
the issue is the low incoming water temperature in the winter. less than 40 degrees around here ...... OP will need a oversized tankless to heat the water in the frigid winter.
or settle for so so showers.
it would be sad to spend thousands going tankless and end upwith cold showers.
check the ratings on the tankless of your choice....
theres flow.temp rise and current draw.
in any case this project isnt a good money saver. and if OP has teenagers utility bills will ilkely rise
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On 3/26/2015 8:53 AM, Dave C wrote:

You'll need a big ass generator when your power goes out. Personally I'd stick with a tank type water heater.
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On Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:42:58 -0400, "N. Cognito"

Most residential users do not have a generator big enough to run the water heater if they want to run anything else.
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While most will not run much but the water heater, you can get the water heater hot and cut it off, then fill the tub or take a quick shower. Then heat the water again.
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My experience with electric tankless is NOT good. I am not aware of any that can provide the Delta T required. There are gas fired units that are exceptional. The ones we use are Noritz. The installation often requires up sizing the gas service.
On 3/26/2015 7:53 AM, Dave C wrote:

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On Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 11:45:07 AM UTC-4, DanG wrote:

It seems that would depend on the delta T required and the amps available. It's not rocket science. If you want a given flow of water raised a given temp, you just need enough power. They can provide the temp rise, you just need to provide the power.
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Sometimes it is just not practical to provide enough power to do that. Just as I stated above, at work it would have required running lots of conduit and wire for the tankless heater.
I am not sure if the tankless water heater could have a longer path inside it to absorbe more heat as the water passes through or not and reduce the ammount of power needed.
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On Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 2:01:54 PM UTC-4, Ralph Mowery wrote:

No disagreement there. The other poster claimed that he was not aware of any that could provide the delta T. The alleged non-existence of capable units and if it's practical, cost justified, are very different things.
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On Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 3:19:09 PM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

tankless manufacturers recommend 2 tankless in series, that doubles the cost, and doubles the power needs......
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First off, WHY do you want a tankless water heater? I'm not being a smart ass, I really dont know anything about them, and dont understand what the advantage is over a traditional tank water heater....
Secondly, I'm wondering if yiu're being taken for something you dont need. (Meaning the 200A upgrade). How many watts does that thing draw? If you already have an electric "tank type" water heater, they have two elements which normally use 4500 Watt elements. If this tankless uses about the same wattage, then there is no reason to need the 200A upgrade.
If you ask me, those tankless heaters dont save anything except a few feet of space in your basement or whereever the water heater is installed. Like I said, I am not familiar with them, except I know a local business that has one, and Ive seen it. It sits in a closet between the Mens and Womens restrooms, and all it does is provide hot water for the sinks in those two restrooms. Yea, it does save some apce in that closet, but I know the owner said it was very costly. But I also know the building was damaged by a flood in the basement which ruined the old tank water heater, so he moved it upstairs in that closet. He could have installed a tank type in there, but the damages were covered by insurance, so I guess he just let the rebuilders do waht they wanted.
It seems to work fine, but aside from saving a little space, I dont see any other advantage to it!!!
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On Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 4:48:20 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

The main advantages are an unlimited supply of hot water and no standby losses that you'd have from a tank. The standby losses however don't appear to be all that great. My gas bill in summer is just $17 a month and that includes not only the standby usage, but the hot water used too.

A tankless that replaces a tank type has to use many times the wattage, because it has no tank. What the tank heater does in hours, the tankless has to do instantly. If it's a whole house tankless, or even one for a whole bathroom, needing a service upgrade isn't unusual. It's also not unusual to need piping and/or service upgrade to support a gas one either.
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On Sun, 29 Mar 2015 04:57:35 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

If this is the case, I do see how the upgrade is needed. But I know I'd never do it. I dont know the cost of those tankless heaters, but I heard they are high. Then add the cost of the power upgrade and probably more plumbing changes and electrical cable runs, and it sounds like many thousands of dollars.
Even if I save $20 a month over the cost to operate my electric tank type water heater, there would still be no savings after 10 years and probably more. By tha time, it might be time to start thinking about a replacement tankless heater. I dont know the life span of them, but everything fails over time. . . . . .
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