Are Tankless Water Heaters a Waste of Money?

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wrote:

it is not so very little: if it was, these tanks would more often be placed in the middle of all houses so that the distribution of hot water is more efficient.
or
do a calculation: estimate how many gallons of water your gas usage would provide (if you can estimate that figure separate from heating/cooking) and see if that compares to what you estimate your hot water usage is. the difference is heat that gets into you house one way or another
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On Tue, 08 May 2012 12:26:24 -0700, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds"

Easier to keep it to one side of the house -close to where the gas comes in - close to the chimney, and in space off to the side that does not interfere with using the rest of the basement as living space.

Pretty difficult to do - but total gas usage for the year is under $700 to heat the whole house and water - and during the summer the water heater gas usage is often below the minimum - so I put in a gas bar-b-q - no more propane and make it worth while paying for the gas over the summer.
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On Wed, 09 May 2012 01:58:39 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Easier is not better. Take the easy way today and have it be a PITA for the next hundred years for the homeowner.
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Easier is better when it's better. Tanks are also where they are because of plumbing walls. Or plumbing wall are where they are because of water heaters. In many houses that's near the chimney. And it didn't turn out that way because the house designer was just "lucky" it turned out that way. For my hot water use, the only advantage I see in tankless is no standby losses. That's it. Way too many disadvantages to even consider tankless. A real nightmare to me, mainly because they require electricity, and maybe expensive maintenance. So far, the only advantages - besides no standby losses - I've seen argued for tankless is space saving and "endless HW." And maybe instant HW for point-of-use tankless. All are non-issues for me. Probably those who want the endless HW lose the standby heat loss advantage, because they use more HW. Look at DarbyDad. He would use 200 gallons of hot water per shower if he had one of these bad boys. The economics of going tankless reminds me of the GM Volt. A lot of cost for some "special" advantages. If you want it, and can afford it, go for it.
--
Vic






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Didn't know about that turbine ignition. I googled a bit, and only saw a Bosch. Not a good one according to reviews. Seems they'd have models that handle ignition with batteries. I see some use fans, so they need 120V. Anyway, I like the idea of tankless, but not the complexity. PCB's, flow sensors, special venting, etc. More to go wrong. That 25 year longevity looks like pie in the sky to me. If tank models had the failure/repair rates I see for the tankless jobs, the companies making them would go out of business. I've only had tank NG water heaters, and only replaced 2 that came with my houses. Both started leaking some years after I bought the house. Don't know how old they were $2-300 bucks for a new one, zip-zam-boom, done and forget about it for however many years they last. Haven't found out yet how long the ones I installed will last. Anyway, if you want to save that space and have "endless" hot water, go for it. l can see those advantages. Just don't care about them.
--
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On Wed, 09 May 2012 12:38:30 -0500, Vic Smith

a water softener.
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small replaceable parts.
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Unless the parts price has dropped a LOT, replacing the parts if you are paying a "technician" to do the job used to be half the price of the unit - which is more than the cost of a complete tank unit.
Yes, there are some cases where the tankless may make sense - but the initial statement by I don't remember who was that there were good reasons why in the not too distant future the tankless would take over the market - and my reply was I had not heard those "good reasons". FOR ME, the reasons do not make a strong enough case for replacing a tank type water heater when you weigh the small gains against the downside that has so far not been disproven. Higher cost up-front, often including major upgrades to the energy source (gasline/meter or electrical service),and efficiency issues with low water usage, as well as higher year to year maintenance costs.
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PITA for the homeowner??? A finished basement with a furnace and water heater in the middle is pretty limitted by it being there.
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On Wed, 09 May 2012 16:28:46 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Every design is different. Mine is in the middle and it cause no problems, but in others it may be. The layout though, should be what is best for use over many years, not for installation that is done one time.
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to an outside wall, close to the existing furnace, would be a longterm P.I.T.A, even though it would actually be EASIER to install it out in the open. Her furnace was in the middle of the basement, making the entire space virtually un-useable so we moved it 6 feet - along with all the major air ducts - and the water heater. It would have been MUCH easier to simply replace it where it was, believe me!!!!
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My previous house had a gravity hot air furnace squatting in the middle of the basement. It looked like something left over from a 1950s space alien movie, Big, fat, squat and ugly, and basically reduced the useability of the basement.
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On Wed, 9 May 2012 17:13:17 -0500, "Attila.Iskander"

last house, it was right next to the back of the steps to the basement with one large duct going up. It was maintenance free and very quiet. House was built in 1949.
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On Thu, 10 May 2012 05:25:05 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

foot house - particularly a 3100 sq foot ranch with a 3100 sq ft basement. Many basements are less than 1000 sq ft in a two story house - even less in a split level. Put the water heater in the middle of that, and you have significantly reduced the useable finished space, My two story, which is average sized in this 38 year old subdivision, has 600 sq ft of basement.
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On May 14, 10:36pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Didn't I say:
"Only if it's a small basement. "
A 600 sq ft basement meets that by my definition. It still shouldn't make it difficult to use the basement even if you did put it in the middle. They have small houses with the water heater in the living space in a closet don't they? It only takes a closet.
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wrote:

I've seen any number of houses, old yes, that have the water heater near the center of the floor plan. gas line isn't a problem nor is the venting

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On Wed, 09 May 2012 10:20:22 -0700, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds"

The old house I grew up in had the water heater near the center too. But that's where the chimney was.
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On Wed, 09 May 2012 10:20:22 -0700, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds"

Chimney went up the center of the house where the "gravity furnace" sat with its octopus of pipes spread out to all corners of the house to distribute heat without benefit of a fan. The water lines also ran up the core of the house, because running them up the outside walls was just about guaranteeing they would freeze and split on the first really cold night.

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On Wed, 9 May 2012 05:35:09 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Nowhere did I say the heat was "an advantage" in the winter.
In the winter extra heat is welcome - but nowhere did I say the amount of heat was significant enough to be "an advantage". People are saying the heat loss is a "disadvantage" because it adds heat to the house. Just because it is not a disadvantage does not mean it is an advantage. Just a fact of life - and so insignificant as to be neither.
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On May 7, 11:03pm, "Malcom \"Mal\" Reynolds" <atlas-

As is the fact that most water heaters aren't installed in the heated part of the house. At least not here in the northease. Typically in the basement. Plus, like you I'm tired of hearing this "benefit". It applies only in climates cold enough where you don't need AC in the summer and the water heater in inside the heated house.
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