Answers: yes, no, definitely, and maybe. They take some hefty wiring to
run, increasing initial costs, and maybe requiring you to have a heavier
service put in. In places where the kitchen or bath is remote, they do good
since it takes so much water to prime the lines from the main water heater
that a lot is wasted. Good in places such as a small sink where a lot of
water is not needed, and they don't keep water hot while you're away.
Start by checking power requirements of the units you may need and see if
your electrical service will even handle it without some costly upgrades.
From there, the questions only start.
I know I'm going with gas, but I'm just not sure which type of water
heater to get.
The small tankless Paloma (propane) in our isolated summer home in
northwestern Canada has been in use each May-through-October for
twenty-one years. It has easily been able to satisfy the demands of up
to eight teenagers taking showers because they take them sequentially
(we have only one shower). If it weren't economical to run it would
have been removed long ago (getting a tank of propane out to our
island involves a forty-mile boat trip).
Interestingly enough, there are a couple plumbers on nearby islands,
and both ridiculed me when I installed the Paloma (they knew nothing
about tankless water heaters, therefore tankless water heaters must be
bad). Both spend less time on the lake than we do, both make more
frequent trips to town for propane, and both have had to replace their
tank-type water heaters at least once in the past twenty years.
Our satisfaction with the Paloma led me to install a slightly larger
tankless Bosch/AquaStar (natural gas) in our house in western Canada
in 1998 (not as far north as the cottage, but it gets down to -40ēC /
-40ēF in winter). The Bosch, too, is capable of supplying hot water
indefinitely for sequential showers. Until we sold that house in 2005
my wife kept charts on its gas consumption, and it definitely is
economical to run.
The Paloma gets its propane via twenty feet of 1/4" copper tubing from
the tank; the Bosch uses six feet of 1/2" iron pipe from the main
natural gas line. Neither uses any electricity. The Bosch has the
added bonus of no pilot light. Maintenance on both has been zero
(other than the Paloma's being drained for winters).
On Fri, 30 Jan 2009 17:13:56 -0800 (PST), borealbushman
This all is really interesting, but what strikes me is that you seem
not to be relying on these for year-round use. I am not sure whether
using these in real winters is a good proposition; they seem perfect
for your summer use, but do you have anecdotal evidence from people
who are using them in the middle of a freezing winter for 6 months on
I have a small Bosch 117000 BTU and it works great with 35f
incomming, and I had a 4-5 year payback. Its the ignorant screwballs
that cant afford one that Bitch to confirn their superioraty of
knowlege and Diss tanlkess for no reason . Tards. Like ......
You mean "tards" like you that can't spell, ransley?
By the way, which is it? Is it a 4 year payback for your or a 5 year
payback? Oh, that's right. You dont know because you make all this
shit up and pull these numbers out of your ass.
The devil to all this is in the details. There is no doubt that
tankless can be good solutions for the right application. However,
you have to take into account what people are using them for. For
example, using tankless in a summer home and taking sequential showers
is very different than using on in MN in the winter and expecting to
be able to run 2 showers and a washing machine at the same time. Or
just stating that it works great with 35 incoming, with no info on
what the hot water demands are, doesn't say much either. With 35 deg
water, I'm sure you can get a unit that will supply a household of 6,
the obvious question is how much it will cost, how much the install
will cost, will the existing gas service support it, etc.
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