hot water heater leak and tankless water heater?


It looks like I may need a new hot water heater. We lost hot water and when I checked it out, there was water dripping from the emergency release valve and a large amount of water on the floor (but less than when the 2nd hot water heater died). The pilot was out also.
I'm curious about tankless heaters. The apartment has two sinks, a bathtub, and dishwasher, and washing machine (rarely used with hot water). Are tankless heaters appropriate for this type of usage? Can anyone comment on their experiences and approximately how much it might cost to install? Thanks.
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If all the leakage came from the safety valve, you might have a repairable problem. The valve, expansion tank, regulator could be looked at. Did the leakage from the safety valve put out the pilot?
Bob
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There didn't appear to be any water in the area where the pilot is. The 2nd floor's hot water heater is about 3/4 the size of ours but the amount of water on the floor was perhaps 33% of what was there 2 months ago when the 2nd floor tank leaked from the bottom. The pipe from the safety valve was dripping a bit. After checking that the pipes and tank were not warm, I tried opening that valve and only a bit of water came out; it wouldn't close all the way unless I pushed down on the center pin that the lever is attached to.
We did have some heavy winds today and a basement window was open. In the past, that has caused the pilot to go out. That's what I thought had happened when I heard there was no hot water. Could the pilot going out have in any way caused the release of water?
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With out looking at your water heater any advise on what the problem might be is only a guess. however I do have experience with the tankless water heaters. When I built my new home in N.Florida I installed a tankless LP gas water heater. Love it! Unlimited hot water and very cheep to run. I got the 9.3 GPM heater becouse of the size of the house # of baths (3.5) and dishwasher washer ect.I can shower have the kids run the bath water and do laundry at the same time and have enough water. It was expencive up front, 900.00, but the savings in the long run will pay off. Also as a bonus, It is the size of a very small suitcase and mounted on the outside of the house. No huge tank to store hot water untill you might need it! My mom bought a new house and had it set near by my home and first thing we did was take out the tank style water heater and put in a 4 GPM electric tankless heater. this one was even smaller, cost less and ave her a new closet to hang coats in. her Highest power bill this summer was 80.00 in FL.!!!! unlimited hot water on demand! Tankless Is the wat to go! I got both on Ebay!
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tankless poor choice in many areas
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WHY? Can you be more specific?

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The wind blowing the pilot light out would not cause water to be released from the relief valve. One big question here is how old is the unit? If it's older than 10 years, and depending on where it's located, I wouldn't even fool around with it. Somewhere around 13 years or so is the typical life expectancy. And if it's located where if it suddenly starts leaking, it's going to do big damage, I'd just replace it.
As for the tankless, one big consideration in an apartment is whether you have a gas line large enough to support it. If you don't, you may not be able to install it at all, unless the building allows the work and your willing to pay for it.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Try not to laugh ... its a copper tank model that is 24 years old. :)
I hate to see it go. We just replaced the 2nd floor heater 6 years after installation and it was out of warranty.

We are the homeowner. The supply line's exterior diameter is 7/8".
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wrote:

It sounds like it should be worth figuring out the problem and fixing it. If it's just leaking out the safety valve, and it is not likely to be the tank that is the problem. Maybe the safety valve, thermostat, regulator, expansion tank, etc.
Bob
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Thanks. I can't get a plumber till Monday but I'll hope that they can just fix it without replacing the whole heater.
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An apt, do you rent or own the building. You cant be renting or this is your landlords issue.Tankless are great I will get a 4.5 yr payback, they can last 30+ yrs, there is no tank to rust, only copper pipe. And you only pay to heat what is used. You can spend 450-2000$ for one, but pipe sizing is an issue, they use alot of Btu, up to near 200,000.
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My job is tankless..
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

We own the house.
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wrote:

A copper tank is worth keeping IMO. Mine is a glass-lined steel tank and it's going on 28 years old. Replace the anode every couple of years and you'll go well beyond the usual lifetime of a steel tank.
It's kind of annoying to hear people say "they only last 10-15years anyhow" when the problems leading to such a short life are easily and cheaply fixable. (drain the tank yearly to get rid of sediment and check/replace the anode every few years)
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Bob M. wrote:

Sorry to annoy you, but the simple fact is 10-15 years is a typical lifespan for gas water heaters. And, IMO, depending on where the tank is located, anyone trying to push the lifespan of one of these is foolish. Sure, inspecting and changing the anode is a good idea. The difference is, I look at that as a way to get to 13 years with some extra safety margin, not a way to extend the life indefinitely, which it cannot do. And when they go, the failure can be sudden and depending on where it's located, catastrophic. Would you rather have a bill for $500 for replacing a 13 year old heater, or a bill for $10K in damages caused by a water heater that suddenly starts spewing water?
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And of course, all water heaters can be expected to last the same time, no matter what the water is like, or what the heater is made of.
Bob
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Good news. The copper tank lives! The plumber said something about the water temperature being set too high causing the release valve to open (That doesn't make sense since the temp has been set like that for years). In the end, the cold water valve and pressure release valve were replaced and we have hot water again.
Luckily, the tank is in an old cement basement that is very porous so when the tanks leak they don't cause any problems.
I've never found an anode on the copper heater. Do all tanks have anodes?
Thanks.
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wrote:

10-15 years is the average only because people aren't checking the things that can be checked & fixed easily.
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Al wrote:

Cost of tank including new gas line, electric outlet and possibly Flue will likely exceed the energy saved over the life of the tank.
tasnkless only warranteed for 10 years, regular tanks last about that long.
so as a example a tankless for $1200 or a regular tank for $400 their warranty life about the same.
That means that you would need to save 800 bucks on gas over the life of the tank before you save one cent in actual costs. to pay back the initial investment.
Now in regular tanks today the foam insulation makes standby losses low, I have turned off a tank and had a nice hot shower a day later. while doing some remodeling here.
If your tank lives indoors in a part of the country that needs heat in the winter the stanby losses help heat your home so they really arent losses at all for maybe 1/2 the year.....
so double your tankless payback period.
now the fellow who loves his tankless... sounds like he lves in florida where oudoor temps dont freeze hard in the winter.
A tankless in the summer may work fine, when the incoming water temp is 65 degrees, in the winter with incoming at 40 degrees showers may be shiver sessions.
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Greetings,
Al wrote:

Around here where every few years we lose water for a day or so it's nice to have 50 gallons of fresh water always available.
Also, don't forget the opportunity cost of the money when determining payback. Folks tend to forgot about that.
--
Kyle A. York
Sr. Subordinate Grunt
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