Tankless Electric Waterheaters - Any opinions out there? Would you Recommend?

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I am considering the purchases of a tankless electric waterheater for my cottage. The natural gas and propane varieties are not an option. Does anyone have any opinion on the current models that are on the market? I have been looking at the SETS models on http://www.e-tankless.com/ Is this the best model? What about servicing? Is servicing widely available? Your opinions are appreciated.
Thanks, Matt
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How do these work ?
Does it not store water ?
Do they cost less then an traditional electric hot water heater ?
I have a older 40 gallon oil fired which is on its way out and am interested in any new technology.
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The MOST a tankless can save is the stand by losses in the summer....
!!!!!!!!!!!!!in the winter stand by loses help heat your home!!!!!!!!!!!!!
these tankless are on the small side. but look at the energy needed over 120 amps just for heating water, need 200 amp entrance MINIMUM, although today 200 amp is minimum for regular home loads, so figure TWO 200 amp entrances.
in the summer incoming water will be warm perhaps 60 degrees
in the winther it may well be in the 30s, want a nice HOT shower? that can be a problem.
plus look at high purchase price and lack of local service and parts. you want to have no hot water for days because a part failed?
in a emergency or water line break / failure a nice 50 gallon tank is a excellent emergency reserve.
In a power failure no electric means NO HOT WATER AT ALL, with a regular tank you have 40 or 50 gallons of pre heated water in reserve.
no reserve with tankless:(
when figuring savings take the cost of tankless, subtract cost of regular tank.....
whatever that difference the money saved has to first pay back the excess cost of the tankless plus all additional costs for perhaps a new service entrance.........
probably 500 bucks or more.
heating elements sludge up over time, in regular tanks. tankless must have similiar issues.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Maybe, maybe not. In my (unfinished, uninsulated) basement I have my doubts that the electricity lost in stand-by (via heat) is 'recovered' by my baseboard heaters not working as hard to heat the house.

Yup, that's nasty. Any idea how much current a standard tank draws?

Cold water shouldn't be a problem if the tankless is designed properly. Whether this is the case or not, I cannot comment.

Agree and agree. I don't personally know anyone locally who has one installed.

Again, it depends. I wouldn't want to use water drained from my 40 gallon tank for much, given all the sludge that builds up at the bottom of the tank.

Not everyone has access to water (hot or otherwise) during a power failure. Some of use still use an electric pump! Of course, some of these tankless heaters run off natural gas.

Ahhh, but it's not all about the money. If it was, you'd see fewer SUVs on the road and in the winter people would wear heavy clothing in lieu of turning the heat up.
There are a few benefits to tankless that you haven't mentioned:
First, they're much smaller than a large tank, and often can be mounted to a wall (or even between studs). This is great in smaller homes, and likely a primary reason why tankless is much more common in Europe.
Second, when a water tank expires it often ruptures. Mine 'exploded' a couple of years ago, and fortunately I happened to be in the same room when it happened. This would potentially create a huge mess if left unattended. Shouldn't be a problem with tankless.
Third, because of the small size, several units can be mounted in the home. In a master bathroom this would be great...instant hot water! Certainly no cost savings using this approach, but it does provide some form of redundancy in case of failure.

I can't comment on the longevity of tankless water heaters. In my neck of the woods, the "guarantee" on water heaters is 1/2 of the manufacturers claim. Either way, I won't install a tankless heater in my house due to insufficient amperage.
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dave snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

heat rises some probably rises to your living area

have friend with electric, i replaced his 40 amp hot water heater breaker he didnt know how

you could filter water thru cloth, with no water you die in 3 days, if your water is from a public supply it should be drinkable

many gas tankless need power line connectioon too, so no power no hot water.

tankless cost including upgraded electric service probably 2 to 3 times cost of regular hot water tank. you know some one endless hot water, sounds good untill someone starts taking endelerss showers, tying up the bath, and none of these tankless can provide 2 or more heavy loads at the same time. like shower or laundry but not both.......

granted you do save space,

tankless coil could spring a leak too, or have a fitting fail. its not the tank water thats a probolem, its the continious supply of water.

good point but your going to need a boatload of money for a 600 or 800 amp service entrance to supply all those tankless heaters

most tankless warranty is 10 years. so whatever $ saved has to occur in its expected lifetime...
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Wrong! They can also eliminate "DAD! My stupid brother used all the hot water again and I have to wash my hair. I hate him and wish he was dead!"

I'd like to see the data to support that. If it did make an appreciable difference in my heating costs, then it would also increase my cooling costs in the summer. I'd call it a wash at best.

In my case, I'm opting for gas.

It 12 degrees F right now...been like that all day. My cold water is running at 51 degrees which is about as cold as it ever gets. Most tankless units will spec their rise rates. There are indeed better units for colder water, but I don't know if winter water ever gets as cold as you claim. I know mine never does and it's pretty darn cold out right now.

I am factoring that into my purchase plan. I've spoken to a few local plumbing supply shops and am only considering models that they also stock parts and can recommend a service provider for.

Ok, I guess this makes sense, but I don't recall too many cases in my or anyone else's life where the water in the hot water tank was the only available water. I see your point, but I don't know think that is gong to weigh heavily in my decision.

True. However, in my case, I'm planning to leave the existing 50 gallon gas unit plumbed in, with the burner off. In case of a power failure, I'll just fire the old one up.

See above.

Again, cheaper with gas, but yes, the payback period is still a long time, even if I will be doing the installation myself. But keep my first point in mind - I've got 4 kids and not running out of hot water after a few winter morning showers will be well worth the price.

If this is true for electric tankless units, it won't impact my gas one.
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They work by heating the water as it passes through the unit, usually through a "flattened coil" type setup. Thaycan be gas or electric.
They do not store water and they are more expensive to puchase and perhaps install, although some claim they are more cost-effective in the long run since you never have standing water that keeps needing to be reheated eevn if not needed.
Google "tankless water heaters" and you'll get tons of hits.
Ed wrote:

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for the person going tankless gas.
Check the venting and gas supply needs, you will likely need replumbing:( Gas tankless use a LOT instantly!
If I were you I would put the tankless ahead of the existing tank heater and get the best of both worlds. Or at least plumb with some valves so you can try either, straight tankless or tankless to standard tank.
I dont like running out of hot water either so I went with a 50 gallon 75,000 BTU unit I wanted to go 75 gallons but it wouldnt fit:( When we get a NEW furnace there will be room for a 100 gallon 75,000 BTU tank:)
Honestly though we rarely run out of hot water.
Your kids with endless shwers are going to tie up the bathroom:) Remember even a gas tankless is really only good for ONE shower or other heavy load at a time.
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most gas tankless require a power line to operate, so power failure is no hot shower for anyone:(
have you purchased a emergency generator?
I heard about a fellow who lost electric power in a storm for days.
he connected his garden hose to hot water and snaked it thru home, kinda radiant heating. dumped water in tub
I MUST remember that
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wrote:

I've got one that we take "camping" that just needs a propane line. I think it was designed for a mobile home.

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wrote:

I remember when we had a power failure one very cold December. It really was nice to still have hot water (I have a regular gas water heater with 40-gallon tank, no electricity needed).
BTW, that's also when I discovered this house had gas logs.

--
17 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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They also can be oil fired too. A company named Toyomoti seels such a unit.

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Sir Topham Hatt wrote:

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matt snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I can't tell you which model would be best for you because I don't know what your needs are. If you have a small cottage with one bath, a kitchen, and a washer/dryer, then those models will probably work for you. You need to talk to a rep from that company and tell them what you have and how many people live there, etc.
I have installed about 15 of these units so far with another one going in tomorrow. Everyone that I have done this for have been very happy with the results and the cost savings. The first one that I installed was about 3 years ago and none of them have had any problems so far. None have been the brand that you are looking at, though. I am not familiar with that brand.
Another difference is that most of these have been the gas models. I prefer the gas to the electric models as they seem to be more powerful for the same cost. If you can go gas, I would recommend doing so.
The largest model that I have installed is a Takagi whole house gas unit (I don't recall the model # right now). It is serving a 2-1/2 bath home with dishwasher, kitchen and washing machine. It is home to 2 parents and 3 teenage girls. To me that is quite a test.
We did a test after installation and with two showers on and the washing machine running we did not run out of hot water for over an hour.
Their gas bill dropped about 20% after installation of the tankless.
The electric units that I have installed were for an aircraft hanger (2 baths and one kitchen + a spigot for washing aircraft), and a couple of 2 bedroom homes. They are all working fine. One of them I think would have been better off with a larger unit, but I have asked on a couple of occasions and there are still no complaints. In fact they are delighted with them.
HTH
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Just curious on this. Why would you make the comment about not running out of hot water for over an hour? Since it's an instant unit, with no reservoir, whatever capacity it has in the first 5 mins should be the same as it will be after running for days, no?
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Because it was an interesting test on the system that I do not ordinarily do. The homeowner wanted to test the system to make sure that it would function and not break down right after I left, so we ran the showers and he did a couple of loads of clothes. We ran it for a little over an hour. He was more interested in seeing the unit put under normal operational stress than seeing how long the water would stay hot.
Ordinarily I just trust that the unit will function as advertised, but in that one instance I got a chance to actually see it in operation. You know; theory don't mean squat if it don't work.
And, just for future reference, it is not an instant unit, it is a tankless unit. Instant refers to units mounted close to the fixture so that hot water comes out of the faucet almost immediately. Tankless refers to a system that supplies hot water on demand, rather than through a storage tank. If it is mounted in the old water heater location, the water at the fixture is not instantly hot. This may sound like nitpicking, but it will save a lot of time and misunderstanding if you are trying to get info from a dealer.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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thing.
Tankless heaters have been standard issue in Europe and Asia apartments for years, where they are considered low-end units (primarily because of operational problems with variations in water pressure during use -- such as when another tap is opened or a toilet is flushed. The sudden change in flow may turn the water scalding hot or may cause the unit to shut down in avoidance, with "chilling" results. Reason was, expense -- it was cheaper to run one cold-water line to each sink, then put a tankless heater at that location, than to plumb the apartment with both hot and cold water lines. I've used tankless heaters for years, learned to dislike them, and was very happy to eventually get "promoted" into an apartment that had a water tank. The better places use hot water tank units.
Now that we're in the U.S. I've got almost instant-on hot water by locating a hot water tank very close to both main users -- the kitchen and the master bathroom each have their own conventional hot water heater. -- Regards
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We had a tankless electric installed at my camp for five years and it was nothing but trouble and expense. First of all I had to upgrade to 200A service. Did not realize until after I bought it. In five years it broke down 3 times and none of the items were covered as the warranty was only 1 year. I had to pay a tech to drive for 70 miles to my camp each time. The third time I had it pulled out and had a half hot water tank installed. Cannot use it in the winter though, unless you are prepared to flush it. I turn the element off on the tank when I leave to some $. It only take a couple to hours to heat up and will gives me warm water after about 1 hour. I would wait until someone perfects these tankless heater unless you have lots of time and money on your hands.
matt snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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brianihas said: "The third time I had it pulled out and had a half hot water tank installed.
Doesn't half a hot water tank leak a lot? Wait...I guess that would depend on which half you installed.
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brianihas said: "The third time I had it pulled out and had a half hot water tank installed.
Doesn't half a hot water tank leak a lot? Wait...I guess that would depend on which half you installed.
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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