Yet another tankless water heater question

I've always had a house with a gas water heater, and have always heard how much less expensive they are to run than electric. Now I'm house-hunting and one of the houses I like has oil forced hot air heat (something else new to me) and an electric water heater. There is no gas available.
I'm wondering if it would make any sense for me, as a single person, to consider getting a tankless heater? (Having had a previous water heater leak all over the basement, I can see a benefit to tankless, especially since the house I looked at has the water heater on the main living level).
It's certainly not the first thing I'd consider upgrading, but I was curious if a) if electric hot water is really as expensive as I've always heard and b) if there is such a thing as an oil, rather than electric, tankless system (or would the limited amt of time it's used really make a difference in the fuel source). c) Would any other type of water heater be more efficient
Thanks!
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Electricity is for most areas alot more expensive per btu than gas, 20-50-% more, an electric tankless will likely need 120a minimum and a new service , unless you have 200a service, a propane tankless would be cheaper to run, you would buy maybe a 100lb tank. Bosch Takagi and Rinnai are good gas tankless units. Heating oil prices this year are up alot, do your homework before you buy a money heating pit. Ng is still cheapest.
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On Tue, 02 Oct 2007 11:57:21 -0400, Lee wrote:

I don't think you'll save much seeing you'll be the only person using hot water. Use cold water to wash your clothes. Take short, efficient showers.
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Actualy a single person using tankless saves alot more than a family, its stated so on tankless fact sheets. In constant use tanks are not that much less efficent than tankless.
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On Tue, 02 Oct 2007 12:34:29 -0700, ransley wrote:

I have two people living here myself and my son. I wash 4 loads of laundry in warm water/cold rinse. I have a gas stove that I prepare maybe 4 meals a week on. We take one shower each a day. My heater is a 50 gallon that is 16 years old. My lowest gas bill this summer was around 24 bucks. I doubt if we'd save much more on a tankless system and it would certainly take many months just to recoup the costs of switching over.
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At least a year ago, someone in this n.g. had the opportunity to test how much power an electric water heater uses simply to maintain its setpoint temperature. He ran the water heater and _nothing_ else for a month (I don't think he'd moved in yet), and if I recall correctly, it was <$3 of electricity/mo. Modern well-insulated tank.
It does not appear to make economic sense to _change_ a presently functional good-quality electric water tank-style heater to a tankless. Payback period would probably be decades. Picking tankless when installing new or replacing a dead tank heater might be a good idea.
Changing to gas, if it's available, is something a bit different ;-)
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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Lee wrote:

I, personally, would not want a home without natural gas. That is beside the point. An electric water heater can have a timer attached - if you live alone, that might be a good feature for you. If the w.h. is old, replace it and get timer, insulation and pipe insulation.
I haven't used oil heat in eons. is this home rural? No n.g. available, or just not hooked up?
Website with lots of info:
http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic300
Our electric utility offers reduced rate for signing onto elect. reduction during peak hours for AC. It operates remotely, max. reduction 2 hours, and we rarely notice. This is Florida, so it may or may not be available where you live. Ck. with elect. co. for cost reduction plans.
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Norminn wrote:

http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic300

It's a suburban area, just a few miles from a large city. Apparently there is natural gas in the neighborhood, up to a block or so away, according to the home owner, but she said she was told it would be really extensive to have it run to the house.
I'd rather have ng available (I'd love to have a gas fireplace, backup generator etc), but I don't think the lack thereof would be a deal breaker. OTOH, not having even considered an oil heated home before, I am certainly open to hearing the pro's and con's. I'd always heard that electric heat was expensive, and "thought" I'd heard once upon a time that oil was about equivalent to ng.
We did have oil heat eons ago when I was growing up, and I remember being "afraid" of the furnace and the giant (at least it seemed giant) tank in our basement. Fortunately (I guess) the tank in this one house is outside, and above ground.
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Norminn wrote:

http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic300

Thanks for the info on the timer etc; that's something I never thought of. The discussion of oil vs gas is interesting (and very relevant to me right now) so I started a different thread about that. (Now all I have to do is sell the inherited house that's currently on the market so that I can seriously consider the oil house I looked at).
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You could get an oil-fired tank water heater, although venting it may present difficulties. Apparently there are also oil-fired tankless water heaters, see for example <http://www.toyotomiusa.com .
Cheers, Wayne
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

Thank you. This is all helping my decision making/day dreaming.
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