I'd like to try and elevate the tankless vs. tank discussion a little
bit. Let me just say however, kudos for actually bringing a citation into
the conversation (WP article). Unfortunately the cited article is
severely flawed. It attempts to generalize from anecdotal evidence, and
neglects to mention a key benefit of tankless systems: they have an
expected life time of OVER 20 YEARS (citation below).
The US department of energy discusses the pros and cons of the system, and
I hope we can all agree that they are a reasonably reliable and unbiased
I recommend reading the whole page. It's brief and highly informative.
QUOTED from the DOE website:
-Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20
years. They also have easily replaceable parts that extend their
life by many more years. In contrast, storage water heaters last 10–15
-[tankless water heaters] don't produce the standby energy losses
associated with storage water heaters, which can save you money.
Whether or not a tankless system is good for your requires a little
thought. If you have a problem with instantaneous flow (e.g. you want to
be able to run your washer, dishwasher, and have everyone take a shower
simultaneously), a tankless system to meet your needs will likely be
impractical. Your problem seems to be more length periods of continuous
use, which would indicate that you could seriously benefit from a tankless
If you really need water > 140F, they probably aren't a good solution for
you. The vast majority of homeowners however do not.
If all you care about is the dollars and cents of it, the solution is to
get a couple of quotes from reliable contractors, look at your personal
energy rates, and do the math. It's pretty easy math, but if you have
trouble with it, I'll be glad to help.
If you care about energy conservation, then you can rest assured that you
will be doing a good thing for the environment, you won't lose any money
in the long run, and you might even profit from it. The latter case seems
to be the most likely, in my analysis.