I was going to get a whole-house tankless water heater, but changed my mind
after reading various forums with lots of complaints about them. I like
the idea of tankless, but want to wait till we move to a better house,
where it will be easier to install one at every hot water faucet, and when
the technology might improve such that you could use any amount of hot
water from 1/10 GPM to 5 GPM, without any hot-cold sandwiches etc.
But I'm still shopping for a water heater. I want a high efficiency, high
recovery one, but only 18 inches in diameter. That's a lot to ask, because
it doesn't leave much room for insulation. It would probably have to have
a special kind of insulation that provided more insulation per amount of
thickness. I would be willing to pay about twice the price of a normal
cheap water heater. Is there anything available that would provide what I
My present water heater is 18 inches in diameter, 40 gallons, but not very
efficient. And it's old and has a leak. I want to hurry before the leak
becomes serious. What would be my best bet in this situation?
True high effeciency will cost you, its called a condensing unit. Why
18", I think you will be out of luck. AO Smith is a good brand with
many different units up to maybe 85 EF. I have NG tankless and I have
yet to hear anybody here complain that actualy has one or knew a dam
about what they were talking about, complaining without knowing facts
from actual use seems to be a way people justify their present 50%
Given the requirements of:
not cost sensitive
I'm left wondering, why not get a whole house tankless? But there is
a lot we don't know, like what fuel options you have.
On Jul 24, 12:57 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I think the OP is willing to pay double the cost of a cheap tank type
can he get full whole house tankless for that price?
Honestly, a tankless install makes me a little nervous......all that
up front cost & hassle plus heat exchanger life ???? and the distinct
possibility of an under performing system. Maybe only in fringe use
cases, but big initial bucks (& questionable payback) for the
occasional lukewarm shower is something I'd like to avoid.
Maybe if I owned Ted Kaczynski's cabin & lived his previous life style
but I don't see tankless working for me & my life.
He can get a whole house tankless for $750 - $1000. I'd say that
qualifies as a YES. And if you factor in the elimination of standby
losses over time, it sounds like a potentially viable solution,
depending on what fuel he has available.
And I'd say you're at least as biased against them as you claim
Ransley is biased in favor of them. At least as Ransley says, he has
But we're not talking about your life style. We're talking about
Wants rapid recovery
Is willing to pay 2X the cost of a regular WH
Has a small space reqtt, etc.
You see many conventional water heaters that fit that bill?
On Jul 24, 6:52ï¿½pm, email@example.com wrote:
If the OPs current heater is electric he will be disappointed with any
electric tankless........ nearly no one likes electric tankless.
and sure wouldnt like upgrading to 200 amp service just to heat water,
plus normal 200 amp or whatever service for everything else.
that can easily cost thousands, and even then resul;ts may be marginal
where incoming water is cold in winter, limited flow, etc.
tankless warranties are no longer than 10 years, heck you can get
regular tanks with 12 year warranties.
regular tank heaters are simple, reliable, and pretty cheap to buy.
basic install and forget till it leaks.
while tankless require knowledgable techs, cleaning heater core
removing sediment, and occasionl parts replacement.
heck even ransley talks of his personally repairing his tanless.
question, when the last time any of you serviced your regular tank
type heater, most dont even drain water occasionally out the bottom to
The condensing tank type water heaters cost about the same as a
tankless, are as or more efficent, and dont have nagging troubles like
no hot water with a faucet barely on....
ransley must have a fiancial stake in tankless heaters..........
Yes mr hallerb, I do have a financial stake in my tankless, it gave me
a 4 year payback over an electric tank, but I only paid under 500 and
did the instal myself. At least this time tankless isnt getting beaten
down completly improperly. But there is no tank to rust, its copper
pipe designed to last 30 years, I ve done no maintenance on mine, but
it is set up to be able to be flushed. But for a family, often a tank
is best. For total Ng efficency no tank can match tankless by at least
10%, even condensing AO Smith units, And guess what, now AO Smith make
so your comparing the savings of a regular electric tank against a
natural gas tankless......???????
guess what nearly anywhere in the country a natural gas heater will
save money over electric water heating. sure electric is 100%
efficent, but per BTU electric is super expensive to operate.
If I were the OP I would investigate moving the tank to a new larger
location, and going with a condensing 98% efficent condensing tank
heater. outside air is drawn in, so interior air isnt burned for
combustion, and the exhaust just like a condensing furnace exhausts
thru a PVC pipe. Install a drip pan in case a leak would cause damage.
most condensing tanks have copper coils inside the stainless tank.
this leads to extremely long life.
previously ransley has talked about servicing his tankless. and his
claim of 30 year life is pure bogus. tankless use sophiscated parts,
which one day may be no longer availble, poof gone, no parts no hot
Here we just replaced our 1965 furnace with a condensing one, next up
will likely be a new condnsing water heater. our existing tank is 8
years old, it had a 6 year warranty.
with the rising cost of energy we should all do what we can to save $$
also looking at gutting part of our house, and adding spray in place
foam, along with wiring and new kitchen......
Where I installed tankless yes, I took out an electric tank, and
electric dropped 35$ NG went up about 5$ and NG included stove and Ng
dryer, Im at a tank location now and 45$ was my last Ng bill, my
savings only a blind person cant see, do you qualify?
I have not serviced my tankless yet except for new D batteries, where
you make up this shit is beyond me, I am ready to pour lime away
through but havnt yet.
30 yr life is in the design, do your research, its stated. There is
no tank to rust out, its copper pipe. How long does copper piping
last, alot longer than 30 years. Do research before you post false
statements. And bs on your parts theory, these designs are not "going
Get your facts straight, there are no 98% efficent ng tanks made,
and overall efficency or EF is no higher with a tank than the 70- low
80s. Tankless EF ratings start at 82 and go to 94. Thats 15-20% better
than any tank made....
On Jul 24, 3:52 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Ransley is biased in favor of them.<<<<
You're mis-reading my post, I'm not biased against them, imo
they're not the "end all & be all" some claim them to be.
If you re-read my posts you'll see that I say they are appropriate &
will work fine but NOT in ALL installations, specifically the two I
Ransley has personal experience with one installation & it works fine
for his house, his life style
I calc'd two proposed installs & the numbers didn't look too favorable
for performance or for payback so I passed.
One install was additionally nixed by the Bosch rep, I guess he's
biased as well?
I don't see how any of this makes me biased......imo, just careful,
cautious & conservative.
Tankless water heaters have there place but like anything else they
Ransley is a hardcore tankless cheerleader per his comment.....
about what they were talking about, complaining without knowing facts
from actual use <<<<
and anyone who doesn't agree with him is just plain wrong, misinformed
or stupid (did leave anything out?)
I guess that means only people who actually have a tankless w/h are
qualified to comment on a proposed install?
And that stuff about incoming water temp, btu's, temperature rise
capability, instantaneous hot water demand, hot water usage profile,
location of water heater, local year 'round ambient temperature &
installation elevation is meaningless?
I guess we should all drive a Prius independent of our real
Yeah, I don't have a tankless but the Bosch rep talked me out of one
installation & my research convinced me that my other proposed
installation wouldn't pay for itself. I like the idea of tankless
but imo the numbers don't work in lots of situations.
18" is what will fit where my present water heater is. We could make a
little more room by moving some pipes, but not much.
I still might get a tankless. But we're leaning the other way right now.
Here are some of the concerns we have about tankless:
1. We're concerned that it might not always give us as much hot water as
we want. If washing machine and dishwasher are running, and someone is
taking a shower, it could be stretched to its limit, and, if someone else
turns on a hot water faucet, the shower might suddenly get cold bullets or
whatever. If we connected two tankless together, it could be a problem for
our NG supply, and two cost more than one.
2. The supply of cold water to our house might not always be high enough
pressure. We get the vague impression that our water pressure varies,
possibly depending on usage by neighbors. It's probably not a problem, but
it's one more minor worry.
3. We're thinking of putting in new insulated hot water pipes, running
through our access-only attic, to all of our hot water faucets etc. A tank
water heater would keep those pipes partly warm, so we wouldn't have to
wait as long for hot water after turning a faucet on.
4. The tankless we want requires an electric outlet, for its ignition. It
looks like we would have to do some wiring, because we don't see any
electric outlet in the utility closet, but just conduit going to our
furnace from the wall.
5. If it turns out to have problems, the problems are most likely to be in
our pipes or whatever, and not the fault of the manufacturer. Therefore,
such problems would not be covered by the warranty. A lot of people regret
getting a tankless for that very reason, and feel stuck with it, because it
would cost them too much to replace it with a tank, having already spent
their budget on the tankless.
6. When such problems happen, the plumber often can't figure them out, and
spends too much time on them, then starting thinking of that customer as a
7. If energy prices keep going up, I want to consier other options, such
as solar etc., and/or maybe get a geothermal heat pump for heating and air
conditioning, and get hot water from that same system. If I spend a lot on
a tankless now, that reduces my budget for that.
And you will possibly need 1" gas line if the run is long. Shop Energy
Factor or EF in your tank decision. EF is what it costs to heat the
water, many cheap tanks are still 55-60 EF so only 55-60 cents of
every dollar heats water, there are tanks, Condensing near 85 EF. I
own one its a commercial $2200 AO Smith Cyclone, But there is a
93 EF !! A regular BW might be 60 EF or less
My present top two choices are a 25-gallon 155-FHR from Bradford White vs a
40-gallon 50,000 BTU/H from Lochinvar.
The Bradford White is my favorite so far, but the Lochinvar is what seems
to be available locally.
I wouldn't recommend what I'm doing right now to my house as it is way
expensive. I'm installing a 90% efficient Triangle Tube Prestige Solo 110 NG
boiler. Along with an indirect water heater and over a half mile (no
kidding) of ½" pex tubing for radiant heat. The pex was a pain to install.
But the plumbing of the boiler, loops and pumps and other stuff is fun.
The biggest problem with tankless water heaters is that DIY'ers and
many plumbers don't bother with the size calculations. Sizing a
tankless requires estimating usage and combining that with water
pressure. The higher the water pressure, the larger the BTU's required
to handle the same usage.
Also, remember that tankless water heaters are not energy efficient
across the entire range of use. Sure you save the energy of storing a
huge tank of water. But if you run a dishwasher, for example, that
uses only a few gallons per cycle and you have high water pressure and
high BTU's, you'll get very INEFFICIENT energy use for those few
gallons. The burner will have to light up like crazy and then shut
down fast after only a few gallons.
Tankless heaters are most efficient for bathing and that's where their
energy calculations are made.
If they're sized right, they're a great improvement over atmospheric
vented tank heaters.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.