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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    799

    tankless water heaters pros and cons ?

    Ok we have an 80 gallon electric water heater now on a night meter. Its just my wife and I living in the house. The bill is not too bad per month now total electric around 70.00 elec range, water heater, dryer and central AC

    Would a tankless gas water heater work for us ?? Which brand is good ?? How do they vent ??

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    Do not get an electric tankless water heater. The gas units are great, but the electric units can require a bigger panel. Just the heater can draw 200 amps, add that to all the other loads in your house and you will see why you may need a bigger panel. Our power company would put you an a demand meter, that could triple your electric bill.

    For just two people, I doubt that even a gas unit would pay back over the life of the heater. They are better for high consumption uses.
    Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    662
    Disclaimer: the following is for NGas units.
    There are a few downsides:
    > They are flow dependent. If you pull very low flow (<.5GPM on some models, .7GPM on others) the burner won't kick on, so no hot water. This can be compensated for a bit by turning the output temperature down.
    > They lose the ability to hold their output temperature when you're flowing at/near/above the max rating. This can be overcome by buying an appropriately sized unit, and somewhat by turning the temp up.
    > They can require more gas than a typical tank type system. You may have to repipe the gas line.
    > Exhaust will typically require a larger pipe than a tank type heater. You may have to use a larger pipe or use a forced (fan) exhaust.
    > More expensive than a tank type heater.

    Upsides:
    > Endless hot water (can affect savings )
    > Energy savings.
    > Takes less space.
    > Tend to last a lot longer than a tank type heater (brand, quality, maintenance dependent)

    We have a Bosch unit that is about 10 years old. Our gas line was fine but we did have to go with the forced exhaust (our pipe is 4" and the min (IIRC) was 5").

    This unit isn't microprocessor controlled so the output temp is affected by the input. I will turn the temp down a bit in the late spring and up a bit in the late fall.

    We've learned to turn the water on enough to avoid the minimum flow issue.

    Even though we have temp.balanced shower controls we still don't run the dishwasher/washer while showering.

    We're doing a remodel in the next few months. Hot water for the kitchen will come from a second unit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,037
    Quote Originally Posted by cvcman View Post
    Ok we have an 80 gallon electric water heater now on a night meter. Its just my wife and I living in the house. The bill is not too bad per month now total electric around 70.00 elec range, water heater, dryer and central AC

    Would a tankless gas water heater work for us ?? Which brand is good ?? How do they vent ??

    Thanks
    Another option might be to add insulation on the existing electric unit to reduce the standby losses.

    P.S. Anytime you want to trade electric bills I'd be more than willing.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

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