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Tankless Hot Water Heaters, What Do You Guys Know About Them?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by drizler, Jul 18, 2008.

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  1. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I been thinkin about this for a long time and finally the price of fuel oil to run my super cell is at a crossroads. We heat the house completely with a pellet stove the last few years and are going to a wood stove in the basement an a full insulation job in the basement this Fall to boot. Now comes the Option for hot water heater. I see the super tankless jobs are a pile of money, more than I can justify really for something pretty common everywhere else on the planet. Being in NY both Propane and Electric are not very well priced with Ny State Electric and Gas. I guess at least for the moment some form of electrical is viable even here.
    Ok, I have had my eye on the NORITZ in Home Deopot. I can get that one one of the wifes American Express Gift cards so essentially it costs me next to nothing. The electric hookup doesn't seem too daunting either. I realize those things don't put out a large amount of hot water but in our case it seems that we can manage one if I put in some sort of preheater to get the temp of incoming water up to 65F or higher. We only use one shower at a time anyways and don't use much hot water at all really, managing to turn on the 30 gallon supercell now once a day and managing with that. All clothes washing is cold and dish washer is a once in a while night time thing anyways. We have 200 amp service in the house and there is lots of breaker space ect. What say ye who have any experience with these things? I see looking around the net it runs across the board from love to hate with very little in between. I have to wonder if it is a versatility and expectation thing. Any real life experience or enlightening web sites appreciated.

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  2. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

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    check out www.titantankless.com. my parents put one of these in their house and LOVE it.my dad says the only down fall is when the power goes out you get a cold shower right then.

    mike
  3. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    I replaced my electric tank water heater with a Bosch AE125 tankless. The job was a mother-lovin pain in the @$$, as I had to run 3 220 volt lines to the laundry room, install a subpanel, and then run 3 more 220 lines to the heater itself. Took me and two buddies the entire day to do it. BUT: it immediately cut $50.00 per month off my electric bill, so it has paid for itself. Also, by getting rid of the tank there was enough space in the laundry room to install a slop sink.
  4. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    If you had to pay an electrician for that job it would be a grand plus... One thing, if you have very hard water the lifetime would be cut severely. I think they are neat but NG is cheaper to heat water than electricity in most places... Electric to electric is a whole differnt ball game. Good luck!
  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    +1 on the hard water. If you have very hard water tankless is not the way to go unless you have a softener. What I've seen and read is that if you have hard water + a tankless heater you end up servicing the heat exchanger fairly often to keep it unscaled.

    As with most products they have their place but be careful how to use them. Make sure it fits your situation.
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I have been using oil for 15 years and no natural gas available around here. There is plenty of hard water too, lots of lime. I don't see any reference as to how you go about cleaning the exchanger on one of those Titans mentioned earlier either by the web site. The only choices around here are electric, propane and some sort of outdoor boiler. I could go with propane but considering the only models that I see which aren't grossly expensive use a pilot light electric makes a more sense. I never objected to a pilot light on the tank we had years ago as it tended to keep the water in the tank hot. That doesn't work for tankless though now does it? Of course there is always the smaller tank type like 20 gallon to consider, along with mounting it upstairs in a closet where its warm during the winter and bury it in insulation. I did that with the super cell in the basement in spite of it being cold down there but of course all my loss is through the boiler and there is nothing much I can do about that one. The big advantage in my mind of a small electirc tank type mounted upstairs is that it that it is cheap and easy to install. No easy choices here now is there? Seems like there aren't any really good choices out there living where I do.
  7. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Why the ball valve, reverse siphoning or heat loss from pipes suspended in cold spaces? Is it really needed in the case of it being in a warm area? Any links concerning making such a hookup you know of ect. With only 3 of us I want to downsize the tank size as much as possible to possibly 15 gallons if it's doable and run a preheat of a tank in the basement suspended over the wood stove during the winter months at least part time. If nothing else I want to get that incoming water up from the usual 45 or less degrees before it goes into the heater by letting it sit in a warm place prior to going in. How long does it usually take for a standard electric heater to heat 15 or so gallons of water anyways? I can't say I have ever paid much attention to them when I had them beyond the usual installation , draining and changing out elements.
  8. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    I had a Rinaii (sp?) at my old house. Thought it was better than a Bosch spec wise. Had a NG lighter so you didn't need a pilot. Worked great. There is a hot water delay and you can't dribble the hot water. There have been a few articles in Fine Homebuilding to get around this cold water slug. Did save some bucks on my bill. They do make some noise and can't be side vented too close to any window that opens. Thinking of getting another one but my electric hot water tank is in perfect condition and I hate throwing out something that is perfectly good. And nobody will want to buy a five year old tank.
  9. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Tankless is a reasonable option when a tank unit fails but you have to weigh it against a tank unit savings wise. Unless you need the expensive power vent water heater a lot of times a tankless won't pay off over its expected life, although with higher NG/Electric prices that may change here soon.

    The biggest savings tank vs. tankless is standby losses.
  10. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

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    I have a ranai too. Uses NG but propane is bsically the same. During summer the wife and I plus 3 kids use b/w $5-8/month which also includes our 6 burner viking range that is gas. We never have run out of hot water. This has nopilot light. There is a small delay but we put a recirc pump on a timer so that it preheats the waterlines 10 minutes b/f the alarm clock.
  11. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    Driz:

    I have a tankless Noritz that runs on LP love it, with 6 kids we never run out of hot water. I dont know how the electric ones work but the LP rocks. A good site to check out tankless for a company with great service is irawoodsandsons.com or some such thing as Ira Woods and Sons.

    I bought mine there one day and it was delivered the next. Install was easy and dont forget about $300.00 tax rebate on the tankless models

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  12. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    What's your incoming water temp and your water hardness PD? (IE do you use softened water? If not have you tested your water hardness?)
  13. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    I have no idea of my incoming water temps in the 50 degree range in Indiana I think. My water hardness is 26 grains with adjustment for 2ppm of iron. The water does go through a filter, then a softener prior to going through the water heater
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