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mrG
02-26-2007, 07:05 PM
The water heaters in my house are coming up on 15 years of service. Lately, I have been finding chunks of white stuff in the faucet strainers and there has been a marked decrease of hot water available for showers. I got a couple of estimates to replace two 50 gallon natural gas units, which are located in the attic, for around $950 each and that does not include permit fees, or extra labor and materials to bring the install up to code.

Anyway, if I'm going to spend that much money on replacing conventional water heaters, why not spend a little more and upgrade to a tankless system. Basicly unlimited hot water (long showers;) ) It will cost a bit more but does qualify for an energy credit ($300?) to help take some of the sting out of the price.

Anyone have any experience with these systems?

JohnnyB
02-26-2007, 07:32 PM
From the brief research I did....

They are about double the cost each after installation.

They do not work well with water systems that have varying pressure...i.e. if you have well.

SkiDog
02-26-2007, 07:34 PM
The water heaters in my house are coming up on 15 years of service. Lately, I have been finding chunks of white stuff in the faucet strainers and there has been a marked decrease of hot water available for showers. I got a couple of estimates to replace two 50 gallon natural gas units, which are located in the attic, for around $950 each and that does not include permit fees, or extra labor and materials to bring the install up to code.

Anyway, if I'm going to spend that much money on replacing conventional water heaters, why not spend a little more and upgrade to a tankless system. Basicly unlimited hot water (long showers;) ) It will cost a bit more but does qualify for an energy credit ($300?) to help take some of the sting out of the price.

Anyone have any experience with these systems?

May I ask why you want to change out the whole water heaters? All you probably need to do is change out the heating elements. And thats a job that you can do yourself for probably less than $200.00 at the most! Also, why in the world would you have to have a permit to change out a water heater? Is that your code where you live?:confused:

Mag_Red
02-26-2007, 07:38 PM
I want to know why it's in the attic!

SkiDog
02-26-2007, 07:42 PM
I want to know why it's in the attic!

Thats the best place for them, if you have an emergrncy drain pan! Which is a building code where I live. Why take up space in a closet?

André
02-26-2007, 08:11 PM
May I ask why you want to change out the whole water heaters? All you probably need to do is change out the heating elements. And thats a job that you can do yourself for probably less than $200.00 at the most! Also, why in the world would you have to have a permit to change out a water heater? Is that your code where you live?:confused:
Natural gas ...


Don't know why you see a decrease in efficiency other then real cloggy or dirty burners,sooth in the heat exchanger or low gas pressure.
Like JimN would say:"did you had service lately?:D
Some cities will ask a permit for any new natural gas unit installation...

corey
02-26-2007, 08:15 PM
My brother in law has a tankless system in his cabin. It is SWEET in terms of unlimited hot water and it takes up next to no space which is nice since it's a cabin and space is at a premium.

That being said we just replaced our gas water heater with another gas unit. All in all they are reliable and fairly inexpensive.

SkiDog
02-26-2007, 08:20 PM
My brother in law has a tankless system in his cabin. It is SWEET in terms of unlimited hot water and it takes up next to no space which is nice since it's a cabin and space is at a premium.

That being said we just replaced our gas water heater with another gas unit. All in all they are reliable and fairly inexpensive.


I am about to build us a cabin @ our socalled hunting/drinking club. I am going to use a propane tankless water heater. Everybody in the club who have cabins with them really love them!

Farmer Ted
02-26-2007, 08:23 PM
The water heaters in my house are coming up on 15 years of service. Lately, I have been finding chunks of white stuff in the faucet strainers and there has been a marked decrease of hot water available for showers. I got a couple of estimates to replace two 50 gallon natural gas units, which are located in the attic, for around $950 each and that does not include permit fees, or extra labor and materials to bring the install up to code.

Anyway, if I'm going to spend that much money on replacing conventional water heaters, why not spend a little more and upgrade to a tankless system. Basicly unlimited hot water (long showers;) ) It will cost a bit more but does qualify for an energy credit ($300?) to help take some of the sting out of the price.

Anyone have any experience with these systems?


I had one in my house in England and Germany, definately the way to go if you have gas.

In Germany we had radiant and radiant heat in our main floor, talk about nice! I made the mistake of turning it off too early one year and it made a huge difference.

I'd do it, but we're all electric.

mrG
02-26-2007, 08:28 PM
May I ask why you want to change out the whole water heaters? All you probably need to do is change out the heating elements. And thats a job that you can do yourself for probably less than $200.00 at the most! Also, why in the world would you have to have a permit to change out a water heater? Is that your code where you live?:confused:

Both water heaters are going out. Faucets constantly need to be cleaned out because they are plugged up with a whitish colored flaky material which I'm told is the tank inards disinigrating.

Local code requires a permit to replace units because codes have changed. Now requires tanks to elevated 18 inches above the floor. This would envolve building a base to support the water heater plus the cost of moving gas and water supply pipes to accomodate new installation X2 (2 units) $$!

I asked one plumber giving me a bid to ball park the high end possible cost and he said it could end up running $1500 per water heater in the worst case. Yikes!

PendO
02-26-2007, 08:30 PM
The water heaters in my house are coming up on 15 years of service. Lately, I have been finding chunks of white stuff in the faucet strainers and there has been a marked decrease of hot water available for showers. I got a couple of estimates to replace two 50 gallon natural gas units, which are located in the attic, for around $950 each and that does not include permit fees, or extra labor and materials to bring the install up to code.

Anyway, if I'm going to spend that much money on replacing conventional water heaters, why not spend a little more and upgrade to a tankless system. Basicly unlimited hot water (long showers;) ) It will cost a bit more but does qualify for an energy credit ($300?) to help take some of the sting out of the price.

Anyone have any experience with these systems?

we put one in our lake place last fall ... we got the one from Home Depot that uses 3 40A double pole breakers ... we have a 200A service pannel ... we can take a hot shower, have the range on baking a pizza, an air compressor running a nail gun, and pump running the 3 chamber sewer/septic system, 3 in wall heaters each on their own double pole 20A braker, and boat lift ... all at the same time ... for us it was a matter of saving space, much easier to winterize, and more cost effective as we do not have to pay to keep the 50gal tank warm in case we need to use it.

We use the PowerStar AE 125 http://www.boschhotwater.com/StartPage/BoschHotWatercomHome/ElectricProducts/PowerStarAE115AE125/tabid/395/Default.aspx made by Bosch and sold at Home Depot ... there are several brands, but we got this one based on product reviews and if we had a problem we only had to go as far as Home Depot for service.


***edit ... ours is used on a well that we share with the neighbors, its a good well, I can do a pressure test next time up to see what it is ...

phecksel
02-27-2007, 12:40 PM
chunks of white stuff could be nothing more then a detoriating dip tube, and your water heater age is in the same time frame as the recall for...dip tubes. You may buy some more time by doing nothing more then replacing the dip tube, and while you're at it the mag rod.

Watch the tankless capacity, most units will only feed ONE appliance at a time. No simultaneous shower and dishwasher, or shower and laundry, etc. I just read about a new unit that is a combination instant, with some storage. It's supposed to have a huge capacity, and be very efficient. It's only pro installed.

jimmer2880
02-27-2007, 01:23 PM
to slightly thread-jack...

how many here reguarly drain their water heaters? I started a couple years back when I was having iron & sulphur problems. Now, I do it every 6 months. You wouldn't believe the amt of cr@p I get.

The way I figure it, regular draining has to be extending the life of my tank.

M-Funf
02-27-2007, 02:10 PM
I don't usually drain mine since we installed a water softener when we moved in. It really helps with keeping the water heater clean. I drained it after two years, and the water looked fine. That said, our water heater is nearly 15 years old, so I bought another gas unit from a friend (new, but they couldn't use it) and plan to install it this spring.

We looked at tankless, but they were very expensive, and I didn't see it paying itself off any time soon...

Jesus_Freak
02-27-2007, 02:29 PM
I don't usually drain mine since we installed a water softener when we moved in. It really helps with keeping the water heater clean. I drained it after two years, and the water looked fine....

I connected a longer line and spigot to my WH drain. I sometimes use it to wash the cars or water some shrubs, after some flushing of course, when it is cold out. I get warm hands and a flushed heater. :)

Anyone done the ROR analysis on the tankless systems?

Kevin 89MC
02-27-2007, 03:45 PM
I am very interested in this topic, thought of starting one myself! I'm seriously thinking about switching to a tankless. I currently have a 30 gal gas heater, ~20 yrs old. The "large" model at Home Depot is ~$1,000 but with the tax credit of $300 it's close to the cost of a high efficiency tank heater. I have not found too much regarding the energy savings, but I'm sure there is some. I can do my own water & gas piping, so my install costs are cheap! It needs a 3/4" gas line, as it has a 199,900 BTU heater, about the size of a furnace!
What I have found is the large model (7.4 GPM) claims to be able to handle 2-3 devices (shower, washing machine, dishwasher) at once, but it all depends on the GPM each device uses, and just as important, the incoming water temp. This is a big issue for me, living in Minnesota. The tankless units are rated as "X GPM at X degree temp increase", so you need to find the charts and read carefully. The GPMs are rated at a certain temp increase, so if you need more temp increase, the flow decreases. That is the main reason I haven't done the deal yet. I checked the water temp on the coldest day of the year here, and it was coming into the house at 46 degrees. IIRC, I took the temp of a hot shower at around 115 degrees. That's almost a 70 degree increase, which may not be available at 7.4 GPM. I need to get an accurate GPM of the shower & other devices to see what the hot water demand actually is.
Another item to keep in mind is the low flow trigger of about 0.6 GPM, below which the heater does not kick on. I need to check the bathroom faucet to make sure it flows enough.
Most of the plumbers I've talked to say they're fine for cabins & light usage, but no one is real sure about guaranteeing them for a full house, running lots of stuff at once.
Good to see some positive feedback here.
I haven't decided yet, as the tax credit doesn't expire until December '07. I'll post as soon as I decide!
Regarding flushing water heaters, yes it's important to do it every few months, according to local plumbers. You don't need to run them completely out, 10 minutes or so provides for a good flushing. Once the tank is old & noisy (like mine), it doesn't help much, as most of the sediment is cooked onto the bottom.
Good thread, any others with "real world" tankless experinence?
Home Depot's gas heaters, Paloma, has a website: http://www.palomatankless.com/
Kevin

Jesus_Freak
02-27-2007, 04:57 PM
I am very interested in this topic, thought of starting one myself! ....What I have found is the large model (7.4 GPM) claims to be able to handle 2-3 devices (shower, washing machine, dishwasher) at once, but it all depends on the GPM each device uses, and just as important, the incoming water temp....

Typical industrial heat exchargers are rated at the specified dT for a given throughput (Q=UAdT); therefore, I think your approach makes good sense. It might be a little harder, though, to estimate the total flow of your home components. You probably know this, but you will need to find out the supply pressure at which the printed flow rate was specified for each component. Then, you will need to correct this for your supply pressure (if different) by the ratio of the square roots.

3event
02-27-2007, 05:57 PM
A buddy of mine did a ROI on a tankless install. The installed price on those units is still very high and he found it was WAY too long of a payback. Sorry I don't recall the numbers but he was thorough enough for me to figure I wouldn't bother to analyze when my 80gal needs replacing.

The technology is attractive and makes sense. But IMHO unit prices have to come down and contractors will have to get a reality check on what they are trying to charge for installation. It's not a luxury item like a 27 channel home theater!

liledgy
02-27-2007, 06:37 PM
they also scale up and manufacturers won't cover it without periodic maintenance by qualified plumber. They also wont define periodic. I also hear that they suck up the gas, one guy said he had to have a 1 inch natural gas line to feed it. when you do have problems most plumbers aren't servicing them. when they do they have to order parts. this is all second hand info on "terry loves plumbing site" but it was enough for me to let someone else be the ginnypig.

endl
02-27-2007, 06:49 PM
Guys I did alot of research on this when I built my house 5 years ago and Takagi is the only way to go. www.takagi.com. If you compare all of the units on the market none stack up to these guys. I put mine in myself, very easy retrofit install for attic applications. They are very sophisticated and have all kinds of neat functions on them. The Takagi was the only unit I could find that would keep up with the volume I was looking for. Go look at their site any questions let me know.

PendO
02-27-2007, 06:54 PM
if you get the electrical one ... have an electrician do the wiring (no offence to plumbers, but keep them the hell away from wiring:))

Kevin 89MC
03-01-2007, 11:20 AM
Typical industrial heat exchargers are rated at the specified dT for a given throughput (Q=UAdT); therefore, I think your approach makes good sense. It might be a little harder, though, to estimate the total flow of your home components. You probably know this, but you will need to find out the supply pressure at which the printed flow rate was specified for each component. Then, you will need to correct this for your supply pressure (if different) by the ratio of the square roots.
Wow, you lost me pretty quick, and I'm a civil engineer! I remember learning a bit of hydraulics in college, but most of that is pretty fuzzy now. :(
My thoughts are to measure actual GPM's at my devices by holding a 5 gal pail under them and timing them to see how long it takes, then calculating GPM. Because I'm on city water, I'm guessing the pressure & flow should be relatively constant. If it appears there is enough flow for 2 showers, or a shower & laundry, I think I'll be a guinea pig and give it a shot!

Jesus_Freak
03-01-2007, 11:26 AM
Wow, you lost me pretty quick, and I'm a civil engineer! I remember learning a bit of hydraulics in college, but most of that is pretty fuzzy now. :(
My thoughts are to measure actual GPM's at my devices by holding a 5 gal pail under them and timing them to see how long it takes, then calculating GPM. Because I'm on city water, I'm guessing the pressure & flow should be relatively constant. If it appears there is enough flow for 2 showers, or a shower & laundry, I think I'll be a guinea pig and give it a shot!

Your measurement plans sound great to me, but please do remember the economics. If it doesnt pay, it doesnt matter how cool (or hot :) ) the system is.

phecksel
03-01-2007, 01:04 PM
good article here (http://www.masterhandyman.com/columndetails.cfm?pubdate=20050116)

Kevin 89MC
03-01-2007, 02:05 PM
Your measurement plans sound great to me, but please do remember the economics. If it doesnt pay, it doesnt matter how cool (or hot :) ) the system is.
That's right! For me, it's almost a wash, maybe a few hundred more. I can install myself, saving a lot of $. They are ~$1,000, $700 with the tax credit. I probably wouldn't do it without the credit.

I think I need a "vent kit" (it's exhausted with stainless steel), ~$150. A new high efficiency 40-50 gal tank heater is about $600-$800 anyways, depending on warranty. Any utility savings with the tankless will be icing on the cake.

Jesus_Freak
03-01-2007, 02:40 PM
That's right! For me, it's almost a wash, maybe a few hundred more. I can install myself, saving a lot of $. They are ~$1,000, $700 with the tax credit. I probably wouldn't do it without the credit.

I think I need a "vent kit" (it's exhausted with stainless steel), ~$150. A new high efficiency 40-50 gal tank heater is about $600-$800 anyways, depending on warranty. Any utility savings with the tankless will be icing on the cake.

I would question your manliness 8p if you didnt install it yourself. Now all you have to do is figure out how to safely route the vent back into your living space to add to your energy savings. :D

Kevin 89MC
03-02-2007, 12:29 PM
I would question your manliness 8p if you didnt install it yourself. Now all you have to do is figure out how to safely route the vent back into your living space to add to your energy savings. :D
:D
Hmmm, I'll be mounting it close to the furnace, maybe run the exhaust duct inside the plenum for 10' before routing it outside - a free heat exchanger!

Workin' 4 Toys
03-14-2007, 12:10 AM
If you use a circ. pump, there is a pretty good chance these tankless heaters might not shut off often. The one unit I know of in particular doesn't shut off much. I don't think he took that into consideration when he had it installed.

On the tax credit. I think the amount you can apply for is 10% of the cost. And excludes labor if I recall correctly.

BuoyChaser
10-31-2007, 01:03 AM
so what is the most recent verdict and "BEST DEALS" out there on tankless units???

i'm contemplating with our "low usage" of installing one in the basement that utilizes propane instead of electric, then can run one tank for gas grill and future fake fireplace...

longest run would be to 2nd floor tub, but could then completely bypass our oil powered boiler during the summer months, let alone permanently!!!

Archimedes
10-31-2007, 02:13 AM
We did a Rennai tankless heater and we love it. All the dealers we talked to around here recommended the Rennai over all the others. It ain't cheap (about $3,500 installed for the unit we did) but it is so nice to have hot water on demand and to get rid of that big tank. Ours is mounted outside on the side of the house.

Kevin 89MC
10-14-2009, 05:51 PM
Dug this thread up from the bottom. I did end up installing a Bosch tankless. It does save a little bit of energy, but only about $50/year though according to my calculations. While there are some advantages, there are several disadvantages. If anybody wants to know, I can elaborate more. Considering the minimal savings, I think I'll go back to a standard tank heater if I ever need to get a new one.
Kevin

03 35th Anniversary
10-14-2009, 06:20 PM
What problems are you having?

The biggest 2 problems I have are.

1) Having to let it run for a few minutes so the temp of the water going into the water heater can level out. If not the water temp goes up and down.

2) Having to clean the paddle wheel all the time that kicks water heater on when the water is flowing.

But when it's running you can't beat it!!!

DooSPX
10-14-2009, 06:33 PM
I changed over to a tankless water heater about 8 months ago and love it.

Kevin 89MC
10-14-2009, 06:36 PM
Your #1 is the biggest. Guess I still miss the fast and consistent hot water from a tank heater. Granted now I can take a shower for 4 hours if I want. The other issue is, I was never able to have the heater set high, and dial in some cold to temper it when taking a shower. The manual even states that it is best to find your ideal temp and turn on hot only. That's 106 or 108 for showers, but that is a bit cold for dishwasher, washing machine, etc. So we constantly are dialing it up & down. I did fork over the extra ~$150 for the remote temp adjsuter, but it's always in the wrong room.
Also, when showering, if someone kicks on a hot faucet, we can get a blast of cold water, and it's ICE cold. Not fun!
Oh well, like I said it does have some advantages, but I have a hard time giving them a blanket recommendation. I like to pass on real world experience, as the marketing folks only pass on the advantages.
Kevin

03 35th Anniversary
10-14-2009, 06:43 PM
Your #1 is the biggest. Guess I still miss the fast and consistent hot water from a tank heater. Granted now I can take a shower for 4 hours if I want. The other issue is, I was never able to have the heater set high, and dial in some cold to temper it when taking a shower. The manual even states that it is best to find your ideal temp and turn on hot only. That's 106 or 108 for showers, but that is a bit cold for dishwasher, washing machine, etc. So we constantly are dialing it up & down. I did fork over the extra ~$150 for the remote temp adjsuter, but it's always in the wrong room.
Also, when showering, if someone kicks on a hot faucet, we can get a blast of cold water, and it's ICE cold. Not fun!
Oh well, like I said it does have some advantages, but I have a hard time giving them a blanket recommendation. I like to pass on real world experience, as the marketing folks only pass on the advantages.
Kevin

Mine gets so hot that it almost seem like it is just steam coming out....

daverbeck
10-15-2009, 12:38 AM
We bought one and I wouldn't do it again.

Pros:
- Seems to always have a very consistant temp (it is set at 120 Deg)
- Supposed to save energy but I really haven't tracked it

Cons:
- Takes longer to heat up
- When you are turning the water on and off (like rinsing dishes) it does not stay hot

bfinley
10-15-2009, 01:45 AM
I put in a Rinnai 3 years ago and I haven't noticed any of the disadvantages you mention. I don't have any problems with temperature variability and don't notice effects from people using other faucets in the house. My Rinnai heats the floors in my basement (1200 Sq Ft) and provides all the hot water for my house. Last month my gas bill was $20 (we didn't have the furnace turned on all month, so that bill would be only for hot water.)

chico
10-15-2009, 09:50 PM
One thing you need is an inline filter to protect the flow sensor,descaling will need to be done at some time in the near future(you put the flush kit in when you installed it right!)Parts are very expensive,if they`re not available you may be without hot water for a few days.

JohnE
10-15-2009, 10:17 PM
I haven't read the entire thread, but we're seeing the Rinnai's (sp?) in a whole condo project ( 2 BR/ 2 BA) with no adverse issues.

Kevin 89MC
10-16-2009, 12:57 PM
Mine gets so hot that it almost seem like it is just steam coming out....

Yeah, I can set mine at 140 if I want, but tempering it with cold to try to get it to 108 in the shower takes forever. Too much cold flow, too cold. Dial cold back just a tiny bit, then it gets too hot, I get tired of constantly adjusting it. It's just easier to set the heater to 108. Then we dial it up for dishwasher, etc. but if we forget to dial it down for the next shower, though, ouch! I've almost burned myself a few times.

Kevin 89MC
10-16-2009, 12:59 PM
We bought one and I wouldn't do it again.

Pros:
- Seems to always have a very consistant temp (it is set at 120 Deg)
- Supposed to save energy but I really haven't tracked it

Cons:
- Takes longer to heat up
- When you are turning the water on and off (like rinsing dishes) it does not stay hot

Yep, my thoughts exactly. My energy savings were minimal, a little less than $50 for the year.

Kevin 89MC
10-16-2009, 01:08 PM
I put in a Rinnai 3 years ago and I haven't noticed any of the disadvantages you mention. I don't have any problems with temperature variability and don't notice effects from people using other faucets in the house. My Rinnai heats the floors in my basement (1200 Sq Ft) and provides all the hot water for my house. Last month my gas bill was $20 (we didn't have the furnace turned on all month, so that bill would be only for hot water.)

Interesting. So if you have the hot water on, then turn it off, and turn it back on again, you get constant hot water with no shot of cold at all? I wonder what is different on the Rinnai. On my Bosch, and the other one I looked at (Redmond I think), when the water shuts off, the burner does too. Then when I turn back on the water, the burner fires up quickly, but some water does pass through the unit before it can get hot, hence the pocket of cold. So I just leave the water on while doing dishes, washing hands, shaving, etc, which wastes some of my savings. Not a big deal, I'm still saving money. Glad you like yours. I don't "hate" mine, but not sure I'll do it again. If I do, I'll have to look at Rinnai.
Kevin

Jesus_Freak
10-16-2009, 01:16 PM
...My energy savings were minimal, a little less than $50 for the year.

What was your total investment....$850? How much did you do yourself?

snork
10-16-2009, 05:54 PM
Kevin your first mistake is you have a Bosch most likely from HD second is the heater will only increase your water temp about 70 deg. ex. if water in is 50 deg. water out 120 deg. sorry for the punch. Get a Noritz n751 200,000 BTU 3/4" water supply in and out and 3/4" gas in. I installed several units and never one complaint. cost of install $2000 in most cases. IMHO tank water heaters are a job guarantee for plumbers every 10 years and flood med. every 15 years

Kevin 89MC
10-19-2009, 01:01 PM
What was your total investment....$850? How much did you do yourself?

I got it on sale at Menards for $888 I think. I probably spent another $50 on valves, pipe, etc. I hooked it all up myself, it took a fair amount of re-plumbing (changed location from the tank heater) and re-piping for the gas (had to up-size and re-route). A plumber friend wouldn't let me pay him back for the stainless steel vent kit, that was probably $150 or so. I think they now can vent with PVC though.
Kevin

Kevin 89MC
10-19-2009, 01:11 PM
Kevin your first mistake is you have a Bosch most likely from HD second is the heater will only increase your water temp about 70 deg. ex. if water in is 50 deg. water out 120 deg. sorry for the punch. Get a Noritz n751 200,000 BTU 3/4" water supply in and out and 3/4" gas in. I installed several units and never one complaint. cost of install $2000 in most cases. IMHO tank water heaters are a job guarantee for plumbers every 10 years and flood med. every 15 years

That's about right, 70 degree temp rise, at a fairly decent flow rate (can't remember, maybe 4 or 5 gpm). That's all we need, though. We do have about 45 degree water in the coldest part of winter, but I can still get 140 degree water at a fairly decent flow rate if needed. I think my Bosch is about 170,000 or 180,000 BTU, 3/4" water in and out, 1/2" gas in I think. It's big enough for us, I thought about going bigger, but glad I didn't. It just would have cost more, used more gas, and still not given me the conveniences of a tank heater.

Anyways, I'm glad I experimented with it, it does save me some $, and there are some nice features. But I think I will go back to a tank next time, unless there are some significant changes in technology, or the cost drops.
Kevin

Jesus_Freak
10-19-2009, 01:39 PM
I got it on sale at Menards for $888 I think. I probably spent another $50 on valves, pipe, etc. I hooked it all up myself, it took a fair amount of re-plumbing (changed location from the tank heater) and re-piping for the gas (had to up-size and re-route). A plumber friend wouldn't let me pay him back for the stainless steel vent kit, that was probably $150 or so. I think they now can vent with PVC though.
Kevin

OK. Thanks. So, let's say that you would spend ballpark $1300 if you didnt do it yourself. (I am just using something reasonable, not necessarily perfect). Then, let's say that you saved $50 per year. Maybe you could have earned 2% interest on another investment (opportunity cost) in this weak economy. That makes the payback period 37 years. Ouch! What am I missing? I guess there are some intangibles...

snork
10-19-2009, 03:37 PM
Ever heard of someone returning from vacation or waking up in the morning and there tank waterheater burst. Some areas in the country builder installed the tanks in the attic, what a mess. I had looked back in previous years gas bills and noticed a savings of 30-35 dollars a month in the summer time gas use, you would think the winter savings would be even better.

Kevin 89MC
10-21-2009, 12:23 PM
OK. Thanks. So, let's say that you would spend ballpark $1300 if you didnt do it yourself. (I am just using something reasonable, not necessarily perfect). Then, let's say that you saved $50 per year. Maybe you could have earned 2% interest on another investment (opportunity cost) in this weak economy. That makes the payback period 37 years. Ouch! What am I missing? I guess there are some intangibles...

My plumber friends tell me they get installed for about $1,500 to $2,500 depending on what all needs to be done. Mine would have been on the higher side due to relocating it. My tank heater was in the middle of the basement, next to my furnace, but no wall to attach it to. I had to relocate it about 15 feet away. Another small advantage is it freed up a bit of floor space.

One other negative to tankless is during a power outage, we have no hot water, whereas you will with a tank heater, as even an electric or power vented gas tank heater will give hot water until water in the tank is exchanged.

The payback period is why I tend to not recommend them. I was hoping it would be in the 5 year range. I'm sure some folks get a faster payback due to using more water, and I was a bit surprised at how small my savings are.