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MontanaLon

Replacing water heater, should I go tankless?

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So tonight I was puttering around in the basement and noticed water on the floor, it has been dry so this is odd. Of course it is coming from the water heater. The water heater was here when I bought the house 17 years ago so I looked at the tag on it and it was made in 1996. Fair enough, 24 years is a good run so it is time to be replaced. Looking over the options online I see there is no longer such a thing as a "cheap" water heater. I remember 15 years ago we sold them of $169.99 but then there were changed made across the industry for safety reasons that have doubled the price or more. So a new one is going to be $400ish. For about the same money I could go with a tankless model. It would be kind of cool to not run out of water when everyone needs a shower, but it would be a more involved project because the current water piping would be in the wrong orientation, on top and the tankless have inlet and outlet on the bottom. Would also be cool to set the temp so that the kids could just turn on the hot water and be a the correct temp for a shower. 

 

Anyone ever made the switch from tank to tankless? What are your opinions on how well the tankless work and how long will the last? Obviously paying that much I am going to want something I can run for the rest of my life. Are the tankless models that durable? 

 

My lazy side is saying "find a tank that is is as close as possible to he old one so the connection are all the same and it goes fast, but the other side is saying, no losing hot water mid shower would be cool too. 

 

Any input appreciated.

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our local power company is absolutely against electric tankless hot water heaters. They recommend gas fired water heaters as being more efficient, but you have to worry about location. I have been looking at more energy efficient electric hot water heaters with thicker insulation. This is one I have been considering as I will have to replace 2 at the same time.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-Gladiator-50-Gal-Medium-12-Year-5500-5500-Watt-Smart-Electric-Water-Heater-with-Leak-Detection-and-Auto-Shutoff-XE50M12CS55U1/309627116

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17 hours ago, MontanaLon said:

So tonight I was puttering around in the basement and noticed water on the floor, it has been dry so this is odd. Of course it is coming from the water heater. The water heater was here when I bought the house 17 years ago so I looked at the tag on it and it was made in 1996. Fair enough, 24 years is a good run so it is time to be replaced. Looking over the options online I see there is no longer such a thing as a "cheap" water heater. I remember 15 years ago we sold them of $169.99 but then there were changed made across the industry for safety reasons that have doubled the price or more. So a new one is going to be $400ish. For about the same money I could go with a tankless model. It would be kind of cool to not run out of water when everyone needs a shower, but it would be a more involved project because the current water piping would be in the wrong orientation, on top and the tankless have inlet and outlet on the bottom. Would also be cool to set the temp so that the kids could just turn on the hot water and be a the correct temp for a shower. 

 

Anyone ever made the switch from tank to tankless? What are your opinions on how well the tankless work and how long will the last? Obviously paying that much I am going to want something I can run for the rest of my life. Are the tankless models that durable? 

 

My lazy side is saying "find a tank that is is as close as possible to he old one so the connection are all the same and it goes fast, but the other side is saying, no losing hot water mid shower would be cool too. 

 

Any input appreciated.

 

If You have Natural gas  ABSOLUTELY !.  Maybe if you have Propane .  FYI : Water heaters are far more expensive now days than what You posted .

I've Never seen a whole house Electric tank-less water heater , doesn't mean someone doesn't make them but I've never seen one .

 

 # 4 years ago I installed a new system on a rental we sold after a complete remodel . I'm guessing Lon  I spent around $1K including flush kit  and fittings  it was enough for #3 full bath and kitchen supply ; Don't recall the Model but was definitely Noritz !.

 

https://www.plumbingsupply.com/noritz-residential-water-heater-nr98.html 

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This tankless water heater is something new to me, we are looking at replacing our 40 gal water heater & not sure what way to go.

 

Lowes will replace it with one they sell cheaper than 2 different plumber shops will & yet they use a different water heater they claim will last longer than one from Lowe’s..
 

Can you put a tankless heater in the basement & tap into the normal plumbing for a house???

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My brother put a tankless water heater in his old house 2 years before they sold it. They had 2 full baths and it also heated the water for their old style hot water baseboard heaters. He never had any complaints about it. Can’t say anything about how long it would last since he doesn’t live in that house anymore. It was a small 1000 square foot house.

Sean


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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We have a tankless water heater - gas - put it in when we had the house built, it works great, never without hot water!  I would recommend it. Don't need to worry about running out of hot water and don't have to store any hot water and keep it hot. 

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5 hours ago, sw9mm said:

We have a tankless water heater - gas - put it in when we had the house built, it works great, never without hot water!  I would recommend it. Don't need to worry about running out of hot water and don't have to store any hot water and keep it hot. 

 

That's the Key ,ones Not storing heated water ,so in the long run it's less expensive . However  initial cost most certainly isn't .

Hooking them up in general isn't problematic ,provided proper venting and water access can be located together . There are external venting as well as  internal  , so that's really the first thing which needs addressing  VENTING , Now fuel supply  Natural gas is Best  Propane next .

Here's where it becomes tricky $ wise ; If You're down South or out West  then  Solar collectors and a regular Water Storage system " Might " be better .

 

If I was doing the install ; I'd go tank-less  provided it didn't exceed $ 500.00 above the water heater replacement .  Life expectancy on a quality tank-less water heating system  ( Gas ) ( provided You have decent water ) is 15-20 years and YOU BACK FLUSH the Element  ; once a year minimum . :thumb:

 

FYI : I WOULD NOT install an electric tank-less water heater in MY home .  BTU for Gas fired comparable Wattage for electrical = YOUR GONNA PAY DEARLY IN ELECTRIC BILLS !!!. 

 Gas

https://www.homedepot.com/s/Gas%20tankless%20water%20heaters?NCNI-5

 

Electric  ; If their anything like heating elements in a regular tank heater , burn out factor is # 5- 7 Years tops ?

 

https://www.homedepot.com/s/electric%20tankless%20water%20heaters?NCNI-5

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Late to the party, as usual, but I've been using a tankless water heater (propane) for over 10 years now, and it has cut my propane use in half compared to the old propane tank heater.  The ONLY disadvantage of tankless propane is that it still requires electricity for the control panel and ignitor, but I fixed that with 3 solar panels and 3 AGM 12 batteries with an 800 watt inverter.  I run the heater off that system all the time so I don't have to go out and switch anything over if (when) the power goes out.

 

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I went and looked and talked to a friend of mine who is a plumber. He said the tankless heaters have lots of other things you need to make them last which will double the price roughly but cut gas costs considerably. When I looked at them at the big box place, I found he was right. So in addition to the headache of replumbing to get it all to fit a new setup it was going to cost twice as much. So I picked up a direct replacement for what I had. I had to create a new gas connection as the way they had installed the old one the shutoff on the gas line was after the union in the gas line. So I would have had to call the gas company to shut the gas off to the house in order to replace. Morons are everywhere I suppose and nowhere more than in plumbing in residential areas. Once I had that created, replacing the heater took all of about 20 minutes. Turn off water, drain the tank, disconnect input and output water. Shut the gas off, cut the gas connection at the heater with the sawzall. Unscrew from the shutoff and put the new connection in. Move old tank, place the new tank, hook up the water, turn water back on, fill tank, hook up gas, purge the line by holding down the pilot while striking the electronic starter. Once it lit, make sure all the water lines were purged of air and wait for it to get warm enough to shower.

 

Maybe in 20 years when this one craps out.

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Sounds like a tankless job.....

  • Haha 4

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Tankless water heaters are the way to go , provided one has Nat. gas or Propane . If you can get a vent  in or install on the exterior  you can get one done . And Olfart is correct you will need 115-120 V outlet as the igniter works off that circuit  

 

 

You can view this typical installation manual  :

 

http://www.noritz.com/u/manuals/installation_manual_nr98_sv.pdf

 

This would be a typical garage indoor install ,a standard tank replacement in many homes ; Note they now have top install units

 

best-tankless.jpg

 

This is the model equivalent to the one I installed on that rental remodel we sold and I firmly believe it helped sell the home . :thumb:

 

 

WE RECOMMEND

nrc

EZ111

SIZING SPECIFICATIONS:
83262 Zip Code
3 bathrooms

Max: 199,900 btuh
Min: 18,000 btuh
Max flow: 11.1 gpm
Efficiency: 97%
Download Spec Sheet

Edited by BushXM15

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On 9/1/2020 at 5:17 AM, md65636 said:

our local power company is absolutely against electric tankless hot water heaters. They recommend gas fired water heaters as being more efficient, but you have to worry about location. I have been looking at more energy efficient electric hot water heaters with thicker insulation. This is one I have been considering as I will have to replace 2 at the same time.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-Gladiator-50-Gal-Medium-12-Year-5500-5500-Watt-Smart-Electric-Water-Heater-with-Leak-Detection-and-Auto-Shutoff-XE50M12CS55U1/309627116

 

You brought up a very valid reason for NOT getting electric tankless heaters " POWER " ,they take a lot and then some .

Here's a suggestion  especially with electric water heaters , get an additional external insulation blanket  locate the heater inside if possible and if it's not already .

Put a timer on  the WH , so power  comes on a few hours before it's needed ; Rather than having it heat hot water constantly ,which isn't being utilized .

Water heaters which set up on a platform  like a FHA 18"  wood framed , fair better than ones which set on the ground concrete or not .

Lastly for ANY WH  , Draining a water heater by hooking a hose up to the boiler valve ,open a hot water faucet in the house turn off gas or electric too the heater first .

After draining if you have water outside with pressure , you can reverse flush provided that water is independent of house water heater supply . Once a year and it more than likely will extend WH life by Years .   A crap load of   minerals build up around the heating elements and eventually you lose efficiency, they eventually   settle to the bottom of the tank and begin eating their way through the lining . Harder your water worse it becomes .

 Borrowed this :

Before you work yourself into a lather, you may be able to restore at least some of its vigor with a DIY drain and flush.

Minerals like magnesium and calcium build up over time in your water heater, especially if you have hard water, and it can reduce its heating effectiveness. Drain and flush it at least once a year – fall is a good time – and you can extend the length of your water heater’s useful life to avoid the cost of replacement.

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42 minutes ago, BushXM15 said:

 

You brought up a very valid reason for NOT getting electric tankless heaters " POWER " ,they take a lot and then some .

Here's a suggestion  especially with electric water heaters , get an additional external insulation blanket  locate the heater inside if possible and if it's not already .

Put a timer on  the WH , so power  comes on a few hours before it's needed ; Rather than having it heat hot water constantly ,which isn't being utilized .

Water heaters which set up on a platform  like a FHA 18"  wood framed , fair better than ones which set on the ground concrete or not .

Lastly for ANY WH  , Draining a water heater by hooking a hose up to the boiler valve ,open a hot water faucet in the house turn off gas or electric too the heater first .

After draining if you have water outside with pressure , you can reverse flush provided that water is independent of house water heater supply . Once a year and it more than likely will extend WH life by Years .   A crap load of   minerals build up around the heating elements and eventually you lose efficiency, they eventually   settle to the bottom of the tank and begin eating their way through the lining . Harder your water worse it becomes .

 Borrowed this :

Before you work yourself into a lather, you may be able to restore at least some of its vigor with a DIY drain and flush.

Minerals like magnesium and calcium build up over time in your water heater, especially if you have hard water, and it can reduce its heating effectiveness. Drain and flush it at least once a year – fall is a good time – and you can extend the length of your water heater’s useful life to avoid the cost of replacement.

Growing up we always flushed our water heater each year, I did when we first bought our house. The only thing i regret not doing is replacing the anode rod, live and learn.  Our local power company offers a nice rebate if you allow them to put a timer on your water heater for free. The last time I looked it was around $230 in savings.

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Don't know much about residential tankless heaters but know quite a bit about commercial ones because I worked for the company that both invented them and produced them for decades.  The principle has been around a very long time.  The key factor is in defining the demand, gpms/gph. 

 

Of all the commercial ones we put in, we only had one demand problem system and that was the girls shower at Iowa State University.  Yep, you bet I volunteered to fix it.  :hysterical3:

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