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  • Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

    Hi, we're about due to replace our hot water tank. Our existing tank is gas, and it's vented out through our chimney. Right now, there are only three of us living in the house, but that might expand to 4 in the next year or so (my wife and I and 1 child right now). I've got a couple of questions.

    1. Is there such a thing as a high-efficiency hot water heater, so that I can vent it outside of the wall instead of through the chimney? We're looking to add on in the next 12-18 months, and if I can remove the chimney that runs through the middle of the house, that'd be great (it's a small bungalow, no fireplace).

    2. What are the pro & cons of a tankless hotwater system?

    3. Living a little outside of Boston, what's a reasonable price for a new tank installation (including removing the old one)

    Thanks for your help!
    -Chris

  • #2
    Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

    1. Yes you can get a powervented Water Heater that will vent through the wall via a PVC Flue

    2. Pro's to tankless:
    a. You are not heating up 40 gallons of water when you need 5
    Cons to a tankless:
    a. You must make sure it is correctly sized or you will not have enough hot water
    b. Your water chemistry must be good i.e. hardness, if the water is too hard the small passageways within the unit will get plugged up and the unit will not work
    c. Finding a qualified installer is tough, they are not as simple as water heaters where they all pretty much go the same way. They can be quite different from one manufacturer to another
    d. You may need to upsize you gas service to properly/efficiently run the unit! Your service may not even be large enough to service it. Just because it runs the Water Heater doesnt neccesarily mean that it will run the tankless.

    e./3 As I do not feel comfortable with giving you a sight unseen price on this install I do feel comfortable telling you that it can be more than twice as much as a conventional water heater.


    Do not steer away from a tankless water heater just becasue there are more cons than pros but keep in mind most of the cons are site specific. Tanklesses are NOT better than water heaters for every situation and sometimes they are better. I would recommend having a licensed proffesional visit your site and give you further direction, because if one of these will work for your house you are looking at a considerable increase in your efficiency and a considerable decrease in your gas bill!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

      You can get a high efficiency heater that vents through the sidewall or vents into a chimney.

      There are not enough pro's for me to recommend a tankless to my customers.
      Yea you will have endless amount of hot water, but try filling a deep tub while running a load in the w/m with hot water.

      Some say the payback is as long as 20 years

      The last install I did ran the customer $3800. with all the alterations that had to be done.

      I doubt the customer will ever see any payback on that install.

      Who knows how long these things will last. Dont forget the maintenance that must be done under certain water conditions.

      The installs I have done ranged from 2-4k.

      Enjoy being green

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

        Water Heaters vent out the side walls instead of chimneys as often as not these days. Most of these are not high efficiency though, just vented with fans. High efficiency = $, are used mostly for commercial. Tankless = $. You only heat what you use with a tank version anyway, so what's the point in spending all the extra money to have 250,000 BTU's heat your water instead of 40,000? Unless you REALLY need the space.
        sigpic3:00, I mean 5:00, and work is done. Time to crack a cold one.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

          I have the rinnia takless in my house
          I got it at 1/2 of cost being a certified installer
          I have seen my gas bill drop drastically
          and they say that it will take about ten years to recoup what you would spend vs a normal water heater
          as far as power vented TTW water heaters I have seen the cast just rise another 12 % on the bradford whites and in my opinion they will soon end up as much as a rinnia
          I am still a firm believer in doing what is best for my customers so I would say if you have any intentions on moving within the next 5 to 10 years stick with the standard water heater you might just want to increase the size.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

            Originally posted by ridgidpipe View Post
            I have the rinnia takless in my house
            I got it at 1/2 of cost being a certified installer
            I have seen my gas bill drop drastically
            and they say that it will take about ten years to recoup what you would spend vs a normal water heater
            as far as power vented TTW water heaters I have seen the cast just rise another 12 % on the bradford whites and in my opinion they will soon end up as much as a rinnia
            I am still a firm believer in doing what is best for my customers so I would say if you have any intentions on moving within the next 5 to 10 years stick with the standard water heater you might just want to increase the size.
            How do they know the payback time? Wouldn't they need to know the cost of the installation? Sounds like 10 years is a bit conservative to me. Around here 99.5% of the water heaters exhaust into a masonary chimney, relocating gas, water and flu increases the cost severely.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

              Originally posted by Masterplumb View Post
              How do they know the payback time? Wouldn't they need to know the cost of the installation? Sounds like 10 years is a bit conservative to me. Around here 99.5% of the water heaters exhaust into a masonary chimney, relocating gas, water and flu increases the cost severely.
              What's interesting to me is the number of homeowners that think they can calculate all of this better than the plumber. With all of the homeshows & the internet they think they know best and always forget multiple things.

              Teaches me something too. I can read books, webpages, watch homeshows also. But if I do much with electricity, HVAC, structural etc., I'm better off getting a professional in that field I can trust.

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

                And Marianne Rivera sucks.

                J.C.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

                  Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                  And Marianne Rivera sucks.

                  J.C.
                  Hey thats a cheapshot! Dont make me take a Jet Blue flight to N.C. to open up a can of whoop azz on ya like Captain Insane-o!

                  I eat at Mo's

                  http://www.mosnewyorkgrill.com/
                  Last edited by Masterplumb; 07-28-2008, 07:55 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

                    I eat N.C. BBQ out of a bucket with a wooden spoon.

                    And I don't know anything about baseball but thought I'd work you over you freakin' bum.

                    J.C.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

                      Hey guys,

                      thanks so much for the quick, thorough and extremely helpful posts!!

                      I will put this info to good use when it comes time to ask my plumber to install a new hot water tank- no tankless for me with the costs, but I'll ask him anyways.

                      Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

                        Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                        And Marianne Rivera sucks.

                        J.C.
                        Papelbon!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

                          Originally posted by CCusson View Post
                          Hi, we're about due to replace our hot water tank. Our existing tank is gas, and it's vented out through our chimney. Right now, there are only three of us living in the house, but that might expand to 4 in the next year or so (my wife and I and 1 child right now). I've got a couple of questions.

                          1. Is there such a thing as a high-efficiency hot water heater, so that I can vent it outside of the wall instead of through the chimney? We're looking to add on in the next 12-18 months, and if I can remove the chimney that runs through the middle of the house, that'd be great (it's a small bungalow, no fireplace).

                          2. What are the pro & cons of a tankless hotwater system?

                          3. Living a little outside of Boston, what's a reasonable price for a new tank installation (including removing the old one)

                          Thanks for your help!
                          -Chris
                          You're a perfect candidate for a tankless.
                          You'll pay anywhere from $2500 to $4000, depending on access to gas & water pipes as well as ease of installation & location.

                          Rule of thumb for a tankless is to figure a 1/3rd cut in your water heating gas bill...summer bill is a good measure, figuring stove useage into the equation (cooking).

                          The advantage to the tankless, aside from savings, is the unending hot water.

                          Disadvantages -
                          -You may need your gas main increased.
                          -They take slightly longer to heat water...not l more than 30 seconds longer than what you're used to in my experience.
                          -You WILL need to flush it annually (6 months is better) with vinegar, though you should drain a standard tank heater as often, most ignore that.
                          -If you plan to have more than three fixtures run simultaneously you may see a drop in flow depending on time of year (incoming water temperature is lower in the winter here) PROVIDED the heater is sized correctly to begin with (gpm's).

                          I have done a few in your area in Lexington & Arlington.
                          You will need to have permits pulled because the gas co will give you a $300 cash rebate for installing one and they require the info.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

                            Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                            Papelbon!!!!
                            You play Kevin Youkilis, I'll play Joba Chamberlain and throw the ball 100 mph at your head

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tankless HW heater vs tanked?

                              never sold a tankless to a customer. once i properly explained all the pros and cons, the customer has decided to stick with a proven tank.

                              the payback is not there. the maintenance is required to maintain the warranty. the majority of customers never flush a tank water heater. not flushing a tankless is a voided warranty and a shortened heat exchanger life.

                              new venting and gas piping are typically required to complete the installation.

                              p.s. i have repaired many tankless that were not properly installed.

                              i also bought one for my house and never installed it as my 40 gallon tank heater is still working 18 years now

                              do a search on tankless to get all the past threads and input.

                              i doubt that you'll be interested in a tankless once you read them.

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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