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  • Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

    I have friends who own a single-family home and made the choice to install their new tankless outdoors. And I have another friend who has a condo and installed hers indoors (no choice in this case, condo rules do not allow outdoor mounting). For the condo installation, it replaced a traditional tank water heater and there was some additional work required for venting. Aside from cost, are there any safety or reliability factors that favor indoor vs. outdoor installation?

  • #2
    Re: Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

    i would always go outdoors for several reasons, assuming it never gets freezing in your area. although they have freeze protection built in. when the power goes out, the heater is history.

    venting is simple and doesn't require makeup air.

    indoor can lead to a leak and carbon monoxide poisoning. also water leaks, space, noise etc.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

      Thanks, Rick. You stated my concerns for indoors. I have read other forums where homeowners complained about noise, and I also saw a couple notices for recalls of indoor units with carbon monoxide issues. And while my tank WH sits in a drip pan, my friend's indoor tankless did not appear to have any catch solution for water leaks.

      My only concern about the outdoor installation is that it felt "wrong" to mount an electric appliance outdoors, since every other electric appliance lives indoors (except A/C). I'm sure they are weatherproofed for normal conditions, but as you said still vulnerable to everything from extreme weather to vandalism.

      Thanks again, this forum is a great resource!
      Last edited by AverageHomeowner; 01-22-2012, 02:41 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

        if vandalism is a concern, then i would be worried as there is a lot of copper and electronics to steal. if someone is quick with the right tools, they can make off with the entire unit in 2 minutes or less.

        but if i had the choice, i would always go outdoor if the weather is not a factor.

        i hope your friend is not expecting a big payback. as that is pretty much non existent.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
          i hope your friend is not expecting a big payback. as that is pretty much non existent.

          rick.
          Really? I was led to believe that tankless saved a person a lot of money.

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          • #6
            Re: Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

            There are studies comparing the total cost of ownership for tank vs tankless. I'm not going to pretend to know the answer, but what I've read suggests that the answer may vary depending on your specific circumstances: your local price of electricity, rebates available to offset installation cost, etc.

            One factor in the tank vs tankless decision that is not often mentioned is the benefit of a tank heater if you live in an area at risk from natural disasters. I live in earthquake country (SF Bay Area), and if we ever had a major earthquake that shutdown my water supply for days/weeks, I would still have 40 gallons of clean drinking water in my tank to rely on.

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            • #7
              Re: Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

              Really. the savings in gas is quickly lost by the higher cost of the unit, installation, and regular service.

              Originally posted by franklin pug View Post
              Really? I was led to believe that tankless saved a person a lot of money.
              No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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              • #8
                Re: Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

                i'm saving a whole $5.00 a month in natural gas. . pretty sure it's mainly due to the lack of a pilot light.

                a tankless requires preventative cleaning/ flushings. a tank heater can be ignored for it's life and it won't cause a significant loss of service life.

                95% of my customers never flush their tank heaters.

                i'm seeing tankless fail in under 7 years. not much return on investment.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

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                • #9
                  Re: Tankless Water Heater: Indoor vs Outdoor?

                  For me indoor tankless water is good because the inside installation can pose venting challenges additional to the added cost of it. As all Tankless Water Heaters condensate provisions must be taken to drain the condensate water and not let it drain back into the heater. This usually is done with a drain tee vent. It is a special vent piece that collects the condensate water and drains it through a small tube.
                  How to find the Best Australia Plumbing Services?

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