Tankless on-demand water heaters?

Joel_BC

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There's been some good discussion here lately about energy bills and saving costs. So this question has come up for me.

On-demand (tankless) water heaters. I have a couple neighbors who had these (vintage: installed 8-12 years ago) using propane for the heat, and both replaced them with up-to-date but conventional electric, tank-type water heaters. In one case, it's a household with two adults and two teens, and the other is two parents and three small kids. Both households seemed to feel they were using a lot of propane, or that for their situation the normal demands of the home were not easily met.

I have no real idea how many people in my neighborhood or home valley are happily using tankless water heaters. But in our house we have a 10-year-old conventional electric, tank-type water heater. Usually there are just two adults living here these days. Would on-demand work well for us?

Any experience to share?
 

Emerald

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My hubby and son and I all love the tankless. once my daughter moved out the cost dropped quite a bit. (she liked to shower. a . lot...) it really shows when we go away for a week as it doesn't run at all and the bill reflects that. you do have to learn how it works-like the water has to run a bit to get the heater to click on but I only pay for my electric to run the pump. you may get jugs and collect that water running if you pay for water and then use it to water the plants or pets. I don't feel the need to run all kinds of things that use hot water at once so our smaller one works beautifully. but no shower when the washer is going. but we couldn't do that with the tank water heater either.. ;)
 

Joel_BC

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Emerald said:
My hubby and son and I all love the tankless. once my daughter moved out the cost dropped quite a bit. (she liked to shower. a . lot...) it really shows when we go away for a week as it doesn't run at all and the bill reflects that. you do have to learn how it works-like the water has to run a bit to get the heater to click on but I only pay for my electric to run the pump. you may get jugs and collect that water running if you pay for water and then use it to water the plants or pets. I don't feel the need to run all kinds of things that use hot water at once so our smaller one works beautifully. but no shower when the washer is going. but we couldn't do that with the tank water heater either.. ;)
Thanks. Yeah my neighbors who replaced their tankless heaters mentioned that they found it difficult with their washing machines. But it sounds like it's worked out pretty well for you, so long as there aren't any house members taking super-long showers.
 

ORChick

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My only experience with them was when I lived in Germany in the 1970s. I remember that I liked them, once I got over the "weird" factor; I had never heard of them before :p. I can't speak to the efficiency or cost - one, it was much too long ago, and two, everyone had them so there was no easy way to compare. Also, if I remember correctly, the utilities costs were part of our rent. As for washing machines, it is common over there to have machines that heat their own water - no doubt because there isn't a large tank with hot water to do it for them. We have toyed with the idea of switching, but never seriously enough to have done the math, as it were.
 

Denim Deb

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I've seriously thought of it. We have a small water heater as it is, and it's just hubby and I. I don't know how many times we've had to replace it because of the high iron content in our water. I think it would help bring our electric bill down even more. After all, normally we're not using hot water during the day, and we still have to run the water to get the hot water because of how far away the heater is from where the hot water's needed.
 

FarmerJamie

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Denim Deb said:
I've seriously thought of it. We have a small water heater as it is, and it's just hubby and I. I don't know how many times we've had to replace it because of the high iron content in our water. I think it would help bring our electric bill down even more. After all, normally we're not using hot water during the day, and we still have to run the water to get the hot water because of how far away the heater is from where the hot water's needed.
Deb, the comment about iron in the water is a good one. I have iron here, too. I've wondered how high-iron-content water would affect a tankless system.....
 

Denim Deb

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We also get a lot of pin holes in the pipes and have to keep an eye on them. We're planning on redoing all the pipes w/plastic. Then, we shouldn't have that problem anymore.
 

Marianne

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We have really hard water. If we were in a different location, I would have the tankless unit.

We had a fountain in the house for a while. It didn't take too long before the pump crapped out. I was shocked at how much mineral deposits were everywhere, plumbing, etc. I used our tap water to add water to it. Since we have filters, water softener, the whole schmear - well, like I said, I was shocked. There would be the same buildup in a tankless unit, too. JMO
 

Emerald

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Marianne said:
We have really hard water. If we were in a different location, I would have the tankless unit.

We had a fountain in the house for a while. It didn't take too long before the pump crapped out. I was shocked at how much mineral deposits were everywhere, plumbing, etc. I used our tap water to add water to it. Since we have filters, water softener, the whole schmear - well, like I said, I was shocked. There would be the same buildup in a tankless unit, too. JMO
Not as much as you would think. I've had mine for a long time and once a year we drain it and run cleaner thru. there is not much build up as it is not where the water can evaporate like your open fountain. We have all plastic piping now thanks to hubby. and no longer have pipe sediment coming thru like we did with the big copper and iron and who knows what other types of piping. I do have a sediment filter for the whole house tho now too.
For as long as I've had my tankless it still heats the water like it did when it was first installed. There is no sediment in the unit to set up-no tank to fill with the sediment either. as always YMMV
 

Denim Deb

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Our tank is bigger than I thought. It ever goes, I'm seriously thinking a tankless.
 
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