tankless water heater

I am thinking ahead...does anyone have a tankless water heater? I wondered if they need to be vented outside, like a dryer, and if you have noticed a reduction in your utilities. Are you happy with it-any drawbacks or things I should look for or ask about?
  10 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jul 10, 2012
    I don't have a tankless, but I have a couple of friends who have them and really like them. In both cases, though, they moved into really efficient new homes with tankless heaters already installed. They are pretty expensive. It is going to take a long time to pay back your investment through savings on your utility bill. Of course, you will be saving energy all the while, if that is important to you from an environmental standpoint. As far as I know, they do need to be vented, but again, I don't have one.

  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jul 11, 2012
    Most people like them, but dislike the cost (with renovations). If your ROI is important, be sure to do the math on the savings... I wrote an article about this all a few months back: https://designsbybsb.com/2011/12/hot-water/

  • Plumbrite Plumbrite on Jul 11, 2012
    Dee, I have had a tankless for about nine years now and I did check my savings in the beginning and my summer time bills the therm use was about half from when I had a tank. If you have a gas model put in it will have to be vented to the outside, if you go electric you will most likley need a larger electric panel.

  • Dee W Dee W on Jul 11, 2012
    Everyone, thank-you for your input-@Becky Sue, the article was very informative-I am not sure this would be the way to go for us. We turn down our heat on the tank as the weather warms, and have a timer on it so it only runs 3 hours a day. With an adult child moving out every year ( it seems ) demands on water are less and although this is a good idea-feels frivolous to me now.

  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Jul 11, 2012
    Glad to be of help!

  • I have installed both tankless and tank types. Both have their draw backs. Yes your utilities cost of operation will go down, but some of the performance your accustomed to will also change. An on demand heater is just that, on demand. your savings are there because your not heating water that is just sitting there until you use it. However it does takes several seconds to get the water temp up to operational levels. This can be a draw back to some folks. The cost of these systems are a lot. While you can get a stand alone hot water heater with tank in the $800 range installed. You will spend upwards from $1,500 depending upon your homes needs. then add that if you have hard water you will require a softener to keep the hardness from occurring in the pipes lowering the efficiency quite quickly requiring acid washing of the system perhaps once a year. These acid washes raise the operational costs that the manufactures do not tell you about. Also Plumbrite is correct. Most often then not if your using an electrical unit, these often require a complete new electrical panel and service to provide enough power to make the hot water heater properly deliver the water you require. On my profile there is a tankless unit that I recently installed that not only heats the hot water but also heats the entire house. This install was several thousand dollars but the cost was offset by local rebate programs offered by our state.

  • Dee W Dee W on Jul 11, 2012
    @Woodbridge-I appreciate you giving me so much information. Fortunately for me Dear Hubs does all our installations but still the price differrence seems alot to make up for in future savings. I had missed the original posting of the whole home installation you did-would that work like a radiant heat system? ( Curiosity has me asking.) Must have been quite a job to do-nice that the state offered some assistance and persuasion to homeowners.

  • The house I did was hot water baseboard and radiant on once section of the home. Even if your better half does the work, your still looking at several thousand dollars in materials. I used over four hundred dollars in pipe and fittings on that install alone. My cost!

  • Bill Fenwick Plumbing Bill Fenwick Plumbing on Mar 05, 2014
    Hi @Dee W ... if you are contemplating whether you should get a tankless hot water heater, here are 5 reasons why you should! Hope this helps! http://blog.billfenwickplumbing.com/blog/bid/377042/5-Reasons-You-ll-Love-a-Tankless-Water-Heater

  • We've had success with several renovation installs. The key to the return on your investment is the relative cost of energy in your area. In our area the cost of electricity makes a whole-house unit no more energy efficient than a tank water heater. Natural gas units (which yes have to be vented) usually provide a break even return in less than 3 years, here. And everyone who has purchased them seems to love them.