Tankless Water Heaters - Anyone have one of these?



CL82

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My current water heater (40 Gal, tall) has been a work horse and still is chugging along, but after 30 years (yep 30) I figure it is time to replace it. I could just swap it out for a new 40 gallon, that would be easiest plumbing-wise, but I guess I should consider a tankless heater. I know very little about them. Does anyone have one? How is it? Is it possible to outrun the capacity (i.e., if volume gets high enough does performance drop)? What should I look for regarding specs? What you do different, if you were to buy one again? Have you seen any savings?

My utility is offering $250 off if I get one, so that makes them pretty affordable. I'd be using a gas one, does that makes a difference?
 
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My house was 8 years old when i bought it back in 2014. Had to replace the tankless combo furnace/water heater 3 months after moving in. I can't remember the brand name but apparently everyone thought it was a good model when it first came out so they put them in all the houses in our development. Turns out it was junk and everyone has had to replace their's within 10 years. Was turned off by the combo idea at the time so went back to the traditional tank.
Our newest house was tankless, and we had to replace it in first 3 years, and again last year (18 years apart). I would never go back to a tank. We don’t have gas access unless we pay for it from main gas lines about .5 miles away. Access fee is per foot. Not worth it.
 
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I have a rinnai - e110cn. It's awesome. I received tax breaks on the purchase 4 or so years ago. There was one problem where there is an external thermostat which malfunctioned and caused the unit to not work in the first month or so. Fixed and resolved. I did not do the install.
 
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We installed a Rinnai in our former home (WMass) about 20 years ago and it was great. I proudly take (to this day) long showers because I get my best and creative ideas in the shower so the ideas and hot water both flow.
As someone mentioned, a long run can mean waiting for hot water for 10 or 15 seconds. We built a "stepped" cape so the house was 82 feet long and we chose to put the tankless nearer the kitchen and laundry room than the master bath. More water used in those two places than the master bath.
The only problem we had in the ten years we were there was when a mouse got chewed up in the fan about two months after it was intalled and caused the unit to shut down. The solution was a strong metal screen with very small openings. Not like a screened window or door, but not like a fence either. The rest of the mouse family was annoyed but grateful.
 
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We've had a gas-fired Rinnai R75LS for eight years and love it. Units are available with different capacities based on anticipated need. Though ours is a lower capacity unit (just two of us most of the time), we needed a larger capacity gas meter to supply it. That was provided free of charge by the gas company. Result? Endless hot water, but only when you need or demand it. Tankless heaters aren't necessarily maintenance free. We have ours serviced every other year. Service includes checking adjustments and circulating several gallons of vinegar through it to dissolve any accumulated scale.

We bought it because the relief valve stuck on our old tank-type and the damn thing blew up in the wee hours one morning. Flooded the garage and ran out onto the driveway where it froze into a sheet of ice. No more of that for me. Besides, what's the point of constantly maintaining 40 gallons of water at a specified temperature 24 hours a day?
 

HuskyHawk

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Nope

No

Me either. My plumber's reaction was disbelief and then when he looked at it, he said "Damn, that thing looks brand new!"

I take zero credit for its longevity. It's a unicorn. Part of me wants to see how long it will go but I think about the hassle of the clean up from a major failure and I figure it isn't worth it. @uconnfan68.

Soft water perhaps. I have an indirect fired tank. Have been through 6-7 of them, all with lifetime warranties. Hard water. Even with the water softener, they can't take it. Killed a dishwasher too.
 

CL82

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Soft water perhaps. I have an indirect fired tank. Have been through 6-7 of them, all with lifetime warranties. Hard water. Even with the water softener, they can't take it. Killed a dishwasher too.
My water is so hard it comes out of the faucet in cubes....

It's weird; I have no idea what is going on; but I'm not complaining.
 
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My current water heater (40 Gal, tall) has been a work horse and still is chugging along, but after 30 years (yep 30) I figure it is time to replace it. I could just swap it out for a new 40 gallon, that would be easiest plumbing-wise, but I guess I should consider a tankless heater. I know very little about them. Does anyone have one? How is it? Is it possible to outrun the capacity (i.e., if volume gets high enough does performance drop)? What should I look for regarding specs? What you do different, if you were to buy one again? Have you seen any savings?

My utility is offering $250 off if I get one, so that makes them pretty affordable. I'd be using a gas one, does that makes a difference?
I’ve sold both kinds for years. On demand water heaters are great, but most HVAC companies today charge $4200-$5500 to install a gas on demand water heater. If you know a cheap plumber then I’m sure it would be cheaper. Bosch is the best and will last the longest. Pure-Pro is a store brand Bosch and typically costs a few hundred dollars less.
 
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My house was 8 years old when i bought it back in 2014. Had to replace the tankless combo furnace/water heater 3 months after moving in. I can't remember the brand name but apparently everyone thought it was a good model when it first came out so they put them in all the houses in our development. Turns out it was junk and everyone has had to replace their's within 10 years. Was turned off by the combo idea at the time so went back to the traditional tank.
You’re probably talking about Navien. They were junk. Lots of plastic parts that should have been metal.
 
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I had to replace my hot water heater last year. I did not go with a tankless system, but I went with a Rheem hybrid high efficiency tank. It was on sale at Home Depot and I also received an instant $750 rebate from the State of Connecticut. There are three modes that you can use, including energy savings mode. I love it and have saved on my electric bill.
Heat Pump water heater? This is definitely the way to go if you have electric hot water. They can’t be installed in closets or small enclosed areas but they’re awesome for basements. They include a built in dehumidifier and they’re crazy efficient.
 
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but most HVAC companies today charge $4200-$5500 to install a gas on demand water heater.
Is that just the labor or does that include the unit? that still seems crazy even with the unit since that's probably $1200 or so??
 
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Is that just the labor or does that include the unit? that still seems crazy even with the unit since that's probably $1200 or so??

Usually includes the unit, but could be higher depending upon how far has lines need to be run, water lines run, and how your venting will happen. I was quoted around 6k but that was minimum.
 
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I see a lot of hvac systems in my line of work. The tankless ranai seem to have the best feedback. Weil mclain also good.

Also a good time to lol at the use of the term “hot water heater” ..... If buying a water heater —— that should suffice, hot water heaters have redundant features and cold water heaters seem to have a neutral impact on water temps.
 
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Is that just the labor or does that include the unit? that still seems crazy even with the unit since that's probably $1200 or so??
Includes unit. It’s not that different from installing a high efficiency wall hung boiler. Similar unit cost and operation. A good rule of thumb for residential HVAC by a company you’ve heard of without having to look too hard;

Equipment+ materials (usually $1000+) X 3 or 4. Cost for 2 licensed guys to a company ~ $2500/day.

Think about having two car mechanics come to you. Equipment/materials plus a mark up and a rate of $130-$150 per guy per hour.

If you know and trust a small time plumber and the project can be done by one plumber then that’s going to be your lowest price. That’s why I was wondering why the OP was so focused on small rebates and equipment cost. It should cost him at least 3 or 4 times more to put in an on demand instead of a tank.
 
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CL82

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I was wondering why the OP was so focused on small rebates and equipment cost. It should cost him at least 3 or 4 times more to put in an on demand instead of a tank
I was really just curious about how effective they were. If people hated them it would make no sense to price out the install.
 

GG

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Heat Pump water heater? This is definitely the way to go if you have electric hot water. They can’t be installed in closets or small enclosed areas but they’re awesome for basements. They include a built in dehumidifier and they’re crazy efficient.
Yes, we actually did put it in a rather large basement closet, but we added vents to help with circulation. The one problem, especially in the winter, is that it generates very cold air into the rest of the basement. My son will not go in the basement to play his video games anymore in the winter.
 

dvegas

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This Old House just did a triple decker in Dorchester and devoted pretty much an entire episode to tankless boilers hot water heaters. I know they can shill a bit for whichever company donates the supplies, but it was pretty informative and current
 

Exit 4

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This Old House just did a triple decker in Dorchester and devoted pretty much an entire episode to tankless boilers hot water heaters. I know they can shill a bit for whichever company donates the supplies, but it was pretty informative and current
Did they shill for tankless - it’s the right choice
 

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