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Mon, Dec. 11th, 2006, 09:19 am
Hot Water

We were looking at an electric tankless hot water heater last night. Does anyone have any experience with these? We'd be replacing a gas tanked heater. So.. we had to bring in the professionals. Someone to remove/truncate the gas line. Someone to install a 240V outlet/wiring. May need someone to expand the breaker box. It requires a 120 amp breaker, which I don't know if our current box supports.

Our current gas water heater is 7 years old and now past its warrenty. I'm not sure how long they are designed to last. Depending on the brand the average range is 1 to 10 years. Some last 15-20, but those seem to be rare exceptions.

The benefits of the electric tankless :
1. Our electricity is solar/wind, so now our hot water would be too(instead of natural gas).
2. This model is 30-40% more efficient than a gas tank model(which is what we have).
3. With just one bathroom, we can't draw enough hot water to overpower this thing. You could take a 15 hour hot water shower. Especially when the in-laws visit, we don't have to worry about using up all the water. Even with just Emily and I, I tend to wait a bit after her shower to give the tank time to refill.
4. It is small(16" by 17" by 3") and only 12 pounds. We could unplug it and move it with us to a new house(if we ever got one).

Mon, Dec. 11th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)

We were looking into the same thing, but the tankless for installation was too expensive (close to $600-800, without the tank). Also, we found out that some models can only support one thing at a time, like you can only shower, but not do your laundry, so you couldn't do things simultaneously. The most efficient that we found was a point of use tankless, which you install near the point of use, so, lets say, one for the shower, one for each faucets, one for the washer, etc. Again, at around $200 per heater for each point, it was too expensive. We ended up just buying a regular electric water heater tank.

Mon, Dec. 11th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)

The place we were looking had various models that produced differing amounts of hot water depending on you needs, 1gpm to 5gpm. They had a tool which you answered some questions and it recommended one.

With our tanked model we can't take a shower and run the hot water at the same time(one of them ends up cold). So... even if we got a model which was too small for us, it wouldn't be any worse.

Why was your installation cost so high? You screw the thing to the wall, attach the pipes, plug it in and you are done. I guess they'd charge to remove the old tank too. I guess that doesn't seem that high. How much did you
'tank' heater cost to have installed?

Mon, Dec. 11th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)

For the tankless, I found him off of craigslist. The regular tank installed was only $150. I watched the guy install it, they charge you fees for a permit to change from gas to electric. I think that's stupid, what I do to my house should be my business and no one else's, and I think that also applies to the outside.

Not too easy to install, I watched the guy do it, and he blowtorched the pipes, put the wires to the breaker, etc. All in all, tank plus installation was $360 for a 50 gallon tank.

I thought my gas one was still good, but when he tipped it over, ewww, so much rust was mixed in the water.