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Tank-less water heaters.

Posted by countrynest z9 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 20, 08 at 23:52

I am wondering if this is a good product to install in
my home. It seems like a great idea.
Have any of you ever had one ? What is your experience?
I'm looking for input.
I can find information on the net but I want unbiased
opinions.
Felix


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Felix,

Rather than a tankless heater, we put a timer on our current water heater and have saved $20 on our electric bill this first month. The timer is wired in, just like a swimming pool timer. We have it set to go on for a couple of hours in the morning and then later in the afternoon/evening. These are the times we need hot water. We can easily flip it on before I do the laundry or when we have overnight guests. Water heaters use a great deal of electric, so this timer will pay for itself in two months.

Linda Leaf


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

I've been wondering about them, too, Felix, and hope we get some more testimonials here. I like scalding hot water, especially for doing my pots and pans, so have always kept my water heater set very high. But in the interest of saving energy, we have dialed it back a bit. A tankless heater or the timer described by Linda Leaf both sound intriguing.

Linda, how long does it take your water to heat back up if you manually turn the heater on for something? I've always worried that it would use as much energy to completely reheat the water from "scratch" as it does to keep it hot.

Also, does anyone have one of those instant "boiling" hot water devices on your sink, where you can get water hot enough for a cup of tea on tap? I'm wondering how energy efficient they are, too, and how much trouble to install. I have a little device called a "Hot Shot" that boils a cup of water in less than 30 seconds, which is much faster than it heats in the microwave. Since I drink tea every morning, but only 1 cup, usually, I like a fast way to heat just that little bit of water that doesn't involve using the range or the slower microwave.

Interesting topic, Felix. I'll bet we will hear from more people after the holidays, though. Things are really slow right now as folks seem to have too much to do to spend very long at GW. Can't imagine why! ;o)

Marcia


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

We too have been looking into one when our electric heater gives out.
What I have seen is that people who are adding on a master bedroom suite (for example) will use a tankless to avoid major plumbing to get to the new bathroom.

Our investigations led us to think that tankless is best for people who have access to natural gas. We don't and no room for a LP tank.

I am REALLY interested in solar hot water and hope to visit that "green" house in Sarasota when it re-opens. It previously had a whole house cistern and other "green" features like xeriscape yard before it closed for major remodelling. I think the house is operated by county/extension there.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

The water in the tank never really gets cold here in Florida. We have the heater shut off at 7pm. I run the dishwasher, and there is still enough hot water for a morning shower. True, the shower is not scalding hot, but warm enough. It takes about an hour to get really hot water after being off all night. I am really impressed with the funtion and the money savings for the small price we paid for the timer. You should check it out at the "big orange box" store. They run about $35 and there are enough tabs to make 3 on/off cycles. Even if you have it shut off at bedtime and go on before you wake up, you will save money to heat the water. It is a cheap fix unless you want to do a whole house remodel or addition.

Linda Leaf


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

I have a heat recovery system on my tank that I guess helps a bit (nothing to compare it to since it came with the house). When this tank bites the dust, I am definitely planning on replacing it with a tankless. Anyone know how much they cost?


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Well you guys are in luck. When I first moved in with hubby we installed a tankless water heater. I love it. We always have hot water. When I first started taking showers in our home there was never enough hot water....hubby did not like the idea that we could not shower together because I always got too cold. So he installed the tank less water heater. The tankless unit was (we bought a Titan) 200....Plus another 200 to have it installed. Ours is electric but hubby says that if you have gas it better to get a gos one. I love it. Its great to take a shower and never run out of hot water. I recommend it. It takes up no space unlike a regular water heater system. You can also adjust how hot you want the water to be.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters. 2

I forgot to say that it took almost no time to install and there was no remodeling involved. The water takes about 3 minutes to heat up if that long. Hope this helps.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Thanks Trini. It's good to hear they run on electric too especially since in SoFla I don't have the gas option. (I know some nearby cities have gas options but not me :( ) I have a gas dryer and stove in Orlando and I love it. The dryer dries a full load of towels like in 20 minutes compared to forever in an electric dryer. And don't get me started on how much better it is to cook with gas...

The tankless water heater sounds like it might be cheaper than a new tank too. I think the last time I got a 55 gallon tank replaced and installed it was close to $500 and that had to be at least 10 years ago.

Trini, did you notice any difference in your electric bills after the new tankless? I was going to just wait until this one started to leak but maybe that's not a good idea :) cause it may just end up damaging my laminate floor / pool table :( Maybe I can motivate hubby to agree sooner if I can convince him it's a win:win :)

Thanks for starting the thread Felix!!!!!!!!!!


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Thanks guys ,for your participation. All of your ideas I have considered and wanted to hear some real consumer testimonials. I just don't trust the testimonials place by the companies themselves. They are probably bias because they want to sell.
Trini,thank you so much for your shared experience. It is very valuable.
Now if we have more response that will be great.
I have been at the mercy of monopoly style energy company
for far too long. Thank God that our electric bill is now about $200 to $300 cheaper then when the petro was so costly.
Now I have been able to run my garden water feature more often.

I still want to economise.
Felix


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

An electric tankless water heater was put in our house right before we bought it and we love it. Piping hot water for as long as you need it, and the space where the water heater was is no longer a water heater/laundry room. It's a laundry room/powder room. So we gained a lot by ditching the tank. (washer/dryer is stacked now, so between that and losing the tank, there was room for a toilet and sink.)

I recently saw on HGTV (what I do when I should be doing something useful!) that if you install it close to the faucet/shower, it's more efficient and almost instantaneous. On the show, they were putting them outside. For us, that would mean putting another one near the master bath. When it comes to the speed of heating up the water, there is a couple-minute difference between the kitchen (which is ten feet from the heater) and the master bath (which is across the house.) The water heater is right next to the washing machine, and it's almost instantaneous there. But even the master bath only takes four or five minutes to heat up.

We had FPL come out and do an energy survey in order to get the rebate when we insulated the attic. The surveyor said our water heater was saving us more money and energy than anything else we could do in the house. But, and this is the big but... he said that if you have more than four people in the house, it's more efficient to have a tank.

You might try calling FPL. The survey is free, and truly personal. A guy comes to your house and checks everything and asks you a bunch of questions. Then he tailors his recommendations to your lifestyle. Took an hour, and was worth it because then they rebate you a portion of the cost for upgrades - at least with insulation they did for us. I'm not sure if they rebate a portion of the costs for a water heater, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did. They also have approved contractors for everything, so you're guaranteed to get someone you can trust.

Hope that helps.

Susannah


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Hubby said he has no idea if the tankless has saved us money because our rates went up. (he handles the bills) He also installed it when we started dating so the water usage went up...with three of us in the house we have a dog) I do alot more laundry than he used to...we also use the dishwasher alot more. So I can't help you there. I agree with Native ...the farther away the heater is from the faucet the longer it will take to get hot....but its not long ...and it stays hot.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Susannah, when you say it takes "four or five minutes" to heat up the water for the master bath, do you mean you have to run the water that long before it gets hot? That wouldn't be so good for water conservation, if so. That would definitely make me think I would need one right outside the bathroom, if that's the case.

I HATE having to run the water even 30 seconds to a minute for it to warm up. All that water going down the drain for nothing. I try to time it so I can brush my teeth with it while the water is heating, but even that makes me unhappy, because I would prefer to brush my teeth with the water turned OFF until I rinse.

Thanks for all the info!

Marcia


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

We had a Rennai tankless water heater installed .
LOVE , LOVE . LOVE IT !!!!

Our home was built at the turn of the century . NO closets at all .
The electric water tank was put in under the stairs directly on the pine floors - no pan .
When removed - voila ! I have a real closet !
Our tankless is outside on propane .
You can set the thermostat that is in the house to any temp you want . It is easy to set or change .
We have endless , steady hot water . The temp. stays even and nice . With the tank we always had fluctuations . With the tankless , you can run everything simultaneously and have no fluctuations .
The tankless is quiet , efficient , reliable . It has provided much needed space and is a joy to own .
Our unit was not cheap to purchase or install . Our plumbing company did it all from start to finish and that made it much easier .
I highly recommend one !


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Marcia I know what you mean about hating to let the water run....for me though the tankless does save water....I love to bathe in hot hot water...so when we did not have the tankless I would have to wait in the middle of my shower for the water to reheat....I wasted much more water that way. Now I turn on the shower and and while it is heating I change my clothes....by the time I get in the shower the water is perfect...and there is no more waiting in the middle of washing my hair.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Gosh, I have never run out of hot water in a shower or a bath, unless several people have showered right before me. So I've never had that happen, trini. But I AM used to turning the shower on full force and letting it heat while I get my clothes off and into the hamper. That takes maybe 60 seconds, max. Sometimes less. I would not like to have to run it for four or five minutes before it was hot. I'm hoping that isn't really how long it takes, as otherwise, I think this sounds really interesting. Maybe it takes that long if the tankless heater is too far away from the shower?

I actually prefer to soak in a deep, hot tub of water, which generally uses less water than taking a very long shower, anyway. But the master bathroom in this house doesn't have a tub, and the one in the guest bath is small. I hate it. So I'm learning to make do with showers, which I really only like when I'm washing my hair. Oh, well. Nothing is perfect. But I'm enjoying learning about this tankless water heater. An interesting thread.

We just had to replace our water heater last year when it sprang a leak, so we might not need another one for a long time, unless we just decide to switch. But I like having the info and understanding the benefits. We might decide it would be worth it to switch at some point, even though we never run out of hot water.

Marcia


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Ok. I'm going to have to time it tomorrow morning. It probably isn't that long. I'm probably just impatient because I also hate to see the water just running.

I know we can have people showering in both bathrooms, and run a load of laundry, all at the same time, without running out of hot water. Or run several consecutive showers. That doesn't happen very often in our house, but it has happened when my parents and brother and sister-in-law visited, and everything worked. Having grown up in a house where the last one who showered got cold water, and my brother and I fought over who was taking too long a shower, I appreciate that aspect, even if we don't use it that often.

But I'll get back to everyone on the actual timing after I time it in the morning. I'm probably misjudging it. There is a slightly longer delay to the bath than to the kitchen, but that's true with a tank too - it's the time it takes to get through the pipes.

I'll get back to you.

Susannah


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Ok I actually timed it and it takes about 30 seconds for the water in the shower to heat up. The bathroom is right next to the closet where we have the heater.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

My in-laws had one installed a few years ago. I have never liked it. Just this past weekend, I had to stand in the shower for about 2-3 minutes (with the water running) before I was able to get some warm water. The water temperature changes as you're showering. It's a pain!


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info from the WWW

From Mr. Electricity, who gives advice on saving electicity and money in your home, and is thumbs up for tankless heaters.

Farther down the page he discusses timers on water heaters and it sounds like we wouldn't save much by putting one on ours.

BTW my DH gave me this info when I asked about a timer. Do you think he was looking to skip a honey-do??

Here is a link that might be useful: weblink for electricity savings


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

With a tankless the water takes longer to heat up the farther away it is from the heater. We put ours close to the bathroom but it does take a couple minutes for the water to heat in the kitchen....there it does not really matter to us though as we can start washing dishes in cool water. I've never had a problem with the temperature changing while using it. Its just hubby and I in the house though so usually only one pipe is on at a time.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

I don't think it's unusual for hot water to take a long time to get to sinks and showers that are far from the source. Our shower is on the opposite end of the house from our water heater, and it definitely takes several minutes for the hot water to reach it. I usually let it run while I'm brushing my teeth, and by the time I'm done, the water in the shower is hot.

Since I hate this feature in a regular water heater, I was hoping that the tankless ones might be some better. Sounds like it is about the same. If it's far from a sink, it will take some time to warm up.

What I'm wondering now is, what if you had two? Would it be feasible to have one on each end of the house, one servicing the utility room and kitchen, and one servicing the two bathrooms? Or would the expense of having two cancel out any savings? And would it even be doable to plumb for two separate sources? (I know nothing about this stuff.)

Marcia


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

For a week now, I've remembered I needed to time our shower just as I was getting out of the shower. But today I remembered. It took less than a minute to get hot, and about a one minute 20 seconds for it to get too hot to shower in. (I let it heat up all the way, which I never do.) The kitchen takes only about 20 seconds to heat up.

So I guess I'm particularly impatient. I've never had a problem with the water temperature changing after I was in it. An our heater is across the house from the heater. I suspect a tank, in the same place, would have the same issue. It takes time to get through the pipes.

One advantage of the electric unit is you can put it wherever it's most efficient, instead of wherever you have room for a tank.

Hope that helps
Susannah


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Marcia,

I don't know about the expense, but the plumbing for two separate ones is absolutely doable. It's really not difficult. If you don't have the inside wall space for one of them, say in a linen closet near both bathrooms, you can always put them on the outside wall near both bathrooms. Bathrooms are often built back to back (or in multistory bulidings, on top of each other) to use the same plumbing. Putting a heater somewhere near those shared pipes would work fine.

Susannah


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Our tank is outside and in the most remote place .
It is far away from the showers and we have no complaints .
Our plumber suggested getting the biggest = most powerful unit .
He said spending a few more dollars now would pay off later ,
especially for when the house ever goes on the market to sell .
We have no complaints . Even , steady hot water .
It is the same wait for the water to go through the pipes whether
it's an electric tank or gas tankless .
I actually think the new system is faster .
Now to see if we can still get the rebate from the government for installing
an energy efficient appliance !


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

wow... in all the years i've participated in the forum, i've never read the conversations pages...

felix--we just put in a gas tankless heater. they are AWESOME. we had plumbing problems in the house (routing problem from a crappy kitchen upgrade) and so we also solved some piping problems. so installing the gas heater "saved" us some considerable money we'd have to have spent anyway.

we had to have gas run to the house. there are so many credits available. the whole thing, incl removal of old tank (thank GOD it is gone!) and all the re-plumbing and the unit and a new outdoor electrical outlet came in at around $2000. not a little money, but the rebates were for a couple grand, so we feel like we got a deal.

the replumbing cleared up some problems, and now, for the first time, we have hot water upstairs in the shower! you can set the water temp much higher and still save a lot of money, since it's on demand.

haven't gotten utility bills yet to compare...


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

  • Posted by rp65 Connecticut (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 21, 09 at 21:21

We purchased a Toyotomi tankless oil fired hot water heater which was installed in our home shortly before Thanksgiving 2008. We had family stay at our home over the holiday and were impresed how the unit was able to keep up with multiple showers and all else that would affect the usage of hot water. When our family left, we noticed problems start. When tking a shower, the water would go cold, not warm or luke warm, cold within a matter of minutes. this continued for sometime until we complained to the company we purchased the unit from. They refused to accept blame and told us we needed to have our plumbing looked at. i immediately called our credit card comapny and filed a dispute with the oil company for the $2,500 cot. They became surprisingly helpful after that. They sent a technician to our home to experience the issue. We asked that a different unit be installed due to the issue tht it had worked properly when it was first installed but then ran cold when taking one shower. The tech first refused but then agreed. A second unit was installed and right from the start the same issues arose. We were livid. The salesman pitched this unit as one that would work as our previous tank water heater did, we would "love" it as all his other customers. Upon installation of the new unit we attempted to ensure the dispute still stood, but Citibank decided in favor of the oil company. We were also livid that they would decide against us when the unit did not perform as promised. I finally called the salesman who sold us the unit directly and stated I hoped he was enjoying the commission he made on the sale because it was based on lies and in effect blood money. He said he would make right the issue for us, and stoped by the next day. i was able to again show him the water go cold in the shower after a few minutes. He, upon seeing the shower in our master bedroom commented that if he had seen that shower to begin with he never would have sold us the unit. The shower has 3 heads against the wall, one overhead and a side pullcord shower head along with a seperate steam unit whihch heats water on its own to create a steam shower if desired. Although I explained we stopped using the side jets when we discovered we would get little more hot water with using just the overhead. Realizing his culpability he then agreed to have the unit removed and replaced with a 30 Gallon Bosch tank at no extra charge to us. That unit will be installed this comming Monday....and I cannot wait to take a real shower again.....If you are considering a Toyotomi tankless water heater, please ask all questions before you have it installed. It did not perform well for us. We would never reccommend it to friends.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Any one know if there are any Federal Tax Credits for a tankless water heater for 2008 ?
As of Feb 17 th , there is a very generous tax credit for the 2009 tax year as long as you have your tankless water heater installed between January 2009 and December 2010 .
That leaves me out since mine was installed in 2008 !


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Tankless & Thermostatic Shower Problem

I have an American Tankless (biggest - 120 amp). Lots of hot water to any sink/dishwasher. The two Delta TempAssure showers and they get only a TRICKLE of hot water unless I first turn on a sink hot water first! I think I know WHY. The tankless has a flow sensor and reduces the heat if there is low flow.
The Tempassure reduces the flow if there is no heat! Help!
I have a Grohtemp in another house that is not tankless. That works great (calibrated in degrees, even!). Question -
Would the Grohtemp work any better than the Delta's?
I'll have to swap out the Delta's for something.
zl700, I think yu are on to something.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

I purchased a tankless gas water heater several years ago. I love it! Our gas bill was cut in half and we do not have the hassle of a tank. The water heats fairly quickly and we have not had a problem with demand exceeding supply.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

we have a navien and it is working well so far. it did take some getting used to but it does provide endless hot water. We have only had it in use for a month and appliances just went in. My issue right now is that my electrolux dishwasher still has soap in it after it runs and the dishes aren't coming out that clean. The service guy thought that the tankless wasn't heating the water hot enough. The problem occurs even when I run it on hot. Does anyone know if I have a tankless/diswasher compatibility issue or a regular old dishwasher issue? Ideas?


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Dishwashers usually heat their own water so the temp may not be the problem . You can set the temp of your tankless to whatever you want . Have you tried increasing the setting ?

I once lived in a rental that had a dishwasher that was inop . They had tried to repair it - same problem you describe - three times and gave up . When the old dishwasher was pulled to remodel the kitchen , they found that this dishwasher had a kinked drainage hose from the original installation .

When properly installed , this old dishwasher drained perfectly .


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

I must admit quiet an informative information regarding the heater as how much it generally take time to heat up the water in how much seconds and all .


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

I am considering switching from a traditional water heater to a gas tankless model. Your comments above have been very helpful - thank you all.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

I have also read these posts with interest. I am renovating an apt which is currently in the gutted stage and a blank slate. I am interested in a tankless water heater and wonder if anyone has used a Rheem product lately? Most of these posts are 2-3 yrs old and I wonder how the models may have changed. My contractor prefers to put in a 50 gal tank which is bulky and since the apt is on the second floor, the tank will be in the laundry room where space is limited and I would prefer to use differently. The primary shower will be in the front of the apt, a soaking tub in the middle and the utility room in the back of of the apt. Any input appreciated.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

We have two Rinnai tankless water heaters, one each side of the exterior of the house, close to bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room. We are very happy with them! They are perfect when it's just the two of us and perfect when there are 10 here. They don't leak unwanted heat to the house and they don't take up any valuable real estate. Also they are efficient.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Years later I love my Rinnai tankless more than ever.
By having the unit outside you don't have to pay extra for the venting system.
It also frees up space inside the house.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

We have had experince with all systems. I had a timer put on our electric hot water heater years ago, we were a work all day and it was usless to have the water heated. Used the heater one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. If I needed to wash clothes I just flipped the swith.
When the second water heater began to have problems I looked into a solar hot water heater. Really expensive to get put in. I settled for a whole house tankless electric hot water heater. It was AMERICAN something brand. Cost about $700 with all the wiring etc. but I loved that the removal of thebig tank gave me room for a pantry. That tankless was in about one year when I began to have problems. I am only one person, so thats probably why it took so long for the probllems to show up. I complained to the company who installed it and they came out looked it all over and yanked it out and install a new SEISCO system and it required more wiring than the original one did. All that and one whole days work with two men and they didn't charge me a dime. I was really impressed. My electric bill has decreased by at least $50 a month and I have seen bills for less than $100 this spring with no a/c on. I have plenty of hot water. Have washer and dishwasher. Never run out. Turn on the shower and by the time I get in it is hot. I love it. I recommend them for everyone. This is an older house and two story with three bathroooms and I never notice any problem with not having hot water.Just be careful who you get to do the work. That's the main thing.


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

  • Posted by mhudson z10Los Angeles (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 23, 11 at 20:10

We installed a Takagi tankless water heater a few years ago (January 2007.) Got it on sale at the plumbing supply shop, but then it cost quite a bit extra to install due to requirements for stainless steel flue/vent pipes, and 1-inch gas supply lines.

It has performed well, but a few weeks ago when it started leaking somewhere internally. I'm not sure if it can be repaired, or may require replacement. Overall, I don't think the lower operating costs paid for the additional installation expenses. The best thing I can say about it is the most obvious: it takes up less space.

FWIW, there are other threads about tankless water heaters on these forums, such as http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/plumbing/msg1218403610322.html

Here is a link that might be useful: other threads


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RE: Tank-less water heaters.

Well, the high-capacity gas pipe and stainless steel flue vents are a sunk cost. So repairing the existing unit is what I plan to do. I called Takagi and they said the flow sensor is only a $35 part. I honestly don't know if the tankless saved me any on my monthly gas bill or not. It was one of my lower bills before, and remains low. Electricity and trash hauling have gone up over the years (just inflation, not related to my choice of water heater) but gas seems to stay low.


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