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Old 02-07-2021, 12:44 PM   #1
GARY
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Default Hot Water - Tankless on demand vs traditional hot water heater

Doing my first build of any kind. Will be building a barndo on family place (no gas / all electric). 2,100 sq ft finished out for living with a 1,000 shop and utility room (washer , dryer, sink etc..).

Will be weekend home until retirement, then our primary residence until such time we take over the home places. Then it will revert to extra square footage when kids/grandkids visit and party hosting place.

Any advantages with on demand as compared to a traditional hot water heater. Cost differences, preferences, regrets..etc.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:47 PM   #2
Cookiemonster1
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Its not on demand but you don't have to worry about running out of hot water if using gas. It is more expensive but if you will have extensive usage you will not risk running out.
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Old 02-07-2021, 01:50 PM   #3
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Old 02-07-2021, 01:52 PM   #4
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When I built the house I live in now I had them put 2 gas tankless heaters. I'm still unsure and not necessarily sold on them. First both are in attic and the master is across house. Water needs to run for awhile till.it gets hot. Way more than a water heater. If i were to do again I'd put one that just runs master and another for rest of house.

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Old 02-07-2021, 02:07 PM   #5
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When I built the house I live in now I had them put 2 gas tankless heaters. I'm still unsure and not necessarily sold on them. First both are in attic and the master is across house. Water needs to run for awhile till.it gets hot. Way more than a water heater. If i were to do again I'd put one that just runs master and another for rest of house.

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It doesnt have to run anymore than a tanked water heater if the tank is in the same place as the tankless. A circulation pump will fix you issue.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:15 PM   #6
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the home we just bought last Jan has a gas tankless and it is GREAT especially if you like to stay in the shower for a while. Yes it does take time to get hot water to other areas of the house. but it does not matter if the wife is doing the washing machine or dish washer and you are taking a shower, it does not run out of hot water. Ours is set at 120 top degrees but can be lowered at the controls or via the faucet. Only maintanince is to have it descaled once a year. If I was to build a house I would put one in it.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:18 PM   #7
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When I built the house I live in now I had them put 2 gas tankless heaters. I'm still unsure and not necessarily sold on them. First both are in attic and the master is across house. Water needs to run for awhile till.it gets hot. Way more than a water heater. If i were to do again I'd put one that just runs master and another for rest of house.

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Does yours have a continuous recirculating line on the system? Ours does and it cuts down on the wait time. Downside in our case it does use more C3 than I expected with the recirculating line. We live a very rural area and have C3 but the only two things we have on gas is the stove top and water heater.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:47 PM   #8
glen
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Tankless on demand. No sense in putting space for traditional tank heater and plumbing for one when probably in near future they will not be available.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:03 PM   #9
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Tankless all the way. Run a circ line with it and you will be a happy camper. Also dont forget to run at least one hot water line to a faucet/hose bib outside with a small to medium size cement pad. Great for cleaning up things outside or washing the dog without having to stand in a mud hole.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:09 PM   #10
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Big plumbing friends of mine say to avoid the on demand ones. Lots of service issues you donít get with the tanks.


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Old 02-07-2021, 03:15 PM   #11
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I just did a tankless. Hope it works well. Following...
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:30 PM   #12
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Anyone using tankless with electricity (over gas - I don't have gas access).
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Anyone using tankless with electricity (over gas - I don't have gas access).
I have a small one on electricity in a barndo. No complaints but I have learned that in the winter time do not turn the shower "hot" on full volume. About a quarter turn then adjust the cold and will have more hot than you can stand for as long as you want. Apparently, the small unit won't keep up with heating in winter temps at full volume. This is basically a weekend place with kitchen and bath, no washer or dryer.
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Old 02-07-2021, 04:15 PM   #14
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Does yours have a continuous recirculating line on the system? Ours does and it cuts down on the wait time. Downside in our case it does use more C3 than I expected with the recirculating line. We live a very rural area and have C3 but the only two things we have on gas is the stove top and water heater.


Do you have a timer on your pump? It should only be circulating at peak usage times. Otherwise you are constantly reheating the water.


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Old 02-07-2021, 04:16 PM   #15
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i have ben running an electric tankless for almost 10 years now, the first one was in my shop were only one faucet and a shower were hooked up,,, it was a very small unit and it had no problem keeping my shower hot as long as i wanted to stay in it, i really do like the adjustable temp setting on the tank,,, i found what was comfortable and used no cold water at all in the shower, only turned on the hot faucet
I lost the business that was in the shop with the flood from Harvey,,, we also lost our entire home,,, ,so we gutted the shop and built the house inside ,,, I went right back with an electric tankless but of a larger but not huge size,, and it will run both showers the washing machine, dish washer, and kitchen sink, and keep up with all of them!
I keep hearing about the horrendous cost of an electric tankless heater,,, I have not seen it!! my average monthly electric bill is under $120! that includes two people at least 2 showers a day clothes at least every other day, the dish washer at least every other day, 3 ac units ( mini splits which some rooms are cut off for longer periods of time but the master bedroom living and dining room run regularly heat or ac ),, the electric stove , microwave, drier and all too often every light bulb in the house and at least 4 outside!!
when the daughter and son in law and their 5 kids are at the house it is sometimes 6 -9 showers a day!

now we did go as energy efficient as possible with the build. The outside and inside walls both insulated, the walls between the rooms are insulated as well as the ceiling and the metal roof,,, all lights in the house are led.... but still the average bill is under 120$ for electric... almost forgot the well runs on it too!
the house part of the building is a little under 1600 sqft.

I think I will keep the tankless electric,,, even though their is one big disadvantage,,, when the power does go out there is ZERO hot water,,, but since their is no water at all,, what difference does it make for no hot water?
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Old 02-07-2021, 04:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Anyone using tankless with electricity (over gas - I don't have gas access).


I wouldnít recommend an electric tankless. They require gobs of power.


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Old 02-07-2021, 04:16 PM   #17
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I love my tankless, but I would typically suggest not going this route on electric.

Because you are a new build, you might look into though. It take ALOT of energy to do, so your will have a pretty significant dedicated circuit if you do.
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Old 02-07-2021, 04:44 PM   #18
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I have propane tankless along with several propane appliances at my place.

Iíd recommend putting propane tank. Either buried or above ground.

My wife can get her giant tub continuously hot and I can run 4 shower heads as hot as I want for as long as I want. It just feeds our side of the house. But 11 years going strong.

But if youíre set on full size we have a 50 gallon with a recirculating pump for the kids and the kitchen. We went with two because the areas were very far apart plumbing wise. Itís the second one of those.
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Old 02-07-2021, 05:49 PM   #19
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I wouldnít recommend an electric tankless. They require gobs of power.


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Never understood this. 🤔
We have a small Eco Smart electric tankless in our living quarters in the shop. Does everything we need at only 3.1gpm output. 1 shower, 2 sinks, dishwasher and a washing machine. Yes, itís wired to a double pole 50amp breaker but it ainít using electricity when it ainít working???? I know you know more about this than I do Mike but my electric bill ainít much at all.

That said, our new house we are building has 2 gas (propane) Navien NPE-240A units in the attic.
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Old 02-07-2021, 05:49 PM   #20
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Do you have a timer on your pump? It should only be circulating at peak usage times. Otherwise you are constantly reheating the water.


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I do and have had one since 03 or 04. I couldnít imagine not having one.
I would change one thing if I were building though, I would buy 2 and split the house so itís not so long for the hot water to get to the tap.
We have 1 unit and we run 2 baths, washer, dishwasher and all the sinks on it and have no issues.
Our first unit (older style) we could only run 2 of the bigger items above at one time or the water wouldnít get as hot, now with the newer unit no issue.
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Old 02-07-2021, 06:42 PM   #21
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Never understood this.

We have a small Eco Smart electric tankless in our living quarters in the shop. Does everything we need at only 3.1gpm output. 1 shower, 2 sinks, dishwasher and a washing machine. Yes, itís wired to a double pole 50amp breaker but it ainít using electricity when it ainít working???? I know you know more about this than I do Mike but my electric bill ainít much at all.



That said, our new house we are building has 2 gas (propane) Navien NPE-240A units in the attic.


Your example shows what I am talking about. A small unit as you put it has to have 100amps if inefficient electric heat to provide a minimal amount of hot water.

Some of the larger units take (3) 240V circuits up to 100amps to provide the water output needed.

That causes you to have to upsize your service, panel, etc.....to accommodate them resulting in more up front cost.

We elected to go with (2) 50 gallon propane tank style heaters in our house with a circulating system. I get hot water anywhere in my house in under 10 seconds. Itís on a timer so it only runs for about 4 hours a day. We have a huge jetted tub in our master that my wife likes to soak in as well as a large walk in shower with multiple heads and weíve never run out of water.

200 gallons of propane last is about 3-4 months and that includes using it for cooking and our outdoor hot tub and 2 fireplaces with gas.

Iím not saying my way is the only way but it works well for us at a seemingly reasonable cost.


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Old 02-07-2021, 07:01 PM   #22
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Just get you a burner and a big pot. Take ho baths like at your old camptrailer.

>E
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Old 02-07-2021, 07:10 PM   #23
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We went tankless on our barndominium in Iowa. Richmond Encore series (made by Rheem and sold at Menards). We installed the highest capacity (199,900 btu) even though it is just the two of us. Ours is on LP gas. We installed it in my wife's laundry room.

We love it.

https://www.richmondwaterheaters.com...ct-vent-indoor

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Old 02-07-2021, 07:47 PM   #24
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We did tankless and love it, replacing is east of you were to have trouble.
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Old 02-07-2021, 07:51 PM   #25
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Never understood this. 🤔
We have a small Eco Smart electric tankless in our living quarters in the shop. Does everything we need at only 3.1gpm output. 1 shower, 2 sinks, dishwasher and a washing machine. Yes, itís wired to a double pole 50amp breaker but it ainít using electricity when it ainít working???? I know you know more about this than I do Mike but my electric bill ainít much at all.

That said, our new house we are building has 2 gas (propane) Navien NPE-240A units in the attic.
i agree with you,,, most are repeating hear say at best,,,
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Old 02-07-2021, 08:06 PM   #26
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Building a Barndo as we speak and I’m going tankless on LP gas. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them so hopefully it works good for me!
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:02 PM   #27
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i agree with you,,, most are repeating hear say at best,,,
Obviously; if they had one they wouldn't spout that ignorance.
I've had a Stiebel for 10 years; actually one in the guest house, one in the big house.
They work great. I think it is only about 10 seconds before the water starts warming up enough to get into the shower.
Nope, the electric bill is very reasonable !
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:05 PM   #28
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Finishing a build right now. Chose two propane tankless because I have 4 kids. There’s never enough water in my current rental and my previous house, both had tanks. We did separate the two tankless on the build to each side of the house. The kids rooms are on one side of the house and the master is on the same side as the kitchen.
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:30 PM   #29
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2nd home where I had an electric on demand water heater installed and donít have any complaints. Bill isnít bad and endless hot water is priceless


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Old 02-08-2021, 12:32 AM   #30
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Do you have a timer on your pump? It should only be circulating at peak usage times. Otherwise you are constantly reheating the water.


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I am not sure but will need to check this out. I should know this but if so I forgot about it. Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2021, 08:58 AM   #31
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Anyone using tankless with electricity (over gas - I don't have gas access).
Come on city boy- have you never seen the big white or silver tanks they have in the country ?
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:40 AM   #32
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Anyone using tankless with electricity (over gas - I don't have gas access).
Yes, I put one in when we remodeled. It has preformed flawlessly for over a year. Pretty high electrical demand but mine is staged so that it only calls for elements as needed. I bought an Eco Smart off of Amazon. Reviews were good and there are several videos on net for maintenance & repair. There are probably better ones out there but I figure for $600 if it lasts at least 5 years I'll just buy a new one if I can't fix it.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:59 AM   #33
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Big plumbing friends of mine say to avoid the on demand ones. Lots of service issues you donít get with the tanks.


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Mmmm Iíve had mine 15 years (outdoor Rianini brand) all I do is cycle CLR through it once every year or two. Endless and I do mean endless hot water I can shower while washing clothes and dishwasher running
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Old 02-08-2021, 10:17 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GARY View Post
Doing my first build of any kind. Will be building a barndo on family place (no gas / all electric). 2,100 sq ft finished out for living with a 1,000 shop and utility room (washer , dryer, sink etc..).

Will be weekend home until retirement, then our primary residence until such time we take over the home places. Then it will revert to extra square footage when kids/grandkids visit and party hosting place.

Any advantages with on demand as compared to a traditional hot water heater. Cost differences, preferences, regrets..etc.

Thanks in advance!
When I did a complete renovation of an older home, I went with all electric as our only option was propane since there were no gas lines. I looked at the electric on-demand hot water heaters but it was going to require way too much in terms of breaker capacity for a family of four so I went with a 55 gallon electric conventional hot water heater. If this was only going to be a getaway, a smaller tankless will work for you.

If you have yet to do the electricity, you can always size your service to accommodate the large current demands and I'd still go that route.

Ecosmart has some cool maps and such on their website for planning. I'm in central texas and would probably have wanted an Ecosmart 36. It requires 4 40-amp runs, lol. That means my main service panel would have 160 amps just for the hot water heater. That ended my search right there.
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Old 02-08-2021, 10:19 AM   #35
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Mmmm Iíve had mine 15 years (outdoor Rianini brand) all I do is cycle CLR through it once every year or two. Endless and I do mean endless hot water I can shower while washing clothes and dishwasher running

Iím not a plumber by any means but these two guys both do over 5000 new builds and equally sizeable service crews. Both recommended a hybrid tank heater.


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Old 02-08-2021, 10:39 AM   #36
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Haven't read all the comments but if I was going all electric I wouldn't go tankless unless the load was VERY minimal. Gas, I wouldn't think twice about going tankless.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:52 PM   #37
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Well water cause any issues with the Electric Tankless water heaters ?
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:07 PM   #38
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Well water cause any issues with the Electric Tankless water heaters ?
It depends on the water quality where you are. I've had mine in over a year, used on weekends and no issues. Water is from a windmill, between Kerrville and Harper and unfiltered. I should probably go through a descaling process at some point but so far no issues.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
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Anyone using tankless with electricity (over gas - I don't have gas access).
We are all tankless/electric at the deer camp. One big one in the cabin and one small one in the skinning shed. Ecotemp is the brand we are using.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:47 PM   #40
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Big plumbing friends of mine say to avoid the on demand ones. Lots of service issues you donít get with the tanks.


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Iíve owned mine for 12 years and not a single bit of trouble. Maybe Iím just lucky
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:34 PM   #41
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When we built our house a dozen or so years ago our builder was dead set against tankless, and talked me out of it. My compromise was to have him install a recirc pump, that I subsequently put on a timer. This gives us instant hot water anywhere in the house, as long as the pump is running. I have it set to run in the morning for a couple of hours at dinnertime, and late in the evening, basically during hours of the most demand for hot water. Side benefit is that I can turn the timer to manual in extreme cold weather an run it constantly which seemingly helps to prevent pipe freezing.
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:43 PM   #42
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I put in the biggest one the make a couple of years ago. It will take care of all three showers and laundry at one. We love it. Every expert said gas only. Mine is LP. i do have a small electric in my processing room and it will not get hot when faucet is on all the way. Have to run it at 25%. Good luck.
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:57 PM   #43
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This topic is redundant. Seriously.

Tankless is a luxury. It has no possibility of being more efficient vs natural gas water heaters.

Spin it anyway you wish or keep pushing it because you bought one.

There is a reason most builders and plumbers don't put them in their own homes.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:03 PM   #44
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We switched out our 12yr old hot water tanks that were in the attic, to a Renai RL75 tankless natural gas. It’s been going strong with zero issues for 8 years. Many times all 3 showers are being used at the same time, not once has it not been able to keep up. However, after reading several posts after the winter storm and tankless systems....you lose power with really cold temps projected, too be safe and keep copper heater coil from rupturing you must shut of the water to it and drain. This is not difficult at all. Other than that, man these things are awesome. Very low maintenance and dependable.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:03 PM   #45
Buck hunter332
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The technology in tankless has come along way
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:37 PM   #46
ThisLadyHunts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerscowboy View Post
This topic is redundant. Seriously.

Tankless is a luxury. It has no possibility of being more efficient vs natural gas water heaters.

Spin it anyway you wish or keep pushing it because you bought one.

There is a reason most builders and plumbers don't put them in their own homes.
And the reason is...?
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:49 PM   #47
tigerscowboy
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Originally Posted by ThisLadyHunts View Post
And the reason is...?
More expensive initially at installation. Less longevity (never heard of one last 10 years). Encourages more water usage = waste.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:50 PM   #48
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Quote:
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More expensive initially at installation. Less longevity (never heard of one last 10 years). Encourages more water usage = waste.

Understood.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:36 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerscowboy View Post
More expensive initially at installation. Less longevity (never heard of one last 10 years). Encourages more water usage = waste.
Wrong on many levels. Im on year 15 on one and 12 on another. Where it so called waste water it saves on electricity/gas as its not heater water in a tank throughout the day. Tank units are a dying breed.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:41 PM   #50
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Biggest disadvantage is they all require electricity even if they're heated with gas. Now some companies used to build them where the flow of water would power the electronics, but I think they were a bit ahead of their time and died off.
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