Going Green in Windham>Question Details

Peter Leeds, Real Estate Pro in Manchester, CT

Tankless water heaters: What do you think?

Asked by Peter Leeds, Manchester, CT Sat Jul 30, 2011

One feature of a green home is a tankless water heater. Various consumer reports seem to slam this innovation as being not only not worth the money, but not even really that significant of an environmental benefit. What has been your experience?

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Great question Peter. Water Heating is a very contentious issue that involves many different opinions and products. Being the 2nd biggest energy user in most homes it deserves a lot of attention and careful consideration. Every situation is different and a compelling case can be made for almost every product and situation.

Tankless Electric are NOT green or a good choice (except for serving one, lone fixture perhaps).
Tankless Gas/Propane atmospherically vented are usually not a good choice. (for concerns of IAQ)
Tankless Gas/Propane sealed combustion(with no pilot light, preferably condensing type) is the only type of tankless to consider but we feel they rarely make sense.

Most independent, well respected studies find that the payback for tankless are 20 years or more: Not cost effective. Other problems: Existing homes often need new infrastructure, more maintenance, most dont work with low flow fixtures, cold water sandwiches, lost supply during power outages, dependence on a non-renewable resource,a possible increase in overall energy use due to endless supply.

Many Energy Efficient experts prefer tank to tankless and most are now advocating Heat Pump Water Heaters which are the future of water heating. With efficiencies from 125-300% these water heaters often use less energy than the most efficient sealed combustion gas models.

Generally, with existing homes its best not to change existing infrastructure and simply upgrading in efficiency when its time for replacement makes the most sense. For new, homes we use solar with electric tank backup but will probably be switching to Heat Pump Water Heaters, whenever possible moving forward.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 18, 2011
Thanks for the explanation. I agree, getting a tankless water heater wouldn't save you any money. Changing to match a fad isn't a good way to raise the value of your home. If your tank is still in good condition, then I'd stick with that. http://www.bettacrete.com.au
Flag Tue Mar 31, 2015
I am not an expert, but I installed one in my home. My experience has been 100 % positive.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 28, 2014
Rick, what type of water heater do you have? That is great that it has not given you any trouble. My water heater has been nothing but trouble lately so I think it is time for me to replace it. I would like to replace it with a tankless water heater because I have heard they are much more efficient.
Flag Wed Oct 29, 2014
We have one and love it. We get instant hot water in our bathroom and don't have to waste water in the shower waiting for it to heat up. Tanks rust here in FL so the tankless is much better. We have our connected to propane gas rather than electric. I like it so much better than a regular hot water tank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 29, 2014
We have had a "tankless system" for man years. The only problem we have experienced was a leak which was an installation issue. You can't beat this product and we would do it over again, and over again.....

Just keeping it real!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 29, 2014
My understanding of these kinds of heaters are that there biggest selling point is the convenience of not having to wait for hot water. That factor alone gives me reason to prefer them. It takes a few minutes for the hot water to reach my faucet in my house with a normal water heater. It would be really nice if that would be more instantaneous. http://www.plumbprosinc.com/water-heaters/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 29, 2014
I have one to! Best thing I ever did was to have one installed. Lowered my gas bill and I don't have to worry about jumping out of the shower for the next one to go in :)

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 25, 2013
Two things:
Many of the Tankless are designed with the pipes up top and the electronics below:
Guess what happens when there is even a small leak up top?

There other consideration is the technology: it hasn't been paid for yet: Once it has, the tankless will be a lot cheaper, probably cheaper than an old fashioned tanked; there is less to them, will cost less to manufacture.

Hang loose a year or two.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
From speaking with clients with tankless systems in their homes, the reviews are all positive. Less space, lower consumption, less energy, just to name a few.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 22, 2013
they are outstanding...conserve water, reduce gas bill, save space. the wave of the future, but it will be many years before they are standard in millions of homes across the country
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 11, 2011
Hi Peter

Tankless water heaters are well worth it.

They are better installed close to the Bath, on the outside of the house,
And if the house is two story better off being on the 2nd story.

Generally, having two are well worth it, one issue that has come up is using hard water.
Hard water tends to corrode and clog the internal piper and connections, hence if used in
Conjunction with water softeners, they are terrific.

There are newer Technology based Tankless heaters available.

I have seen some homes with Bosch tankless heaters have been around and still running fine
For over a decade.

Hope this helps.


Best regards
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 30, 2011
Speaking as someone who has replaced a lot of water heater heaters, both for myself and for friends and clients; I absolutely favor the Tankless. The should last a lot longer, produce and almost unlimited amount of hot water and probably save a bunch of gas (or electricity). Definitely GREEN.

Its a tankless position, but I'm sticking to it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 30, 2011
We use them in all our new homes and they are a great green feature as well as a real space saver. We have used them for 3 years and installed about 20 units with no problems.
Web Reference: http://www.randshomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 30, 2011
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