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-   -   Tankless Hot Water Heaters...Is It For Real? (http://www.buildinghomes.ca/community/forums/showthread.php?t=10101)

MiaK 2009-06-07 11:51 PM

Tankless Hot Water Heaters...Is It For Real?
 
Hi all,

Anyone done any research on tankless hot water heaters? We signed up for one in our upgrades, but are rethinking our decision. After seeing mostly bad reviews (which claim were due to installation) we're not quite sure what to do?

The builder claims you NEVER run out of hot water BUT the water pressure is less and we need our water pressure.

They also claim it's energy efficient because you don't require all this energy to keep the hot water tank filled and heated BUT when you open the tap, it takes 30 or more seconds to heat up and everytime you turn the tap off you have to start the same process of heating again.

Another thing is it's the size of a backpack on your wall, rather than the large adult size tubular contraption we all have now.

Any thoughts or comments on those types of heaters?

Thanks!

SuperSaiks 2009-06-18 11:36 AM

Here's the thing with those tankless water heaters. In my situation I originally upgraded to this option but then backed out.

It cost 700$ bucks to get it over the standard high effiency tank the builder offers. Then it cost around 10-15$ more a month for rental fees then the hot water tank. ie 12 @10$=120$ a year more for rental and thats at 10 I think its more like 15$. In the end in my situation it would be cheaper to have the hot water tank

Then it has to be installed on a exterior wall in the basement, which meant I had to move a window because the vent has to be 3ft away from any window. So I would have had to framed around it and loose some basement space for one of my planned rooms.

homie27 2009-06-18 12:30 PM

doesn't sound very efficient to me.

Trepex 2009-06-18 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homie27 (Post 98946)
doesn't sound very efficient to me.

Nah. It's extremely efficient, it's just not "that great a deal" if it doesn't some standard, and because of the (currently) inflated rental fees.

We don't have a choice - we have to take it - but we're still torn in terms of the rent-or-buy debate. Bah!

homie27 2009-06-18 01:20 PM

if whatever money you save on the energy to heat the water you end up spending it in rental fees, then that defeats the whole point of it. and if you buy it for $700, how long will it take you to save $700 in energy costs? by that time, you may have to buy another one.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trepex (Post 98953)
Nah. It's extremely efficient, it's just not "that great a deal" if it doesn't some standard, and because of the (currently) inflated rental fees.

We don't have a choice - we have to take it - but we're still torn in terms of the rent-or-buy debate. Bah!


klmrobinson 2009-06-18 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homie27 (Post 98956)
if whatever money you save on the energy to heat the water you end up spending it in rental fees, then that defeats the whole point of it. and if you buy it for $700, how long will it take you to save $700 in energy costs? by that time, you may have to buy another one.

That's if cost is you only concern :D.

For me it's not, I prefer not to waste recourses when I don't have to, that's my primary concern. In the long run you will always save money with a more energy efficient appliance, be it a stove, fridge, HWT or furnace. Thankless units have been out for decades now, they are a proven technology, they are just fairly new to the North America market so there are a lot of miss-information going around.

Mike

TKG26 2009-06-18 04:20 PM

FYI the standard power vented tank included with the home is not high efficency. the are abut 60%..

tankles is about 80%

homie27 2009-06-18 05:18 PM

but water is an unlimited resource. it can never escape the earth's atmosphere.

Quote:

Originally Posted by klmrobinson (Post 98977)
That's if cost is you only concern :D.

For me it's not, I prefer not to waste recourses when I don't have to, that's my primary concern. In the long run you will always save money with a more energy efficient appliance, be it a stove, fridge, HWT or furnace. Thankless units have been out for decades now, they are a proven technology, they are just fairly new to the North America market so there are a lot of miss-information going around.

Mike


amz155 2009-06-18 07:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homie27 (Post 98995)
but water is an unlimited resource. it can never escape the earth's atmosphere.

Wow. Water is NOT an unlimited resource. Just because we have an abundance of it in North America (which is actually decreasing) doesn't mean its unlimited.

Check out "When the Rivers Run Dry" by Fred Pearce.

klmrobinson 2009-06-19 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homie27 (Post 98995)
but water is an unlimited resource. it can never escape the earth's atmosphere.


Water? Sorry, I was talking about the fuel it take to heat the water, the real cost of owning a HWT. The majority of water a house uses is for landscaping (which is not from HWT). Yet the HWT accounts for large portion of you energy bills. I am not concerned with water; I am concerned with energy and the resulting pollution.

Thankless units save money on energy bills not the amount of water used.

Mike

PS: You are right, water is virtually unlimited (at least there is a lot of it). However fresh water or drinking water, is not unlimited, not even close.

SuperSaiks 2009-06-19 02:15 PM

When u look at the brochure that comes with the tankless heater it gives you an example of the energy$$$ you can save over a standard tank. However when you take into consideration the extra cost in rental fees its not worth the money it actually costs more.

Also when you take into consideration the rise in the price of utilites from when the brochures example was given,, its even more expensive plus the price of the upgrade at 700$ and then having to frame and build a room around it so its not seen yet accessable in case of repair I said forget it.

klmrobinson 2009-06-19 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperSaiks (Post 99099)
Also when you take into consideration the rise in the price of utilites from when the brochures example was given,, its even more expensive plus the price of the upgrade at 700$ and then having to frame and build a room around it so its not seen yet accessable in case of repair I said forget it.

I am confused by your comment, how does it cost more to run a thankless unit when utilities costs go higher? If they go lower I can see that but thankless cost less in utilities than HWT.

Also how is building a room for the tankless unit different than a regular HWT? Just wondering, I had to build a room around my HWT in my old house so I was wondering how you got around not building one for the HWT.

Mike

TKG26 2009-06-19 02:52 PM

That arguement does not hold water. :) That would suggest that we should not run a high eff furnace over a mid or low eff because utilities might go up??

The savings are there no matter what the cost of fuel. Standard tanks run about 60% a tankless runs around 80% so it costs 20% less to heat water... ALL the time no matter how much gas costs.... Now the arguement that rental costs eat the savings i am behind 100%

Rental powervented tank is in the 20-22$ a month range, a tankless in the 35$ range. Thats 180$ extra a year in rental rates. The question is how much does the hot water cost in gas for both? And is it greater then 200$ to make renting a tankless worth while.. If your in an older home you may have a 12$ a month rental..... So make that 276$ extra to go from a std to tankless

SuperSaiks 2009-06-19 10:39 PM

Klimrobson

the tankless unit has to be installed along an exterior wall in the basement, the water tank can be placed in the mechanical room along with the furnance,hrv,etc.

had the tankless unit been free and cost the same per month to rent and have the ability to be installed in the mechanical room it would be different. but in terms of savings $$$ it doesn't add up.

oakvillehomeowner 2009-06-20 12:21 AM

Does your furnace room not have an exterior wall?

My hw tank is. 65 gal high-recovery tank, and even with the wife filling the soaker tub I use less than 2 m3/day of natural gas. The most a tankless would save me is 1m3/day, or about 18 cents/day at current prices. However, I would certainly consider a tankless hw heater to supplement a solar water heater. One nice benefit not mentioned so far - the tankless units don't use room air for combustion - helps save on heating costs.

klmrobinson 2009-06-20 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperSaiks (Post 99162)
Klimrobson

the tankless unit has to be installed along an exterior wall in the basement, the water tank can be placed in the mechanical room along with the furnance,hrv,etc.

had the tankless unit been free and cost the same per month to rent and have the ability to be installed in the mechanical room it would be different. but in terms of savings $$$ it doesn't add up.

I see, you are talking about your case in particular, not thankless units in general. Sorry for my confusion, both my houses had the furnace on an outside wall as others have also noted. So in our case there is no additional expense for framing them in. But if your HWT is not on the outside wall I see how that would be a pain. My electrical panel is not close to my furnace so I need to build a special access panel for it when I finish the basement, itís a pain as well.

Iíve also seen thankless units installed on interior walls so the unit you were quoted must have been different than those if it required to be installed on an exterior wall. The ones I saw needed a special vent, similar to a gas fireplace vent, and like a fireplace the actual fireplace does not need to be installed on an exterior wall, just close to it, ie. two sided fireplaces, etc. I donít know enough about all the different units to comment on the differences between them though, I am sure they all have different requirements similar to furnaces.

Mike


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