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  #1  
Old 2008-06-17, 09:53 AM
Nikka Nikka is offline
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Default Tankless Water Heater vs. Tank

Hi,

We are in the process of getting all our structural changes finalized before we sign with Richcraft and can't decide on the tankless hot water. Richcraft is charging us $650 to install a rental tankless system from direct energy, which I believe is the Rinnai unit. The rental fee is $32 monthly for the tankless and $20 for the regular 50 gallon tank.

They told us we'd be the first people in Riverside south to get the unit installed... not too crazy about being guinea pigs !

I wanted to hear from people who have the Rinnai tankless unit installed:
- Are the cost savings in heating actually worthwhile ?
- Does it take longer to get hot water then a tank ?
- Any other problems with pressure or balancing ?
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Old 2008-06-17, 10:56 AM
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westendpenguin westendpenguin is offline
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After months of deliberation I decided to take the plunge and get a tankless water heater installed in my Kanata Estates home. I was also charged $650 to relocate the water heater and to have larger gas lines installed.

I too am interested in any comments from people who actually have a tankless water system at home.

The Direct Energy website does do a good job of providing information on the unit they rent.
Direct Energy Website

Tankless systems aren't for everyone and it really comes down to your lifestyle and how large your family is. The anticipated maximum flow rate for the Rinnai R53i is 4.3 gpm. A low flow shower head runs at about 1.25 gpm. So in this case you could easily have two showers going and possibly one other tap before affecting the flow rate.

It will take a little longer for hot water to reach your taps and if you turn off a tap and turn it back on again you will have to wait again for the water to heat up. This may be the biggest drawback and has to be something you are willing to accept.

Other than the environmental benefits though the big question really is whether you will make your money back for the premium price being paid. Over 15 years there will be an additional cost of $2450 to install and rent a tankless heater. If you can manage a $200/year savings in gas consumption however this additional cost will pay for itself in about 12 years. So not a lot cheaper but not more expensive either.

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Old 2008-06-17, 11:02 AM
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M&H M&H is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westendpenguin View Post
It will take a little longer for hot water to reach your taps and if you turn off a tap and turn it back on again you will have to wait again for the water to heat up. This may be the biggest drawback and has to be something you are willing to accept.
A colleague of mine has a side business installing these systems. He said that for his customers he will install a 5 gallon tank to be heated using a normal gas heating process. This helps in solving the above mentioned issue. It is more complicated that what I have stated, but there is a solution for the delay.

I don't direct energy would do this, but check other web sites about this issue if you are interested to have this solution.
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Old 2008-06-17, 11:05 AM
patrob patrob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikka View Post
I wanted to hear from people who have the Rinnai tankless unit installed:
- Are the cost savings in heating actually worthwhile ?
- Does it take longer to get hot water then a tank ?
- Any other problems with pressure or balancing ?
We have a tankless system but not from Rinnai but Waiwela (by Paloma)

- I do see savings in our gas usage vs. our usage last year with reg. tank but we only had the reg. tank for 6 months, so could only compare those few months
- I don't feel it takes that much longer for hot water to come in vs. reg. tank. It all depends how far your bathroom is from the tank.
- We have not had any issues with our tankless system & we have it for 1 year now & love it. No problems with filling our large corner soaker tub with endless hot water, unlike out reg. tank which would run out of hot water
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Old 2008-06-17, 12:50 PM
jjhbjr jjhbjr is offline
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This is standard with Tamarack. I love the tankless. As Patrob said it is joy to take a bath and never run out of hot water!!!
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Old 2008-07-02, 06:03 PM
ElectricMayhem ElectricMayhem is offline
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I have spoken to two mechanical engineers who both told me that the savings you get with tankless are $50 a year under optimal conditions for a family of 4, and that's if you don't use more hot water because it's now unlimited.

At that rate, you're talking 10-15 years to make your money back.

It would be very interesting to see your July/August with-tank gas/water bills versus the same bills for this year, patrob.
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Old 2008-07-02, 08:54 PM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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I suspect the future will be tankless systems. In one sense, its probably not correct to look at comparison based on cost recovery only, as here in Canada the hot water tank is simple technology used as a mass-produced product. At some point, energy conservation will prevail, and we will see that the hot water tank is an enormously inefficient way to heat water.

In the installations I've examined, the time delta to get the hot water to the tap is not appreciably different, as we are used to waiting for the hot water to arrive anyway. (If I may be so naive to ask, why are we in such a rush anyway?)

If you are looking to be more "green" in your lifestyle, then look at the tankless system. If you want to be really green: a) use cold water solutions for laundry; b) add romance in your life by washing dishes by hand and as a couple -- weren't your grandparents happier?; c) use low-flow shower heads d) guys, stop running the hot water tap continuously while you shaving; e) shorten the time your teenagers spend in the shower by flushing the toilet (I NEVER get through my shower without this happening to me!)
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Old 2008-07-02, 10:05 PM
ElectricMayhem ElectricMayhem is offline
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The way it was explained to me by one mechanical engineer, your hot water tank radiates about 40 W (the so-called standby loss), which sounds like a lot but in real dollar terms it's less than $50 a year in natural gas. And that "waste" heat is actually helping you in the winter. It's only in southern climates, where you have to air condition the waste heat away all year long, that you see any real gains over a storage system.

If you're comparing with an electric tank system, there is a gain, however.

Enbridge commissioned the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology, a government body, to do an evaluation of tankless water heaters, and Enbridge is keeping the report a secret, which would seem to imply that there are no real gains to be had.

Green? I guess to the tune of $50 a year's worth of gas, but the upfront cost is rather steep. I think there are better ways to spend your money, like on a rooftop solar water heating system (which requires a tank).

Last edited by ElectricMayhem; 2008-07-02 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 2009-03-11, 08:27 PM
alymg alymg is offline
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Has anyone installed a tankless system after your home has been constructed? If so how big of a deal is it in terms of cost and modifications?
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Old 2009-03-12, 11:40 AM
Dubberdom Dubberdom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector Phil Acker View Post
e) shorten the time your teenagers spend in the shower by flushing the toilet (I NEVER get through my shower without this happening to me!)
This trick doesn't work on newer homes... stupid Scald-Guard!
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