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Thread: Is the problem with tankless water heaters service?

  1. #1

    Default Is the problem with tankless water heaters service?

    Hi: I've had the regular 30 or 40 gal tank water heater for all my life. They last for years, then they go out, and then you buy a new one. If I put in a tankless, on demand heater, I'm I looking at a constant maintance problem? Marty

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default tankless

    Not constant, but sometimes the problems you have are hard to diagnose as to the cause unless the heater has a self diagnosis function to tell you what happened. And finding someone to service them can be an adventure in a small community.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    New England


    Tankless is more susceptable to mineral scaling...think teakettle. Depending on your water, you may need to flush it with an acid (vinegar is often used) periodically to remove that buildup or it won't perform properly. WIth a tank, even as that scale builds up, in between uses, it can build back up to temperature. WIth a tankless, it all has to happen nearly instantly...anything that restricts heat transfer is a problem. Also, the colder the water, the lower the output temperature will be. Not much of a problem if you are in a warm climate, since it may be pretty constant season to season, but, for example, my incoming water temperature varies from almost freezing to 60 degrees or more in the summer. A tankless also has a minimum flow temp before it will turn on - making it tough to get a warm setting out of the faucet. They are more complicated, cost more to install, and, if you get a good quality tank, not that much more efficient, although they can be. Standby losses aren't what they imply unless your WH is in an unheated space.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    There are other problems as well. They are very costly to buy and they require mega amounts of power to operate. Gas models frequently require a larger gas line than normally found in homes, and electric models often need more power than is available without redoing the service panel. Either are doable, but it will be costly and with high upkeep costs, it is doubtful that you will realize an real saving.

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  6. #6
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY


    Man, I wish that guy wouldn't mess with his fonts so much, and get the page width fixed so I don't have to scroll sideways to read every sentence. Makes it look like on of those conspiracy-theory web pages.

    Like he says himself, "keeping things simple simply works best".

    I know it seems trivial, but it really distracts from the content - which (as near as I could tell before getting fed up with the side-scrolling), is pretty solid.
    Master Plumber Mark:

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    it smells like......victory......

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  7. #7


    Hi: Thanks to all for the advise. Marty

    Ps: There is no spell check on this page!? It must be just my computer.


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