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Thread: tankless or tank

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member stormy4614's Avatar
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    Default tankless or tank

    I am in the process of remodeling my house, and am weighing my options for water heaters. 2 people both of us travel approximately 6-10 weeks a year, and are fairly conservative in water usage. I had originally thought that tankless would be the more efficient way to go but after reading through this site I have second thoughts.

    thoughts??

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The costs and benefits have been beaten to death here...read on, and make your own decision. Some of this would depend on what power source you would use. The deciding factors on size of a unit are peak volume needed, desired operating temperature, and how cold the incoming water is. The colder the winter water temps, the bigger the unit OR the less volume you can get at any one time.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There doesn't seem to be a middle ground in this debate. There are those who will defend tankless to their death, and then there are the rest of us that realize the overall cost of installation which includes a massive increase in the power source, frequent service calls, initial cost of the unit, life of the unit, and shortcomings where incoming water is extremely cold make tankless a poor choice. Nothing in between.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    However I did pick up two Tankless to run in series for my own home. That will be interesting.

    I think for the most part, a tank works pretty well.
    I see tankless for certain situations, mainly for families that have to run a lot of people through the showers in the morning.

    If you are in Colorado, you have to consider year round ground temperature and the heat rise needed. I'm starting at 50 degrees in the Seattle area.
    And then there is how you use it.
    People taking turns one after another
    Everybody at once taking a shower.
    These are things to consider. Since you are looking at a two person home, it would seem that one tankless would be fine.
    Even with the starting temperature that you have.

    There are tax credits available and in some areas, rebates.
    They also cost less to run each year for a given amount of heated water in energy costs.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Welcome to Terry's Forums stormy4614,

    A friend of mine has a tankless water heater, and when using his HE Clothes washer, The water never gets hot enough to devolve the powered washing soap that he used to use. He changed soap and now his clothes stink.

    I am not sure if that is a problem with all tankless units, but maybe something to think about if you have a High Efficiency cloths washer. Unless you only wash with cold water.


    Have a Great Day.


    DonL
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  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Water doesn't get hot enough? That's one of the calcs that needs to happen.
    On my home, each tankless delivers 4.3 gallons at 70 degree rise.
    Two of them gives me 8.6 gallons.
    Like any heater, there are adjustments for temperature, and then there's capacity.

    Or it could be that some codes now require 120 degrees or less.
    Here is a discussion on that.
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...empering+valve
    Last edited by Terry; 07-10-2011 at 01:28 PM.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I think that the problem is that the way the washers takes on water, Slow.

    There is not enough water flow to make the Gas burner kick in.

    Low water flow is part of the washers HE BS...


    DonL
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  8. #8
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The tank type cost is several hundred less and you get a free settling tank and water reserve in a crisis. Use electric and you can insulate it to r-100 if you so wish. My electric is my winter "coat closet".

    Add a shut off switch for those 10 weeks and put it on your list of house closing things to do.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member stormy4614's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input-

    stormy

  10. #10

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    For a detailed exploration of the question of tank vs. tankless, check out this link: http://www.hvacandwater.com/wh_basic...tankvstankless. Hope it helps save some back and forth going forward...

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member JJANNE's Avatar
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    More info if you haven't decided yet: http://www.air-n-water.com/tankless-heaters.htm Goes through the factors to consider when trying to make your decision.

  12. #12
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    I neither love nor hate tankless units, but it depends on the application. If you have a monster-spa or large soaking tub to fill the rationale for tankless is pretty good, but "...are fairly conservative in water usage..." doesn't sound like a burning need for endless hot water.

    Get a tank, or if you heat with a hydronic (pumped hot water baseboards or radiator) system, an "indirect" tank using the boiler as the heat source improved net efficiency. To deal with standby during travel sessions, turn the thing off (not merely down), and fire it back up when you return. The recovery time for gas/propane fired HW heaters (and indirects) is less than the time it takes you to fully unpack.

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