Hi all. I can tell that you regulars have chewed over the tank v. tankless debate many, many times for newbies like me. And I see the arguments for and against tankless, and cost is, of course, no joke. Nor is efficiency.
But we have an added difficulty -- location of the water heater, whether it's a tank or tankless. And that's why I'm considering tankless. I'll explain it and if you could offer any insight or suggestions or encouragement, I'd appreciate it.
Obviously, we already have a water heater -- an electric tank, which is about 15 years old and which apparently just died. It's leaking like mad and we turned it off last night. We have four in our household, including a shower-happy teenager.
Why couldn't we just put a new tank where the old one is? Well.... we could, maybe, and may have to. But it's just h-e-double-hockey-sticks. We live in a WW2-era house that started out tiny and was added onto by previous owners. One expanded the kitchen and had the bright idea to put the water heater out of the way but near the sink and dishwasher. So it's in a corner of the kitchen, under the counter. It's a table-top size.
When the last one went bad 15 years ago, shortly after we moved into the house, the plumber took one look at this tight corner, where two countertops meet, and he was, like, fuhgeddaboutit. He wasn't about to try to remove it and said the only option he saw was to place a big tank somewhere else, which would put it out in the open for all to see because there is nowhere else to put the dang thing. My husband considered that for a second until I told him that simply was not going to do. He ended up having to take apart the cabinets and countertops (much, much, much cussing) and we went out and found another tabletop unit and another plumber took the old one out and installed the new one. My husband then put the cabinets and countertops back together (much, much, much cussing).
Now that water heater has died. Naturally, it received zero maintenance or attention throughout its life because there's no way to get at the thing without massive headaches.
So we must replace it, somehow. We do have natural gas service for our gas pack -- but that's on the other side of the house and the lines would certainly have to be extended to the kitchen. But maybe that'd be worth it in the end because of our particular situation and problems? We cringe at the idea of installing another tabletop there but is no viable place elsewhere and perhaps we are doomed to it if the tankless option is too expensive and/or unreliable. Have you any thoughts? Thank you in advance for your time!
p.s. I'm awaiting calls from the gas company and plumbers to arrange visits so we can talk options and estimates.