Electric Requirements for Tankless Water heater

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Bombadil9

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Hi! My water heater is about 8 years old, so I'm looking into getting a new one. I've looked at tankless, and they seem to be more efficient and last longer. My question is, do I need to upgrade my electric panel to install one? What are the requirements electrically to install one.? My electric panel is very old, and I think the largest fuses are 20 amp. My current tank heater uses natural gas. Also, is the installation very expensive? Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

Terry

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If you have natural gas now for heating water, then a new panel would be needed to go tankless electric. Typically you might be able to supply one bathroom with electric. In the Winter you're pulling water out of the ground at 40.8 F
You need a 79 degree rise in temperature to get up to 120.
The Rheem RTEX-36 would give you about 3 gallons a minute in Winter.

rheem-rtex-temperature-rise.jpg


rheem-water-usage.jpg
 

John Gayewski

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If your heating with gas why would you need a bigger panel? If you want to spend about 5 times the money over your lifetime to go tankless than it's a good deal. Basically the only reason to use a tankless water heater is if you have a house full of people and need more hot water than is reasonable to store.
 

Terry

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If your heating with gas why would you need a bigger panel? If you want to spend about 5 times the money over your lifetime to go tankless than it's a good deal. Basically the only reason to use a tankless water heater is if you have a house full of people and need more hot water than is reasonable to store.
For some reason I was thinking "Electric Tankless"
If it's a gas tankless that needs an outlet, then that would just need a 15 amp breaker for the outlet.
You will need to check to see if your gas line handles the volume you need too. A 199,000 BTU gas tankless would give you a little less than 5 gallons a minute in the Winter. That runs two showers at a time pretty easily.
 

Bombadil9

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Thanks for the responses. From what you say, I'm better off with a tank water heater. I've been investigating tanks, and I think the
Rheem Performance Platinum would suit my needs. This tank seems to be highly rated on several sites I viewed. Now I see it comes in 40 and 50 gallon size, and I'll probaby go with the 50 gallon. I see that it has a 6 year , 9 year, and 12 year warranty. Is it worth it to get the longer warranty? The price difference is $100 and $200 more for the longer warranty, but I read that the warranty doesn't mean that it will last longer as it is the same tank regardless of the warranty.. If the tank goes and leaks, as they have in the past, I just bought a new one and didn't even look at the warranty as they lasted 8 to 10 years. So should I just get the 6 year warranty? Thanks.

 

jadnashua

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In general, a longer warranty on the same tank is basically an insurance policy. On some, they may add a second anode rod, or larger ones. I don't know the specifics on that specific one. Depending on your water quality and chemistry, and overall use, a tank can die early, or last a really long time.
 
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