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The Home Ownership Thread - Page 43

post #631 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post

Last I checked, tankless water heaters took a decade or more (often two decades) to pay for themselves. But in the meantime you get to enjoy water that's not consistently hot and doesn't flow enough to shower while washing dishes. A guy I know swears by them--but he has three in his house.

Around here the attics are so damn hot most of the year, water heaters don't have much work to do to keep their tanks hot.

You only run out of hot water when you have a water tank to draw water from. Tankless water heaters by design cannot run out of hot water, unless of course they are broken and need replacement.
Tankless heaters also heat the house if you have water heating system like I do. No variation in water pressure or water temperature with tankless heaters.
post #632 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1445 View Post

 tank style water heaters are $350-1000 with a lifespan of 12 years, tank-less are $800-1400 with a 20 year lifespan and energy cost savings of 30% or about $100/yr for a 2 person home, savings seem substantial enough for me. Price varies with volume for tank-style and output (gpm) for the tank-less. If your friend has 3 it's because he probably bought multiple lower priced units small outputs, 

Isn't there significantly more maintenance with a tank-less system?
post #633 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

You only run out of hot water when you have a water tank to draw water from. Tankless water heaters by design cannot run out of hot water, unless of course they are broken and need replacement.
Tankless heaters also heat the house if you have water heating system like I do. No variation in water pressure or water temperature with tankless heaters.

I lived in Europe for a while and liked the tank-less system. I also didn't experience problems of any real significance, although technically if you turn too many taps on at once you could struggle with maintaining temp.
post #634 of 2933

im seeing a little about that, i cant imagine its a great deal more than maintenance for regular water heaters but if it results in a longer product lifespan than it makes since to me...is it just a routine flushing, can anyone elaborate?

post #635 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

You only run out of hot water when you have a water tank to draw water from. Tankless water heaters by design cannot run out of hot water, unless of course they are broken and need replacement.
Tankless heaters also heat the house if you have water heating system like I do. No variation in water pressure or water temperature with tankless heaters.

Tankless heaters have to decide how much water to heat, and it takes time for the water to work its way through the maze of pipes inside it. For whatever reason, they tend to put out water with significant variations in temperature when you vary the demand. I'm hardly the only one who's noticed this.

Also, tankless heaters don't run out of water; they run out of the ability to heat the water to your desired temperature when too much water is pulled through. Maybe if you use Government Approved 1.5 gallon-per-minute shower heads and faucets everywhere they can handle it. But where water isn't scarce, that sucks. And try filling a tub with one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1445 View Post

 tank style water heaters are $350-1000 with a lifespan of 12 years, tank-less are $800-1400 with a 20 year lifespan and energy cost savings of 30% or about $100/yr for a 2 person home, savings seem substantial enough for me. Price varies with volume for tank-style and output (gpm) for the tank-less. If your friend has 3 it's because he probably bought multiple lower priced units small outputs, 

Those numbers are based on very unrealistic assumptions about how much water will be used. Real people use way more water, and the more you use the better the tank style heater does.

But don't take my word for it. Here's the top three hits from google:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/heating-cooling-and-air/water-heaters/tankless-water-heaters/overview/tankless-water-heaters-ov.htm
Quote:
Probably not. Gas tankless water heaters, which use high-powered burners to quickly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger, were 22 percent more energy efficient on average than the gas-fired storage-tank models in our tests. That translates into a savings of around $70 to $80 per year, based on 2008 national energy costs. But because they cost much more than storage water heaters, it can take up to 22 years to break even—longer than the 20-year life of many models. Moreover, our online poll of 1,200 readers revealed wide variations in installation costs, energy savings, and satisfaction.

....

Tankless units might need more care
During our long-term testing, an indicator on the tankless model warned of scale buildup. We paid $334 for special valves and a plumber to flush out the water heater with vinegar. Many industry pros recommend that tankless models be serviced once a year by a qualified technician. Calcium buildup can decrease efficiency, restrict water flow, and damage tankless models. Experts suggest installing a water softener if your water hardness is above 11 grains per gallon. Ignoring this advice can shorten your warranty.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/are-tankless-water-heaters-waste-money

Tankless%20water%20heater%20table.preview.jpg

http://www.fplblog.com/energy-efficiency/does-a-tankless-water-heater-save-money/

In Florida:
Quote:
Since water heating represents about $20 of the average FPL bill, the savings for a tankless water heater would be less than $2 per month for a typical customer.
post #636 of 2933
Thread Starter 
I'm as skeptical on tankless heaters as anyone, in particular 20-year-lifespan claims that are, at the moment, essentially completely unsubstantiated...

...but that article is 5 years old. That's an eternity when we're talking about evolving technologies and markets.

EDIT: I was honing in on the CR article - but the Green Building Advisor article is from April 2012, put out by what is obviously a green building advocate, and is pretty damning.
post #637 of 2933
I dunno..I can run my parents tank style heater down in a single shower.

Not to where it goes completely cold, but I have to keep turning down the cold water more and more. Seems like it is using up the hot water and replacing it with lukewarm water that hasn't been fully heated yet as the tank refills itself. And even with the tank, you can lose temp when someone uses the other taps (well maybe not with a 1.5gpm showerhead, but certainly with a higher flow setup where turning on a top cuts the flow rate and means you get more cold water in the mix).

A tankless system might still have problems when multiple people use the taps (which...how often does that really happen?), but at least it can keep pumping out hot water forever.
post #638 of 2933
I wonder if water hardness impacts life expectancy of tankless more than tanks. It just seems to me the nature of the two methods would lead to tankless getting hit faster by hard water. Could be wrong and having a water softener would stop that anyway.
post #639 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post

I'm as skeptical on tankless heaters as anyone, in particular 20-year-lifespan claims that are, at the moment, essentially completely unsubstantiated...

...but that article is 5 years old. That's an eternity when we're talking about evolving technologies and markets.

EDIT: I was honing in on the CR article - but the Green Building Advisor article is from April 2012, put out by what is obviously a green building advocate, and is pretty damning.

I think its substantiated, these systems have not been popular in the US but have been used abroad for decades.
post #640 of 2933
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

I dunno..I can run my parents tank style heater down in a single shower.

Not to where it goes completely cold, but I have to keep turning down the cold water more and more. Seems like it is using up the hot water and replacing it with lukewarm water that hasn't been fully heated yet as the tank refills itself. And even with the tank, you can lose temp when someone uses the other taps (well maybe not with a 1.5gpm showerhead, but certainly with a higher flow setup where turning on a top cuts the flow rate and means you get more cold water in the mix).

A tankless system might still have problems when multiple people use the taps (which...how often does that really happen?), but at least it can keep pumping out hot water forever.

This just sounds like your parents' water heater is undersized or is turned down too low (for the energy savings!).

I hope you own your own home, and are just bringing your folks' house in as an anecdotal counterpoint.
post #641 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

I dunno..I can run my parents tank style heater down in a single shower.

Not to where it goes completely cold, but I have to keep turning down the cold water more and more. Seems like it is using up the hot water and replacing it with lukewarm water that hasn't been fully heated yet as the tank refills itself. And even with the tank, you can lose temp when someone uses the other taps (well maybe not with a 1.5gpm showerhead, but certainly with a higher flow setup where turning on a top cuts the flow rate and means you get more cold water in the mix).

A tankless system might still have problems when multiple people use the taps (which...how often does that really happen?), but at least it can keep pumping out hot water forever.

Dish washer, washing machine, kitchen sink, shower, etc. If you have more than one person in the house it's easy to see these things being used at the same time.

Also, that reminds me, I think those tankless heaters are rated at X GPM at a fairly low temperature. I like my hot water hot enough to burn you.

As to your parents' heater, is it electric? I'd bet one of the elements has gone bad and needs to be replaced. Not hard to do at all.
post #642 of 2933
When it comes to green building ideas, for me it makes sense if it improves another feature. For the water heater it would be worth it for me if you could run multiple taps without a change in temperature and without requiring multiple units. Currently I can run mine for about 45 minutes of hot shower without any issues.

It has trouble recovering if I run a bath then want to use the shower after (TMI?).....you cant have a drink and relax in the shower.

Basically there needs to be additional, noticeable benefit outside of a long term cost savings.

That being said, if I were doing a new home I would favor all of the green options.
post #643 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post

This just sounds like your parents' water heater is undersized or is turned down too low (for the energy savings!).

I hope you own your own home, and are just bringing your folks' house in as an anecdotal counterpoint.

If his parents are anything like mine, its the latter.
post #644 of 2933

exactly my thoughts. We're taking down the old vent chimney as it frees up a corner in the kitchen and a bedroom and ditching the old water heater. It's just my wife and I at the moment but its a big house so with visitors or a big family, water usage could get pretty high. We'll have to put in either a tank-less or power vent and I'd like to pick the up and coming tech if it is becoming the standard

post #645 of 2933
Random Product Recommendation/Review:

I've been reno'ing my master bedroom. Pulled up the carpet, and had half decent hardwood underneath - problem was, it had 30+ years of grime on it and the high traffic spots were really worn down.

After cleaning up the paint spills, and a good water/soap scrub, did 2 coats of this:
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202269998/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=rejuvenate&storeId=10051

Gotta say .. definitely worth $20. Saved a lot of time and money from not refinishing. Should easily get me through the next couple years when I can afford to replace all the main floor hardwood. It doesn't look 'new', and you can still see significant wear on the high traffic areas .. but at least it's nice and smooth, and looks clean.
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