Electric Tankless Survey

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by jack1953, Feb 29, 2012.

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Stay with electric tank, or go tankless electric?

  1. Stay with an electric tank water heater

    100.0%
  2. Go for the tankless electric on-demand heater

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. jack1953

    jack1953 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Florida
    Most every plumber I've spoken to locally say to avoid tankless systems and to stay with the tank heaters.
    I would like to hear from ANYONE who has gone from tank to tankless particularly electric, because it will be much cheaper for me to install since all I would have to do is put 60amp in.

    If you've gone from tank to tankless electric I'd like to hear any reviews! Thank you.

    Jack
  2. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I have changed ONE person from electric tank to electric tankless. Two older people are the only ones ever there. Probably never use more than 3 GPM. They had to install a separate 100 amp service just to run the heater. (Can't recall brand & details. Sorry.)

    They seemed to be happy with it. However, it is a very rare occasion that I think a customer would be happy with it. I would not have even installed this one but it was his design, his dime, and I made sure that he understood perfectly what to expect, he was responsible for the choice, and no callbacks.
  3. jack1953

    jack1953 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks plumber, can you give me the pros and cons from tank to tankless?
  4. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

    Messages:
    702
    Location:
    VA
    About the only advantage of the electric tankless is the space you save. They aren't really even a help for big tub fills like a NG tankless as most can't support the gpm at the temp rise needed to get the job done (unless to have a huge service with multiple tankless units). In FL, you have warmer ground water, so it is less of an issue compared to most of the country.

    An electric tank has very little standby loss (maybe $20/year), so either option heats only the water used for the most part. The tankless will cost much more to install and you need to be sure that your service can handle it. You can't just throw a 60A or 90A tankless on say a 100A service.

    An electric tank is very simple, cheap/easy to repair, and will last a long time. There is much more to go wrong on the tankless and will be more expensive to fix. For the most part, you could have an electric tank break down on a Sunday and you could run to HD or Lowes and have it fixed the same day (t-stat, element). If your tankless did the same, you would probably wait until at least Monday to get someone to look at it (w/ trip charge) and you probably will have to wait even longer to get the parts and have them installed (with no hot water during that time).
  5. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The larger Electric Tankless takes a monster amount of amps to operate. And these are the only ones that have a remote chance of giving reasonable demand for the way most Americans use hot water.

    Basically, think of it as a 1 fixture water heater regardless of stated GPM. (Only run one thing in the house for hot water at a time.) Knowing that, and if you can be happy with that performance, then it might be ok for you.

    You'll have to do some math on your end if it's worth it. Electric costs, upgrade to the electrical system, room gained, any maintenance, etc. There is also little known as the longetivity for electric tankless in the states. We have water chemistry all over the place and may use them more than what other countries do. So their standard for heat exchanger or element life that they have calculated may be incorrect.

    Short answers.

    Electric Tankless. Large power supply and will spin the meter at light speed when operating. Could even theoretically outrun standby heat loss on a tank.

    Only for 1 or two people.

    One fixture water heater. Maybe 1.5 depending on fixture, warmth necessary at each fixture, and incoming water temperature.

    Life unknown. Dependability unknown. (At least for me.)
  6. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    And their easier to run if you're near your avatar picture. :p
  7. I have heard that they will lime up easily.... would not recommend one

    I got a link somewhere that told the story of a electric tankless
    on a dead end street with 4 other houses... when their tankless heater
    came on , the lights in every house on the end of the street went dimmer...
    because the transformer at the pole could not handle the demand...

    they suck down a lot of power when they heat...
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,764
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I installed a tankless electric that was supplied by the owner of the winery. He used it to wash out oak barrels and needed non-stop hot water. It's what the other wineries were doing in the Woodinville area too. At least those without Natural Gas.
    It was for commercial use, and only to run one thing at a time. He did have a three compartment sink in the place, but I'm guessing with a small crew that he was mainly interested in keeping up with the barrel washing.
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,302
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I don't know where you got the idea that you would only need a 60 amp supply. Upgrading the power supply is just one of the major drawbacks to electric tankless heaters. Those using NG have a similar problem with the size of their gas supply line.
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