Tankless Water Heater Relocation

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Michael Thurman, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Michael Thurman

    Michael Thurman New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    My current electric water heater is shot. I am wanting to put gas in and go tankless (Rhiann??) I am in Oregon and am wondering if I should go gas v. electric and if i should get the tankless placed in my garage as opposed to keeping it in the utility room (current electric water heater location. respectfully
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego
    Most places, gas is considerably cheaper to operate than electric, but that may not be true in your area.

    A gas tankless needs a 3/4" gas supply pipe. You probably don't have that available right now at the garage location, so there would be the cost of running that new pipe. Also, they usually require a stainless steel flue thru the roof, adding several hundred dollars to the first time install.

    In your norther climate, most of the electric tankless companies just recommend NOT. First, you will need a minimum 120 amp circuit to the water heater, as opposed to the 30 amp circuit you have now. Second, the GPM at a temp rise high enough for a good shower or bath....will be much smaller than the rating that you will see advertised in the large print. Check the fine print!
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    To me, the ONLY sensible location for a tankless heater is in a location as close to the main point of use as possible. And if you can install it there, it is one of the few reasons I would recommend a tankless heater.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    An electric tankless (to me, anyway) only makes sense if your electricity is really cheap, or for a small flow use, such as to take care of a remote sink. A decent sized tankless may have 200K BTU/hr, which is easy to get with gas. This equals over 58kWhr and a lot of amps. I'm pretty sure I got my math right.

    Depending on what your heating system is, if you have a boiler, by far, the least expensive way to heat the water is via an indirect WH or gas. The only way your electric WH provides a good supply is because it has time to build up the supply of hot water...a tankless must make it 'instantly', so your peak power goes WAY up.
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