Re: Tankless water heaters
Posted by Christine Shirley on November 21, 2001 at 20:01:33:
In response to Re: Tankless water heaters
: Does anybody have any experience with how much these cost, what you need to do as far as installing and servicing them?

We've had a tankless water heater for about 10 years. Like just about anything else, there are trade-offs.

Yes they are expensive to buy and install, but most are really efficient to operate and they don't wear out. I just took ours apart to check for scale and it was nearly clean as new. They also take up very little space.

They DO supply endless hot water, but the flow rate is low, about 2.5 gallons per minute for the average tankless. That means you can't take a shower and run any other hot water-using appliance at the same time. It also means it takes forever to fill a bathtub. However, for our situation this works OK, for now. We have one bathroom and we all get to take a long hot shower after that mountain biking expedition.

One other glitch..they are sensitive to changes in water pressure. So you can't run a cold-water wash, or flush the toilet, while the shower is running. This causes a blast of cold water in the shower. We mitigated (but did not completely solve) this by tuning the flow-rates of other water outlets so that there are no water hogs.

We have found that this hot water system demands some inter-family communication.

We love this heater in spite of its quirks. That being said, we are adding a new bathroom and decided to abandon the endless system.

I think the perfect application for these tankless heaters is at a vacation home. Think of 10-12 skiers/bikers/hikers taking a shower one after another. I have a friend who needs this water heater at his cabin.

Hope this helps.

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