Your experience with natural gas tankless water heaters

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Old 02-04-2020, 08:10 AM
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Villages Kahuna Villages Kahuna is offline
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Other than the first few years here in TV where we had a tank heater ee’ve had nothing but tankless heaters for almost twenty years in three different homes. They operated very efficiently and without maintenance incident. I wouldn’t have anything else!

A couple of key points:

- They are more expensive to install initially, most having to do with the plumbing changes required for hook up. But once installed, the savings in operating costs quickly begin to repay that expense. You’ll see an immediate decline in your gas bill.

- Be sure you choose a model with enough capacity for your needs. The models we chose, while more expensive, could provide enough continuous hot water to serve two showers, the wash machine and dishwasher simultaneously! The tankless heaters are rated at how quickly they heat water from ambient temperature to your desired hot water temperature. Ambient water temp here in FL is a LOT warmer than in Michigan and Illinois where we were more than satisfied with the tankless units we had installed there.

- Hot water is provided at the heater almost instantaneously. However, like the tanked heater if you have long water lines from the heater to your faucet or shower, they have to be ‘filled’ with hot water before it is provided at the faucet itself. There should be no change between tanked or tankless if they are installed at the same location.

- Do your research, shop for sales. We had a Rannai installed here in TV by Allan Curry Plumbing. They also ‘descaled’ the unit about every 3-4 years. But if you want greater long-term confidence in a dealer, tankless heaters are sold and installed by both Lowes and Home Depot as well as most big box appliance dealers.
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Last edited by Villages Kahuna; 02-04-2020 at 08:16 AM.
Old 02-04-2020, 08:39 AM
Robbie0723 Robbie0723 is offline
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Just built in Southern Oaks, the water heaters are placed at the front corner of the garage.

It takes 2-3 minutes to get hot water to the shower. Temperature drop is more than 10 degrees over that distance

If I had a do over, I'd ask if possible to place it closer to the center of the house.

Otherwise I'd talk to a plumber about installing a small water heater near the master bath sized to cover the time to get hot water from the main unit.
Old 02-04-2020, 09:33 AM
OhioBuckeye OhioBuckeye is offline
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Default Ohiobuckeye

Originally Posted by vintageogauge View Post
Ours will be 3 years old next month and I have yet to flush it. We have a filter system as well as a softener system and don't have a problem with calcium buildup or clogged screens on our fixtures. It takes a while for hot water to get to the bathroom as it's on the other side of the house but it would take just as long if I had a tank heater. One great thing about having the tankless is you gain closet storage space in your garage where there would normally be a tank which is priceless.
You’re right it wouldn’t make any difference if you had a tank or tankless water heater it would take just as long to get hot water to the other side of the house. The builders could put a tankless water heater more to the center of the house if they really wanted to, because tankless are put in the wall but the builders I think don’t want to change anything. You would think since Florida is always saying the state is short on fresh water & TV waste a lot of water just running it so long to get hot water. Also tankless are cheaper to buy than a tank heater. Really I don’t see any difference which one you get unless when it’s time to get a new one, that’s where you can get a better deal on a tankless!
Old 02-04-2020, 12:01 PM
RDhot RDhot is offline
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Outside water pipes are not ever going to freeze in the villages
Old 02-04-2020, 12:23 PM
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CWGUY CWGUY is offline
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A little off subject and does nothing to answer the OP's questions...... but important to someone reading this thread and thinking about converting to gas tankless from tank water heating. TECO has a great rebate program:

Conservation Rebates - Peoples Gas

Over the last several years we have received $1000 total in 3 checks.

1. $100 new gas stove (I installed)
2. $400 new High Efficiency Tank Water Heating (I installed)
3. $500 new gas furnace as part of new HVAC System (Chuck Farrell installed and filled out paper work - I got the check)

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Old 02-05-2020, 08:23 AM
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Default "Efficiency" Related to Tank vs Tankless

Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback on my original question. I’ve read and re-read the entire thread and continued to do research online and at stores. Here’s where I am…at the moment…but could change my mind…again.

“Efficiency” comes up frequently when considering tank vs tankless water heaters and could be based on which is most convenience-efficient, cost-efficient, energy-efficient, or water-efficient. Each of these types of efficiency are impacted by (obviously) the specific water heater systems and whether we’re talking about (1) building a new home with the water heater location optimized for the house, (2) building a new home where the water heater location is determined by factors other than optimizing the system, or (3) whether we’re retrofitting an existing home.

In my case — and for most new homes — we’re talking about villages in the new sections of TV that are south and west of the turnpike: either (a) builder-spec homes or (b) homes customized by/for the prospective owner on a specific lot. Some Villagers may (c) retrofit their older home and convert from tank to tankless…but that’s a different situation and outside the scope of my consideration.

This has been an interesting discussion and research project. Depending on the specific application (location of tankless unit on house), the specific systems, and the time-frame for comparison (owning for 5 years vs owning for 20 years) one might conclude either is most “efficient” depending on the type of “efficiency” they find to be most compelling.

Most of us are (at least I am) more concerned with convenience/cost-efficiency than energy/water efficiency. And the most important cost consideration of all may be maximizing appeal to prospective buyers when (eventually) re-selling one’s home. In that regard I probably don’t want to stand out and be the only tank system in an area where every other home has a tankless heater, even if I have a personal preference for tank compared to tankless.

So, as of right now, I’m planning to choose one of the standard new home (tankless) options.

Thanks, again! Rebel

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Old 02-05-2020, 01:36 PM
dsnrbec dsnrbec is offline
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This is our first experience with a tankless system and we are not big fans. It takes forever to get hot water to our sinks! And yes we can find things to do while it’s warming up but the loss of gallons of water down the drain is problematic. Plus sometimes you just want to quickly wash your hands and be in your way. My husband was just out walking in our neighborhood and ran into an employee of the gas company getting a new house hooked up. He mentioned to him the issues we are having and it is his opinion that the tankless heaters The Villages are installing aren’t good quality. He said if it were him, he would upgrade to a more efficient one since the cost of a new one would be made up in 5 yrs. We may consider it.
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unit, warranty, gas, natural, tankless

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