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Tankless Water Heater Update
Old 06-15-2005, 12:16 PM   #1
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Tankless Water Heater Update

Last month we had a tankless water heater installed.* Here's what I've found.


The total installation cost was 1599 + $20 to dump the old water heater at the dump.

In the month prior to installation we used 38 gallons of propane, and in the month since installation we've used 21 gallons.* Note however, that it has been warmer this last month, so we've hung laundry out instead of using the dryer, and we also started washing in cold water.

Total savings from these three changes was 17 gallons, which at a price of $2.00 per gallon is $408 per year.* In addition, the propane price fluctuates between about $1.11/gal in summer and $2.63 in winter.* So, if we can make it through the winter months without buying any propane, we'll save significantly more.

Estimated Savings

Old: 38 gal/month * 12 * 1.66 (avg price we've paid) = 756.96
New: 21 gal/month * 12 * 1.20 (estimated summer price) = 302.40

Annual Savings: $455
Payback in 3.5 years


My main concern was that with the new system, when we were using several hot water devices at the same time, the flow/temperature would drop.* This has not happened -- we've had plenty of hot water.

I expected that the amount of time for the hot water to reach a faucet or the shower would be the same as with the tank system.* However, I didn't realize that hot water from the tank in the old system diffused into the the pipes somewhat.* As a result, with the new system you have to wait longer for the water to get hot.*

In the kitchen it takes 32 seconds before you get full hot water.* *So, if you want to wash your hands with warm water, you have to wait.

Bathroom faucets about the same.* But for some reason I haven't yet figured out, the shower doesn't reach full temperature for 2 minutes.* It's usable after 30 seconds, but not hot (120 degrees) until 2 minutes.* Luckily we don't pay much for water.

The delays are a bit of a bother, but not too bad.* I'll probably install a small undersink heater in the kitchen for instant hot water.

Also, we will never run out of hot water when multiple people take showers.

Overall I've concluded that it was a worthwhile investment.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater Update
Old 06-15-2005, 01:42 PM   #2
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Re: Tankless Water Heater Update

Our's is about 20 years old now. Getting kinda touchy in its old age, but we've alredy purchased the replacement ($600 at Home Depot), the exact same design, it must be pretty good to have lasted this long. It's sitting in the box until such time as I get brave and install it, or chicken out and pay someone to do it for me. Ours runs on Natural Gas. They don't cost a dime until you need hot water, so true pay as you go, no standby. Shower gets hot within 30 secs. And yes, you never run out of hot water. We would never go back to a tank.

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Re: Tankless Water Heater Update
Old 06-15-2005, 01:53 PM   #3
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Re: Tankless Water Heater Update

Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Also, we will never run out of hot water when multiple people take showers.

Overall I've concluded that it was a worthwhile investment.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater Update
Old 06-15-2005, 02:40 PM   #4
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Re: Tankless Water Heater Update

Johnny...if you're replacing a similar model with another...its SOOOOO easy. If you've done basic plumbing before with no disasters, its a piece of cake.

Lift up on the duct on top and it should clear the exhaust and be removable. Remove the exterior case from the water heater. Turn off the water and shut off the gas line. Remove those. Loosen the screws holding the mounting plate to the wall and lift the water heater off the mounting plate. If the old mounting plate is in good condition and the same as the new one, set the new water heater on it, otherwise replace it. Reverse the above. Turn on the gas and check for leaks with a squirt bottle full of soapy water.

If you havent done a gas line before, you use a yellow gas line teflon tape on those instead of the white tape you use on water connections.
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