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Old 04-10-2007, 07:33 AM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,040,910 times
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Tankless water heaters-does anyone have experience with these? Our water heaters have a lifespan of about 7 years due to high calcium in the water. I have heard the tankless systems are more energy-efficient and would like to install one when we need a new heater. I realize the initial switch-over will be expensive, but feel the gains will be worth it. However, I don't know anyone who actually has one of these. Do you like the way it works? Will our hard water be a problem? I really don't want to put in a water softener, too.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:31 AM
 
302 posts, read 973,910 times
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I had a friend in Syracuse that purchased a 1930's bungalow style home w/ a water tank in it. When the tank quit, he installed a tankless type. He loved it. Told all of us to do it if our tanks ever failed. He mentioned that there is no more cold showers after wife and kids bathed before him. He was a plumber and knew alot about electricity/natural gas. So he installed it himself.
I have always kept his opinion in the back of my mind. When the day comes I just may install one.

Sorry I don't have personnal experience that you are seeking.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:13 AM
 
Location: wrong planet
5,128 posts, read 10,261,550 times
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I am from Germany where most people have tankless water heaters. They last a lot longer than the regular water heaters over here, are more energy efficient and you never run out of hot water. I highly recommend them!
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:16 AM
 
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Yes, I do have experience with using one.

It will depend on exactly what you get. There can be good and bad.

Mine was an ancient one on a oil fired boiler (forced hot water), sat external thru a 4 inch uptake above the boiler. Old steam system converted to hot water. This big heat exchanger over the top. Worked very well, only you had to make sure to turn the thermostat way down a bit before trying to take a shower. The sort of thermostat type proportioning valve in the system had failed. Duh, it gave priority to hot water over heat to radiators.

The newer ones will vary in their design and how they are placed in the system. Many are designed for point of use.

I would be wary of something like that if your water has a lot of minerals. They will plate out and doesn't take much to decrease the efficiency. Basically saying there will probably not be a ton of over kill in their abilities.

So yeah, some sort of water treatment at least on the feed to the tankless heater is probably going to be required.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,949 posts, read 12,181,750 times
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We have some experience, too. They have been used In Germany and other parts of Europe and Asia for quite some time and successfully.

We installed ours not too long ago and wish we had done so years ago. We never run out of hot water - it's wonderful.

Just a word of advice. If you are thinking about getting this solution for your home - you might want to get two.
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:56 PM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,153 posts, read 17,423,407 times
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We have looked into them and found that while they can be good (and you'll probably love it), the cost is so high that you can't justify it on basis of energy cost savings. It will be a long, long, time before you ever recover the cost of it. It has to be something you really want, and then you just do it for that reason. I've heard that the Rennai is the best.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 28,121,016 times
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If you are just putting one in your basic 1 or 2 bathroom home you can find a 4 GPM tankless heater for $250-$500 on amazon.com

My friends just paid $220 for one, and they love it.
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