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Question

Are tankless water heaters worth it?

 

In Home > Water Heaters
Answered 4 years ago | 10 answers

Answer

I've seen and heard mixed reviews. They aren't really popular here due to our super hard water which clogs and rots everything it sits in. A company I used to work for tried electric units about 10 years ago in several homes but had to replace many of them within a few years because the build-up from the hard water hindered their productivity to little more than enough supply to run a sink. I've heard better success with gas units since there are no electric elements to burn out and gas can get hotter, faster to get through the deposits on the tubing walls inside the unit.


Standard electric water heater usually take a 30 amp circuit so they are often wired with 10 guage wire. Electric on-demand units large enough to service an entire house usually take 50 amps (or more) from what I've researched in the past. That means they need a 50 amp breaker and will be wired with 6 guage wire. By the time you factor in the initial cost of buying the much more expensive on-demand unit and rewiring for it I'm not sure you'll save money in the long run.


A better and cheaper option would be to put a timer on your standard water heater so it only kicks on during typical demand times. They have override switches so you can turn it to cycle normally when you are off of work or need it during the day/night if not during the preset times. A cheaper point of use water heater at the kitchen sink will ensure you have hot water there even when the main heater is off. This is usually the point that requires hot water the most frequently. Remember that your water heater will hold hot water for over an hour once it has cycled off. Take advantage of that.


Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX



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