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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    249

    Default Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    I am changing out a bit more plumbing and debating if I want to prep for a tankless water heater as well. It will be NG, and mounted outdoors. I live in Houston, so groundwater is a bit warmer than most places, and family is currently 3 with no reasonable chance of being higher than 4. Two bathrooms, only one tub, so 3 lav sinks, one kitchen sink, dishwasher, washer, two showers and a tub. The numbers work out that unless the clothes washer is on a hot load, somebody takes a bath and a shower while somebody else does the dishes, tankless will be adequate.

    Anyway, what are some good reasons to NOT go tankless. I know there is the cost, but I also want the space as my WH currently uses a pantry area in my kitchen that can be used to store cleaning products instead. All of the plumbing will be CPVC accessible in an open crawlspace.

    So what am I really missing? Is there some kind of nasty maintenance I don't know about?
    It's this old house, not this built after your dad was born house.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    We covered this hot topic in the past, you can find it under plumbing.

    But anyway, some of the disadvantages are:

    - maintenance: like you suspected, you will need to clean it because of calcium and mineral build up. Annually.
    - cost: it costs 3-4 times more than a traditional WH.
    - installation: it requires a larger gas line and vent. Most manufacturers require you to install a water softner, to validate the warranty. Another expense.
    - It will save you gas - about $5-7 a month, but it will take you 15-20 years to recover the initial costs.
    - hot water: it is inconsistent in temp and quantity.
    - a tank WH has 30, 40, 50 or more gallons of water that can be used in an emergency. Tankless has none.

    There are more...

    You get the point: most old timer plumbers will tell you the same thing: stay with tank WH.

    BTW: if you can move it from the pantry, do so. A tank WH should never be inside the home, basement and garage is better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    Good post dj, I agree.


    BTW function, what kind of heating system do you have---if you happen to have a forced hw water boiler you might consider a 40 gal. indirect HWH.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 11-12-2013 at 04:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post

    BTW: if you can move it from the pantry, do so. A tank WH should never be inside the home, basement and garage is better.

    I live on pier and beam with a detached garage. I miss my basement. Some homes around here have a tank WH in the attic, and I am not cool with that at all. The thought of 50 gal of water leaking from above is not cool with me at all.


    Thanks for the thoughts though, I will keep them in mind when more remodeling comes along.
    It's this old house, not this built after your dad was born house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    I,m an old time plumber and DJ has it correct. (stay away) Pay back is none existent when you figure in the cost to maintain the unit. A tank type heater will satisfy your needs.
    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    central pa
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    I know many people with them that have had them along time and love them and a few people who don't my parents have had one for 20 yrs and never done anything mine has been in 8 and I have had no problems if you have bad water you will have problems but otherwise I would recommend one
    Last edited by junkout; 11-12-2013 at 06:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,509

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    I too live in Houston and just replaced my HWH with an tank heater - why?

    1- My NG HWH and copper pipes are in the attic. Most days its hot enough in the attic to heat the water for free. In the 9 summer months we don't hit the minimum NG bill from Centerpoint. That includes gas cooking and dryer. So the tankless wouldn't save us any money for most of the year.

    2- Price. The venting through the roof costs more than the tank

    3- The gas line would need to be enlarged and thus a plumbing permit and gas line pressure inspection. The inspection takes at lest 2 days with the gas shut off to have the inspector read the gauge.

    4- I have no fear of a HWH leaking and causing ceiling damage as all HWH's should be in a metal pan, piped to the outside as required by the plumbing code.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    Since you're in Houston, you don't want a water heater -- tank or tankless -- in your air conditioned space. You'll save a lot of money by not having to move ambient heat created by the water heater to the outside.

    If you lived in some place that has harsh winters and mild summers, it's an energy advantage to have the water heater within the conditioned space.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by function View Post
    I live on pier and beam with a detached garage. I miss my basement. Some homes around here have a tank WH in the attic, and I am not cool with that at all. The thought of 50 gal of water leaking from above is not cool with me at all.
    All tanks, especially in the ceiling should have pans below them with a drain as well as an alarm.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Reasons NOT to get a tankless water heater

    The reason can't be speculated but it depends upon what type of water heater you are looking for and comfortable with.

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