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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default tank vs tankless?

    I'm completely confused by how to go with a new hot water heater. Our conventional gas fired 50 gal. tank is almost 20 yrs. old so we've decided to be proactive and replace it before it fails. Logic and tax incentives would say to go tankless but I'm hesitant due to mixed reviews. Should we stay with a conventional tank, perhaps power-vented or take the tankless plunge? Does anybody have experience with the A. O. Smith Vertex that claims 96% efficiency? I'd appreciate any thoughts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: tank vs tankless?

    Quote Originally Posted by rey View Post
    I'm completely confused by how to go with a new hot water heater. Our conventional gas fired 50 gal. tank is almost 20 yrs. old so we've decided to be proactive and replace it before it fails. Logic and tax incentives would say to go tankless but I'm hesitant due to mixed reviews. Should we stay with a conventional tank, perhaps power-vented or take the tankless plunge? Does anybody have experience with the A. O. Smith Vertex that claims 96% efficiency? I'd appreciate any thoughts!
    To answer your question, it would be helpful to know whether the 50 gal meets your needs today; meaning do you have enough hot water in the home. Assuming your family size has not increased or will not increase; or the number of water using devices has not increased and will not increase, then you can safely assume 50 gal is sufficient.

    The Vertex model you cited puts out a lot more water for the home; meant for larger homes or those needing a 75 gal plus capacity. So it might be over-kill.

    The tankless is not without problems. You have to buy the higher-end products to really avoid most of the more common problems, which means spending more. And in the end, a tankless does not save you a lot ($ wise) in comparison to a 50 gal hot gas-fired water heater (one at today's efficiency levels). You will save a lot versus your 20 year-old unit. But you are going to save a lot regardless if you buy tankless or tank.

    My view is if you are looking to save energy, you are better off just upgrading your 20 yr old unit for a high efficiency unit (with a tank). The tankless might save you an extra 5% in energy costs, but the payback with be longer than the life of the unit.

    There are other considerations, however:
    (1) Floor space --- if you want more floor space, then the tankless mounted on the wall would be better. You can also mount them outside.
    (2) If you plan to install a hot tub or jacuzzi, a tankless would be better to have.
    (3) Will your hot water needs increase?
    (4) Life of a tankless is 20 years...life of a tank is 12 years. Which begs the question, how on earth is yours lasting 20 years.
    (5) Tankless generally require a large gas line
    etc.

    Note: The real savings in energy from a tank to tankless come from (a) electrical tank hot water heaters vs. tankless and/or (b) 75 gal and larger tank to tankless.

    Just my two cents.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    OKC
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: tank vs tankless?

    I agree, I would go with a high efficency with tank, there are several available that qualify for tax credits.
    HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL!

    Oklahoma City, OK

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    OKC
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: tank vs tankless?

    I think Ed's on living with Ed is the AO Smith tank type.
    HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL!

    Oklahoma City, OK

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: tank vs tankless?

    Yes, 50 gals. has been adequate for our family of four with two baths; one bath/shower, one just shower.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: tank vs tankless?

    I agree with mostly all of the above comments from the other posters.

    Another consideration is if by chance you have hot water heating (radiators, baseboard, radiant), then you should strongly consider an INDIRECT HOT WATER HEATER---this type of unit runs off the main boiler & is a very cost-effective way of making domestic hot water.

    Make sure you determine the size of the HW tank you buy by determining "peak usage" of hot water (usually the morning rush hour), based on family size.

    You have to add up the total # of HW gallons used by everyone in the household during the "peak hour" rush hour usage according to how many people take a shower, shave, run the dishwasher, etc.

    http://ag.uiuc.edu/~disaster/replace/waterhtr.html
    Last edited by NashuaTech; 07-29-2009 at 05:31 PM.

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