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Kyrie Eleison

electric tankless water heater...

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Posted (edited)

water heater is on the fritz, thinking about going tankless.  it'll be electric, not gas.

anyone dealt with this? pros...cons...what to look out for?

details if you please.

Edited by Kyrie Eleison

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Natural gas units here.  They are wonderful!  Takes a little additional time to heat up (30-45 seconds) but worth the wait.  Downside to electrical is obviously when the power goes out. 

Check and see if you can get a tax credit.  We did years ago but that may be gone now. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Kyrie Eleison said:

explain, please...

It will take a high-amperage and probably 220V (ala washing machine/dryer) circuit/plug in most cases.  So you can't just plug it in anywhere.

Even if you use gas, you probably have to pressure test the other connections to make sure it won't starve the furnace or range.

Installation is a bit of hassle.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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4 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

It will take a high-amperage and probably 220V (ala washing machine/dryer) circuit/plug in most cases.  So you can't just plug it in anywhere.

Even if you use gas, you probably have to pressure test the other connections to make sure it won't starve the furnace or range.

Installation is a bit of hassle.

I have 220 run to my dryer, and it'll go in the laundry room; what concerns me is running to my box.  from what i understand i'll need 4 forty amp dedicated fuses.  i have the room in my box to add, i just don't know anything about running power.

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16 minutes ago, Kyrie Eleison said:

I have 220 run to my dryer, and it'll go in the laundry room; what concerns me is running to my box.  from what i understand i'll need 4 forty amp dedicated fuses.  i have the room in my box to add, i just don't know anything about running power.

Having space in your panel and capacity to service 4 additional 240V 40amp breakers would be surprising to me.

 

If you do, and have a path for the wires it wouldn't be a complex job.

 

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23 minutes ago, Kyrie Eleison said:

I have 220 run to my dryer, and it'll go in the laundry room; what concerns me is running to my box.  from what i understand i'll need 4 forty amp dedicated fuses.  i have the room in my box to add, i just don't know anything about running power.

In case you're saying this, it's not just the availability of empty slots to put the breakers. Most breaker boxes are 200amps total - as are most electric meter heads.  You might need a 300-amp box and meter head. This contributes significantly to the cost. 

 

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We went tankless three years ago.  Got a Navien brand unit installed by ARS.  They likely weren't the least expensive option, but I got bad vibes from the other plumbers I had solicited bids from.  ARS after sale/installation support has been great.

I like it better than than the tanks we had before. 

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Pro:
-never ending hot water if you have high demand.
-Option for recirculating cold water and reheating it if you need that.
- takes up less space
- less likely to develop a leak
- more efficient

Con:
-Expensive
-Maintenance. requires keep up with up with descaling especially on electric. However it seems like a simple diy.
- More complicated than a tank. in fact, my recirculating pump recently started making a humming noise. It should be fixed under warranty but it’s a little disappointing that I’ve already had an issue one year in.


Given the cost, I personally would stick with a tank unless your tank doesn’t keep up with your demand or if you have a desire for conservation. Only reason I went tankless is because we would run out of hot water during bath time (6 of us) and also my tank was in the attic and lives with the potential for a leak from the ceiling.

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Replaced a 22 year old 75 gallon tank with a Navien NPE-240S 199,000 BTU gas tankless in April.

 

npe-s-nv.png?sha=13d26cae80ea5dbf

 

 

Other than some issues with our whole house hot water recirculating pump (the tankless does not play well with it) it's worth it.  

We have had three showers going simultaneously with a load in the washer using hot water, and had plenty.

 

Pros (for us).  Endless hot water, gas bill has actually decreased around $10 a month since the install (and to be honest, the savings wasn't ever going pay for the tankless, but it is noticeable).

 

Cons.  Some aforementioned maintenance down the road, can't get our circulating pump to work properly, and if the electric goes out, the tankless won't work, since it requires electricity to ignite when hot water is requested.

 

 

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We just had a Navian gas tankless installed about 6 months ago.  I decided to go tankless because my builder had the ordinal tank water heaters in my attic and I have a bunch of neighbors that have had those burst over the years and flood the house.  As far as the maintenance, my installer added some kind of filter system for like $200 and said I will not need to descale the system for like 10-15 years if ever.  He also added a recirculator to the line so I have hot water immediately throughout the house and don’t have to wait 20 seconds for the water to heat up in rooms far from the location of the water heaters.   Good investment so far.

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If you’re in Austin, Texas Gas will rebate a huge chunk of the appliance cost. The form is on the website. Same goes for a gas dryer.

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Replaced a 22 year old 75 gallon tank with a Navien NPE-240S 199,000 BTU gas tankless in April.
 
npe-s-nv.png?sha=13d26cae80ea5dbf
 
 
Other than some issues with our whole house hot water recirculating pump (the tankless does not play well with it) it's worth it.  
We have had three showers going simultaneously with a load in the washer using hot water, and had plenty.
 
Pros (for us).  Endless hot water, gas bill has actually decreased around $10 a month since the install (and to be honest, the savings wasn't ever going pay for the tankless, but it is noticeable).
 
Cons.  Some aforementioned maintenance down the road, can't get our circulating pump to work properly, and if the electric goes out, the tankless won't work, since it requires electricity to ignite when hot water is requested.
 
 

Wouldn’t a circulating pump defeat the purpose of tankless and cause it to run all the time ?

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33 minutes ago, Quagmire said:


Wouldn’t a circulating pump defeat the purpose of tankless and cause it to run all the time ?

Haven't thought it through, but yeah that occurred to me as well.

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2 hours ago, Quagmire said:


Wouldn’t a circulating pump defeat the purpose of tankless and cause it to run all the time ?

When it was working, it would only kick in if the water temp fell below 125 (which is where the tankless is set). So, water would recirculate throughout the house, and through the tankless.  Only when it fell below 125 would the unit fire up.

What was happening is the tankless would get "confused" by the warm water already in the system, and throw an error code, so it wouldn't turn on at all.

One idea the installer has is the recirculating pump volume isn't enough for the tankless unit.  

I will say, when it was working, it worked really well.  3600 sq foot, two stories.  Hot water instantly from any tap in the house.  As it is, without the recirculating pump, it can take anywhere from 10-30 seconds for hot water to start flowing, depending on how far you are from the tankless unit.

 

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i have a gas tankless. really like the small space. no issues with ever running out of hot water.

mine does hum when i use the hot water now. 

you have to annually de-scale it but it's a very easy d-i-y. just need sump pump, 5 gallon bucket, 5 liters of vinegar, and short garden hoses. hook up everything, pour the vinegar into the bucket, place sump pump in the bucker, turn on and run vinegar through the heater for an hour. 

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2 hours ago, crash_davis said:

i have a gas tankless. really like the small space. no issues with ever running out of hot water.

mine does hum when i use the hot water now. 

you have to annually de-scale it but it's a very easy d-i-y. just need sump pump, 5 gallon bucket, 5 liters of vinegar, and short garden hoses. hook up everything, pour the vinegar into the bucket, place sump pump in the bucker, turn on and run vinegar through the heater for an hour. 

Liters???

speak American for fuck sake

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When it was working, it would only kick in if the water temp fell below 125 (which is where the tankless is set). So, water would recirculate throughout the house, and through the tankless.  Only when it fell below 125 would the unit fire up.
What was happening is the tankless would get "confused" by the warm water already in the system, and throw an error code, so it wouldn't turn on at all.
One idea the installer has is the recirculating pump volume isn't enough for the tankless unit.  
I will say, when it was working, it worked really well.  3600 sq foot, two stories.  Hot water instantly from any tap in the house.  As it is, without the recirculating pump, it can take anywhere from 10-30 seconds for hot water to start flowing, depending on how far you are from the tankless unit.
 
Make sure the dip switches are set properly for your recirc configuration, ie external pump vs internal pump. Instructions are in your owners manual.

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I had an issue with a home remodel and needing more hot water.  Looked at tankless - both gas and electric.  It was not practical due to costs associated with upgrading service for either energy source.

I had a plumber add a 2nd tank water heater and it solved the problem for a fraction of what the cost of either tankless solution would have been.

Granted, I don't have "instant" hot water, but I've lived all my life with the burden of waiting 10 seconds and testing the flow with my hand, so I continue to persevere through that sacrifice.

We never ran out of hot water with a dual tank system even with heavy usage at times.

Now, one has to have the physical space to add the second tank, but it is an option if you have the room and a competent plumber.

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I put EcoSmart Eco36 tankless electrics in the custom homes I build. I have about eight of them in service currently and have never had a problem with them. It is very difficult to retrofit to an existing home, as brought up above. Believe me, I would do it to my own house if I could. The wire for 36kw at 240v is outrageously expensive and all the breakers take up a ton of breaker box space. I estimate the additional cost to be in the neighborhood to be about an extra $2k in cost per unit ran (some houses have one unit, a couple of bigger homes have two units). If you go electric, I can't recommend Ecosmart enough, you can buy the unit with accessory valves as a package on Amazon.

Right now I have two 50 gal. tanks with a recirculating pump set up on a bluetooth plug. Tell Alexa to turn on the hot water for dishes, showers, etc., a timer cuts it back off at 10 pm if we forget to turn it off. Believe me, you don't want to run it 24/7, I had a $500 electric bill before I even had my house dried in. Freaked out, but figured out the pump was the only thing running.

CHIEF

Edited by CHIEF

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Yeah. for those of you thinking about a recirculating pump think twice.

When I bought my house I got the previous years electric bills and they were all above $500, in the summer above $700. The house inspector mentioned there were two hot water pumps and it looked like they ran 24/7 which he would not recommend. I put a smart-things outlet on them both and only turn on when taking a shower or doing dishes. Most months my electric is less than $100 and has only been above $200 a few times. 

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