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Thread: Tankless on demand hot water, are they any good?

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    Default Tankless on demand hot water, are they any good?

    Was a thread on here a couple years ago, and it was mostly negative comments. Have they improved?

    New build spec includes on demand so i don't really care what the capital costs are. But what about maintenance and how well do they work?

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    Apparently combined with the maintenance headaches (unless you prefilter and soften water) for our water and the climatic issues (water comes out of the ground very cold) its not really recommended here in Calgary.

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    Was not a fan of ours and ended up getting a traditional water tank after about a year and a half.
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    Originally posted by Kavy
    Was not a fan of ours and ended up getting a traditional water tank after about a year and a half.
    We bought our house in 2013. It had a tankless unit from ~2008 so pretty new technology at the time. But yeah, we had a lot of problems and switched to a tank last year. I gave all my maintenance stuff to my neighbour who is happy with his switch to tankless
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    We built a new house earlier this year, came with tankless but I changed it to a traditional tank. My buddy had one in his house and it was a lot of trouble in terms of maintenance and such, so his recommendation to me was to go for a traditional system.

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    I think a more cost-friendly solution for our climate would be a small point-of-use tankless heater under the kitchen sink. That way you have instant hot water there and don't have to keep the water running excessive and draining the HW tank.

    One of those things on my "to buy when have spare money" items.
    Last edited by Tik-Tok; 05-17-2017 at 08:07 AM.

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    I've had one since 2010. No issues at all. It's nice always having hot water regardless of what you're doing in the house but with that being said when I had a hot water tank, I think I ran out of hot water 2 or 3 times...

    Mine came with the house. If it cost a lot more, I don't think I'd buy one to replace it, if it was about the same, I'd totally do it again.

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    Originally posted by Tik-Tok
    I think a more cost-friendly solution for our climate would be a small point-of-use tankless heater under the kitchen sink. That way you have instant hot water there and don't have to keep the water running excessive and draining the HW tank.

    One of those things on my "to buy when have spare money" items.
    You don't need a tankless heater to do that. If you want instant hot water all you need is a small pump which is attach to the hot water tank and it will re-circle the water. In our current (Built in 2014 by Morrison) it came with the pump and it does the magic for us.

    As for what OP was asking, when I replaced the hot water tank in my previous house I looked at the tankless hot water tank and I was told to stay away from it for the reasons other people have listed here. Also I was told it works well in US climate and it doesn't cut it here in our cold weather.

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    Originally posted by ganesh


    You don't need a tankless heater to do that. If you want instant hot water all you need is a small pump which is attach to the hot water tank and it will re-circle the water. In our current (Built in 2014 by Morrison) it came with the pump and it does the magic for us.

    As for what OP was asking, when I replaced the hot water tank in my previous house I looked at the tankless hot water tank and I was told to stay away from it for the reasons other people have listed here. Also I was told it works well in US climate and it doesn't cut it here in our cold weather.
    My recirculation pump actually has a timer on it so it recircs only when we use water after a long idle time like first thing in the morning or coming home from work. If you have the pump on all the time you're use a lot of gas to keep the water hot all the time. If yours don't have a timer you should plug it into those timers that can turn on/off Christmas lights.

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    Originally posted by G


    My recirculation pump actually has a timer on it so it recircs only when we use water after a long idle time like first thing in the morning or coming home from work. If you have the pump on all the time you're use a lot of gas to keep the water hot all the time. If yours don't have a timer you should plug it into those timers that can turn on/off Christmas lights.
    Mine has a timer and Temp control in the pump as well.
    My schedule is similar to what you have done.

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    Originally posted by ganesh
    You don't need a tankless heater to do that. If you want instant hot water all you need is a small pump which is attach to the hot water tank and it will re-circle the water. In our current (Built in 2014 by Morrison) it came with the pump and it does the magic for us.
    That sounds like a stupid use of energy unless you're using it as heat too

    edit: just saw the timer posts.

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    Would love a tankless one, but cost and maintenance are issues. Can confirm my jetted tub in the ensuite will drain an entire 60 Gal tank in one fill, and leave no water for doing dishes . . .

    Recirc pump is a good setup, I don't have that.

    I think anyone looking at high capacity tanks should consider running dual 40Gal tanks instead of one large one, cost is similar and if/when one needs replacing or maintenence, you have the other to rely on. A buddy of mine built his house that way and it seems smart. Of course, it's much easier to do in a new build than as a retro-fit.

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    I have had one since 2012 (Rinnai brand) when we built a new home. Also have a water softener as well to help with the hard water. It is connected to a water recirc pump on a timer during the day. Recirc pump doesn't trigger my water heater flame, all it does is moves the water through the unit and over the pilot light that is constantly on so using the current heat from the pilot light. Only when I turn the hot water tap on does it fire up.

    I've tried it without the recirc pump and timer but found it took too long in the morning or during the day to get hot water at the taps. By using both recirc/timer it avoids wasting water by running it till it gets hot.

    So far I love it, never run out of hot water for when my kids get older...
    Last edited by redevil; 05-26-2017 at 09:02 AM.

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    What about if I keep my old hot water tank, turn it on as low as possible, as a pre-heater then put a tankless water heater after it haha I wonder which way that would go for efficiency

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    My old boss had one, what I remember about it was he had to miss a day of work every 4-5 months like clockwork because the system was acting up and he needed to be home for the repairman. The cost of the bills were insane too...

    Likes like a giant PIA for a very minor convenience. Better off just way overdoing tank capacity, or turning the temp way up.
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    Originally posted by JfuckinC
    What about if I keep my old hot water tank, turn it on as low as possible, as a pre-heater then put a tankless water heater after it haha I wonder which way that would go for efficiency
    I think there is a setup like this but as a storage tank for the hot water. Not sure how efficient it will be or if you can use your old tank.

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    Had been looking into these as I currently have an electric water heater (thanks shane) but it still sounds like there are some issues. I do think some now come with their own recycle pumps and they have eliminated the cold water gaps with an idle time which alleviates some of the older issues. Would be nice to use the current rebate, but it only lists moving from a nat gas tank....

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    Interesting feedback guys.... lots to think about.

    Originally posted by schocker
    Had been looking into these as I currently have an electric water heater (thanks shane) but it still sounds like there are some issues. I do think some now come with their own recycle pumps and they have eliminated the cold water gaps with an idle time which alleviates some of the older issues. Would be nice to use the current rebate, but it only lists moving from a nat gas tank....
    So you'd want gas tank over electrical tank?

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    i have one at home. can't remember what brand but maintenance isn't crazy on it. just hook up a recirc pump in a bucket with vinegar twice a year. let it run for an hour and you're done.

    like it but wouldn't pay to replace a conventional tank for a tankless system.
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    Don't get electric tanks. My brother has one and his bills are astronimical compared to my house all things taken into consideration, number of users, size of house....

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