Tankless vs. tank type costs of operation


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Old 06-21-15, 10:04 AM
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Tankless vs. tank type costs of operation

I have a 12 year old home and the old tank water heater, a 40 gallon unit, has pretty much lived it's life I suspect.
I was considering a tankless unit to replace it with.
There are just two of us home now and we are retired. We have a dishwasher and laundry of course and normally shower.
I have looked around and I cannot see a direct comparison for operating costs of a natural gas tankless vs. a tank type water heater. At least I have not found it yet.
Does anyone have a link?

Other than the initial cost, I assume that a tankless will last as long as a tanked unit. I do worry about my ability to get repair parts as I live in a smaller community which could mean I would have to wait.

I have looked into the Rinnai brand which seem to be OK. Any others I should look at?
 
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Old 06-21-15, 10:39 AM
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Other than the initial cost, I assume that a tankless will last as long as a tanked unit
Questionable assumption based on some previous threads. I seem to recall about 3 years before they start needing repair but I could be wrong. Another thing some times stated is when you add in installation the cost is equal to three conventional water heaters but wait for the pros to comment.
 
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Old 06-21-15, 12:46 PM
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A landlord friend of mine installed tankless in their rentals and in a couple years they started having problems and after 10 years they had all been replaced with traditional tank heaters. They would break down, parts had to be ordered and shipped in all of which took time and money. Nobody in town stocked the parts versus every home center and plumbing store stocks the parts needed to repair a traditional heater.

I would run a simple cost analysis. Estimate the cost to operate a traditional heater. Then estimate the cost to run a tankless. If the tankless can't pay for itself in 10 years I'd stick with a traditional heater. If you had another reason to go tankless like to save space I'd think differently but since you've currently got a traditional tank heater the change needs to be based on economics. I also feel that 10 years is a very liberal payback period considering the repair history and parts cost of many tankless heaters.
 
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Old 06-21-15, 12:54 PM
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TNX for the input. I was worried about longevity and parts availability and costs.
I think I will just replace what I have when it fails with the same old gas hot water heater and save the money I would spend.
An estimate I looked at said I would only save some $80 a year here with the tankless. And the tankless would cost me 4x what a traditional water heater would upfront. I can do the install myself but even at that I just don't see any advantage at this time.
 
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Old 06-21-15, 07:01 PM
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I think I will just replace what I have when it fails with the same old gas hot water heater and save the money I would spend.
Due to government regulations, the same old type water heaters can no long be manufactured effective April 2015, but most places still have plenty of them in stock. If you wait too long, the new gas models will have electronic ignition and a lot more insulation making them taller and wider. Some could even be the condensing type requiring a draft fan and PVC pipe venting like a high efficiency gas condensing furnace. The prices will also probably be inflated as well. In spite of all this, the gas tank type will still be less expensive than a tankless unit.
 
 

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