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Tankless? The cost of saving $1-8 per month
All costs are energy
Before buying a tankless:
1 Ask questions. If tankless reduced bills, there would be news, not promotion. There is no news.
2. Read warranty instead of promo literature. Warranty is same as ordinary tank heater.
3. Look at parts sheet and ask how expensive future problems will be.
4. Check if certified repair person available in area before buying.
5. Tankless heaters require softener & filter, and yearly de-liming. Read manual
6. Check water pressure > low pressure will cause tankless to stop heating
7. Check community conservation plans > tankless heaters require high water flow
8. The promise of unlimited hot water is not consistent with energy savings
9. Add up BTUs of your gas appliances to see if gas meter is large enough
10. Keep manufacturer website and trouble page in your records. Check if manufacturer website offers in-depth troubleshoot resources.
11. Read researched information below
Bobby Dollar Bobby Dollar says, whoa, that's a long boring list of facts, but I need to know
Promoters are wild about tankless. They claim 20 year life-span with 58% energy savings.
What is the truth? Reduce consumption and you save money no matter what type water heater.

> GAS Whole-house tankless gas saves $1 - $8 a month if consumption is reduced > minus hidden costs listed below
> ELECTRIC Whole-house tankless electric does NOT save money or energy. It costs more, since electricity cannot heat water as fast as gas.

Read Bradford White side-by-side test conclusion: "tankless fall far short of payback, and cannot be exposed to more than 11 grains water hardness."
1) Paradox:
Why to liberals want to conserve resources. That's seems conservative.
2) Economic Fact:
All costs are energy.
3) Opinion:
The genius of tankless is not that they save money or energy, because they don't. The genius is marketing that targets folks who believe that tankless save money and energy. 

Hidden costs of owning tankless water heater:

> Tankless are not made in your town. They are high tech gadgets requiring precision engineering. Heat exchanger is special metal alloy and expensive to replace, especially if improper venting causes dripping condensation that corrodes exchanger.

> Hot water takes just as long to reach faucet > tankless is not 'instant' unless located under sink or next to bathroom

> Many tankless are installed outdoors to avoid need for larger vent to outside, and larger demand for adequate fresh air. This can locate water heater farther from usage points in house, so hot takes longer to arrive, and outdoor pipes are exposed to freezing.

> Outdoor tankless units have internal heater to keep unit from freezing in winter, which adds standby cost similar to storage-type heaters.

> Tankless need more fresh air to support high combustion rates. This action draws air through doors and windows and works against HVAC.

> Minimum 1/2 to 2/3 gallon water flow before tankless turns on. Faucet located far away might not activate heater immediately. Consumer might wait longer for hot water to arrive. Hot water may not arrive. Ask questions.

> Water flow requirements for tankless are not consistent with water conservation.

> Tankless warranty does not match 20-year promotion claims > check warranty papers, since repairs will leave you without hot water until parts arrive

> Parts are not available at local store. Parts not interchangeable between brands. Parts may not be available on weekend. If tankless unit lasts 20 years as claimed, who will carry parts in year 15? Ask questions.

> Problems are difficult to diagnose. Causes can be from a number of combined internal and external factors. No hot water during delay.

> Homeowner dependent on professional service. Repairs are not done by low-cost handyman. Tankless are complicated electronic computer. Trained service technician required.

> Tankless problems vary from brand to brand. 

> You are connecting motherboard and sensors to electrical and plumbing systems, and to a gas burner with vent to outdoors. These things each have problems without adding a computer.

> Self-installed tankless can void warranty. Read manual.  Each brand has installation protocol that must be followed for warranty to take effect. Undersized gas 0meter causes problemm target="_blank">Homeowner installed tankless needs repair.

> No hot water during power loss > no power to electronics, no hot water.

> Instruction manual recommends cleaning combustion parts yearly, de-liming yearly, cleaning air filter yearly, and cleaning water filter monthly. Constant maintenance is a nusiance and eliminates savings. Read tankless instruction manual and compare with tank-type water heater.

> Tankless are prone to lime build-up in heat exchanger. Tankless must be de-limed each year, adding long-term expense.

> Softener and filter are required. Tankless cannot be exposed to hard water or parts will clog and fail within 2 years.  Read research pdf

> Promised savings do not match reality. > Exception: household with reduced consumption, and with bath/kitchen located near tankless unit will realize more savings than home with multiple tankless units blazing each time a bath is run.

> Tankless consume more energy per gallon of water heated than storage-type heater. Read manual that shows tankless-gas require larger gas line and larger exhaust vent.

> Undersized gas line or gas meter will cause tankless and other gas appliances to malfunction.

> Tankless use more energy per minute of operation than storage-type heaters. Endless hot water is costing more per gallon to heat.

> Tankless cannot be connected to vent-pipe heat exchanger. Each gas burning appliance sends heat up vent stack. This is wasted energy. Heat exchanger can recapture some heat. If tankless vent is slowed by heat exchanger, combustion will slow, causing computer to turn off unit.

> Tankless cannot store heat gathered from other sources. In comparison, storage-type heaters can store heat gathered from heat-pump-exchanger, solar-heating, geothermal, drain water recovery & wood stove.

> Gas: Converting to tankless-gas is 3x more expensive. Larger gas line is required. Larger vent. Read installation spec sheet & ask questions.

> Electric: Converting to tankless-electric can require additional 90-120 Amps. Check amp requirement of unit. Check main breaker to see total amps matches requirement. New breaker panel and service may be necessary. Read tankless spec sheet & ask questions. How to wire tankless electric

> Promise of unlimited hot water not consistent with energy savings.

> Low water pressure causes tankless computer to shut down burner.

> Incoming cold water during winter might not heat without installing oversized unit or additional tempering tank. See tempering tank

> Tankless temperature is pre-set to 120 degrees. Read tankless manual to see how to adjust temperature. If adjustment is not simple do-it-yourself, then that can add a service call.

> Raising thermostat setting on tankless means that less hot water is available. Tankless may not achieve thermostat setting if incoming water is cold.

> Future planning: Storage-type heaters can be adapted to meet future needs: For example: low-flow water systems that conserve water; integration with solar; integration with heat-exchangers. Tankless are limited to hydrocarbon fuel and high water flow.

> Recapturing CO2 from gas appliances at each home is not likely > converting to electric water heat could be the future, since CO2 from electric generation can be centrally recaptured at power plant when technology discovers method.

> Your storage tank works fine. It is easy to fix and replace. It is cheaper over the long term. There are many ways to reduce costs and save with storage-type heaters. Read

                                                                                                                      Sources: see links bottom of page
Homeowner can troubleshoot and fix regular water heater problems the same day <> no waiting
Tankless heaters are high tech gadgets that don't live up to hype

Troubleshoot Rheem Tankless water heater
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Read more
Bradford White side-by-side test results
Consumer Reports on tankless
Common problems with tankless

Tankless turns-on after toilet is flushed
Difficult to diagnose noise in tankless
1-year-old tankless is blowing breaker

Government site for energy efficiency
'Department of Energy efficiency requirements'
Read pdf Battelle study
Brady BGT 100                   
Check water pressure in house over full day > low pressure causes tankless to stop heating
Ask questions
Read warranty instead of promo literature
Look at parts sheet and ask how expensive future problems will be
Check community conservation plans > tankless require high water flow
Water problems with sediment and lime will adversely affect hi-tech tankless
Unlimited hot water is not consistent with energy savings or water conservation
Pro and con tankless Dual GAS tankless shown here is not about saving energy or money.

It is about delivering large volume of hot water. Evidence is 1-1/4" incoming cold water pipe and 1" hot water to house. Fire alarm and sprinkler are likely from local building code.

Notice large 1" black-pipe gas line and 3/4" gas line running nearly to heaters. Tankless units use large volumes of energy to heat water as it flows past in a pipe.

Notice large vent pipes on top of tankless. Once hot gas leaves tankless, heat is lost up the vent. Regular gas water heaters have spiral heat-exchanger inside tank see that recaptures some heat before it exits tank
compare tankless

Here is a parallel installation of tankless electric

System achieves 9 gallon per minute hot water flow.

Objective of this installation is so 2 people can shower/bath at same time while someone else washes hands.

Notice 3 heavy electric lines. This system requires 120 Amps under full demand. Today's service panels are 100 or 200 Amp (look at your main breaker for total panel amperage). Unless service panel is upgraded, full 120A demand will be too large a load. Other electrical devices will not work right.

This level of consumption does not help ordinary consumers whose bill is driven-up by high demand. Tankless heaters use large amounts of electricity to heat water as it flows past in pipe. Transfer of electric energy into heat energy is less efficient than gas.

Unless consumption is reduced, this system is energy wasteful and more costly to consumer than regular tank.
How to wire tankless electric
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