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Tankless propane water heaters?

 
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Does anyone here have any experience with these? I have heard one first-hand glowing report but I would like to widen my sampling before investing.

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Topic starter Posted : February 11, 2015 9:09 pm
denvertired
(@denvertired)
Advanced Member

i use a Bosch here in Denver. The water isn't as hot in the winter but overall it's a great set up. The tankless are all rated on the temp. rise of cold water, the colder your starting water the colder the output.
I can't tell you the exact savings but I like the tankless

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Posted : February 11, 2015 9:27 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I had one installed a few years ago, after a friend's glowing report. Didn't work so well for me so switched back to regular water heater.
That was some years ago so they probably have improved since.

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Posted : February 11, 2015 10:30 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

My neighbor owns an HVAC business. He won't put one in his house. My standard direct vent tank gas water heater is 20 years old and shows no sign of stopping. No city water pressure to stress it out and no elec elements to go bad. It started out LP and I converted it to NG. With the warm temps in STX the tank won't lose much heat. Main benefit of tankless would be space savings if you need it. You can buy a few standard water heaters for the price of tankless.

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Posted : February 12, 2015 12:28 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

If concerned about the water heater running 24/7/365, an easy fix is to buy a timer for it. I purchased 2. 1 for the rental apt. and 1 for main house and set both to run 2 hours a day which gives plenty of hot water for showers and dishes and saw a drop in my WAPA Bill after they were installed.

I did have to pay an electrician to install but well worth it.

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Posted : February 12, 2015 9:48 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Trusted Member

I once had a solar heater and NEVER had to turn on the electric heater.

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Posted : February 12, 2015 10:09 am
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Here is a bit of the context of our situation...we tried a solar system from the most highly regarded source on stx. It was a significant disappointment. I am reluctant to try that route again. I would prefer put my limited roof area to work making electricity rather than hot water.

Currently we have a small water heater on a timer. It is efficient but it still draws 4500w. We are experimenting with going off-grid. Without the drain of the water heater, our electric demand would be so small that a modest battery bank could supply us for several sunless days if needed.

The idea of a tankless propane water heater is attractive for our case because we are already plumbed for propane, having both a propane stove and dryer, our utility room is outside so an "outside-rated" unit would require no venting or special construction to accommodate it, and the on-demand aspect means we can have hot water when we need it without worrying about timing loads and so on.

On the other hand I acknowledge the downsides: we would have another appliance that relies on an oil-based extractive resource. Also, the first cost is relatively high.

Thanks for all the input so far! If you can, please elaborate your first-hand experiences with details, good or bad.

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Topic starter Posted : February 12, 2015 11:16 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

I have a 120v Bosch tankless water heater from HD that I installed in my guest cottage a few years ago, replacing a small hot water tank that started to leak. The tankless unit was very easy to install myself. So far, it has worked great and provides limitless hot water on demand. Granted, we only have guests in the cottage from time to time, but no problems so far.

A few years before that, we got rid of all the hot water tanks (1 big one and 3 smaller ones) in the main house and replaced them with a rooftop solar water heating unit sold by West Indies Solair. The unit has been very reliable and has saved us thousands in WAPA. It did spring a small leak a few months ago and Beech from West Indies Solair came over and repaired it quickly. There was a small charge since it was out of warranty but we were very happy with his service and still love our unit.

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Posted : February 12, 2015 11:27 am
janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member

We have propane tankless water heaters we bought from HD. Mares is the brand. Never run out of hot water. The month following their installation we realized an almost 100.00 reduction in our WAPA bill

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Posted : February 12, 2015 11:49 am
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Either tank with direct vent or tankless LP would get the job done. If your usage was very sporadic with days of no usage then a tankless may be better. You'd most likely mount the tankless on the outside wall for no additional venting. Direct vent tank unit could go in your utility room with the vent out the side wall. A lot less to fail with the tank unit. Also be aware that tankless units require a minimum flow rate to turn on. If you're used to trickling your hot water out to conserve your cistern you may need to open the tap a little more. And there will be a slight delay to get the hot water beyond just what's in the line past the heater so you'll use a tad more water that way as well. There are some tankless units with mini-reserve (I forget what they are called) that try to work around some of those drawbacks. You can read some more info here http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/heating-cooling-and-air/water-heaters/tankless-water-heaters/overview/tankless-water-heaters-ov.htm

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Posted : February 13, 2015 2:16 am
stt007
(@stt007)
Advanced Member

I hear with the salt air, these tankless heaters are maintenance headaches, not true? Maybe true for electric and not propane. $100 per month to run a regular heater sounds like a lot.

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Posted : February 14, 2015 2:42 pm
janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member

We had 2 point of use water heaters. One for kitchen, laundry, guest room and one for the master bedroom. The ones we bought are mounted outside so we did have a problem when "something" ate the wires that connect the batteries to the igniter. Fixed that by putting aluminum screening inside the panel, over the vent holes. No more "something" eating the wires.

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Posted : February 14, 2015 3:41 pm
St X
 St X
(@st_x)
Advanced Member

I'm interested in the amount of propane these tankless heaters use. Does anyone know anything about the propane consumption rates as compared to regular (propane) water heaters? Or compared to stoves?

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Posted : February 17, 2015 5:08 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I'm interested in the amount of propane these tankless heaters use. Does anyone know anything about the propane consumption rates as compared to regular (propane) water heaters? Or compared to stoves?

You can try calculating here:

http://www.rinnai.us/tankless-water-heater/energy-savings

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Posted : February 17, 2015 5:36 pm
robbySTX
(@robbystx)
Advanced Member

I have an electric tankless water heater here on STX. It's been in use for 8-9 years, and works great!! Uses very little electric!!

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Posted : February 17, 2015 6:56 pm
leonoro
(@leonoro)
New Member

I want more ideas. Anyone help me ?

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Posted : March 9, 2019 11:10 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

we have a tankless, not propane, and i hate it.  the water dosnt get hot enough until the filters for the house need changed or if the toilet is flushed or the washer is going. 

i know that the person who installed it didnt do enough research before the purchase and install, so there is that. ive never liked it for that reason. maybe with a different one i would have a different opinion 

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Posted : March 11, 2019 8:26 am
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

The big benefit of tankless is supposed to be eliminating the need to constantly keep a tank of water hot.  Secondarily they are good if space is very limited.  It doesn't take much to keep an insulated tank of water at 120F in the VI when the average temp is  80F  Tankless requires a minimum flow rate to kick on the heating element.  Not such a good thing if you are trying to conserve water by running only a small amount out of the faucet.  You use roughly the same amount of energy to initially heat the same amount of water with standard tank heater or tankless.  The difference is the tankless has to do the job in much less time therefore it needs larger wire or gas pipe in order to get that energy all at once.  If tankless is installed incorrectly and can't get all the energy it needs when it needs it then the water doesn't get hot enough.

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Posted : March 11, 2019 11:38 pm
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