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Tankless Water Heater

by Darren Farrell last modified Dec 10, 2012 11:47 PM
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Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Darren Farrell at June 01. 2006

Can anyone recommend a good tankless water heater? The tank would power one shower and two sinks. I have read mixed reviews of the Bosch AquaStar and cannot seem to find any reviews for the Noritz brand.

Which tanks are the best and most hassle free? What are the pitfalls to owning a tankless system? And can anyone recommend a good tankless water heater installation company in or near NYC?


Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Nicole Herold at June 02. 2006

If you want to send me an email I'd be happy to share the research I just conducted during my own tankless water heater search.

Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Debra Booth at June 02. 2006

So what is the problem with the Bosch Aquastar?

Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Marvel Smith at June 02. 2006

nherold can you share some of your research here?

Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Krista Atkins Nutter at June 02. 2006
cipecipe, in the research I conducted, I found that a tankless water heater uses a huge amount of electricity. If energy efficiency is one of your concerns, it's better to consider a solar assisted electric hot water heater or one on a timer. Set your timer to come on shortly before you get up to heat the water and shut off before morning water is used. Then set it to come on shortly before you get home from work, and off before the peak evening use. These are the times when hot water is at a premium for showers, cooking, dishwasher, etc. and you want to heat it up, but turn off so that it doesn't heat new incoming water up right away. If you are home during the day, the water will stay warm enough for handwashing. A good resource to consult is Alternative Energies Consultant, John Robbins at Scroll down to the section on water heaters here: We will have a solar panel on our roof that heats glycol which heats the water in our water heater. The electric portion of the water heater only turns on when the glycol can't get the water up to a specified temp, so you aren't wasting energy. (we need the glycol and a heat exchanger because we live in a freeze climate) Even without the solar assistance, an electric water heater on a timer will turn out better in energy consumption than your tankless. Hope this helps. Thanks.

Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Mark Meyer at June 03. 2006

Ummm, knutter, not all tankless waterheaters are electric, and frankly electric water heaters are pretty awful. If you have access to propane or naturl gas then a tankless is quite a nice thing to have.

Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by sydney roberts at June 03. 2006

Gas tankless water heaters are far more efficient than electric. And they provide instant hot water. There are two possible catches: the flue and your gas line. It can be expensive to install the flue, so the best option is usually to install the heater on the exterior of your house. Don't worry, they have been doing this in Scandanavia for over a decade. Gas tankless water heaters use a lot of gas while they are firing. Sometimes, in an existing home the gas line is not of a large enough diameter to supply at this rate. Talk to your plumber about what you currently have and if it is sufficient.

Here in Georgia, the gas companies sometimes have large rebates for installing tankless systems. So check with your power suppliers to see if you can get a deal.

Happy showers!


Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Karen Pittman at June 03. 2006

I have been using the Rinnai Continuum (a gas tankless heater) for a couple of years now. It was installed on the inside, on an exterior wall in new construction, so it was super-easy to vent it to the outside. We have never had a problem with water availability, and have probably at some point run the dishwasher, washing machine, and two showers at the same time with no problems. Two people live in the house full-time, with one very frequent visitor. Our gas bills are cheap, never more than $22/mo (including cooking, but not heat).


Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Nicole Herold at June 05. 2006

I just bought a Takagi TK-1S (LP) for mounting inside on an exterior wall. It only requires an elbow vent to the outside.

My research was very confusing. There are lots of stats out there contradicting one another. Most of them are posted on the product websites (Takagi, Bosch, Rinnai - these guys love to say their competitor's products aren't as good as theirs). I was going to go w/a Bosch 250SX, but when I spoke to the owner of the place where I ultimately bought it (, he said that he has never had a problem w/Takagi, but he has w/Bosch. I believe he pushed me towards the Takagi because he's a super retailer (he sells a LOT) and could get me a good price on a higher gpm unit than the Bosch. My main concern was about the differences in warrantee from the Bosch to the Takagi (10 yrs. vs 7, I think), but the fact that this seller has never had a problem w/Takagi convinced me. Well, that and the fact that the Takagi USA headquarters is about 5 miles from my work.

Overall, most everyone who gets one seems to like it so I couldn't tell from reading a bazillin posts on a bunch of different sites which brand was better than the next. Preference seemed to be based in part on who the local plumber supported.

One thing that people said over and over again was about the temp rise. Those who live in frigid areas get a lower gpm than those in temperate zones because the unit has to heat the water up so much more. I live in So. Cal, so the temp rise wasn't as much of a concern. I just wanted to be able to run 2 showers or one shower and one dishwasher load at the same time.

It should have just arrived via UPS today so I can't say how well I like it. Hopefully we'll have lots of good things to say once the WH and the 70 gallon soaking tub are installed and in use.

Clarification Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Krista Atkins Nutter at June 05. 2006
Ummm, eamesdaedelus no one ever said that ALL tankless water heaters were electric, and I agree, electric water heaters are pretty awful IF they are left on all of the time. Gas and propane are nice alternatives, BUT if you are searching for the MOST sustainable approach, a solar assisted, PV powered, electric-backup system is the way to go (yes, even in places other than southern California). The electric only kicks on when the water in the tank falls below a specified temp, and if you're on PV, it takes less electricity (or solar energy) to run this type of electric water heater than it does a tankless electric - check the watts on any electric tankless and compare. Gas or LP tankless are ok and good alternatives if you are on grid- (net-metered PV) and want to keep your PV system small, but they have still proven to use more fuel (whatever type - electric, gas, LP) than a traditional model, so if you are searching for the MOST sustainable and energy efficient system, it can't be said for these. Some people also don't have access to gas or LP, so thinking an electric tankless is the most energy efficient option isn't quite accurate. I spent about 4 years researching, and I can sooo understand the confusion. Go to the links I provided in my post above - this guy is renown for his work in alternative energies and energy efficiency across the country, and has been designing and consulting for over 2 decades. I've met him and worked with him and he bases everything he does on hard numbers and computer simulations - he's much more analytical than I. I know it's confusing, but you can also consult more mainstream research such as Tim Carter and his syndicated "Ask the Builder" column and website, as well as Bob Villa. You can read more research here: As nherold wisely noted, most of the problem with people's thoughts on tankless is that most are based on information provided by tankless water heater manufacturers, and less on solid performance and fuel consumption research. I hope this clarifies my comments, and if you have any independent research sources to support the opposing view, I'd love to read them. Thanks.

Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by Julie Brown at June 06. 2006

There are tankless water heaters intended to work with a tank of solar pre-heated water. I think that Rinnai makes one. However, then you are buying and providing room for both a tank and a tankless heater with the benefit of only slightly more flexibility than knutter's suggestion. Although natural gas is currently a cheaper source of fuel than electricity, it's not clear that that will always be the case.

Re: Tankless Water Heater

Posted by rose at December 11. 2012

Gas tankless water heaters, which use high-powered burners to quickly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger, were 22 percent more energy efficient on average than the gas-fired storage-tank models in our tests

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