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Water Heater Opinions-OT in the OnT forum-

kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 3,226
Need to replace the current water heater.  

I want a 75 Gallon Nat gas power vent

or 

On Demand Natural gas with buffer tank and recirculation pump.

Total installed cost would have the On Demand unit $1100 more than the tank.  

I really liked the 75 Gallon I had at my previous house.  I would like to have the floor space too.

Those with On Demand units - how do you like them?  My plumber has only installed two on demand units and doesn't know how well they are working for his customers.

We currently have 10 people living in the house.

TIA EGGERS!



Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
Grand Rapids MI

Comments

  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 4,994
    Water hardness is something to consider with an on-demand unit. Descaling one can be costly and frequent (depending on hardness).
    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    XL BGE, LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,195
    edited January 12
    I’ve had a tankless for 5+ yrs and love it. No issues at all. It has a circulator pump that cycles every 20mins to keep hot water at the taps. 
     I like that I can be in the shower and mrs3969 can start filling up the whirlpool and I still have the same amount of hot water. Also my furnaces are the only other gas apps in the house.  During the summer my gas bill is half what it was with the 75gal tank I had before. We have ran 3 showers at the same time when the kiddos are here with no difference in heat but slightly lower water pressure.  Tankless will be my choice from now on.  

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • KayakKayak Posts: 392
    Get the tank. We love ours, and it won't blow the cost/benefit when it breaks.

    Bob

    New Cumberland, PA
    XL with the usual accessories

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,195
    ColtsFan said:
    Water hardness is something to consider with an on-demand unit. Descaling one can be costly and frequent (depending on hardness).
    Good point. I descale once a year for $7 (plus the original $39 for the small sump pump) and 1hr of my attention. We only have 2 using it so the time between service may be more depending on number of users.  

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 4,994
    ColtsFan said:
    Water hardness is something to consider with an on-demand unit. Descaling one can be costly and frequent (depending on hardness).
    Good point. I descale once a year for $7 (plus the original $39 for the small sump pump) and 1hr of my attention. We only have 2 using it so the time between service may be more depending on number of users.  

    That's not bad at all. I'm in limestone country. Water hardness here is ~7.5 grains. We were advised to install a water conditioner (salt-free softener) if we wanted an on-demand unit
    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    XL BGE, LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 3,361
    ColtsFan said:
    Water hardness is something to consider with an on-demand unit. Descaling one can be costly and frequent (depending on hardness).
    Good point. I descale once a year for $7 (plus the original $39 for the small sump pump) and 1hr of my attention. We only have 2 using it so the time between service may be more depending on number of users.  

    I descaled mine for the first time in 5 years after a quote that said it would be $400.  It was super easy.  Also, we have a whole house water softener system, so there wasn't much build up at all.

    I love our tankless.  One thing to consider is how far away your faucets are from the unit because they will take longer to run hot (although that's true about a conventional system as well).
    NOLA
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 3,226
    I have a whole house softener because the water is hard.  
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,922
    from what ive seen you get twice the life with on demand.  does that 75 gallon heater keep up with 10 people
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • posterposter Posts: 771
    Curious, whats the avg gas bill for you guys? I debated the on-demand but went with a tank because the cost savings was unjustifiable and I never had lack of hot water issues with the tank. The only reason I changed tanks was because insurance dropped my water damage coverage as it was over 8 years old (BS). Anyway I have my house furnace, separated garage furnace, fire place, hot water, and BBQ on gas, and I pay on a yearly avg. $100/month CDN. I also live in the north. The on-demand would have been an extra $1000, and would have saved maybe a few bucks/month
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 3,226
    Here in MI, 

    Furnace, Stove/Oven, gas fireplace running non-stop in the winter to heat a non-conditioned room, Gas Dryer is running just under USD $100.  Ranch style house, maybe 2000ish SQ feet.  We do run a wood fireplace almost non stop for ambiance in the winter as well.  The furnace does not turn on unless I let that fire die.
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 3,226
    from what ive seen you get twice the life with on demand.  does that 75 gallon heater keep up with 10 people
    It should.  The last time I had a 75 Gallon, I was told that total recovery time was 20-25 minutes.  Kids could fill bathtubs, people could shower, we ran dual washing machines and dual dishwashers and never had an issue.  That was back when we had a small family of 8.
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 35,386
    I've had my on-demand for about 13 years.  Board went out a month before the warranty expired.  They sent a new board and offered to pay someone to put in....I did it myself.  I have a backup parts unit in case something breaks. 

    It doesn't save much money in gas, but you can't run out of water.  It might cost twice as much as a tank, but it lasts twice as long.

    I installed myself....had to upgrade the pipe size from 1/2" to 3/4" to increase the btu.  Fortunately, I'm cheap as hell and I have a pipe threader.  It was pretty easy to do, took a good 2 days to run the electrical, plumbing and installation.
    ______________________________________________
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, big effin' pellet smoker, gas grill, fire pit, FireDisk, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 
    Stike's troll account



  • frazzdaddyfrazzdaddy Posts: 2,486
    kl8ton said:
    Need to replace the current water heater.  

    I want a 75 Gallon Nat gas power vent

    or 

    On Demand Natural gas with buffer tank and recirculation pump.

    Total installed cost would have the On Demand unit $1100 more than the tank.  

    I really liked the 75 Gallon I had at my previous house.  I would like to have the floor space too.

    Those with On Demand units - how do you like them?  My plumber has only installed two on demand units and doesn't know how well they are working for his customers.

    We currently have 10 people living in the house.

    TIA EGGERS!



    Rennai for 2 years. Hands down best move for us.
    Xl bge ,LG bge, two 4' crusher cone fire pits. Weber Genisis gasser and 
    Two rusty Weber kettles. 

    Two Rivers Farm
    Moncure N.C.
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 3,226
    In our current situation, we have a 50 gallon Electric Water heater.  Previous owners added as a supplemental heater when they put in a jetted tub. They already had a 40 Gallon Nat Gas heater.  Recently that one started leaking, so I removed it.  Also, that one was vented via a B Vent.  Now nothing goes up the chimney, so i look forward to removing the chimney and electric water heater tank to claim some floorspace.  With the on-demand, I am just wondering about a common scenario:

    We finish dinner and tell all kids to take turns in the shower (2 showers running at a time).  Dishwasher would be running from dinner dishes, laundry starts up as kids take off their clothes to get in the shower.  I don't want to lose pressure or run out of hot water.  

    Another caveat here is that my water temp has to be 120 degrees or below.  This is a state requirement for being a foster care home.  I know I can crank it up higher and have mixer valves at all the faucets, but I can't get to all of them without some construction.
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 3,226
    I've had my on-demand for about 13 years.  Board went out a month before the warranty expired.  They sent a new board and offered to pay someone to put in....I did it myself.  I have a backup parts unit in case something breaks. 

    It doesn't save much money in gas, but you can't run out of water.  It might cost twice as much as a tank, but it lasts twice as long.

    I installed myself....had to upgrade the pipe size from 1/2" to 3/4" to increase the btu.  Fortunately, I'm cheap as hell and I have a pipe threader.  It was pretty easy to do, took a good 2 days to run the electrical, plumbing and installation.
    It is not really a concern how much it costs to run it.  Gas bill is a business expense.  We live at the business.  The gas bill to heat the pool in October was about $550.


    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • frazzdaddyfrazzdaddy Posts: 2,486
    @kl8ton , @nolaegghead is 100% correct in this. Tankless solves your issues
    Xl bge ,LG bge, two 4' crusher cone fire pits. Weber Genisis gasser and 
    Two rusty Weber kettles. 

    Two Rivers Farm
    Moncure N.C.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 35,386
    You will need a very large capacity tankless or a tankless feeding a tank.  My heater will run two things, but you add another like the dishwasher or washing machine, you will hear a scream from the bathroom.
    ______________________________________________
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, big effin' pellet smoker, gas grill, fire pit, FireDisk, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 
    Stike's troll account



  • MO_EgginMO_Eggin Posts: 247
    We have a pair of tankless units in order to meet max demand; probably not the most cost efficient set up, but we didn't have a viable spot to put a tank of sufficient size.  The max temp is set at 120* from the factory (I understand a plumber with the right software and laptop cable can increase that).
    LBGE - St. Louis, MO; MM & LBGE - around 8100' somewhere in the CO Front Range
  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 2,488
    Last house had tankless. Sold the house and moved. Current house has a tank. Next year I'm swapping it for tankless. I'll never do a tank again
    Boom
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 26,922
    should also mention i have a good collection of old leaky water heaters in the basement, my brother has me beat though with an old rivited one as the prize to his collection.
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,195
    Also check out the incentives for upgrading to a high efficiency unit with your gas company and when filing taxes. Between the 2 I think we ended up with about $1200 worth of credits.  

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • CorvCorv Posts: 69
    edited January 13
    Used to have an efficient tank water heater. It's computer was damaged in a flood and I had it replaced with a tankless one that wasn't where it would be susceptible to a flood. Moral: avoid Sears, they weren't able to support it.
    My gas bill is lower now but my water bill is higher; I'm taking longer showers. Net utility cost, zero.
    The tankless one does not have a recirculating feature or a buffer tank. It takes a little while to heat the water, not long, but there's no way to turn the hot water on and get instant hot water, or even timely hot water. The delay is considerably longer than merely for the travel time through the pipes.
    Somewhere on the Colorado Front Range
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