Traditional or Tankless

We are in need of a new water heater and we have been spending a lot of time researching our options. We’re wondering if it truly makes environmental and financial sense to go tankless or should we stick with the traditional tank method. We are a family of 3 in a 3K sg ft home with a 9 year old 50 gal tank water heater that is corroded and probably on the verge of leaking. We would like to know the pros/cons of staying traditional or going tankless. With both options were interested in learning what it would take to have instant hot water. Please advise. Thanks

1 answer

Environmentally it definitely makes sense, the problem is that gas is too cheap right now to see any real savings. 
If you decide to go tankless you have to keep in mind that a tankless unit will need to be serviced every 12 months to be flushed. Even with a softener you must de-lime a tankless unit if you want any type of warranty coverage. If you can de-scale the unit yourself then it’s not a big deal. Paying a company will cost you anywhere from $125-$250 or 2-3 times the potential energy savings when compared to Atmospheric gas
I actually just installed a Rinnai RU98i condensing unit in my home. There were several factors that influenced my decision but the main reason was for additional space. My property is also on Propane, so there is additional potential for savings. 
Aside from the initial cost, the only downside to having a tankless unit is that it doesn’t always perform the same as a traditional water heater. Contrary to what most people assume when they hear tankless being referred to as “On Demand”, a tankless unit actually takes longer to provide hot water to the fixture. The first second of a tankless firing up, it will actually send cold water through, causing a lag or “cold sandwich” effect. 


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