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Do you know about tankless water heaters?

July 30, 2011

If my washing machine of choice does not have a built in heater and we want to keep the household water heater at it's current setting (which is not hot enough for the washer), can I purchase a dedicated tankless heater for the washing machine? If so, can I control the water temperature for each load? Would the tankless heater be installed in the laundry room? If I want it to service the washing machine only, what is the average cost for this type of heater and the install -- rough is fine. Finally, can you recommend one that would be well-suited for this purpose? Thanks!

Comments (41)

  • dadoes

    Tankless water heaters, either gas or electric, require a large instantaneous energy supply ... a 220v high-amperage electric circuit or a large incoming gas line (usually 3/4" to 1"). There are small-capacity units, but depending on your environmental conditions (how cold is your tap-water supply, particularly during winter months), small units may not be able to reach the desired temp. Revamping electric or gas service for a mid- to large-capacity unit may be expen$ive.

    My whole-house electric unit is fed by a dedicated 120 amp circuit. It doesn't often need to run at full-capacity, but may occasionally get close in winter months if I want 140F water (which I would only do for laundry, otherwise I run it at 102F to 105F) ... and I'm in the mid-coastal area of TX where the groundwater usually isn't overly chilly.

  • itguy08

    Your best bet may not be a tankless (don't get me started on them) but a point of use unit right behind your washing machine. With the right connections you could plug the hot water line right into the water tank.

    Something like this:

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  • asolo

    Don't know why you're settling on this idea as a solution. The easy and sensible way to approach this would be choose a washing machine with a heater...period.

    Point of use heaters -- tank or tankless -- would be varying degrees of expensive PIA's. And neither will give you the hot wash -- in use inside the machine -- that you're thinking they will.

    The example I can provide is from my own 6+ year old Duet FL. By running the lines full-hot before turning the machine on, I can have 130F water flowing into the machine from the first drop. With a full-load of clothes plus machine at room-temperature (say 78F) the actual temperature inside the machine during the wash is about 100-105F. That's how much heat the clothes and the metal of the drum bleed out of the incoming water. If I want a hotter wash than that I must pre-heat the machine (silly) or choose a cycle the uses the built-in heater.

    The situation is the same with ALL HE machines....those new machines that use less water than before. More water volume will mean less temperature drop, of course, but the principal is the same across the board. Having a dedicated heater right next to the machine will not solve this problem.

  • livebetter

    Agree with @asolo. The simplest answer is to get a machine with a heater. Why are you trying to work around that?

    Personally, I would look to a European made one like Miele but I'm sure there are some other brands that would get hot enough as well.

    My concern with other brands (from months of personal research) is that the only guarantee temps in certain settings (ie. sanitary).

    My Miele will guarantee any temp in all settings except normal (the setting used for it's energy star rating I believe). If I want to ensure a warm wash I just use another setting like wrinkle free or a custom setting. It's pretty simple.

  • asolo

    Another problem you WILL have is learning what any particular machine actually provides in terms of "hot", "warm", or "cold". Even with very hot water immediately available to the machine, the machine's own controls will govern the mixture of supply from your hot and cold lines to whatever they've pre-programmed to be their "target" temperature. And they won't tell you what those targets are unless you're willing to enquire specifically. It's the entire industry's dirty little secret. The controls still say "hot", "warm", and "cold".....but nobody knows what the words really mean anymore. Very annoying.

    This is another reason why your point-of-use water heater idea won't do what you hope it will.

  • ludy-2009

    Hi itguy, I think you are correct. I found the dedicated use last night while trying to resolve this issue. Thanks for your help!

    asolo, I'll tell you why this makes sense to me. I think we are in a bad place with washing machines right now. IMVHO, I think manufactuers messed up when they built FL machines without internal heaters. From what I have read, that may have, in large part, led to the mold problem experienced by so many. European machines have built in heaters, but they also have a higher voltage electricity. In the US, the current FL machine takes 40-60 minutes to heat water to temp in the drum and from what I have been able to read, it not only takes a lot of time but it is also a big drain on energy. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that with current FLs we may be saving on water but not on electricity.

    Couple this with the fact that I cannot find a single FL machine that makes people across the board happy. The Miele owners are extremely devoted to their machines, but if you go, there are no fewer than 8 pages of complaints about Miele customer service. (Miele owners, please do not get angry. I own three Miele appliances. I'm just stating a fact. People used to be very happy with Miele CS.) In addition, many FL begin to have problems after a year of use -- right after the warranty runs out. It is the luck of the draw, but if you go with one with a digital board, and the board quits -- as many do -- it is almost the cost of the machine to get that fixed. In addtion, the plastic parts that make machines less expensive are breaking.

    Contrast that the the Speed Queen TL machine. I have not found a single negative review. The reviews are solidly all 5 stars. Every single person who has responded to inquiries on this forum wouldn't buy any other machine. At the only mention of SQ is by an angry consumer who abandoned their old machine and bought a SQ and could not be happier. The only brush with customer service that I have read about involved a customer whose machine was delievered with a bent panel -- the new panel was delievered, no questions asked, the next day. Across the board, people are happy, happy, happy with the SQ TL.

    The only issue is that our household water temp at 120 is not hot enough. I need an occasional wash at 160 - 200 -- only for a short period -- to kill bacteria in the washer. We want to upgrade electricity and add a new air handler anyway, so why not add a dedicated use hot water heater in the laundery room at the same time. (The units are about $300.) Wash cycles will be shorter than on machines with built in heaters. I understand that the water temp will loose heat in the drum -- but that's a good thing right? I only need the water hot long enough to kill the bacteria -- since hot water is hard on clothes, I don't want an entire wash cyle at a very hot temp.

    So, this is why this approach makes sense to me. I invite comment form those who have knowledge on the issue. Please, tell me why this does not make sense. Thanks!

  • ludy-2009

    Livebetter, thanks. Thant was not my understanding of the Miele washer -- maybe it has been updated -- will look at the manual online now.

    asoslo, very good point, thanks. Can I do away with a hot and cold feed and use only a single water line? Since the dedicated heater allows me to set the temperaturee right at the heater -- can I control this with a single water line?

  • ludy-2009

    Looked at SQ installation manual. Could hook both lines to dedicated water heater, but supply lines are not rated for over 125 F. Still think it makes far more sense to take the inefficient, time consuming heaters out of the washing machines to allow them to operate more efficiently. Does anyone own a machine with a dedicated water heater?

  • suburbanmd

    The installation manuals for SQ top-loaders used to recommend hot water supply at 140-160F, if I remember correctly. This was fairly recently, just a couple of years ago. I wonder if the current recommendation of 125F is for energy scoring purposes, not a machine limitation. And last I heard, SQ top-loaders on the Hot setting filled from the hot supply only.

    Sounds good for you so far, but there's another problem: A small and reasonably priced tank-type point-of-use heater, say 5 or 6 gallons, won't supply enough hot water to fill the machine.

  • ludy-2009

    s, wow, great thought, thanks so much. I will write SQ and see whether the supply loads could handle, thanks for that information, it is encouraging. Also, you are right about certain point of use heaters -- but my understanding is that there are small tankless single use heaters that would and do work for this purpose -- people use them for washers and dishwashers. Am I wrong?

  • asolo

    Do I have this're intending to install a point-of-use water heater to deliver 160-200F water to your machine?

    Between the expense and the danger, I think you're making a mistake.

  • dadoes


    Residential tankless units are typically restricted to 140F ... and some are less than that, perhaps 125F. Some commercial-oriented units can go higher, but they require an even larger power source than residential units.

    A "small" tankless wouldn't have enough power to supply the temps you're wanting, even without a restriction on the maximum setting.

    Probably the only semi-workable scenario is a small dedicated TANK unit of 20 gals as suggested above. However, the unit cited runs on 120v current, which is not going to be very fast at recovering ... and consider that one does not get the full gallon-capacity out of a tank unit ... even if you set it at 160F, you won't get a full 20 gallons of 160F water out of it.

    You also seem confused on the point that the same amount of energy is required to heat the required number of gallons of water to the desired target temp, whether it's done in the washer or in an external tank or tankless water heater. 15 gallons of 75F water requires a specific amount of heat/energy be added to raise its temp to 160F, regardless of where/how the heating is done.

  • livebetter

    @ludy-2009, wow ... I'd never heard of pissed - crazy. Glad I didn't know about it when I was doing my many months of research (lol).

    Going to play "devil's advocate" here.

    It appears people from around the world can post there not just USA.

    Miele sells machines all over the world (in fact known almost every where as the "best").

    Where exactly does SQ sell? I know in Canada they are under a different name (Huebsch) and have VERY small distribution.

    They must sell many fewer units than Miele.

    If you factor (what I read once) as a 5% failure rate for any brand, it would make sense Miele would have more issues (more units sold).

    This same theory applies to LG. Everyone thinks LG has so many problems but they are the #1 in FL sales in the US so of course they would seem to have lots of problems (lots more units out there).

    I read some of those complaints and while some are valid, some are clearly written by people doing something wrong. If you read some of the comments attached to those complaints you'll see many people pointing that out.

    Trust me when I tell you, you can drive yourself insane with all this information (I've done it).

    Pick the machine that best suits your needs and hope you don't end up in the 5%.

  • ludy-2009

    livebetter, I completely agree with your analysis. No doubt SQ has a smaller distribution, no doubt consumer error, no doubt your analysis of the stats is correct -- more sales and wider distribution = more complaints. Abslolutely yes to "can drive yourself (and at this point probably others) insane with the information." I spent a lot of time making my oven decision -- took the leap of faith and bought Miele. Oven doesn't cook evenly. Walked through all I could regarding error with customer service --no error on this end. Customer service has twice promised to send a repair person and no one has ever come. Currently, a pizza stone in the oven is boosting its performance but it is still not working as it should. I like the Miele warming drawer (at the time the design was unmatched!) and no complaints about the Miele dishwasher. I'm not giving up on Miele customer service either. Just last week they again agreed to send someone. Haven't heard from anyone,(and if Miele is reading this,I'd love to hear from you!), but I am ever hopeful. However, having been "burned" by the oven experience, you can understand my concern with the investment. I would not hesitate to spend the money for the magic that machine works, if I knew I could rely on Miele. However, my personal experience, along with that of others, suggests that if there is a problem, it may not be resolved as quickly as I might hope -- and maybe not at all.

    Plus, NO complaints about SQ? Gotta admit, that's something!

  • livebetter

    As much as I love Miele (I own 2 vacuums that are awesome, washer/dryer and dishwasher) I wouldn't chose a Miele oven. Curious what information led you to that choice.

    My own "research" still has Wolf as one of the better ovens. I currently own a Dacor (which for 10 years has treated me well).

    I think the target for SQ is different than for Miele. This will sound worse than I intend but I think SQ is geared to someone looking for simple and well built. Miele (IMHO) is geared to someone looking for washing excellence. Someone concerned with fabric care and washing and willing to pay a premium for the promise of excellent washing.

    That's what I was after so I took the leap of faith that Miele would deliver. Granted, I received a free 10 year warranty with my purchase (Cdn promo) which made the leap a lot easier.

    Miele in Canada also does all the after sales stuff personally. Deliver, install and service. My experience with them so far has been great. I've had to call twice due to an issue with dryer venting and both times they came in a couple days and took care of it no problems. Of course, would have been nice not to have the issue at all but ... I digress ...

    I can tell you the machines are great. I can't comment on SQ as I've never used one. I did see the Huebsch top loader in one showroom when I was looking at Miele and LG. It was as basic as they come so would never even of been on my radar (I'm a bit of a laundry fanatic).

    Good luck but realize no matter how much you read you can still be disappointed. I hope not for your sake :)

    It's always a leap of faith - sometimes we win and sometimes we lose (I know losing sucks).

  • asolo mom's house I use a 15-year-old Maytag TL without ATC. Water heater at 130F. Actual hottest wash temp about 110-115F. No mold/mildew or anything like that ever. This machine replaced another identical to it that lasted 13 years before tranny cracked. No mold/mildew there either. Most loads on "warm" which gives me about 105.

    New machine at another location is Duet FL. Over six years now. No mold/mildew there either. Most loads on "warm" at about 105 but frequent boosted loads at 127, too. I've run a couple of "sanitary" loads at 157 over the years and a couple of clean cycles, too, but really have seen no need other than curiosity.

    Wondering if your concerns may be overblown.

    In any event, I would not buy any machine without a heater. My personal idea of "hot" is between 120-130F and I do want that choice. Without a heater I can't get that. Well, if a had a dedicated point-of-use heater that gave me 160-200 to begin with....which I consider to be non-starting consideration.

    For more information on that consideration, I would suggest floating the idea over at the plumbing forum. I suspect you'll get beat up pretty well, however. It's expensive, difficult, and dangerous.

  • ludy-2009

    I love my Wolf cooktop. I wanted a Wolf oven but at that time there were complaints of the blue interior peeling. Gagg was considerably more $ and Miele was next in line. At that time, there were many who loved their Miele ovens, but some were beginning to complain.

    I'm glad you are happy and made the right choice. Congrats! No doubt SQ is basic and unexciting, but if I decide to go that way mine will live in an upstairs laundry room and as long as it works and cleans, I'll be happy. Just wish I could get higher temps with it. Thanks for your good wishes!

  • ludy-2009

    Asolo, your input is worth a lot and I do appreciate it. No thanks to the plumbing forum. I'm not interested in getting beat up by complete strangers on issues that I am clearly seaking help. If I knew it all, why would I even come here?

    Also, if the technology does not exist or isn't safe, doesn't mean it shouldn't exist and be safe. It's silly that it takes washing machines 40-60 minutes and much electricity to heat 8 gallons of water, especially when the technology exists to heat the water in much less time. Is that really the best that we can do? If the point of use heaters are dangerous, and no safe alternative exists at this time, then perhaps we should improve that technology --for washers, dishwashers, and I'd even love one for the shower! But running heat through a hot pipe or some other reasonable solution, makes far more sense than trying to heat water in a drum where it takes at least three times the amount of time and electricity to come up to temp. -- silly, that is, as long as we can do it safely otherwise. It takes 140- 160 F or above to kill bacteria, but it doesn't have to stay at that temp for the duration of the wash cycle. Maybe, as Americans, we can improve on this technology.

    If anyone knows of a safe point of use water heater or other technology that would work to heat the water supplying a washing machine, I'd love to hear from you.

    Asolo, my very sincere thanks for your time and input. You clearly have knowledge on this subject, so please continue to explain. Maybe there is a reason that this technology cannot and does not exist, I just have trouble believing that. Instead, I believe, -- if you can think it, more than likely, it exists -- if it doesn't exist, it surely can.

  • asolo

    This is the world you live in. We have the stuff we have....and that's it.

    If you want to move it to a place that you think would be better and have money enough to spend on it, by all means move ahead with your ideas. That's how everything gets better. Really, I'm not trying to discourage you if that's where you're moving. Just suggesting that what you've proposed is a pretty big, expensive deal. I'm not saying it can't be done. I am saying that it's MUCH more hassle than Joe and Sally Average are interested in undertaking. "Joe" would be me.

    The folks at the plumbing forum are just fine. I wouldn't hesitate. I suspect you'll quickly learn about the limitations of present technology and, likely, things you can attempt to advance the technology if you're intensely interested.

  • ludy-2009

    Asolo, nope, don't agree. We have what we have and things are changing for the better and the more advanced every day. Each year new and amazing technology is introduced. Each year we learn about the flaws and the successes of that technology -- but we are ever-evolving. Sorry, just not buying your view, though I do, sincerely, continue to appeciate your knowledge and input.

  • asolo

    You're on your own. Good luck. Bye.

  • itguy08

    I think you're confused. Just because a washer takes 2 hours to do a sanitize load doesn't mean it's using more electricity than, say a Tankless. For a given volume of water, you need the same amount of energy no matter if it comes over an hour or 5 minutes.

    Think about it this way: Your FL with a heater uses about 1400-1800 watts of power. That's roughly 15-20 amps.

    Dadoes said their tankless takes a dedicated 120 amp circuit. The typical residence has 200 amps total to use. At max, that's 28,800 watts, typical is around 50% or 14,400 watts.

    So the FL will use, say 3600 watts (1800*2) over 2 hours. Dadoes will use about the same or more just for a shorter amount of time.

    You're not wasting anything by longer cycle times (other than time) as the total energy is about the same.

  • ludy-2009

    itguy, ah, got it, thanks! The information I read said that the washing machine heaters were inefficient -- save water, but big draw on electricity. I guess you're saying that no matter how you heat the water, the draw on electricity is the same. Does it matter that his is a whole house, as opposed to a single or dedicated use? Certain single use heaters can heat 3 gallons to 160F in a minute. I assume you are saying that the single use would use as much electricity/gas in 9 minutes, as a washing machine heater would use in 40 - 60 minutes -- is that correct?

    So no energy savings, just time savings?

  • itguy08

    That's what I'm saying - in order to heat water to a certain degree you have to add a certain amount of BTU's. How you do it doesn't matter, you still need that same amount of BTU's.

    Pretty much all electric heaters are nearly 100% efficient. Meaning 100% of the energy put into them goes to heating water. Gas is a little less efficient at around 80-90% efficient but it tends to be cheaper.

    You may be confusing "efficiency" with the 110v vs 220v debate. 110v just takes longer. You are still putting in the same amount ob BTU's but since there's less voltage it takes longer.

    Think of it like running vs walking.

    I can run for 1 mile and burn, say 200 calories in 12 minutes.
    I can walk for 1 mile and burn, say 200 calories in 24 minutes.

    I still went 1 mile, still burned my 200 calories. Walking took me twice as much time.

    Hope that helps.

  • ludy-2009

    itguy, that does help. Thank you, I understand.

  • liriodendron

    You can't get the same results by feeding the machine specially pre-heated water because part of the reason the FLS clean so well is that a Miele, for instance, starts with cold (in my case that's all I feed mine) or cool water and then heats it gradually (the so-called profile wash) and then maintains that heat during the wash phase. Each of those functions is vastly different from just innundating the clothes in a tub of hot water from the start and letting it begin to cool back down as the cycles progress. And each of these temperature stages is individually critical to really great performance in a FL.

    The amount of electrical energy to heat the water in the machine is probably just about the same amount needed to heat the water in my electric domestic hot water heater. And there's no loss of heat within the pipes on the way to the machine. Keep in mind that the total amount of water heated for any one load is only a few gallons. You probably heat more water when you cook a big pot of spaghetti. Only the wash phase water fill is heated and maintained at the desired temp. The first rinses are warmed from the residual heat of the clothes and drum, the later ones are purely tap cold.

    Although the wash cycles are longer the heater is not on during the entire length of the cycle. There are filling phases, a pre-wash, various pauses and spins and changes of direction, and then all the rinses are cold feed only. My Mieles do 4 or 5 complete rinses, some with spins in between.

    A lot of people don't really understand how FLs work and so they have the strangest (completely wrong) complaints. An example is the notion that these machines are energy wasters because they take so long to heat and to complete a cycle. Simply not true! As ITguy pointed out a 110 v machine takes longer, but uses the same energy as a 220V model. Also keep in mind the point I made about the total amount of water actually heated during any cycle - it's only a few gallons, nothing like the cauldrons of heated water used in TLs.

    FLs are not simply TL loaders turned on their sides! The mechanisms and parameters of the washing process are quite different.

    Have you looked around for a used (older, Euro-style) Miele? These are tops in my book. You might also look at Asko and Bosch Axxis machines.

    As for the newer Mieles, well, I'm not a fan but not because I don't think they do a good job, but because I think the older-style (and current but no longer for sale in the US) 220 V machines do an even better job. However, if something happened to my current 220V machines, and my spare, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a modern Miele or Asko if it came down to that.

    What I would never consider is going back to a TL. No way!


  • anhedonius

    If you really, really wanted a 230V washer with (presumably) a valid U.S. warranty and without the cost of a Little Giant, you could try the W5825 that Miele sells here for use on yachts. (Too bad the heat pump dryer is 60 hz only.)

    Here is a link that might be useful: Miele Marine USA - Miele Laundry System

  • anhedonius

    Aaack - I meant, "Too bad the heat pump dryer is 50 hz only."

  • live_wire_oak

    I've lived with a tankless heater since 1995 and have been very pleased with it. I would never go back to a tank heater, but it certainly isn't because of "instant" hot water nor super hot water, to address two common misconceptions.

    But, you aren't really asking about experiences with tankless heaters. You are confused as to how they work, how much energy they use, and their costs to buy and install. So I'll provide you with some information. A tankless heater uses a great deal of energy all at once rather than a little bit of energy over a longer time period like a tank heater. You get the same hot water, using the same energy. Where you gain is in efficiency not in time. And that only with gas tanks vs tankless. It takes a very long time to see any payback from the initial install costs though. You won't be able to use a small tankless for the temperature you desire. It won't have enough rise unless you are in FL with 80 degree water. A large tankless will cost 1-2K, plus the associated install components (stainless steel venting pipe, black iron pipe, etc.). If you don't have gas, forget it entirely. You'd have to have a larger run from the pole to your box done in addition to the other associated costs. If gas, you're most likely to need a 3/4" home run from the meter to the heater. The labor costs for install run from $800-$1500. You just spent 3-4K. and it will still not do the job you want it to.

    Modern washers have ATC which controls the temperature mixing of the hot and cold of your washer. Even if you spend 5K to supply your washer with 160 degree water, that mixer will just add cold water until it's cooled down to around 100 degrees for hot and 80 degrees for warm. There is NO way to have that super hot water in your machine unless you open it up and add boiling water to it as it fills, and it will take a lot of pasta pots on your stove to do that. It could be something to consider if you only need to do a true hot wash once a month or so.

    The technology currently DOES exist to give you super hot wash loads. It's a washer with an on board heater. Front load washers with heaters still manage to end up at the top of the Energy Star list every single year. They are simply more efficient than top loaders, even the new HQ top loaders.

    You really need to take a day and read most of the threads on the forum here. You will eliminate your misconceptions and gain a greater understanding of energy usage and laundry efficiency.

  • sandy808

    ludy2009, we are in the process of building a new home. We should be in it within a few months...yipee!

    My husband is an electrical engineer and has researched anything and everything energy wise for this house. We are not having a tank water heater. We have installed two tankless water heaters. One dedicated to our bathroom, and one dedicated for the laundry/kitchen area, since I usually multi task and don't want a mediocre shower experience if I have a washing machine or dishwasher going at the same time. We may install a smaller unit dedicated for the dishwasher (like many restaurants do), but haven't decided if we actually need to do so.

    The brand we bought is EcoSmart. It does need 240 volt lines. Labor costs vary according to where you live. My husband is an electrical expert obviously, so he has done all the wiring for our home. In our county any homeowner is allowed to run the wiring for their homes, and yes, they are all inspected.

    Our water heater is designed to heat the water up to 150 degrees, and is adjustable. You can get supply lines that are rated for fairly high temperatures, but plastic (which your pipes may be made of) will start to melt at 180 degrees. 180 degrees is awfully hot though, so I don't think you'd want to approach that anyway. So bottom line is, yes, I think with the correct tankless, you could be happy. In the long run, it will save money because a tank sitting with water heating to a certain temp 24/7 is not efficient and costs more in the long run.

    Fortunately, we live in the solar capitol of the U.S. so we also have solar energy. We'll eventually set ourselves up a solar hot water tank as well and will tie everything in together.

    Whether to get a washing machine with an on board heater or not is up to you. I have had front loaders for many years and there are pros and cons to any machine. Frankly, I am seriously considering a simple top loader (Speed Queen) for the new house. My seven yaer old Duets are still functioning so I will keep them to do comforters in. Other than that, they don't thrill me. If you garden or farm, they just don't cut it.

    I am going to pay a visit to a Speed Queen dealer soon. Even if they have something on them that controls how hot the water is "allowed" to be (don't even get me going on that one), they are simple enough in design perhaps that aspect can be changed upon researching a service manual.

    If I'm particularly concerned about bacteria or viruses, such as when someone has been ill, our solar dryer takes care of that. It's called the sun and a clothes line.


  • itguy08

    While everyone is entitled to their opinions, I don't think tankless saves $$. Not in the typical period of ownership. Back in April we had a flood in our basement - 3.5 ft of water. We have a new-ish (2010) GE Gas hot water heater. On Saturday night, the last thing I did was shut off the hot water heater before the water got up to it. On Monday afternoon I was washing my hands when, surprise nice warm water came out of the pipes. That was almost 2 days without any heat source and we still had warm water. That's how good today's tanks are with the insulation. So I don't think there is this huge savings that everyone claims. Especially considering our heater was just under $500 at Home Depot. A tankless would have easily been $2k. That buys a LOT of gas.

  • dadoes

    A tankless would have easily been $2k.That depends on what's needed. Checking just one source online, I find electric units ranging from $450 (12KW) to $864 (36KW), although that of course doesn't include installation and rewiring if needed for a retrofit install.

    One source of gas units ranges from $327 to $2,497 for a massive 300,000 BTU / 21GPM outdoor-mount model.

  • vintage36

    I think that tankless is for the convenience of not having to wait "forever" for hot water in the remote/back of a house where the hot water tank is at the front by/in the garage. How quickly can you shower in cold water or how patient are you in waiting for the water to get warm?

    Even waiting for warm water to wash one's hands seem to be hours before one braves the cold.

    As it is, does everyone NEED a smartphone or ipad/tablet; assuming one is not a teen or college student. My plain old cell phone is always turned off & I have it only because pay phones are not in sight anymore or even the free emergency phones along the freeway as they are being removed for non-use.

  • dadoes

    A single tankless unit feeding all fixtures/usage points in the house WILL NOT deliver hot water faster than a tank unit installed at the same single location. The physical distance of the plumbing from the tankless to the distant usage point remains the same.

    Delivery will be quicker for a distant usage point ONLY if a second tankless unit is installed at that location.

  • Cavimum

    As I see it, the only other benefit to a tankless water heater is that it cannot spring a leak when one is out of town in spite of turning the water supply off. My BIL got one for that very reason, as they travel a lot.

  • itguy08

    When we looked last year for a gas unit that would allow us to take 2 showers at once, from what I remember the unit alone was well over $1k. That was not counting the gas line upgrades we would have needed. It was a lot cheaper to get a 50 gallon unit. But when we replace that later due to the flood, I'll probably go back to a 40 gallon since I want the space back in the utility room.

  • mrb627

    I researched tankless water heaters a couple of years ago. In order to get one sized for whole house usage, it was cost prohibitive. The heater + the installation + I would need a larger diameter gas line pulled from the street.

    To add I would likely never get hot water to the dishwasher or washing machine from it.

    Not worth it.

  • dadoes

    I can get 140F water (or less as desired) flowing into my washing machine, confirmed with a thermometer in the incoming stream fed from my tankless water heater ... although the resultant water in the machine's tub after fill is complete won't be fully at that temp. Dishwasher maximum would be a little less due to pipe loss at a longer distance.

  • weedmeister

    Sandy: remind your husband that he has to take flow rate into account. People forget this, especially for showers, sinks and washers when wanting just warm. The flow rate of hot gets to be too low to activate the heater.

    I have a timer on my 50gal tank heater. By observation (TED5000), I know that it is on for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. The temp setting is 125F, providing 115-120 at the faucets. The timer was a whole lot cheaper than a tankless and a 120a circuit to power it.

  • live_wire_oak

    My Myson tankless was $500 in 1995. This was when you could get a decent warrantied gas 50 gallon for around $300. We spent another $400 to run the gas line and stainless vent ourselves.(No one in our area was remotely knowledgeable about tankless and they all thought we were crazy.) The first month that was wholly just tankless was $15 savings (backed up by usage amounts)in gas due to the heater's higher efficiency and no standby loss of heat. So, the savings over the years has me 2K in the black. Due to the expected longevity of the heater, (A friend still has their same 1972 unit.) I expect to save another 3.6K over the next 20 years---or even longer. Yes, it takes a long time for payback And much longer if you have to pay for labor. But the savings are real if you are going to stay one place long enough to see them. If I were building a
    forever" home, putting in a tankless would be a no brainer.

  • asolo

    And they don't leak. I don't know anyone who hasn't had at least one tank-failure disaster. Over the last forty years, I've personally had four. They always fail the same way....they leak. The only variable is whether you catch it sooner or later. The potential for damage is a very big deal.

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