Tankless Water Heaters

I want to replace our water heaters before I have to replace them (we have 2 - 50 gal). They are 14 years old. The prior two we had only lasted 7 years before they leaked, soaking the carpet in the guest room and destroying the wall between the garage and guest room.

I’ve been looking at the Navien NPE-240A and wondered if anyone has gone tankless and how its worked out.

I haven’t but I will when either a) my water heater dies or b) I find a good deal or tax break on tankless.

My girlfriend has a tankless water heater and you just can’t beat hot water in 5 seconds. My upstairs shower might take 5 minutes to get hot on a cold day.

We have a hot water circulating pump now and the tankless heater comes with one. Our master bath (not intentionally offensive) is about as far from the garage as possible and still be in the house. Without that pump, I’d finish a shower before the hot water arrived. When the first pump died, we showered in the guest bath until it was replaced.

I don’t have an answer to your question, but a related suggestion. If you want to lower your risk of damage until and even after you replace them, you can get leak detectors such as this one:

Search for leak detector to find other types. I have an army of the one linked above, but that are green with frog faces on them (“Leak Frogs”).

How hard is your water? I had one in Vegas and honestly I loved it. It was well worth it.

Never without hot water.

What I was told is that hard water destroys them quickly.

It should take the same time to get the hot water to the location. The difference is you’ll have hot water forever.

One of the coolest things is a hot water loop. It’s too much to add to a house but some new ones have it.

Turn the faucet and you have instant hot water. It pumps it though the loop at all times.

Do you have a loop for that? That’s the only way I’ve seen it done.

You can get a retrofit kit if your house doesn’t have a loop built in.

That I didn’t know. Hmm. I may have to do that. If it works even half as well it’s worth it

My first house in Vegas had it. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever had in a home.

I’ve never had a house with a built-in loop, but the retrofit works great.

ratber2k - Thanks for the very helpful suggestion. I plan to buy it so if my hot water tank starts to leak I will know about it ASAP.

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It is looped. We bought a new spec house, and the recirculating pump and loop were already in. Ours uses a thermostatically controlled valve, but I have seen them with timers or on/off switches. We just unplug ours when we’ll be away for more than a couple of days.

Tank or tankless doesn’t change how long it takes for hot water to reach a fixture.

My house was built with a hot water recirculating system that we regulate with a timer and a thermostat, which keeps the operating costs to a negligible amount. Having a recirculating system is the only way to have near instant hot water, and it is definitely worth having one. I would never build a house without one.

Our 26 year old 50 gallon tank heater still works great, which may partly be due to having a recirculating system that reduces sediment build up.

I wouldn’t mind going tankless, but don’t know if the cost/benefit is worth it. Especially since we have a recessed concrete silo, with a built-in drain, in case the tank ever leaked. It seems hard to justify the fuel savings, vs. the much higher cost for going tankless. Of course, if you tend to run out of hot water, tankless would make sense, or perhaps a larger tank heater.

Now I don’t think tankless work with the loops.

If you run out often, it’s worth it. I had a teenage girl when I had one. She had a friend that love to take baths. They would sit in there for hours draining and filling the huge tub. A normal heater wouldn’t have been able to do it.

That’s one of the questions I have, as I have read that it’s the demand for hot water that triggers the unit to heat.

The cost is about twice that of replacing the two heaters, but we won’t have to be overly concerned about leaks. I do like those sensors that ratbert linked and may try one whatever we do.

They’re triggered by the flow of water. So it’s only triggered when the water is flowing.

If it’s looped. It may run all the time.

I was surprised when this topic came up on the old board. My water heater is approaching 20 years old (as is the house) and still going. I didn’t know they only lasted a few years.

I have lived in my house 14 years and am on my 3rd heater. You got a good one.

That would be a surprise given how cheap our builder was, but I’ll take it. I did pick up one of those water detector things to alert me of any leaks. Now I just have to put it out there.