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Thread: Can I DIY my tankless water heater install?

  1. #1
    CaNewbie idevinsanchez's Avatar
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    Hi there - curious whether any of you have made the switch to a tankless water heater. Currently thinking about putting one in, but just not sure whether the payback is there. Appreciate any perspective!
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    I just replaced my hot water tanks and I looked into the tankless ones and decided it was not worth the cost. The tankless are almost double the price. The also require a larger line so the install cost is much higher. The savings in the water heating never really covers the added cost to install it.

    The only way you could DIY one is if you have a gas fitter license.
    I have done much of my own plumbing but draw the line at messing with the hot water tank. I had someone come and do it for me. I live in the city and I have had to deal with a hot water pipe fail (pipe froze) and pour piping hot water full force across my kitchen until I could run to the basement and shut the house water off. It was a disaster and I had some burns on my arms from trying to turn off the shutoff under the sink thinking it would be faster. I shutter to think about something like that failing at the tank or worse the gas line leaking and blowing up something.

    The install was $400 then the tank which was about $859 at lowes. Saves me money on not renting and money over the cost the electric I used to have.

    If you have the space and can put in a condensing gas hotwater tank it is the most cost effective option IMHO

    Also hotwater tanks need to have some water drained out to remove sediment once a year. A tankless heater has to be flushed with chemical like clr and then drained once a year so it added maintenance as well.

    There are a number of sites that do a cost breakdown and all the ones I have seen do not show that they are better than the tank version. If you have no space for a tank then there are limited options.
    Last edited by kerrylj; Wed, May 9th, 2018 at 03:22 AM.
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    http://www.homeplumbingservice.ca/ta...ater_tanks.php

    Also in many of the discussions it talks about how the water is heated and how the tank loses heat. In my case the tank is in my basement so any heat the tank loses during the fall, winter and spring goes to warming the basement in the house. Not really lost heat in my house.

    The page above also details the hot and cold shifts that can occur with tankless units that can be a drawback to using them.

    https://www.knightplumbing.ca/plumbi...heater-decide/

    http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...rs-waste-money

    The researchers concluded that most tankless water heaters will fall apart from old age before they save enough energy to justify their high cost .


    https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/water-heaters/buying-guide/index.htm




    Last edited by kerrylj; Wed, May 9th, 2018 at 04:29 AM.
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    The above is absolutely. I just wanted to add that my issue with the tankless that I never thought of is that we have no basement and the pipes are under the house (super small crawl space--home to spiders and friends). This means that especially in the winter, the water has to be run for a really long time to get the tank to 'on demand' the icy water--so not worth the extra water that is wasted either.
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    Can I ask what brand of natural gas water heater did you get at Lowes?

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    The above is totally. I simply needed to include that my issue with the tankless that I never thought of is that we have no storm cellar and the funnels are under the house (super little slither space- - home to insects and companions). This implies particularly in the winter, the water must be kept running for an extremely prolonged stretch of time to get the tank to 'on interest' the cold water- - so not worth the additional water that is squandered either.
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    Yes, it's possible. Similarly, I would ask what gas you would use for heating the element.

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    I was looking for information about this since my plumber told me not to do any DIY on our heater because although it's feasible, it's not advisable to mess with it.
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