Do I go tankless water heater or wait for 75-gal gas heater?

tracey_bJune 25, 2010

I'm X-posting in hopes of a quick response:

The builder just called and said that the 75-gal high output gas water heater is currently unavailable because the company is based in Nashville, and something about the floods have caused problems with getting it.

His solutions to me are a tankless 9.7 gal system or put in an electric heater until the gas heater becomes available again. The reason we wanted gas was in case of power outages, we'd have hot water.

Any thoughts for me?

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Everyone has a different option on tankless, but heres mine. For 1-3 people, scheduling HW usage so as not to run two major appliances at one time. Major appliances are: clothes washer, dishwasher & shower. Some people do not wash clothes with hot water so that eliminates one major appliance. Instantaneous is good in this situation.

If you have 4 or greater people using hot water around the same time, I would recommend going with a tank water heater, 40 gallons being standard. You mentioned a 75 gallon water heater, Why so big?

Take Care,


    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 1:35PM
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We don't have much info to go on. We don't know what your needs are, what your wants are or what your budget is. All we really know is that you want gas in the event that the electricity is out.

A tankless requires a small amount of electricity to operate - it would not operate if the power was out. A generator would solve that problem and provide power for other things as well.

I don't completely agree with Dan, you can size a tankless to run more than one thing at a time. I sized mine so that in the coldest part of the year I could run the shower and the bathroom faucet - in the summer I can run about twice that amount. It works fine in my house, but if I had a larger family I'd go with a larger unit.

There are also 50 gal Hybrid units - They store the water but have high BTU input and very high efficiency. They can produce a certain amount of continuous hot water as well.
These meet the 30% tax credit requirements and vent with PVC pipe - making them cheap to install where long vent runs are needed.

I have included an example - I'm not endorsing a particular brand.

Note that these would not run without a small amount of electrical power.

Here is a link that might be useful: State Hybrid

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 1:56PM
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Thanks for the input. I've been reading up on tankless and I think we'll pass on that option. Thanks for the info on Hybrid to check 'em out.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 11:09AM
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Are you restricting yourself to one manufacturer? We have had a Bradford-White 75 gal (huge Jacuzzi) for almost 15 years with no problems at all. I think they are manufactured in PA. We have a power vent so in the case of power outage, we don't have hot water either despite having a gas heater. The stored hot water in a 75 gal tank was enough for 4 showers the next morning so that usually is enough to get us through.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 11:56AM
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Just checked in with the builder again. I misunderstood the problem. It's not the actual water heater availability that's the problem, it's the power vent that goes with it. And now I learn that with this type of venting, we'll still need electricity for the gas water heater to work. CRAP! That's the whole reason I wanted a gas water heater.

Thanks for the info Susanelewis.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:01PM
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You need a power vent when you cannot exhaust the fumes to a nearby chimney. That is the only circumstance that I'm aware of where you don't rely on electricity for a gas water heater.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:20PM
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you can get tankless heaters that allow more than one major appliance to run. They are "Enough to run 2-3 major applications at once, direct vent room-sealed combustion, built-in power vent allows for vertical horizontal vent termination"

I still dont understand what is there to think about when you have to choose between tankless and tank - 70% of the time you are not home or sleeping or not using any hot water. You safe power all that time. True, it will not work when the power goes out. But - when the power goes out, I am not taking a shower or trying to do dishes. At a max I will wash my hands and I can do that with cold water. But I never have to "plan" hot water usage. We had 6 adults in our house for two weeks, eating, cooking, washing dishes, showering, - not a single second of worrying.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 10:30AM
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