Tankless Water Heater= More Space In A Closet For Junk

Winter is not the time for your water heater to go kaput…The other day my contractor friend, Mike, dropped by my place to borrow a couple of tools. When I opened my storage closet, I heard a gasp of horror behind me. I thought he was going to lecture me about the mess, which didn’t seem fair, as I’d cleaned it only months and months ago, so I was shocked to hear: “Is that really your hot water heater?” But not as shocked as I was when I saw what he was talking about. The poor thing was terminal. Rust spots poked right through the enamel like zits on a prepubescent Transformer, but I couldn’t quite tell if there was water leaking so I poked at them – “Don’t touch those!” Mike screamed.

I’m a home expert. These things aren’t supposed to happen to me. But they do, just like they happen to everybody – just gotta cope. I try to get something out of these migraine-inducing domestic disasters, by using them as a chance to go Green at a manageable pace. When that appliance finally tanks, at least look at your more sustainable alternatives. What you find may be surprising.

Mike helped me install a tankless on demand hot water heater (they have been really big in Europe for years and have now made their way across the ocean). It ran a little more expensive than a standard water heater, at $550, instead of $350 but by instantly heating the water I use as I use it, rather than endlessly refilling that tank, it does wonders for both my electricity bill and the water table. It also allows me to fill my tub when I’m in the mood for a luxurious soak, something impossible with that old clunker. Best of all, it’s only the size of a large dictionary, so that extra $200 also bought me a whole new closet!

22 Responses to “Tankless Water Heater= More Space In A Closet For Junk”

  1. John says:

    Sounds like a good idea.

  2. Don Lashin says:

    Congratulation to Jenn Thomas, she was my best bet. Was she ever living in the Chicago land area? She seems very familiar from my various travels in Chicago. Hope she goes on to bigger and better things.

  3. I am responding to the information on the Tankless Water Heater for several reasons. I think it makes good sense ecologically and economically. My question is the cost that was mentioned, when I priced a Tankless Water Heater the estimates I received from 3 firms were in the $1,500 range. Any comments would be appreciated

  4. Betty Jack says:

    On Nov. 23rd, you had the product “Health O Meter Massaging Booties on your show. Lara gave you a pair. The cost was mentioned, but not where they are sold, either in national store or online. I have gone from Health O Meter to Helen Of Troy to another site and they don’t know anything except one place said it was a NEW PRODUCT. Would really like to get them for my daughter for Christmas as she is on her feet a lot, as she is a Veterinarian. Please find out where I can get them either Store or Online! Thanks, Betty
    Love your show!!

  5. Cassie says:

    i need one in my closet, today, teh power went off and i was freezing my ass off.
    xo cassie xo

  6. oleblue says:

    Thank you for your talent.

  7. suzanne pepper says:

    I am english and just moved to Canada for two years (hubby’s job) and I have to say i was astounded by the number of homes still using hot water tanks and the size of the heating furnaces here.We typically have a central heating boiler about the size of a small kitchen wall cupboard and that heats all of the hot water and up to 20 radiators for a home. Even where there is still the use of hot air heating the boilers are only the size of one of your washing machines!! Maybe Canada is particulary behind in this.

  8. Gail Moran says:

    An electric tankless water heater will cost you more if you are converting from a traditional gas water tank. They have to shut off the gas line, install the appropriate electric line and then install the tankless water heater. This could account for your $1,500 estimates.

  9. Baffin says:

    With computer access actually quite easy to track down such as tankless water heaters and yes, some can range quite high in price, depending on the space/need etc you intend to cover but there are others in the 4-500 dollar range, geared to smaller spaces/needs and the cost saving pro-rated far out paces the regular tank variety which really do “waste” energy consumptions/etc. Here is one site,http://www.compactappliance.com but google up with ‘tankless water heaters” and you will find alot of sources to peruse with valuable information that will help in the decision and where to/how to locate in your more immediate neighborhood/etc.

  10. Darryl M says:

    can the tankless water heater be used with well water? What effects would the iron have on it?

  11. Diane Raudabaugh says:

    why are the plumbers resisting these tankless water heaters? They all just dismiss it by saying “you don’t want that.” Can’t we have a big “PUSH” on the marketing end.

  12. Barbara Jones says:

    We have a tankless water heater mounted on the outside of the house and we use propane. We love hot water on demand!

  13. Can this heat a whole house?

  14. Evette says:

    These certainly can heat hot water in the whole house. The make different sizes of them depending on your needs. They measure the volumn of water needed in gallons per second.

  15. rhonda says:

    I have an OLD gas tank style. How difficult to go tankless? Asked my plumber, got the same answer, “You don’t want that.” But I do, and I NEED the closet. Who can install? Electrician or plumber?

  16. Alice Smith says:

    Where do you get one I am in the Pittsburgh PA area sounds Great

  17. Rebecca says:

    Its about time you can buy them here. They are the standard in Australia, and have been for years. We just bought a home with a new tank, ugh, but when the tank kicks the bucket we are getting a dictionary! MAybe we will even expand the bathroom into the utility closet… :)

  18. Diane Raudabaugh says:

    I have found them online at Lowes, Ace Hardware and other places in my area. Leading name is Bosch but there are other’s getting in the manufacturing game. Just Google tankless water heaters and go from there. The trick is to get someone not resistent to change to install for you; someone you trust. HELP!

  19. Andrea Doran says:

    Wow! This is great to know since our electric bill because of the hot water tank cost us $300 a month! There’s NEVER hot water available when my DH wants to take a shower if I’ve been washing dishes…because of the timer! We can’t switch to gas because we’ve had a propane gas stove which was costing us about $300 per year to keep the gas tank quota filled for renting the tank service for it without using the gas we hardly used the oven except for like holidays! But I have managed now for the past few years to cook healthy meals in my Sharp Convection micro which I bought @ a yard sale & the turkey fits in it just fine! When we can afford to upgrade our electric in the kitchen DH is going to buy me a really great electric stove then he’ll get complete meals cooked all around the same time!

    Hot water on Demand is what we really need forget about the timer it’s not saving us any $$$$$ if there’s no hot water to shower when you want to! DH is ready to disconnect the timer since we never set it but the people who lived here before us did! But with our luck probably has to be uninstalled by an electrician!

  20. Sue says:

    Regarding the tankless heaters, I work for a plumbing contractor and we are often asked about these but don’t recommend them for several reasons. 1 – They cost a lot more than a tank heater. 2 – Gas and water repiping and new wiring is needed to hook them up because they don’t hook up the same way as the tank types which is going to add to the cost for both material and labor. 3 – There is so much crammed into that little box that if something goes wrong you’ve got trouble on your hands because although you can buy the heaters, no one sells parts to fix them. 4 – They may be a better option if you’re building from scratch or putting them in a new addition but it’s not worth the extra cost for retrofitting them. How much are you really going to save on the water heater portion of your gas bill to make up for the extra $1,000 you spent on these heaters?

  21. Jenni says:

    We installed a tankless hot water heater last fall. We as a family LOVE it. Not only do we never (did I say never) run out of hot water, but we are also getting a $300 tax credit for having it installed. Yes it is a little pricey in the begining, but it is estimated that our will pay for itself in a little over 2 years. If I had to do it over again, I would have had the Rinnai installed years ago.

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