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Tankless Water Heaters

Question: Do you have a tankless water heater? What do you think of its performance? I am purchasing a condo with a 10 year old water heater, which I will have to replace some day, so I want to know about the tankless models. I am, at least for now, alone, so I don't need a lot of water at one time. On the Home Depot web site, they tell you how many gallons per minute they can put out, but how do I know how many I need?

Answer: Tankless water heaters are great - very efficient from an energy standpoint - possible problem is that they consume large amounts of electrical power for short periods of time. A house unit may require a 60 amp 240 VAC circuit, it is like having a second range. You need an incoming electrical service that can handle the extra load. I would say in a condo, minimum 150 Amps service - 200 would be better. Another problem can be, the wiring to a tankless heater is much larger than to a tank - you will need to run a new cable - if the building is concrete this could be a problem.

As far as sizing a unit, most manufactures have sizing calculators for their units based on number of showers, etc.



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