Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tankless Waterheaters

In 2005 Linda and I built our house. We hired a General Contractor and presented him with a floor plan and specifications we had painfully developed, tweaked, and negotiated over the previous two years. In 2003, during the planning phase we renewed our acquaintance with Roger, a man in North Carolina who had recently completed construction of his new home.

Roger took us on a tour of his home pointing out the many features of which he was justly proud. The feature that made the biggest impression on me was his Rinnai tankless waterheater.

Back in 1980, I read about and tried unsuccessfully to find these devices for heating water on demand instead of keeping a reservoir of water hot all the time. I was excited to see one in use in a real home. I quizzed Roger and he gave me the name of his plumber and the plumbing supply shop where the Rinnai was purchased.

When it came time to spec out our new house the Rinnai tankless waterheater was on the list. The installed cost of our Rinnai was about double the cost of a good quality standard water heater but there are two huge benefits.

You never run out of hot water. If two people are running the hot water at the same time you still have the problem of one demand stealing hot water from the other. But the tank doesn’t run out of hot water and there is no waiting time to allow the tank to heat up to temperature.
The propane only burns when hot water is actually being used. I estimate we saved enough propane over the past three years to more than pay the difference between the Rinnai and the cheaper standard water heater.

By the way, the wait to get hot water actually delivered to the faucet after it is turned on is the same as the wait for hot water to arrive at the faucet from a standard tank.

We love the Rinnai and we are very pleased with our decision.

Links to Cutting Expenses Special Report
Cutting Expenses - Introduction

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