LESLIE: James in New Jersey finds The Money Pit on WABC. And you’re getting cold showers, huh?
JAMES: Oh, yeah. Yeah, we have to wait a little bit for the hot water to come up. I guess it’s because the newer homes are larger – I did some reading on it – and the supply line to make it to the top is – takes a good minute for the water to heat up. I mean we have a well. It’s not like we’re paying for it but it’s a waste of water.
LESLIE: And you have no problem getting the hot water on the first floor. It’s just the bathrooms on the second floor.
JAMES: Yeah, this is a new – this is a new modular home. And what my plumber did was he tried us on those new Rinnais. The Insta-Hot?
LESLIE: Oh, the tankless heater.
JAMES: And we have two of them in the basement and they’re wonderful. I mean you can never run out of hot water. He was concerned in the future if we had a hot tub going or anything.
JAMES: And it does do all that. But what it is is you wake up in the morning when the water’s not being used and circulated, you have to wait for it to heat up before you can jump in the shower.
TOM: And that’s just a factor, James, of how far the distance is between the water heater and the fixture itself. Now, if he put two tankless water heaters in, what he probably could have done that would have solved this …
LESLIE: Is put the second one near the bathroom.
JAMES: Right. Well, they direct vent in the basement.
TOM: Yeah, I understand that but it doesn’t – they don’t take a lot of space up and that’s why, when you have tankless, an advantage of the small footprint of a tankless water heater is that you can put them in areas that you normally wouldn’t be able to get a second water heater; like a second-floor closet. I mean a direct vent only really takes a small amount of area to get through the wall to the outside, so it’s a lot easier to place it there.
That being said, I don’t have a big – I don’t have a solution for you right now because it’s a problem of the distance between the water heater and the faucet.
JAMES: Right, right. Well, I had done some reading and I was talking him into it. He said Rinnai sort of had a way to do it by – see what the problem is is …
TOM: Well look, you can – if you want to do a recirculating loop where you bring the hot water back so it’s always hot …
JAMES: That’s what I’d like to do.
TOM: Well, you can do that but you can throw all the efficiency of that tankless right out the window with it. Because now you’ve got a boiler that’s keeping that pipe hot all the time.
TOM: Even when you don’t need it. So that means you’re going to run so much gas. You worried about wasting water? It’s going to be a lot cheaper to waste water than it is to waste gas.
James, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.