LESLIE: Tom in Oregon is on the line with a water-heating question. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
TOM IN OREGON: Well, I have a home that couldn’t be laid out any worse. The master bathroom and the secondary bathroom, both of which have showers – shower/tubs – are at least 45 or 50 feet from the water heater.
TOM: OK. Mm-hmm.
TOM IN OREGON: The water heater and the showers couldn’t be further apart. I use approximately 2 gallons of water just getting the hot water to either of the two bathrooms to take a shower.
LESLIE: The reason why you’re having such a hard time getting the water is, as you mentioned, the distance. You’re correct: it takes a long time for a conventional water heater to heat up that water, get through all of the plumbing and then get to those two bathrooms, which are on the opposite side of your home. A great solution, if you’ve got the space for it, is a tankless water heater.
And now, they’re not gigantic; you can put one in a small closet. And that could really do a great job of just sort of zoning your water heating and making this tankless water heater take care of those two bathrooms that are far from your tanked option. And really just heats up this water when you need it for those two baths and comes out super-hot.
TOM IN OREGON: OK. Do the tankless water heaters keep a pretty steady temperature or do they run hot and cold and they constantly cycle?
TOM: No, they keep a very steady temperature when they’re installed correctly with the right size gas lines, if you’re using gas. If they’re properly sized and properly installed, they will keep a very, very steady temperature.
And the good news is that they’re really tiny, too. So you can fit them in a lot of places that you couldn’t fit a traditional tank water heater.
TOM IN OREGON: OK. So it takes some rerouting of the pipes and what have you. But it’s an all-electric home, so I don’t have any gas.
TOM: OK. Oh, it’s all electric. Alright. So if it’s all electric, obviously you can’t have a gas tankless water heater. But you could consider using an electric tankless and this is probably one of the only times I would recommend this. Because if you used it for a spare bathroom like that, you’re probably going to keep the electrical costs under control. But what I would do, in this case, is I would make sure that when I hooked it up, I’d put it on a timer so that it only really ran – it didn’t keep the water hot like in the middle of the night, because that would be a total waste.
TOM IN OREGON: OK.
TOM: But splitting it into two runs like that is definitely the hot ticket. And that’s going to save you some of your cost and make you more comfortable, to boot, OK?
TOM IN OREGON: Great. Thanks so much for your help then.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.