LESLIE: Sharon in Tennessee is on the line and has some questions about tankless water heating. How can we help you?
SHARON: Just my husband and I. We’re in a house that the tank is probably – the one we have is probably 11– 10, 11 years old. But we find that in the bathroom – the master bathroom, which is at the far side of the house from us – you have to run the water 5 or 10 minutes before it gets hot. And we’ve heard good things about those, so I thought, well, what do you guys know about them? Because I don’t know if they’ve been out long enough to “work all the bugs out of them.” Are they a good investment? Are they good economically?
TOM: Yes, yes and yes. So they have been out for a long time; longer than you might think. I’d say probably 10 to 15 years.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah. Definitely.
TOM: But the thing is, you don’t really have a need to replace your water heater near that often, so it – sometimes folks are still not familiar with them.
However, one complaint that I heard you mention was that it takes a long time for your water to get hot. That may not change and here’s why: because the time it takes your water to get hot is more a function of the distance between the water heater and the plumbing fixture that you’re standing at waiting for the water to get there.
TOM: It just takes so many minutes for that amount of water to pass through the pipes and show up as hot on the other side. Whether that’s a tank water heater or a tankless water heater is not going to change that. It’s still going to take longer to get – just the same amount of time to get there, alright?
TOM: So, that’s not going to change. What will change, though, is you will have an unlimited supply of hot water. Because tankless water heaters, pretty much, when they’re sized right never, ever run out of hot water. And it’s going to be a very efficient way for you to get hot water.
I should have asked you this earlier but are you on gas – natural gas?
TOM: OK. Yeah, then you’re OK. If you were on electric, we’d be having a different conversation. Because electric tankless water heaters are not efficient at all. But gas is perfect.
SHARON: Good. OK. Well, something for us to give some second thought to and then get some quotes maybe.
TOM: Now, there is also an option that Rheem has right now, where you can actually add a bypass valve at that farthest bathroom fixture from your water heater. And what that will do is it will recirculate warm water through the pipes, based on a timer or based on your use pattern. So, with that addition, you may not be waiting at all for hot water. So that’s another option, as well.
SHARON: Hmm. OK. Well, that sounds pretty good. There’s some good suggestions there that I can look into then. We’re looking at doing some things to the house and I – that was the first thing I thought of.
TOM: Alright. Terrific. Well, thank you so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
SHARON: Thank you.