Installing a Second Tankless Hot Water Heater
LESLIE: Taking a call now from Julius in New York who’s dealing with a long distance for hot water to travel. Tell us about your problem.
JULIUS: OK, I have a long, narrow house and the gas hot water heater is at one end of the house and my master bathroom is about 60 feet away at the other end.
TOM: Wow. So you wait a long time for hot water in the morning. Is that right?
JULIUS: Right, and what I’m thinking of doing is putting in an on-demand heater to replace the gas hot water heater …
JULIUS: … and that would supply the laundry and the kitchen and one bath we have at that end of the house. What I’m wondering is do I install a second one for this end of the house or do I just wait until the hot water comes down that whole length of pipe?
TOM: Well, replacing your conventional water heater with a tankless water heater that stays in the same location is not going to affect the amount of time it takes for the water to get from the water heater to your bathroom faucet which is 60 feet away.
TOM: That’s a function of the distance. However, if you were to install a second tankless water heater near the bathroom, then that would eliminate that problem; the reason being you would have, essentially, two separate zones of domestic hot water, neither of which would have to travel very far to get to the bathrooms and other fixtures that serve it.
LESLIE: And the tankless water heaters are much smaller so you can really put it in a space that you wouldn’t think would normally accommodate a traditional tanked water heater.
JULIUS: OK. Does it make sense to install two of them?
TOM: Yes, and that’s – if you want to stop waiting for the hot water then you have to install two of them. If you don’t mind waiting for the hot water you could still install just one in the same position that the conventional water heater was installed in, but just understand that although it will be a more efficient water heater you’re still going to have to wait that amount of time …
LESLIE: It still has to travel that distance.
TOM: Yeah, and you’re still going to waste that amount of cold water on the way there.
JULIUS: Right, and eventually all that hot water in the pipes just dissipates into the air after I’m done showering.
TOM: That’s right. That’s correct.
JULIUS: Well, thank you. That gives me a good idea on how to approach it.
LESLIE: You are listening to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. We are your home improvement gurus so give us a call with your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have got an answer for you at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.