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Replacing a Water Heater: Tank vs. Tankless

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Jonathan in Virginia wants to talk about water heaters. Welcome to The Money Pit.

    JONATHAN: I had a quick question. We are in a position – we have a gas water heater; a standard water heater and it’s starting to show signs of age and we’re going to need to replace it. And I had a question about what your thoughts were on the tankless water heaters that are supposed to give you, you know, basically unlimited, instantaneous hot water versus the standard tank type.

    TOM: Well, we like them for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s a very green choice. They’re very energy efficient. Secondly, if they’re designed – if the size is correct and they’re installed properly, you will have an endless supply of hot water so you’ll never have to worry about running out of hot water. And one of the reasons that they’re energy efficient is because they only heat the amount of water that you need. So if you have a traditional water heater right now, that you have to basically heat water 24/7 whether you need it or not. But with a tankless you’re only heating in on-demand. They also take up less room so they can sort of be mounted on the wall of the utility room or on an outside wall because they can be direct vented whereas a traditional water heater cannot and it’s much, much larger.

    JONATHAN: How’s the price difference between a conventional water heater and the tankless?

    TOM: Well, if you compare it to your standard, inefficient water heater it’s going to be about twice as expensive. If you compare it to a high-efficient tanked water it’s going to be close to the same price.

    LESLIE: But when you think about the savings in the long run as far as energy dollars and water wasted, you know, it really is truly going to sort of work out in the long run.

    JONATHAN: Mm-hmm. OK.

    TOM: You might want to go to the website for the Rheem company to get some more information on this. It’s RheemTankless.com – R-h-e-e-mTankless.com. They’ve got a great line of appliances and they do sponsor the show.

    JONATHAN: Well, great. I will check into that. Thank you so much.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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