Tankless Water Heater Worth the Cost?
LESLIE: Aaron in Iowa is having a hard time getting a hot bath. Tell us what’s going on.
AARON: Well, we’ve got the sink up in our master bath on the second floor of our house that takes a good couple minutes in order to get some hot water to. Just thinking of options. I guess maybe an under-sink instant hot water might be an option. And just trying to figure out the easiest way to get that accomplished.
TOM: Yeah, well, of course it’s a function of distance, Aaron. It has to do with how far your master bedroom/bathroom is from the water heater and that’s why you have to wait that long a time.
Now, the option is to add another heater in that space. You could do that with an electric tankless heater or you could do that with a gas tankless heater. Because it’s just that one bathroom, I think an electric would probably be OK. They even had some that run on 110 volts that can handle those small projects like that.
But if it’s going to be a heavy use, then what you might want to do is add a tankless water heater. But keep in mind, by doing this you basically are splitting your hot water into two circuits. Because right now it’s one circuit that feeds from wherever the water heater is; you’re going to split it into two.
And you also really have to think about the cost-effectiveness of doing this. Sure, we hate to waste all that water but I just wonder if …
AARON: Now I’ve got the electricity side of things to deal with.
TOM: Well, you’ve got the electricity, you’ve got the cost of the equipment. And it’s instant but I’m sure that it’ll be more expensive than just the little bit of water that you waste every time waiting for it to heat up.
AARON: OK. Yeah, that was the biggest question as far as the …
TOM: Yeah, it’s kind of an annoyance; it’s a design issue. But you really have to think about whether it’s worth putting in that second water heater.
AARON: Yeah, I didn’t know how small those instant water heaters came with what size …
TOM: They’re pretty small; they can fit inside a bathroom cabinet. But there’s going to be an expense to it. So price it out; you make your decision based on that.
Aaron, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.