I would like to replace the two water heaters in my attic (14 yrs old), but am not sure how to solve the problem of how to minimize wait time for hot water on the far side of the house. Is a circulating pump the answer, or is it a tankless water heater? I live in the country about an hour from the coast and the plumbers here are down on tankless water heaters. What do you think?
The Money Pit Answer
Tell your plumbers to get with the program! Tankless water heaters have been around for over a decade and are clearly the best, most efficient way to heat water (assuming you have natural gas or propane, as they are not efficient when fueled with electric). To solve the issue of wait time for hot water, however, you need to physically move the water heater closer to that far side of the house, a task that is much easier thanks to their compact size and options for sidewall venting. Regardless of whether the water heater is tank or tankless, it is the distance between where the water is heated and where it is used that determines how long you will need to wait. So, the closer the better!