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The Hot Water Tank versus tankless always seems to rage on repeatedly on our discussion board, many saying don't believe the hype, some singing their praises.

But I wonder if there is a middle ground. Many speculate that the costs can't be recouped, or they are just not worth installing in an existing house due to the venting and upsizing the gas line requirements. There's also the issue of sophisticated electronics and servicing required of tankless.


I really think that a middle ground would be the following - a smaller tank than what might be typically used at a house (if you were installing a conventional tank say), that is higher output, high efficiency, and made out of a high grade of stainless steel. There are a few advantages to this over say a tankless and a typical tank.

1) If it's a high quality stainless tank it should last a very long time. This is good for the environment and a good investment on the home owners part. Less trips to replace it, less manufacturing costs which all produce greenhouse gases, less money forked out over the long run.

2) Because it's slightly smaller you will not see as much in the way of standby losses. You also won't have to worry about how many GPM's you're getting and how many fixtures you're running.

3) Because it's slightly higher output (I'm talking 15,000 to 30,000 BTU's more say), it more than likely shouldn't require, at least in retrofit aplications, upsizing your gas lines, but it'll still produce as much hot water as the previous tank easily.

4) Yes, because it's high efficiency it'll probably need to have the exhaust/intake vents altered to stainless or pvc, but in new houses this ain't a problem.

5) The Gas burner would not need to be a modulating burner in this case which would save $$$ on manufactuering costs, just a high efficiency, single fire rate design which requries less electronics, etc.

6) Less maintenance/servicing requirements other than flushing out the condensate trap and draining out the tank once or twice a year which any homeowner can do if he or she is competant.



With all the factors above I really wonder IF there is a middle ground....The key here is the tank would need to last a long time, be high efficiency, not require as much in the way of retrofit alterations, and be easy to maintain.
 

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One thing for sure is the water heater companies don't want to make a better tank. they are designer to go out. My brother told me of some old copper tanks he used to replace because one of the water heater companies bought them out and discontinues the repair parts, so they had to replace the tanks even though they didn't leak.

Plumber Jim
 

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One thing for sure is the water heater companies don't want to make a better tank. they are designer to go out. My brother told me of some old copper tanks he used to replace because one of the water heater companies bought them out and discontinues the repair parts, so they had to replace the tanks even though they didn't leak.

Plumber Jim
I agree with you Plumber Jim. I've replaced old water heaters that lasted 15-25 years. All the new heaters seem to go 8 - 10 years. We use electric exclusively, so the new efficient WH's saves on electric costs.

Our area has very little gas - so tank type heaters are more cost effective for our customers.

As tankless evolves, I bet you will see a lot of changes and improvements.
 

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I hate to sound like a fella who makes his living by replacing water heaters, but 10 years is a long time.

Tell me one thing that is used everyday, that's critical to a dwelling, that gives health and comfort, costs only $400.00 and will last 10 years? Nothing.

I wish water heaters lasted only 5 years. 1 year.
 

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bradford white recently released a high perfomance water heater that is 25 gal and 80MBH, they say it will do 155 gal in the first hour.
putting one in next week. ill post the results.
 

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bradford white recently released a high perfomance water heater that is 25 gal and 80MBH, they say it will do 155 gal in the first hour.
putting one in next week. ill post the results.

I put two of the BW GX-1-55's in two months ago for a master bath addition with multiple shower outlets(22gpm), tankless would have required four possibly five units. The GX-1 are 80,000 btu and rated at 200 1st. hour delivery at a 90 deg. rise. Customer is happy and says water supply is fine.

p.s. our cost on heater $1000.00, a BIG savings:thumbup:
 

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This seems like deja' Vu all over again. Didn't we do this someplace else, not all that long ago?

Tankless heaters suck. I'm so glad for this site because I don't have to beat around the bush and be politically correct. Tankless heaters f-ing suck. They suck more than the suckiest thing that ever sucked. They suck more than Monica Lewinski at Billie boy's birthday party.
 

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This seems like deja' Vu all over again. Didn't we do this someplace else, not all that long ago?

Tankless heaters suck. I'm so glad for this site because I don't have to beat around the bush and be politically correct. Tankless heaters f-ing suck. They suck more than the suckiest thing that ever sucked. They suck more than Monica Lewinski at Billie boy's birthday party.
Yeah, but do they really? Suck?
 

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So if i read this correctly, Tankless heaters suck? I know they blow, they are loud when they blow. But come to think of it, blow is the same as to suck. Yep, i guess they do suck.
 

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This seems like deja' Vu all over again. Didn't we do this someplace else, not all that long ago?

Tankless heaters suck. I'm so glad for this site because I don't have to beat around the bush and be politically correct. Tankless heaters f-ing suck. They suck more than the suckiest thing that ever sucked. They suck more than Monica Lewinski at Billie boy's birthday party.
Give that man a ceegar!:laughing:
 
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