I'm in need of a new water heater and was thinking of converting to tankless, but I've heard some people haven't had a great experience. Does anyone have firsthand experience with both traditional tank and tankless water heaters?
We have a tankless water heater now and haven’t had any issues with it. Two guests took extremely long showers as they said they’ve never had hot water last so long. So maybe that’s what people don’t like about the tankless ;) We had a traditional tank in Seattle and it was kind of a pain to drain it to get out any sediment that would routinely build up in it. Other than that and the space saving of a tankless, I think you’ll be fine going either route.
Oh boy, I could say a lot about this one. I've lived in three houses with tankless, including a larger home that used dual tankless for domestic water and radiant heat. I wasn't happy with any of those three systems and one was a tremendous disaster. Challenges for tankless - anemic pressure and long delay when requesting hot water. Also google the "Cold Water Sandwich" which is a common experience when using tankless. The last time I used tankless, I basically gave up on getting hot water at the kitchen sink because it took over two minutes to get warm. Oh, and don't rely on a tankless system for radiant heat...
I'd go for the tank if possible. Sorta related, in my opinion the #1 best investment you can make for your hot water system is a recirculating pump. That'll have the largest impact on your happiness.
Delay in hot water has more to do with distance of the sink, shower or bath from heating source and not what the source is. My recommendations on thankless is if you have gas connection for current tank then go with a gas thankless unit but to avoid an electrical unit one especially if it is for a whole house. I have had great experience with a Navien thankless water heater with my last home. Also always check out PUD if that is your energy provider for current rebates. Here is a current link to $500 instant rebate for a heat pump water heater snopud.com/conservation/app...
Unfortunately my Navien experience a few years ago was a dud. Every time we came home from vacation the unit had crashed and needed a reboot. Since our house was using the Navien for radiant heat this was a real bummer in winter. It takes 36 hours to reheat the house after the tankless was rebooted. The thing was crashing every few days there at the bitter end.
It was like maintaining your grandparent's crappy old PC. I was constantly fielding calls from family members, "there is no hot water what do we do." Multiple motherboard replacements, firmware upgrades, thousands of dollars in service calls, and eventually we had to invoke the lemon laws.
Sounds like those units have improved, though. Hopefully they got their act together.
We have a tankless. Had it installed by Green Planet Plumbing. It's been great. I love never running out of hot water - which if you have kids can be quite often. I would suggest you get a reciprocating pump, particularly if you have a two story home. We don't have the cold water sandwich problem either.
What’s your current tank? Heat Pump tanks, aka Hybrid electrics are efficient as gas tankless and there are tons of incentives. I have installed these myself in three of my properties and am delighted with the results. I also love having one less place to worry about gas leaks.
I was looking at either A.O. Smith or Rheem. I like that the Rheem can send me info and is controllable from my phone. Location is in the garage. I need to move the location from the current by about 6 feet.
We have tankless in our new home and had traditional tank in our previous. The biggest advantage to tankless is unlimited hot water! The only downside is some of the fixtures further away from the tank can take a couple minutes to reach "hot." One advantage to having a traditional tank is that you have drinkable water on hand in case of disaster.