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Fixing a Hot-Water Problem

A GBA reader who just installed two new tankless water heaters wants to know why he has to wait two minutes for the hot water to reach his faucet

Posted on Jul 1 2013 by Scott Gibson

John Metcalfe's San Francisco renovation included the installation of two tankless water heaters and a small circulation pump in his four-story, 3,200-sq. ft. home. The water heaters, connected in series, are located on the second floor, which is a more or less central location.

His hot-water problems should be over, right? Except they're not.


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Image Credits:

  1. John Hartman - Fine Homebuilding magazine

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The Difference Between Storage and Tankless Water Heaters

While offering higher efficiency, tankless water heaters usually don't make sense

Posted on Sep 6 2012 by Alex Wilson

There are two primary types of water heaters: storage and tankless. In this column I’ll try to explain the differences between these two approaches and offer some guidance on choosing between them. (There are also “hybrid” water heaters with features of both that I’ll cover in a future blog.)

Storage water heaters

Most water heaters are storage models. These are insulated tanks holding 20 to 120 gallons with either electric heating elements or gas burners. The storage tank stratifies with hot water at the top and cold incoming water at the bottom, so that as you draw off hot water (from the top), you get consistently hot water until the hot water is nearly depleted. The “first-hour rating” tells you how many gallons of hot water can be delivered in an hour. 


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Image Credits:

  1. Rheem Water Heating

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Are Tankless Water Heaters a Waste of Money?

The energy savings you’ll get from a tankless water heater are usually too low to justify the high purchase price

Posted on Apr 6 2012 by Martin Holladay

Although tankless water heaters are, on average, more efficient than traditional tank-style water heaters, they’re also more expensive — so expensive, in fact, that many potential customers wonder whether their high cost can ever be justified by likely energy savings.


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Image Credits:

  1. John Eisenschenk

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How to Sell Green Upgrades: Tankless Water Heaters

Customers won’t buy one unless you explain the benefits to them

Posted on Feb 8 2011 by Michael Strong, LEED Associate, CGP

If you do not already include tankless water heaters as part of the signature features in your homes and remodels, you should at least understand why so many folks are in love with the benefits. The reasons just may surprise you — and hopefully motivate you to learn how to sell more of them and how to better satisfy your clients.

When I sell tankless water heaters, I do not sell them based on their perceived water efficiency or that they provide instant hot water. In fact those are myths that I usually have to dispel first before talking about their benefits.


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