Considering A Tankless Hot Water Heater (Do You Have One? Do You Recommend One?)

Matt and I need a new water heater. The one we have has become a real pain. The pilot light often goes out, and sometimes it’s a challenge to turn the thing back on. It seems to have a mind of its own, so sometimes I can restart the pilot light immediately. Other times, it doesn’t start again for days. It always restarts eventually, though. And I’d rather do it myself, even if that means no hot water for three or four days, than have the plumber come out every time and charge me a fee for every visit, especially if I will do exactly that. same process he did to restart it. Right now, I think the longest I’ve been without hot water is about four days, but it always comes back eventually. But I know the day will come when it won’t come back, and I’d rather not wait for that to happen.

Anyway, I’m tired of dealing with it. I’m hoping this one will last until we build our addition, and then we can replace it at that time. I don’t know if that will work.

Our current one is a standard hot water heater. I’m not sure how big it is, but it looks like a normal size to me. I have a large bathtub in our new bathroom, and I am concerned about the hot water heater not providing enough hot water for that bathtub.

That’s not a problem, though. There was plenty of hot water to fill the tub. And I never had a problem with running out of hot water for my shower.

But Matt’s shower was a different story. Matt is my husband, and he has MS and is in a wheelchair. He is the reason we turned a master bedroom into a master bathroom which includes a large curbles shower. Giving him a full bath is a long process, and by the time we finish that, and then I shower, the hot water runs out and I’m stuck in a cold shower.

So we both agree that we need a new hot water heater, and our two options are to (1) get a new hot water heater that is bigger than our current one, or (2) go tankless. I’m just not sure which option I prefer.

I found comfort in the fact that, while the pilot light worked, we had a large tank of hot water ready when we needed it. And on the contrary, with a tankless water heater, there is something that confuses me with the idea that there is no hot water in reserve. But I like the smaller size, and I also like that they are more efficient. Instead of having to keep a full tank of water constantly heated, it only heats the water when you need hot water. That seems more efficient to me. And as long as they work properly, you won’t run out of hot water during the shower.

I actually live with a tankless hot water heater. Both of my apartments in Turkey have tankless hot water heaters hung on the kitchen wall. I remember them working well, as long as I didn’t run out of gas. My hot water heaters in Turkey are not connected to the city gas supply. Instead, they are hung from gas tanks, like the gas tanks used for gas grills, which are delivered to my front door from time to time. As long as there is gas in the tank, the hot water heater works well. But I have had a few instances where the gas ran out in the middle of the rain.

So that’s my only personal experience with a tankless hot water heater, and that was over 20 years ago. When we remodeled my mom’s master bathroom over a decade ago, we had a tankless hot water heater installed just for the bathroom. He had a couple of problems with it, so that made me skeptical. But what’s more, I have problems with my big tank hot water heater, so I don’t think it makes any difference.

So I want to know your thoughts and experiences with tankless hot water heaters. Do you recommend them? If so, is there a specific brand that you’ve had a great experience with? How do they compare to large tank hot water heaters in your experience?

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