Electric Storage water heater to Gas Tankless water heater?

With all the rebate incentives, I’m thinking about going from a 50 gallon Electric storage water heater (made in 2002) to a natural gas tankless water heater. How much will I expect to save a year? It’s just two of us in the household, but we’re planning on expanding the family. Our current electric bill is about per month. After all the rebates, the price to upgrade would be about 0 including installation. Is it worth the investment?

9 Responses to “Electric Storage water heater to Gas Tankless water heater?”

  1. Peter W Says:

    The savings are hard to gauge without knowing how much hot water you intend to use and how much of your present bill goes for making hot water now.

    All other things being equal and based on average costs for natural gas and electricity in the United States, it is typically four (4) times more expensive to make hot water with electricity than with gas.

    So, if $15 of that $60 belongs to hot water, your payback will be 900/(15 x 0.75) or 80 months (6 years, 8 months). Given that your present water heater is 8 years old, you can expect it to be near the end of its typical service life (about 10 years). So a good part of that $900 (figure about $400 to pay someone else) would be required to replace (shortly) it in kind – in reality the payback is much faster based on lifetime cost.

    Now, some things to understand about tankless units:

    a) They require some level of flow to operate. This is adjustable but only within a narrow range. So, if you usually rinse dishes with a trickle of water, this won’t work anymore. So there will be some adjustment in your life-style.
    b) When properly adjusted they will provide a continuous amount of hot water without variation. So if you are given to very long showers, this will be nirvana for you.
    c) The savings are in the fact that there is no continuous maintenance of the tank temperature – you are making water only when you need it.
    d) A modern unit made by a reputable firm will have an expected service life far beyond the typical tank-type.

    Because you have electric hot water already, the fact that most (but not all) of these units require electricity to operate is less of a concern. But you might also look into the self-powered systems that do not require electricity – Bosch, for one makes such a unit. This will allow you to have hot water even if there is a power-failure assuming you are on city water, not a pump.

    We have been on a Bosch Aquastar for nearly 15 years now at our summer house – it has performed flawlessly. There are several other equally reputable companies.

  2. hollifieldrobert Says:

    if your only paying 60 a month i wouldnt

  3. Just guessing Says:

    Do it. You’ll be glad that you did. Takes about five years on average to recoup the savings from the initial investment. Why keep reheating 50 gallons of water 24 hours a day?

  4. mark Says:

    i wouldn’t if my light bill is only $60 a month. I change from a tank to tankless water heater, i personally can see a savings in my light bill after i add my gas bill to it. not saying i’m not saving but i just can’t feel it. there are advantages and disadvantages to a tankless water heater. main advantage-never run out of hot water. main disadvantage-takes twice as long to get the hot water to the faucet than with a tank water heater.

  5. John from Ct. Says:

    I replaced my 30 gal. gas water heater with a Takagi Jr tank-less heater and saved about $20 a month. It was worth it, but keep in mind, unless you can "direct vent" it Thu your basement wall, The stainless steel chimney pipe is expensive. The unit cost me $450.00 The chimney pipe was $500.00 (14 foot, pipe, cap and roof collar). The best thing is I have endless hot water, and at any temp. I want it at. I also did the install myself and was easy if you know how to solder pipe.

  6. Steve G Says:

    It’s hard to say what you’d actually save on the utilities, but you would save something. You’d also save some space. You’d never run out of hot water. And they last longer than a tank water heater.

    $900 is the absolute cheapest price for an installed tankless I’ve ever heard – it’s a little less than the cost of a good unit by itself. Note that the better units are from Noritz, Takagi, or Rinnai.

  7. analize2much Says:

    The only down side to tankless water heaters is the fact that you don’t run out of hot water.

    ie. someone likes long hot showers and doesn’t take of business while in there. This would be the only way your bills go up.

  8. bob f Says:

    You said 2002, so your current unit is on it’s way out. Gas is always cheaper than electric. Tankless ? Yes. You only pay for what you use. By all means, you are certainly making the right decision.

  9. Blastoff Daily Says:

    I am going to have to say no. Why? Simply for the fact that a 50 gallon water heater now a days usually is good enough for a house hold of 4. Two parents and two teens.

    when you convert to a tankless and start shopping around sure you’ll find some good ones for about $1000-$1800 and all the rebates, but the reality is after installation costs, proper gas meter size, sometimes up-sizing your 3/4" gas line if you have one to 1" and many venting modifications, you definitely can be looking at a lot more cost up front.

    A simple 66 gallon or 80 gallon electric water heater will do you and your up-sizing family just fine. Unless you planning on running hot water all day long.

    As it pertains to efficiency the newer water heaters are insulated pretty good and if it’s located in an area of your home where it stays warm and not really that code…you don’t really get much heat loss.

    Last thing: if you do decide to stay with electric water heater, just be sure and get a 2" insulation pad to place underneath the water heater if it’s located directly on a concrete. It helps with heat loss. Bottom of water heaters are not insulated and concrete conducts heat, so the pad will complete the full insulation of the water heater.

    Hope this helps,

    BlastoffDaily.com (join free always and forever, saves money, the true benefit is it returns more cash back for almost anything you or anyone you know that buys anything online)