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Alternatives to tankless?

With a family of four, we're running out of hot water every day, and we hate the wait to shower, etc. So we'd love to use a tankless water heater - for utility and economy.

But we're stuck. Our lovely 1880 stone house has walls so thick that we can't practically cut through them, nor go up through two floors simply to vent through the roof. The vent for the current water heater is shared with the heating boiler, so that's not an option with direct venting (pipe within pipe) required for tankless. So we're going to be unable to use a natural gas tankless water heater.

Can anyone recommend a good alternative? A larger water heater probably won't completely solve our problem and will cost more to run all year long. I looked at that new GE Hybrid, but that has very little to do with tankless functionality.

Timothy Miller
Re: Alternatives to tankless?

Howdy first try water conserving shower heads. Possibly turning the water heater temp up. The clothes washer to cold and warm not hot settings makes an impact too. With out the currant size of your water heater perhaps its too small for its demand. Could add a solar supplemental tank...

Re: Alternatives to tankless?

An electric pre heater for the water going into the water heater my be an option.

Re: Alternatives to tankless?

Depending on how old your old water heater is, a new larger one might just solve your problem and not cost more to operate. You might even save more money that you would with a tankless. I think that you might find the tankless might not be all you expected either.

Re: Alternatives to tankless?


If I read your post correctly, you state you have a hot water boiler for a heating system---if you do, the proper hot water companion to the boiler is an INDIRECT HOT WATER HEATER.

These units have a capacity of from 30 gal to 45 gal, or more and don't use a flue, since the hot boiler water heats the "tank within a tank" inside the IHWH.

They do cost between $1k and $3k, depending on size & local labor rates, but you'll never run out of hot water, & they have a reputation for being very economical, as there is no extra fuel burned & they don't have a flue to vent warm air out of the house---there are no moving parts or burners to burn out---these things last for decades.

Consult the sites below to determine your "peak hour hot water usage" (usually the morning rush hour), so you can determine the size tank you need.

The heavy insulation surrounding the tank insures that the water stays hot for a long time between boiler firing.

Indirects to look for include Triangle Tube, Weil-McLain Gold, HTP Superstor,Lochinvar Squire, TFI Everhot.


Re: Alternatives to tankless?

This is excellent advice, folks. Really pleased, and I'm going to look into all the options.

All is not lost! (without tankless!)

Thanks agaain!!

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