During a recent home inspection, the hot water tank was nowhere to be found. We looked inside, outside, in all the closets and the utility room, even under the kitchen sink and were at a loss as to where it could be – even thought that maybe the house just did not have one. But, turning on the hot water spigot dispelled that idea and the home inspector mentioned that the house might have a tankless water heater but he still was unable to find it. After a call to the listing agent we were able to locate it in about one of the strangest places, hiding in plain sight. It was so small that it was back behind a pantry shelf that we just never even thought to look in.
Although I had heard of these little things, looking at it and determining how it could possibly provide enough hot water to satisfy the needs of a family was bewildering. I like to know how things work so I got on the internet as soon as I got home and found out some very interesting facts about them along with some pros and cons. Click HERE for the best informational website I found but the basics from the site are broken down into benefits and drawbacks:
They never run out of hot water, often come with a federal tax rebate of about $300, have a longer use life, can be installed in cabinets and closets, can't flood and may even be able to lower your water heating bill by 20 percent.
They are not cheap - can cost triple the price of a tank water heater and there is a chance that the electric ones may need an additional circuit. If you have one powered by gas, a larger gas line could be needed and there is annual service that must be performed. You may have to run the water a little longer for it to be hot which wastes water.
I don’t think that the pros are enough for me to switch from my big, bulky one that I have grown used to but the cons are not reason enough not to have one. I can see how convenient a tankless water heater would be in a small home where storage is very limited.