I really appreciate the feedback from people who already have the tankless system.
The more people i hear from, the more i am to decide yes, that would work for us, or no, the little things still cannot be easily overcome.
At work, we exclusively sell the Rinnai, as they tend to be one of the most trouble free brands. Having a water softener is a must, as well as doing a "flush" of the unit yearly. Past that, I don't find the other issues a problem. I currently have an R75 that I'm thrilled with.
From what i read in reviews of various brands, the Rinnai had the least complaints about failure and mostly the typical complaints i mentioned earlier. I think if we go tankless, i'll probably buy Rinnai.
Ok, we can't do that. It adds a whole new issue of space, installation and maintenance in our situation, aside from the cost of salt. Winnipeg water has a moderate to hard total hardness of about 70-90 mg/L (as CaCO3) and i expect that would be an issue w/o a softener.
I have also read about this annual flush of the unit which supposedly requires some special hookup connection or other equipment that a homer owner generally would not have.
Correct me if that information is wrong.
That's more maintenance than what i do with our tank system, which is nothing (ya ya i know you probably should be trying to drain sediment once a year, etc. etc. but the tank is from 1999 and still going without having received any maintenance so how does that compare to tankless??).
Wait time for hot water:
In our last house, the conventional tank was on the opposite side of the home, so we were used to waiting the 30 to 40 seconds anyhow. This has been an absolute non-issue for us.
I can understand that. It still takes time to flush a line whether it is tank or tankless.
Dishwasher / Laundry:
Again, I was used to letting the water run at the old house, so I do the same here. Turn on the kitchen tap until the water runs hot, then start the dishwasher. Once I am positive it is filling, I turn the tap off. Same for the washing machine.
Considering how much laundry we do with kids in the house, i doubt this is something that would go over very well with the wife.
This goes back to the 'wasted' water concept. I wonder if the washer and dishwasher would even draw enough volume to get the tankless system to turn on. When they pull in water for use, its not the same flow rate as turning on the tap to full. As such, it could start with hot water but during its rinse cycle for example, it may not pull hot water from the tankless system and i won't be around during its cycle to ensure i've turned on a sink tap prior to the rinse part.
I'm just cycling this possibility around in my head. Maybe the draw of the washers do trigger the tankless to turn on. I don't know what the flow rates and thresholds are for each.
In my opinion, not running out of hot water is worth the potential drawbacks. And whether it is more efficient or not, I still really like the idea of not keeping a tank of water hot while I am sleeping, or at work.
Which is why we are considering it.
But i think the back breaker or perhaps the final straw is the softener conditioning.
I also know that if the power goes out, the tankless system is useless where the tank at least has a reservoir for a short period.
I just recently relocated just outside of Ottawa, and the "open loop" twin well type of geothermal system is very common here.
Doesn't anyone keep me up to date with these important announcements anymore?