I bought a small condo under 500 sq.ft., with a 30y.o. rusty, leaking and smelling electric water heater (w/ 30G tank). The water heater is, obviously, to be replaced. Hot water is consumed by 1 shower, 1 bathroom faucet, 1 compact washer, 1 dishwasher and 1 kitchen faucet.
I see the following options:
- Single water heater with tank. Replace for the almost same model, but new.
- Single tankless water heater, to save some space in the utility closet.
- Single heatpump water heater with a tank.
- Multiple (5) point-of-use tank-less water heaters, installed right where it is needed: near shower, faucets, dishwasher and washing machine.
I need help deciding between those options. What are the main factors, by which do I compare those options?
Here is the preliminary research I did: 1. I started with: cost of the unit, cost to install, cost to operate, noise and projected lifetime. 2. The approximate water flows are: 1.5 GPM for faucets and dishwasher; 3.0 GPM for shower; 2.5 GPM for the washing machine. + 1 GPM extra. 3. My ground water temperature is 52degF.
1 is: $300 for the heater, $1200 for professional installation. $300 for DIY. Noise: very small. If previous water heater survived 30 years, then almost no maintenance is required for another 10-15 years.
2 Tankless can run about $530 (Ecosmart 5GPM). The utility closet is far away from the circuit breakers. So 3 x 40 AMP breakers and proper (#6 gauge) wire has to be wired over existing structure. Easily, $400 for professional wiring, $100 for DIY, but a bit complicated for me. + $1500 cost of professional installation, about $300 for DIY. Noise: negligible. Rumors are that maintenance (descaling) every year is required.
3 Heat Pump Heater: (e.g. Rheem) Very expensive: $1400 + I can assume expensive installation on the order of $1500. Consume less electricity to operate. May require extensive maintenance. Noisy: 49dB. Has 15 year warranty and may have some energy rebates.
4 Multiple POU units. Each of them have to sustain either 1.5 (faucets) or 3.0 GPM (shower and washing machine). 1.5 POU units can be hooked up to standard 120v, no rewiring required (e.g. Ecosmart POU 3.5). 3.0 GPM ones (e.g. Ecosmart POU 6) will require single 30Amp line and a breaker. $150*3+$200*2=$850 for a set of 4. Some small installation required. Not sure about maintenance. Noise: negligible.
Price of DIY installations does not include exisitng tank heater disposal. I am personally inclining to #4, to get rid of one big central heater at all.
Please tell me, if I have determined the comparison parameters right? Is there another dimension to compare those 4 options? Is there anything I have missed? Is there anyone who did #4 and is happy with that?