We've lived in this house for 20 years and the hot water heater (tank style) was 2 years old, as was the rest of the house, when we moved in. In the last year or two we've started to have occasions when we run out of hot water. At first we put it down to volume - we have an 18 yo and a 22 yo, so they have showers, and they have friends over, and some mornings we're trying to accomodate 4 or 5 showers. But now it's two showers,or one shower and a load of laundry, and suddenly there's no hot water for dishes. Having read that hot water heaters usually last 10 years, I guess we need to replace this one. We're considering tankless, but:
- We're on a well. The water is hard (the kettle scales a lot) and cold
- We have electric heat
- Our service is 200 A
- In the winter, we set the heat back overnight so the house is cool, and warm it up in the morning (right around when showers would be happening)
- Here in Ontario, electricity is charged at time-sensitive rates
- We don't have natural gas available (we live in the middle of nowhere)
- We don't have a propane tank already and don't want one
Is tankless still a sensible option for us? Roughly how much more do they cost - given that we're not taking out a working tank and replacing it just for energy savings, but instead have to buy a new heater, is it not too bad?
And finally, would it be worth it to get someone to clean/flush/repair in some way our 20 year old heater, that we have never done anything to, in order to save the cost of replacing it?