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I just discovered tankless water heater technology while browsing alternatives to gas based water heating, more specifically the ones designed in the United States by EcoSmart.

I have been trying to find if these tankless water heaters can be installed and used in Europe (more specifically, in Western European countries), but until now I've only found a few of them on UK's Ebay. My country's electrical appliances sellers do not seem to even know about this type of water heating.

Currently my knowledge about this is also very limited, therefore if I purchase one of these will a professional electrician be able to install it directly or will it require a specific transformer? And is the warranty valid in Europe? They allow a fewer time warranty for "outside of continental US and Canada" but it needs to be installed within 30 days of purchase and their form must also be filled out and sent within this time frame with an installer license... So does it need to be a US installer license?

Side question: Is there a reason why this technology does not seem to be popular in European countries?

  • The Navien tank less water heater in my house is not popular with the users. Even with a preheat tank the complaint is "It takes too long to get hot water". I believe this is subjective as it only takes 30 seconds longer to get really hot water. – kevinsky Aug 16 '16 at 16:51
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They are much more common in Europe than in the USA, actually.

You may not be using the right search terms, and searching from your PC may not be the way to go about this. But if you're in Europe in a shop, you shouldn't have any trouble finding European models made for Europe in Europe.

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In the UK, I believe the equivalent system is usually referred to as a combi-boiler rather than as a "tankless water heater".

A combi boiler is both a high-efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler, combined (hence the name) within one compact unit. Therefore, no separate hot water cylinder is required, offering space saving within the property.

- Bosch-Worcester

I have the impression they are very popular in new-builds due to the space savings (IIRC estate agents floor-area figures exclude non-habitable space like airing cupboards - so builders probably prefer not to spend money building such space).

So it may be that they have a different name, not that they are unpopular.

  • Sounds like the combi-boiler is also rated to work with the home heating system and might impose additional cost? – Ramrod Aug 18 '16 at 5:02
  • @Ramrod. UK homes need a room heating system so overall costs : capital + servicing might be lower for a combined system than for two separate systems. – RedGrittyBrick Aug 18 '16 at 15:14
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Here (Italy) what is very infrequent for home is tanked (if present it's about 80L, bigger units used mostly for solar). Due to high electric bills (20c/kWh) and power limiters (standard home has only 3.3kW power supply). We can find also 'combi' with a little tank (40 to 80L) useful if we have a tub so it can be filled quiker.

Tankless gas is by-far the most common way to heat water ususlly in 'combi' units (space heat+DHW) or in 'water heat' only. I've never seen tankless electric.

Also here is rarely found 'forced air' heating, almost all homes are heated with radiators.

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