Friday, April 22, 2005

Next Steps…

I am probably just excited from drinking too much coffee, but it could be due to the fact that we are really close to having a working kitchen. We worked on mapping out the tile this week or I should say Steve did. He also finished filing the sharp edges on the formica. Me, I did my usual dish washing duty in the basement.

So, this weekend we will be tiling. We have three 6” x 6” Motawi tiles we are using as accent tiles and then the remaining backsplash tile will be Cobsa Wave subway tile in white. I think it will play nicely with the white farm sink and contract with the blue/green (Lichen) formica. We sources subway tiles from a number of tile stores over on Lincoln Avenue, including Peerless and Home Carpet One and of course, the old standby Home Depot. Home Depot had the cheapest price of course, and Peerless was the most dear, but Home Carpet One had the cobsa, which has a wavy quality that makes it look more handmade, which we like.

Next week, God willing, the plumber will come and we will have (gasp!) running water and our first dishwasher. While all this kitchen work has been going on, our water heater has decided to leave us. It’s slowly been dwindling in the past 6 months. We drained it, but that didn’t really help. We researched going tankless, but the cost is so much higher and we have an issue with multiple people taking showers at the same time with our tenants upstairs. This would require us to get a more expensive higher capacity tankless heater.

Just curious, has anyone out there gone tankless?

We are looking at a few brands A.O. Smith, Bradford White, and Rheem. We are looking at a 65 gallon, 100+ first hour rating. We are getting quotes right now. We got one quote today for $2000, which we thought was excessively high. If anyone else had one installed lately and cares to share, we'd love to hear from you.

7 comments:

jm said...

hurray for your kitchen!

We investigated tankless with the fine folks over at Fine Homebuilding. Many folks whose opinion I trust advised against tankless if you use quite a bit of hot water. They didn't like how it kept having to fire up, over and over...like constantly turning on and off a car instead of letting it idle.

Unfortunately, our finances decided for us in the end and didn't get tankless or an AO Smith, either. Bummer.

Jocelyn said...

So maybe that quote for $2K for an AOSmith wasn't too far off...
Yes, we too are affected my the budget factor. But hey, maybe in 10 years when we need a new one, we'll be able to afford that "dream model" :)

Greg said...

This line got my pulse racing, " we are really close to having a working kitchen". I am months away. That means months of frozen dinners. Ugh!

A friend just down the street went tankless and loves it. We live in a mild climate, though, so that may have something to do with it. I’m considering it for radiant floor heating.

The temp of the in-coming water has a lot to do with flow rates. One option I’ve heard of is using both a tank and tankless. The 40 gl (or smaller) WH pre-heats the city water to 60 or 70 degrees or so and then your flow rate for the tankless goes way up. The energy savings is supposed to be as good as having a tankless with cold city water. I could be wrong on this so maybe ask someone who really knows what they are talking about.

Nick said...

Our plan is to do the tankless thing, with a tank. That is, we'll have a wall hung boiler that drives a closed circuit of water for radiant heat, as well as an indirectly-heated tank of potable water. The advantage? One heat source. We won't be saving on space...

That the thing will cycle on and off, well, they say the system is 94% efficient, which is way higher than a standard tank heater. That said, by the time it pays for itself we may not need heat -- global warming and all :)

Emily said...

I had a new water heater installed a couple of months ago. The total cost, including the purchase of the tank, was $850.

Qualifying factors: we bought a self-venting 40 gallon gas tank (self-venting because we couldn't vent through the chiminy; gas because it is WAY cheaper to operate than electric, even with the high cost of gas these days). We also had to have the plumber run the gas line further, since the old hot water tank was electric powered.

So, for $850 the plumber picked up the tank, hauled it in, ran a gas line, drilled through the wall to vent the thing, and hooked the whole thing up. Granted our tank is 40 gallons, not 65, but an extra $1150 for 25 additional gallons seems a bit excessive. Then again, you're in Chicago and I'm in Ohio, so that could explain some of the difference.

P.S. Thanks for the advice on the exhaust fan! I think I'll do something similar. If you can, let me know where you find the antique grill.

Tony Bianchi said...

Jocelyn,

This is likely too late to be helpful, but maybe others will get some use out of it.

My brother and I own a two flat (three units actually), and recently replaced the one 50 gallon water heater that supplied the whole house with a tankless Rinnai. It wasn't cheap (appx 2300 installed) and it doesn't make sense ... but so far (3rd month) it works with few complaints.

They have their quirks, especially in the time it takes to get the hot water to the second floor (40-50 seconds once the hot water is turned on.)

And it's still hard to tell, but it seems like we are using about 20% less gas overall. I'm not claiming we'll make our money back soon, but it works very well, it's more efficient, and we have a lower gas bill. And our tenants haven't been complaining - which was key for us.

So, tankless can work, though we need more time to see exactly how much gas we'll save month-to-month.

Tony B. (from CV - hi Jocelyn!)

Jocelyn said...

Hey Tony. We did look into tankless but at the time, we were cash poor so we did the AO Smith 75 gallons. So far it's good.

Next water heater- hopefully we will do tankless- saves space too. I did get a tankless for my the company I work for now- and I felt good about that.

Nice to hear from a CV alum- those were the days!