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June 25, 2017
Local Show archive

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June 24, 2017
Handyman Show archive

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Roofing Material

Eastern Michigan Distributors

Residential and commercial products –dimensional shingles, rolled roofing products, coatings, vinyl siding, lumber and gutter materials. Family owned and operated for 50 years. Detroit and Southfield locations for your convenience.

Website for more info


Fairway Tile & Carpet

Celebrating 60 years and best known for Enviro-Cushion, the waterproof, insulated carpet padding for basements, concrete slabs and over crawl spaces and garages. Fairway Tile & Carpet has one of Michigan's largest flooring collections including exotic hardwood, tile, fine carpeting, vinyl tile & sheetgoods. Expert installation.

Website for more info

Kitchens & Baths

Infusion Kitchen & Bath Showroom

Experience a showroom like no other. With a plethora of working toilets, kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, and steam showers, when you visit our designer plumbing showroom you're sure to be amazed. Our dedicated staff is here to assist you throughout your building or remodeling project

Website for more info

Roofing Replacement Guide

Replacing a roof isn't something a homeowner does that often.  Glenn Haege's Roofing Replacement Guide gives you the steps to follow in order to find a contractor, select the correct roofing materials and make sure that you are protected with the right warranty. It’s free!

Download the guide here

Publication date: 04/20/2017

 Click here for a printer-friendly version

Tank versus tankless hot water heater


The debate regarding tank vs. tankless hot water heaters has heated up because the price gap between the two has gotten slimmer. So if you are in the market for a new water heater, it is time to consider the pros and cons of both before you buy.

“The price of the standard 40 gallon water heaters has increased in part due to the new government regulations that mandated increased energy efficiency,” said Dan McClary, vice president of Balfrey & Johnston Inc., who represents Navien tankless water heaters,

“As a result, tankless water heaters are closer in price than in the past and have become more of an affordable luxury item,” McClary added.

The government mandate McClary is talking about is the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) that went into effect in April 2015 and requires gas water heaters to include additional insulation, new flue baffling technologies and the incorporation of electronic ignition instead of a pilot light. While the act has made the gas water heaters safer and more energy efficient, it has also made them 3 inches wider due to the added insulation. As a result, the new water heaters may not be able to fit through a standard 24-inch wide door anymore, which can also drive people towards the tankless option.

McClary said the price of a top-of-the-line 50 gallon power vent water heater would run between $1,500 and $2,000 installed, while the Navien tankless version he represents would cost between $2,500 and $4,000, depending on the model and installation requirements.


Whole-home gas tankless water heaters apply the same principle to heat water as standard gas water heaters, but without a storage tank. So when you open a hot water tap anywhere in the house, a flow sensor activates the gas burner on the tankless water heater, which warms the heat exchanger. Cold water is then warmed by the heat exchanger and flows at the pre-set temperature to your faucet, shower, washing machine or dishwasher. Instead of maintaining a full tank of hot water like a standard water heater, the tankless unit heats water only when needed, making it more energy efficient while supplying an endless stream of hot water.

While a tankless system is more efficient, it isn’t going to save the homeowner a lot on their gas bills. “The savings would be $10 to $12 a month for typical hot water usage.” McClary said.

While tankless systems provide continual hot water, one negative is that the rate of hot-water flow will slow if you are using more than one hot water tap at a time.

“A tank hot water heater will always provide the same amount of flow from the hot water tap, but once it runs out of hot water in the tank you will get cold water,” he said. “Most standard hot water heaters will give you around eight minutes of hot water before they run out if you are using two showers at the same time.”

“The tankless unit will always deliver hot water, but the difference is the flow rate will slow if you are running two showers at the same time,” he added.

The difference in warranties is another factor to consider when making a hot water heater purchase decision. McClary said most hot water heaters with tanks have a three-year warranty, while tankless systems like the Navien have 10 or 15 year warranties.

“While it may be cheaper to buy a standard hot water heater in the short term, the limited warranty means you will probably need to buy another one long before the warranty on a tankless model runs out, so that should be factored into the buying decision,” McClary said.

In addition to Navien, other manufacturers of tankless systems include Rinnai,, and Takagi, Popular manufacturers of tank based hot water heaters include A.O.Smith,; Bradford White,; Rheem,; State,; and Whirlpool,

If you don’t use much hot water throughout the day, a standard 40 or 50 gallon hot water heater may serve your needs and budget. However, if you are a family of four with teenagers who take long showers and a washing machine and dishwasher that always seems to be running, then the tankless water heater may not be an affordable luxury. It may be a necessity. So do your homework before you buy a water heater to make the right decision for your particular situation.

Note: This article was accurate at the date of publication. However, information contained in it may have changed. If you plan to use the information contained herein for any purpose, verification of its continued accuracy is your responsibility.

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