Q: I read with interest your recent column on water heaters. Mine went out recently, and I have been considering going to a tankless model. Since it would cost about three times more than a conventional heater, I was wondering what you thought about tankless heaters? Is it a smart way to go? A: A tankless or "on-demand" water heater simultaneously provides unlimited hot water to sinks, showers and dishwashers. Any man who has endured a cold shower after his teenage daughter drained the tank doesn't have to ask if this is a smart way to go. The question gave us pause to consider the way Americans have provided domestic hot water for the past century. Filling a 30- to 50-gallon steel tank with cold water, slowly heating it with a flame or electricity and letting it sit a...
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