Your Place: On-demand hot water: More readers weigh in

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Not wishing to leave a gap in coverage, I’m continuing the discussion of on-demand hot water with the assistance of my readers.

Mary Jean Cunningham of Philadelphia says:

"We have an oil-fired hot-water heating system with what is called a ‘summer-winter hookup’ — the oil burner also heats our water, and we have no separate water heater or water tank.

"We’ve had this system with two different oil burners for 30 years and no complaints, no problems at all, and unlimited hot water any time.

"I don’t know if it even matters, but frequently in the summer after we’ve taken showers, we just switch off the system at the top of the basement steps until the next day, when we need hot water again, thinking maybe we’re saving a bit of oil, although I’m not sure if we are or how much."

From Michelle Flack of Egg Harbor:

"About three weeks ago, we had installed a Rinnai tankless water heater.

"Since 1989, when the house was built, we replaced the water heater two times, and this third time we made the decision to go tankless.

"The tankless cost is very high, $3,000, plus the added charge for a grounded outlet to be put in by the electrician.

"We have very hard well water, and even though we use a softener, our washer still becomes clogged with minerals, as well as (our) faucets, which also caused the corrosion of our third water heater. We anticipate that we will need to ‘flush’ the tankless heater at least once a year.

"The only drawback, thus far, is lack of pressure will not trigger the hot water to come on.

"We have a handheld showerhead in our master bath. If we do not run the hot water at a slow-trickle in the bathroom sink, once we adjust the shower temperature downward, the sensor will shut off the water heater.

"At this time, I would wholeheartedly recommend a tankless above a standard tank heater, but once again, facing mineral buildup in the future, we may or may not be regretting this decision."

More next week.