Instant hot-water heaters

To the real estate editor:

Your Glencoe, Ill., reader who asks whether he would save money by turning down the temperature on his gas hot-water heater might like to know about the new (in the United States, but old in Europe and the Orient) tankless instant water heaters which heat only the water you use.

There is no storage tank to heat and reheat while you are away from the house or sleeping, yet a never-ending supply of hot water is available instantly when you want it.

Fuel savings are substantial, according to literaure supplied by several manufacturers who now sell in the US.

The only limitation to this bill-payers' delight is that you must be willing to sequence your heavy uses of hot water. You cannot run two showers at once or fill the washing machine while someone is in the shower. Increasing numbers of people are finding they can live with this limitation in the interest of trimming their rapidly mounting fuel bills, particularly since the hot water never runs out.

The February issue of Popular Science magazine has an article on instant hot water, listing the tankless instant heaters now available in the US. However, buyers should be warned to check with their local or state plumbing inspectors before purchasing.

In Massachusetts, the only instant gas water heater so far approved is the Paloma Constant-Flo. Dorothy Kano Lincoln, Mass.

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