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Instant hot water for a household

Q. While in Europe I noticed the water for an entire household was heated instantly by a small unit placed above the kitchen sink. Instead of our antiquated storage tanks that heat, cool off, and then reheat again, wasting energy, the European units make sense. Where can I buy one in the US? Peter B. McGlothin San Francisco

A. I wish all the questions to Ask a Builder were as easy as this one to answer. So-called "side-arm" water heating units are indeed available in the US from at least two sources. They are real energy savers, as you note.

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You can get in touch with: Chronomite Laboratories Inc., 21011 South Fiqueroa , Carson, Calif. 90745; and Thorn Gas Appliances, 25 Valley Drive, Suite 110, Greenwich, Conn. 06830.

Instant tankless hot-water heaters are available in a choice of electric, gas , or oilfired units.