Tankless Water Heaters

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modKwest
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Tankless Water Heaters

Postby modKwest » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:30 pm

Our water heater poured and went underneath the Kahrs flooring my husband installed. Of course, this was the only completed renovation project, but we are dusting ourselves off, literally, and trying to figure out what to do with the water heater. Any experience with tankless? How about Bosch?

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Stephen
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Postby Stephen » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:17 pm

No help...but please keep us all in the loop as your search / replacement progresses. I know this is something many of us are considering.
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Postby Joe » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:23 pm

I have been looking into this and the feedback I get from homeowners and installers (who are friends) say the Rennai is the best tankless water heater for the money.

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Postby turboblown » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:24 pm

A friend of mine owns a large local HVAC & plumbing company and won't touch them anymore. They have had too many problems with them. They're expensive and more expensive to repair.
These things need a 100 amp electric service to run them, so make sure you have a large enough service entrance to run it and also see what it will cost to get the 100A service from your main panel to the water heater location. If it's a long run, it could get expensive for the electrical installation. He also said that when there are large demands (multiple showers, dishwater, etc), the temperature output decreases since the unit can't always keep up with large flow requirments that my 3/4" plumbing could supply to multiple devices at once.

I was interested in replacing the two 40-gallon electric units in my house with these and ran the other way once I asked him his opinion.

Sometimes there's no substitute for old technology.

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Postby rockland » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:37 pm

Hmm.
Not sure if it should be so easily dismissed.
I have a friend that has had one for over 10 years.
Very happy but i'm not sure the brand.

It's always been my first choice when needed.
(probably soon judging by every other trouble that keeps rearing
its ugly head :roll: )

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Postby turboblown » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:39 pm

Was his a gas or electric unit?

Anymore, 10 years is good for ANY water heater.

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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:42 pm

The US is behind most of the rest of the civilized word when it comes to hot water - Europe and much of Asia has been using them for over 10 years. Add in the energy tax credits and what some municipalities are providing for upgrading and you offset much of the expense - I'd say you need to take a hard look at this.

There are some considerations:
1. Best reputation is probably Rinnai
2. Go with gas - the electric aren't worth the money generally (and it offsets the need for a 100A circuit)
3. It needs to be mounted on an outside wall (the vent for gas can't re-use the b-vent - the temperatures are to high).
4. I have a feeling that the tankless will be mandated in this country

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Postby greenmod » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:03 pm

We are getting bids right now. Currently we have two electric tank heaters (one 90 gallon, one 50 gallon). We are looking at converting to gas and going tankless. You can easily get one big enough to run multiple showers and dishwashers, etc. I know we got a rinnai bid but I think that is the one we can't install because of how it has to be vented, but maybe I am mixing up brands. We are also getting new furnace bids so it is starting to all run together.

It's going to cost us about $4K to re-run plumbing (the two water heaters are not side by side but in separate rooms) to one heater, run the gas (it's already to the house, we have a gas furnace) and buy a large enough unit to heat water for a 2 kitchen, 4 bathroom house. Our gas company is offering $900 cash back for switching to gas and $300 cash back for going tankless, plus the federal government will give us another $840 tax credit, making it $1960. Not too bad.

The only two complaints we have heard from people that actually have them are that the kids take way too long in the shower because the hot water never runs out and it takes an extra 30 - 40 seconds to get hot water to your faucet (solved with a recirculating system).
Allison

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Postby egads » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:31 pm

Well, I have not gone down this road yet, but will. I have learned a little. Indeed the original units did have problems. Many because Home Depot started selling the Bosch units to anyone. There are issues that should be addressed with installation. they need to be set up so that they can be flushed regularly. Some units had some bad parts. Bosch was particularly unresponsive to complaints. You must have a minimum flow to start the heating. Getting hot water to a faucet can take longer. A demand pump can help with this:

http://www.gothotwater.com/

These units can be installed without a return line that larger, newer, houses have. The wasted water used to bring hot to a faucet is eliminated. That also brings me to a point I'd make to greenmod, it might be best to keep two units serving separate areas. All gas tankless heaters need new stainless steel venting. Some models also require either double walled vent or an additional vent to supply the unit with fresh combustion air. Those units have the advantage of not using household air for combustion. But running the venting in an existing house can be hard.

If any of you are looking into furnace and/or AC replacement, there is a good site that discusses that. (although a little anal compared to here and no pricing! They even had a really good thread about tankless water heaters that somehow got heated and nixed)

http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/index.php


(scroll down to residential)

There was also some talk at the Cliff May Ranchos Yahoo group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cliffmayranchos/

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Postby Perks » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:46 pm

I recently replaced my water heater. After talking to a couple vendors we went with a tank heater. Granted, we don't have kids and our water usage is not exorbitant. But quite simply, we found that the energy savings would never offset the extra cost of installation within the time we plan to own the home.
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Postby greenmod » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:26 am

Allison

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Postby home_boy » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:33 am


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love em, its on the to do list

Postby Slim and Gabby » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:50 am

I lived in a house 10 + yrs ago with a Bosch Aquastar gas unit. It was fabuous. The only thing is it was mounted on a drafty laundry porch so in a big storm, sometimes the pilot would get blown out. I understand this is not an issue with newer models. We had some periods with LOTS of guests, and there were times when ten or more showers were taken in quick succession-no problems.

I've heard great things about Rinnai. If you google DIY forums, there's a ton of info out there. The main thing I've heard is no matter how handy you are, you should have a pro install it. Apparently, it's hard to figure out the cycling without lots of experience. ...this is more an issue with electric, I think. Installation by a pro is the only way to get the rebate, anyway, so consider it mostly a wash.

We think we'll need two-one for the washer in the garage, and another for the house. I love the idea of freeing up space from the tank, and also not running all that hot water across the yard to get cool in the winter.
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Postby bammer » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:28 am

Have had a Bosch for almost four years, love it, never a problem, huge savings on gas bills.

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Postby modKwest » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:07 am


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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:43 pm

we have an electric tankless at our principle home.

get the bigger unit if your electrical system supports it. otherwise, during the dead of winter - if the water is cold outside - it won't heat up super super hot inside.

we have a gas tankless heater at our office.
we're a little happier with the temperature of this model.

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Postby sky » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:52 pm

It's a tankless job, but someone's got to do it.

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Postby eggMCMuffin » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:13 pm

A shameless pun of that magnitude makes my day! This is a great thread, and gives me a much better idea what to do when my existing water heater someday bites the dust. As was noted earlier, there is a lot of information to be found on the web, but I wouldn't go so far as to calll it "good" information. Sometimes it's much better to read a few comments from people who's advice you've trusted in the past to good effect than to try to divine an ounce of Socratic truth from the many many hundreds of comments/opinions one is likely to encounter on "waterheaters.org" (nt a real website-- that I know of). It's one of the things I always like about Lottalliving, it's one part high design sensibility, one part obsessive lunacy, and one part "that old guy at the hardware store who knows which bit I need to trim laminate"... Just a wealth of useful iinformation for a semi-handy, semi-informed person like myself.
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Interesting Article from LA Times

Postby jonu » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:08 am



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