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Old 05-29-2008, 07:42 PM   #1
Germey
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Default Lets talk tankless water heaters

Note: This is not the tired old "can I use one to supply my MLT" thread.

Well, I think my old water heater is finally done. It may actually be the original one with the house, which would make it about 20 years old. The wife and I would like to get a tankless model both for efficiency and the extra space in the garage (she says for storage, I say for brewery). Regardless of the space, I intend to arrange for both Natural Gas and Water to be conveniently located for the brewery at the end of the installation
Anyone out there using one? Any thoughts? Here is what I'm considering now.

Rheem RTG-53X-NG
$630 new – two appliance – Outdoor install, checking with HOA but shouldn't be issue, as long as my wife doesn't mind the way it looks. It will be next to the walkway approaching the front door. No Venting = Cheap install.
http://www.faucetdirect.com/index.cf...source=smarter

TAKAGI T-K3 NG
$772 new – Two appliance – Indoor Install with 4” stainless Class III vent. I’m not sure what kind of vent we have now but it's galvanized and vents vertically from the heater to the roof. We may only have to replace with stainless, or increase the size of the roof vent (more $)
http://wamhomecenter.com/productcart...idproduct=5697

Bosch AquaStar Model 2400E
$725 Refurb- $999 new– Two appliance – Indoor with 3” stainless Class III vent.
http://www.cpotanklesswaterheaters.c...00e-ng-re.html

Bosch AquaStar Model 1600H
$454 refurb - $575 new – One Appliance – Indoor with 5” double wall type B vent (might be what we have now)
http://www.cpotanklesswaterheaters.c...00h-ng-re.html
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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Take a look at the BTUs on those things and the gas piping requirements. Most of them need 3/4" gas input and that run better tap into a larger trunk no too far away. There's a good chance your tank heater's current supply will not keep up. My parents have one that was installed with an inadequate 1/2" line and they have to run their water pretty slow to have it keep up.

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Old 05-29-2008, 08:02 PM   #3
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Yeah, that's another plus for the outdoor installation. It will put it within a few feet of the main NG line shutoff to the house.

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Old 05-29-2008, 08:05 PM   #4
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Yes, great reason to install it there.

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Old 05-29-2008, 08:35 PM   #5
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Do you have a recirculating hot water pump? Just about every major mechanical system has given out in our house except the water heater (house is only 14yrs old). I'm anticipating it going out when I least expect it (dead of winter or while I'm on vacation) and have been doing research on the tankless heaters. Problem for me is that we have a recirculating hot water pump system since our house is pretty large and the water heater is way out in the garage and not centrally located. With the water pump, we will need to install a small tank water heater for the recirculating system and the tankless for actually keeping up with demand. That plus we'll have to have a double walled vent for both exhaust and intake. It all comes down to making the upgrade pretty darn expensive and I don't know how long it will take to pay for itself.

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Old 05-29-2008, 08:38 PM   #6
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Have you looked at Rinnai?

http://www.foreverhotwater.com/exterior.php

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Old 05-29-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
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I would be wary of the any "Energy Efficient" claims on the label. We bought a rheem that was advertised as being highly energy efficient but when we actually had it installed and looked even more carefully at the label, it barely fit the category of "energy efficient" and there would have been much better choices. In sum... as "HOW efficient is energy efficient"?

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Old 05-29-2008, 09:53 PM   #8
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Thanks...All good stuff to think about.
I don't have a recirc. but see how that would complicate things.

I haven't seen a Rinnai in the same price range as the others, but the company looks solid.

The performance specs for all the tankless look fairly similar, and are all significantly better than the tank ones. That said, I am not expecting a big return unless the price of natural gas spikes like other well discussed fuels. The price is just a few hundred more than the tank style and that is a price I'm willing to pay to use less in my life. That and the space. If you consider $300-600 per sq.ft in Carlsbad, the damn thing almost free!
At least, that was one way I justified the big flat screen mounted the wall.

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Old 05-29-2008, 10:27 PM   #9
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I can see you have made up your mind, so do it for the brewery!

One word of caution:

The CO. I work for installs High-Efficiency hot water boilers. We are called upon from time to time to service Tankless water heaters in the area for the simple reason that they are fairly comlicated machines. They have microprocessors, mulitiple sensors and safeties etc., so most plumbers havn't the slightest idea (or specialty tools) how to service them when they break. Ask your plumber if he has worked on many before.

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Old 05-29-2008, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea View Post
I can see you have made up your mind, so do it for the brewery!

One word of caution:

The CO. I work for installs High-Efficiency hot water boilers. We are called upon from time to time to service Tankless water heaters in the area for the simple reason that they are fairly comlicated machines. They have microprocessors, mulitiple sensors and safeties etc., so most plumbers havn't the slightest idea (or specialty tools) how to service them when they break. Ask your plumber if he has worked on many before.
That, my friend, is my biggest concern, followed closely by how well they actually provide water for a shower. Any real world experience would be valuable as I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
I know of several companies in the area to service them, but won't be happy if it is a weekly event.
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