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  • I want a tankless

    New customer. I'm there taking down a 40 ft' tree with guys. He says He want's a new
    tankless W.H. I parrot what I've heard here on the cons.

    Close neighbor and He are Pals. #1 sounds like a jet engine { loud ] #2 Gas service is only 3/4" , May not work, need to calculate. #3 Maintance $$$, #4 No hot water,when elec power out. #5 expensive unit. #6 When You break even, It's time to buy another one.
    #7 If You have a breakdown , no Hot water till parts arrive,and it wouldn't be as timely as a tank unit. And from what You all say DON'T BUY A BOSH UNIT !! buy Rinnai.
    How'd I do? Let it fly BIG SHOULDERS.
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

  • #2
    Re: I want a tankless

    you did good tool you gave him all the things to ponder. if he still feels that he wants a tankless, tell him "see, i told you so"

    rick.
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I want a tankless

      Originally posted by plumber rick View Post
      you did good tool you gave him all the things to ponder. If he still feels that he wants a tankless, tell him "see, i told you so"

      Rick.
      i have a good teacher !
      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I want a tankless

        I bought and installed a Bosch 240FX (rebadged Takagi TK1). ALthough I don’t do plumbing for a living here is my take on this based on my experience with this unit only.

        1. Not true. The vent noise is pretty soft. I was expecting it to be much louder. Unless the neighbor is 3' or less away I don’t see it as an issue. My gas dryer is very much louder.

        2. Gas service being 3/4" may not be an issue as you have mentioned. If you can accurately map the gas service line and also measure the static gas pressure with a manometer, you can use the gas pressure formula for pressure drop (based on max gas load) found on the gas code book. I made an Excel spreadsheet to do this and mapped and did the calcs as part of the investigation before buying the tankless.

        3. Mine has been in full time service for 7 years with absolutely no problems. However, I know that I can maintain and repair it myself so I don’t have that concern that most homeowners may have. The $$$ concern is if it breakdown frequently but I’ve not found this to be the case. There are routine maintenance things that need to be done (like cleaning the impeller) which I do myself.

        4. Valid point but really depends on how often the power goes out. I have not had a single power outage at my home for the last 9 years. Valid concern but should be taken into context.

        5. True

        6. ??

        7. True also.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I want a tankless

          Originally posted by blue_can View Post
          I bought and installed a Bosch 240FX (rebadged Takagi TK1). ALthough I don’t do plumbing for a living here is my take on this based on my experience with this unit only.


          6. ??

          7. True also.

          I think what tool means by "break even" is this:
          (hypothetical #'s)
          new 50 gallon conventional nat gas heater installed approx $800
          new tankless installed (with new gas, water and vent piping) approximately $1800.

          You then need to save $1000 in energy cost over the life of the new tankless heater to "break even" on the difference in cost vs. installing another conventional tank type heater.

          That will take years to recoup the difference in cost via energy savings on the gas bill (exactly how long depends on use).

          The rationale is that by the time you recoup the difference in cost, it will be time to purchase a new unit.

          And so the cycle would continue of trying to "catch up" on the overall cost of heating water as by this time you would be spending $1600 total on 2 new 50 gallon heaters vs nearly $3000 for 2 tankless heaters.

          If you have the cash and your Green conscious, then by all means go for it. However, if you're average joe homeowner, it becomes much harder to justify the cost.

          We're only talking about smaller homes now too. Larger homes will usually require a 2nd unit, so the cost in those situations gets even more upset.

          Uncle Sam gives you a bit of a tax break on tankless heaters, but usually not enough to ma.

          It's very convoluted for older homes converting to tankless.

          I'm always in favor of going tankless for new construction or major rehab projects though.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I want a tankless

            That's odd - when I was replying I thought I saw a just a couple of words on 6. in the original post which made no sense. I see the correct thing there now

            Now that's clear - I guess I agree with 6 also - also after having Swade explain that nicely. Yes, I was always aware that costwise it would take a very long time to break even compared to a tank water heater. I was willing to pay the money for the concept (when I lived in Europe where tankless is more popular I lived in a couple of places that had it and quite liked it - especially when you have visitors you don't run out of hot water).

            I think I paid around $500 for the heater (bought by someone else who relaized after they bought it they could not use it so I picked up a brand new unit for much cheaper) + maybe $400 in additional parts and tools including a TIF electronic gas detector. They are great for testing for gas leaks. No labor cost as I did everything myself but I understand not everyone has this option.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I want a tankless

              One of my local suppliers has finally started to agree with me on some of the downsides of tankless and are considering dropping the line. (Takagi)

              I think another major reason is that Takagi is attempting "push marketing" on them. Telling them that they WILL buy this, this, and this or they will NOT be a distributor.

              Not allowed to order based on their supply and demand.

              Another one recently dropped Rheem/Paloma.

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I want a tankless

                I get asked about tankless water heaters all the time by my customers and find they usually have this one misconception in common:

                "I will no longer have to wait for hot water to arrive at my fixtures - hot water will be instantly available on demand."

                Once I explain that this is not the case - that a tankless water heater is not a hot water recirculation system, about half lose interest right then and there.

                I then go on to tell them that it will cost them between $2,500 and $4,500 for me to put one in depending on the amount of work it will take (gas, flue, electrical, water pipe re-routing). With that I usually lose the other half.

                Then to finish off the remaining few who just have to have this nifty gadget, I tell them that it is a piece of equipment that requires maintenance and cannot be repaired by your average joe plumber out of the yellow pages. If it were to have a problem in some cases the whole unit has to be sent in to the company for repair (like with Noritz) which means they will be without hot water for days until it is gotten back. That normally handles the rest.

                It would seem as a plumber I would have a vested interest in selling these items to my customers - after all there is a lot of money to be made. The fact that I care about my customers is why I don't sell them. Very rarely there will be a customer whose house is a straight forward easy install for one and I will go ahead and put it in.

                If only they could run off a 1/2" gas supply - that might change my mind.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I want a tankless

                  This will only work for a small apartment or similar but Bosch has a model which can be run off a 1/2" gas line (model 1000P). It also has a standing pilot so you don't need an electrical connection. It may even be directly connectable to the existing vent. It says it needs 4" B-type but I thought tanks usually use 3" B-type vent.

                  Its underlying design is probably similar to tanks. I also believe they sold a model that had spark ignition which was created by the energy of the running water when it was turned on. Neat idea.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I want a tankless

                    dakota, looking forward to meeting you. sounds like we both have the same ethics with our hand picked customers.

                    i've installed 3 total.

                    1 at my house just for the benefit of my customers and to give the forum a honest review.

                    2 at customers who basically had no other choice due to location.

                    but i've repaired dozens that were not installed properly. eventually this will go up as the lack of cleaning and servicing will grow those numbers.

                    95% or more of my customers are tank heaters and don't see that changing anytime soon.

                    this whole green thing is b.s. even a tankless factory sales rep outright told me "it's for tree huggers"

                    see you in may

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I want a tankless

                      Originally posted by blue_can View Post
                      I also believe they sold a model that had spark ignition which was created by the energy of the running water when it was turned on. Neat idea.
                      I thought so too until I was in a VERY remote place working on one.

                      The problem was actually created by me in a way. Their water filtration was very insufficient. After correcting that, I cleaned out the intake filter to the tankless, and flushed it out.

                      After that, if you wanted a shower, your options were a little too hot, or hot/cold hit and miss....

                      I really would have liked to have investigated the problem, and the unit... and analyzed the whole situation, but there was no time. This village had flooded, and there was more work to do than there was men or money. These folks had a new Reem tankless on the way, so I moved on.

                      Due to the fact that the unit had possibly been submerged in flood water, I cannot definitively say that the unit was bad, as it had worked rather well for 7 months before according the the owners of the property.

                      In Alaska, the temperature of the water takes most tankless heaters out of play unless you run them in series, or pre-heat by some other method. So it IS impressive that the unit worked at all.

                      I'm interested to hear anyone's thoughts on them as I didn't have the ability to really work through it in the way that I tend to when able.

                      -----------------------

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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I want a tankless

                        Originally posted by radar_40 View Post
                        I thought so too until I was in a VERY remote place working on one.

                        The problem was actually created by me in a way. Their water filtration was very insufficient. After correcting that, I cleaned out the intake filter to the tankless, and flushed it out.

                        After that, if you wanted a shower, your options were a little too hot, or hot/cold hit and miss....

                        I really would have liked to have investigated the problem, and the unit... and analyzed the whole situation, but there was no time. This village had flooded, and there was more work to do than there was men or money. These folks had a new Reem tankless on the way, so I moved on.

                        Due to the fact that the unit had possibly been submerged in flood water, I cannot definitively say that the unit was bad, as it had worked rather well for 7 months before according the the owners of the property.

                        In Alaska, the temperature of the water takes most tankless heaters out of play unless you run them in series, or pre-heat by some other method. So it IS impressive that the unit worked at all.

                        I'm interested to hear anyone's thoughts on them as I didn't have the ability to really work through it in the way that I tend to when able.

                        -----------------------

                        Help me support children’s cancer research CLICK HERE!
                        Here's my guess on that - tankless heaters use a flow sensor (in mine it is an impellor connected to a sensor which feeds the control board). If the particles or sediment made its way through the filter it could have clogged up the impellor making it spin in an erratic manner. The speed at which the impellor spins controls whether the flame is on/off or in the case of a modulating gas valve the size of the flame. I can see problems in this area can cause fluctuating temps as described.

                        In my heater cleaning this sensor is a routine service item which takes a few mins. Also in my case I have access ports to the inlet and outlet pipes. I thought about this before install so that I could flush the heat exchanger with decaling solution and a drill pump since I have hard water. I no longer do it since I installed a water softener.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I want a tankless

                          the funny thing is that is was working, but had a reduced flow before we cleaned it.

                          it's almost like the flow restriction was making it work right.

                          -----------

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                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I want a tankless

                            Originally posted by radar_40 View Post
                            the funny thing is that is was working, but had a reduced flow before we cleaned it.

                            it's almost like the flow restriction was making it work right.

                            -----------

                            Help me support children’s cancer research CLICK HERE!
                            My guess is that the filter was probably clogged resulting in a reduced but consistent flow. When you removed and cleaned the filter some debris could have escaped into the flow sensor causing it to bind regularly resulting in this problem. Removing the sensor and flushing out the heat exchanges could well have fixed the issue.

                            As for the other point about raising the water temp – one way around that would be a hybrid system involving a small tank and then a tankless after that to boost the temp. Such a system will give you access to hot water much quicker than a tankless only but will also be able to multiply the capacity of the tank since the drain rate of the tank will be much lower since the tankless will act as a boost.

                            I wanted to design and install such a hybrid system for myself but there was no enough room to house both a tank and tankless.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: I want a tankless

                              there's some people doing hybrid systems here...

                              Boilers are so common here, hot water is alot different than the warmer parts of the world for the most part.

                              I didn't see it, but i was talking to a guy who installed a pile of electric tankless heaters in a commercial application. He ran some parallel, and some in series in order to get the required maximum temp and flow.

                              The problem with that idea is that you need a lot of electricity available to do that. I think he said these had their own breaker panel.

                              ----

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