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  • tankless / clueless

    i had a call from a 1 time customer today. he called looking to replace his 50 gallon heater.

    i called back tonight and he has already promised the job to another guy / plumber? not sure once i tell you the story.

    the other guy is going to install a tankless heater to replace a 50 gallon that has been working fine since it was installed.

    the price quoted was approx. $800 for the tankless and $500 for the install.

    right away i know this guy/ plumber is clueless. as the heater is indoors and the owner doesn't know what all is involved in the job.

    i spent 15 minutes explaining why he better not go ahead with the job until he gets it all in writing.

    his main concern was not lack of water from the old 50, but the delay in getting hot water across the house.

    of course i already explained that it will be an extra 5 seconds longer than his tank heater. i also explained about the gas line being too small and the vent needs to be replaced with a stainless cat. 3 vent. also explained about the required maintenance/ flushing.

    no matter what i tried to explain to him, he seemed to want the tankless.

    i even gave him this forum to post or search.

    so here it is and you guys can fill in the blanks.

    nothing lost as i was there almost 2 years ago and installed his furnished faucet and reversed hot and cold stems on another faucet that was repaired by probably the other guy/ plumber.

    don't say i didn't tell you so

    rick.
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: tankless / clueless

    What can we say here. You can lead a horse to water, but it may not want to go for a swim unless you boot it in the ***.
    It's the propaganda \ marketing thing all over again. People in a frenzy to save money or go green, willing to spend way more money on technology that is only marginally (if at all) more effiecene than what they already have. Someone should put out a web site that graphs the actual cost\payback ratio for appliances. we're getting a couple calls a day up here for solar as the price of oil and gas goes ever higher. In good consience, I probably should'nt make the sale, but these fools have more money than common sense so if they're hell bent on spending it, it might as well be with me.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: tankless / clueless

      I had a customer so wound up on tankless I gave up trying to dissuade them. After five minutes of hearing her say but, but, but, I thought, Rush Limbaugh says, I just went with it.

      I checked her water and told her that she would need a water softener and she was still fine with it. She wanted the tankless.

      I told her that I would have to rework her gas line to get the correct sizing and she was fine with it. She wanted the tankless.

      I explained the cost of the stainless vent piping and she was fine with it. She wanted tankless.

      I did the job and they were really happy. Oh well, they got what they wanted.
      Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: tankless / clueless

        If I may refer you to this link:
        http://www.bradfordwhite.com/images/...heets/115b.pdf
        from my post yesterday and ask is this a viable alternative to the tankless. Bradford-white says it is.
        "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: tankless / clueless

          Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
          If I may refer you to this link:
          http://www.bradfordwhite.com/images/...heets/115b.pdf
          from my post yesterday and ask is this a viable alternative to the tankless. Bradford-white says it is.
          you are correct and this has been the talk in the industry

          but here is the problem with it for our location.

          we fall under the scaqmd. southern california air quality management district.

          the heaters we are required to install right now as of jan 1 2008, require us to install lo nox heaters. along with the flammable vapor resistant requirements.

          this particular heater has been discussed to get around our requirements.

          right now my supply house has 30,40,50 gal. heaters that meet these requirements. there is a $25,000 fine for installing a heater in our location that is not compliant.

          yesterday i also had a new client call me that said he can buy a 50 gallon heater from h.d. for $349.00. which of course i knew was impossible. he said he saw it on line. i said call the local store and expect to pay $150.00 more.

          unfortunately we are the test market for all the new, good and bad products. some work and some don't.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: tankless / clueless

            I keep running into the exact same thing Rick. With the amount of information available to the average consumer now they can be insistent to know more than people that work with these things everyday.

            My problem is I want to find the best solution for a customer. I forget that it's sometimes just what the customer wants-even if their conclusions are wrong. But it's hard for to me to work that way.

            I've seen numbers that seem to support that there is NO SAVINGS with a tankless once installation costs/initial investment vs. alternate investing are totaled. And also poor performance in places with cold winters. Even NC. Average ground water temps. do not apply for calculating gpm. You need to know the temp. of incoming in the winter to establish gpm performance. Rinnai has introduced newer-higher BTU models that may help conquer this.

            Interestingly enough, I attended a Rheem seminar about a month ago. The rep. stated that tankless is not always a good solution. But there numbers show ever increasing market penetration in tankless.

            If they can get costs down then the whole nation might go tankless. (My words, not his) I'm dreading repairing all these different brands in the future.

            J.C.

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            • #7
              Re: tankless / clueless

              boy, i guess i got lucky. Living where the water is seldom cold coming in, my tankless works well. After hearing from you pros, i will probably not install another one, though! thanks for the heads-up.
              Never get in an argument with a fool, bystanders won't know which one is which.....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: tankless / clueless

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                you are correct and this has been the talk in the industry

                but here is the problem with it for our location.

                we fall under the scaqmd. southern california air quality management district.

                the heaters we are required to install right now as of jan 1 2008, require us to install lo nox heaters. along with the flammable vapor resistant requirements.

                this particular heater has been discussed to get around our requirements.

                right now my supply house has 30,40,50 gal. heaters that meet these requirements. there is a $25,000 fine for installing a heater in our location that is not compliant.

                yesterday i also had a new client call me that said he can buy a 50 gallon heater from h.d. for $349.00. which of course i knew was impossible. he said he saw it on line. i said call the local store and expect to pay $150.00 more.

                unfortunately we are the test market for all the new, good and bad products. some work and some don't.

                rick.
                All of those SCAQMD water heaters are here in Colorado now with big orange stickers on them that say "not to be installed in the SCAQMD after December 31, 2008."
                ANYONE CAN TAKE THE HELM WHEN THE SEA IS CALM.

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