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View Full Version : Home and Auto Who has a tankless hot water heater?


The Bad Guy
10-11-2011, 02:09 PM
I'm in the market for one and wanted to solicit opinions from who has them and what models they have?

My contractor is going to purchase one and I've read reviews, but wanted some first-hand info from people on here.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Brock
10-11-2011, 02:17 PM
I was thinking of getting one last month, but the plumber talked me out of it. I was completely sold on the idea before that. He told me that most people he knew of who had them weren't satisfied with the amount of hot water they were getting. I wasn't going to take a chance on a couple thousand dollars, but maybe you'll get different advice.

Buehler445
10-11-2011, 02:25 PM
We got one for our office. The brand is Titan, and I'm not sure which model it is, but it is a big one. It takes 2 30 amp 220 circuits to run. We don't use a lot of hot water there, but Dad did when he was laid up and showering there. The water is plenty hot and it will keep making it as long as you want.

It wasn't cheap, and it takes some serious electricity to run, but I'm happy.

If I were building a new home and it would be easy to get electricity and plumbing down there, I'd do it.

The Bad Guy
10-11-2011, 02:25 PM
I was thinking of getting one last month, but the plumber talked me out of it. I was completely sold on the idea before that. He told me that most people he knew of who had them weren't satisfied with the amount of hot water they were getting. I wasn't going to take a chance on a couple thousand dollars, but maybe you'll get different advice.

Good point. I've been debating. I might just get a real good tanked one and call it a day. The process has already been pretty difficult.

BCD
10-11-2011, 02:31 PM
Hot water heater?

If the water is already hot, why does it need to be heated?

:)

Dayze
10-11-2011, 02:32 PM
Good point. I've been debating. I might just get a real tanked and call it a day. The process has already been pretty difficult.

FYP

Stewie
10-11-2011, 02:36 PM
I was thinking of getting one last month, but the plumber talked me out of it. I was completely sold on the idea before that. He told me that most people he knew of who had them weren't satisfied with the amount of hot water they were getting. I wasn't going to take a chance on a couple thousand dollars, but maybe you'll get different advice.

This.

Consumer Reports has said the lack of consistent available hot water is a common issue that owners complain about. Also they need yearly maintenance (usually done by a plumber) to keep them in good working order. Cleaning scale deposits, etc.

Shag
10-11-2011, 03:02 PM
I was thinking of getting one last month, but the plumber talked me out of it. I was completely sold on the idea before that. He told me that most people he knew of who had them weren't satisfied with the amount of hot water they were getting. I wasn't going to take a chance on a couple thousand dollars, but maybe you'll get different advice.

Isn't the whole point of these that you don't ever run out of hot water? How does an on-demand water heater run out of hot water? Or, is it just not working as advertised?

Brock
10-11-2011, 03:07 PM
Isn't the whole point of these that you don't ever run out of hot water? How does an on-demand water heater run out of hot water? Or, is it just not working as advertised?

Not heating the water adequately on demand, I guess is more what the guy was telling me. To be fair, I told the guy that there are times when there are as many as 6 people living in my house, so what he's projecting as my demand for hot water at any given time may have factored into what he was telling me. I just couldn't see spending 4-5 times what a tank heater costs with any chance of not being completely satisfied with it.

jd1020
10-11-2011, 03:08 PM
I'll take my cheaper gas water heater over an electric. I don't take 30 min showers anyways.

Great Expectations
10-11-2011, 03:13 PM
With a couple of kids in the house I want the hot water to run out when their showers are way too long.

Stewie
10-11-2011, 03:16 PM
Isn't the whole point of these that you don't ever run out of hot water? How does an on-demand water heater run out of hot water? Or, is it just not working as advertised?

The biggest variable is the temperature of the water coming into the house. In the dead of winter you're going to get tepid "hot" water.

jiveturkey
10-11-2011, 03:18 PM
I've been talked out of it by a plumber and a HVAC guy.

And this was while they were selling me other stuff.

nstygma
10-11-2011, 03:27 PM
i was going to go with one of the big electric units, but the 55 degree rise in water temp wouldn't work for me in winter. My winter incoming water temp is 50-60 degrees.

if i make any changes, i will install a recirculation system using something like these:
http://www.amazon.com/Watts-500800-Premier-Water-Recirculation/dp/B000E78XHG
http://www.taco-hvac.com/en/products/Domestic+Hot+Water+Recirculation/products.html?current_category=360
Whole House Hot Water Recirculating Pump, Recirculating Pump Mounts To The Hot Water Outlet On The Water Heater & The Sensor Valve Mounts Under The Furthest Lavatory In The House Run, Turns Plumbing Into A Re-Circulating Loop, Every Faucet Will Have Hot Water Instantly

3rd&48ers
10-11-2011, 03:47 PM
My electric tank water heater went out 06/10 and I was going to get a tankless ... I was told the gas versions work good but the electric ones were not as good....

I went back with a tank

crossbow
10-11-2011, 04:46 PM
I like having hot water stored in a tank when we lose power to the house for a day or two. So when my old tank died i got another one.

chris
10-11-2011, 05:04 PM
I've had 3 gas Titan's. Love them. endless HOT water. More expensive to install. Have to vent fumes outside.

Well worth the $$.

ChiefEd
10-11-2011, 08:47 PM
Replaced our tank with a Noritz Gas unit about 5 years ago. Absolutely love it. They had to run larger gas lines to the garage, so it cost a few extra bucks, but well worth it. Haven't had any maintenance on it at all.

We have two kids that shower for days. All four us can take showers back to back (not together so no need to reply with Arkansas jokes) and the hot water just keeps coming.

Gas bill went down a little bit as well. Only negative whatsoever is that if you're the first person taking a shower it takes a slight bit longer for the water to get hot. About 30 seconds, as opposed to about 10 with the tank. Once it gets there it's plenty hot.

I'll never have a tank again, God willing...

Buehler445
10-11-2011, 09:00 PM
The one we have hasn't ever put out "tepid" water.

The Bad Guy
10-11-2011, 10:01 PM
I think I'm going to just get a 50 gallon tank. The HVAC guy I had a contract with basically just closed up shop and he was giving me a great deal on a Rinnai.

The other installers in the area aren't nearly as good as his prices.

I can go out and buy my own, but it's going to cost me a good penny to have the new HVAC guy install it.

At this point, a 50 gallon tank seems like the way to go. At most, I'm going to be a family of 5 one day and that should be good enough.

FRCDFED
10-12-2011, 07:24 AM
I think I'm going to just get a 50 gallon tank. The HVAC guy I had a contract with basically just closed up shop and he was giving me a great deal on a Rinnai.

The other installers in the area aren't nearly as good as his prices.

I can go out and buy my own, but it's going to cost me a good penny to have the new HVAC guy install it.

At this point, a 50 gallon tank seems like the way to go. At most, I'm going to be a family of 5 one day and that should be good enough. You should reconsider. I have a "gas" tankless system and would NEVER go back to a tank. Since it heats on demand it can sometimes take a moment to heat up when the demand is low such as a bath room sink. However, a shower or tub increases the demand and it heats up as quick as a normal tank. Plus you have ENDLESS hot water. My daughter used to use all the hot water taking showers (as girls do) but now I never run out. It is one of the finer pleasures in life. Anyway, I've heard many complaints about the electric versions but you can't go wrong with a gas unit. It heats up fast and maintains the temp. Mine even has an electronic control where I adjust the temp of the water coming in. I've had mine for three years and have no maintenance yet.

2bikemike
10-12-2011, 08:48 AM
With a couple of kids in the house I want the hot water to run out when their showers are way too long.

When my kids were at home we had one boy that would take long showers using up all the hot water. I put a quick end to it. I would give him about 10 minutes then I would close the hot water valve on the water heater.
Yeah I was a dick of a father, but none of my kids stayed living at home after high school. And none of them want to come back home to live.

Rooster
10-12-2011, 09:54 AM
When my kids were at home we had one boy that would take long showers using up all the hot water. I put a quick end to it. I would give him about 10 minutes then I would close the hot water valve on the water heater.
Yeah I was a dick of a father, but none of my kids stayed living at home after high school. And none of them want to come back home to live.

Not only is that a great idea, it sounds really fun too. :D

listopencil
10-12-2011, 12:56 PM
I do. I haven't gotten it to work yet, though.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3055/2758054028_9acbfe9b99.jpg

listopencil
10-12-2011, 01:00 PM
When my kids were at home we had one boy that would take long showers using up all the hot water. I put a quick end to it. I would give him about 10 minutes then I would close the hot water valve on the water heater.
Yeah I was a dick of a father, but none of my kids stayed living at home after high school. And none of them want to come back home to live.


I did the same thing. Only now my 20-somethings will take a shower in room temp water without it bothering them. They'll also eat anything and don't really give a shit about fashion.

notorious
10-12-2011, 01:13 PM
I called Rinnai about their outdoor tankless system, since i didn't want to install intake + exhaust pipes. I told the rep I lived in SW Kansas where we can get -30 with the wind chill.


He proceeded to tell me it would not be a problem. I told my plumber friend about it and he laughed his ass off.

Stay away from the outdoor units unless you live south of Dallas. I am just going to have to install the fucking exhaust and intakes. BTW, gas is a LOT more powerful then the electric. Just check the manuals for how many gallons per minute they can heat, even a mid line gas kicks the shit out of a beast electric heater.

The Bad Guy
10-12-2011, 01:29 PM
You should reconsider. I have a "gas" tankless system and would NEVER go back to a tank. Since it heats on demand it can sometimes take a moment to heat up when the demand is low such as a bath room sink. However, a shower or tub increases the demand and it heats up as quick as a normal tank. Plus you have ENDLESS hot water. My daughter used to use all the hot water taking showers (as girls do) but now I never run out. It is one of the finer pleasures in life. Anyway, I've heard many complaints about the electric versions but you can't go wrong with a gas unit. It heats up fast and maintains the temp. Mine even has an electronic control where I adjust the temp of the water coming in. I've had mine for three years and have no maintenance yet.

It's basically just running into a cost thing now. The old contracted installer was going to vent it and included the installation kit for around 950.

All of the other installers now want about 1900 for the unit and to do an install. I just can't justify that right now.

ChiefsNow
10-30-2012, 06:18 PM
I just put a propane (Marey) brand 3.1 gpm unit in my travel trailer. I absolutely love this thing. So tired of walking across the park to use their bathroom. I picked it up on Ebay (new) for $219. I have been doing hillbilly mods to this old travel trailer big time. really love this tankless water heater. I also put a used pellet stove in. Love that too. I put my skirting on and I'm ready for a North Idaho winter. I know . "Who gives a shit" but I guess I'm easily amused.

Rain Man
10-30-2012, 06:27 PM
I'm going to sound like a nut job when I say this, but remember that I'm a child of the Cold War.

I kind of like having a tank in the house, because if there's some sort of major emergency it's a good water supply for a couple of days.

WV
10-30-2012, 06:29 PM
The expense of Propane turned me from installing one. If I had Natural gas I would have been all over a tankless gas water heater.

Phobia
10-30-2012, 06:31 PM
I'm going to sound like a nut job when I say this, but remember that I'm a child of the Cold War.

I kind of like having a tank in the house, because if there's some sort of major emergency it's a good water supply for a couple of days.

Then run your cold water supply through a recirculating tank that doesn't cost $400 a year to heat.

3rd&48ers
10-30-2012, 06:32 PM
I just put a propane (Marey) brand 3.1 gpm unit in my travel trailer. I absolutely love this thing. So tired of walking across the park to use their bathroom. I picked it up on Ebay (new) for $219. I have been doing hillbilly mods to this old travel trailer big time. really love this tankless water heater. I also put a used pellet stove in. Love that too. I put my skirting on and I'm ready for a North Idaho winter. I know . "Who gives a shit" but I guess I'm easily amused.

I like to read stuff like that... catch a bunch

Rain Man
10-30-2012, 06:32 PM
Then run your cold water supply through a recirculating tank that doesn't cost $400 a year to heat.

How interesting.

Wait. What does that mean? What does a recirculating tank do?

cyborgtable
10-30-2012, 06:33 PM
Go with gas over electric. Electric will have a COP of 1 whereas gas will vary between 2.5 to 4. That is if you are getting one

ChiefsNow
10-30-2012, 06:36 PM
I'm going to sound like a nut job when I say this, but remember that I'm a child of the Cold War.

I kind of like having a tank in the house, because if there's some sort of major emergency it's a good water supply for a couple of days.

Solution- fill a tank with water.

Phobia
10-30-2012, 06:37 PM
How interesting.

Wait. What does that mean? What does a recirculating tank do?

Same thing a water heater does except it doesn't heat. Holds water in-line for use and storage but you use it so it doesn't get nasty.

Rain Man
10-30-2012, 06:43 PM
Same thing a water heater does except it doesn't heat. Holds water in-line for use and storage but you use it so it doesn't get nasty.

I want one of those.

Rain Man
10-30-2012, 06:44 PM
Solution- fill a tank with water.

I never thought about this, but an inground swimming pool would work great for that purpose. The only challenge is that my yard is not much bigger than most inground swimming pools.

HonestChieffan
10-30-2012, 06:51 PM
I want one of those.


Buy a waterheater, plumb into cold water line and cut the power cord off.

ChiefsNow
10-30-2012, 06:52 PM
A couple more things I learned on my project. I removed my furnace and old crappy stove from my trailer and had messed up plumbing. Thought it was going to be an expensive fix as I'm not a plumber and the fear of rerouting and plugging open gas lines. Decided to just bring my propane tank inside. I removed the line from the front of the trailer along with the regulator and they fit right on to the tankless water heater. Screw the open lines. On the plumbing side I discovered the shark bite water fittings and pex tubing. Wow, that shit almost makes plumbing fun. You can fuck up and just use that tool remove the fitting and re do the shit quick and easy.

Rain Man
10-30-2012, 07:13 PM
Buy a waterheater, plumb into cold water line and cut the power cord off.

That's brilliant.

Ace Gunner
10-30-2012, 07:18 PM
I have 3 of them in a place back east and I like them, but I'm quick in/out shower, don't use dishwasher etc. If you have kids and all, you'll hate them.

aturnis
10-30-2012, 07:25 PM
I was thinking of getting one last month, but the plumber talked me out of it. I was completely sold on the idea before that. He told me that most people he knew of who had them weren't satisfied with the amount of hot water they were getting. I wasn't going to take a chance on a couple thousand dollars, but maybe you'll get different advice.

I have a friend who owns his own plumbing company. He says you want to stay away from electric on demand water heaters. If you go with gas, you should be happy.

Do a Google search of electric vs. natural gas.

htismaqe
10-30-2012, 07:52 PM
The expense of Propane turned me from installing one. If I had Natural gas I would have been all over a tankless gas water heater.

Propane is actually cheaper to operate than natural gas.

3rd&48ers
10-30-2012, 08:07 PM
Propane is actually cheaper to operate than natural gas.

But more dangerous

WV
10-30-2012, 09:01 PM
Propane is actually cheaper to operate than natural gas.

Maybe where you are, but not here. Propane is expensive compared to Natural Gas.

htismaqe
10-30-2012, 09:51 PM
But more dangerous

How do you figure?

A Salt Weapon
10-30-2012, 10:38 PM
I install and service propane on-demand water heaters. Rinnai is light years above the competition, the unit runs about 900-1300 depending on where you get it from and installation is not much more 500-1000. These are AK prices so might be less in your area. They also make units for natural gas if that is an option.

The water flow is incredible 7.5gpm-9.8gpms at minimum delta T(temperature change) our groundwater here is about 40degrees and I typically measure about 5gpm. More than enough for a standard household. And endless as well.

The condensing models are capable of 96.5% efficiency although the steady state is about 98+%. Even the non condensing models are in the mid 80% range. Combined with not using energy while not in use, they are very energy efficient.

Simply Red
10-30-2012, 10:42 PM
Who has a tankless hot water heater?


I'm not sure - do i need to ask my Condo Manager?

A Salt Weapon
10-30-2012, 10:45 PM
I called Rinnai about their outdoor tankless system, since i didn't want to install intake + exhaust pipes. I told the rep I lived in SW Kansas where we can get -30 with the wind chill.


He proceeded to tell me it would not be a problem. I told my plumber friend about it and he laughed his ass off.

Stay away from the outdoor units unless you live south of Dallas. I am just going to have to install the ****ing exhaust and intakes. BTW, gas is a LOT more powerful then the electric. Just check the manuals for how many gallons per minute they can heat, even a mid line gas kicks the shit out of a beast electric heater.

Hmm, I have installed many outside in Alaska and they have had I problem. They have internal frost protection that is good to -40 or so. You have to insulate the pipes or put heat tape on them but the unit will not freeze as long as it has power.

A Salt Weapon
10-30-2012, 10:49 PM
Propane is actually cheaper to operate than natural gas.

And what world do you live in? I'm a propane guy, and while I fucking love propane, we can't compete price wise with nat gas. Now CNG compared to LP is another story, but that only applies to auto-gas.

A Salt Weapon
10-30-2012, 10:59 PM
I'm going to sound like a nut job when I say this, but remember that I'm a child of the Cold War.

I kind of like having a tank in the house, because if there's some sort of major emergency it's a good water supply for a couple of days.

Not at all, it's a great idea to have available potable water available. One thing I recommend to people if their existing tank isn't leaking, is to have it before the on-demand and have the breaker off, this functions as a storage tank that slightly increases the inlet temp of the on-demand and allows greater water flow. Also functions as available drinking water, just make sure to filter the water if you take it out of the bottom of the tank as the sediment can be pretty gross.

In the case of no gas, you can turn on the breaker and have hot water.

Install an isolation valve kit with any on-demand unit. Rinnai is including them into the units now.

Dave Lane
10-31-2012, 02:16 AM
I'm going to sound like a nut job when I say this, but remember that I'm a child of the Cold War.

I kind of like having a tank in the house, because if there's some sort of major emergency it's a good water supply for a couple of days.

Get a 40 gallon pressure tank not only will it have 40 gallons of water for you but it will also give you pressure even if you lose water pressure. You'll have 40 gallons worth of pressure before you actually have to do something.

crazycoffey
10-31-2012, 02:39 AM
god I hate the offseason.

3rd&48ers
10-31-2012, 04:18 AM
How do you figure?

Propane is heavier than air, Natural gas is lighter

Rausch
10-31-2012, 04:51 AM
To be fair, I told the guy that there are times when there are as many as 6 people living in my house, so what he's projecting as my demand for hot water at any given time may have factored into what he was telling me.

Whoah.

You Catholic, latino, or both?...:spock:

htismaqe
10-31-2012, 06:34 AM
And what world do you live in? I'm a propane guy, and while I ****ing love propane, we can't compete price wise with nat gas. Now CNG compared to LP is another story, but that only applies to auto-gas.

Per gallon, no.

But a propane high-efficiency water heater uses less fuel than natural gas.

I have 2 houses, one in town and one in the country. The water heater in the country costs me about $25 per year less to operate (it runs on propane).

htismaqe
10-31-2012, 06:34 AM
Propane is heavier than air, Natural gas is lighter

That doesn't make it more dangerous. I'm missing something here.

3rd&48ers
10-31-2012, 06:42 AM
That doesn't make it more dangerous. I'm missing something here.

If you have a propane leak the gas sinks to the floor and stays there risking an explosion, Natural gas is lighter than air and escapes to the atmosphere.


That is why they add the smell to propane, that pungent odor is an added smell, propane has hardly any smell otherwise.

htismaqe
10-31-2012, 06:45 AM
If you have a propane leak the gas sinks to the floor and stays there risking an explosion, Natural gas is lighter than air and escapes to the atmosphere.

That is why they add the smell to propane, that pungent odor is an added smell, propane has hardly any smell otherwise.

Both propane and natural gas have an odor additive (usually Mercaptan).

If you have a gas leak in your house, you risk explosion whether you have natural gas or propane, because neither can escape.

And I've never seen an installation of a propane tank INDOORS. They're usually installed at least 50 feet from any dwelling.

I'm not an expert by any means but my dad worked for the LP company for 30-some years.

3rd&48ers
10-31-2012, 06:47 AM
Both propane and natural gas have an odor additive (usually Mercaptan).

If you have a gas leak in your house, you risk explosion whether you have natural gas or propane, because neither can escape.

And I've never seen an installation of a propane tank INDOORS. They're usually installed at least 50 feet from any dwelling.

I'm not an expert by any means but my dad worked for the LP company for 30-some years.

I am not either, I was told this when I was making a delivery one day to the trans continental pipeline in Lexington NC

Rausch
10-31-2012, 06:53 AM
If you have a propane leak the gas sinks to the floor and stays there risking an explosion, Natural gas is lighter than air and escapes to the atmosphere.


That is why they add the smell to propane, that pungent odor is an added smell, propane has hardly any smell otherwise.

Question: since it's an added smell why does it have to smell like a combination of eggs and 80 year old man farts?...

3rd&48ers
10-31-2012, 06:56 AM
Question: since it's an added smell why does it have to smell like a combination of eggs and 80 year old man farts?...

To make you not ignore it...

Rausch
10-31-2012, 06:59 AM
To make you not ignore it...

If that's the point make it smell like a combination of the McRibb and pu$$y...

3rd&48ers
10-31-2012, 07:05 AM
If that's the point make it smell like a combination of the McRibb and pu$$y...

LMAOLMAOLMAOLMAO People may cut the line just to smell it then

Rausch
10-31-2012, 07:07 AM
LMAOLMAOLMAOLMAO People may cut the line just to smell it then

I'm not getting out of bed at 3 am for 80 year old man farts.

You offer me pu$$y and a McRib and I'll be fucking Lassie pulling out family members with my teeth...

htismaqe
10-31-2012, 07:16 AM
To make you not ignore it...

ROFL

This reminds me of a story...

A few years ago, when my wife was pregnant with our oldest daughter, we were living in a tiny starter house in a great neighborhood. There was a "should have been condemned if it wasn't owned by a city councilman" rental property to our east and the house actually sat only 6 inches from the property line.

I had to tell the mongoloids next door at least 6 times to stop throwing their seeds in my yard so I didn't have to mow over their ditch weed. They would get high and saw apart vehicles.

At one point, they embarked on a project to transform a late model conversion van into a flatbed truck. Even though they knocked out the body work pretty fast, the couldn't keep the thing running, so they parked it next to their house - technically on my property.

So I asked them to move it. They said they would but left it sitting there for like 2 more weeks, just long enough for us to get a foot of snow and drift the damn thing in.

One Friday night, while we were getting ready to go out for dinner, I could hear them out there firing up that van and trying to get it moved. I looked out the window and it looked like they had shoveled exactly no snow - they were just gunning it and hoping to jar it loose.

As we were leaving, we walked out the door and I could smell gas - ALOT of gas. I told the wife to go back inside and proceeded to walk over to the neighbors since I could see them standing in front of the van staring at the house.

When I arrived, I was overwhelmed with the stupiditiy. The van had indeed gotten unstuck - it lurched forward and ripped the gas line and regulator clean off the house. Both of the morons were standing there staring at the open pipe as it sprayed at gas, their jaws slack, and one of them was SMOKING A CIGARETTE. The other one turned to me and said "if I call the gas company, do you think they'll come this late on a Friday night?"

3rd&48ers
10-31-2012, 07:25 AM
what a bunch of dumbasses