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Old 03-09-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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rec's on on tankless water heater


hi, i'm looking for an on-demand, tankless water heater for use with propane.
it will be used in a low use bathroom with occasional shower.

is there something good (ish) out there for around $300?

thank you.

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Old 03-09-2010, 05:58 PM   #2
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Afraid not.

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Old 03-09-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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rec's on on tankless water heater


IMO there isn't anything good at 4 times that price either.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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rec's on on tankless water heater


Yep. We sell the high end Naviens. The problem with the cheap ones is they don't have enough BTUs to recover fast enough with high usage. They MUST be sized according to the usage/flow rate and climate. Water comes out of the ground REAL cold where I am.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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rec's on on tankless water heater


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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Yep. We sell the high end Naviens. The problem with the cheap ones is they don't have enough BTUs to recover fast enough with high usage. They MUST be sized according to the usage/flow rate and climate. Water comes out of the ground REAL cold where I am.
And thats in August.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:56 PM   #6
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rec's on on tankless water heater


10 months of skating and 2 months of bad sleddin.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:31 PM   #7
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rec's on on tankless water heater


Quote:
Originally Posted by schmolze View Post
hi, i'm looking for an on-demand, tankless water heater for use with propane.
it will be used in a low use bathroom with occasional shower.

is there something good (ish) out there for around $300?

thank you.
I would get a small standard tank water heater, preferably electric, that you can simply switch on and off as needed. You will NEVER recover the cost of a tankless unit in that (or most any, for that matter) installation. I would wire in a wall switch or just use a circuit breaker and turn on the electric HWH before anticipated use and switch off when done. I know the tankless water heaters sound great, but many times (on natural gas, that is), the meter has to be upsized, a dedicated gas line installed, and venting installed (the Naviens use PVC) while most others use stainless steel, not to mention the high cost of installation, the potential for repairs down the road, and the descaling required every few years, these things can be a serious money pit. I would simply find another way.....
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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rec's on on tankless water heater


thanks for the feedback guys.
in my first post, when i said $300, i meant used.

what if i could find a used takagi or rinnai or something for $300?
the plumbing i will do myself.
still not worth it, you think?

the thing is, this bathroom is in a renovated barn, where i've also built a fitness studio. the barn is way underpowered electrically and i doesn't have enough to power an electric water heater, unless we brought a bigger feed out from the house. the problem is the house is also underpowered. it might have 100 amps or something.

in the studio, i've installed a used vermont castings gas fireplace/stove, and plumbed in the gas line using 3/4" galvanized pipe. i left a T capped to extend over to the bathroom in anticipation of installing the tankless water heater.

it does seem quite hard to find a quality one used, though.

so, not quite sure what to do.

thanks again.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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rec's on on tankless water heater


I am going to respectfully disagree, that the tankless at 3x the price does not have the value of a standard tanked water heater. But it hinges on your personal circumstance, and what you value. But to just compare based on price is not fair.

Four advantages of Tankless.

1. Tankless qualifies for federal tax credit, same as HVAC (30% up to $1,500 including the cost of installation.

2. Tankless just from the surface is 35% more efficient, equating to an average savings per year of $130-$150 per year per household. (not to mention the passive savings from no utility use when not operating).

3. Tankless heaters have about double the life expectancy of a standard tanked heater. (20 years vs 10 or less)

4. Tankless NEVER runs out of hot water if sized correctly. Try that with tanked

OK, that is my $.02 If you can pick up a tankless in good shape for $3 bills, it would certainly be a better deal then a tanked IHO.

Good Luck
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:57 PM   #10
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Oops....guess I missed the part about trying to find a used one for $300.....that would be a decent idea. My point is that I wouldn't do it if having to buy a higher end new unit. My company sells them, and they come in at about $4000.00 installed. We charge $750.00 for a 40 gallon tanked water heater. Now for us to descale the unit every 3 years or so over 20 years, at $200.00 per visit=$1200.00. The tax credit based on $4000 would be $1200.00, provided that the homeowner has not used any of that money for anything else such as furnace, windows, insulation, etc, and that's IF they do indeed qualify. Now it's estimated that a tankless will save about $20.00 a month in utility usage (keep in mind that these DO NOT work in a power outage--a tanked LP or natural gas water heater WILL, unless you're on well water without a backup generator, that is), so that would be a savings of $2880.00 over 20 years, assuming that the energy costs don't change. Let me add this up real quick (and mind you this is using my company's prices, so if you find a new comparable unit cheaper, than you will be ahead).

$4000.00 Installed
-$1200.00 Tax Credit
--------------
$2800.00 Net installation cost
+$1200.00 for six descalings over 20 year life expectancy
--------------
$4000.00
-$2880.00 in utility savings over 20 years
--------------
$1120.00

Now we're also assuming that other than descaling every few years, that this tankless unit will require no repairs whatsoever, which we all know will probably not be the case with all of the valves, electronics, etc involved with these tankless units....the cost savings really isn't there. In 20 years, you would use two tanked water heaters, and at $750.00 each, you'd be at a cost of $1500.00 installed. So after 20 years with this tankless water heater, you may at best be $380.00 ahead of the game. Throw in an ignitor or two and maybe a circuit board, circulating pump, a few minor repairs here and there, and there is absolutely no cost savings whatsoever by going tankless. I think the tankless is good for certain applications that need endless hot water, such as restaurants, hospitals, etc, and maybe families that have large Jacuzzi tubs, but for most families, I don't really think there will be a cost savings long term.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:05 PM   #11
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If you find a used one for 300 bucks.

You also found an unhappy former owner of a tankless water heater system(weather he says it works great or not).

have to wonder what problems they had with it that they are selling it.

Unless it was owned by a little old lady from Pasadena that only took showers on Sundays.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:12 PM   #12
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rec's on on tankless water heater


I am going to derail the thread just a little. I know that the big rub of tankless is the $1,500+ price tag. Wanna guess where a huge amount of these are being installed?..........Government Housing Projects

Yup! I have recently quoted these (Noritz) in quantities of 50, 100, 150 for various housing rehabs. This is not a choice. The government (your tax $) are making these the standard. btw....I sold 72 last month.

Another interesting factoid about tankless. I just attended a tankless conference and there was a study done about who is selling tankless. I would have thought plumbers, but the poll came back, that HVAC contractors are the driving force. HVAC contractors are so tuned to the "Upsell" that this has become a natural for them. Plumbers poll opinion was all related to the simple cost comparison to tanked.

I just arranged a training for Tankless, and invited a mix of 20 HVAC contractors, and 20 Plumbers. I have received 14 RSVP from HVAC and 1 Plumber. My poll mirrors the industry.

Ok, back to the thread. Sorry.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:07 AM   #13
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rec's on on tankless water heater


I have a Bosch unit installed now for several years - works great, zero problems so far - love the endless hot water for showering.

The household consists of just my wife and myself - so relatively low hot water usage. Has to be substantially cheaper to operate than continually heating a large tank of water and then not using it...
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:20 PM   #14
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rec's on on tankless water heater


I can buy a top named N.Gas tankless (N) with everything for under $1200. Plan to install in a summer home because when everyone returns from beach or swimming , hot water will be available for everyone. I will flush the unit myself. To me, $1200. well spent! My friend has 2 in service, 1 for home 1 for beach house, You need to buy a unit that can get 42* water to 110*. Like around a 75* rise, that is a must.

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