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Old 05-08-2008, 01:47 AM   #1
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


I finally decided to replace the water heater I have with a tankless one. After some research, I narrowed the choices down to two "finalists": Takagi and Rinnai tankless water heaters. Rinnai seems to have some advantages, among them higher output (8.3gpm vs. Takagi's 6.9gmp) and, most important, lower kick-off flow (0.5gpm vs. Takagi's 0.75gmp). On the other hand Takagi seems more spread than Rinnai and also I could find a lot of information for Takagi and almost none for Rinnai.Need some advice from people who are using these water heaters

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Old 05-08-2008, 05:26 AM   #2
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


If your having to install in the bathroom make sure it is a quiet one. I bought one only to re-install it in the basement............... Hindsight is 20/20

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Old 05-08-2008, 07:38 AM   #3
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


I know that I've seen tons of the Rinnai's installed in this area, and never one Takagi. I don't know if that makes a statement about quality or distribution??? I've taken a certification class put on my Rinnai, and know that they make a solid product.

Mark's right, they do make a little noise. But, so does the burner on a conventional gas water heater.

I still don't think they're worth having unless you have a large family. It would be nice to never run out of hot water, but there's a significant cost difference.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:46 PM   #4
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


Sandy,
I also like he Rinnai, but I'm not really familiar with Takagi. I have used both Rinnai and Rheem. There are a couple of things you need to know about tankless water heaters in general that the manufacturers tend to gloss over.

First, the one of the reasons to install one is so you have "endless" hot water. The trade off is that you don't have unlimited output. That's why the output GPM is so important. Both Rinnai and Rheem offer the same output volume.

Second, another big promotional point is that you aren't using energy to heat water for storage. The trade off here is that the BTU demand for a typical unit is around 199,000 BTU. That is almost 4 times that of a standard 40 or 50 gallon gas water heater. It is critical to make sure your gas lines and meter are sized properly. In many cases this requires some rework of your gas piping. You also will need a 120v electric circuit at the heater location.

The last thing to make sure you have considered is the exhaust vent. There are vertical limits and (at least with Rinnai and Rheem) you can't use standard vent piping so it would have to be replaced. If you water heater location is on an exterior wall you won't have a problem.

I like Rinnai because they have a really good warranty and their units are extremely simple to install and maintain. I have only installed 5 or 6 so far but everything went smoothly and there have been no complaints from the homeowners. I would definitely put Rinnai in my next house.

I hope this helps.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


[quote=mstplumber;121902]
I like Rinnai because they have a really good warranty and their units are extremely simple to install and maintain. quote]

But not a DIY project for non-plumber types.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:24 AM   #6
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


[quote

But not a DIY project for non-plumber types. [/quote]


With that being said.............I had a plumber friend of mine baby sit me.The install was not some thing I would have attempted on my own. Good point...
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:46 AM   #7
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


I agree, this job isn't a good choice for most people to try themselves. Just wanted to make sure all factors are considered, the manufacturers don't spend much time on the extra expenses that may need to be considered.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:23 AM   #8
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


I have had personal experience with Noritz and give them .

I just had a meeting with a Bosch rep yesterday about their tankless line. I would feel comfortable with them too.

I know there are more options for venting than used to be. There are direct vent and also new condensing units that allow non cellular foam core plastic pipe materials for venting.

Bottom line, you have options. As mentioned, you need to be aware of the gas supply and where you can vent (there are restrictions specific to tankless).

Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:37 AM   #9
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Good point about the gas lines. A 140,000btu/h tankless takes a heck of a lot larger gas pipe/service than a 40,000btu/h conventional water heater. That's equivalent to adding a furnace, more or less.

It will often require a major addition or modification to a house's gas lines. If they were sized just for a conventional unit, the additional gas load can really necessitate an increase in the size of the entire main gas line that serves various appliances in a house.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:50 PM   #10
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


Takagi claims their TK3 to be the 'standard' sized tankless heater.

Looking at your GPM ratings listed above, have you factored in temperature rise? If your incoming temperature is lower, it takes longer to heat the water to temp, therefore slowing your flow....


Takagi wants a 3/4 gas line to their heater, and as for gas vent, I believe they are set up as direct vent. Cost is right around 900 dollars.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:51 PM   #11
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


Quote:
Originally Posted by angus242 View Post
I just had a meeting with a Bosch rep yesterday about their tankless line. I would feel comfortable with them too.
So far people i've heard that have installed the bosch heaters don't like them at all. I can't recall their reasoning, however...
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:07 PM   #12
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Takagi wants a 3/4 gas line to their heater
That is a minimum I imagine, because if the distance to the farthest gas outlet from the meter is long enough, 3/4" could be inadequate if sized in accordance with the International Fuel Gas Code.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:14 PM   #13
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
So far people i've heard that have installed the bosch heaters don't like them at all. I can't recall their reasoning, however...
Not sure what it could be. I understand it was a sales demonstration from their rep with cut-aways on display of their units, both gas and electric. I can tell you from seeing them close up, the welds looked perfect and I was definitely impressed by the overall quality. Of course, Bosch is well known for their engineer being top notch. I have not used one nor do I know anyone personally that has used one. I also get it that the units I saw were probably specially prepared for demonstration, like the McDonalds hamburgers you see on TV that look nothing like they do at an actual restaurant

I'm not going out to buy one tomorrow or anything but I was impressed. Actually, if I had the choice right now and was going to buy one, it would be, without a doubt, a Noritz.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:27 PM   #14
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Advice - Tankless Water Heaters


Sandy,
Another thing. I believe someone mentioned Rheem. Just because it's a tankless unit does NOT make it a good investment. There are some lower quality tankless units out there. Takagi has a very good reputation as does Noritz. Noritz is also a .5 gpm engage point. Actually, Takagi used to be manufactured by (licensed from) Noritz.
Here's a site for those that do have tankless:
http://www.tankless-recall.com/

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