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dotmatrix 08-09-2009 12:33 PM

Tankless water heater Navien cr-210 ?
I am looking at installing a tankless water heater.
I have been looking at the Navien CR-210.
Does anyone have any positive or negative feedback about this system?
I know that they are more expensive than others on the market, but on paper they appear to be more efficient 98%.
I have read some very negative reports about the CR-240.

Family of 4 / 2 story house / 2 showers / 1500 sq ft.

I am looking at this system for various reasons.
Is this system:
reliable, cost effective, or loud?

lonsplumbing 08-09-2009 07:49 PM

Stick with standard hot tanks.

SPS-1 08-11-2009 09:23 PM

Had one put into my mother's house last year, along with a new furnace and some other improvements. Combined, she is using about 40% less gas.
I still have a tank myself, but when that one dies (or sooner), it will be replaced by a tankless.
The Navien is a condensing unit, which means it even extracts the heat out of the exhaust fumes. This is about as efficient as you can get.
Note that Navien pat numbers that have the A suffix ( i.e. CR-210-A, which is what was put into my mother's place ) has a very small tank in it that is supposed to keep the water hot if you breifly shut off the water. Sounds like a good idea, but I am not sure if I noticed much difference with the mini-tank though.
I don't live at that house, but when I am there, I can't tell the difference between now and when she had the tank.
There was a recall on it, and the rep came out and changed a board, and another time it sprung a leak that was fixed under warranty.
I don't want to insult any Koreans who may be viewing this forum, but you have to give strong consideration to a German or Japanese tankless water heater.
You will have two 3" PVC lines going to outdoors, and I believe there is also a condensation line going to water drain.
I don't notice it as loud at all.

luckyd 09-18-2009 11:47 AM

I have a Navien cr-240a that was installed last October. What ever anyone says, does or claims, just remember 1 simple rule:

A tankless water heater will not allow you to run more appliances than you could with your old water heater. It just can supply a near never ending supply of hot water to fixtures. It has the same limitiations that any water heater (tank or tankless) has. Meaning, if you were in the shower and your wife/husband/children flushed the toilet and you got an icy cold shower with your old water heater, the same will happen with your new tankless water heater.

At least that is my experience.

That being said, this is the best thing ever !! Where I live, I have been going through about 1 tanked heater every 3 years !!! I figure if this thing can last at least 10 years, I will break even. any longer is just a bonus.

As far as the recirculating heater goes, it is a great idea. We have ours plumbed to the longest run of line ( kitchen ) and have almost instant hot water. You also have a control much like a furnace control that will allow you to turn the circulating heater on and off ( no sense in heating water while you sleep, or are working). Mine is on only for about an average of 7 hours a day. This comes at a price because the water has to be maintained at a certain tempurature, thereby using more fuel, thereby costing you more. Although, I have to say, I have not really noticed much difference between using the recirculating heater or not.

As far as noise, our is located just under our bedroom. It is sounds very much like our furnace at startup.


frozenfoodguy 12-14-2009 06:08 PM

navien cr210
Had this system install approx 1 year ago. Do not know if i got a lemon but this thing sucks. Which is good if it was a vacuum but it's not. At first it was just a problem with the unit keeping up to demand. This model is supposed to allow up to 2 users or uses at once.Example someone showering and the washing mashine goin or so forth. My unit was not able to keep up with the promise of the demand. The company that installed it did several software upgrades and the problem still persisted. Finally a rep from the company flew out and checked the unit himself. He installed a brand new software app and it was finally doing what it was supposed to do.I thought great problem fixxed. WRONG! Since then it has been shutting down with an error code 22. Something about a limit switch. Now my unit is 6 weeks past 1 year warrenty with the people who installed it and i am having the same problems. The service tech told me the r models have been replaced with the new n model. He said that they had way too many problems with the r model and the company maded the new n unit.I can not say i would recomend this brand to anyone, after 1 year the installers now started to charge for service calls.Hate to think what will happen down the road when everything is off warrenty. Have sent e-mails to navien to switch my unit for an "n" model.No response yet but will post when i here. Anybody else having problems?

Raakal 01-11-2010 11:33 AM

I had the Navien 210a installed in December 2009. So far so good. We have a large whirpool bathtub that our conventional water heater was not able to fill (was a 50gal). The Navien unit is working great. We have not experienced the "cold water sandwich" and the heater is preforming as advertised. I would recommend this unit as of right now but we have only had it 1 month. I'll let u all know if my opinion changes in the future.

wires 02-08-2010 10:59 AM

We build a house and it came with a CR-240 installed. At first had some issues when there was spikes in water pressure (when you'd quickly cycle a tap for example). The installer came back with the Navien tech's, updated the firmware, and it it's been flawless for a year. Super quiet, and we don't have a shortage of hot water. If you draw too much, it throttles back the outwater output to maintain a constant temp.

Only issue after the update was last night. Middle of a shower, it punks out. Odd I though, cycled the power on it, and it ran for a bit and died again. Popped the cover off, and it was flashing 22.00 / 010E. Hmm... Cycle the power and it ran fine, UNTIL I put the cover back on. Turns out ice fog had frosted over the outside fresh air vent, so it was getting a vaccum in the can. Cleaned the grate, and it's been fine again.

I'd recommend them to anyone that wants the infinite water (great for a giant jetted tub, or multiple family members). They are $$$ though. And not so DIY repair friendly.

The only thing I did to make my setup perfect was hit Home Depot, and bought a little 6 gallon electric waterheater. I plumbed it after the Navien, and set it's thermostat to 120F (to match the tankless). Now you get instant hot water, and it buffers out and temp variations if they should occur. Otherwise, there is a 30-60 second wait for hot water (since it's heated on demand).

gerdia 03-04-2010 07:30 PM

home depot tank

If you wouldn't mind, would you please let me know what kind of electric tank you installed from Home depot and how? I just had the Navien 210A installed and it is taking twice as long as the tank heater to deliver hot water to the faucets. There is a powder room right above the Navien with possibly no more than 4 feet of pipe and it still takes 57sec for the hot water to reach it. The tank heater would get there in about 15sec. Thank you for any info you might share.

gerdia 03-05-2010 07:55 PM

does anyone know of an easy recirc system to install with the Navien 210A tankless? This unit is taking 60 sec to deliver hot water to faucet that is right above it, no more than 3 to 4 feet of piping. Navien rep coming out on 3/23 but in speaking with him over the phone he already sounds convinced that the unit is working properly. And maybe it is, but double the hot water delivery is hard to deal with. We basically have no hot water to wash our hands with, by the time the hot water gets there we're done.

vsheetz 03-05-2010 09:45 PM

I installed a Bosch whole house tankless unit a few years ago - works great, never have had a problem with it. Would not go back to having a tanked heater.

wires 03-08-2010 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by gerdia (Post 409669)

If you wouldn't mind, would you please let me know what kind of electric tank you installed from Home depot and how? I just had the Navien 210A installed and it is taking twice as long as the tank heater to deliver hot water to the faucets. There is a powder room right above the Navien with possibly no more than 4 feet of pipe and it still takes 57sec for the hot water to reach it. The tank heater would get there in about 15sec. Thank you for any info you might share.

It was a GE Smart Water heater. Tag says 36 litres, and it's a 120V unit. Putting something like this after the Navien will solve that problem. The issue with the tankless heaters, is there will always be a lag of about 60 second before full hot water (time the burner sparks up and comes to temperature). Exception would be one with teh recirculation accumulator after it.

With the electric one afterwards, you get that speed/conveinince of a tank unit, with the infinite water from the tankless unit. And you lose that "cold water sandwich" that used to get me in the shower all the time. :laughing:

coolluke01 03-08-2010 01:58 PM

If you are having any problems with the time it takes to get hot water to your faucets this is a great product that I have installed for several clients of mine. If you have the A model Navien then all you would need is the special valve that comes in this kit. I don't know if it is sold separately
This system works by pumping water through your hot water line, during the set times on the pump, and then back down the cold water line to the water heater again. The great thing about this is that you can install this without running a new recirc line to the farthest faucet. The only down side is that your water in your cold line will be warm. Not really a problem for the most part. Just a few sec of running and you can get a cold drink of water.
This special valve has a non-electric switch that opens and sends water from the hot side to the cold side when the temp in the hot side gets too low. You will only get hot water recirc if the pump is running at the same time this valve opens. Most people set the pump to run in the morning and at night before bed. If you set it for 15 mins of run time every 30 mins or so you should have fairly warm water at the faucet at those times. The great thing about this valve is that if the water at the faucet is hot enough then the pump just spins and is unable to send water down the line. This means that your water heater will not turn on and not waste energy. I would highly recommend hiring a licensed plumber that installs tankless water heaters to install this unit. That way you are sure to get the best efficiency out of you tankless unit and not waste all the savings of having a tankless water heater.
The biggest reason that it takes longer to get hot water with a tankless unit than a tank unit is that the tank unit is very inefficient and heats the water in the line going to the faucets by convection. It's not the fault of the tankless unit it's just a perk of a tank unit. Which i must say is far out balanced by the savings in energy with the tankless units.
Adding a tank unit to heat the water after you tankless unit defeats the purpose of the tankless unit. The only reason that you save any money with the tankless unit is that it's not heating the water all the time. Plus 110V tank water heaters are very inefficient. 240V is much better. But why have a tankless then.

wires 03-08-2010 02:42 PM

For my Navien, I'd have to live in this house for about 20 years to recoup the capital investment from the Navien.

With the setup I'm running, the Navien is basically heating the tanked unit, so the amount of energy wasted by the little tanked unit isn't that much. It's not being used to heat cold water, it's basically just holding hot water (the reason I decided on picking up a cheaper 120V unit).

As far as I'm concerned, I'm about the comfort and the infinite hot water. The Navien came with our house when it was built, and I love it, but I wouldn't be forking out the $2400 to buy one to save energy, when a high end tanked unit is $500-600, and lacks all the complexity and electronics than a tanked unit has.

The actual real reason for me adding the tanked unit was when we first moved in, the Navien had an old firmware version on the processor board. Every time a water tap was quickly cycled, it would put a water spike on the Navien, causing it to shut down. Then you'd get a slug of ice cold water and it would fire back up again. Not very enjoyable when you're in the shower, and you're wife is brushing her teeth.....

coolluke01 03-08-2010 03:29 PM

It's hard to compare tank to tankless for pricing. But the closest take style you could get would be a powervent gas water heater. Installed avg price about $1400. Tankless navien installed for approx $2800. Less 30% energy credit just under $700 brings is down to $700 difference. Average energy use for a year, gas tank approx $500-600 tankless $266. Savings of $234-$334 per year. We see a payback of 3 years Max!

But I do understand the cold bubble problem, I have that with my Rinnai too. I'll be getting the Navien NNR210A with the tank and recirc system.
Although it's not the bringing of the temp to 120 that costs any different, it's maintaining the temp 24/7. An electric water heater is 100% efficient.

If you are going to get a tankless heater do it by the end of 2010. That's when the credit runs out. This credit applies to all work that is done with the installing of the water heater, gas lines etc.

wires 03-09-2010 02:38 PM

Here is an exert from Consumer Reports on tankless vs tanked units:

"Heating water accounts for up to 30 percent of the average home's energy budget. Some makers of gas-fired tankless water heaters claim their products can cut your energy costs up to half over regular storage heaters. So is it time to switch?

Probably not. Gas tankless water heaters, which use high-powered burners to quickly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger, were 22 percent more energy efficient on average than the gas-fired storage-tank models in our tests. That translates into a savings of around $70 to $80 per year, based on 2008 national energy costs. But because they cost much more than storage water heaters, it can take up to 22 years to break evenólonger than the 20-year life of many models. Moreover, our online poll of 1,200 readers revealed wide variations in installation costs, energy savings, and satisfaction.".

They go into more detail on their website. I personally don't have concrete data on how much the tankless saves or doesn't save, since we moved into a new home, with twin furnaces and a tankless uni (from an older home with a tanked unit and single furnace).

I would be interested in hearing from someone that swapped out an old tanked unit for a tankless unit in an existing home, as you'd know immediately the results.

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