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Old 06-04-2008, 10:41 AM   #16
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Tankless water heater - NEED HELP!


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Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
I appreciate your story, I'm kinda confused though... how did you even decide on a unit if you didn't know how the power draw would relate to your house? That's like stepping off the edge of the Grand Canyon to get to the other side and neglecting that there's a canyon you need to go through first.

At the end of the day the theme is the same here, do your homework!!!
I decided to install a HWOD unit b/c of the (partially) positive experience of a friend. He had a very small tank type electric water heater he replaced with a single point source HWOD unit. It isn't adequate for the whole house, but it was all he could afford. Having seen the problems that created, I decided to buy a larger unit, found an incredible deal on a whole house model and just pulled the trigger while the price was right. My friend didn't need to do anything but reposition the wiring from the original tank type location and hook up his smaller HWOD with some PVC pipe, he already had the electrical circuit. I live in TX but the vacation home is in KS, so I did do some homework with my electricity provider by phone, I thought it would be an easy matter to just run a bigger wire to the house. Only after I got to Kansas did the electrical company tell me that they didn't think the attachment point for the larger wire required for 200 amp overhead service would be strong enough to avoid damage to the house--it was built sometime before 1916 and has had some prior problems with parts of the exterior poured concrete walls, so I didn't want to take that chance. I't been a long and convoluted road, and we aren't even there yet.

At one point in my life I had a contractors license and a ran a general contracting business, but I found that was a great way to starve and decided on a career in education, instead. It was situation normal, Murphy's law was in effect and whatever could go wrong, DID, and since I was stuck in TX at the time, it did so at the least opportune moment, true to form. I suspect that if I had not gone back to Kansas in April to try to get something started, there still would not be any progress. As it is, the pole is in and next week I head back to the vacation home to pursue completion of this project.

Your Grand Canyon comparison is well taken--just a humorous aside, though, I'm an avid kayaker and have been trying for 20 years to get a Grand Canyon permit, I'd gladly welcome the chance to "attack" THAT canyon.

Like I said, I'm one very embarrased Dugly, just hoping to help others learn from my mistake so they don't run up against the problems I've encountered.

Dugly

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:49 AM   #17
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Tankless water heater - NEED HELP!


Not to take this off topic, but YerDugliness, who in their right mind goes on a vacation to soutwest Kansas?

(I guess I do, but that's just because they have more pheasants than we do here in northeast Kansas)
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:14 AM   #18
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Not to take this off topic, but YerDugliness, who in their right mind goes on a vacation to soutwest Kansas?
I grew up there, I guess it's true when they say "you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy". I've lived in this urban insanity that is Houston for 25 years, what with their daily homicide counts and all, and I guess as I age I long for the simplicity and tranquility of a home where the county just had it's first homicide in 20 years last summer. It was just a vacation home while I was working, but being retired now I have more time to devote to the upgrades--it will be a retirement home soon .

Pheasant (and other wildlife) are one of the main reasons I go there to vacation and plan on retiring there. The home in which I'm installing this HWOD might be used as a B&B someday, particularly during hunting season. My mom ran the local rural mail delivery route, 94 miles per day. Every year she had to complete a "wildlife survey" as part of her job. She intentionally under-reported the pheasant population so as to reduce the hunting pressure on the area, and it STILL earned the top spot in the state for pheasant population density.....I guess it's true what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.....

The deer are returning, too--there were NONE when I was growing up there in the laate 1960's, but last Thanksgiving my SO and I were driving a dirt road that is the CO/KS state line and ran across a herd of about 20 or so. We made nightly trips out there to watch the herd and take photos. 20 miles west in Walsh, CO, they had to shoot a brown bear down off a telephone pole out in the country--how weird is that????? Walsh is probably 200 miles from Durango, the only mountainous terrain in that area...

Like the title says, we don't really like for people to know about our well kept secret......

The home ought to be in good condition by pheasant season, if you'll PM me I'll hook you up with free lodging as my way of saying thanks for all the help! By then I might even have made some connections with local farmers who would open their land for hunting, we'll see how that goes.....

Dugly
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:54 PM   #19
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Tankless water heater - NEED HELP!


I get requests for "green" technology almost daily.
Gas tankless's are worthwhile, they save roughly about 30& off the hot water bill, but the installation costs can be inhibiting where gas & venting has to be run as opposed to a simple tank type replacement.
The major savings on gas tankless is the fact that they heat at about 85% efficient as opposed to tank types that heat at 60%.

I have done the math on electric tankless's and in all honesty I feel like a crook if I don't inform customers that they save almost nothing.

The standard for heater tanks standby heat loss efficiency is generally no less than 15 btu per sq ft of surface area for the tank.

(1 therm is about 29.3 KW)

Lets say a standard 40 gal heater is about 2 ft diameter by 4 ft tall...thats about 29 sq ft of surface area.

That means 435 btu/hour, 3.132 therms per month or 7.2036 KW per month.

I'll overestimate the cost of eletricity and call it $0.20 /KW.

My math isn't perfect, but you save $1.50 a month there for an electric tankless.

The average homes service panel for electric is 150 amp, impossible to service a 120 amp appliance along with a full homes demamd for electricity, so this requires a sertvice upgrade on top of the initial installation.

I saw a guestimate at $1500, not likely...trenching runs around $50+ /lineal foot for an excavator alone.

I'm sure my math is fuzzy, buit even if I'm ten percent off, I just don't see how these electric tankless's are even in business.

Gas tanless, on the other hand have proven to save, atop the convenience of not having to wait a half hour because your 16 yr old took her nightly half hour shower.
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:22 PM   #20
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ahhhhhhhhhhhh but you fail to mention if you didnt have to do an up grade on your electrical and you did the replumbing yourself and got a good deal on the electric tank less how much would you save ( just kidding) but I did see my gas bill go down about 60 a month and electric only up about 3 dollars but I didnt have to up grade or do much replumbing so maybe I got off lucky I dont know but I do know I checked it out throughly before I bought it so I wouldnt be sitting here with a huge instulation bill or no hot water
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:06 PM   #21
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ahhhhhhhhhhhh but you fail to mention if you didnt have to do an up grade on your electrical and you did the replumbing yourself and got a good deal on the electric tank less how much would you save ( just kidding) but I did see my gas bill go down about 60 a month and electric only up about 3 dollars but I didnt have to up grade or do much replumbing so maybe I got off lucky I dont know but I do know I checked it out throughly before I bought it so I wouldnt be sitting here with a huge instulation bill or no hot water
I know a family of 4 that pays $40 for gas a month in the summer...your mistake was the daily car washes with hot water...see?

So your electric tankless only costs $3 a month huh?
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:48 PM   #22
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Lakers look into a Rinnai tankless the bigger unit produces 8.2 gallons of heated water a minute. Also not sure what your location is but you could possibly mount the unit outside.

Last edited by Bob10; 06-06-2008 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:21 PM   #23
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Tankless water heater - NEED HELP!


Don't forget, part of the homework in these units is output to obtain a certain temperature rise. 8.2gpm might be true at a 50 degree incoming water temp for unit A, but at 70 degree temp for unit B.... 70 degrees incoming is not even possible in my area. I mention this because this is the only time we had an issue with ours; the water temp in the winter here in Michigan is much colder than the water dept. had told us to expect. the output sounds great, but make sure you know what your incoming temp is.
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:28 PM   #24
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Yes that is true I didn't even think about it. Out here some people are using solar preheat with storage to feed the tankless and depending on the day the tankless is just part of the loop no need to fire up.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:14 PM   #25
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Out here some people are using solar preheat with storage to feed the tankless and depending on the day the tankless is just part of the loop no need to fire up.
The monthly newsletter published by the electrical cooperative that provides our power in Kansas included a feature on such a device. It used the tank of a regular hot water heater in what looked like an insulated plywood box with a salvaged storm window on it. The top was angled to catch the suns rays best at an angle determined by the location's lattitude.

It looked like a simple and effective project.......interesting.....

Just wondering, Bob10, if there is a day in which the solar rise is adequate and the HWOD unit doesn't need to "fire up"/activate, will the unit still pass water? I'm not an engineer so I don't know if there are solenoids in there to open gates or if it's strictly open to heat-and-pass.


Dugly

Last edited by YerDugliness; 06-06-2008 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:21 PM   #26
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My Father in Law heats his pool with a loop of 4" black plastic pipe over black plastic and a recirc pump. His problem with it in the summer is too much heat and has to divert the water around the loop to the filter
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:30 PM   #27
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Tankless water heater - NEED HELP!


Yerdug no it wont work tank less are pressure activated or hot water on demand you have to turn the water on so you open the pressure which activates the heater but i guess it could be turned way down.Even on hot summer days my incoming water is not something I would want to jump into unless I was recouping from a hangover
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:35 PM   #28
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Rinnai rep told me the unit only kicks on when the water pressure drops and it senses a lower temp. The temp of water is set by the consumer the tankless unit isn't going to overheat the water and create a scald hazard. More info is available at their website. Dept of Energy research for solar is in Colorado because it has the most clear days.

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Old 06-06-2008, 03:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by clasact View Post
ahhhhhhhhhhhh but you fail to mention if you didnt have to do an up grade on your electrical and you did the replumbing yourself and got a good deal on the electric tank less how much would you save ( just kidding) but I did see my gas bill go down about 60 a month and electric only up about 3 dollars but I didnt have to up grade or do much replumbing so maybe I got off lucky I dont know but I do know I checked it out throughly before I bought it so I wouldnt be sitting here with a huge instulation bill or no hot water
Cost for electric tankless - $600.00
Cost for labor - $000.00
Cost for paying out of
pocket when home burns
down & insuarnce refuses
payment on unlicensed,
unpermitted work - priceless

Right back atchya

As for a $3 electric water heating bill, lets do some more math...
One gallon of water weighs 8.33 LBS
a BTU is the energy it takes to heat 1 LB by one degree
Lets say your incoming water temp is 70 degree's avg annually, you live in tropical Hawaii per say, you'll want at least 120 degree hot water
To raise the temperature of 1 gallon by 50 degree's, it requires 416.5 btu
1 BTU = 0.2928 watt (just under one third)
It takes 121.9512 watts to heat a gal water 50 degree's
1 Kw = 1,000 watts -
electric company likes you cause you're special & charges $0.15 a KW
Thats about $.15 per 8 gallons.
Here's a generalized breakdown of hot water useage per normal household task -
Hot water used:

Washing Machine 32 = $ .60
Shower 20 = $ .37
Bath 20 = $ .37
Dishwasher 12 = $ .22
$1.56
For $3 a month, you get 2 loads of clean laundry, 4 showers or baths, & 2 loads of washed dishes.
You can also figure on no hot water for washing hands or hand washing dishes.
Switching to paper plates & cups can also decrease that bill, use a whole lotta deoderant and decrease to less than one shower a week, assuming you live alone ...you'll likely continue to live alone without showers, but it's cost effective.
Oh, you can definitely save money with an electric tankless.

For the effort & cost, it's easy to save an extra $3 a month in standby heat loss.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:57 PM   #30
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Lakers look into a Rinnai tankless the bigger unit produces 8.2 gallons of heated water a minute. Also not sure what your location is but you could possibly mount the unit outside.
If you really want high GPM output, look into Noritz...they go upwards of 11 GPM.
Problem is they cost a small fortune...you do get a 20 yr warranty though, compared to most others with a 10 year.

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