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Old 10-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


I'm in the market to replace a couple of 16 year old water heaters with perhaps tankless units. These conventional water heaters both pop and zing so loud when heating up water that it sounds like people are getting shot. I tried emptying one of them and I guess it is so clogged with lime that it won't even drain.

1. Is it time for new water heaters?
2. If so, are tankless recommended?
3. If tankless are recommended, what brand and type unit do you recommend?
4. If tankless are not recommended, what brand and type of unit do you recommend?

Thanks!

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Old 10-09-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


I personally don't like tankless. I work for a hvac company. I would stick with conventional tanks. Less things to go wrong. You can go to local hardware store and get parts. Good luck doing that with tankless.

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


Plumbers like them because they get paid to work on them all the time.
But I bet most would not have one in there own house.

Just make a few calls to just what it cost to even install them. Do not expect to get a pay back time. There going to need to be replaced long before you break even.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
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I put a Rheem in my house about 4 years ago. Endless supply of hot water is great but maintenance is big project. I have to clean and purge mine every 9 months. Not a fun task and it would be much worse if I actually had to hire a plumber. $$$

My opinion. Stick with a Tank. Buy a new one and just make sure you drain it per manufacturers recommendations. This will make it last longer.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:09 PM   #5
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


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Endless supply of hot water is great
But if you treat it that way, the cost to heat the water is much greater than even a tank could ever be.


They are an interesting concept, and have come quite a ways in a short amount of time..... you still couldn't pay me to put one of those in my house.


If someone were to install one with the sole purpose of saving energy, I truly believe that they could. Especially in retro situations, the cost is always going to be high, again though, you have to treat your hot water as if you're trying to save it.

I wish I could remember the real term for the "triangle theory"


Water heater : Cheap install, Save Energy, Endless Hot Water. Choose any 2 (i'm sure i did that wrong, but whatever, you get the point)
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


Thanks for the replies. I was leaning toward the tank anyways. But there are two tanks to replace, so that's over 1k for 2 LP gas tanks. $$$$$ Is there any chance I can flush these out by replacing the plastic drains on them? I think I read that I could drain the hot water through a faucet, then remove the plastic drain to get a coat hanger in there to unclog, then put a wider mouth metal ball drain on it and then do a good flush with the wider drain.

Is this possible or is this a lost cause after 16+ years of use on these tanks?
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:36 PM   #7
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


If you haven't done any flushing of your heaters for 16 years you may not be able to clean them out. That's the issue with water heaters, they build up with sediment and loose their efficiency. You need to flush them regularily. My water heater has a clean out door for that purpose. Tankless water heaters are much worse as far as lime and sediment build up. The small tubes will create problems that tank type heaters do not usually have. If you want a water heater that will last, I suggest Marathon. They are fiberglass. Although they still require maintenance, the tanks will last vitrually forever. I believe Marathon are electric only.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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16+ years. Bite the bullet and buy two new ones. 16 years old they could start leaking at any time. It is always better to do it when you have time to replace them and it is time now. If they start leaking while you are not home you will have a big mess to clean up.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I need to bite the bullet.

Back to brands now.

I need to know what brand to buy in LP gas heaters. Any opinions? It looks like there are some "12-year models" as the highest rated in longevity. That's real scary being that mine are 16 years old.

Installation-
Should I do this myself or pay someone. I just finished re-plumbing a remodel bath if that helps. What should I expect for installation costs? I'm in Jacksonville FL.

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Old 10-10-2012, 03:19 AM   #10
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


AO Smith promax is the water heater i have. My plumber put it in a couple years ago. Took about an hour with me be a second pair of hands for him. This includes taking the old one out I think its 40 gal. I don't have any whirlpool tubs. I don't run out of hotwater when taking a shower. I'm on natural gas.

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Old 10-10-2012, 06:33 AM   #11
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The company I work for uses Bradford White. The seem to be reliable and have good warranties.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:55 AM   #12
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


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I put a Rheem in my house about 4 years ago. Endless supply of hot water is great but maintenance is big project. I have to clean and purge mine every 9 months. Not a fun task and it would be much worse if I actually had to hire a plumber. $$$
Then you must have really bad water. I installed a Rheem gas tankless almost 5 years ago and have never needed to clean and purge it. Or do any other maintenance, for that matter.

Despite some other opinions expressed here, I love the tankless and would never go back.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:57 PM   #13
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Tankless water heaters? What brand/type do the pros recommend?


The first quote I received came about to about a $300 installation charge per tank, assuming everything is 'perfect' and they don't add anything extra on for having to walk up a flight of stairs or something.

This sure looks like a job I can handle myself with a friend to save $600+.

Any gotchas to look out for?
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #14
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You'll need to assess your gas piping as tankless have a much higher btuh rating. Every tankless that I've installed needed a larger gas line installed.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
If you haven't done any flushing of your heaters for 16 years you may not be able to clean them out. That's the issue with water heaters, they build up with sediment and loose their efficiency. You need to flush them regularily. My water heater has a clean out door for that purpose. Tankless water heaters are much worse as far as lime and sediment build up. The small tubes will create problems that tank type heaters do not usually have. If you want a water heater that will last, I suggest Marathon. They are fiberglass. Although they still require maintenance, the tanks will last vitrually forever. I believe Marathon are electric only.
Sorry, you couldn't pay me to take a marathon either. The first hour rating is less than the number of gallons of water the tank holds.





Besides, replacing elements : You have to flush the darn thing with cold water until the tank is cool so that you don't strip the plastic threads when you install the new one.

What happens to plastic when you heat and cool and heat and cool and heat and cool and heat and cool.... etc .... etc........

"Guaranteed never to rust" does NOT mean it won't leak. Someone should bomb that factory.

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