>>>FYI: Tankless Water Heater Information With Links Included<<<

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Old 10-16-03, 07:47 AM
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Post FYI: Tankless Water Heater Information With Links Included

Facts, Opinions, Suggestions and Experiences.
Posting Date: October 16, 2003

Tank-less Hot Water Heaters:
Used for Residential hot water.
Thoughts & Items to consider before making the purchase.

Many questions have been posted on the topic of tank-less water heaters. With that thought in mind, to the best of my knowledge and experiences, I hope to more fully explain the origins, applications, benefits and drawbacks to this product.

The name 'tankless' is the commonly used generic term for what is known in the trade industry as an 'intantaneous' water heater. Tankless water heaters are not new appliances. They've been around for many years.

Initially designed and equipped for industries where storage space is limited but vast quantities of endless hot water is needed. These units are also used at large multi-unit residential complexes and mid-sized businesses for the same reasons. Intantaneous water heaters are also used as residential pool and spa water heaters.

Over the years, the design and applications have been modified and changed to became much smaller in size. The benefit to the intantaneous water heaters smaller size was to appeal to the broader residential retail sales market.

During my 20 plus years working in the gas appliance industry, about the only real problem found with tank-lessinstantaneousTank-lessInstantaneousinstantaneous water heaters was parts availability and qualified repair services.

A combination of problems and unplanned events in years past, caused an otherwise fine product to almost totally fail in the retail residential market place.

There is always exceptions to every rule. Therefore, in some parts of the country, this type of water heating unit used in homes may be more common then in others.

The major problem was the lack of infrastructure network of distributors, retail outlets, parts availability. Couple that with lack of localized, well trained, qualified, knowledgeable & experienced plumbing companies and independent local repair persons and or service agencies, and failure became assured.

Although the tank-lesstank-less units work well, have several benefits over the tank type units, the above conditions and several other factors, including meeting city, state and local plumbing codes, etc, made the residential ownership of these types of water heaters doubtful.

Such may not be the case in every region of the country. However, prior to purchasing this type of unit, regardless of brand name, I would suggest and recommend you inquire into the potential problem possibilities mentioned above.

This is especially true, in my opinion, if your area's local larger retail plumbing companies do not advertise nor display these units in their stores. Keep in mind here, I am not referring to the nationwide large retail chain hardware stores.

These stores are perfectly fine for their intended purposes. However, keep in mind their objective is selling and not after sales service.

In the case of the large retail chain stores, the installations may only be handled by subcontractors. Which may not be in your best interests when it comes time for service, several years later. That's when your local plumbing company is the major benefit over cost savings offered by the chain hardware stores.

Should you still be determined to save a few cents and purchase one of these units at a nationwide discount chain hardware store, attempt to obtain a list of installing contractors from that retailer with references of prior residential installations in your area.

If your wondering why I recommend all this preliminary background work be done prior to making a purchase is necessary, consider this fact.

When your unit fails to operate and you find yourself totally without HOT water, you could still be in HOTwater...nobody likes to take a "COLD" shower or "BATH."

You'll find yourself scrambling around to locate a plumbing company or service agent that services these units and or find a replacement parts dealer, when none is to be found! That's really being in HOT water!

The condition mentioned above, is when a "Tank-less" water heater quickly becomes a "Thank-less" water heater. In my years of service, I have found many such cases.

Based on the above information and in my opinion, my best suggestion is to buy any brand named unit sold exclusively by your local authorized and licensed plumbing contractor, company or dealer. In this way, your most likely to get better product, installation and service information and be assured all of your future needs will be met.

Additional information and links are provided in the google ads and the "Related Links" to the right. >>>

The above helpful information will be edited and/or updated as needed. Check back often.

In my personal option, there isn't any one product better than the other. They all perform equally well and all require parts and service sometime during the products life expectancy and ownership. Select the one of your choice, install it, use it and maintain it well.

Regardless of your personal brand choice, each product has to be selected by your individual selection process, needs, requirements and price range.

Always consider the warranties and future service needs for any major appliances your considering to purchase. Price isn't always the best guide for long term appliance investments.

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Last edited by Sharp Advice; 08-24-06 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Updating
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Old 03-19-06, 06:31 AM
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Instant Hot Water Heater - Lessons Learned

Hello All;

back in September 05 I installed a Bosch Aquastar 250 SX water heater after a long time researching and reading. Here are some of the lessons I've learned. Any feedback on these would be greatly appreciated;


1. Check to see what the required static gas pressure needs to be for the instant hot water heater you plan on buying. Then check to see what your gas company will provide. I found that my unit requires a minimum of 6" WC when my gas company only gaurantees 3" WC. My gas company was able to increase the pressure in my lines to just around 6" WC, but I still have some minor issues where my unit is gasping for gas.

2. Try to install 2 handle faucet controls. While you ideally want to set your water heater temperature to 1 constant temperature, it is not really that practical. Make your life easier, install 2 handle units and set your tankless heater to 120 degress. While this does reduce the efficiency a bit, it keeps the wife happier and that makes for an easier life all around.

3. There is a delay for these units to fire up and begin cranking out hot water. That delay will be made worse if you are using one of these units to heat an entire house. My unit is not centrally located. Combined with a 3200 sq ft home...well, i should have considered better unit placement or considered 2 units.

4. Get an installer who has experience with these units. My installer had never done one before. While he did an ok job, he was the one who pushed for the current location of the unit. Had a more experienced installer been involved, he would have realized that there are more venting options an that we had more choices for unit location.

5. Lastly, make sure your wife understands the difference between a tank water heater and tankless. My wife just knows that she can't get hot water how she wants it and that makes her hate the water heater

As I said before, any feedback greatly appreciated. Also, any ideas if having higher gas pressure in my lines is bad for anything else?

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-19-06, 12:24 PM
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Arrow Points To Know & Aspects To Consider

Hello: gianni.
Excellent dissertation and observations. Others members should know or need to know before considering purchasing any instantaneous water heater.

More on the topic here:
TANK LESS WATER HEATER HELP LINK:
Tank less Water Heater Help & Informational Link:
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?threadid=147262

I usually do not quote any parts or aspects of a question unless I can determine it is necessary to do so. In this case I did so because of the nature of the question: Also, any ideas if having higher gas pressure in my lines is bad for anything else?

There is rarely any need to increase gas supply line pressure. Only in very large complexes is higher than normal pressure used. Normal natural gas pressure in the main supply line for a residential house is between 7.5 to 10 inches water column pressure. Which is about 1/3 of a pound or so.

Each individual appliance than steps that down to 3.5 to 4 inches water column pressure. So increasing the supply pressure does nothing benefical and may do more harm than good. Gas volume is essential, not pressure so much. To have proper gas volume delivery, there has to be proper pipe sizes for natural gas, as well as propane. Too little volume effects proper appliance operations, not just pressure alone.

Any doubts about gas pressures, whether natural or propane, contact the supplier. The equipment to set the correct delivery pressure and volume out of the meter for natural gas is the responsibility of the supplier and not that of the customers. Nor should any customer and/or plumber etc. make any adjustments to any natural gas equipment, period.

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Last edited by Sharp Advice; 08-24-06 at 08:23 AM.
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