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Author Topic: Opinions on tankless water heaters  (Read 854 times)

MillCreek

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Re: Opinions on tankless water heaters
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2021, 11:52:01 AM »

We discovered to our chagrin that the fancy Rheem power vent gas tank does not operate during a power outage.  Which is actually fine, since the well doesn't work during a power outage either.

I was talking to the neighbor down the street who had the exact same Rheem tank unit replaced by the exact tankless model we are getting, installed by the same plumber.  So far, he really likes the tankless, likes the extra space in his garage, and has seen a drop in his propane usage due to the tankless firing only on demand.  We are going to split the cost of getting one of the scaling/cleaning kits for the annual maintenance of the tankless.
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MillCreek
Snohomish County, WA  USA


Quote from: Angel Eyes on August 09, 2018, 01:56:15 AM
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Ben

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Re: Opinions on tankless water heaters
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2021, 12:00:50 PM »

The house here came with an 80 gal AO Smith Promax electric. Shows it was installed when the house was built in 06. When the HVAC guys inspected it when they installed my new HVAC when I moved in, they said it still looks to be running strong.

Electricity here isn't as much a cost issue as it is in some other states, so electrics seem to be popular. While I know they have them, I don't believe I ever lived in a place or saw a place in CA with an electric. Gas everywhere, even rural areas where they were propane.  Of course that's standard and not tankless. The last rental house I had there was built new in 08 IIRC, and that one came with a tankless, which it seemed builders were moving to at the time.

As for maintenance and breakdowns, I'm wondering if it's less to do with gas vs electric and more to do with age, older being better. I had a great plumber for my rentals in CA, and the couple of times something needed to be fixed on a water heater at my triplex, which was built in 87, I would say, "Let's buy a new one" and he would say, "let's not". He loathed the newer water heaters. He may have had a point. on one of the units, the water heater never had a problem the entire time I owned the property, which was from ~1989-2015.

I know that one of my plumber's big issues, for CA at least, was that the newer water heaters had some kind of required energy efficiency / pollution control crap on them that always failed.
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Brad Johnson

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Re: Opinions on tankless water heaters
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2021, 12:09:54 PM »

Electricity here isn't as much a cost issue as it is in some other states, so electrics seem to be popular.

A lot of the new mid-range developments around here are all electric simply because the developer didn't want the cost of running gas lines, plus the city having pretty strict limits on propane tanks. Only way to have an installed propane tank in the city limits is if your in an area that's been annexed and grandfathered. Even then it's a giant pain.


We discovered to our chagrin that the fancy Rheem power vent gas tank does not operate during a power outage.  Which is actually fine, since the well doesn't work during a power outage either.

Yeah, that's definitely something to consider. Fortunately we're on city water so pressure stays relatively constant even if the power fails. Not sure what the city water towers' designed-in reserve periods are, but it's more than enough to handle a couple of hours, maybe a couple of days. We also get about half the city's water from a gravity-fed source. Even if the entire grid goes down, some water will at least be flowing and all the main city pumps and tower lift pumps have been upgraded with emergency power sources.

Brad
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MillCreek

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Re: Opinions on tankless water heaters
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2021, 12:19:58 PM »

My wife points out to me that an appreciable number of the new houses being built in this area have tankless heaters installed.  These are for houses listing at $ 700K upward, which is most of the new houses being built.  All the new construction has water heated by gas.  We have not seen an electric water heater in new construction for a considerable time.
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MillCreek
Snohomish County, WA  USA


Quote from: Angel Eyes on August 09, 2018, 01:56:15 AM
You are one lousy risk manager.

K Frame

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Re: Opinions on tankless water heaters
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2021, 12:46:38 PM »

Ideally, both electric and gas units are pretty maintenance free.

The more complex they become, however, the more maintenance/repair becomes an issue.

The biggest reason why electric units fail more rapidly than gas units is they have electrical current running through them that tends to attack the tank and causes it to fail more quickly. That's why the best thing you can do to keep your electric water heater running leak free for a long time is to replace the sacrificial anode when it's depleted.

That is becoming more of an issue with gas units, as well, as more and more they have connections to electric power for venting, running the gas valves, etc.

Poly tank electric water heaters are slowly making inroads into the industry, but I THINK right now Rheem is the only widely available manufacturer.

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MillCreek

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Re: Opinions on tankless water heaters
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2021, 01:05:45 PM »

^^^It is interesting you mention the anode.  I was used to periodic replacement of the anode in my electric heaters.  I asked the plumbers about this on the gas Rheem unit 15 months ago when the first vapor sensor went out.  They said in this area, not to bother with replacing the anode.  I wonder if this was because the unit was gas fired, or that the water supply was from a well.
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MillCreek
Snohomish County, WA  USA


Quote from: Angel Eyes on August 09, 2018, 01:56:15 AM
You are one lousy risk manager.

K Frame

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Re: Opinions on tankless water heaters
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2021, 01:09:09 PM »

Third possibility...

Your plumber is hoping for more work in the future... :)

I don't know the answer to that.
Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.
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