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  1. #1
    daniel nantell's Avatar
    daniel nantell Guest

    Default tankless water heaters;

    Thinking of having tankless water heater installed, but the 2 estimates scared me, one for $2500 and 1 for $3000, I can buy a pretty good one on e-bay for around $500, and even if the retailer doubles the price of the tank thants only $1000, does it cost $1500 to $2000 dollars for labor and material to install. any tips would be appreaciated.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I've heard pretty mixed results from people who've had these. Everything I've heard is at least a year or so old so maybe there's been some recent changes but.... Basically, they're great for point of use, meaning one bathroom. Installing one in a standard house with several bathrooms spread far apart may not make you happy.

    I suppose a lot also depends on your setup... as in, do you have 4 teen age daughters with really long hair?

    As for the install, etc. I can't help you much but I have heard prices are coming down quite a bit. Your numbers seem higher than what I have heard.


  3. #3
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    Daniel,

    I recommend you only go with a tankless heater if it is gas. I have a whole house (6.5 gals/min) and it works great. Like I have said before it uses less gas than a pilot light in a direct vent fireplace. I bought mine on the inrenet for about $1000 and it included everything including the direct vent system. The plumber put it in with me helping for $250. I already had the gas line line in the correct spot and I cut the hole for the direct vent.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I agree with Bob, go only with a gas unit. Also keep in mind depending on the size of the unit (BTU), you might need to increase the size of the gas line the is feeding it. My favorite units are the ones made by Rinnai, this is based on what I have seen and used. We have a whole house Rinnai unit in the cabin up in the Smokies and have not had one single problem with it.

    This is the model we have R63LSe - Rinnai

    We have ours on propane.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 03-15-2009 at 08:56 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    +/- $2500.00 is a typical install price around here from a contractor who doesn't know you are care. It's important to remember that beyond the unit itself the next big expense is the vent kit. Depending on length and manufac. venting materials can run $200-600. Additional materials such as some black pipe, a few fittings, 1900 box, SSY, conduit wire, etc should be no more than +/-$150.00
    Also if you choose to buy (recommended) the manufacturers pipe/shut-off assembly that adds $100+
    Good luck

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Rick Fifield's Avatar
    Rick Fifield Guest

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I put a Rinnai R85 in our new current home (two years old now). No problems since removing restrictors from shower heads. There is a minimum flow to maintain hot water. Once you pass this learning curve, you never run out of hot water. The big master tub fulls in one pass. I would never go back to a 24/7 "water cooker".


  7. #7
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I see them more often, and the other day inspected a house that had a 300,000 BTU unit. It worked really well.


  8. #8
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    Fritz,

    Yes sir. I conducted an experiment. I had an electric water heater. I also have a direct vent fireplace with a pilot light. I have gas heat but it was not used as it was in the summer. The only other gas appliance is the cooktop which is used the same all year round. I installed a gas on demand water heater and turned off the gas to the direct vent fireplace. My gas bill decreased and had continued to be lower than with no on demand gas water heater and the fireplace pilot light engaged.

    Gas bill with electric water heater and fireplace pilot light - $17.00

    Gas bill with on demand gas water heater and fireplace gas line shut off - $15.50.

    Yes it is cheap to live in San Antonio!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I think you've got a gas leak at your pilot light if you were using that much gas in a month. Did you check the gallons or therms or whatever they are called?

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Spermo View Post
    Fritz,

    Yes sir. I conducted an experiment. I had an electric water heater. I also have a direct vent fireplace with a pilot light. I have gas heat but it was not used as it was in the summer. The only other gas appliance is the cooktop which is used the same all year round. I installed a gas on demand water heater and turned off the gas to the direct vent fireplace. My gas bill decreased and had continued to be lower than with no on demand gas water heater and the fireplace pilot light engaged.

    Gas bill with electric water heater and fireplace pilot light - $17.00

    Gas bill with on demand gas water heater and fireplace gas line shut off - $15.50.

    Yes it is cheap to live in San Antonio!
    Wow! That is about $4 more than my minimum gas bill! If I do not use any natural gas my bill is $11 a month.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I installed a TAKAGI unit about 5 years ago...I Love this thing! Aside from the minimum draw requirements that take some getting used to it has been a life saver, espically since I came off of an old Coil-in-boiler system.

    I have heard good things from Rannai owners also. As for cost I bougt mine online ...total of about $1,500 including SS venting Etc, I am piped to a propane supply. So $2,500 sounds pretty reasonable to me (New York) Dont forget also that the average life on a tankless is over 20 years.
    The one thing on my model that I dont like is that everytime I have a power hit I not only have to reset my blinking closck I have to turn on my hot water again also. (This may be becaus I opted for the remote Temperature control and Diagnostic unit.) ENJOY!


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I've put together a page based on my experience installing and inspecting tankless water heaters, you may find it helpful:

    Tankless Water Heater Installation and Inspection FAQ - Paragon Home Inspections Evanston / Chicago / Skokie / Wilmette / Morton Grove / Glenview / Northbrook / Illinois

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 06-22-2009 at 07:43 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  13. #13
    Matt Vozzella's Avatar
    Matt Vozzella Guest

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I agree with most sentiments here, electric tankless heaters should only be used if the property owner is backed into a corner and left with no other choice. The gas ones can be goood as long as they are installed correctly and the owner realizes the limitations, most only think about the good stuff.

    I prefer a recirc on a 6-10 gallon low KW tank to go with a tankless wherever possible. Helps with low flow and reducing/eliminating the sandwhich effect.


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    I've out together a page based on my experience installing and inspecting tankless water heaters, you may find it helpful:
    Interesting page and worth another look for me later.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    I would go with a standard electric water heater and install a timer on the unit. This allows the unit to shut off when not in use. You will be just as efficient as a gas tankless without the cost.


  15. #15
    Rob Omstead's Avatar
    Rob Omstead Guest

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    What would the point be in installing a timer? The water in the tank would get cold then you would have to haet the 30 - to 40 gallons to use a portion, I dont understand the logic?


  16. #16
    Travis Scruggs's Avatar
    Travis Scruggs Guest

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    FWIW - After Katrina we installed a propane Rinnai unit at First Baptist New Orleans and it supplied 12 showers with hot water all day long (whenever needed). Volunteers used the showers after working on flooded houses. My new home plans call for a tankless water heater.


  17. #17
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: tankless water heaters;

    Fritz,
    Rheem and Paloma make a 199,000 btu unit. The unit I saw had an input of 280,00 btu but I can't remember the manufacture.


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