Tankless water heater suggestions

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Hello,
My wife and I are building our first house. We were looking into getting a tankless water heater by S.E.T.S. Our contractor was recently advised by some plumbers who were bidding on this project that they advise against getting one as the water pressure is extremely low. Also because Tankless water heater require some sort of filtration system.
Are there any opinions as to the Pros and Cons of having one? Is there any truth to what the plumbers said?
Any and all advise is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Frank L.
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Mine flows 5 gpm and requires no filter look into Aquastar Takagi or Rinnai. Rinnai has the highest efficency. I assume you mean gas.
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Frank wrote:

That advice may have been true long ago, but I don't believe it is much of a problem today.
However I might ask you if you are sure that is what you want. The popularity of the tank type water heater is not an accident. It is a good well designed solution. The tankless units are also good well designed solutions.
They both, when properly sized, produce lots of properly heated water with little or not work on the owner's part. They are both efficient use of energy. Be sure your choice is well matched to your usage or you may find you don't shower when you are doing the laundry.
The tankless has a slight advantage in energy usage for stand by losses, but in most situations that is a very small issue.
The tank type is more failure to the workmen and has a few other also small advantages.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
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Joseph Meehan writes:

Tankless electrics are hugely inefficient in terms of causing demand peaks.
The only reason this doesn't kill them economically is that residential power usually is sold without peak demand metering. This amounts to a subsidy of residential electric users from commercial/industrial customers. Which of course isn't a rational thing, just an accidental expedience, or perhaps a political distortion of the market.
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I would get in touch with the manufacturer and ask. TB
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Frank wrote:

getting a

on
pressure is

of
there any

That particular unit has 1/2" in and 1/2" out. That will affect the pressure some. If you're looking to get an electric tankless you want one that uses power sharing technology to control the temperature output. They control the exact amount of amperage that is applied to the elements. This allows them to control the output within a couple degrees.
Units that stage the elements and power them up to full power to control the temp can't accurately control the output. If you have a sudden change in flow or temp these units can't react fast enough and you will have a surge or drop in temperature. It makes taking a shower mighty uncomfortable if you suddenly have a 30 degree surge or drop in temperature.
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If you are thinking about a gas tankless, I have had success with the Takagi TKD-20. It has 3/4 in/out and manages a flow rate of about 4gpm with an inlet temp of 45F . It lets you pick your output temperature and regulates the water flow and gas flow so the output water temperature is constant. I keep mine at 117 degrees.
Some things to consider: Flow rate - Determine you input water temperatue from the street during winter. Look a the flow chart of the products you are reviewing to see what the flow rate will be at that temperature. See if the product meets your needs.
Recirc Pump - Whether you get a tankless or regular heater, consider a recirulation pump to keep the hot water in the line up to the furthest fixure. This will get the hot water running much more quickly. For the tankless, this also helps eliminate the annoying 3 or 4 seconds of cold water before the heater reaches full temperature. Not all tankless will work with a recirculation pump. The Takagi shuts down when the inlet temperature reaches the chosen output temperature.
Gas - If you are considering a gas heater, make sure your gas lines are sized to meet the heater along with any other equipment. The Takagi and other is rated around 20,000 - 185,000 btus.
The tankless does provide endless hot water and it very quiet. I have been using it for two years. My reasons for buying the tankless were due to multiple baths/showers for the family. We were running out of hot water in the winter with the very cold input temperature. Also consider a high efficient regular heater along with the tankless. See if the math works out. The tankless has a high initial cost, lower running cost. Some of the regular heaters are also very efficient at a much lower initial cost. There is also the issue of repair and parts. Any plumber can fix a regular heater and probably has the parts on the truck. Tankless are much more complex and probably much more expensive to fix and you'll wait for parts. I kept my regular heater available just in case my tankless has a problem.
Regards, John
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Do not, I repeat, DO NOT! get a SETS brand tankless heater.
My husband and I purchased one about 2 years ago, against the advice of our plumber, who actually refused to install it. Yes, it has a lifetime guarantee, but we have had nothing but trouble. First of all, we paid another plumber/electrician about $700 to install it. Then we couldn't get it to run hot water. You would turn on the water and it would heat up for a few seconds, and then internal breakers would trip and turn it off. We called SETS and they sent new parts. That didn't work. So they send a new circuit board. That didn't work. Then instead of replacing the existing type parts, they sent ones without breakers in them to circumvent any tripping. Mind you, all this takes time, and the mail from Florida to Virginia takes a few days. The next thing that happened was that the internal washers went bad and we came home to water all over the place. Again we called. We waited a week and called again. The original order never did reach us, so they send washers again. Now the latest, this morning at 5 am, January 26, my husband went in to take a shower, 20 degrees outside and we have no hot water. In addition to this, through the two years we have had the heater - yes it does go on unlimited hot water which is the only good thing about it - but - the drill for running a bath or shower goes something like this. 1. Turn on the water to all hot. 2. Let the water run full blast for 30 seconds to two minutes. 3. At this point you will feel the water get warm, and then VERY VERY HOT - hot enough to scald you. 4. Then it gets cold again. 5. Then after about another minute or two it will warm to the temperature it is supposed to be so that you can take your shower, wash your face or whatever.
We were willing to put up with the fluctuations in order to get unlimited hot water, but we have had it with SETS.
We are in the process of building a new house and WILL NOT be purchasing a SETS. We are now looking at Bosch, which I understand is a much better unit.
My husband emailed to SETS this morning and has not heard back yet, even though he left two phone numbers. And he did tell them that I would be posting our dissatisfaction on the internet. Thank you for your time. Pat Davis
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On 1/26/2005 2:14 PM US(ET), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Thanks for posting this. I was considering a tankless heater, but I think I will wait another 50 years for them to work out the bugs.
--
Bill

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OTOH, I've had a Takagi TK-2 that's been completely and utterly flawless for the two years it's been installed. Tankless water heaters are no more rocket science than a furnace, and, just like furnaces, there are shit brands and quality brands.
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willshak wrote:

of
install
water
work.
and
waited
to
something
VERY
wash
is
No no you misunderstand. It is the SETS model I am bashing. Not all tankless heaters. We plan on getting one for our new house. Just not SETS. Between the on-demand feature and the programmed thermostat on our heat pump/AC our electric bills have dropped to under around $90 per month year round. We live in an all electric home - 1632sf. Regards,
Pat
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Bosch, Takagi and Rinnai and others are quality and have been common in Europe where the best are make for at least 40 yrs. Bosch carries an electric unit that is probably one of the best. Yes there is alot more to fix when they break but the payback and design life of the coil make them atractive. Im happy wih mine for the savings and quality
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On 1/26/2005 5:30 PM US(ET), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

At app. .11 KWh, I use the least electric as I can. Everything in my 2000 SF house that is used to generate heat is fueled by LP gas, or fuel oil, except for the elect. oven, microwave oven, and toaster oven.
--
Bill

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

keys,
advice
parts.
all
bad
so
in
-
understand
yet,
Regarding SETS replying to our email: We received one this morning, that they will be sending a new unit. It will probably take 4 days to get here from Florida. Thank goodness we never disconnected our tank heater.
Pat
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

breakers
ones
few
went
heater
thing
shower,
I
I
all
not
on
$90
It
So now it is February 8 and we still don't have our replacement heater. My husband called last week and left a voice message (you can never get through to a person by calling the support line). To daye we have received no answer. So, I called SETS this morning and talked to the SALES people because the technical support people never answer our calls. Jennifer in sales told me that she would have to research our issue and call me back. So the person who emailed us didn't put through an order??? This is one of the poorest companies I have ever worked with in regards to support and service and RESPONSE. We are STILL waiting for HOT water. (Husband just had surgery, it's cold outside etc, etc, etc).
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took fingers to

breakers
ones
few
went
heater
thing
shower,
I
I
all
not
on
$90
It
So now it is February 8 and we still don't have our replacement heater. My husband called last week and left a voice message (you can never get through to a person by calling the support line). To daye we have received no answer. So, I called SETS this morning and talked to the SALES people because the technical support people never answer our calls. Jennifer in sales told me that she would have to research our issue and call me back. So the person who emailed us didn't put through an order??? This is one of the poorest companies I have ever worked with in regards to support and service and RESPONSE. We are STILL waiting for HOT water. (Husband just had surgery, it's cold outside etc, etc, etc).
Tankless "on demand" water heaters are not new technology. As Mrs. Davis said, perhaps the brand she had chosen is not up to par, but there are many others that perform superbly. I have heard several good things about the Takagi and Bosch Brands. As far as more commercial use, Hamilton Engineering makes an incredible unit. They have a few units that can supply a demand for not only your hot water at the taps, laundry and shower, but enough to also heat your house hydronically and the neighbors house. Yet the unit is still smaller than your current hot water heater. Of course as these are commercial units, the cost is a little higher, but for efficiencies as high as 99% you'll probably make up the difference in a short time.
ReRe
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ChillerMnfg
Who makes a condensing tankless unit of 99% eficiency. I did not know any condensing are made . Rinnai and Takagi have very high out put units for heating and HW . Takagi has a 180000 BTU model 83%. Rinnai has higher BTU models with the highest efficiency I`ve seen yet, perhaps 88%.
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ChillerMnfg
Who makes a condensing tankless unit of 99% eficiency. I did not know any condensing are made . Rinnai and Takagi have very high out put units for heating and HW . Takagi has a 180000 BTU model 83%. Rinnai has higher BTU models with the highest efficiency I`ve seen yet, perhaps 88%.
Hamilton Engineering EVO 99 series
Sit down though. The $$$ is several thousand. We sold one as a package with one of our chiller units. Our chiller was used with an air handler unit to cool a work facility. During the cold months, the chiller was switched off and the EVO was turned on to circulate its hot water through the air handler. Presto, they had heat....and a pretty darn good amount of it. That Takagi model is about $700 - $750 depending on who you know, the EVO is close to 7 times that.
ReRe
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Who makes a condensing tankless unit of 99% eficiency. I did not know any condensing are made . Rinnai and Takagi have very high out put units for heating and HW . Takagi has a 180000 BTU model 83%. Rinnai has higher BTU models with the highest efficiency I`ve seen yet, perhaps 88%.
Hamilton Engineering EVO 99 series
Sit down though. The $$$ is several thousand. We sold one as a package with one of our chiller units. Our chiller was used with an air handler unit to cool a work facility. During the cold months, the chiller was switched off and the EVO was turned on to circulate its hot water through the air handler. Presto, they had heat....and a pretty darn good amount of it. That Takagi model is about $700 - $750 depending on who you know, the EVO is close to 7 times that.
ReRe
http://www.hamiltonengineering.com/evo99/efficiency.html
BTW here is the website if you want to look at it. It is actually up to 99.8% efficient.
ReRe
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The bugs have actually been worked out. But, the most of the electric tankless makers still try to control the output temp in a manner that isn't very effective. There are two makers that actually do a good job controlling the temp output. Seisco and Envirotech are the only two units that can steadily maintain within a couple degrees.
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