Tankless water heaters -- inneresting take.

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http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/WHRpages/English/Longevity/tankless-water-heaters.html
Now, this guy sells anodes'n'shit for tanks, but I found his take level-headed. The raw thermodynamics of tankless -- esp. gas tankless -- puts one big strike against tankless from the gitgo.
--
EA



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It's a decent summary of the various issues involved. The only points where I would disagree are where he claims it's $600 for an installed tank versus $2500 for an installed tankless and more if it's a retrofit. I can see the $2500+ for some, maybe a lot of retrofits. But for a straight swap it seems very high. And I would disagree that a well insulated tank type unit's energy issue is only the pilot light and loss through the pipes. The basic, cheap conventional that he's comparing to has a flue that goes right up the middle of the hot tank. A significant amount of heat is lost via that path when the tank is just sitting there. You can reduce that path via one of the direct vent type units, but then those are significantly more money and like a tankless have more install work involved for a retrofit.
I also have some doubts about the claims that manufacturers of tankless come and go. That may be true with some, but there are major manufacturers that have been around a long time, including well established companies that make both tank and tankless.
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It's a decent summary of the various issues involved. The only points where I would disagree are where he claims it's $600 for an installed tank versus $2500 for an installed tankless and more if it's a retrofit. I can see the $2500+ for some, maybe a lot of retrofits. But for a straight swap it seems very high. And I would disagree that a well insulated tank type unit's energy issue is only the pilot light and loss through the pipes. The basic, cheap conventional that he's comparing to has a flue that goes right up the middle of the hot tank. A significant amount of heat is lost via that path when the tank is just sitting there. ============================================== But there is also a "draft break" from that stand-off ditty, so that the chimbley effect is not nearly as onerous heat-wise as without that break.
But, I would still like to see a powered vent, that closes when the unit is off, opens when on.
Seeing as how Sears et al bangs people for $1,000 for a "non-standard install" that takes all of one hour extra, I can only imagine the banging people get for a tankless install. I'll bet they hype a "1 year ROI" on a $3,000 installation....
You can reduce that path via one of the direct vent type units, but then those are significantly more money and like a tankless have more install work involved for a retrofit.
I also have some doubts about the claims that manufacturers of tankless come and go. That may be true with some, but there are major manufacturers that have been around a long time, including well established companies that make both tank and tankless. ================================================== No doubt there is *some* spin in the article.... lol
His point about "instant on" has another piece to it. With a tank water heater, AND a recirculating pump, you can indeed have true "instant on". With tankless, I don't think this is possible -- your "on" will be obligatorily delayed by the length of the run. This could be a major issue for epicureans.
I think he is def'ly right about the tankless hype, tho. I don't see too many people benefitting from a conversion to tankless, esp. utility-wise, and overall cost-to-own-wise. I'll bet that those who do like the conversion to tankless didn't have their trad'l tank system set up or sized correckly.
Speaking of epicureans..... Has your bedside/ng manner been improving??
--
EA











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On Thursday, January 31, 2013 6:19:43 AM UTC-8, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Just because a manufacturer is still around doesnt necessarily mean that they still carry the parts. Most manufacturers of anything dont maintain parts for anything over five years old. I cant begin to count the times I have had to give-up on a model of something or another just because they no longer had a part for it.
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On Jan 31, 11:09am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That sure has not been my experience. Recently bought a carb kit for my Sears snowblower that's 15+ years old. I regularly find any part I've needed for my 33 year old classic Mercedes. And just found parts for my Stihl chainsaw that's 40 year old. In the latter case, not all the parts are still available new, but that's an extreme case. And even then, used parts show up on Ebay. I can't recall when I've had a problem finding a new part for something that's worth repairing that's 10 or 15 years old. The key is "worth repairing". If it's a $25 appliance, well, that's a different story.

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On Thursday, January 31, 2013 8:19:07 AM UTC-8, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I had to tell my client that the cartridges for his top of the line matching Grohe lavatory faucets were no longer available. The faucets were fifteen years old and for a high prices manufacturer like Grohe thats considered very new. Sure you might be able to get it on E-Bay but you wont know if youre getting a rebuilt thats going to start leaking in a few months. Another client had a built in Kenmore microwave oven that Sears said they no longer had the magnetron to. I can understand not having some obscure part but a magnetron? Give me a break.
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That worth repairing must apply to Fords. A coworker had a Ford truck that was about 5 years old and something broke on it. I think it had to do with the electric windows, but not sure. Anyway he could not get the part from Ford and had been around to a lot of junk yards and none were available.
Now if he had a Modle T he could probably get almost anyting for it. Not from Ford, but many aftermarket places.

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I would suspect there is a lot more to this story. Like Ford only sells whatever part he's looking for as part of an ASSEMBLY. I have seen that happen on occasion. People want to buy what should be a $10 piece of something, but it's only available as a whole unit that cost $100.
But, sorry, I don't buy that a part to repair whatever was wrong with his 5 year old truck was not available from Ford period.
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I replace my tank type water heater around every 8 years, or so at MY CONVENIENCE, before it leaks. On a nice warm sunny day.....
Replacing a tank before failure saves lots of hassles. My last tank did start seeping a bit at 8 years exactly. Fortunately it was nice weather.
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you take the average age at failure, deduct a year or two and replace around that time when its convenient for you.:)
Do tell do you wait for your shinles to be eroded and leaking, or do you replace a bit early? To save damages from leaks?
Do you wait till you run out of gas before filling your tank? or even running really low its tough on the in tank fuel pumps that depend on the gas in the tank to cool them
I used to wait till my battery couldnt start my car to replace it. Now I replace it early, sure it costs a bit more but this avoids getting stuck most likely on a super cold day:(
And alternators now last forever, constant charging of junk batteries is hard on alternators:(
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wrote:

...and how do you determine the "average age at failure"?

Different issue completely. Roofs show wear.

Do you have a water heater gauge?

I fixed that problem permanently.

LOL! You're funny.
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It all depends on the consequences of a tank failure, who is going to fix it if it fails, etc. If it's located in an unfinished area where water spewing from it won't cause damage it's one thing. If it's in an upstairs living space, it's quite another. And it depends on who is going to replace it. The case where it's a DIY job and you can be without water for two days is different from the little old lady that may have to call a plumber on a weekend. If the failure could be costly, I don't see anything wrong with replacing it before it fails based on typical age from experience. It's replace it at 10 years for $700 when you can negotiate, get a good price, etc or again depending on the circumstances, replace it after it fails at 14 years for $1500+
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wrote:

my water heater is in my basement shop its kinda unfinished however all the business stuff down there, i really dont want it getting wet......
years ago I heard waer running, the tank had failed spewing water from the top like a fountain. fortunately i heard the water running and got it shut off before the water ruined a bunch of expensive control circuit boards... at 600 bucks each they cost more than a new water heater....:(
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Yes, I agree with you. For at least some people, it can be well worth it to just replace water heaters on a fixed schedule. After all, it's done in many other applications. Airlines for example don't wait for an engine to fail. They have a given number of hours of service before they are replaced. And when work is done on a car, if you have to replace an engine component, it's not unusual to also replace other components that you have good access to at the time, based on their mileage. If you know that water pumps for a particular car tend to fail at 100K+ miles, and you have to replace the radiator, I'd do the WP while it's easy, assuming I was going to keep the car. Mechanics replace radiator hoses based on age/mileage as another example.
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On 02-03-2013 09:28, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It's been decades since I flew, but I vaguely remember the rules were that every hundred hours of operation required an extensive engine maintenance inspection/tune-up/etc.
I never heard of an explicit time limit on replacing, but I would guess part of such an inspection would be deciding whether to replace.
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Wes Groleau

Armchair Activism: http://www.breakthechain.org/armchair.html
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years ago alaska air made a killer mistake, and extended the time to lube and inspect the jack screw for the rudder. Resulted in a plane crash where all passengers died...
airlines have lots of regulations that when ignored cause major troubles
theres a episode of air emergency on this a fascinating show to watch, on national geographic network
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I believe there is an hour limit for an engine where it has to then have a major rebuild. That is what I was referring to as "replacing it", because I think what is typically done is they take the engine off the plane and replace it with another rebuilt or new engine. The old engine is then taken and rebuilt if appropriate. It's still the same kind of principle though that Bob is using with water heaters. They swap engines and rebuild based on time, service conditions, etc instead of waiting for a failure.
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On 1/31/2013 1:56 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

My guess your coworker might have been upset because the part was part of a FRU and wasn't available as a discrete part.
Manufacturers typically make most of their profit from the sale of spare and replacement parts.

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On 01-31-2013 13:56, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Interesting. When did they repeal the federal law that manufacturers must provide car parts for ten years?
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Wes Groleau

After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed
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On Sat, 02 Feb 2013 11:21:01 -0500, Wes Groleau

Didn't happen.
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