OT: warranties

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Unfortunately the solar craze focused on helping the water heaters out. Basically you had large 100 square foot solar panels on the roof and the cost back then was $3-5K. The systems were breaking down long before getting anywhere near break even. I am glint to have to look up the new community I mentioned. Apparently the electrical solar panels blend in with the roofs and don't really look like an add on, most of the roof is the solar panel. Very close to where I live is a concrete business center. At least one of the concrete buildings has underground cooling. The owner had this set up installed after he built the building. Concrete being a poor insulator was a pretty good test to see how well the cooler worked. The building was almost chilly during the summer months IIRC and his electric bill was less than mine. He was an AutoCAD distributor and offered training with several computers and projectors contributing to heating up the large rooms.
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Nothing wrong with solar ... however, you would not normally do solar on $1 million "spec home" around here if you want to sell it. Most of the folks who buy in this range could care less about the cost of anything and are the last interested in "green" (except $$), as they are typically too wrapped up in their egocentric selves.
Or, in a custom home where the client is not interested.
The current client, in this custom, is interested in solar, but she wants one "whole house" gas tankless as a supplement.
She is still vacillating on the solar roof system in a spot where the sun shines 200 days a year, don't ask my why.
I advise, but ultimately build to wishes/budget.
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Swingman wrote:

Well, you just never know for sure that the sun'll actually keep on rising every morning. :)

Makes perfect sense to me. And it reminds me that I need to keep on with my efforts to (borrowing a phrase) inform peoples' discretion...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Then you need to determine what temp rise you want, and buy a tankless that will give you what you need at the rate you use...
I've got a paloma gas tankless heater rated at 199K btu that delivers 140 degree water with a 70 degree rise, but I'm not running it at it's maximum rated volume either... I would imagine if you look at the temperature rise vs volume curve you could get the correct rated unit for the total rise you need for the volume you typically use. With the one we have, because we have enough excess capacity, both my wife and I can be in our respective showers at the same time (or one of us can flush a toilet without affecting the other shower) and it still keeps up even in our colder winter days (though we don't have 55 degree incoming water even on the coldest days because of where we live.)
Simple physics in action... if you want to run a tankless heater at maximum volume, you're going to be very limited in the rise you get.
I know it shouldn't matter, but having lived in rental units with what I would consider substandard capacity, I KNOW it makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, most people really don't look at what the REAL needs are when purchasing a tankless heater, and just buy the cheapest one they can find. The last place we rented while building our current residence had an electric tankless (which also had additional periodic problems with over-temp shutdown in middle of a shower...). The main problem was that it was rated for the volume one shower took, so the temp rise was around 40 degrees or so while shower was running. For most of the year, at least, the incoming water allowed a nice hot shower. However, if wife flushes toilet in other bath, and (oddly until you think about it, because on a pump with limited output) shower goes from nice and toasty to very hot in a few seconds, followed by cold as the tankless senses over temp and shuts down. The big problem is that not only you got whacked by the initial burst of hot water because the volume through the tankless dropped initially, but when the over temp tripped, you then got either tepid water (if you wer lucky and one element was still on line) or cold water because the entire tankless was tripped off. The only way to reset was to get out of shower, go down hall to utility room and press what looked like circuit breaker buttons on the tankless heater. Needless to say, not a good thing. OK so if the tankless had been better protected, (or gas powered) it would have just lost regulation and the water temp would have been lower until the toilet tank filled. Still not wonderful, but at least no trip down the hall for a reset of the breakers on the unit...
One other issue with tankless heaters that nobody seems to ever take into account is a clothes washer. Unless you've lived with (a substandard level) one, you don't realize that the clothes washer can take an amazing amount of water flow when it fills the tub. Even a reasonably sized tankless will put out barely lukewarm water in the Hot setting of a typical clothes washer. Put the selector on HOT and with the typical 2 to 4 gpm rated tankless, you will be lucky to get tepid water in the washer. (If you contact the manufacturer, you may find you can get an input restrictor that will slow the hot water rill, but then it takes 30 minutes to fill the tub...) If, on the other hand, you have a tankless that can provide enough temp rise to handle the high volume the wide open valve of the clothes washer, you CAN actually get hot water for (for example) washing whites or other high temperature items.
[sigh]
Having been through the wars, so to speak, I can understand that people want to get by with the least cost, but as I age, I find there are times that every penny spent is worth it's weight in gold. One of those time is standing in the shower on a cold, rainy morning. Not a week goes by that I am don't give thanks for having learned there are times to be cheap and there are times to spend money. One of the times to spend is when you are buying a tankless water heater. Buy one that can handle at least twice what anyone else thinks you need, and you may be close to what you really want, if you don't want to have to jump out of the shower stream every time your wife flushes a toilet while you are in the shower, and you will be a much happier user of tankless heaters.
The greatest majority of people I've encountered that don't like tankless heaters are those that have had to live with one that was inadequately (in my opinion) sized.
As far as warranties go, many manufacturers these days seem to try to get the mean time to failure down so far that they cause an inordinate amount of failures very near the end of the warranty period. Unfortunately this seems to happen mostly with products on the lower end of the price scale. I've noticed that as I age and buy better products with longer warranties, I rarely have anything that fails anywhere near the warranty period, but previously, when I bought "less expensive" products of the same type, they seemed to fail just about at the end of the warranty period... Of course in defense of the manufacturers (used to work for one...) with the less expensive products, they bank on the fact that most people don't keep good enough track of the actual purchase date (or send in the warranty card, or keep the receipt or other records) to be able to take advantage of the warranty if the product does actually fail within the warranty period.
--Rick
Markem wrote:

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Just to add another dimension to this discussion, If you have a boiler for your heat (as opposed to a furnace), an indirect fired water tank may be the best bet. Mine has a first hour rating over 200 gallons and is very economical to operate.
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Then you need to determine what temp rise you want, and buy a tankless that will give you what you need at the rate you use...
I've got a paloma gas tankless heater rated at 199K btu that delivers 140 degree water with a 70 degree rise, but I'm not running it at it's maximum rated volume either... I would imagine if you look at the temperature rise vs volume curve you could get the correct rated unit for the total rise you need for the volume you typically use. With the one we have, because we have enough excess capacity, both my wife and I can be in our respective showers at the same time (or one of us can flush a toilet without affecting the other shower) and it still keeps up even in our colder winter days (though we don't have 55 degree incoming water even on the coldest days because of where we live.)
Simple physics in action... if you want to run a tankless heater at maximum volume, you're going to be very limited in the rise you get.
I know it shouldn't matter, but having lived in rental units with what I would consider substandard capacity, I KNOW it makes a huge difference. Unfortunately, most people really don't look at what the REAL needs are when purchasing a tankless heater, and just buy the cheapest one they can find. The last place we rented while building our current residence had an electric tankless (which also had additional periodic problems with over-temp shutdown in middle of a shower...). The main problem was that it was rated for the volume one shower took, so the temp rise was around 40 degrees or so while shower was running. For most of the year, at least, the incoming water allowed a nice hot shower. However, if wife flushes toilet in other bath, and (oddly until you think about it, because on a pump with limited output) shower goes from nice and toasty to very hot in a few seconds, followed by cold as the tankless senses over temp and shuts down. The big problem is that not only you got whacked by the initial burst of hot water because the volume through the tankless dropped initially, but when the over temp tripped, you then got either tepid water (if you wer lucky and one element was still on line) or cold water because the entire tankless was tripped off. The only way to reset was to get out of shower, go down hall to utility room and press what looked like circuit breaker buttons on the tankless heater. Needless to say, not a good thing. OK so if the tankless had been better protected, (or gas powered) it would have just lost regulation and the water temp would have been lower until the toilet tank filled. Still not wonderful, but at least no trip down the hall for a reset of the breakers on the unit...
One other issue with tankless heaters that nobody seems to ever take into account is a clothes washer. Unless you've lived with (a substandard level) one, you don't realize that the clothes washer can take an amazing amount of water flow when it fills the tub. Even a reasonably sized tankless will put out barely lukewarm water in the Hot setting of a typical clothes washer. Put the selector on HOT and with the typical 2 to 4 gpm rated tankless, you will be lucky to get tepid water in the washer. (If you contact the manufacturer, you may find you can get an input restrictor that will slow the hot water rill, but then it takes 30 minutes to fill the tub...) If, on the other hand, you have a tankless that can provide enough temp rise to handle the high volume the wide open valve of the clothes washer, you CAN actually get hot water for (for example) washing whites or other high temperature items.
[sigh]
Having been through the wars, so to speak, I can understand that people want to get by with the least cost, but as I age, I find there are times that every penny spent is worth it's weight in gold. One of those time is standing in the shower on a cold, rainy morning. Not a week goes by that I am don't give thanks for having learned there are times to be cheap and there are times to spend money. One of the times to spend is when you are buying a tankless water heater. Buy one that can handle at least twice what anyone else thinks you need, and you may be close to what you really want, if you don't want to have to jump out of the shower stream every time your wife flushes a toilet while you are in the shower, and you will be a much happier user of tankless heaters.
The greatest majority of people I've encountered that don't like tankless heaters are those that have had to live with one that was inadequately (in my opinion) sized.
As far as warranties go, many manufacturers these days seem to try to get the mean time to failure down so far that they cause an inordinate amount of failures very near the end of the warranty period. Unfortunately this seems to happen mostly with products on the lower end of the price scale. I've noticed that as I age and buy better products with longer warranties, I rarely have anything that fails anywhere near the warranty period, but previously, when I bought "less expensive" products of the same type, they seemed to fail just about at the end of the warranty period... Of course in defense of the manufacturers (used to work for one...) with the less expensive products, they bank on the fact that most people don't keep good enough track of the actual purchase date (or send in the warranty card, or keep the receipt or other records) to be able to take advantage of the warranty if the product does actually fail within the warranty period.
--Rick
Markem wrote:

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This may be a stupid question, but what in a water heater can fail in a year that requires it to be replaced? In all my years, I've never had a water heater fail to that extent in less than 10 years, and only then when the tank leaked. Before that, it's an easy thing to swap out elements (electrical) or repair/replace the burner parts (gas)...
Thanks --Rick
Lee Michaels wrote:

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"Rick Frazier" wrote:

My definition of a failed water tank would include failure of a heating element(s), but not necessarily the relief valve.
Lew
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote

involved) was done by the plumbing company. They incurred some kind of expense. I am certain that if it could have been repaired it, they would have done so.
What their criteria for replacement versus repair is, I don't know.
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"-MIKE-" wrote
FORD:
AKA: Take your choice:
FoundOnRoadDead
FigureOnRepairsDaily
Lew
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On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 22:01:35 GMT, "Lew Hodgett"

rust.Nice car to drive, royal pain to fix (Contour/Mystique V6)
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hurts.

F___ing Old Rebuilt Dodge
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hurts.

You won't find sympathy here. I'm on my second Cobra, neither of which has ever had a single problem. Before the Mustangs, I owned a Crown Vic, a Tempo, and 3 Escorts, all since new. I'm a happy customer, 25 years running. The sad part is for them. The '03 runs as good today as the day I drove it home, as did the '96 when I traded it in. The dealership still calls once a year or so. "Nope, not looking. You built it too well," I have to tell them.
I don't know why it happens. I'm sure they earned the reputation on their own, but those were old even when I was in high school. I hated the Tempo, the Escorts were always sorta disposables in my mind, but for the last 18 years, I never had so much as a hint of a problem. Did I say I was a happy customer?
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hurts.

Well actually Ford was in deep do do several years back. Because the economy was still doing relatively well they were able to take steps early.
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On Sat, 21 Mar 2009 18:05:22 -0500, "Leon"

The F150 is about the best thing from Ford. Too bad for Ford, Toyota gave me a better deal on a Tundra.
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I knew I would regret the day I sold my F-150. I could get IN the engine to work on it. I knew what the heck everything was, without needing to hook it up to a computer. I rebuilt the carb and ENTIRE brake system (save most of the lines), for under $200 in parts.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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My personal vehicle has been some kind of truck for the last 30 years and I always wanted to get a Tundra simply from the reliability stand point. I bought an 07 Tundra in July of 07, paid $6k more than a GMC truck offer but about $7k off Toyota drive out price and totally felt like I made the better deal at the time. The fact that I had always wanted a Toyota truck really did not even enter into the equation, the truck simply felt and drove that much better. A few weeks later it dawned to me that I had finally gotten that Toyota. 21 months later I am still extremely happy with my decision to get a Toyota.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Good for them.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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About the only GM vehicles worth having are the trucks and a select few from Chevrolet and Cadillac. Having worked in the dealership business end of the auto industry I can assure you that Isuzu was closer to Rolls Royce in quality than Oldsmobile was. It cracks me up when I hear the GM exec's say that they would run off potential customers if they file bankruptcy, Like they have not done about a 99% job of that already all by them selves. Society is becoming dumber.
Snip

Ford had that exact problem back in the 90's with the Taurus. The dip stick was too long and indicated full when it was low. During a scheduled transmission service not enough trans fluid was put back in. This went on for years and years and years and it was no secret but Ford liked the out of warranty transmission parts sales and so did the dealers.
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"Leon" wrote:

For years I was provided the standard salesman's car, a Chevrolet Caprice Classic with a V8 engine.
Great car for the first 40K-45K miles, then power and economy went to hell in a hand basket.
From 45K to 60K when traded, it was a POS to drive.
Lew
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