My actual question is in the last paragraph but I wanted to provide some
My direct vent gas water heater went thursday. I was surprised to learn
that replacement was about $1600. I remember replacing an electric water
heater in my last house 11 years ago was about $400. Any savings in fuel
is most likely wiped out by installation costs for gas.
Worse yet, no one sells a direct vent gas water heater with anything more
than a 6 year warranty. So that means every 6 to 10 years I can expect
another $1600 bill (ignoring inflation).
So I decided to waste even more money. I went with a Rinnai tankless water
heater. Guaranteed 12 years and supposedly should last 20 years. Only
$3200 and it will be much more efficient.
Well I discovered that the inefficient tank water heater was keeping the
unfinished part of my basement nice and cozy warm during the winter. It was
also warming up the cold water source in the house. Now the unfinished part
of the basement is freezing and so is the cold water in the house. I
suppose I will be better off in the hot summer without the tank.
Of course there are other disadvantages to the tankless system. Water takes
longer to reach each faucet. And you are limited to three uses at a time
So overall I would not recommend a tankless system so far in my short
Now here is my question. The installer (our local gas utility) did a sloppy
job with the outside vent. They promise to fix it Monday (the cancellation
rights are good to Tuesday so theoretically I could make them rip the whole
system out if I get ticked off enuf by them.) Difficult to explain but it
involves a giant ring of 1 inch wide caulk instead of getting the right size
sleave. So now I am suspicious of their plumbing work. My house is PVC.
It is tan for hot so I assume that is CPVC. All the joints are plastic.
The gas company used white pipe with copper elbows which fit into the white
pipe and there are some rings around the ends of the white pipe to secure
the elbows. I am wondering what type of piping they used and whether the
flowrate is reduced by the internal elbows (my cpvc uses external elbows and
the pipe acts as the male portion of the joints). ALso none of their pipes
are fastened to anything to secure them. The flowrate for even a single
faucet using hot water seems down compared to before the installation.
Thanks for your help.