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tankless hot water heater propane fired

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Do any of you have any experience with tankless gas fired water heaters?

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Got 1.  Had it for around 5 years.  Absolutely love it.  never run out of hot water and only heats when needed.  Best thing I ever bought for the house.

jerry

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I keep hearing that the payback is a long time. And this was from the power company, plus trade magazines. I was thinking of one, but what I am going to do is get a 5 gallon (electric) water heater and install it in the crawl space just under the kitchen. Build a box around it and insulate the he** out of it. That is enough water for quick hot water and the dishwasher. For less cost.

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Since I have been in the HVAC trades for many years I will go opposite of the Smoker.

I have a PVC vented tank model in my house.

The burners are large so you may not even have enough gas.

We have seen many fail by 5 years & water quality is a big factor.

 

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I replaced a 15 year old tankless LPG water heater with another. New one has wall mount thermostat for water temp. Newer Takagi LPG tankless water heater was $500 shipped. I like tankless water heaters. 

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I have had one for 4 months now and I love it!  Never run out of hot water and that's always been an issue before with 6 people in my family. Mine is an A.O. Smith.

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I would have to agree with Kevin on these tankless heaters. There are several reasons why I may not recommend that you get one - water quality, you must have soft water with no sediment. Gas pipe - these things require up to 200K bth at max heating, that is approximately two times what the average gas furnace needs and five times what a normal tank type water heater uses, so existing gas piping in your home will most likely need an upgrade. Cost to install will be more than a tank type, especially if you have to rework your existing gas lines and install a new venting system. They also require 120 volt power and a drain for the condensate. Water temp fluctuations - if you have a larger family you may experience some variations in the water temp. They have to vary the flame size to provide the desired temperature, every time the flow changes, sinks, laundry, dishwasher, etc the fire rate must be adjusted again to get the temp correct. These adjustments may take a few seconds to accomplish and the person in the shower may feel it. I believe that some of the heaters have a small mixing tank inside them to mitigate the effects. They may have their place though weekend cabins and homes with only one or two residents seem to be a good place for them. They are very efficient but I don't know if they would ever pay for themselves. I like to keep things simple and that is a tank type with a gravity vent - the way God intended. My two cents after 27 years in the biz. YMMV. 

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I was also wondering about the boilers that hang on the wall for the infloor heat, we currently heat the shop with a 40 gallon hot water heater. seems that the first ones didn't hold up very well. wonder how they arte now. I realize that the hot water heater is not very efficient, it is a power vent one and starting to get old. was looking at those wall mounted boilers.we do burn wood during the day with a woodchuck to assist the hot water heater/

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Heres my two cents worth .Retired Gas Supervisor for local Gas Utility forget about payback it wont happen !Tank type are self policed (run out of hot water you get out )Tankless people tend to stay longer  and enjoy  it .Kids will stay until made to get out ! More often than not the gas bill and water went up a little never down ! But they loved not running out .Kinda like using a 40 horsepower tractor and a 200 horsepower tractor to run an auger both get it done but one just going to cost more to do same job .If you want it get it don't count on a savings be excited if you do .

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I think the tankless heaters may be the way to go for infloor heat. Constant flow, water quality, high efficiency, small space needed. If you are going to spend big bucks on a high tech, high efficiency unit, then use it where you can get the most bang for your dollars - building heating will require more btu's than water heating in most cases - the best place to spend $ on efficiency IMHO. 

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Navien tankless heaters are junk. I have one laying outside I was planning on using for a target and sending it to the manufacturer due to their poor customer service. They have a lot of bad reviews online also with the same problems I had. With that said I replaced it with a jacuzzi brand from lowes for 1/3 of the price and it works great. Had it for several years without a problem. 

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2 hours ago, pt756 said:

I was also wondering about the boilers that hang on the wall for the infloor heat, we currently heat the shop with a 40 gallon hot water heater. seems that the first ones didn't hold up very well. wonder how they arte now. I realize that the hot water heater is not very efficient, it is a power vent one and starting to get old. was looking at those wall mounted boilers.we do burn wood during the day with a woodchuck to assist the hot water heater/

They are selling hot water heaters that are specialized for radiant heating now, I am hoping to use a Toyo Tommy diesel fired hot water heater if I build a shop.  They make two models, one for hot water, and one for radiant heating.  

 

 

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Well I surely appreciate all the input here. Just looking on line I see a BIG varience in prices 200- 1900! So far I've seen nothing to sway me from not going back to the old electric ones. With our type of weather here -30* at times I wonder what size tank you'd have to have to get enough evaporation to run it ? I know that with a 60K space heater I couldn't get enough out of a 100# tank.

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Electric on demand hasn't been mentioned but as an electrician I am not a fan of them either. Much like gas they consume 3 times the electric while doing their job. I understand they will do it quicker. Same problems I have seen with longer shower times and you think a regular water heater goes through elements? Huh these babies eat them if your water isn't soft and filtered. 

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While we're on water heaters has anyone had or tried out a heat pump water heater? I would think a small house with a basement would be cost effecient. They are hybrid so elements take over when needed. That's all I know about them. If they work at all I would think it could save you money provided you didn't have 4 kids. Then buy a boiler   Lol

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9 hours ago, AKwelder said:

They are selling hot water heaters that are specialized for radiant heating now, I am hoping to use a Toyo Tommy diesel fired hot water heater if I build a shop.  They make two models, one for hot water, and one for radiant heating.  

 

 

Do they make one that will burn used oil?

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Anybody else have one of the "super" insulated electric ones?

I have an 85 gallon one, and even when the Daughter and Son in Law bring their 3 boys home for hunting season, (5 days this year), we never had a hot water issue even with clothes washer, dish washer, and showers. I love it.

Mike

 

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I have two propane tankless water heaters. One is floor heat and the other is for residence water use. Have to have soft water and some maintenance. Will not go back to tank type heaters. 

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just wondering if the Lp tank can keep up with the demand at the current temps here [-0]

might need 1'' supply line ,,3/4 is gona be tight.

 

Mike

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FWIW.  Our useage is domestic only where temperatures in winter don't get much below freezing.

We got to gas on demand for household after finding that solar was a very expensive hobby.  The solar heating part worked ok, it was what surrounded it that didn't.  Big name brand here too.  Pay-off on the first was about 20 years and we've rusted out 2 tanks in 19.  Both steel/glass lined.  Not  sure about the first but plenty of anode left in the second which was run on rain water when possible.  The plumber who installed the gas one knows of only two solar ones left in the district.

The go-to names from experience here are Rinnai and Bosch.  Both seem to survive indifferent water. Ours runs on the same size gas pipe as the stove and  hasn't added noticibly to our gas/electricity costs.  It will also be on rain water when possible.

More when we know more.

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9 hours ago, Missouri Mule said:

Electric on demand hasn't been mentioned but as an electrician I am not a fan of them either. Much like gas they consume 3 times the electric while doing their job. I understand they will do it quicker. Same problems I have seen with longer shower times and you think a regular water heater goes through elements? Huh these babies eat them if your water isn't soft and filtered. 

We purchased a "GeoSpring"  G E brand water heater 4 years ago for a house we have at the lake.  It's in a finished basement, the Dehumidifier part of the unit keeps the area around it dry and mold free.  The unit Heats the water just fine,  We haven't a need to switch on the 220 elements,  I think it is a 40 gallon unit.   When we go to the lake the grand kids go,  6 people taking showers at the end of the day,  we haven't run it out of hot water yet.  

This unit was on sale at "Lowes"  gave $750.00, and a tax incentive to boot,  we were in need of a new water heater & the dehumidifier needed replacing anyway. I would purchase this type again.  

Jim Droscha 

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10 hours ago, mikem said:

Anybody else have one of the "super" insulated electric ones?

I have an 85 gallon one, and even when the Daughter and Son in Law bring their 3 boys home for hunting season, (5 days this year), we never had a hot water issue even with clothes washer, dish washer, and showers. I love it.

Mike

 

I have a 105 gallon one.   Got it for free from electric company program about 8 years ago.  It is on the "off peak" electrical program.   Have only run it out a couple of times doing laundry and showers for family of 5.   

Nate

image.jpeg

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I had a Bosch on natural gas and I turned it into a target in less than 6 months. We have a lot of minerals in our water and this scaled up the heater almost immediately. The company recommended cleanup every 30 days was more than I wanted to do and it should be properly plumbed to do the cleanup. Mine was replaced with a normal natural gas.

I loved the idea and the fact you never ran out of hot water. But, until they get the issues with scale I can't use one and won't.The quality of the water will depend on the success of yours.

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what about geothermal heat pumps some installed in our area only thing that bothers me is the price. but compared to the outside wood fired furnaces I would do the geothermal instead I think, and what I have been hearing is that a lot of outside boilers are being discontinued , cant meet emissions. listening to a radio show it sounds like you can install the geothermal in a small space just go vertical and go deep in the ground.

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