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Thread: My Tankless Experiment

  1. #121
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    That brings up a missed point.
    Tankless are triggered by the flow switch to startup at .5 gpm, a drip won't do it.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  2. #122
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Post True....but that's not the point I'm making

    The point I'm making is a slow flow of unheated water through that unit in standby mode cools down the heated compartment.....it's lines travelling out of that unit..instead of time reducing thermal loss. That is harvested heat energy that a leak will wipe out instantly. I bet the testing on those tankless ASSUME those lines don't have to be constantly reheated between uses as the test was accelerated knowing that the numbers inflate in that scenario when the heating compartment is hot along with the feeds coming out. Thermal loss is gradual with no leaks, thermal loss is great when there is a leak.


    Too bad they didn't design a flow switch to catch that energy robbing situation.

    RUGGED <<< Understanding the long term effects of people on plumbing since 1984...
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 09-18-2007 at 09:55 PM.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  3. #123

    Default Any comments on outdoor tankless units

    We just purchased a new house in Charlotte NC with a detached garage. Since the garage is not part of the house and there are few basements in NC, the builder put the hot water heaters (AO Smith 40gal units) in the attic.

    Even with the expansion tank and plumbed drain pans, I'm really nervous about having these in the attic and would consider replacing these with an outdoor tankless unit. Anything to look out for here (besides the usual mfg suggested clearances for venting)? SD

  4. #124
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Yes, frost.
    Not familiar with Charlotte winters, but if it gets below freezing at any time this would be a serious note to consider.
    I usually just mount them inside the foundation wall, they're generally about the size of a large suitcase.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  5. #125
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    If you are replacing tank-type heaters in the attic, what is wrong with putting the tankless heater in the attic? The gas and water lines are already available and it is a short run through the roof for the stack.

    I would use copper piping instead of PEX because the drain pans won't do anything for leaks away from the heater.

    If it were mine I would check my insurance policy and leave the tank-type heaters alone.

  6. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH
    If you are replacing tank-type heaters in the attic, what is wrong with putting the tankless heater in the attic? The gas and water lines are already available and it is a short run through the roof for the stack.

    I would use copper piping instead of PEX because the drain pans won't do anything for leaks away from the heater.

    If it were mine I would check my insurance policy and leave the tank-type heaters alone.
    Because the builder put a scuttle hole access to the attic instead of a pull down stairs. I dread the day, especially when I'm older, that I have to go up and replace those units.

  7. #127
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Most pull-down stairs aren't rated with very heavy duty ladders, either...you can hardly carry anything up with you.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #128
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    Most pull-down stairs aren't rated with very heavy duty ladders, either...you can hardly carry anything up with you.
    Oh what humorous memories that statement conjures...
    Clunking up one with my trusty right angle, tool bucket & cord as homeowner grimaces.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  9. #129
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyPlumber
    What? And ruin all the fun?!?!?



    Also, I didn't factor in the fed tax credit of $300 (which means $75-$100 in real money for most tax brackets)
    No, that would be $75-100 in real money if it was a tax DEDUCTION. A tax CREDIT is far more valuable. It's money in your pocket dollar for dollar. A tax deduction lowers your taxable income. (Thus a $1000 deduction off of your income amount saves you about $250 in taxes.) A credit is subtracted directly from your tax OWED, not the # the tax is calculated from. Doesn't mean it will make the difference in savings in this case enough to be worth it, but I had an urge to point out the difference.

  10. #130
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate R
    No, that would be $75-100 in real money if it was a tax DEDUCTION. A tax CREDIT is far more valuable. It's money in your pocket dollar for dollar. A tax deduction lowers your taxable income. (Thus a $1000 deduction off of your income amount saves you about $250 in taxes.) A credit is subtracted directly from your tax OWED, not the # the tax is calculated from. Doesn't mean it will make the difference in savings in this case enough to be worth it, but I had an urge to point out the difference.
    "I'm a plumber Jim, not an accountant"
    Thank you for differentiating that, I think it could well tip the scales at game point.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  11. #131
    DIY Senior Member Nate R's Avatar
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    Hmm, I suppose it could. But doesn't that credit end after this year?

  12. #132
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good news.

    Thanks for the bad news.
    "Improvements must be installed in or on the taxpayer’s principal residence in the United States. Home improvement tax credits apply for improvements made between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007."
    http://www.energy.gov/taxbreaks.htm
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  13. #133
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking reminds me of the Solar tax credits....

    I remember when their was a final date for the solar tax credits back in 85?,, and after that point the solar industry was on its own....

    One person I knew had invested all his money in NOVAN
    a very good solar company....

    but the writeing was on the wall and he still held onto the stock till it tanked to zero..

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I installed the gas meter last Sunday at 11.00 and its
    mid morning now... So one week has passed.

    At present my 75 gallon Gas Water heater has
    used approx 650 cubic feet of gas for one week
    with the temp set on 130.

    If that is an average for the month, it should work out to 2600 cubic feet..
    now all I got to do is read my gas bill and determine what a cubic foot of gas equals in therms and what it is costing me...


    will I have sticker shock and run out and get a tankless water heater....???





  14. #134
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    1 cf of gas = 1,000 BTU x 650 = 650,000 or 6.5 therms /week
    A therm In my area runs about $1.40, in Furds $1.24, I assume IN has lower avg rates, so for sake of argument, until you check your bill, lets say $1.10.
    That comes to $7.15 for that week, and I assume it's been a warm week for you guys like it has been here, meaning you're not looking at temperature increases of 90 degree's to heat the water.

    The tankless is 84% efficient as opposed to the tanks 60%.
    With a difference of 24% the tank "should" use 9.1 therms in a week for a cost of $10.01 NOT including standby.
    A difference in cost of $2.86 /week - $11.44 /month - $137.28 /year.

    The cost difference to install a tankless as opposed to a draft vent 75gal
    Runs from 1K to 1.5K, more for expensive units.
    In other words, it roughly evens out over ten years for a family, not retire3e's or single folks...excluding potential rebates or soon to be moot tax credits and unincluded standby losses.
    The major factor that most people are inquiring over is the endless hot water, when you have several teens at home and you're outta luck for a shower before work, even a higher price is fine.
    You're gonna want to get that guage on your tank heater asap, before the weather gets much colder, the colder it gets the worse it'll effect the tanks readings vs the tankless.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  15. #135
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking dont sound like much $$ at all

    Grumpy, if your calcualtions are correct,
    that is not too bad an expence for
    a 75 gallon with the standby piolit light included...
    sounds like about 10 bucks a week + about 40 per month
    for the BIG BOY 75....

    which for all pratical purposes, is very close to endless hot water
    for the average family....

    Personally I thought the bill would be much higher than that...


    I will check out the gas bill..

    I will check out the incomming water temp tomorow..

    and I will certainly check out the actual temp of the
    water comming out of the heater....


    you stated
    The tankless is 84% efficient as opposed to the tanks 60%.
    With a difference of 24% the tank "should" use 9.1 therms in a week for a cost of $10.01 NOT including standby.
    A difference in cost of $2.86 /week - $11.44 /month - $137.28 /year.


    judgeing by your calcualtions,
    it appears that we are really splitting hairs here,
    mighty, mighty fine hairs.........

    and the cost saveings between them seems to be more symbolic than realistic...

    can you think of anything I should be considering in this test...????

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