I finally decided to bite the bullet and purchase a tankless water heater. Not to save tons of money, because how much can I really save when my gas bill ranges from $12 - $20 at its peak. What I do plan on getting is a little extra real estate, so I can install a water softener where the current 40 gallon tank is. Not to mention, I would like to take advantage of not having to time the washing of clothes when I decide to take long shower.
So.. after a little researching here and there.. I might have decided that I want to buy a Rheem Tankless water heater. I like the added benefit of a condensing unit, since they say I can direct vent the unit with PVC pipe. But that leaves me at a couple questions.
1. Is PVC legal to use as a vent in CA?
2. Can I horizontally vent my units exhaust into a covered exterior patio area? I currently have a roofed patio which extend from one side of the house to the other (approx 60ft x 12ft x 9 ft tall). All sides are fully open to the back yard with the only side not open being attached to the side of the house. I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this, but I'll ask anyway.
3. Does anyone have real world pictures of how they terminated PVC intake / exhaust vents out of the roof. I have plenty of diagrams that I've seen on various websites, but no pictures of actual in use vents.
4. Rheem sells a vertical / horizontal PVC two into one vent stack. It appears that the exhaust portion stays open. How do you cap this off so rain doesn't go back into the exhaust piping? This is another example where I can't find any pictures of it in actual use.
5. My current tanked water heater vents straight up through the roof. I would be putting the tankless in the same spot, so I will have no horizontal runs of pipe for a condensation drain fitting. Do I need one with a condensing unit? The directions are pretty vague.
Here's an example of the termination kit that Rheem sells
I plan on using either the Rheem H84 or H95 condensing units in a 2 full bath house with only my wife and myself living there.