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Thread: tankless water heaters...where do you learn how to become a repairman for them????

  1. #1
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking tankless water heaters...where do you learn how to become a repairman for them????

    I am changeing my opinion about these little jeweles.....
    I think that their is going to be a skys the limit service and repair
    market for them someday.....


    according to my RHEEM rep the tankless units are supposed to have
    an isolater valve installed with them.

    The RHEEM unit is supposed to be FLUSHED OUT ONCE A MONTH!!!

    according to my rep he claims that Renni has already had problems
    along these lines on commercial units because they were not
    properly maintained......IT VOIDS THE WARRANTY!!!

    just read the fine print...

    Rheem is going to have a repair class sometime soon in this area.


    Now thats a market that is just waiting to happen...
    ----------------------------------------------------------------



    I have already called my SMITH rep and my BRAD White rep
    today and they are clueless about this issue....

    they " would get back to me" they dont have any idea

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    I really want to learn about how to repair them......

    where do you go to do this????? Do any of the people that are
    selling them have any crash courses in this subject????

    I am sure that their is big money in this because you
    will be the only guy in town that knows how to do this...

    and you will literally be able to charge anything you wish to.....

    I could make the people sign a service contract with me
    to come out every month and DE-LIME their units for
    $100.00--+....thats not too bad...


    I would guess that if that circuit bard goes bad
    its gonna cost a pretty penny too....500+ labor........


    --------------------------------------------------------------

    So who do you call when that 3500 tankless water heater
    goes bad, how do you diagnose them....


    where do you get classes in repairing any of them???

    Right now thier is literally no body out there inour town
    that knows how to service them, and my guess is most
    people arent willing to wait 10 -15 business days for parts


    Thats another angle I could take as a tankless reapirman!!!!!!

    once they see that the parts are gonna
    take three weeks to arrive and cost more
    than a conventioinal water heater I will most likely
    have a sale in changeing out the unit for a
    50 gallon Brad White........!!!!!!!!!!

    they will realize that it is cheaper than
    going to a hotel for showers...




    their is a silver lineing in every cloud,
    all ya got to do is look for it....



    what does everyone think???

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Mark,
    Charge $150.00/Hr. and learn by OJT.

    If your lucky the repair will cost close to the install price.

    Then they will gladly let you put a 50 Gal. Brad.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    MPM and Cass,

    Do either of you troubleshoot/service PowerVent water heaters? Most common calls I get on them are the A.O.Smith ones, most are under warranty and majority of the time I farm out the service calls to another company in Cleves Ohio. They are the authorized reps for the units.

    That means they get paid for whatever time they invest in the call. Whereby I don't since A.O. Smith isn't paying me directly. I'll install/replace/move those units all day long though. I just don't want to keep $100's of dollars of parts for those on the truck and never use them along with going to a home and finding out that the parts I need are not the right ones, along with people refusing to pay the amount needed to fix it. NEXT!

    I dumped probably 60 calls last year to service these. I like quite a few plumbers give the work to the reps, the reps (they say) kick back the replacements when the tank is out of warranty.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Automatic, is that who you use?

    I don't cary parts for PVs but don't have to much trouble working on them.

    The early ones where horror shows but the new ones arent to bad. Rheem is either a brain box or ignighter.

    Now the new ones I haven't had to work on yet, and I might not want to, can you PM me with the name if it is not Automatic.

    Like you, I don't carry parts.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking power vents

    it amazes me what a pain they can be
    and they have to be easier to fix
    than a tankless unit......


    a.o. smiths are the worst by far......

    If the unit is out of warranty, I usaully try to sell them
    another one or referr them to someone who will come out
    and "diagnose " what the problems ins for $150...200.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I honestly dont need the liability , I have had guys actually
    wanting me to sell them motors and parts off old units so they can
    make repairs with them..... I throw away the parts...


    I had another guy that actually jury rigged his smith power vent
    so that the FAN was constantly running.....
    It ran that way for about two years before it burend out....
    His water heater was constantly being cooled down......


    Then I had one customer claim some other plumber was going to repair his
    1995 power vent water heater for $550. We installed him a new
    one for 995.00
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------



    I was told by my Rheem rep that Rheem will only carry parts
    (when you can find them in stock ) to go back 7 years..

    anything before that and you are out of luck..

    so you kind of get the feeling they want to make it rough on
    the repair guy. and make you change it out..



    with the tankless, its gonna be some real fun some day....

    Their is supposed to be a class soon on the Rheem
    tankless units some morning at their supply house...

    I might go if they have coffe and doughnuts....
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 03-25-2006 at 03:47 AM.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Cass, yes, Automatic. Had nothing but good experiences with them and no complaints in the past few years. Just don't care for their hours 7-3pm??? There is a KY rep but he's a plumber and I'm leery of sending any work to him since it would be easy for him to line his pockets with other work in the home.

    Anytime a plumber takes on A.O. Smith warranty work it is usually short lived; maybe a year, year and a half tops. Very degrading work and B-O-R-I-N-G. They have had 5 reps in the past 4 years.

    When I called the plumbing supply house I said, "Who is the A.O. Smith warranty rep this month?" lol, guy on the other end laughed.

    I'll catch up with this thread later on, gotta run
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  7. #7
    Tradesman Plumber Kristi's Avatar
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    Master Plumber Mark, you are making me beam with pride

    You are coming around to the tankless way, after all those other posts shooting it down. I learn how to service these buggers the same way my dad taught me to service anything... get the info on it and call the company for advice or direction. Sure it's charging out for your learning curve, but it's a new item on the market (here anyways). As the MPM, you are the most likely candidate to figure out what the hells going on in there while flying by the seat of your pants...

  8. #8
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking Sorry Kristi ----

    this thread was menat to be sarcastic about nightmares
    involved with the tankless units......

    we dont have enough of them around here to be profitable.....


    but like Rheem said in their fine print


    you got to flush them out onec a month or it voids the warranty...


    so someday their will be a market for them.......

    and it in theory be something I might do

  9. #9
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Default Interesting Reviews of Aquastar

    Interesting reviews of Aquastar, about 90% negative.

    http://www.epinions.com/Bosch_AquaSt...splay_~reviews

  10. #10
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking thank you for that post BOB

    I thought the Bosch was supposed to be
    a good unit , but I guess hoeestly none of them are

    reading the complaints makes you wonder what
    anyone could possibly see in getting into trouble with one

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  12. #12
    Tradesman Plumber Kristi's Avatar
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    That is a serious rant Rugged, LOL! You should write a book... oh wait, you did!

    Here's what I think, nice and short and sweet:

    We know HWH's, we know them inside out and they're easy to operate, easy to service. They'll give you a decade of tireless service. Tankless units are in their early years, they are complex, and (like everything new on our market) take time to welcome. They have some work to do in proving themselves. We look to the other developed nations that need to use them for their service records, but then it becomes obvious that they must use this kind of system, they don't have the seemingly endless resources that we have over here.

    Now as I said, we have a lot available at our fingertips... a lot of on demand wants! Everything is getting bigger, badder, more more more! We need 3/4" supplying every room in the house, we need body sprays, we need home spas and gigantic bathtubs, more more more! We're upping our demands, and the poor old HWH can't take it anymore... what do we do? Run more storage tanks! Parallel, series, how many can we fit in there?!? The way I see it, tankless is going to have to take off, otherwise (like we were saying in the other thread asking about multiple shower heads) you are left cold after 5 minutes in your new $30,000 home spa, nevermind how many fills that huge tub is going to need... it's a comin', guys, it's a comin'! Just like that MPM's sarcasm! lol...

  13. #13
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking braford white

    Just got off the phone with my Bradford White rep

    They sell a unit that is made for them by Renni

    They admit it must be cleaned out once a month for
    proper heat transferrance......


    he does not want to have a class on how to repair
    them in our area (Indianapolis Ind -- popuation-- 2 mil)

    because he does not want to fly someone into town and not
    have anynone show up for the class!!!!LOL

    He says they are waaaay too complicated for the
    average plumber to understand, only if you have a good
    background in circuit boards and some hvac knowledge is
    it worth even comming .......

    so considering that half the plumbers in this area
    cant hardley read and write they consider it simply
    a waste of time for them.....




    Its already happenned to them and they dont want to
    teach anyone at this time how to fix them!!!

    I told him to offer some free beer and pizza and maybe you will get
    the cream of the crop to attend!!!

    Aint that just grand and gloirous

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I agree with every statement you made Kristi. I blame my long rant due to Mountain Dew and a box of powdered white donuts.

    I just don't care for when this topic comes up and the pros support the positives and never consider the down the road anticipation. Tankless heaters are here to stay. Bigger homes, Car washes basically for showers in our homes. A tankless heater is perfect for this scenario, no qualms about it.

    I just hate the fact that members/lurkers of web forums seek information on these devices and go to the glowing websites that support them and find out that greener pastures aren't always green. The killer is price comparisons in tank to tankless. People normally want to spend as little as possible. Remember the VCR, the microwave 20 years ago? Couldn't spend less than $300 on one. Now, you can go to any store and pick one up for $50, and they work great! Little slow, but sufficient. Tankless will have this curve. I just try to make the spend thrifts and the ones who don't paralell themselves with pricing to be aware of the issues these units present.

    You buy one for a $150 more than a tank one, expect what you pay for; one fixture supply demand and the rest is lukewarm. Spend the big bucks and you will get the supply and demand, just at a significant price to tank heaters. They work good, supply what you need. Perfect for a large jacuzzi or shower room with multiple body sprays. By all means, those work for their specific need. Using a tankless in a long stretch ranch will have you upsizing a gas line the size of a large furnace to achieve that on demand luxury without a large tank sitting in the home. The common homeowner (if they have an adequately sized tank heater) will use their hot water in their home like it is neverending. It's a fact. If the tankless application is not properly sized, (Dictated by pricing) you have now created victims of good technology. Works great but only for it's *specific* situation.

    I compare them (right now) to birdfeeders that only attract a specific bird that doesn't even habitate in my area. Sure, I'll keep filling up the birdfeeder hoping the birds will come but until the winds of change blow birds of that species into my lawn, well, I'll keep watching with my binoculars.

    If I could get a tankless for free, I'd use it. I keep calling Rinnai and they won't let me have one. They hung up on me when I asked if it had to be periodically cleaned to keep its efficiency the same as the numbers notate on their website.

    I guess we'll never know.............

    I can't explain my excessive typing today. Something in that damn bacon egg cheese biscuit from McDonalds has me in turmoil. heh..

    I just did a horrible drain cleaning job @ $100 an hour and I feel violated by what I smelled and saw. bleeeeeeechkk!! yuk! P tooey! (hurls)
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 03-27-2006 at 10:14 AM.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  15. #15
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking calling the BBB in my town tomorrow....

    found out today their is someone who is
    selling Northstar tankless water heaters to people
    for about 4500 installed.......wow!!


    but they fail to mentioin during the sales pitch that the unit
    needs to be purged of LIME every month, for best performance
    just like the Rheem, and other brands out there need to do in our
    regioin.......

    That is What I have been told by someone that got the whole
    sales pitch thrown at them.....and it sounds pretty deceptive to me....




    So first they are getting the units installed,
    then they are able to sell them a water conditioner,

    then they are selling them a service contract to keep it all
    working properly for $$ much a month...

    .cause once you got
    one of those pigs in your home, you are on the hook for life.


    aint that sweet of them???...

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