BEST location for tankless?

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by guy48065, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. guy48065

    guy48065 Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    SE and north MI
    My basement utility room has the well pump, tank, heating boiler and gas meter all on the same wall, within a few feet of each other. A great place to put a noisy THWH except the points of use (kitchen, bath and laundry) are all at the other end of the house.
    So it looks like I'm faced with either waiting awhile for hot water to arrive at the outlet
    or
    Mount the tankless in a more "public" location in the basement that's closer to the points of use.

    Attached is a plumbing diagram. I'm thinking of a spot under the kitchen that's in the corner of the 1/2 basement. No window within 3 feet so probably no code issues to contend with in the install. Would this be my BEST location for a THWH? It means running a large gas pipe across the basement but iron pipe is cheap and I'm thinking it's a better trade-off than waiting a couple minutes for hot water at the taps. Some day I may put a 1/2 bath in that corner of the basement--any code issues with a THWH being inside a bathroom?

    What's everyone think about this?

    [​IMG]
  2. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    California
    I agree, as close to the manifolds as possible. You can also do recirc for instant hot water (although I still like the manifold location), but do it with a timer and/or pushbutton so you don't negate the efficiency of the tankless by running it every 15 minutes 24/7. Redytemp is what I use.
  3. guy48065

    guy48065 Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    SE and north MI
    Should I have the tankless on its own gas pipe or can I run a larger pipe for it plus the stove and dryer to share? I'm looking at a 199,000btu tankless, standard everything else.

    And what about that question Is it OK to locate a tankless unit inside a bathroom? I'm told you can't put an electrical panel in a bathroom but I'm not sure why that's any different than locating it in a laundry.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,626
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    NO gas burning appliance can be located inside a bedroom or a bathroom, UNLESS it is a sealed combustion unit which draws its combustion air from the exterior. As far as I am concerned, the ONLY justification for a tankless unit is if it can be installed at, or near, the points of use.
  5. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    California
    Yes, you can use a single gas pipe but make sure to size it for the BTU load plus margin. You may well end up with 1-1/4" pipe up to the tankless and 3/4" thereafter. Check your gas meter max capacity also. Almost all modern, condensing tankless have a separate combustion air inlet (sealed combustion).

    Also measure your water hardness (Hach 5B kit is reasonably priced and accurate). You will need to de-scale the tankless on a schedule depending on how hard your water is. Or install a water softener - it will benefit all your plumbing and fixtures, not just the water heater.
  6. guy48065

    guy48065 Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    SE and north MI
    MY justification isn't the norm. It's a seasonal cottage that's empty 90% of the time so fuel savings really don't enter the picture. "Unlimited hot water" isn't much of a concern with only one shower. So much for the usual reasons for going tankless. Waiting awhile for hot water at the tap isn't so bad "roughing it" in the cottage, either. It's my wife who wants a tankless because she feels it's "icky" to have water sitting in a 40 gallon tank unused for weeks at a time. And I like how easy it will be to winterize a tankless (if at all).
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  7. guy48065

    guy48065 Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    SE and north MI
    It's just that I've read over & over that so many problems with tankless are caused by long gas runs, small pipe, inadequate meters...I thought maybe it would be preferred to locate the heater at the meter and live with the wait for hot water.
  8. lifespeed

    lifespeed Member

    Messages:
    321
    Location:
    California
    Size the pipe properly and you will have no trouble.
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