Problem with Takagi & Radiant Heat &Domestic Hot Water

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by siammurph, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. siammurph

    siammurph New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Last year I remodeled my home and installed plex tubing throughout my 2 unit building. Upon the advise from a company back in Vemont, I installed a Takagi Jr. to run the radiant heat and domestic hot water supply.

    The downstairs unit works like a charm with no problems (although I did have to remove all flow restrictors from faucets and shower/bath tub).

    The big problem is with the upstairs unit. Back in February, the domestic hot water seems only to work when the radiant system is turned on and burning. I called Takagi twice and they sent 2 repairmen but they looked overwhelmed by the system and said the system works fine and they could not find anything wrong with the water heater.

    I shut off water to the tankless and turned on the hot water to a facet upstairs and found there was no cross water line. The company who sold me the pre-assembled board is going to send me a new one provided I do not ask them for any more technical advise (which by the way, I spend nearly $1500 on all new faucets and replacing the shower unit).

    I am now in a situation where everyone is pointing fingers at each other. Takagi says something is wrong with the plumbing, Vermont Company is saying its the Takagi, and the plumber saying there is no cross water lines.

    Frustrated, I am ready to let the Takagi Jr. take care of the radiant heating supply and I will install back a traditional hot water tank.

    I was so frustrated that I even offered to buy an airline ticket for an employee of the Vermont company that sold me the system to come out West. Their response was take a new set up but don't call us anymore.

    My tenants have been very patient but I want to give it one last try to fix the system. It works so well down stairs. I am going to swap machines to see if this helps and prove once and for all if it is indeed the heater.

    Could I have the wrong size Takagi? The upstairs has 2 bathrooms, kitchen, and washer.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    How many BTU does the thing draw? What's its rated gallons/minute? I assume you have a heat exchanger for the radiant heat, as you wouldn't want to run potable water through all those lines.

    What is the heat load on the house? In other words, how much heat do you need in your boiler (heater)? Does the system operate with priority zones? If the priority scheme is not set up properly, (i.e., when you call for hot water for washing, showering, etc.), if it is still providing heat to the heat exchangers for space heating, the potable water will never get hot enough. It needs to bypass the heat exchangers. If the zone valve or pump is still running, you won't get any hot water for the shower. Both units need to restrict flow to the heat exchanger(s). A diagram of what you have might be useful.

    It could be as simple as a stuck or improperly positioned check valve, zone valve, or pump.

    I'm not a fan of using a potable water heater (tankless or conventional) for space heating.
  3. install the tank...

    you installed this in RENTAL PROPERTY????

    is that correct, you mentioned that your tennants have been very patient???


    so you are having to constantly go over and fool around at this property to figure out what is going on??


    I dont think that this was a good idea in the first place becasue of the demands that tennants usually make on the lanndlord anwway


    I suggest you install a 50 gallon gas heater for their domestic needs,

    and cross your fingers and hope the takagi can give you trouble free service on the radiant heat side of this system or some cold winter day the tennants will be screaming for heat..


    good luck
  4. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    Takagi for heating

    I would like to see some pics of how this Takagi is piped for your heating system, and what controls are being used etc.

    I want to do the same thing but not have system supply domestic hot water, just run the cast iron radiators after I repipe with pex and home run it all back to manifold setup.

    Any advice on that from anyone?
  5. go for it...

    have never heard back from that first fellow to even
    find out what has transpired.....

    to do something like he did you got to be a glutton for punishment


    as long as it dont break down on the coldest day of the winter
    you might get by ok....


    good luck
  6. tamileetx

    tamileetx New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Takagi piece of junk

    I too have a problem with my water TAKAGI water heater. We bought a T_K2. It lasted about four years then the dreaded number 12 error code comes up. Takagi tech support was very unknowledgeable. We sand and dismantle, and clean and spray, still nothing. They then blame it on the gas pressure. Gas company came out four times, to make us happy, they changed out the regulator, the meter, and measured the pressure. Nothing is wrong except the Takagi system. Now the company blamed it on installation. It was installed and inspected, and working for four years. hmmmm. They will not negotiate or work with us. Offered us an upgrade at an outrageous price, said I could pick one up cheaper on the internet. Whoa, what do you mean cheaper, if you don't buy it from us then we won't honor the warranty even though it's a brand new unit from an internet store..not ****..said the TAKAGI rep. Not only that but they called back and harrass me about the name of the internet company that sell their product cheaper then them. I have no hot water, my daughter is crying, and they worry about someone undercut them? We have gone back to the tank system, phew...hot water...a word of advise, tankless system doesn't really save energy, water pressure weak if you use hot water at more than one faucet, and when it's time for repair, don't call a plumber because all they know how to do is install. If you really want to go with tankless, stay away from TAKAGI...try Rheem, at least GE stand behind their products.
  7. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    These sorts of problems and complaints will begin to multiply as more and more of this junk is foisted on a market hungry to do the green thing. It's amazing how we never seem to learn from the mistakes of the past, a la ELM Aquastar and Paloma Pak. Very similar units with all the same technical problems as the current incarnations.
  8. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    There's that "company in Vermont" again. What a bunch of... I swear, those guys are doing more to turn people off of radiant, and tankless, than anyone else in the country. Poop-heads.

    Potable hot water shouldn't be combined with your radiant, in the first place; it's just a bad design idea in the first place.

    And Tagakis aren't as good as Noritz (but whatever you do, stay away from Bosch tankless, they're even worse).

    Try heatinghelp.com, the guys there will want more detailed info, but will help you solve it, they're experts on hydronic heating.
  9. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    Takagi TK Jr working great for me

    I have 3 TK Jr's tankless for domestic hot water in a 3 family home.

    They are working fine for 2+ yrs. Each has one bathroom/kithen and washer. No problems at all.

    There is a screen on the inlet of the cold water fitting maybe you can check it for debris if pressure is not good.

    My gas bill went down $700 a year by installing these in place of the 3 sep 40 gal tank heaters that were approx 8 yrs old.
  10. techsavy

    techsavy New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    ontario

    So your Takagi worked great for you for four straight years without any problems. I am assuming you didn't maiuntain it throughout those four years. You probably also have the unit installed in a laundry room. This type of installation would cause the burners to slowly plugg up and lead to the error code that you described. This is not the fault of the unit. A simple solution would be to remove the burner and use compressed air to blow the particles that have built up inside of the burner over the years. You should also check your heat exchanger finns at this point to see if that is blocked as well. If it is, blow that out as well and that should take care of the problem. If it does not, then your overheat cut-off fuse may simply be weak and needs to be replaced. This is also a problem that could be caused by blockage in the burner or heat exchanger coils/fins.

    Good Luck with your unit, but it is not the fault of the water heater. Takagi tankless have an excellent repulation and only poor installations for the most part give tankless water heaters in general a bad reputation.
  11. techsavy

    techsavy New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    ontario


    Could it be that the upstairs is connected in series with the recirculation pump that runs the heating application? If this is the case, your upstairs fixture simply will not operate unless the pump is running. Take a look at the set-up and see if there is a pump located before the line that tees off to the fixture that you are speaking about.

    If you can post a diagram of the system, I would be able to identify your problem.
  12. techsavy

    techsavy New Member

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    ontario

    He used his water heater for four years, not problems. Didn't maintain it, and now it doesn't work any more. Okay, lets blame it on the water heater why don't we.

    Fact of the matter is everything needs maintenance. Unfortunately, the people that were sent to this guy didn't know about the units and the installers did not take the time to learn enough about the product prior to installing it. Tankless have been in other parts of the world for over 60 years and no one is complaining about them. If they were horrible, why is the technology still alive. Tell anyone from Europe that you have a storage tank type water heater and they will laugh at you.

    As for GE and Rheem, good luck with them, since they don't even manufacture their own products. If you really truly want a good tankless water heater, do your research and make sure that you purchase a Japanese model as they have the most stringent design criteria.
  13. words to live by


    this week, I have had 3 people call me about their tankelss water heaters..

    all 3 were Bosches, all three had broken down... with no one in town wanting to work on them


    It kind of Reminded me of the story of the 3 little pigs....and I was the Big Bad Wolf......


    Piggey #1 the first lady was rather huffey with me , telling me how she was saveing the palnet, and we all got to do our part.. and she whoud find someone else more competent to repair her unit in the yellow pages.....:D

    I was not going to explain anything to , and her mind was made up.

    I would love to hear how that search went and the cost of the
    to her 6 year old Bosch tankless.



    Piggey #2 This fellow decided to install his Bosch into his regular furnace flu pipe
    going up the center of his home... ........oh my goodness, thats a no..no........

    I told him that he might burn his home down that
    way, because his metal chimmney was not designed or rated for the intence heat
    that the tankless would put out,
    I dont think he wanted to hear what I had to say
    I was being too blunt explaining to him that
    that his house might burn down.....


    Piggey #3 I did not even waste my time trying to help her,
    I figured what was the use....its all gonna fall on deaf ears..

    they are all convinced that
    I am the big bad wolf........

    .
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  14. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .

    Same with all my neighbors who has had the tankless for years. DANG!
  15. jdgoodman

    jdgoodman Journeyman Plumber

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Seattle
    99* Of Takagi calls i go on i find a reason they are not functioning. Its always the same story, Bad venting, gas issues, poor placement or just no maintenance. I thought i was a tankless pro until i went to Takagi's plant in California for their training class. Needless to say i discovered i was far from it. People blame the units but in most cases it is the installer or the owner.
  16. your moral reaponsibility

    how do you handle a situation where the home might burn down becasue of the way the home owner installed their tankless waterheater???

    do you just write a warning on the bill you hand them to cover any future liability????
  17. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,831
    Location:
    01609
    S'plain me better about this intense heat the tankless is puttin' out?

    I thought the problem for most tankless vent was the coolness of the exhaust creating a potential for flue condensation & corrosion, but those bottom-of-the line atmospheric-drafted Bosch units are low enough efficiency that with the designed-in dilution air makes 'em ventable with the cheap B-vent (provided the draft is sufficient for both appliances whether one or both were firing.)

    Some may require double-wall B-vent, but only the higher end forced draft versions require Z-vent. But again, it's the LACK of intense heat and the relatively high dew point of the undiluted exhaust of the forced draft versions that's the problem, not the high heat intensity that's the problem.

    Vented into improper stack types I'd be more concerned about carbon monoxide hazard from corrosion pinholes than fire.

    What model was Piggy #2's?
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    Some of the tankless systems use 200K BTU or more, which is a pretty fair amount of heat. Even at their best efficiency, the flue temp can be pretty high. And, the volume of air is substantial, too. Don't put one in without either closed combustion or adequate makeup air and, follow the flue requirements of the manufacturer carefully.
  19. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,831
    Location:
    01609
    I'm not sayin' that there couldn't be any number of problems with the installation, only that most fuggups would lead to a CO poisoning hazard before a fire hazard.

    Most of the cheapo atmospheric vented BOSCH units are under 150kbtu in, and don't have flue temps any hotter than the output of similar-sized furnace burners, and run about 80-82% combustion efficiency. But I could easily believe the height/diameter of the stack wasn't up to snuff for both appliances. But there are plenty of B-vented multi-appliance stacks in the world that aren't hazards, even if the appliance vendor (rightly) warns against doing it that way. (IIRC in MA it's allowed, but the draft has to be empirically proven. Cood be rong, offen am...)

    A typical 25% excess air atmospheric vented burner running in the 80% range will have a net-stack temp of ~400F (which would be ~465F if the combustion air is drawn from a typical basement) before dilution air, but the dilution air brings down to ~300F entering the vent, with the dew point of the exhaust lowered to 100F or less. This is where I'd expect the cheap Bosch units to live. If it's efficiency is in the low 70s the net stack temp might be 600F, but I don't think any tankless units sold run combustion efficiencies much lower than 77-78%, which would be ~500F net, at which point it could withstand huge dilution cooling with no chance of stack condensation, even in a masonry chimney, yet scant fire hazard unless the vent was installed with non code-compliant clearances to combustibles.
  20. just read the damn manual

    most average homes have maybe double wall venting .....not SS pipe ...

    I dont know what size Bosch heater they had,
    but I am sure that it was recommended in the manuel to vent it separately out the side of hte home...

    if the home burns down, the the insurance company can possibly worm out of paying the fire damages beause of something improperly installed..

    I would be willing to bet that you could put a peice of something falmmable next to that
    chimmney near the Bosch heater and it easily could ignite.......

    and I dont have a clue what he
    has in the attic,, I have seen boxes and christmas trees leaning right on the metal chimmneys many times before...

    now wether it is cool enough by the time it gets up there is his problem and gamble...



    .


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