Shady receipt of a Rinnai water heater

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by autx790, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. autx790

    autx790 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    south carolina
    I recently received an outdoor Rinnai unit. The website I ordered it from said it was new, however, upon receipt, it appeared to be a repackaged box, no user manual, the tape on the accessory bag was broken and the bag open, the cold inlet not only had old teflon tape on it, and it still had water in it.

    The company told me this is normal and that " Rinnai tests each and every unit before shipping to ensure 100% useability and quality ensurance because of the high value of the units. This explains the signs that it might look like it was perviously installed or that a small amount of water dripped out of the unit. It in no way affects the unit or warranty. Manuals are available for download on their website. They do not include manuals because they want the units installed by a qualified rinnai installer".

    Has anyone had experience purchasing a Rinnai unit and found this type of condition when they received it? Is this company telling the truth?
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it must be a damn duck...

    They test them before they are boxed....
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,623
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is true that Rinnai heaters are not supposed to be sold to anyone other than a qualified installer/contractor, but I think they still issue manuals with them. They test them BEFORE they seal them, not afterwards. And most testing benchs have mechanical seals for testing so they do NOT have to screw fittings on to each and every unit, and even if they did they would use a "quick sealing" gasketed device, not wrap tape onto each one individually, unless they are being made in China where manual labor is cheap and they need to find work for them. I saw a video of a crate of non-metallic shredded scrap, aluminum, copper, and plastic that a Chinese firm bought from a NYC junk yard. They were going to buy a LOT of those large crates and then have their workers MANUALLY separate the materials because they have a "lot of people and it helps put people to work". It would be like dumping three kinds of gravel into a bin and then having people separate it.
  4. autx790

    autx790 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    south carolina
    Thanks for the replies. I would imagine they would test their units before shipping them, but to leave teflon tape on the unit (in sloppy condition) and still have water inside I would not think of as being professional and would be surprised if Rinnai sold products in this condition. Also, like you said hj, they would test it before packaging, not tape the accesory pack closed, then open it up to test the control panel and then not seal it back before shipping. Has anyone ever received these before? Do they come like I described, or even in a box with Rinnai written on it anywhere?

    haha, i know what you mean about the Chines HJ. They will do just about everything by hand. I was over there a while back and would watch construction guys break up concrete with a hammer and chisle for 12 hours a day. And instead of a sign on the city bus, they would have a person who yells out of the window where the bus is going.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  5. jwall29

    jwall29 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NJ
    I called Rinnai, they told me, they sell to distributers, after that, they have no control of who they sell to. A new unit should be all sealed up and not look at all like it had been opened.

    I own a rinnai that I installed myself.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2014
  6. autx790

    autx790 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    south carolina
    jwall29, what do you mean all sealed up? mine was just in a box with a piece styrofoam at the top and bottom and then bubble rap on the sides.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2014
  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You can get a $199 to 300$ proven and simple 40 gallon heater at true value that you wont have to flush, curse and repair like the flow throughs.

    2 of my friends just put their rinnai's on craigslist after years of hell. Maybe one is yours.
  8. autx790

    autx790 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    south carolina
    Just spoke to Rinnai... They said their units are tested in Japan before they're shipped to the US and then they vaccuum them out here and there shouldn't be any water in it, or tape (or anything) on the threads, and all the bags should be sealed, etc. I guess I got a lemon which i'll be sending back. Thanks for the input.

    As far as the 40 gallon water heater...I have one already that is fairly new. Unfortunately it's sitting in what will soon be a bedroom (was a kitchen) and there is no place to put it after my remodel. I live in a house that was build 200 years ago where bathrooms and closet space was not common.
  9. jwall29

    jwall29 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NJ
    It looked like a box that was not opened after being shipped from the factory. You can tell when a product has been repackaged. What you got sounds a lot like a unit that was returned to the store or distributer.

    By the way take a look what "Ballvalve" wrote. I have had my Rinnai for 5 years, I do not believe it is any cheaper to use than my 50 gallon bradford white HWH. In fact it is still in line in my house. I am thinking about running one for two months and then using the other for two months (equal outside temperature.) I only have to close two valves and open two to switch them. Then I can really tell what the difference in gas savings is.

    Rinnai's warranty after one year only covers parts, I have a leak in the heat exchanger. It is just short of the 5 years. I called rinnai they made me pick from a couple of authorized companies to look at it. I then had to pay them $200 just to look at it. Then rinnai shipped the exchanger to them. They want $750 to install the unit. I told the "Authorized Company" to forget it. I can buy a complete unit (the new 94sli) for $992. They said what do you want to do with this part. I said give it to me. They agreed to that. The moral of this story is after one year throw it in the garbage, if it breaks. Or better yet, don't even buy tankless heaters, they are not worth it.

    Just my opinion. Incidently, consumer reports, said that it would take 22 years to make the difference in price back from the savings in gas. Of course that unit would never last that long.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2014
  10. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Well, you nailed it! No profit in a $199 water heater that you can get at the neighborhood true value. And no parts to replace, and no heater to replace if you change anodes and drain it often with a real valve.

    Maybe that wet Rinaii was picked up after the Tsunami on the beach. Better run your radiation meter over it!

    Most of Slovakia and Poland gave up on flow through- plug up- screw up boil and freeze heaters , and mount their tank electrics up near the ceiling in the bathrooms [as they did for the past 50 years] - great place for waste heat!
  11. autx790

    autx790 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    south carolina
    Yeah I don't believe a tankless is a cost effective purchase at all, but my reason for purchasing is to save space. I'd much rather just keep the electric that came with the house but then i'd either lose my closet for the bedroom or my kitchen pantry. So we'll slap this unit on the siding and if it fails, i'll look for alternatives.

    The new one came and you're right....completely different packaging. The bags were all taped, the box had rinnai and all sorts of advertising all over it. It was actually a different unit, or at least the old one had differnt connections and didn't have the rinnai lable on the front of the unit. The new one had a little water on it, but as rinnai told me they blow the units out dry, they also say on the check list to be sure to drain the heat exchanger if it's not going to be installed right away.
  12. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    For what its worth, a 30 gallon short can hang on the wall and take up about as much space as the troublemaker flo thru.
  13. buhrly

    buhrly DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Bend, Oregon
    Since most of the posts have trashed on these unit will speak of a benefit. You can shower all day if you choose! More efficient Yes. Do not draw energy when not in use. Do they require maintenance Yes. Do they get a bad rap from some of the early models Yes. And make sure there is enough gas(BTU) available.
    I have seen water come from the units right out of the box but your box looked like it had been opened. The why's of this could be anything. From wrong model, gas type or.... something more serious. Good Luck

    Buhrly
    http://www.metoliusriverplumbing.com/
  14. jwall29

    jwall29 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NJ
    I am not trashing the Rinnai R85 2532FFU, I am just reporting my experience with the one I installed and own for just short of 5 years. Sort of I report you decide.

    It developed a leak in the heat exchanger, my water is hard and I do not want a water softener. With the water as it is I have had several gas fired standard water heaters in the last twenty five years. A fifty gallon Bradford white seems to be the best of them. They last about seven years. Balance the cost and maintenance of tankless heaters it does not seem to be worth the price.

    There is the convenience of endless hot water with the Rinnai. With the Rinnai I dutifully pumped vinegar through it every 8 months.I never do any maintenance at all with the other heaters. None of them ever leaked. They eventually get clogged up with sediment.

    Operating cost to seems negligible. In fact maybe I waste water taking much longer showers that I need and paying more for gas. If you have the cover off a tankless heater it looks like the space shuttle, electric valves, sensors all over it. A lot to go wrong.

    A standard gas HWH is very simple, easy to install and cheap. Not even worth repairing. Put it in with flex stainless hoses you can pick one up on the way home from work and change them within an hour.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  15. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    YES. But with proper draining of your tank sediment you might have had just one WH in all those years, and no vinegar.

    Have any of you guys cleaned out a little hot water table top pot heater? Vinegar does SQUAT! You have to use lime away with some real acid, and Rinnai knows it but cannot say it because its acid and toxic. Even THEN you would need to run a brush through it.

    Its just America paying for Tsunami clean up through good Japanese marketing.

    Plumbers and suppliers dont like simple as much as Exxon doesnt like electric cars.
  16. jwall29

    jwall29 New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    NJ
    I agree with you, and from now on I am going to do it your way.

    Thank you

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