Is anyone using the new Rheem Tankless with built-in recirc?

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by 1kg1, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. 1kg1

    1kg1 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Location:
    California
    I'm replacing an old water heater during a remodel and considering the new Rheem RTGH-RH11DVLN.
    It looks pretty high-tech with a built-in timer based recirc. pump that is also capable of "auto-learning" habits to program itself. However all of this brand new technology scares me since it seems relatively untested and I can't find a single review of anyone using this system (although I think it did just hit he market)
    A few questions if you are able to answer:
    1. Is anyone using one of these?
    2. Do people recommend a recirc. pump built-in to the tankless heater, or an external one so it can be replaced more easily? (I guess you could replace the one in the Rheem unit if it failed too)
    3. Do timer-based recircs work best when placed at the heater, or do systems installed at the farthest faucet work best? (I guess this is more of a "push/pull" type question.
    4. My plumber is willing to install a dedicated return line from the furthest faucet. Is this recommended so that I'm not constantly pumping "warm" water into the cold line. I've read that with the bypass set-up, your cold water is often "warm", and you run the risk of hot water everywhere if the bypass valve fails.
    Finally - if you were doing a brand new install, is this the tankless you would choose?
    Thanks for the advice!
     
  2. 1kg1

    1kg1 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Location:
    California
    FWIW - I called Rheem Tankless a few times over the past 2 days. Their customer support is HORRIBLE.
    I spoke with 2 different "product experts" who both knew very little about their products. With regard to the new Rheem RTGH-RH11DVLN, the rep gave me the complete wrong info, and then told me, "We don't know anything about that heater. It's made by Kiturami, and we just put our name on it". He said they are supposed to support it, but actually don't really know how it works.
    I already ordered it, so guess I'll take my chances. Not encouraging though!
    Does anybody know "Kiturami" and if they make a high-quality product?
    thanks!
     
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  4. MASTERPLUMB777

    MASTERPLUMB777 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Occupation:
    Retired Master Plumber
    Location:
    Texas
    RHEEM water heaters is owned by PALOMA Heaters of Japan, who make a whole line of Tankless water heaters
     
  5. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    01609
    Rheem's current line of tankless do indeed look like Kiturami, as are HTP's tankless water heaters, and some combis & boilers, and Laars' combi-heater and some boilers, and a number of Nortiz's tankless water heaters.

    Kiturami is a first tier Korean manufacturer that competes head to head with Kyung Dong (KD-Navien) both domestically in Korea, but also on the export market. Their North American strategy seems to be to OEM equipment to US & Canadian vendors rather than to build their own distribribution & support network on this side of the puddle.

    The sheet metal, labels and paint changes, but they're all substantially the same.

    [​IMG]
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    MASTERPLUMB777 likes this.
  6. 1kg1

    1kg1 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Location:
    California
    Thanks, Dana.
    That's very helpful. I assume from your post that these brands have high-quality abroad, which gives me comfort since some international markets have been using tankless for a long time.
    Let's just hope that Rheem's support team improves (or I learn to speak Korean) in case there are any issues! I was not impressed with what I heard from Rheem on any of the support calls I made so far - sounded like amateur hour over there.
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    one thing to think about is maintenance down the road...finding a competent installer with ready access to parts is critical. Pretty much any plumber can replace a tank heater, even on the weekend, but finding someone that actually can troubleshoot a modern tankless system and has access to parts, is not a guaranteed situation!

    You may or may not need to expand your gas supply, maybe even all the way back to the street. A tank type heater is probably not more than about 45K BTU...most of those tankless systems are 199K BTU, or over 4x larger...they take a fair amount of gas and can give some strange symptoms if the gas supply can't keep up (all of the burners on for the holidays while the over is doing its thing with the turkey while the furnace is trying to keep the house warm when it's frigid!). May not be that big of a problem in some parts of CA, but there are places there that get cold, too! Incoming cold water temperature in the winter can be an issue as well for some.
     
    MASTERPLUMB777 likes this.
  8. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    01609
    I read & speak a bit of Korean, but it doesn't help much unless there is competent help on the other end of the line, in a time zone close enough to matter. (Even though I worked there for a few months a couple of decades back, most of my vocab is the result my wife's binge-watching K-dramas anyway- hardly appropriate for technical discussions. But I at least would understand a handful of ways to apologize, and differing levels of deference or formality & sincerity in those apologies. :) )

    Sorry to hear that Rheem's level of technical competence with the product is limited to knowing how to place the label on the sheet metal. I hope the folks at HTP, Laars et al can do better than that. As an owner of the product it might be worth downloading and archiving the installation & user manuals from other vendors of similar/identical Kiturami products.
     
    johnterry and MASTERPLUMB777 like this.
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