Tankless for the win -- Rheem RTGH-95DVLN-1

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by cecil1966, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. cecil1966

    cecil1966 New Member

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    Aug 29, 2017
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    SC
    So far tankless has exceeded my expectations. My gas tank heater was outside. I'm in Charleston SC, which is mild climate, but we can get some freezing temps in winter and the gas heater used a lot more gas in winter to keep water hot. See picture of bill, like 10x more. Tank was only 5 years old and had black crud built up in cold and hot nipple pipes when I disconnected them. The last one only held up 7 years, so I'm thinking having water heater outside just isn't good. I'm also adding a one bedroom apartment to rent out so going with tankless made more sense than adding another electric in very limited closet space and one outside. Glad I went tankless. It was a lot of work to install one indoors. The last day took 12 hours straight in the crawl space, plus another 4-5 half days to instal vent, run new gas line, and new line for power to a few new closets. I'm glad I made sure everything was done right. I probably used too much solder for my sweats but was so pleased that it all worked perfectly and fired right up. Its now up to code, going to save about $200 a year, and unlimited hot water for me and renters, for at least 2 showers and two other fixtures at the same time. Maintenance looks very easy. I set mine to notify me for maintenance reminders. I'm on city water with moderately soft water. I also feel like this unit is going to hold up. So if mine last over 5 years its worth it, and reviews claim they can last up to 20 or longer. My biggest concern was it breaking with guest and not being able to have it repaired soon but considering all the benefits I'll be more than willing to pay technician to fix it or if its over 8 years just swap it out for a new one. Only issue is HE front loading washer pulses hot water or some hot water cycles, so not ideal, but I realized I had of long run anyway, and always used cold water. A point of use might be good solution if you need sanitary cycle often, although it does have onboard steam function and heater. I also ran 3/4 copper in and out, then to pex manifold with 1/2 pex to each fixture. It gets hot water to all fixtures faster than 3/4 line it replaced. I'm in the process of renovation and doing most of the work myself, and don't claim to be an expert, but so far very pleased I went with tankless. I would also recommend this model, although there could be better options. Like all technology you have to wait for the bugs to get sorted out. There is also variables with installation and up front cost, but my impression is that it will last longer and be very reliable and offer much better performance.
     

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  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    FWIW, tankless systems are much more common outside of the USA, and have been in use for a long time (probably why most all of those available are imports, or imported designs). Maybe the biggest hassle in the USA is that not all plumbers are up to speed on how to fix the things, or have easy access to parts. You can get a tank-type WH replaced by nearly anyone at anytime, even on a weekend...don't try that with a tankless system unless you're really lucky...maybe wait a few days for the part to arrive assuming they diagnose it properly! While they may not fail too often, the availability of parts and knowledgeable service people can make a good choice turn foul.

    Having moderate incoming temperature water supply makes them more reasonable for people in some parts of the USA, but it can be a totally different story if you live is say northern Minnesota, where it could easily be way below zero, and the incoming water is barely above freezing. I'm nowhere near as an extreme climate, but I have measured my incoming water temp at 33-degrees after a cold snap. The performance of a tankless system goes way down when that happens! A tank-type, doesn't really care much if it is sized properly.
     
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  4. cecil1966

    cecil1966 New Member

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    SC
    Very good points. I suppose the houses up there are designed with the cold in mind and where to locate tank heater. Most houses along the coast in the South don't even have a basement because water level is just below the surface. We have very moderate temps here. Its just about like northern Florida. I think if someone has a tank heater in their garage tankless might be better option, but like you said thats probably going to be in a moderate climate. I could see tankless install inside costing over 5k but for me it would have been worth it as it adds more value to the house, and that's what families want, and once its installed its easy to change out. I'm hoping to get someone to repair mine if it breaks, but think you are right, and hopefully enough people have them now to repair them. I thought about keeping tank for backup but not worth the work right now to run new pipe to it. It had soft copper tube that's not permitted in a lot of states. Even though I was dead tired at end of day, I went back under and disconnected that copper gas tube. My sister said having tankless installed was best thing she ever did for her family. She has an outside one on the side of an old historic three story house and has had zero problems. I'm just glad to get that water heater closet off the side of my house. Its actually a good house but must have had small electric WH in garage area before it got renovated and couldn't keep up with demand for family in ranch house. Most of the new construction I see has tankless outside around this area. If it was just me I could wait a week for a new part and take baths but with renters I could get new one installed, or figure out some kind of small backup tank in the attic for emergency.
     
  5. Lalit

    Lalit Engineer in Home Appliance industry

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    Aug 28, 2017
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    Quality & Safety Engineer
    Location:
    India
    My friend did a great amount of research before buying this product! Even called Rheem to make sure the guarantee was in place if purchased online. It is! He had debated about purchasing a Tankless Water Heater when he purchased the previous one in 2009. In 5 1/2 yrs it was completely rusted through at the bottom and was leaking! This time we decided to go Tankless and are so glad we followed through! He bought the condensing one and feel that is imperative! It worked perfectly from the beginning. Waiting If gets any issue in coming days, then post here for sure.
     
  6. Phil Armstrong

    Phil Armstrong New Member

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    Those are some really nice savings Cecil! I have installed a few Rheem units in my time and they are mostly all excellent. The model you have installed and also the RTG-64XLN are both stand outs. As other have said tankless units are very common in Europe and in parts of Asia, particularly Japan. Moderate incoming water temperatures and water softness should mean the unit should last, and is probably how you have managed to attain such good savings, a wise choice!
     
  7. cecil1966

    cecil1966 New Member

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    SC
    That's good news, Lalit, your friend did a lot of research. I called Rheem tech support this morning and they were very helpful. I had a minor drip leak at one of the bathroom faucets that was causing the electronics in the heater to activate, so would hear this kind of beeping and electric buzzing noise like right when you plug it in. Switched out the faucet and all is quiet. Sr technician nailed it right away, that some water had to be moving through the heater. Yes, I'm also glad I got rid of the tank one when I did. This is a picture of the tank 3/4 inch out pipe that was almost clogged with crud, and this was after I cleared some bigger chucks away with a nail to try and figure out what it was, so tank one wasn't working for me outside. Appreciate your comment, makes me feel a lot better with the choice!
     

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  8. cecil1966

    cecil1966 New Member

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    That's good to hear Phil that Rheem are solid. At first I also considered a circulation pump, Rheem makes one with circ pump, but very glad I just home runned each fixture to manifold with 1/2 inch pex, as I'm getting hot water faster than 3/4 inch copper branch feed. Also, I have a good place to install a small electric 2.0 gpm tankless heater as an emergency backup. Its only $200 and will have two half inch hot water lines to two bathrooms. I'll be renting a room on air b and b so maybe in a year or so might do that, as I wouldn't want to have guest with no hot water. This house and plumbing is almost 50 years old so its nice to be upgrading the pipes. Thanks for the comment. So far I'm really impressed.
     
  9. Phil Armstrong

    Phil Armstrong New Member

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    Sounds good Cecil, sounds like you know your stuff. Im sure i remember reading that Rheem are the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America so you should be in safe hands
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey Phil, do you think I should add a UK page here?
     
  11. cecil1966

    cecil1966 New Member

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    SC
    Tbaks Phil, I could have done worse and could have done better, I suppose. On this project having to do a lot of work has been really time consuming, although I did work in construction for 15 years. I did research tankless heaters. This website recommend the Rheem hands down, I'm expecting it to be reliable and followed installation specs, but if its not and worse case scenario would be finding room for another tank. I've already moved on to electrical to finish my project but installing this tankless was a rewarding experience that brought a lot of things up to code. It is now performing flawlessly. All it takes on one small drip to make the electronics activate. and think you are right and in 5-10 years will be very happy I went ahead and switched over. Cheers!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2017
  12. Phil Armstrong

    Phil Armstrong New Member

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    Hi Terry, It could certainly be worth a try. Do you know if you get many visitors to the site from the UK?
     
  13. Phil Armstrong

    Phil Armstrong New Member

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    What was that website you mentioned Cecil?

    Thats great about the low activation rate, looking at your location the climate there should be warm enough to get a decent efficiency rate. Is it for a large residence? Also you mentioned you installed it yourself, is that not going to affect your warranty? I know it is very common with manufacturers for their warranty schemes to only be valid if you have it installed by a professional. Of course you may be a professional yourself, I was just wondering!

    Thanks
     
  14. cecil1966

    cecil1966 New Member

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    Aug 29, 2017
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    SC
    This is the link, Phil. http://tankless.reviews/best-gas-water-heater/ Maybe it got edited out? Not sure how they reached their recommendations, and hope its as good or better than Rinnai or some of the others. I did read that Rheem allows homeowners to install. Several post claim that Rheem tech support requires pictures sent in to see how it was installed, and if its not done right the warranty is voided. Most of the issues tend to be not using PVC vent pipes. And its so much work most people aren't going to have time. The average water temp here in Charleston is 70 degrees. On the next one I'll likely hire a professional but they would have to be really good, and I would specify that its has to work perfectly after install. This area is also booming with new construction, and all the new construction I've seen use tankless. Either way, tank or tankless, its not that big of a deal, although, I agree, if if its warm enough water temps, soft water, tankless has more advantages. I had to do this one myself, but I've found that knowing what I want, and straightforward approach, lowers cost when getting bids for work like this. I've worked in construction and realize how challenging it can be. I'd say most of my friends are looking for good work and wouldn't have time or skills to take on project like this.
     
  15. Phil Armstrong

    Phil Armstrong New Member

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    Thats a really handy site ill keep an eye on that in future, I can also recommend http://tanklessheaterguide.com/ as a site I have used for reviews and recommendations. Thats really interesting what you have said about the PVC pipes not being used and pictures being provided for them to approve. I wasn't aware of this, one of the great things im realising about forums is these little bits of info you can pick up that will no doubt be of use at some point in the future. What are your thoughts on Takagi? I have seen quite a few good reviews of their T-KJR2 model however upon joining a few forums I have seen a few stories that are a cause for concern.

    Thanks
     
  16. cecil1966

    cecil1966 New Member

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    SC
    Yes, the condensating units require PVC vents. Apparently the metal vents can cause a chemical reaction when they drain back into the heater. They also require condensating trap, and have the right slope, like picture above. I looked a the Takagi but it was the non condensating unit, if I'm not mistaken, and required the stainless steel venting which brought the cost up to the Rheem. I usually go by Amazon reviews that provide more information. For example the more popular brands might have mostly positive, like Rheem, and a few negative, which appeared to be instal related and didn't follow install guide. It also appears both of the reviews we posted have links to buy from Amazon so they get some revenue if someone clicks on that link and buys one, so still not sure how they reached their recommendations, and could be sponsored. That being said the Rinnai seems to have highest reviews. I don't know enough about different brands of tankless heaters though. Maybe they are all getting pretty good if installed right? Other people I've talked with said don't consider saving money or reliabilty, and just get tank or tankless for supply or saving space. It would be nice if someone started another thread on tankless brands. My only experience is this one tankless. I'll post back if there are any problems.
     
  17. cecil1966

    cecil1966 New Member

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    SC
    Thanks Lalit. You and Phil seem to really know your stuff. Rheem and Takagi have very good reviews online and sounds like your friend dug into a little more and Phil has more experience with installing them. I can't remember why I decided on Rheem. Maybe because they still honored warranty. As a note the PVC vents can be run a long distance. As I didn't have a lot of experience and there are so many companies I tried to play is safe, and not knowing much about them I'm second guessing a little bit. Its also hard to figure out what sites are sponsored and what's not these days. Or maybe I worry too much. I am very pleased with the Rheem. It has worked perfectly and can tell its high quality. You can tell if someone is going to hold up or not. I was just trying to add a few things I picked up as I did read a good many reviews. On a side note, I may have gas meter upgraded. It looks old. Gas company did come my to inspect it on their own when I installed gas dryer. Maybe they saw unusual gas usage and wanted to make sure meter was OK. Got me thinking. I installed all new gas pipes, so only thing that can go wrong is the meter, and it looks too old. I may have a professional come by and inspect my gas appliances to have documentation that everything is up to code on my end. Ideally I would have had this professionally installed by company that carried the parts for repair.
     
  18. makeluck

    makeluck New Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2018
  19. leonoro

    leonoro New Member

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    Viet Nam
    Before I buy a tankless water heater at https://waterguides.org, I’ve research about the product how efficient it is. The result was splendid. When I used the tankless in my house, it really amazes me. The price is cost effective than the other as well as the quality which is very common in the USA. Other than that, the disadvantage is some of the plumbers give a hassle in fixing thing when it comes to tankless issues.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
    oliva880 likes this.
  20. oliva880

    oliva880 New Member

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    Arizona
    I found another helpful website who describes details about tankless water heater here http://www.wisecull.com/best-electric-tankless-water-heater/
     
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