Thinking of going tankless. Rinnai V65i opinions?

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by 72cougarxr7, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. 72cougarxr7

    72cougarxr7 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    I live in a modular home about 11 years old with the original 40 gallon electric water heater in a closet.
    The closet houses not only the water heater, but also a 15 gallon well tank. It is a bit crowded, and the well tank a little undersize for my 2 bathroom house. I would like to upgrade to a 20 gallon well tank, and had thought of going with a tankless propane water heater.
    I've been researching tankless heaters on and off for months and keep coming back to the Rinnai V65i model.
    Cost is not terrible and I can't seem to find anyone with bad things to say about them.
    Anyone have experience with these units? any negatives?

    I'm still on the fence on switching to tankless, my house is not currently piped for gas, but the wife and I were considering a gas cook stove as well, so it may be worth it.
    We live in the country so only able to get propane.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Read this

    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/tankless-wh-by-the-numbers.62457/

    then ask more questions. How cold is the water coming out of your well? That might put a big damper on things, especially in the middle of winter. You said two bathrooms...would both of them be needing hot water at the same time? What about maybe washing clothes with at least warm, if not hot? While a tank has issues for significant uses, while it's hot, you can use as much at a time as you want. Not true with a tankless.
     
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  4. 72cougarxr7

    72cougarxr7 New Member

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    We are pretty conservative with hot water use. Only 1 person showering at a time and no laundry or dish washing being done during a shower. My wife and I both grew up in old houses with mediocre plumbing, so I guess we just have always been used to only 1 shower or major hot water use at a time. We also have Oxygenics shower heads that only flow 2 gallons per minute.
    The ground water temp maps show my area at 42 degrees F. My well is 150' deep and seems reasonably consistent temp wise year round. I'm sure it is a few degrees cooler in the dead of winter.
     
  5. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    When you're on propane you're basically stuck with a micro-monopoly with a generally expensive fuel that sometimes gets jacked to insane levels to cover the cost of service to low volume users. If your electric tank in the closet meets your needs, replacing it with another 40 gallon electric is probably the right thing to do, even if it's a bit crowded. It'll probably be cheaper to operate (maybe by half!), and unlike propane, prices are regulated. Buck-a-gallon come-on pricing for the first tank is not an indication of what your next tank of propane will cost. Only high volume users get discounts (to prevent the customer from bolting.)

    Consider all aspects and alternatives carefully before embarking on the propane path.

    Induction ranges & cooktops have a lot of the better characteristics of cooking with gas, and none of the down sides.

    Since you don't have propane, what is your current heating set up?
     
  6. 72cougarxr7

    72cougarxr7 New Member

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    Apr 19, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    Current heat is a Thermo Pride forced air oil furnace.
     
  7. 72cougarxr7

    72cougarxr7 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    I've been on the fence, but leaning more towards another 40 gallon electric tank.
    Some concerns I had, were the volatility of propane prices, and adding another fuel type to my already oil and electric home.

    I also know the changes in tank water heaters last year , with the increased insulation to reduce standby loss.
    Maybe a new electric tank is the best option.
     
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Most of the tankless systems volumes are based on nominal 50-degree inlet water. As you supply it colder and colder water, one of two things happen: the volume goes down, or the temperature goes down, or both. They have their place, but they do require more maintenance than a tank (which often gets a total of zero before it leaks and is replaced). Failure to do regular maintenance on a tankless will give you problems, especially if you do not soften your well water.
     
  9. 72cougarxr7

    72cougarxr7 New Member

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    My well water is very hard. On my tank unit, I have to pull the lower element every 3-4 years and suck 3-4 inches if scale out or it will bury the element and burn it out.
     
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    A tankless would need at least annual demineralization flushes to provide proper service. It's at least a couple of hours if you pay someone, but with the right tools and materials, not all that hard to do yourself if it was plumbed for that task. You need a small pump, a mild acid to dissolve the minerals, and some hoses to connect it all after isolating the tankless from the water supplies.
     
  11. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    01609
    That pretty much clinches it. Hard water & tankless fossil burners are terrible match due to the excessive liming in the heat exchangers.

    Cleaning up or replacing an electric heater element is pretty simple & quick compared to the task of descaling a tankless. With very hard water you may have to do that 2x per year to keep the flow and efficiency in the reasonable range, but at low volume use it might only be annually. If you had a pro doing annual descaling the maintenance would cost more than replacing the 40 gallon electric every 4 years (not just the heater element.)

    An oil fired HW with a hydronic coil in an air handler could consolidate systems & fuels, but wouldn't necessarily be worth scrapping a still functional oil-fired hot air heating system. Almost all hot air oil burners would be ridiculously oversized for most modular homes, but the oversizing is more of a comfort issue than an efficiency issue. If it ever comes time to replace the furnace you'd probably do better on both comfort & operating cost with a right-sized modulating heat pump, but it's still early in the service life of the oil-burner. Only if it were going for central air conditioning would investigating the heat pump options make sense at current oil prices. But if/when crude oil hits the $100/bbl range again the payback on mini-split heat pumps can be pretty good (even with somewhat lower efficiency ducted mini-splits.)
     
  12. 72cougarxr7

    72cougarxr7 New Member

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    Apr 19, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    Well, in case anyone was wondering, I replaced my 40 gallon electric tank with .... another 40 Gallon electric.
    Got a Rheem Performance Plus (9 year warranty) from Home Depot and put it in today.
    So far I am very happy with it. Installed myself, it went pretty smooth. The old WH was the mobile home type with the side water connections, so I had to reconfigure my pipes a little, But it is PEX and was pretty easy to work with.

    Looks like I got it just in time, bottom of the old WH and the drip tray were wet so it must be it was starting to leak.
     
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