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  • Efficient style of H2O heater

    I have a customer on a remodel that wants to do away with their two existing natural gas water heaters that are past their prime and replace with one heater. There is just two of them, so my first thought was on demand but they have a large tub to fill and the plumber and rep tells me it wont keep up. We have looked into the heatpump water heater but dont have any experience with them to say they are the way to go. Solar does not seem to be worth upfront investment. We are looking for the most efficent with a reasonable payback. Does any one have any experience with heatpump or any other ideas. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

    Welcome to the forum and please fill your profile, including location. It helps us better answer your questions.

    There is no generic answer to your question. You must consider all factors including water requirements, local cost of gas vs. electric, existing gas line capacity, etc.

    Heat pumps move heat from the room to the water. That can be advantageous (cost-wise) in a mostly-cooling climate and not advantageous in a heating-mostly climate. Generally their recovery is slow.

    "Reasonable payback" is more complex than a simple calculation. Example: I have an expensive 75gal gas heater in my house. It is high eff but it doesn't have "reasonable payback" from energy savings. However, it is 23 years old and working fine. It DID pay back when considering that the quality resulted in a lifespan more than twice that of a lower quality unit.

    BTW, if your "plumber and rep" told you an on-demand can't keep up, you either need better plumber/rep or you didn't ask the right questions and/or did not understand the answers. On-demand heaters can keep up with very large demands when properly specified.

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    • #3
      Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

      I have limited experience with both of them. I agree the plumber isn't current with the technology, the on-demands are doing very well now. I see them in large houses, one today had 2 of them but was a 8800 Sf house. I see singles in large houses all the time.

      The heat pump water heaters are very poplar here where gas is not available. Sometimes they will have oil heat then opt for the heat pump units. The do make and odd sound and are recommended to be in large unconditioned spaces such as basements. So they are not well suited for closet installs.

      If I had my choice however I would go for a real good tanked gas fired unit. I am working on a project now that has a $3000 high efficient tanked unit which is 75 gallons. These are considered commercial units.

      I can't honestly give you a reason why I would go with a tanked unit other that I get leery of the complicated technology, my wall hung Buderus has gone out a few times and it was a pain to find someone to work on it. So I tend to got with older technology, perhaps due to stubbornness.
      "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

      Sir Frances Drake

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      • #4
        Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

        Originally posted by Ted
        my wall hung Buderus has gone out a few times and it was a pain to find someone to work on it
        Ted:

        I wish you had told us that before we put them in, over how many years did it take for it to go out a "few times"?

        Another question since I have your attention, since we are going to have to be doing blower door tests not only to prove we meet 62.2 air rates after we are done, but before like you do to prove we are sealed up, how do NanaWall units hold up (since you have them in your own house}? Also, have you seen LaCantina, is it an improvement over NanaWall?
        You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

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        • #5
          Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

          Originally posted by Cornerstone Contractors View Post
          The plumber and rep tells me it wont keep up.
          It may not "keep up", there a a lot of variables. I've put tankless in 6-7 new homes and while we haven't had major problems or callbacks I still prefer stored tank heaters, like the one's in the photo. We just put these in a new house.
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          • #6
            Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

            Originally posted by Allan Edwards View Post


            It may not "keep up", there a a lot of variables. I've put tankless in 6-7 new homes and while we haven't had major problems or callbacks I still prefer stored tank heaters, like the one's in the photo. We just put these in a new house.
            What size tanks are those? What size house?

            Cornerstone- what size house are we talking about? How many baths? More details....

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            • #7
              Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

              Originally posted by Ted S. View Post
              my wall hung Buderus has gone out a few times and it was a pain
              My point exactly. Any efficiency advantage gets trumped by maintenance/repair cost if it's not reliable. Not against technology, but it must be reliable. My 75gal gas fired has had exactly zero repairs/service in 23 years. I haven't even replaced the anode rod.

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              • #8
                Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

                Originally posted by gioberg11 View Post
                What size tanks are those? What size house?

                Cornerstone- what size house are we talking about? How many baths? More details....
                The house is approx 7,500 sq ft, 5 full baths and 2 baths with WC and Lav only. It is a spec house, these are 75 gal tanks.
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                • #9
                  Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

                  Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
                  Ted:

                  I wish you had told us that before we put them in, over how many years did it take for it to go out a "few times"?

                  Another question since I have your attention, since we are going to have to be doing blower door tests not only to prove we meet 62.2 air rates after we are done, but before like you do to prove we are sealed up, how do NanaWall units hold up (since you have them in your own house}? Also, have you seen LaCantina, is it an improvement over NanaWall?
                  Dick

                  The Buderus has gone out a number of times over its 10-11 years of service, I honesty don't know what the issues were, I finally found someone who could service it and have a contract with them although it is quite costly. When they started work on it they said it was never cleaned properly, that's because I couldn't find anyone to clean it. It just went out again as the weather got warmer, it is calling for heat but is only delivering luke warm water. I'm just not a fan of all this high tech stuff, finding qualified technicians to work on it is a real chore.

                  As for the Nanawall, well that is the centerpiece of my house. At the time I built, there was just Nanawall and one other company, I believe it was LcCantina, but now everybody is getting on the movable partition band wagon.

                  I don't have much experience with the other brands, but Nanawall is really top end stuff. They are built in Germany and the high quality materials and workmanship is really evident. My door is around $14K these days, although I din't spend that on it.

                  I personally think it is a selling point for any high end house, once you have a Nanawall you'll never go back to the patio doors.

                  My whole family talks about it al the time, they want the parties at my house becase of the "Nanawall" Attached are some progress photos I promised a long time ago.

                  As for blower door testing one, I have not done it yet. They are very good quality so I don't think there will be any issue with them.

                  5e8f5466f578ecb48d4bd57c084feaf8.jpg

                  0c6747a8b4617bb61a8252d7d451f620.jpg

                  4c29d4b36d53c51dc22ff39bf878f624.jpg
                  "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                  Sir Frances Drake

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                  • #10
                    Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

                    Originally posted by Ted S. View Post
                    they said it was never cleaned properly
                    Your water heater needs regular cleaning? Tell me you're kidding.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

                      The Buderus GB142 which is a boiler calls for maintenance (so I have been told).

                      Whats more important to me is having a 24 hr number to call when it craps out.
                      "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                      Sir Frances Drake

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                      • #12
                        Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

                        Are others here having the problems Ted describes with their tankless water heaters? So far the only problems I've had are the filters getting clogged up, I solved that by installing a whole house water filtration system. For some reason I'm now getting carbon in the filters, shower heads, and faucets, the alarm signifying it's time to flush the system constantly goes off, apparently from the carbon, I've got a call into the manufacturer to find out why.

                        Every time I violate my old rule do not using something until it's been on the market for 20 years I get into trouble, but customers want this stuff.
                        You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

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                        • #13
                          Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

                          When we do use tankless, I prefer Navian brand. I've had very good feedback from clients.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

                            Originally posted by Allan Edwards View Post
                            When we do use tankless, I prefer Navian brand. I've had very good feedback from clients.
                            Agreed!!! My plumbing contractor who works exclusively on high end homes (similar to yours Allan) swears by Navian. I installed four in a house a few years back and haven't had a call about them.

                            Brian

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                            • #15
                              Re: Efficient style of H2O heater

                              3 years ago all I saw was Rannai, with an occasional Navian.

                              Now its exactly the opposite.
                              "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                              Sir Frances Drake

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