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Tankless Gas Water Heater - Exterior Mount

FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

Considering installing a tankless gas water heater mounted on the exterior. Interior is an option too. Read of several problems with tankless, most of which the manufacturers have solutions to now, Have not seen much commentary/issues about mounting the unit on the outside. Other interest is in the recirculating loop. Furtherest distance with the new configuration would be the master bath. Also, not sure I have a feel for the pricing. I heard they cost about what a high efficiency tank model costs, but ??? Mine would be about 190,000 Btu. Rheem is in the ATL, but there are a few other brands including one in Mass, something like Ecosmart or ?

Would/will value any constructive (pun unintended) thoughts on this matter. Thanks.



  • FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2019

    Thanks, Biscuit. Yes, I have seen the Rinnai listed. I'll look into it more. There is a treatment cartridge that I will use. I saw where there are sets of fittings that have the service valves/bypasses in one package. I'll also need a water hammer, if not for this, then as a general thing. Home is about 30 years old and looks like code was not a top priority in several areas.

    Edit: How did you find the plumber?

  • Casanova_FlatulenceCasanova_Flatulence Posts: 3,126 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I looked into the same thing about 4 years ago. Went with a larger and improved standard water heater. Never looked back.

  • FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Was it cost or something else? I don't expect to stay around long enough to fully recover the added cost, but might help on re-sell. Plus there's the "new shiny thing" factor.

  • DawgBiscuitDawgBiscuit Posts: 482 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2019

    Here's how to find APPROVED Rinnai PLUMBERS: https://www.rinnai.us/find-pro

    FYI... The plumber I used was an individual approved by Rinnai. He's retired now :( Also, I use RS Andrews for HVAC service, and they are Rinnai approved, but likely more expensive. However, so far they do the job right the first time after 3+ years.

    Hope this helps...

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 5,348 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @FirePlugDawg Probably not much help but I'll say I know many people with tankless water heaters. Don't know anyone who doesn't like theirs except for the cost.

    @dawg1111 I thought part of the selling point for the tankless is the instant heating and faster delivery. Not the case?

    I've been in a house before where cold pipes **** the heat out of the water before it reached the faucet. There was a delay on getting actual hot water until the pipes were warmed by the water. That house had a crawlspace, which is why the pipes would get cold in Winter.

  • MarkBoknechtMarkBoknecht Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    From my limited experience working at a Home Improvement center, tankless has a steep initial investment and a payback of at least 10 years as I recall it. And yes, the st. steel vent pipe is expensive. Also, there's a recirculating pump that works with a small bypass to enable "on-demand" hot water.

    If you go tankless, make sure it's sized right for larger households.

    But being the more conservative type, I like a good tank model. Any project who's payback is greater than 5 years seldom made the cut.

  • tfk_fanboytfk_fanboy Posts: 2,821 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I have tankless. 7th year, last month

    zero issues so far and love it. I can't imagine going back. I like long showers

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 17,293 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    FPD. Through my limited research and feedback from people with real experience in the field my impression is waterless tanks yield best results when installed as small capacity units on site. So a small one in a bathroom where water flows through the unit and travels a very short distance to its use point vs a single whole house unit might be more efficient.

  • MarkBoknechtMarkBoknecht Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @ghostofuga1 Thanks for that article. When I last worked at a Home Imp. Cntr., we had a 40 gal basic unit for around $300 plus an estimated $200 or so installation. $500 total. But I never like to go cheapest. Go with a better or best model for an extra 100-200 dollars.

    For $1800 you're probably getting the best of the best in tank models. And if any of those rebate programs offerred by the state or feds still exist, this one probably qualifies.

  • ghostofuga1ghostofuga1 Posts: 9,034 mod
    edited July 2019

    That's a nice looking set up @destindawg1 Does Florida code require the intake and exhaust be separate for each unit or can you tie exhaust to exhaust and intake to intake?

  • ghostofuga1ghostofuga1 Posts: 9,034 mod

    I like the idea of the tankless model, but I too (at this point) prefer a standard tank. My water heater is 16 years old and still going strong. I'll probably replace it in the next year or so because I know 15 years is about the life of one built then and even shorter these days.

  • FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Thanks Destin. That is a brand I saw as well. Will check that one out too. Can you share pricing for the unit? Or a "retail" estimate as I suspect your pricing would not be attainable for me. Plumbing and associated costs excluded. Thanks either way.

  • FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited July 2019

    For an AO Smith standard tank - not high efficiency - a contractor wants $2200 (<-NOTE CHANGE) (6 yr warranty) - $2500 (10 year warranty) for a 75 gallon. Included was replacing the vent stack - 2 story house from basement. [ I was quoted $1800- $1900 from another contractor for a lesser brand.] A contractor has advertised a 40 gallon AO Smith installed for $990

    @ghostofuga1 I was quoted $4500 for a tankless from the same contractor, but it is clear, it has no interest or experience in installing them. I'm making serious inquiries now, and will share what I find.

    Thanks all. Keep 'em coming.

  • ghostofuga1ghostofuga1 Posts: 9,034 mod

    I'm sure you will, but whatever brand you go with, make sure the installer is certified by that brand company to install that particular unit. These things are a lot more sophisticated than a tank and each one is different.

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