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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    3

    Exclamation Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    When I remodeled the bathroom in my 63 year old house, I got rid of the small gas water tank perched 4 ft off the floor, tucked in the corner behind a makeshift door. I replaced the old water tank with a new Bosch tankless water heater. The only available place for it was in a hall closet adjacent to the bathroom.

    I'm having 3 problems with this:

    1. hot water flow rate is low

    2. Faucets must be turned all the way up to get hot water (not very much adjustment in temperature)

    3. (The biggest problem) Ihaveto keep the cover off the unit. To get it to light, the easiest way is to open the closet door creating a woosh of air while the igniter is "clicking". The only other way is to use a lighter.

    The tankless water heater has relief valves installed, and is vented through the roof. I believe the copper pipes are too small - supposed to be 1/2 inch but are the smaller size (handymen plumbers I hired to install the unit weren't licensed plumbers - big mistake).

    I don't know what to do:

    1. Replace the tankless water heater with a different type

    2. Install a fan, creating air flow (worst choice, imo)

    3. Knock out the back wall of the closet and install a tank water heater.

    4. Is there a small or rectangular tank water heater that would fit in a shallow hall closet? I NEED IT!

    5. Replace the door with shutters, and fix the existing tankless heater.

    I am desperate to fix this. I want to rent my house but cannot rent it with hot water source problems. PLEASE! Someone give me some wisdom.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    In my option stay away from tank-less heaters. You didn't say how large the closet was. Rheem has a new gas heater that may fit your needs. It has a very small foot print. (17-1/2" in diameter) It is only 30 gallons but it provides as much hot water as a standard 50 gallon gas heater. If you decide to use it please use a qualified plumber to install it. There are other things to consider besides the space needed for the heater. You may need a louvered closet door to provide the combustion air for the heater. Here is a link to the heater.

    http://www.rheem.com/product/residen...r-heaters-xr90

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    2,360

    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    I'm wondering about the size of the gas line and the exhaust vent

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    I'm wondering about the size of the gas line and the exhaust vent
    The gas and vent lines are the same as a standard gas heater. 3" vent and 1/2" gas line. You do need a 110 volt outlet for the damper and vent blower. On the larger units a 4" vent is required.

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    Stardazy,

    If you search past postings on this subject, you'll notice that we don't like to recommend tankless water heaters. These water heaters are relatively new and they don't llve up to their expectations. They're also relatively more expensive to install and to maintain.

    Hire a plumber and go back to a traditional tank water heater. As john mentioned, some models are made to fit small spaces. It's very important to equip your rental with a dependable water heater, one that will give you and the tenant peace of mind.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    92

    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    I differ from most of the people who post on here Tankless is the future and if installed correctly with the right equipment they will last much longer than tank and you can outperform any tank style water heater on the market as far as supply and still save gas the problem is they are expensive as for your problem here is what you have.
    1. you hired a handyman to do what most plumbers don't do right.
    2. you used a bosch tankless one of the worse brands on the market.
    3. it was installed incorrectly.

    just from what you have described I can tell you several things that are more than likely wrong.
    1: no fresh air return
    2: not enough gas supply
    3: is the vent going thru the roof stainless steel or pvc? or is it just single wall aluminum?
    4: the unit is undersized and thats why the flow rate is so low
    5: you have to turn on several fixtures to get hot water is more than likely because of gas supply the appliance is being starved when you demand a lot it sucks up all the gas it can and gets somewhat hot.

    unfortunately you either go back to tank or pay someone to correct the problems but after that is done you could of paid someone the high dollar price to have done it right the first time but first things first you need a fresh air return fix that first then make sure you have enough gas supply and make sure they vented that thing correctly! I cant tell you how many times ive seen single wall aluminum used it will burn through the vent and leak carbon monoxide into your home make sure it was done right!

    Ben's Plumbing
    100 E Center St, Provo, UT 84604
    (801) 850-9087 ‎
    http://www.benjaminfranklinplumbing.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    The closet measures 18 inches from the back wall to the closet door. It's almost 27 inches wide. The gas pipe is 1/2 inch and the copper pipes are smaller.

    I like the idea of installing a tank heater if it fits. Seems it will be trouble free. The gas bill is so much cheaper with the Tankless Heater though.

    What about a NEXT hybrid gas heater? Anyone know about these? I was checking one out on A.O. Smith Water Heater website.

    I do plan to hire a reputable plumber to fix this, but I need to have some idea of what's going on so I don't get taken advantage of. I hired a plumber to adjust the temperature on this unit, and he said I needed to spend 2500 to replace all the copper piping to a larger size. I don't think that's correct.

    I tried to attach photos but got a message that I don't have enough posts yet.

    Thanks for the responses. They have helped me.

    Susan
    Bethany, Oklahoma
    Last edited by stardazy; 02-22-2012 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Include my name and location

  8. #8
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    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    A traditional tank water heater is not "trouble free" as you think. But it's still a bargain next to a tankless.

    The plumber who told you $2500 has a point: you need larger pipes. A tank water heater has 3/4" water supply in and out. The 1/2" gas line is sufficient for a tank water heater, but too small for tankless water heater.

    O.A Smith hybrid would be too big for your tight space. It's also way more expensive, if you don't get government incentives.

    Talk to 2 more plumbers. Weigh it all, compare apples to apples and go with your gut feeling.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    every situation is different is he saying water lines or gas lines? because there is a possibility to boost the gas meter to 2lbs and just install reducers before gas appliances to give enough pressure but it all depends on scenario water lines don't matter I would get another opinion $2500 doesn't sound too realistic to me we have installed tankless for that and thats buying the unit too. usually 4-5k will take care of any scenario and thats including a high quality unit the Eternal unit works better with little gas supply but still recommend installing it right http://www.eternalwaterheater.com/ would steer away from anything tankless except Eternal, Quiteside, Noritz. The new eternal GU100 claims it can be used on 1/2" gas line with 2 or 3" PVC Venting also if this is in a closet where does this thing condensate? I would estimate a new unit installed should be somewhere around 3-4k 5k being max but 2500 just for the gas is a bit steep.

    Ben's Plumbing
    100 E Center St, Provo, UT 84604
    (801) 850-9087 ‎
    http://www.benjaminfranklinplumbing.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Desperate to fix Gas Tankless Water Heater!

    I think I would like to stick with tankless so I guess I need a qualified plumber. Any suggestions? I live in the Oklahoma City metro.

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