~  You can't be real unless you feel  ~
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Tankless rocks!
It's been a long time coming. When i bought the house over 4 years ago, the inspector said we needed a new water heater. Unfortunately, it wasn't in the budget. And after all, it still provided a good 3 showers before it ran cold.
Well, over the years, it's gotten less and less effective to the point that the water would be cold 3/4 of the way through a shower. No Bueno!
So for Sarah's 38th birthday, i went out and bought a tank-less water heater. What better possible gift than ENDLESS hot water!?



As it turns out, this gift was more than just expensive. It was also an INSANE amount of work.
You've got to find a good place for it. Somewhere out of sight, but still close to all the places that need hot water (shower, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.)
Of course, you need to run cold water to the heater, and warm water from the heater. That's a good days work in itself.
Now this model is a gas heater, and it's 80% (!) efficient. That's pretty sweet. But that means that you need a gas supply line.
NOT an easy task.
Unlike your standard copper water pipes, you can't just cut into it anywhere you want. You have to start at the beginning, screwing in one piece of pipe at a time. And each piece has to be the RIGHT length, and threaded. A plumber would have a rig on the back of their truck to thread this pipe. I am not a plumber. At least not by trade. So this meant measuring, and taking multiple trips to Home Depot to get the pipe threaded at the correct length.
The gas and water being done, now comes time to run the electrical. This went probably the easiest, and i would choose this out of the others any day. A simple tap through a junction box, add an external box with some flexible tubing and walla!
And then i remember that i need to connect the control panel, which has the all important "ON" button, along with the temperature setting. Cleverly i use the existing electrical junction boxes to run the cabling under the house. The panel will sit (eventually) next to the thermostat in the middle of the house.

And here's the final product!



Yes, i had to cut a monster slit in the stucco to find (and avoid) the floor joist and drill the appropriately spaced holes for the plumbing. Don't you worry, that hole will be patched in no time!

So aside from the numerous burns i received from soldering the copper pipe, this endeavor took THREE DAYS. That's one hell of a sacrifice for some stinkin' hot water. So was it worth it?

Last night i took a nice hour long bath, the first in a long time, and had the hot water flowing the entire duration. It was absolutely HEAVENLY. Candles burning, the ambiance was perfect. This tank-less water heater works like a champ!

So you must be wondering what exactly this beautiful piece of machinery is replacing? Well feast your eyes on this, ladies and gentlemen:



A massive yard eyesore masquerading as a hot water tank.

Pathetic.

And this is the best part:





It's TWENTY TWO YEARS OLD!!!
Most water heaters come with a 3, 5 or 7 year warranty, as this is long as they're supposed to last, and should be replaced soon afterwards.
Sure this guy is just over 50% efficient, but come on! This bad boy has been running for over TWO DECADES!! That tells you how they used to make 'em back then. Here's a shout out to the Reliance Water Heater Co. from Indiana!

And the carnage...





So the lesson here? Go tank-less or go cold.

Wishing everyone a Happy and WARM New Years!



. . . = = COMMENTS = = . . .



Esteban  posted on  Monday, December 30, 2013

Awesome job Mark! Did I read correctly that you ran the low voltage communications wire for the control panel thru the same conduit as your electrical?? Sounds like a code violation if you ask me; check NEC 725.55(A). You'd think an EE would know better... sheesh! ;)


Mark  posted on  Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good find. You are correct. But it looks SOOO) much cleaner this way! And, i don't have to drill and seal yet ANOTHER hole!


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