OT. User opinions on Rinnai tankless water heater
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  1. #1
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    Default OT. User opinions on Rinnai tankless water heater

    As the title says. Looking to change out a conventional water heater with a tankless gas fired unit. Looking to free up space in the laundry room more than cost savings.
    Looks like Rinnai get the best marks. Looking for real world use and experience with current tankless water heaters.
    Actual Rinnai owner/users....I have a return line so i am looking at the models that have the circulating pump.
    Likes and gripes welcome....
    Cheers Ross

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    I use a tank system....i would check your gas lines, if you look at the gas usage of a tank unit to a tankless unit you will find it is a big jump in volume required you may need to alter lines and gas regulator to the house.
    There was a pump system called chilli pepper i think that kept the water in the line circulated so it was instant hot at the tap, again don't use it so check for yourself if its worthwhile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlfaGTA View Post
    As the title says. Looking to change out a conventional water heater with a tankless gas fired unit. Looking to free up space in the laundry room more than cost savings.
    Looks like Rinnai get the best marks. Looking for real world use and experience with current tankless water heaters.
    Actual Rinnai owner/users....I have a return line so i am looking at the models that have the circulating pump.
    Likes and gripes welcome....
    Cheers Ross
    We have had the Rinnai "Infinity 10" for - I think 20 years? One service call the whole time. It wasn't expensive. System had detected a fault and safely refused to fire-up.

    Love it!

    Also a Rinnai gas tumble dryer, and a couple of their 2 burner gas cookers that will do anything from tiny simmer pan to a massive round-bottom Wok.

    Great stuff, every bit of it. Rinnai are considered "premium" goods in Asia and better value-for-money than the European names. Fan-forced combustion system not only eliminated fume problems, ZERO concern since install about chills or scalds between the two full baths it serves.

    The old European tankless was horrible. The Rinnai is so good at demand throttling it even uses less gas.

    If I had nat gas here, I'd have the "Infinity 20" - or a 10 and a 20 "zoned" and use it for hot water space heating rather than the electric we use now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    If I had nat gas here, I'd have the "Infinity 20" - or a 10 and a 20 "zoned" and use it for hot water space heating rather than the electric we use now.
    Doo they make a propane version ?

    Direct burial a 500 gallon tank in the front yard.

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    I installed a V94iN in our house last year. My wife basically insisted, and with two daughters I knew this would be the only option to ever have "enough" hot water.

    After a year I have nothing but good things to say about it. It delivers continuous hot water. And doesn't seem to use anymore gas than we were using with the 40 gallon tank model.

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    Our new to us House came with a R75LS, it is propane. It was put in when the house was new about 10 years ago and seems to work well. We have used the tank type at the other place as we had a mountain with 10,000 gallons of stored water up on it providing 70psi of water to the house that still gave us hot and hold running water when the power was out. Here we have no hill and as a result we have no water, hot or cold when the power is out. That being said in Benicia you likely don't have a hill or many power outages so my only other thing to say on the subject is if am in the master bathroom or garage that share a wall where the heater is mounted it sounds like someone just pulled up in a Suberu just pulled up when it turns on. It is not loud but you can hear it. We have been here much of the time for a 14 months, have a 500 gallon propane tank, propane cooktop, propane heat pump set to 68 - 70 even when we are gone. We had the tank filled when we bought the place and we are at 65% now ( a wood stove does a lot of the space heating when we are here ). The previous owners filled each September, we will likely do the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Doo they make a propane version ?

    Direct burial a 500 gallon tank in the front yard.
    There's a utility nat gas line at the kerb. I spent my life dealing with gas - store-bought, or our own five wells.

    Done with that but for small bottle cookers, and those damned seldom used.

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    We've got a Rinnai R53 tankless here at work running on propane that was installed ~15 years ago. It didn't work properly for years, would only give a gallon or two of hot water out before it'd beep and shutoff. Finally we figured it out, mud daubers had built nests in the intake/exhaust pipe and all the way to the heat exchanger.

    After we got that cleaned out maybe 7-8 years ago, the duct work in it cut open and cleaned out, it works great. Haven't had an issue since. It does take a little bit to get hot water to the faucet, but once its going it works well. We also have the ability to plumb it to the outside spigots for hot water in the winter, works great for a powerwasher too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlfaGTA View Post
    As the title says. Looking to change out a conventional water heater with a tankless gas fired unit. Looking to free up space in the laundry room more than cost savings.
    Looks like Rinnai get the best marks. Looking for real world use and experience with current tankless water heaters.
    Actual Rinnai owner/users....I have a return line so i am looking at the models that have the circulating pump.
    Likes and gripes welcome....
    Cheers Ross
    I've had one installed since 2006. I think the heat exchanger had a 10 year warranty. About 2 months past the end of the warranty, the heat exchanger started leaking. Obsolete part, no longer available, but no difference because the cost was nearly that of a current replacement entire heater. I searched Ebay and found one lone "new open box" heat exchanger for $120. Bought it, and spent probably 6 hrs installing it, cleaning the burners, de-rusting some of the high-temp areas of the fire box. Got it all back together, and its been fine since. I have found, this unit does need more flow than the specified 1/2 gallon per minute. It will shut down on low flow, and seems to need at least 2 gallons per minute. This one does not have a pump to circulate a hot water loop, consequently, you wait a bit for the warm water to arrive. 3/4" gas line required for install. Only other issue, is the intermittent roar it emits sometimes on start up. Sounds like an approaching Buzz Bomb pulse jet. Many complaints about that on the interwebs. I've tried adjusting all things that can be adjusted on the unit without success. I think the exhaust pipe is simply to short, it's only about 8" thru the wall.

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    Thanks all appreciate the input.
    Cheers Ross

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    I understand they need a yearly acid wash to remove calcium deposits on the heat exchanger. They make special valves that allow this to be done with no pipe wrenches. If your water is EBMUD probably not an issue. Look in your tea kettle and see how much white has built up. Do you get much out when you flush your tank heater/
    Bill D

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    I put one of the Rinnai tankless heaters in at my house in 2018. Mine has a recirculating loop, works fantastic. I haven't had any issues so far at all, and I do the vinegar flush through the system once a year. Takes about 2 minutes to hook up the pump and hoses then you just let it run a while, unhook and flush out with water. Real easy and not a hassle at all. So far, very pleased with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    I have found, this unit does need more flow than the specified 1/2 gallon per minute. It will shut down on low flow, and seems to need at least 2 gallons per minute. This one does not have a pump to circulate a hot water loop, consequently, you wait a bit for the warm water to arrive. 3/4" gas line required for install. Only other issue, is the intermittent roar it emits sometimes on start up. Sounds like an approaching Buzz Bomb pulse jet. Many complaints about that on the interwebs. I've tried adjusting all things that can be adjusted on the unit without success. I think the exhaust pipe is simply to short, it's only about 8" thru the wall.
    When I installed mine I had the same issue with the lower flow not turning it on. I went so far as to measure the flow rates per minute by timing a set volume of water out of the faucet. I put an oscilloscope on the water flow sensor suspecting it might be sticking. It was not. Pulsed voltage at even a trickle. Mine wouldn't turn on until about 2 GPM. Read the SHIT out of the manual, no solutions there.

    So... i called Rinnai tech line. Explained the issue. The guy immediately asks "Did you change the preset water temperature?" Well, yeah, we like our hot water hot. I set it to130°. Turns out, there's a dip switch you have to flip to get the low flow rate turn-on back if you raise the output water temperature setting. I flipped the switch and nary a problem since. Why in the HELL that isn't in the damned manual I don't know.

    As for the boom, I don't have that issue and my exhaust is only just long enough to go through a cinder block wall, so it probably isn't the length of the pipe. Your unit is a lot older than mine though, so not sure.

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    I honestly don't know which model we have, but I have had a great experience. We did an addition/remodel about two years ago now and the water heater was in the garage. The tankless was part of what I wanted to free up some space. It's really been nice. Caveat, we did also install a soft water setup and whole house filter at the same time, which I heard really helps the reliability/longevity. We always have hot water and haven't had any issues in two years. I know they have different requirements for what version you get and where it's installed. We had the stainless flue as well as needing increased gas pipe to feed it, however, where it's located, it's only maybe 20 feet from the meter, so it wasn't a big deal at all. Overall, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Freed up a lot of space in the garage and just looks quite a bit better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    . Turns out, there's a dip switch you have to flip to get the low flow rate turn-on back if you raise the output water temperature setting. I flipped the switch and nary a problem since. Why in the HELL that isn't in the damned manual I don't know.

    As for the boom, I don't have that issue and my exhaust is only just long enough to go through a cinder block wall, so it probably isn't the length of the pipe. Your unit is a lot older than mine though, so not sure.
    I read someplace online about the DIP switches. Then someone said they tried that, and it made no difference. Do you have any idea which switch it is? I know right where they are.

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    Ross:

    I have no personal experience with these heaters. However, we keep getting occasional "reports" of these systems becoming infected with Legionella bacteria - the cause of Legionnaire's disease. I'd do my homework to absolutely ensure the entire system can maintain 124 deg F including the return line. Legionella won't grow above 120. The other item to investigate is whether you need a condensing type heater. The presence of the return line would indicate to me that you might. As with most modern systems attention to detail is critical.

    Have greatly enjoyed your posts.

    Regards,

    DB

    NB: Regardless of which system you get double check that your grounding/bonding is up to snuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    I read someplace online about the DIP switches. Then someone said they tried that, and it made no difference. Do you have any idea which switch it is? I know right where they are.
    Let me check the manual, pretty sure I wrote it down in there.

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    Here you go dk, not sure if yours is the same being as it's older, but hope it helps. If not try calling Rinnai.

    20200626_003725.jpg

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    can tell you one thing don't get a bosh

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    Quote Originally Posted by 72bwhite View Post
    can tell you one thing don't get a bosh
    Siemens are also garbidge.

    Electric instantaneous there are even Chinese designs that JFW and last and last.

    They took on-board that the water supply would be 50-shades of f**ked up, from pressures too low or too high, to all manner of contaminents from sand to Iron scale to lime, to biologicals. Because the water all over China, HKG included actually IS that AFU!

    So they built simple, sturdy hest exchangers, big low-stress valves and pressure switches that JFW and at all pressures and levels of contaminents in the water supply. Similar approach to the Russians:

    Not very much good for pretty, but pretty much good for strong.

    Bosch AKA "Boche" are soooooo FULL of sharp-pencil bean counters converting old German names into cheap shite I won't even buy a Röhm chuck, lo these many years.

    Bosch had gotten them to make such crudely made shite for their crap power tools the chucks were junk ... and ruint Röhm's reputation as well as Bosch.

    The only two I still have are older, have the "Made in Switzerland" label out of the old Scintilla Vertex factory.

    Before Bosch f**ked that up, too.



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