Tankless - What to know before you buy

on today's episode we're gonna take a

deep dive into tankless water heaters

there's a bunch of different options and

models out there but we're gonna be

focusing specifically on gas natural gas

or propane pros and cons why you might

choose one versus another and I'm gonna

at the end of the video give you some

recommendations if you're building new

or if you're remodel retrofit which

model I think might be the right one for

you so first off today's video we're not

sponsored by anybody I'm really agnostic

about brand today but I want to give you

an overview so you're a smart consumer

there's really two types of tankless

water heaters there's non-condensing and

condensing you notice these two smaller

units right here these are traditional

models that are non condensing these

typically across all the manufacturers

are roughly 0.8 EF rating the condensing

models are about 10% more efficient with

a point 9 EF rating what does that

translate to into dollars that means for

every dollar of gas I put into this unit

80 cents on these non condensing units

is gonna be transferred into hot water

20% is going to be lost to the

atmosphere on these condensing models

point 9 rating that means 90% of that

dollar is going to be converted into hot

water 10% is going to be lost due to

inefficiency so these are very efficient

models and again we've got no standby

loss here so they're only gonna heat up

when a fixture is opened and there's

flow through the unit which means it's

calling for hot water now if you if you

compare these EF ratings with

traditional tanks typically a

traditional tank a good one is somewhere

around 0.55 - maybe as much as point

seven so these are certainly 15-20

percent more efficient across the board

than a standard tank type unit but the

big reason to choose one of these is the

luxury of endless hot water there can be

some energy savings but it's really

something that I would say you want to

downplay with your clients because it's

the limitless hot water is a reason to

buy one of these okay so why would you

choose this non-condensing model over

it's more efficient condensing cousin

over here several reasons because these

are non condensing there's less to go

wrong with them there's less parts and

there's less technology this is a very

proven very old technology it's really

mature they're also less cost initially

to install them these units and the

other thing I like about these models is

we don't have to worry about disposing

of condensate these condensing models by

condensation we're talking about these

pipes right here are actually going to

gather water and as it gathers water and

condenses that water that's how it rings

out the extra efficiency but it also

means that these have to have a place

that they can drain to now either one of

these can be mounted both on the outside

like this unit right here or the inside

like this one that has a flue attached

to it I like the outside mount units if

you're in the south if you're in a place

where it doesn't freeze a whole lot

during the course of the year this is a

great option right here this there's no

venting on these you just mounted on the

outside of the house and it blows the

exhaust gasses out right here now on the

non-condensing version right like this

one one problem with these though is

they require stainless steel vent pipe

because the condensation that might

occur in the pipe is very acidic and

because the flue gasses are pretty hot

these have about 300 degree flue gases

and you've got to use the more expensive

piping so that is a little bit of a

downside of the non-condensing or mid

efficiency models now as I mentioned I'm

pretty brand agnostic on this video

really these these things that I'm

talking about today are across models

now let's step up to the higher

efficiency condensing model the big

beauty of these is now we convent with

PVC pipes we're gonna plug in a standard

and inexpensive PVC here this is the air

intake and this is the air exhaust and

the gases that are coming out of this

are only a hundred degrees and that's

why you can exhaust with standard PVC

now if you're building new I like this

particular model more efficient and the

PVC venting is a big deal for me the

reason why I like that PVC venting is I

can seal around those really well from

an air sealing standpoint meaning this

could be in a laundry room that could be

in a basement and I don't have to have

an open flue to the outside I just have

a PVC pipe I can spray foam or caulk

around that and seal it really well so

it won't have any air leakage around


whereas these that have the stainless

steel pipe I can't do that I got to be a

little bit more cautious about air

sitting around these and it's much

harder to do with that stainless steel

flue the other thing I like about these

two of course is the energy savings now

it's gonna take you some time to catch

up on energy savings you're not gonna

choose that energy savings as the main

reason but this is the most efficient

model you can find in the category today

at somewhere around ninety percent

efficient or even better next let's talk

about capacity now all these different

flavors here come in different sizes

meaning gas inputs the biggest size you

can have available is a hundred and

ninety nine thousand BTU that's a cut

off on two hundred thousand because

above that you need a special plumbing

license called a boilers license to

install those so typically these

residential models you're not gonna find

them any bigger than 199 you want to be

cautious about your input temperature

and your overall capacity meaning where

I am in the south I have fairly warm

water going into my tankless usually

around 50 to 60 degrees as my input

temperature whereas if you're building

in Connecticut or like my friends in

Boston you could have 35 40 degree water

going into this so it's got a lot more

work to get it up to that 120 degrees

which is your final output which means

that this same unit in Texas is gonna

produce actually a greater flow of hot

water than it would in Boston in the

wintertime so you got to be cautious

about capacity I think you're always

better off upgrading to slightly bigger

size then you think you might need just

to make sure you've got plenty of

capacity alright to close this out let

me give you some recommendations on

which models I'd recommend if you're

building new or if you're remodeling

if you're building new I think that this

model is the way to go this is the

condensing models in the biggest reason

I say that is because of this right here

that PVC venting I really like that I

can get a good air seal on that and I

can make sure that I don't have air

leaking in that flue it's a really great

choice but remember with this condensing

model I've got condensate that I need to

deal with them from building new I can

put a drain right there I can deal with

it if I'm retrofitting that condensate

can be hard to deal with especially if

you're outside because you also have to

neutralize that the common say

this unit is gonna have a pH between

three and five which means it's pretty

acidic and we can't just dump that on

the ground it's gonna kill everything

that acid is not good for your plants so

you're gonna have to have a special unit

that's gonna neutralize that that's what

brings me to these right here these

units which are what is called mid

efficiency single stage you've got

different venting for these but you

don't have any condensate to deal with

so if you're remodeling or you're

retrofitting I really think that the mid

efficiency models are the way to go

thanks for joining me on this deep dive

into tankless water heaters and big

thanks to more supply for letting me use

their warehouse today to film this video

guys for more information on this topic

go check out my blog at matt rice Enger

comm I love talking about water heaters

there's so much to talk about and

there's so many options out there today

but today's episode was really meant to

talk specifically about gas and tankless

stay tuned for more on this topic in the

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