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residential service
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I'm just getting started with these installs. Prior to July of last year I had done a total of 2 tankless installs all the way back to 2003. The first was a Rinnai, the second was a Takagi, everything since has been Noritz. From July through December of last year I did 6 or 7 installs. So far this year I have done one install on Jan 8th and have another scheduled for this coming Monday.

I say all this to point out that I really don't have a wealth of experience installing these units but I'm learning all the time and my confidence with them grows a little each time. I have made some mistakes which I have had to correct but mostly everything has gone very well.

I think that I have developed (not necessarily all on my own) what I think is the best set up for providing power to these units. I am not an electrician so I don't know how to do it and don't do it. I sub out the electrical to a company I trust.

I started out having them hard wired directly to the unit which is fine I guess unless you have a power outage in which case the unit won't fire. I think now though at least for indoor installs and maybe for outdoor as well, that it might be better to have an outlet installed and then wire from the unit to a plug. If you do it this way it just affords more options to the ho in the event of power outage. I'm not really talking about the summertime thunderstorm outage that lasts for a couple of hours maybe but rather the winter storm '93 outages (anyone near my area should know what this means). If the unit terminates in a plug then the ho can still have hot water via an ac converter plugged into their car/truck.

In '93 we had a winter storm that dumped 16" of snow in an area that averages 0" inches of snow each year. I was without power for 8 days in an all electric apartment. What I would have given for a hot shower!

I just don't want my customers to ever think "Man if I had'nt let that slick talking tankless salesman (not) talk me into getting rid of my old ng water heater for this thing, I would have plenty of hot water right now!"

It really isn't costing my anything different to do it either way with respect to the electrician, I just think that maybe this affords the ho with the most options.

For all those who have a lot more experience with these than I do, what do you think? Tell me why my reasoning is flawed.
 

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I have done my share on tankless and I do just as you are talking about. I put an outlet in so i can plug the unit in. I make my on whip if it does not have one on it already, i know rinnai's indoor unit has one on it but not the external unit. The main reason i put the plug is to have a point of disconnect at the heater for service reasons. But you make a good point the ho could use it to power it if the power does go out.
 

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The code is labled..."means of disconnect" All appliances must have a means of disconnect. For our purposes there are two....Pigtail and snap switch. Should the appliance suffer from some electrical issue the home owner needs to be able to disconnect power to it as well as tech for servicing. Most of mine are on a pigtail. If the unit is outdoors THERE MUST BE A RECEPT WITHIN 6' OF THE TANKLESS. No longer than 6 feet for the pigtail. At the electrical supply houses I cannot even buy an 8 footer because it's just not allowed. If the manu puts an actual 8 footer...have at it. No pigtaim may enter into any kind of wall (like passing into the interior and than plugging in to a nearby recept)....huge violation. I am a big fan of GFCI protection...indoors or out. As per 2008 in most parts of the country...all outdoor recepts must be GFCI protected. I have seen numerous poser surges where the GFI very well may have saved the tankless. It's just another line of protection for the unit. They are expensive to rebuy and are expensive to call guys like me to come fix....GFI's are 14 bucks.

Snap switches are inline with a hardwire setup. Branch electrical power is ran to the switch than to the tankless. All outdoor applications must be IN USE enclosures...snap switch housings can be paddel door style...I prefer the red switch marine housing. When done right, you can pressure wash the house and never have to worry about the electrical.

As with all things not related to our respective trades...hire someone licensed to do the install...yes yes I know it's less money for you, but if there is ever an electrical issue (even if it is not your fault) you are gonna be buying a new unit or have to do the repair. Transformers are a pain in the ass to replace.

When I first started doing these I was lucky enough to be trained by one of the best in the business...and the gassing of the units along with proper gassing practices is really what got me to where I am at today. I have far surpassed the guy why gave me initial trainings so it's nice to have him call me up and help him out with advanced issues. The more you do the better you will get. Think I didn't screw up my fair share of installations? haaa, I have gone back on atleast 2 or 3 to readjust or (upgrade) the clients installation! We are the original guys behind these systems...in 20 something years guys will be laughing at us in the way we do things today...and that's OK, because in another 20 someone else will be laughing at them....It's a great cycle. Remember plumbers tate for EQ straps? My point exactly!

I'm happy to help anyone on here with their jobs need be...I also am an excellent troublshooter over the phone, even when buzzed at the lake on vacation!
 
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