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Plumbing and Gas SCO
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Discussion Starter #1
My area is getting ( finally ) the point about tankless heaters. I still will not put them on a well system, but will be starting to flog them for in town.
I am looking to sell the Navien line.
Is there anything special I will need to watch for with these heaters? I know I need to have the gasline sized properly and have the appliance as the first connection when I can. I won't install it on an outside wall in a mobile home ( too cold ). What kind of tips and tricks are there to ensure a quick and painless install?
I am not looking to cut corners, I just want to avoid a steep learning curve.
 

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Always Something
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Good luck with that.....

There is a learning curve - quick and painless are not part of that either. They are not overly difficult but you must pay attention to the details. Navian line is a brand that I did some testing for. They make a line of condensing units that in some respects I actually like better than my main Noritz line I usually sell. Navian has a few advantages and they have done some things I really liked with their heaters. I am still a bit leery about selling too many of them.....I was not impressed with the PCB layout (printed circuit board), no the rubber tubing inside. I did not care for the remote menue system, nor its connections to the main board. However...they are condensing and are .98% efficient (unheard of) they are very quiet...more so than the Rinnai's and Noritz units. They on some mdls have an internal recirculation pump with a thermal sensor to recirculate the water...HUGE in my book. They are condensing, so you need to have a drain or install a condensate pump and plumb it to a drain....more $$$$ but in the right situation...Navian is a great choice....for me, not every choice would be it. I have done2 for the company and I sold about 4 or 5. So far no callbacks but I am not slanging them full swing. They are a little more complicarted than the average tankless.....you would be well suited to start reading tankless manuals of different brands. you will soon learn the similarities of them all...Learn your vent clearences.....Things like what Smells is going through with block wall for his wall thimble (not needed on Navian units) those things become a non pain in the ass issue. But after he has done a few he can now walk up to a job and know he can knock that out in 1.5 hrs so when he is putting his bid together he has that much more experience versus the guy that has no clue how to get through the block....who than allocates billable 4 hrs just for vent termination. THOSE are the painfull, learning curve lessons one must learn with tankless. Any monkey can hoock up hot cold gas drain...etc....It's just getting to that point. It's being able to relocate a heater for X amount of reasons and not make it a 12 grand job. That is the learning curve. I will tell you all this...getting good with tankless heaters will make you a much better plumber.

I was the 4th guy to walk a job today. Realtor tells me all 3 of the otjher guys want to put the tankless heater in the garage. What do I think?
I said, I'll tell you...they are clueless to operation. The garage is 30 ft from the mstr bath and another 30 to the kit. I said, lets relocate to the kitchen area, because at least that will get hot water faster...Master bath is going to have to wait X amount of time anyhow, may as well pick up the kitchen. This guy stops in his tracks and says....ya know? your right. I looked at him with a confident smile and said...I am!!

On the way out he tells me to keep it under 4 and it's mine....it's a 3000 job....

Point is, don't shy away from the learning curve. Tankless is just like baseball.

It's good that it is sometimes hard....that's what makes them great to install. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. If my knees lasted longer I would be retiring from major league baseball right about now....see my post on breaking brick with a big Fing hammer!

For your first few...go slow, it's not a hollywood hooker. Take your time and make it right. Good Luck
 

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residential service
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If I might add without acting like I know something about it, price them correctly. There seems to be an upper limit, as with anything, regarding what you can get for these installs. Test that limit, find out what it is, cling to it, and periodically retest that limit. Some my disagree but in my view these are still luxury items. They should command luxury prices. That may not always be the case but for now it seems to be that way in my neck of the woods anyway. When you squeeze that install for every dollar it will yield, it tends to really take the sting out of those 4 hour wall penetrations :yes:. If you low balled it just so you could get your hands on one, well, all I can say is get the most out of the education 'cause your gonna pay for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Believe me, I will be taking it slow. I really like that they will run at next to no flow. That really comes in handy for homes with all low flow fixtures. I am looking forward to getting the first one done. I quoted out for 2 seperate jobs with them today. I priced them a little low, but they are going to people I know. They understand that this is new for me, but they know that I will make sure that the job is done right before I leave. These 2 will be the start of the learning curve. I will adjust pricing after these 2 to reflect an approximation of time required to install and commission on a "normal" install.
 

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Maybe I shouldn't say this and embarass myself but I never consider these installs at anything less than an all day affair. I am a slow plumber to begin with so I'm sure they can be done faster than what I do them but they seem to take me between 9 and 12 hours working alone to complete the job. Now Tankless I'm sure will tell you he can do 3 a day and be home in time for American Idol :eek: but not me.
 

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Now , now ,,, that doesn't make you slow . I've done several and let me just say ,,,, They are GREAT but NOT a rush job !! Just getting the pipes where you want them can be a Royal PITA . I know every business plan on earth states ," Time is Money " , yeah that's easy to say when you ar just writing it ! ENTIRELY different when you are the one using your hands to put food on the table .
Unlike baseball ( no offense Tankless ) we cannot achieve 3 out of 10 times and be considered GREAT . We MUST bat 1000% or something REAL BAD can happen !!

TAKE YOUR TIME ! READ THE BOOKLET ! So you lose $100 here or there ,,, so what ?? In the long run you'll make it up PLUS a lot more :)

Cal
 
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Plumbing and Gas SCO
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Discussion Starter #7
That's the plan. Believe me, there is no rush. They will be done right. I was mearly attempting to pick the brains of fellow plumbers who install these heaters daily. Maybe when I said "ensure a quick and painless install" I should have said "ensure I give the customer the best job possible, in as short a time as possible, so that I don't disrupt them for longer than neccessary"
I am not looking for ways to Half-arse the installs. That is not the way I run things. That's the other guys down the street.
 

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Didn't mean any offense . Sure you are great at the job!

For me the problem has been relocation . Can't put them in the same spot as the usual tank types . Most of the time because of the venting . I find usually have to relocate to an area were the outside is MUCH closer for the venting . Then it's pipe,pipe,pipe .

Maybe I'm just not mapping things out as well as I should .

Cal
 

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Always Something
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I spend anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes at each job before I bid it. I have done enough of them to know it's very easy to screw things up. I normally work alone unless there is alot of basic labor involved, than I bring my guy with. Great worker...shows up ontime....works well, but the poor guy can't cut pipe to save his life. I wish he could as I would like to train him...but he is just basic labor. That and I just don't trust other people very much.

What cal was saying is very true. The relocation can be a *****, especially for you guys that can't install these things outdoors. Venting is expensive and must be done correctly. Planning and thinking it through THAN comming up with multiple options for installation at different price points with pro's and cons to each. i.e. location A will deliver HW faster to the kitchen and will be an average job where as location B will get HW to the mstr bathroom faster but will require a little bit more work. If cross connections are allowed in your area...offer up the metland recirc pump system. I sold two tankless with those pumps yesterday. Both wanted installs closer to mstr bath than recirc to the kitchen. You also want to be thinking about what you can pick up along the way. If you heat up the line to the kit, and there is a bathroom or laundry along the way...the recirc pump now serves multiple options. People like value, and people like to be taken care of. At the same time don't spend all day confusing them. Ya gotta read your client. If they care give them a few details, if they don't (usually all women) just KISS. All I can say is the more you do the better you get. Doesn't mean you will be faster at installing them, but you will do a better job and will have a better understanding of how they work and how you can be smart and experienced enough to get the sale over the other guys when you're more expensive. There is an outfit in the San Diego area that buy abouy 400-600 per month. These guys are unbelievable hacks. I was at a training at Noritz HQ and there were a few other repair techs their and I just couldn't believe the horror stories. Kids getting burned...units failing. One guy there was telling us about how they used roofing nails to mount the unit on a masonry wall....
 

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Tankless,

I'm glad you're here and moreover, glad I've found and joined this site. Tankless is relatively new in the Houston area and more and more people are inquiring about it. In an earlier post I mentioned being a dissenting voice and although I still have my issues (maybe more from ignorance than experience), I'm learning. With more knowledge gained by persons such as yourself, I'll be in a much better position to inform clients of their choices.

Again, thanks!
 

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noritz flashing 90

I've installed a few of these with no issues in some pizzahuts... i have a problem with one i did not install in a nail salon with 30 pedicure chairs.. the norizt is being used as a pre heater for a 100 gallon commercail heater with a mixing valve..i checked the gas pressure was closer to 6 so i adjusted the meter near 10.. same thing about five times a day flashing90.. the mixing valve was sticking so i replaced it and set both heaters on 130...this still didn't help.. I've checked the vent its ok and the fan is working at least when im there it is. Its got a backflow on the main im wondering if thermal expansion could be causing it.. not sure if it cuts out from higher water presures? they do have a cir pump that only flows through the tank heater only... they also have presure tank commodes.. im confused.. one guy told me his only worked with the cover off so he made some spacers and this fixed his.. im gonna try that next.. any help would be wonderful.
thanks,
johnny
 

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Always Something
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Oh lord. Please do everyone a favor and call Noritz tech support and beg them to help you. I'm too tired to go through all this with you. Do you even know what 90 means?
 

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it means low gas pressure?

i will call noritz back in the morning.. they also told me to make sure the waterflow is good.. the plumber before me flushed it out.. that didn't help..i'll post the solution after i fix it.
thanks johnny
 

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Always Something
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one guy told me his only worked with the cover off so he made some spacers and this fixed his.. im gonna try that next..
With that sentance right there, it tells an experienced tech exactly what is wrong.
That won't help your cause, but I want to see if the tech can get you through it. Good Luck
 

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OK

you should change your name to (mr home slice know it all) i bet you voted for obama...I was just asking for help bro... i will tell you this... i help people ... im honest..i do good work...and thats why im wealthy... still bankrolling everyday..and kicking back a little $$$$$ to those that got me here.... my phone rings more than any plumber in nashville. I don't even need the money anymore. So dont worry about it.

Thanks,
johnny
 

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one more thing

If you need work let me know... i can kick ya a ton of high dollar easy jobs.. in all types of work. and i pay good
johnny
 
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