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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What type of maintenance issues are you having with tankless heaters now that they are not so new anymore?

How often do you flush them out?
How long is the service call?
Assuming a proper valve set up was installed, what materials do you use for flushing?
Life of the tankless vs. tank type?
What other maintenance issues have regularly come up?
Are the customers as happy with them 3 years after the initial install?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
INRO:

I've worked in maintenance at a motel in high school and read an article about starting my own handyman plumbing business. Thought I would start with tankless heaters. Wanted to do drains since that is where the easy money is but I couldn't afford the $150 power snake so I decided to do tankless water heaters since I already have pliers and a torch. :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think we all agree that the marketing of ALL tankless manufacturers can be taken with a grain of salt. It has all been based (fo the most part on saving energy bucks and getting tax credits. I agree that it is a bubble that is due to bust next year.

However, as usual we as an industry are still left to service what is being installed. So what are we up against? Are they really servicable or was that over promised as well?

I believe (especially in warm water climates) there can be a place for them but the long term maintenance maintenance is seldom discussed. For instance, I think having one in my shop behind the house would be helpful for washing cars adn other utility type things and I would not have to keep a 40 gal. tank ready for weekly or monthly use. And save space. But then there's the cost.:whistling2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
if you dont factor in the mandatory maintaince then you are simply
lieing to the customer about payback... just to get them to go tankless
That's really where I was going when I started the thread. Are we really informing the customer of the LONG TERM commitment to tankless maintenance costs?

My 2nd point is this...Are WE really aware of the long term commitment to tankless maintenance costs? (Not so much lying but...) Or are we just turning a blind eye to the service issues down the road?
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
...then hopefully I will fill a niche and grow my company....

I have only quoted a handful of tankless, but I make dang sure, that the potential customer knows exactly what the score is, no hidden costs. Of course, I do not quote a tankless alone, but give alternatives. I find that when I do that the customer will pick something, and a job is done, money is made. So all in all, tankless will make me money if I install them or not...
I like the niche offering.:thumbsup: That is an important step for any new company (and some not so new also).

As long as the continued commitment for maintenance costs are discussed ahead of time then I think it can be a great option for someone that needs an endless supply of hot water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I never consider offering a tankless without the isolation valves. Given the manufacturer's persistent beating of the "MUST FLUSH" drum, I am surprised it is not a mandatory item.

Since we have never been called back to do descaling on tankless units we've installed, I have no reference point for time allowance or materials used. Maybe it is not as big of an issue as I thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
IPC 2009 Section 424 states max temp for tubs and showers is 120deg F.

Code does allow for a max temp of 140 for domestic hot water per Section 501 but this does not trump the tub/shower limit.

The only code approved way to provide 140 in the kitchen is to have a tempering valve for the hot water to the tub and/or shower. Also, striving for a 140 setting is risky since 140.0001deg F would not be allowed.

An argument could also be made that the limiting device on many faucets such as Delta tub/shower faucets would not be compliant unless they actually are based on temperature. With Delta, this would be the TempAssure series. Most with hot water limit stops only will still allow for water hotter than 120 if the water heater is set too high.

There is potential for HUGE liability for the plumber that sets a water heater above 120deg F without also providing properly tempered water to the bathroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
...tell the customer whatever you want to get them to buy one...
I think you might still missing the point MM. I don't think many of us buy into all the marketing and 'green' promises made by the tankless manufacturers. For me it is no different that selling a polished brass faucet before PVD finishes were available. Not every plumbing purchase is about function and cost. Sometimes people just want it because they want it. Even if it is not what I would put in my own home, if a customer has been given the pros and cons, and believes the pros weigh heavier for them, then a beautifully installed tankless water heater they shall have.

There is a luxury to having endless hot water and gaining square footage in your home. If a client is willing to pay for that luxury, then so be it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
I was around back in 1986 when they ended the solar
tax credits and I watched a lot of places fold up and blow away
I will be willing to bet $$$ it will go down about
the same all over again this time....
you can deny that the crap is gonna hit the fan all you want
but their is a very strong possiblity it will happen..
I'm with you on the tax credit. The government robs money from earners to subsidize feel gooders way too much. The economics of someone wanting the luxury of endless hot water is not the issue. It costs more money to install, to maintain, and saves precious little on fuel. But. that hardly makes it snake oil.

Tankless heaters are good for what they do. Endless stream of hot water at a specified gpm at a specified rise in temperature. As was stated before nobody buys a Ferrari to save money but they buy them none the less.

It is truly sad that the whole tankless marketing scheme has been based on the fallacy of going green instead of marketing them on the merits they do have and their are many. :yes:

The scam is their corporate marketing, not the viability of the product.
 
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