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jzchen 10-09-2017 05:05 AM

Hot Water heater (natural gas) selection- Rinnai tankless?
Electric seems out of the question. Last time I had an electrician to the house he said our 200 A service is full, and sounds like I'd need to upgrade to 400 A, which is most likely too costly. The original tank water heater is run on gas line to the house, line is already there, so I guess I'll stick with that.

I've been searching for a more efficient, and hopefully longer lasting hot water heater for our home. Westinghouse and Rheem make tankless natural gas water heaters but seem to be branded with California Prop 65 warnings of cancer causing materials. My mother is a cancer survivor, but may have recurring cancer at the moment, and I think in light of this I would like to avoid those choices with the warning. That at least seems to cut down my choices by a lot, in particular on Home Depot's website. There is one American Standard and Eccotemp (which seems small).

On Lowe's site there are quite a few choices and none I have seen have the Prop 65 warning. They seem to have different brands, so I am hoping that they do list if a product has Prop 65 warning, and Lowe's just doesn't carry such water heater products. The piping next to the water heater seems complicated, and looks like there is a water recirculating pump so that makes things more complicated.

Anyone have any knowledgeable advice? Installation sounds quite pricey as well. (I just fixed our A/C myself, proud to say just needed a 3 AMP ATO automotive fuse! Wish I could install it myself, but seems unlikely....)

Thank you for help in the past! And help on this!

stevenjb 10-09-2017 06:06 AM

Flash water heaters are great. You may need a double flue installed (allows air to come in and escape at the same time). Make sure you have the proper size gas fitting and lines, too small and the heater will not function well. You may have a water pump due to low pressure (may want to do a pressure test). The plumbing for a flash heater looks complicated, like something from the Space Shuttle, but comes down to - what goes in must come out. Also be sure to size the unit properly. Don't want cold showers.

I wouldn't worry too much about the prop 65 notices, I understand your concern. It is probably a component in there with a tagged material (like trace amounts of mercury in CFL light bulbs). It is unlikely members of your family will be opening the unit and touching the components.

You will need to do maintenance on the unit such as flushing the units coils periodically.

A traditional tank water heater will be cheaper to buy and install.

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jzchen 10-09-2017 08:29 AM

Thank you Steve(n)!!! I am going to check on the size of the gas line, as it runs into the house and I donít think upgrading the size is possible. I liked the electrical tankless because they have one with a lifetime warranty, but they require a lot of amps/breakers, and this heater is very far from the service entrance as well!

It is nice to know the Prop 65 warning is not a big concern. I was really worried it may affect the water supply, and that would be a no-go for me! Kind of like all those BPA warnings in plastics that have been coming out. Since there is a 12 year old in the house and his grandma with possible cancer I was/am really concerned about exposure, I do believe cancer is part pre-disposition/genetic.

Time for more doctor visits. Hopefully Iíll squeeze in going to Loweís or Home Depot sometime soon.

Mister_smart_LA 10-09-2017 07:58 PM

I have a Takagi and I'm happy with it. It saves some energy, and the instant heat is there. It won't be as strong as advertised though because the pipes will still need to warm up. But endless showers are great when you have many visitors.

I don't know what to advise about the cancer warning though.

stevenjb 10-09-2017 08:51 PM

The good thing about flash water heaters is that they can be installed inside or outside the house. And I wanted to further mention the prop 65 notice, you may want to contact the manufacturer to verify how the notice is related to their unit. I can't see a manufacturer designing a unit where the water flowed through a system that has a cancer related fitting (however I could be wrong) - so if you find a unit you like with a prop 65 notice, email or call the manufacturer.

I would always go with a gas unit. You still need electricity going to the unit to power the electronics.

We had a Takagi unit and it worked well.

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jzchen 10-10-2017 11:35 AM

Well, there might be a lot fewer choices without the Prop 65 warning than I thought! I dug up a Rinnai manual for a model suggested on the "selector" and low and behold it had the same Prop 65 warning!

I'll post here if I am successful in finding any that may not.....

GoFaster 10-10-2017 06:41 PM

As you are finding out, the California "proposition 65" warning is so broad that it is largely useless. Almost everything contains something in it that might cause cancer under the right set of circumstances, so almost everything sold in California has that label on it.

Unless you plan to eat your water heater, I really don't think you need to worry about it.

jzchen 10-14-2017 11:07 PM

EcoSmart and American Standard Water Heaters, in particular the tankless type, seem to escape the Prop 65 warning label, so far as I can tell....

jzchen 11-15-2017 06:18 AM

Hot Water heater (natural gas) selection- Rinnai tankless?
Really want an EcoSmart unit, but I donít have the room in the service panel for the 3 40A breakers, and it would be a very long run of wires to where the heater would be placed....

Argh. Decisions, decisions. Going to have a visitor for Christmas. Hope to get it sorted by then......

jimvw57 11-15-2017 07:41 AM

I have always wondered why you need to use a hot water heater?? if it is hot water, why does it need heating?? Makes you say Hmmmm....

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