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Tankless in Denver
January 4, 2009 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Localfilter: I live in Denver, and I'd like a tankless water heater. Who can I trust?

My wife would really prefer a Rheem tankless, but I'm open to other options as long as they're dependable. We've had terrible luck with Lowe's and Home Depot sub contractors, the former having shortened our current tank water heater's life considerably.
posted by boo_radley to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have a Takagi tankless heater that I got online from Low Energy Systems. I put it in place and vented it; a local plumber hooked it up. I've been happy with both the heater and with the help I got from Low Energy Systems.
posted by PatoPata at 12:34 PM on January 4, 2009


Has it required any service? How long have you had it?
posted by boo_radley at 1:23 PM on January 4, 2009


I have two tankless water heaters: Bosch Aquastar 125LP and Bosch Aquastar 240FX (which is the same as a Takagi TK-1). These were purchased from Controlled Energy Corp, which is now Bosch Hot Water (http://www.boschhotwater.com/), and installed when the house was built in 2002. The 125LP was installed wrong and it gave trouble until I fixed that. Thereafter it has been excellent. The 240FX is very fussy about electrical power and it has many too many electronic gizfratchetts in it. It has been a pain and I would not buy the same model again; however, it has not been giving trouble after I cleaned its burners.

Controlled Energy Corp. was awesome, but when they were taken over they seem to have developed a policy of not supporting older Takagis and therefore I would not buy another water heater from them.

In case you haven't looked at Palomas, there have been twenty or so working - with minimal maintenance - at Orr Hot Springs in northern California for at least eight years. If I have to replace the Takagi this is what I'll put in its place.
posted by jet_silver at 1:51 PM on January 4, 2009


I've heard Rinnai is the best (which I think is what we have; we haven't even lived here for a year so can't tell you about long-run performance). And I know this isn't the answer to your question, but I really dislike our tankless. We have a big house, and most of it is on a conventional water heater with a recirc loop....immediate hot water - bless it! But the house is big enough that I didn't want it looping through the entire thing (thinking it would waste too much energy), but I couldn't find an area on the other side of the house for a regular hot water heater. So on that side of the house we have tankless, and it's sooooo painfully slow to get hot water. In theory we could put a recirc pump there too, but that would defeat the purpose. Maybe a point-of-use tank at those places, but we didn't install outlets there (or at least that's based on my basic understanding of how it works).
posted by texas_blissful at 3:55 PM on January 4, 2009


I'm personally looking into Stiebel Eltron's units after hearing mostly weird things about the Bosch and not being too impressed with the data available online about the other leading vendors. Stiebel Eltron also has products related to solar hot water combined with tankless systems, which I'd plan on using. Does anyone have experience with these units?
posted by odinsdream at 7:56 PM on January 4, 2009


Bosch Aquastar 125NG. Love it. No problems at all and can run steamy hot water for a shower and someone washing dishes in the next room no problem.

My washing machine heats its own water so I don't know if it could support three uses at once.

It's been installed in two places, btw.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:07 PM on January 4, 2009


Had a Bosch Aquastar. While it worked OK when it worked, when it didn't work, finding somone to service it was a giant pain ... and I live in a major metro area. It got harder and harder to find someone to service it, even with help from the manufacturer. I even tipped one guy an extra $100 so he'd come back the next time. The next time he didn't even return our calls. I got the distinct impression repair people just didn't like working on them. Finally, I just had it ripped out and put in a standard water tank. Happiest water heating day of my life.
posted by lpsguy at 6:59 AM on January 5, 2009


Please follow up with your experience. I am looking for a tankless heater in Denver and will be folllowing this thread.

Do you already have a 220v plug, or are you having one put in? I'm pretty sure I would need a 220 and am not sure how much of a pain this will be.
posted by Sheppagus at 9:36 AM on January 5, 2009


Sheppagus, we have an NG hookup in our closet, and are looking for a corresponding system.
posted by boo_radley at 12:05 PM on January 5, 2009


Sheppagus; are you considering it as a replacement for a tank water heater? That should already be using a 220V line.
posted by odinsdream at 2:35 PM on January 5, 2009


I've had my Takagi for about 5 years. The only service it required was due to my incorrect installation. I left the damper out of the fresh air intake valve, so cold air got in and froze the innards, bursting them. I sent the entire unit back to Takagi and got a replacement unit for something like $175 after some confusing phone calls. The properly installed replacement unit has been through bitter cold with no trouble.
posted by PatoPata at 5:23 PM on January 5, 2009


No, I'm looking for it to supplement our (lousy) community boiler in our townhome complex. So I have no 220v hookup and a tank heater isn't an option.
posted by Sheppagus at 12:41 PM on January 8, 2009


I've been looking at the Takagi models, too. Does anyone know the approximate costs to install a tankless water heater where there wasn't one before? This blankhole plumber I talked to said it's $500, but he didn't give me any explanation for his seemingly arbitrary price. Any thoughts would be appreciated!
posted by zollypop at 1:46 PM on March 31, 2009


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