Customer Reviews

60
3.8 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews (4 star)show all reviews
134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2013
The Rinnai water heater works well and saves energy but there are some issues that are specific to these water heaters and I am going to tell you the whole truth.

Venting: The exhaust/combustion air vent is tested and listed for the unit and you can't use any other vent. It uses outside air for combustion and is very safe. The direct vent sealed combustion vent allows Rinnai to be installed in bath rooms and bed rooms where traditional B-Vent water heaters cannot. There are limitations of how far away and were you can terminate the vent, check out the installation manual for that.

Hot Water: It will make endless hot water until you turn off the tap, a minute, an hour, a week. It can only supply so much at a time, depending on your cold water temperature it will only run two or three fixtures at once. It is an `on demand' water heater, not an `instant' water heater, hot water will take longer to arrive at the fixture than it will from a tank water heater.

Gas Supply: These water heaters use less fuel than a tank style water heater but when they want fuel, they want it now. Your tank style water heater required a gas supply of about 40,000 btu's per hour, your Rinnai will require 180 to 199,000 btu's per hour. Check you gas supply lines to make sure they have enough capacity for the new load or your new water heater won't perform to its potential without upgrading the supply line.

Expect some maintenance: This is an energy saving, high tech machine with a combustion fan, pc board and electronic solenoid valves to control water and gas flow. Your water quality will also determine how often the unit will need to be flushed, generally every one or two years. Flushing is done by using a small pump to circulate a solution through the unit to dissolve calcium deposits that form inside the heat exchanger. You should flush a tank style water heater too but most people don't. If you don't flush your tank less water heater the efficiency will be reduced and you may get inconsistent water temperatures. In the worst case it could plug the heat exchanger or cause it to leak requiring replacement.

Finding service: This point can be a little sticky. Rinnai's warranty isn't affected by internet purchases but your online retailer won't be much help. Rinnai has an online dealer locater but if you haven't purchased the appliance from that dealer it is a little like bringing your own steak to the restaurant, they may cook it for you but they won't guarantee the results. Be prepared to pay the service man and fight Rinnai for reimbursement or buy locally.

Hope this helps.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2011
My gas hot water heater just died. Got quotes to replace with similar. Quotes ran from $1800 to $1250 installed. The tankless unit priced out at $2000 installed which included adding a larger gas line and tapping into electric. $300 fed tax credit, $100 from Rinnai and $150 from my nat gas company gets me to $1450. So for $200 I made the leap to tankless and should save at least that much in gas first year.

First shower tonight right after install. Plenty of hot water. Can't speak to fluctuations as it was still clearing air in the lines. I gave it 4 stars only because it is too soon in ownership to award it 5 stars. More later...assuming I can update this later.

Jan 23, 2012 Update:
Update: It definitely takes a little longer to get hot water (30 seconds-1 minute). Of course once someone gets hot water upstairs the first time in the morning the lag time isn't really noticeable. And there is a "cold water sandwich" effect as mentioned on the Rennai site. I tend to get wet (turn water off), soap up, wash, (turn water on) and rinse. When I turn the water back on there is a short burst of cooler water. then right back to hot. This is more a function of how I shower but it is a consideration. Of course if you leave the hot water on it stays hot and you never run out. No issues with multiple showers - washing clothes - running dishwasher. It really delivers the hot water. I have a 5 person household (with 4 women).

So I recommend it. Even with the slight delay I keep thinking about all the time I am not paying to heat and reheat water. No real data on cost savings yet.
77 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
Verified Purchase
It installed just fine (we had a plumber do it), haven't had any problems with it. One thing that I didn't understand prior to getting this tankless heater is that the temperature gauge controls the water temp by decreasing the amount of hot water flowing out, not by making the water any hotter. That means that the hotter you want the water, the lower the flow rate coming out of the faucet. Showers are fine since we use low flow shower heads anyway, but baths take forever to fill up the tub if you want them hot. If you take a lot of baths this is something you may want to consider about this tankless heater, especially if you live in a colder climate.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2014
I am just finishing up a retrofit install of this heater and I thought I would give you my impressions.

My house was built in 1980 and has an external closet for the hot water heater (originally a 40 gal. natural gas). This was a common practice in those times.

First thing, don't try this unless you are very comfortable with construction/plumbing projects. This is not a first timers task. Use common sense and really do your homework before you tear into anything, unless you like the cold showers. If there is any doubt you can always call in a professional to look everything over before you turn it on.

The first thing no one will tell you is that these installs require multiple trades in most cases not just a plumber. In my case it would have cost over $3500 to have installed.

Venting: As mentioned in other reviews you cannot just reuse the old vent it requires the special Rinnai vent. I have a one story house and the old vent traveled up from the water heater closet out the roof. So, we are having our first cold snap of the year and I have to go up on the roof and do the venting. I did this first because I could leave the old heater running while this was going on. I have an architectural shingle roof. So that means I had to take several rows of singles off around the existing vent and roof jack. About a 3'X3' area. Then pull the old vent stack out. Then I installed the Rinnai roof jack and vent stack. Working with cold asphalt shingles is no fun and you have to be careful to do it above the min. manufactures install temp. Mine was 45 degrees I was able to get it done during the "heat" of the day. You really need to look at your situation and think about the venting. If your vent travels 30' through finished space then this probably won't make sense. You can also go out the wall. Anyway just plan it well in advance.

Gas supply: Others have mentioned this, but I expect almost all retrofits don't have enough gas supply. I had a 1/2" termination in the closet. I hoped I would be able to find a larger pipe close by in the attic. However, this isn't one of those home improvement shows where everything works out perfect, so…. They ran about 40' of half inch to supply a fireplace and hot water heater, so that was a no go for an upgrade. I could have used CSST and run across the whole attic, which works well for a retrofit. I didn't in part because I have mixed emotions about CSST in an attic. Look at youtube for CSST fires and draw your own conclusions. Anyway the other option was to plumb in a drop off my pool heater line which is 11/2" from the meter. To figure out if you have enough capacity do some more homework. Like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExNosdWfvnI&spfreload=10

Once again, know this before you start. If the gas plumbing is going to be real difficult then you might just go back with a normal heater. Also, pressure and leak test everything don't get sloppy, it isn't that hard or expensive.

Electric: You need an outlet. Most old water heater closets don't have any power. I had already installed an outlet because my FIOS service box requires power and I put it in that closet. Consider this also before you commit.

Water plumbing: First thing to mention is that the Rinnai comes with the flush valves. I see other people ordering these with the heater, you don't need to do that. There will be quite a bit of piping to get all of this setup, but it's all straight forward work. I like to use unions and valves so that the heater could easily be removed if it had to be changed or upgraded. I see so much plumbing that is done as cheap and quick as possible with no consideration for repairs or future service. I mean why not they just get to charge you to come back and make the changes they should have done during the first install. My house is all copper and I choose to just stay with that. Otherwise PEX would have made this a much faster and easier install.

Tips: I buy every size nipple, fitting, etc. Lots of extra stuff. Just so I don't have to go to the store 100 times. I buy these fittings from Lowes or HD vs. the supply house so that I can just return all the stuff I don't use without any hassles. Save the receipt and don't unwrap something until you use it. I do this on every project and it works great.

Start with the venting to determine where to mount the water heater. The vent is the most unforgiving and you can plumb to any location easier than running that expensive vent.

Cost: With no external labor cost and relatively straight forward venting. I spent $1100 on the heater and venting. I spent about $400 on misc. plumbing parts. I spent about $30 for some hardware, roofing nails, etc. for the install. It took about 15 hours of labor total spread over a couple of days. 15 hours to save $2000, um, OK.

That's it, not rocket science just do your homework and plan it out. Watch a lot of youtube, read all the manufactures documents, read all the paperwork that comes with the heater and vent, check your codes. It's amazing how much more you will know vs. a random expert just by RTFM.

One last thing. Talking with my supply house they estimate that around April 2015 gas water heaters (normal tank heaters) will go up by $2-300 at least due to efficiency requirements. If you think you will need a heater in the near future I would figure it out before then.

http://www.proudgreenhome.com/news/prepare-for-water-heater-changes-coming-in-2015/
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2012
Verified Purchase
This unit comes with the isolation valves, no need to order them from Webstone. Unit installs in a straight forward manner.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2013
Verified Purchase
The hot water heater works great. I purchased a returned item, and although operationally functional, it was cosmetically challenged. The front panel has several dents on it that were not a result of being damaged in transit. It should have been discounted more.

As a unit, however, we are very satisfied. Hot water comes right on. It's delivered at a constant temperature and handles two showers plus the dishwasher at the same time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2014
Verified Purchase
Confident that it will be as advertised from other users feedback.
Amazon website suggests the isolator valve kit and venting termination kit, I purchased both at time of water heater purchase only to discover the heater comes with the isolator valves and pressure blowoff. I had to return the valve kit at a 20% restocking fee plus shipping. Other than that the transaction was good.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2014
Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic unit, but know that it requires a 3/4 in. gas pipe. I'm sure that requirement was somewhere in the description, but I missed it. Lucky for me, there was a 2 in. gas pipe right above where this was going to go and we were able to just replace the 1/2 in. gas line that went to the old water heater with a 3/4 in. one for not too much money. If you are not a master plumber, I would recommend getting a very good plumber to install this for you. If they're good, it won't be cheap, but it will be worth it. We've had this just short of a year now and we've turned the temperature down twice. It really works exceedingly well and so far has been trouble free.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on February 10, 2015
Verified Purchase
Exseed my expectations!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See all 32 answered questions


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.