Rinnai R85i/e Plus Tankless Water Heaters

  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/theme.inc on line 171.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/theme.inc on line 171.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/theme.inc on line 171.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/theme.inc on line 171.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/theme.inc on line 171.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/file.inc on line 646.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/squtch/drupal-5.23/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.

Rating

9

Introduction

These are not kitchen appliances but as part of our kitchen remodel we had decided to upgrade our water heating system so I am including them as part of my kitchen appliance reviews.

Equipment review

First a little more about how and why we decided on these water heaters:

We were interested in replacing our 10 year old 50 gallon electric water heater with something more efficient. After looking around through Consumer Reports, review web-sites, and talking with people who had installed several varieties of high efficiency tank and tankless water heaters we decided on tankless for two reasons:

1 - We did not like the idea of using energy to heat water that we were not using.

2 - We did not like the idea of running heated water 60' to the back of the house for the bathrooms.

An added bonus for going tankless was that we recovered enough space in the utility room that could then be used to inset the refrigerator and freezer saving a lot of floor space in the kitchen.

In the end we decided to use two tankless heaters to replace our old water heater because of how far apart our hot water usage points are in this house. Not because it is a really big house but because of the design of the house - the kitchen and the bathrooms are at opposite corners and there is no good central location to place a single water heater.

Yes it cost us more money and we will probably not make that money back on the energy that we save, but we are saving energy.

Now on to the actual review:

We like the new water heaters. After having used them for several months we would definitely purchase them again.

They do not provide instant hot water, and Rinnai does not advertise them as such, but many other web-sites and installers throw about the instant hot water phrase a lot.

The do provide really fast hot water. From cold to warm in 15 to 20 seconds. Hot in another 10 to 15 seconds.

So, if we like them so much why did we not give them a 10?

There are two things that are a bit annoying.

1 - Before we had these tankless water heaters we had thermostatic valves installed into our shower and tub faucets to take care of having sudden temperature spikes/dips when water was being used elsewhere in the house.

What we have found out is that thermostatic valves and tankless water heaters do not play nice together. This information can be found no-where on any of the tankless water heater or thermostatic valve manufacturer web-sites.

What happens is that the thermostatic valve detects the pressure change on the cold water side and adjusts the mixture of hot and cold water. If it is a small adjustment the tankless water heater will not sense it and the water termperature will change. Not enough to scald/freeze you, but it is enough to be uncomfortable until you adjust the balance manually.

Until the tankless water heaters can detect smaller pressure drops or thermostatic valves become more intelligent this issue will still exist.

2 - I am using a little more water when I shower with the tankless water heaters than when I had a tank water heater.

When I shower alone, I get wet, turn off the water, wash my hair, soap up, turn on the water, and rinse off. I do not enjoy the 10 to 15 second blast of cold water that I get before the tankless water heater can restart itself.

So now I have to leave the water running so that the flow through the tankless water heater does not fall below 1/2 gallon per minute.

Not a big issue as things go since I now have a lower electric bill, but I just do not like running water that I am not using at the time.

The cost and the savings:

We spent $875 a piece on two tankless water heaters. We got back $250 in rebates and tax write-offs from the state and federal government and our utility companies. So the units only cost us $750 a piece plus installation.

Since we had the water heaters installed at the same time as the new furnace and we upgraded our main junction box and gas supply for the kitchen remodel it is kind of hard to figure the cost of installing the water heaters, but I figure about $1,000 to install both units.

My electric bill dropped from an average of $110 a month to an average of $65 a month (6 months from December to May) after switching to these water heaters. (We also replaced the furnace with a high efficiency model at the same time so do not think you will save $35 a month with a tankless water heater. It is more like $10 to $15 a month savings for the water heater. The rest of the savings is from the new furnace.)

So at a cost of $1,750 it will take me about 10 years to break even if I save $15 a month. (Though with the price of gas and electricity going up so fast, I might break even before 10 years.)

Menu items