What to buy Eternal, Navien, conventional water heater??

The Tank What to buy Eternal, Navien, conventional water heater??

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    You guys are awesome! Love this site!

    We are buying a 1992 3 story, 5 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom house in Rockville, MD.
    What do you recommend is the best hot water heater to buy. The house currently has 2 of them from 1992.

    A friend said the following, but what do you all out there think.
    Thank you in advance for your help!!
    God bless you all! What a wonderfully helpful site.

    My recommendation for a new hot water heater would be just a “conventional” (not Energy Star) gas hot water heater, especially if you’re having the seller do it (because any plumber should be able to do a good job putting one in). No blower, no powered damper. Conventional hot water heaters are just a pilot light and bimetalic dial controlling the burner (no electricity required). I “oversized” ours (at an additional efficiency penalty) to 60gallons (instead of 50) both to support lots of “big family” bathing and for “security” reasons (in a pinch, we’d have 60 gallons…at 3 gal per person per day…its about 3 days worth).

    Energy Star hot water heaters won’t work through power failures because they have a complex blower system, and they’re more expensive to buy and more expensive to retrofit because of the need for electricity and extra vent piping (air supply and exhaust).
    Eternal Navien Conventional


    cost w/install:
    5yr costs:
    10yr costs:

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: Let’s back up a bit. First thing, it would be nice to know how the house is going to be used, water-wise. Will there be lots of use, or something more moderate?

    Is there opportunity to make changes to fixtures to reduce hot water use? Also, how efficient is the plumbing? The standard shower, used right, wastes about 20-25% of the total water and energy supplied to it 😯 Nearly always, there is opportunity to improve the plumbing’s efficiency.

    Once these things are done, there might be less need for a super efficient heat source/s. Also changes to piping create durable savings, unlike other measures that can go bad much faster. I like your friend’s comments. Don’t forget to figure life-cycle-cost. This takes purchase price, energy costs and maintenance into the equation. It’s the best way to race different heaters.

    If there will be lots of hot water use, a really efficient heater makes better sense. A bit of homework you might want to do is Google “Gary Klein structured plumbing”. His articles will show you some effective ways to cut “structural waste” which can exceed 60% of the total water and energy used.

    Yours, Larry


    Thank you, Larry, for your thoughtful reply!
    Will follow your advice. I did check out that article. Thank you.
    How much does it cost to get efficient plumbing installed.
    We are moving to 20854 & have 6 kids (ages baby-12yo), 2 adults living in the 3 story, 4bath house.
    Thank you again.

    ps: do you have any recommendations on which HVAC to purchase.

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: It sounds like you’re about to enter the “age of teenagers” in your home. Historically, teens like very long showers. High gas input heaters can provide endless showers, but it might not be particularly efficient to encourage showers without limits. I’d think about efficient tank type heaters like the AO Smith Vertex which can provide a LOT of hot water, efficiently, but still have limits. The Vertex is a condensing heater, needing power and it also has a fan that makes some noise. It’s not nearly as simple as an un-powered heater, but on balance, might be a good fit.

    There isn’t any good way for me to guess as to installation cost of an efficient plumbing system for you. I can suggest printing out Gary’s articles and getting referrals for at least three plumbers who don’t faint when reading the articles. From those hardy souls, get bids. Tell them you want PEX and see if they swoon 😀

    The present two heater system might be a good idea if there are clusters of hot water use at far ends of the house. As the articles point out, it’s all about the volume of water in the hot line. A demand pump could eliminate the need for a second heater, see http://www.gothotwater.com .

    And more to read. http://www.aceee.org/consumer/water-heating , http://www.luntmarymor.com/condensing_heaters.pdf 😎

    Yours, Larry


    After our 2 yr old water heater failed, we had to replace it with a new model that required $1600 in parts and service. Grand Hall refused to pay any. We purchased a brand new home in 2010 that had an Eternal water heater by Grand Hall. Two years later the heater failed and had to be replaced with a new one. Eternal no longer manufactured the model we had, so they sent us the newer one that replaced it. The problem is that it cost over $1,600 in parts and labor to reconfigure and install this new model — and Eternal (Grand Hall) refused to reimburse any of it. They said that the warranty only covered the unit, which they sent. But it was so different from the original it was very expensive to install. After only two years of use, we feel very strongly that Eternal (Grand Hall) should have backed up their product when it failed. It is ridiculous that we are out $1,600 for replacing a brand new water heater we only had for two years. If they changed the model so drastically, they need to pay for the installation when they replace a defective unit. I had multiple phone and email conversations with Eternal representatives, finally getting escalated to district manager Shawn Bacon. I emailed him the receipts for the expenses we incurred in replacing the unit. He told me since their warranty didn’t cover the extra parts and labor Eternal was not going to reimburse us.

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