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Internal/External Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters

As a very rough estimate, you can count on spending between $1,200 and $1,500 for one water heater and parts (PVC pipe & quick connect kit, in 2006/2007). I'm very happy with the way the two units are working. Keep in mind that for a minimum wait (length of time it takes the hot water to reach the open faucet), the water heater needs to be as close as possible to where the hot water will be used. Note that when they are operating they require a higher gas flow than conventional storage water heaters, so be sure to size gas pipes accordingly.

After the wiring was installed, the plumber informed me that it would be a good idea to have GFICs for the water heaters. Sigh!

     This is a photo of the internal Rinnai R85 tankless water heater. See the PVC vent pipe on top? It's actually two concentric pipes (exhaust on the inside). The house is plumbed with Rahau PEX. The copper pipe to the left is the overflow leading outside. Note that there needs to be three feet clear in front of the water heater; the wire rack is too close.
     This is the Rinnai's vent penetrating the outside wall. The exhaust from the combustion process exits the center pipe (where the grate is). Between the exhaust pipe and the outer pipe is where outside air is carried to the heater. There is a [quite] fan that runs as the water heater is working. When there is no longer a demand for hot water the fan runs a short time to cools things off, then it shuts off. Don't you think a white gasket would have looked nicer than the black one?
     This is the external Rinnai R85. A metal enclosure (purchased from Rinnai) is framed between two 2x6 studs. I believe the exterior Rinnai has a smaller footprint than the internal unit, as long as you don't mind seeing the unit on the outside of the house. The ugly copper pipe is the overflow. I believe that if our plumber were less lazy, he could have come up with a more aesthetically pleasing solution.
     Last, but not least, each water heater needs a controller. This picture shows a controller mounted underneath a cabinet in the laundry room. It's, if I remember correctly, a two-wire circuit (low-voltage wire). This unit is set to heat the water to 125 degrees.
Mary Ann and Ron Dunant    Grass Valley, California, U.S.A.