Noritz just released this very cool new tankless unit, and I was immediately impressed when I saw what this model offered. The new EXTR40 tankless water heater is meant to easily replace an existing 40 (or even 50) gallon tank water heater. If you have an existing home, and want to go tankless it can be a rather expensive endeavor. (Amazon price on the Noritz EZTR40) The Tankless units are 2-3x more expensive than standard Tank models, plus you often have extra plumbing labor to do a changeover. The plumber often has to up-size the gas line from a 1/2″ line to a larger 3/4″ (or even 1″) line. The water connections often need re-worked, and there are often flue details to be worked out. This new model from Noritz has several things that make it an easy (thus the name EZ) replacement product.
- 1/2″ Gas line. This model tops out at 120,000 btu so it can be fed with a “normal” 1/2″ gas line that’s already run to your 40 or 50 gallon tank.
- Venting. It has a genius venting system that runs inside your existing metal b-vent! No need to poke additional holes in your wall or roof!
Top Mount Water Connections. Most Tankless units are on the bottom, which means lots of re-piping when changing a standard tank to tankless.
I also like that this unit is very miserly with gas at 93% efficient. Many local Gas companies have rebates for units that are 82% efficient or better. If you’re in Austin, TX the current rebate through Texas Gas is $750 for this Noritz model! TX Gas rebate link here. I have a feeling that this unit will be a hot seller for Noritz! More information on this model can be found on the Noritz website here: http://www.noritz.com/eztr/
Conclusion: Let’s do some quick math here: I found this EZTR40 on Amazon for $1600 but with a $750 TX Gas rebate the cost would come down to $850. A typical 40-50 Gallon gas Tank unit is usually around $500. That brings the difference to about $350! I would expect install to cost about double what a tank unit would cost since there is extra work mounting this unit, getting on the roof for venting, and some other minor rework of gas/piping. However, I would expect to get close to double the life out of a Tankless unit compared to a tank model. Tank units have a 10-15 year life expectancy. Tankless I would expect to see a 20-25 year service life. I think this model is a no-brainer for replacing your existing tank.
Lastly, remember that if you are in a hard water area that you’ll need to periodically flush your tankless unit. See this blog post for details.
Matt Risinger – Risinger Homes in Austin, TX
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