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Discussion Starter #1
Original plan of having propane w/h (tank) in house addition bit the dust with venting problems. One alternative is an exterior, propane whole house on-demand unit. Pretty expensive and feel it's overkill for my needs - the normal bathing & laundry are in a completely separate part of the house. Only plumbing shared by sections of the house is that they're both supplied by a single well/pressure tank. Even the septics are separate.

So now looking at an alternative of individual electric point-of-use for 3 areas. Seeing a lot of love/hate opinions. Problems that stand out to me are minimum flow to activate, maximum flow, maximum temp (avoid scalding), temp control, pressure variation vs temp (have well & pressure can vary 10-15 lb), and "cold water sandwich". Have enough electric to handle loads. Currently wiring in prep for drywall.

1/2 bath (primary toilet for "living" section of house): Cannot use a mini-tank here because it would be very difficult to route TPR line. That leaves tankless. Doesn't look like the 110v versions perform well, so focusing on 220v. Most units sized for this usage seem to limit flow .5 to 1 gpm. Anyone use .5 for sink? Do you use 2 handle faucet or single to control temp? Does flow of water "feel" adequate? Do you have max temp limitation? Since temp highly dependant on rate of flow, in practice, does it "feel" normal to a visitor used to adjusting water temp by mixing cold & hot from a tank?

3/4 bath (primarily for pool rinsing) + 1/2 bath (light usage): Looks like a min of 2 gpm needed here. Think tankless would be ok.

kitchen/dining/outdoor kitchen: Looks like a min of 2 gpm here too. Kitchen has sink & d/w; dining also has sink & d/w; outdoor kitchen sink used occassionally. May have to worry about bacteria in pipe to outdoor sink because of not being used regularly - particularly in winter. Seldom get freezes here that last more than a few hours. Wonder if tankless alone will work or if need to add some sort of mini-tank/recirculation. Single or double handle faucets for sink temp control?

Know would have to descale each unit 1 or 2 times each year. Plus have to deal with calcium. Our well water tastes very good, so don't want to filter cold.

Appreciate thoughts.
 

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Just an option to think about -

I remember you saying somewhere that you already have a lot of hot water storage (2-80 gallon water heaters?).

You can plumb your hot water lines to this new section of the house with a return line and run a circulator pump. This would have hot water at each outlet constantly. Yeah, you would have some energy usage from heat loss and the circulator pump - just thought of it as an option. We specified commercial buildings with a system like this many times when the run was long. This way you had instant hot water at every outlet.
 

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Diane my house is plumbed the way Coaltrain describes. Indirect boiler in the garage with a circulator and a loop to every hot water outlet in the house.

I'm searching for my electric unit information so I'll post that in a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nope, I just have a 30 gal tank for the bedroom wing. Should replace it in the next year or so, but space will limit size. And there's a good 60-90 feet between existing tank and new plumbing. The way the attics are structured, would be nasty to pipe & insulate too.
 

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Just an option to think about -

You can plumb your hot water lines to this new section of the house with a return line and run a circulator pump. This would have hot water at each outlet constantly. Yeah, you would have some energy usage from heat loss and the circulator pump - just thought of it as an option. We specified commercial buildings with a system like this many times when the run was long. This way you had instant hot water at every outlet.
I agree, I would run the additional lines to plumb all the hot water together.

You might want to think about using PEX tubing to run the lines, it's real easy to work with. You'll need to invest in a specialized tool to attach the fittings, and here you have two choices; a crimper or a cincher. I have both and prefer the cincher.

Here is what the cincher ring looks like.
Cinch ring.JPG

And here is the crimp style.
Crimp ring.JPG

You can buy the PEX tubing in rolls up to several hundred feet in length to minimize junctions. It's easy to cut, and it is bendable (radius depends on diameter).

Our whole house is PEX, not one problem. I added a few new outdoor hose bibs a few years ago and the longest part of the project was finding where I had stored my tools and fittings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Familiar with PEX - used it to make a DIY sewer cam. Since rough-in plumbing was done years ago, have all copper inside house addition. IF I end up with a "central" system for the house addition, I'm sure I'll be using PEX in the floor trusses for hot water distribution. I'm pretty firm that running hot from the existing tank is not an option.
 

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Ok here is my electric unit.

PowerStar AE-9.5 Electric Tankless Under Sink Water Heater https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000H5VJ0I/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_3JF6zbS6J1BA2

I have a single lever faucet and it doesn't require much on the hot side to get hot. I use it to wash hands, fill 5 gallon buckets, wash the dogs, and I've used it once for a shop shower with absolutely no issues. This is actually my second one of the same brand, because the first one froze on me due to a hole I didn't close off, but it was 10 years old and worked as good then as it did new. If you have any questions on this unit let me know and I'll see if I can answer them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks, pcabe5. Looks like it's a 2 gpm unit with .75 gpm min to activate. About the size I was looking at for 1/2 bath. Wonder if I'd be happy with any lower flow rate. Any problem with not turning water on "enough" to get unit activated when just washing hands?

Bought this 4 gpm unit
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UHUSGQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
last year to test for kit/din & 3/4 bath, but not 100% committed to using it in the house addition. Eventually want to have shower in the shop (out building).
 

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I have not had a problem with not turning it on enough. When I first installed the unit I played with it to see how much I needed to turn to activate the unit and IMO I don't have to have much flow to activate. In all honesty since it's a single lever, it's usually only turned to the activation point because that is plenty hot at full flow and can be quite hot if not using full flow.

I have a similar unit to the one you link that I uses for my floor heat in my shop. Again, my opinion, is my smaller one heats faster and can be hotter than the bigger unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
since it's a single lever, it's usually only turned to the activation point because that is plenty hot at full flow and can be quite hot if not using full flow.
Are you saying that you usually turn it on fully and that if it's only partially on, it gets really hot? Trying to visualize with my faucet levers that have a temp mix location left/right and you push back to increase water volume.
 

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I have some PEX, and I worry about its service life practically every day.

Largely because I remember the problems with millions of homes plumbed with the last miracle and easy to use pipe, polybutylene,

Copper is still the gold standard (pun intended).
 

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Are you saying that you usually turn it on fully and that if it's only partially on, it gets really hot? Trying to visualize with my faucet levers that have a temp mix location left/right and you push back to increase water volume.
If I turn the faucet on full I only need about a quarter twist on the hot to be warm. I do need to twist a little more on the hot side in the winter because the ground water temperature is a lower coming into the shop. If I don't use full faucet flow the water can get pretty hot, even though I only have the hot on just enough to activate. I believe that there is a setting inside the unit that I could adjust the outlet temperature but I've left it at the factory settings. Did that help?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, Pat, that helps. Your description exactly matches my visualisation.

I have some PEX, and I worry about its service life practically every day.
I'm afraid I'm old school on that too. Have had to reroute a couple of lines a few feet and want to add a couple of hose bibs, so that means mods to existing copper. Haven't sweated in quite a while, so plan to have a real plumber do these. Have had a couple pros out for quotes that tried really hard to sell me on PEX. With as little as needs to be done at this point, going to stay with copper.
 

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They have been using PEX on the East Coast for more than 20 years with virtually no problems for both potable water and in floor heating. I plumbed 3 passenger train coaches with it 6 years ago. There is a lot of vibration in them and wide temperature swings and we've had zero problems. I plumbed my house in copper 40 years ago and in the last 6 years any relocations or additions are done in PEX. I would NEVER go back to copper. I use the crimp style connectors and with a couple of hundred connections made on about 1500 ft of pipe there have been no problems. The joints in the passenger coaches were made by volunteers, both men and women, with absolutely no plumbing experience. You could easily make your modifications yourself using PEX and slip-on Tees to join the hose bibs to the copper and complete the whole job in an hour at half the cost of copper materials and that wouldn't include the labor. The crimping tool will run about 80 bucks or so and you'll have it forever.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You could easily make your modifications yourself using PEX ... and complete the whole job in an hour at half the cost of copper materials and that wouldn't include the labor. The crimping tool will run about 80 bucks or so and you'll have it forever
Also could use SharkBite for copper only. But looks like cost of plumber to sweat will be about the same as PEX tools or SharkBite for what's needed. I already plan to have plumber do the actual pvc in a toilet relocate, so no extra "trip charge". Have done literally hundreds, if not thousands, of pvc joints, but position of new flange vs drain line is something I'll feel better about paying a pro for his/her experience. I'm cutting through slab now.

I'm not totally against PEX, just don't see a reason to do a mix mode for these really small mods. Again, if I end up with whole house water heater, will most likely use PEX for that. Even pvc was the latest & greatest, newest miracle at one point.

Thanks for reading & offering your input.
 

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Also could use SharkBite for copper only. But looks like cost of plumber to sweat will be about the same as PEX tools or SharkBite for what's needed. I already plan to have plumber do the actual pvc in a toilet relocate, so no extra "trip charge". Have done literally hundreds, if not thousands, of pvc joints, but position of new flange vs drain line is something I'll feel better about paying a pro for his/her experience. I'm cutting through slab now.

I'm not totally against PEX, just don't see a reason to do a mix mode for these really small mods. Again, if I end up with whole house water heater, will most likely use PEX for that. Even pvc was the latest & greatest, newest miracle at one point.

Thanks for reading & offering your input.
sharkbite is for quick fixes only. never use it as a permanent solution, it's just begging for problems
 

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Discussion Starter #17
sharkbite is for quick fixes only. never use it as a permanent solution, it's just begging for problems
In general, I'll agree. Sometimes the risk for permanent solution outweighs risk of using SharkBite. I used one once in a place where a tight fit made sweating dangerous and fitting failure would not be a catastrophe. Unhappy that the fitting could be twisted in place though.
 

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I am addicted to the "This Old House" show on PBS.
They have several guys of different trades, including a plumber.
Well,, the plumber has ALWAYS cleaned, fluxed, and soldered copper pipe.
Last week, in a new episode,, to my surprise, he used the push-on fittings!! :flag_of_truce:

I have seen him pour molten lead for cast iron sewer connections!!

I thought for SURE he would be like :nunu: before he would use a non-solder copper fitting.

Everything changes, I helped my SIL replace some plumbing, he used the non-solder fittings,,
the fittings kind of amaze me,, I will use them for my next repair,,, :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I watch that too. Some plumbers around here seem to be starting to use SharkBite regularly in lieu of sweating. Guess they're not seeing much in failure rate since connector failure would result in some irate customers.

Anyone else with electric point-of-use experiences?
 
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