So, we obviously couldn’t just run to the big box store, install a new water heater, and be done.
It’s us…you know, we’re the people where it costs twice as much and takes three times as long as budgeted.
Going into this project we got three quotes on our options for a new water heater.
- regular 75 gallon tanked water heater, which requires moving waterlines into the garage (since the new “energy efficient” water heaters are built too big for the existing location)
- tankless water heater in the same closet location
- tankless water heater in the garage
We decided to go with door #2 – the tankless in the same location. A Rheem to be exact.
We figured that even though the unit itself is more expensive than a standard tank, we wouldn’t be paying to re-route water lines into the garage. The third option seemed silly — a more expensive unit, and the expense of moving the water lines. Plus with a tankless, they’re generally small enough that I could still turn that closet into a butlers’ pantry (you know, in my spare time with all the extra money we have lying around).
Well, when they started installing our brand new fancy-pants water heater, only then did they notice that the gas line running to the water heater wasn’t big enough. Ugh.
First hit to the budget — run a larger gas line through the attic across the house.
Next, as they were installing the vent through the roof, they noticed how close it was to the second story side of the house (apparently they put off quite a bit of heat). “I’m sorry, we need to cut a new hole in your roof and run a bunch more venting.”
If you’ve ever priced out venting for tankless water heaters, you know that they are priced as if they are lined with the platinum mane of a virgin unicorn.
And yes, that is the old vent, just hanging out and doing nothing but plugging a hole in the roof. If we aren’t the Clampets, I don’t know who is. (And if you don’t get the Beverly Hillbilly reference, I’m not sure we can be friends.)
Second hit to the budget — crazy extra venting snaking its way through our attic instead of straight up and through.
Funny thing is, we could have gone straight up (equaling less venting) if this had been installed in the garage. Of course.
I had in my head that this would be a neat little box, tucked away in this closet. Because that’s what’s in the pictures on those glossy beautiful fliers you look at.
This is the part where you fall on the floor laughing….because nothing ever looks like those pamphlets.
Meet the FrankenHeater.
PLUS, it turns out we need to have some sort of bucket underneath it for condensation. This big orange monstrosity will not stay.
Even with something more attractive replacing all the orangeness, in my head, it’s no longer an option to take down the walls of this little closet. I must keep this little shop of horrors hidden.
And now this closet is also going to need some serious patching of holes from the new gas line (in pics above) and new venting.
Ain’t it purty.
Honestly, if I would have know this, I would have ponied up the extra couple of hundred dollars to actually move it to the garage.
Well, on the bright side, at least we have hot water.
Or should I say liquid gold. Considering how much we paid for it, that’s what should be flowing from the pipes.
But it is gloriously unending. And very hot.
P.S. We did opt for the recirculating pump made specifically for this water heater. One hundred percent worth it.