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eternal water heater --what do you think  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 03:13 pm
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Tankless in Scottsdale
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Jenny:  Hi, My name is Doug and I have been installing the Eternal for about two years.  I have found Grand Hall, the owners of Eternal to be the best manufacture I have ever worked with in my 20 years of plumbing.  If you have a problem, they will get it fixed or replace it.  The problem that you discribe sounds like an install problem and I'll bet that the plumber was not factory trained.  If you can't get through to Eternal you can call me.  I don't know what part of the contry you live in but I know Grand Hall can get a company Rep to pay you a visit.  My toll free number is 866 252-5888.  I am in the phoenix area.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 06:57 pm
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stuart
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Replying to exclusively tankles-thanks for reply. I would be installing this unit in garage next to furnace. The wall it would go on is shared with my main bedroom and bathroom. Would noise be an issue? Our furnace is barely noticeable, so I would assume the eternal would be the same or less since much smaller fan. Also I went to your site and it looks like you only sell eternals? I live in oregon, so my water temp in winter is much lower than Az. I am guessing close to 38 deg F in winter. I want 120 deg water in winter with enough gpm for 2.5 showers to go at once..None of my showers are low flow, so estimating I need about 7.0 GPM at 80+deg rise? Any/all pls reply with thoughts, but would like to hear from exclusively tankless..my math correct? I dotn want to use the avg water temp, I want to use worst case ground water temp..

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 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 09:18 pm
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energyexpert
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8.33 lb/gal
1 BTU/1 lb/1 degree F
60 minutes/hour
80 degree rise
divide by % efficiency (assume 95%)

7 gpm x 8.33 lb/gal x 60 minutes/hour x 80 degree F x 1 BTU/lb/degree F / 0.95 = 294,619 BTU/hour input = BIG FIRE

David

Last edited on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 01:39 am by energyexpert

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 Posted: Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 04:12 pm
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Tankless in Scottsdale
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First, the unit does make some noise.  If you mount it on the wall, I would use a couple of 2 x 4s behind the unit to mount the unit on.  This will cut down on the vibration when it fires up.  The unit produces 14.5 GPM with a 40-45 degree rise.  There is a graph on the Eternal website.  If you run a little to close, invest the $300 and buy a GU195.  It produces 19.5 GPM.  The unit works great all through the Northeast.  Questions can be answered by corporate office in Garland Texas.  Also, use some water saving heads.  You won't notice a difference.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 04:25 pm
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Tankless in Scottsdale
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All my company does is install tankless waterheaters.  After doing extensive research, the only gas unit we will sell in the Eternal Hybrid.  It does exactly what the company says it will do.  Endless hot water, no temp drop, no pressure drop, up to 14.5 GPM, and the only tankless on the market that  (GU145)  uses a 1/2 inch gas feed. And it has a 20 year warranty.  It is rare that I ever have a service call.  Great investment. 

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 Posted: Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 04:53 pm
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eleent
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Hello:  I have friends who are having problems with an Eternal and I'm hunting for ways to help.  This is what they wrote to me:

"I read over the thread for the Eternal, and no one spoke about my problem, though there was some useful information.  But thanks especially for the link to the documentation so that I can quote the part that we found that described what we identified as the problem.

The plumber and his guys spent a LOT of time on the phone with Eternal trying to understand what the issue was.   They company did suggest checking on the gas (pressure I think), which they did, and it was okay.  They adjusted and readjusted according to the manufacturer's suggestions...  Then the plumber sent over his trouble shooting guy, who spent over a day looking at it and on the phone with Eternal.  I'm not sure how it was finally resolved (whether our guy found the issue, or whether the Eternal service people helped - I think the former).  But this seems to be the issue:

On p. 30 of the Installation and Operations Manual, it says:

"Warning: Recirculation is strongly recommended for commercial applications with rapid on/off hot water usage or significant dump loads."

On p. 42:
"Notice: For restaurants or applications where rapid on/off hot water usage is frequent, i.e., handheld sprays, Eternal recommends the use of a recirculation pump.  This recommendation is designed to prime the units for rapid usage, as the burner will not ignite during rapid on/off usage due to the intermittent nature of the application.  Without a constant flow, the unit will only supply hot water from the storage tank and will not recover rapidly without sufficient on-demand signal to sustain ignition."

They then have a diagram for the recirculation system needed for rapid on/off hot water usage, which I can send along if you like.

So we are not commercial but we do use hot water at the kitchen sink in this way.  The plumber experimented and found that if I washed dishes with a rapid on/off usage pattern for rinsing, that the hybrid tank would be depleted after three on/off cycles and then we would only get cold water.  So the only way I can get hot water at the kitchen sink is to waste hot water (both energy and water!) in order to keep the ignition going.  I think the common habit in the US is to let the water run, so many people on forums have not been dealing with this.  It's interesting that handheld sprays in restaurants are the other way to get in trouble with this design glitch."


Does anyone have suggestions for how to deal with this?  It seems silly to have to put up with waste when the point of the heater is to prevent it.

Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Thu May 12th, 2011 01:57 pm
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emmer11
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Hi, I had and eternal GU195S hybrid water heater installed last week and it works great, lots of hot water and steady temperature and pressure. Shortly after start-up the unit started this intermittent buzzing noise when a hot water tap is turned on. When the tap is turned off, the buzzing is steady for a few seconds, then stops as the unit shuts down. The installer returned and after setting the correct gas pressure with tech support the buzzing continued. They figured it was the mixing valve as you can hear the valve buzzing and the cold water pipe vibrates. They installed a new valve the next day and same problem exists. This is the first unit this company has installed and no one else in the area carries eternal, so they have nothing to compare it to. The unit works great, it's just that intermittent buzzing. Is this normal? Does anyone else have this? Would love some feedback as the unit is so new in this area.
Thanks
Emil

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 Posted: Thu May 12th, 2011 11:50 pm
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Ej
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Just a guess but has someone checked your supply water pressure against the manufactures specs?

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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2011 03:42 pm
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colcam
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I am replacing a conventional gas water heater and am looking at all options: conventional gas or electric, hybrid heat pump electric, and tankless.

Has anyone had this Eternal for more than 5 years?
I mostly see posts on recent purchases.

How much do you estimate you save monthly/yearly?
What problems have you had?
What maintenance do you do?
What are annual maintenance costs?
Would you buy it again?
Thanks!
colcam

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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2011 05:53 pm
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elenano
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I don't think it's been on the market for more than five years, if that. As to problems, a number of them are described in preceding posts. Apparently it hasn't been trouble-free.

There are also other condensing water heaters on the market now, such as the A.O. Smith Vertex.

Randy Schuyler

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 Posted: Tue May 24th, 2011 08:19 pm
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energyexpert
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Colcam,
If you are indeed looking at all options, look at all utility rates first. If demand based time of use rates are offered the cheap energy cost coupled with the high EFs of a heat pump WH would be hard to beat. But the lowest cost energy on TOU makes a large standard electric competitive or better than gas. I have a 105 gallon electric (EF of 0.91) and heat off-peak only for $0.0515/kWh. This is slightly cheaper than natural gas ($1.02/therm) at an EF of 0.56

David

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 Posted: Tue Jun 28th, 2011 10:12 pm
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me1swanson
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I had an Eternal GU145 installed as part of a remodel last summer. We had a tank in it's own closet inside the house and we wanted to reclaim that space to make a useable laundry room. The Eternal unit is hung up out of the way on an exterior wall. Since it's outside there was no need to run the venting anywhere. The unit works great except for one thing, it's very loud. There is no chance it's only 40dB like it says in the specifications. I am glad to read a few others mention that the unit is loud. I sent a message to the company via their web site asking if that was normal or if there was something I could do to make it quieter. No response.
I live near the coast in central California so I like to spend my time outside in my yard. I'm fast reaching the point where I'm going to write off the cost of the Eternal and replace it with something else. The noise really is becoming intolerable.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2011 05:26 am
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eleent
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Hello:  Might it be possible to build a sound enclosure around it to prevent sound going out horizontally?  It must vent of course, so the enclosure would need to be open at least at the top.

Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2011 05:26 am
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eleent
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double post :~(

Last edited on Tue Sep 11th, 2012 05:44 am by eleent

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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2011 11:52 pm
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me1swanson
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Interesting idea Larry. You got me to go out and really take another look and listen to what's going on. I'll try making a temporary enclosure using rigid foam insulation with separate holes for the combustion air intake and exhaust. I'll post again after trying that.
Thanks for the idea. I've had it in my head that it's outside so there shouldn't be a problem. It really never occurred to me to enclose the entire unit.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 30th, 2011 12:06 am
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energyexpert
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For sound suppression, cellulose is hard to beat.

David

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 Posted: Mon Oct 17th, 2011 02:09 am
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qaz111111
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The noise is from the fan pushing air through the unit. You can't sound insulate the air flow since it is not enclose-able.  While the unit is actually heating the noise is minimal and the fan is running slowly. But before it lights and after it extinguishes the air flow/fan noise is huge. By the way I have a two year old GU32. IT has failed. The factory has been a pain  in the keester. The first company I called to come out led me down the garden path for two weeks and even though the replacement had been authorized they had not ordered it yet. TWO YEARS into a 20 year warranty. That's lame. So what else is there to know about the Eternal unit? Every time there is any fluctuation in water pressure, such as the sprinkler zone goes on or off it causes the Eternal to fire up. This wastes a lot of gas and is noisy. This thing fires up during the day to keep the little reservoir tank hot despite no one using any water. This wastes gas. I have been told by the plumber that this unit (The replacement 195) makes a lot of noise through the wall and should be mounted on the floor (actually on an 18" stand) or you will be unhappy. This of course after he wanted to mount it on a wall and I told him how noisy the unit is and I didn't want the noise telegraphing through the walls. When you get right down to it the most effective system would be to have a recirc line with a remote on/off. When hot water is needed you signal the recirc pump and cold water is pumped through the water heater. But the Eternal can't be turned on and off by a switch. A demand flash heater would be the answer with a separate small and insulated storage tank. This would be a whole lot cheaper than an eternal, easier to service, and more efficient from a system stand point (which is what really matters.) Then you would get immediate hot water from the recirc line when you want it without wasting gas for unneeded operation. OH and one more thing about the new Eternal Models; they generate gallons of highly acidic condensate water every day. The plumber told me it will eat through concrete and cast iron pipes. I will need, in addition to my two year old installation, to have a neutralizing tank that needs service yearly and an expansion tank.  This is starting to turn into a big ugly installation from what was supposed to be slick and elegant. For this much money how does it ever pay off? And what good is a 20 year warranty if the warranty replacement job costs you $1500 after two years? I would never do this again with Eternal.

Last edited on Mon Oct 17th, 2011 02:13 am by qaz111111

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 Posted: Mon Oct 17th, 2011 05:27 pm
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elenano
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Thank you very much for all your comments. The irony is that this string was originally started by what sounded, to me, like an Eternal rep, thinking to talk up his product. I bet he'll think twice before he ever does anything like THAT again!

While condensing water heaters are absolutely a lot more efficient than standard atmospheric ones, they are also a lot more complicated and expensive. Most of us expect to install a water heater and forget about it.

In the sustainable living and energy efficiency circles, we're seeing a big push for condensing and heat-pump water heaters and all they're thinking about is the efficiency, not the maintenance impact on the homeowner.

Randy Schuyler

Last edited on Mon Oct 17th, 2011 05:27 pm by elenano

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 Posted: Tue Nov 8th, 2011 05:21 pm
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davidg
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Last edited on Fri Nov 18th, 2011 02:10 pm by davidg

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 Posted: Mon Feb 27th, 2012 05:19 pm
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lebaron
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I have had a GU195 (Propane)for about 18 months now. Professionally installed by one of their recommended installers. Cost and installation came to $2800 with a $1300 income tax credit. Works great have a shower with 5 heads, 2 bathrooms, washer and kitchen. As far as saving money, its hard to tell because everybody lives in the shower now and don't want to get out. The only problem I have had is that every couple of moths it will show an E11 error code and stop working. Unplug it for 10 seconds and all is fine. We keep it set at 120 degrees in the winter and 115 in the summer. All I can say is its performed as advertised. No complaints here and endless hot water.

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