Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "What type of vent do these tankless water heaters require?"
A. These tankless water heaters require Category III stainless steel vent only.
Q. "There are many companies selling all kinds of tankless water heaters. Why should I buy a Takagi tankless gas water heater from you rather than elsewhere?"
A. We are a large, reputable company that was here yesterday and we will be here tomorrow. We are often copied, but we don't believe that any one can match our service and certainly our base of satisfied customers is larger than any Internet plumbing supplier since 1995. We sell 1000's of other quality plumbing products as well, so you can rest assured that we know plumbing products. We are a very stable and reputable company. We love to sell what we believe in, and we definitely believe in Takagi.
Q. "I've heard that some Takagi tankless water heaters cannot be installed in a few areas. Is that true?"
A. Yes, there are some counties that do not allow for the installation of a few Takagi tankless water heaters. For this reason, the person purchasing one of the following models is responsible for checking with their local code authorities prior to ordering: T-M32-NG, T-D2-IN-NG, T-D2-OS-NG, T-K4-IN-NG, T-K4-OS-NG, T-KJr-IN-NG, T-KJr-OS-NG. Here's a list (not complete) of some California counties that do not allow these water heaters to be installed: Sacramento, Yolo, Sonoma, San Joaquin, Napa, Marin, Solano, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Santa Clara. Again, this list is not complete, so it's up to the purchaser to check with local code authorities prior to ordering.
Q. "If these units don't have a tank, how do they know when to turn on?"
A. These tankless water heaters have a flow switch built into them. When you turn on the hot side of a faucet the water begins moving. Once the water is traveling at minimum flow rate for the heater, the flow switch will turn on the gas.
Q. "Why can't I install the T-K4-IN myself?"
A. Improper installation of the T-K4-IN could create carbon monoxide gas and other dangerous gases. Installation of this unit by persons other than professionally trained technicians voids the warranty.
Q. "What's the difference between a conventional flue and a direct vent?"
A. A conventional flue is what most people are familiar with. It typically consists of a double-wall flue pipe going from the top of the heater through the roof, venting outside. The fixture draws its combustion air from the space around it (utility room, garage, hallway, etc.). A direct-vent unit vents and draws its combustion air through a specially designed pipe from the outside via an adjacent wall.
Q. "Can I use PVC to vent this tankless water heater?"
A. No. The temperature of the exhaust is too high to safely use PVC as venting material. We never recommend PVC as venting even where the ideal exhaust temperatures would technically allow it due to a much higher incident of dangerous issues associated with PVC venting on poorly-maintained gas tankless water heaters.
Q. "I live in an area where it freezes, what can I do to protect the heater from freezing?"
A. We recommend you use the TK-BF01 exhaust back flow prevention kit to prevent cold air from entering the vent and causing the heat exchanger to freeze.
Q. "Will an instantaneous water heater save me money on my utility bills?"
A. In many applications you can see a savings. There are some variables that could reduce the amount you save. One example is you will not run out of hot water, so longer showers could cut into your savings. Also, the cost of electricity, propane and natural gas in your area will affect the amount of money saved. The higher the cost for the energy type used to heat your water, the quicker you can recover the higher initial cost of installing a tankless versus tank style water heater.
- You will never run out of hot water. "You want an hour long shower? No problem!"
- Electric units can be installed at the point of use.
- You're not paying energy costs to heat water 24 hours a day.
- Our electric units don't require a T&P valve (no tank!) - if code allows.
- Installing a tankless water heater can indeed be a bonus to the environment. (Why choose wastefulness when we're talking about finite natural resources?)
- They all need a minimum flow rate & pressure to turn on.
- Electric units need heavy gauge wire, while gas units need a much larger, special flue pipe and larger gas supply than a conventional water heater.
- At times they can produce very hot water. It's easier to get scalded - but this is easily mitigated with anti-scald valves.
- With some brands, parts are hard to find (not a negative if you originally purchase from us, as we like to carry parts for the units that we sell).
Tankless water heaters have their place. They're not "the answer" to every hot water need, but if they're used correctly they can be the solution to many of them.
Q. "Your products specify the 'temp. rise' based on the GPM flow; what do you mean by this?"
A. Temperature rise is the amount the heater raises the temperature of the incoming water, based on the flow rate shown of that water.
Q. "What's the first hour rating of this water heater?"
A. Traditional tank water heaters have a first hour rating which is determined by the amount of hot water the heater can produce in an hour when starting with a full tank of hot water. As tankless water heaters do not start with a tank of hot water, they don't really have a first hour rating the same way a tank water heater does. Instead, tankless water heaters have a gallons per hour rating, which is determined by how many gallons per hour the tankless water heater can produce when raising the incoming water temperature a specified amount.
Q. "What are the best reasons to install a Scale Inhibitor System?"
A. The system inhibits scale build-up and protects the piping from corrosion, which helps maintain efficiency and extends the life of the system.
Q. "How does the Water Heater Scale Inhibitor System prevent corrosion?"
A. It forms a thin protective layer on the inside of pipes and metal parts. This film or layer is microscopic in thickness and will not build up over time.
Q. "What happens if you don't change cartridges often enough on the Scale Inhibitor System?"
A. The original water condition and problem will reappear. Hardness will begin to build up again, which you want to avoid.
Q. "What is siliphos?"
A. Siliphos is a water treatment compound; a glass-like Polyphosphate containing Sodium, Calcium Magnesium and Silicate, formulated specifically for the treatment of water problems and to prevent the build-up of scale in plumbing. It is made from a blend of food grade organic phosphates, and has been approved by the USDA for drinking water and all food applications. It is safe for ingestion by humans, animals, and plants, and does not build up in waste water.
Q. "Is the Water Heater Scale Inhibitor System's active ingredient safe?"
A. Yes! All ingredients used are 100% pure food grade materials. They are approved by the USDA and meet purity requirements as a food additive by the World Health Organization.
Q. "Will the Water Heater Scale Inhibitor System change the taste or odor of water?"
A. No. The active ingredient is colorless, tasteless, and odorless when used as recommended.