To my regular readers, I apologize for going completely off-topic on this post, but I’m really excited that we’re putting in a fancy new Rinnai tankless hot water heater today and I’m going to try to use this post as a way to show what the installation process entails. For us, we’re replacing our 10 year old 40 gallon hot water heater with a spiffy 199,000 BTU Rinnai R-94 LSi, as our water in Park City has a ton of minerals in it, we’re also installing a fancy new water softener to filter things out and keep the new heater working properly – I’m told it should last well over 20 years!

We started on this project in large part because of the energy audit we had done by Questar our natural gas company last week. They sent a fellow out who spent probably an hour or so surveying our house and then sitting down with us to explain what he recommended we do for efficiency and also, to take advantage of rebates and tax credits. It’s pretty impressive what sort of savings you can achieve from various improvements, our hot water change should save us $111.24 a year, plus we should get a $300 rebate from both the gas company and the state of Utah in addition to a tax credit of 30% of the cost of the heater (up to $1,500 on this one) which puts our savings on the install to well over $1,000! I have to give Questar a lot of credit for being a great corporate citizen, both for the audit program and for providing such substantial financial incentives to put in energy efficient appliances.

The installation is a bit involved as the new heater requires a much larger gas line, different venting and some electrical work. I’m going to be shooting photos as the work goes on and posting them here. So here we go for some live blogging a hot water tank install (I’m calling this a first ever)!

11:30am MST

Here are some photos of the process so far, the old heater and softener, the new heater and new gas line

1:20pm MST

More photos, the new water softener is in, gas line is in and new vent is being run through the attic. The old water heater is fighting to stay in place, but is just about out right now too:

4:30pm MST

And more pix – the empty space where the old hot water heater was, the new one mounted up and the new venting on our roof – it’s pretty cool, the unit pulls in outside air through the same duct that exhausts it too!

5:30 MST

Yeah, we now have ‘softened’ hot water that never runs out! The heater is quieter than I thought it would be, I guess they ‘groan’ more when they are installed in crawl spaces and the vent requires several 90 degree bends. I’ll be giving my daughter a bath in a little bit so we’ll see how this works for that, but running faucets and a shower all at the same time worked great!