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Rinnai ES38-P Direct Vent Propane Wall Furnace

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by chrisasst, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    Starting a new thread from this one http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/lowes-roofing-hvac-install.106199/


    Does anyone have experience / own one of these.
    http://www.rinnai.us/direct-vent-wall-furnace/product/es38_rhfe-1004fta#mce_temp_url#

    [​IMG]

    IS this what the guy I had here the other day tell me he would recommend me to install. Said it is "bank approved", would have not problem with heat.
    This is what is sales agreement says about job :

    1. DESCRIPTION OF WORK AND MATERIALS (including make, model, or other identifying information): J. B SMITH WILL PROVIDE AND INSTALL [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    RINNAI NES38 DIRECT VENTER HEATER INSTALLED IN LIVING ROOM AREA, WITH NEW DIRECT VENT PIPING, HOOKUP NEW PROPANE GAS LINES,
    SET NEW TANK,WHOLE HOUSE GAS LEAK TEST, ELECTRIC AT UNIT AND ALL MISC. PARTS.
    [​IMG]
    HEATER INSTALLED $3240.00

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I haven't owned one but have spoken to folks that do. They really like them. It's a quality unit.
  3. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    I have two similar, but smaller, unites made by Empire and I really like them. One thing to check, though, is whether they will still operate without electricity (mine do). If electricity is just for the fan so they run at reduced efficiency without it that's fine, but if it's required for the controls you may be out of heat during a power failure.
  4. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    i had a similiar unit, non vented NG and liked it. Is propane going to be cost effective??
  5. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    I believe propane is the only gas choice I have around me.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    LPG is often not cost effective when compared with regular old electricity. Also consider that a wall heater is like 150$ and has no chance of creating CO fumes.
  7. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    Is there an electric wall heater capable of 38,000 btu which this propane heater says it does on max? Also I am looking for something in the "nice" category for when we sell the house.
    I am open to options, but just don't have much resource $$..
  8. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Electric is kinda high in NYS..

    We had an old DV NG unit in our old house. Worked fine in our bedroom....
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    This is the best part. You don't get one fat heater, you get one or two for each room. This allows you to zone heat and save costs by maintaining different temperatures for each room. The typical wall heater is about the size of a toaster and puts out 3800 watts which is 16 amps at 240 which is why each one gets its own 20 amp circuit and uses a regular 12/2 romex.

    3800 watts is about 13000 btu/hour. Three of those heaters and you are done. No maintenance, no fuel, no exhaust, no corroded heat exchanger, etc. The wall heaters are built into the wall so all you see is a grate. Instead of a more expensive ducted central system, many homes are heated with these wall heaters. They are not unlike baseboard heat.
  10. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Electric is a lot more expensive than propane. In my area, even oil is more expensive than propane. And direct vent devices don't put CO on the room; you only have to worry about that with unvented heaters (not a good idea for a primary heat source).

    If you're looking for the "nice" factor, you might consider a DV freestanding gas fireplace instead of the industrial looking wall heaters.
  11. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    Like electriccottage said, electric in ny is very costly. I run a oil filled heater in my bedroom for about 8 hours a night and according to my electric reader thing, I pay $25 a month for that. Also how about resell value. Would one 38k btu propane heater sell faster than having 3 electric heaters there?
    IDK, still debating.
  12. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    I was looking at the fireplace looking units, but can't find one that is high in btu like this Rinnai unit. Unless I am not reading right.
    This rennai unit says 38k btu max is more than the englander pdvc correct or around the same..
  13. jrendfrey

    jrendfrey Member

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    I have the rinnai es38 it's a great heater but I've also put 800 bucks in fuel through it this winter
  14. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    You can settle the cost issue with:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/

    Looks like 14.5 cent/kWh elec at 100% eff and $3/gallon propane at 78% are the same cost per BTU. Check your local rates for both.

    IMO, the PITA factor is sig higher for propane, unless you want a propane stove and have a lot of elec outages.

    Will your floorplan allow heat distribution?...the comfort factor might be higher with 3 elec units around the house rather than a mongo propane unit in the middle of one end.
  15. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That could be a fatal mistake. Have you ever heard of a cracked heat exchanger? Things fail and you would be stupid to not monitor your living space with a CO detector to be able to react if that happens. Not a possibility with electric.

    I'm with you on the unvented heaters being a bad idea. I don't even like to work in the shop with an unvented LP heater.
  16. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    Is that your only heat source that you use?
  17. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    Does anyone else have a different kind of propane heater to recommend?
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Saw that myself with my brother who had a direct vent propane Rinnai (or something similar . . . I forget the exact make) . . . something malfunctioned and it ended up pumping CO into his home. Fortunately his now-ex-wife had insisted he have a CO detector which activated. The idiot even called me up to tell me he couldn't smell anything, but the CO detector was going off . . . at which point I told him CO in itself is odor-less . . . fortunately for him (not so great for his now ex-) he had no symptoms of CO poisoning and was able to simply turn off the device and get a technician out to check on the problem.

    And for the record . . . on unvented heaters . . . in Maine if you have a daycare the Fire Marshals will not allow unvented heaters as they feel they are not a good idea. Not a big fan of them myself.
    Highbeam likes this.
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I like a gas heater, especially natural gas since it is usually so cheap to run. Know, understand, and prepare for the risks and you will be fine.

    If the btus from gas are not quite a bit cheaper than the same btus from resistance electric then you would need some other very strong reason to not use electric.
  20. Cudos

    Cudos Member

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  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There are risks of failure with alsmost any kind of heater. A decade ago in WA state there were failures of the common Cadet brand electric wall heaters. The complaints were of component failure shooting out sparks and molten metal. Some set themselves on fire. Also, some electric heaters can also pose a fire risk when they are too close to combustibles like curtains. Be safe, regardless of choice of heat.
  22. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That was more than 15 years ago and only on a specific list of models all made in the 90s or earlier.

    https://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/79986/cadet.pdf

    Still, your point is valid, there is no heater with zero risk.
  23. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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  24. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    It can also be a resale issue if you plan on selling the house within the foreseeable future. In my area, there are no natural gas lines and if you only have electric baseboard, many potential buyers will refuse to even look at the house. A wood or pellet stove is of no import as buyers want a central heating system even if it is oil or propane.
  25. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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