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Navien NR-240A: Eight Week Roundup

February 14, 2012

It’s been another month with the Navien NR-240A, and most of you seem to be looking for information on this unit and with the circulation pump in particular.  If you have questions regarding my experience, feel free to ask!

With another month under my belt, I have to say that in general I really like the unit (definitely see my caveats regarding the need to get a unit with the circulation pump, in my opinion, for most home applications).  We’ve had no issues at all since the defect that was found when it was first installed, and for my family’s every-day use it has been perfect. 

Interestingly, I was watching This Old House last week and they were installing a tankless hot water heater.  I was a bit disappointed in how their plumber (Richard?) spoke about the unit and the benefit of that unit’s circulation tank.  While its true that the tank will help reduce the impact of the cold water sandwich (I don’t think he described what causes the sandwich correctly) the main benefit, in my opinion, is eliminating the minimum flow requirement.   The interesting part is that he suggested that the circulation tank increased efficiency because the heating element had more surface area of water to work with — which may be true, but he did neglect the fact that you are keeping that (small) tank of water heated perpetually.  

I couldn’t tell who made the unit, but it did look very similar to the Navien — only it appeared to have a stainless steal case (my Navien is white).  But I couldn’t say whether the Navien’s heating element is situated the same way as the one he was showing and therefore whether or not you have the same (possible) efficiency gain to (partially) offset the fact that you’re keeping two gallons of water heated at all times.

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From → HVAC

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