Tankless Water Heater for Smaller Applications

Noritz’s condensing tankless water heater offers higher efficiencies, longer vent runs for smaller residential applications, including multifamily.

Noritz has expanded its ecoTOUGH Series of gas-fired residential condensing tankless water heaters with the new NRC83, an Energy Star-rated unit available in both indoor (the two-pipe, direct vent NRC83-DV) and outdoor (NRC83-OD) model.

The new wall-mounted units have an energy factor (EF) of 0.92 for natural gas and 0.94 with liquid propane, approximately 30 points higher than a standard, storage tank-type, gas-fired water heater. Featuring a gas-consumption range of 16,000 BTU per hour to 157,000 BTUh, the NRC83 is engineered to meet the domestic hot water needs of smaller northern residences with one bathroom, as well as southern homes with two baths.

“We believe the NRC83 will also be an attractive option for apartment developers, owners and managers, as well as for owners of vacation homes with smaller hot-water needs,” says Jay Hassel, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Noritz America Corporation. With flow rates from 0.5 gallons per minute to 8.3 gpm and temperature settings from 100°F to 140°F, the new NRC83 protects the environment by heating water strictly on demand, while offering a longer product life cycle than storage tank-type models.

The NRC83-DV, an indoor model with a two pipe direct vent system, uses condensing technology to achieve an Energy Factor of 0.92 or 0.94, depending on the fuel type.

Installation Flexibility

The big attraction for builders, remodelers and installers is the ability to vent the indoor models with three-inch or four-inch Schedule 40 and 80 PVC or CPVC pipe, which is less expensive and quicker to install than the Category III Stainless Steel that must be used on conventional tankless water heaters.

Condensing tankless water heaters incorporate a second heat exchanger to boost efficiency by capturing more heat from combustion gases as they escape up the flue. The result is an EF rating roughly 10 points higher than that of a conventional tankless water heater.

The second heat exchanger cools the flue gases enough to permit venting with plastic piping. Besides being easier to work with on the job site, the PVC and CPVC piping also permits vent runs of up to 62 feet, giving builders, remodelers, and plumbing and HVAC contractors many more options on where to position the water heater.

Like the other water heaters in the Noritz ecoTOUGH Series, both of the new NRC83 models also offer the following key features and components:

  • LOWER EMISSIONS: The high-efficiency, low-NOx Eco-Burner™ has a nitrogen-oxide emissions level that is within 20 parts per million, which will comply with the new South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2012. The new regulations apply to any boiler or water heater rated from 75,000 to 400,000 BTUh.
  • NO BUFFER TANK NEEDED: The advanced technology of the fully modulating EcoBurner delivers superior temperature control, eliminating the need for a buffer tank to stabilize the temperature, as required by other makes of condensing tankless water heaters. “To maintain the water temperature in a buffer tank, the tankless unit must run more often–even when there is no hot-water demand–resulting in a significant reduction in efficiency,” says Hassel. “Our modulating burners are specifically engineered for water heating– not boiler–applications. They respond quickly to changing input temperatures to deliver the precise output temperature required, eliminating the need for a buffer tank.”
    • Primary: The internal waterways of the primary heat exchanger in the NRC83 are made of commercial-grade copper, which is 25 percent thicker than Noritz’s residential-grade model. The copper construction also offers better heat transfer than stainless steel.
    • Secondary: Made entirely of stainless steel to resist corrosion from fluid produced by the condensing process, the secondary heat exchanger uses a low-pressure-loss design to provide a better showering experience across a wide range of household water pressures.
  • 12-YEAR RECIRCULATION WARRANTY: Like all Noritz residential tankless water heater products that feature the company’s durable, commercial-grade primary heat exchanger, the NRC83 is covered by a 12-year/6,500-hour warranty when used with controlled recirculation systems that deliver hot water more quickly to the tap. The new unit also carries a five-year limited warranty on all parts.
  • EASY CONVERSION TO NON-DIRECT VENT: The new NRC83 can be readily converted from direct-vent (DV) to non-direct-vent (SV) operation, so that it can draw makeup air for its combustion process from inside the building, rather than from the outdoors. To ensure proper and safe operation, Noritz offers a special kit, #SV-CK-3, containing all of the components an installer needs to make the conversion. This kit is required for the conversion and must be installed according to the accompanying instructions to maintain the full warranty of the unit; no substitute components or methods are permitted.
  • ECO-FRIENDLY COMMITMENT: In addition to higher combustion efficiencies and reduced atmospheric pollution, the entire Noritz ecoTOUGH Series, including the NRC83, also includes the following green improvements over the previous generation of Noritz tankless water heaters:
    • reduced amounts of hexad chrome in the coating of the exterior and the burner case;
    • reduced amounts of lead in the water-flow servomotor, the lightning protector and the circuit boards;
    • reduced amount of cadmium in the inlet/outlet bracket;
    • reduced consumption of standby electricity by the power transformer.

In addition, Noritz has affixed specific alpha codes to various plastic components within the NRC83 to help identify their material makeup when it is time to recycle the unit. For example, the polystyrene PCB cover is labeled “OS”; the polypropylene neutralizer tank is marked “PP.”

Extending the series: The two new NRC83 units join the other two, previously introduced models in the Noritz ecoTOUGH Series: the NRC98, with inputs up to 180,000 BTUh and a maximum flow rate of 9.8 gpm; and the NRC111, with inputs up to 199,900 BTUh and a maximum flow rate of 11.1 gpm.

“In 2012, the United States Environmental Protection Agency is expected to create a second, higher Energy Star classification for condensing tankless water heaters because of their higher EF ratings,” Hassel notes. “Our entire ecoTOUGH Series will qualify for this higher category, as well as the higher federal tax credits that we expect to follow.

“With the introduction of the NRC83,” he continues, “we have met our objective of creating a full line of high-efficiency condensing tankless water heaters that will costeffectively meet the hot-water needs of every American household, regardless of size.”