Best way to do domestic hot water

Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:02 pm

Hi folks,

Seem like a lot of knowledgeable folks here so I thought I would ask. I'm thinking about installing a regular gas storage type hot water heater. We currently get our hot water off a tiny low mass direct vent natural gas boiler. It works ok but can only do 2.1 gallons per minute which is annoying and seems to use a lot of gas in the summertime (my bills are twice what my neighbors pay for their tank type hot water heaters). We live in the city but our electricity goes out a few times a year and over the past few years it's not been unusual for it to stay out for several days at a time. So I have running water during power outages but no hot water.

I'm getting my chimneys rebuilt this summer (three of them! $$$$) and thinking about using one of the open flues to vent the hot water heater. It seems like a no brainer to me; running hot water regardless of electric supply, possibly will save me some money over running the boiler all summer for hot water, more hot water supply so a shower can run while dishes are being washed...

Am I missing anything here? Anything else I should consider? 2 people in the house, 2 bathrooms, three bedrooms. I'd consider one of the tankless types but I think they all need electric to run too, and I'm not convinced that they would save me any money. My parents live a few blocks away, same hot water usage, they have a 50 gallon gas hot water heater, gas stove, gas dryer, and their gas bill is half what mine is in summer. So much for "high efficiency!"
Last edited by ramblerboy2 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ramblerboy2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac MCK 508
Other Heating: Embassy Ambassador BMS natural gas boiler

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:51 pm

You didn't state how much heat you need from your gas boiler, and or if your primary heat is from coal during the heating season. Sounds like a new 50 gallon gas hwh would save you money than running your low mass boiler, and during a power outage you would have 50 gallon of hot water in reserve.
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:21 pm

The boiler is rated at 108K btu. Not been using any coal so far but will be this coming winter; I plan to run the boiler and baseboard as a background heat to maintain the house at 55 degrees and run the little coal stove to hold the living room at a comfortable temperature. The boiler cannot run space heating and DHW simultaneously, usually the boiler temp plunges to below 140 and the circulator cuts off until it recovers. This is not a big deal but obviously the boiler is undersized for the load.

The beauty of the gas hot water heater is that they are pilot ignition and will keep making hot water in the event of a power outage.

I think I've sold myself on this.
ramblerboy2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac MCK 508
Other Heating: Embassy Ambassador BMS natural gas boiler


Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:16 pm

ramblerboy2 wrote:The boiler is rated at 108K btu. Not been using any coal so far but will be this coming winter; I plan to run the boiler and baseboard as a background heat to maintain the house at 55 degrees and run the little coal stove to hold the living room at a comfortable temperature. The boiler cannot run space heating and DHW simultaneously, usually the boiler temp plunges to below 140 and the circulator cuts off until it recovers. This is not a big deal but obviously the boiler is undersized for the load.

The beauty of the gas hot water heater is that they are pilot ignition and will keep making hot water in the event of a power outage.

I think I've sold myself on this.


I think if I had your set up I would be thinking about a coal boiler parallel with the gas boiler and have plenty of baseboard heat and all the dhw as a bonus, and still get the bigger gas hwh for the off season.
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: dcrane On: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:41 pm

be thankful you have N/Gas ;) Last year I was sold into these new high efficiently boilers and hw heaters and opted for http://www.buderus.us/products/oilheating/ and ive been nothing but disappointed :mad: I couldent see any real savings over the 30 year old boiler with/ hw coil it replaced. I do like the new H/W tank because it preforms better then those crap coils but i pay for it dearly in $$$. In hindsite im kicking myself for not getting a product like this http://leisurelinestoves.com/boiler-and ... ducts.html. I cant wait for all this new hig efficiency crap to *censored* the bed so I can start over :(
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:37 pm

dcrane wrote:be thankful you have N/Gas ;) Last year I was sold into these new high efficiently boilers and hw heaters and opted for http://www.buderus.us/products/oilheating/ and ive been nothing but disappointed :mad: I couldent see any real savings over the 30 year old boiler with/ hw coil it replaced. I do like the new H/W tank because it preforms better then those crap coils but i pay for it dearly in $$$. In hindsite im kicking myself for not getting a product like this http://leisurelinestoves.com/boiler-and ... ducts.html. I cant wait for all this new hig efficiency crap to *censored* the bed so I can start over :(


Yeah, my sister just bought a house with a brand new high efficiency oil boiler and her fiance told me that they always run out of hot water... It's a fairly large indirect cylinder. Surprising that with just the two of them that they run it out faster than the boiler can heat it up again. They have natural gas available; I told them to think about switching at least the DHW to gas fueled, won't hurt the oil boiler to disconnect the indirect.
ramblerboy2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac MCK 508
Other Heating: Embassy Ambassador BMS natural gas boiler

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:02 pm

michaelanthony wrote: I think if I had your set up I would be thinking about a coal boiler parallel with the gas boiler and have plenty of baseboard heat and all the dhw as a bonus, and still get the bigger gas hwh for the off season.


I've thought about that. Right now I think that natural gas might be slightly less expensive than coal here in Connecticut, but I don't believe for a second that the prices will stay this way. Also, the redundancy is a good thing; unlikely that both units would fail at the same time.
ramblerboy2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac MCK 508
Other Heating: Embassy Ambassador BMS natural gas boiler

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: plumb-r On: Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:24 am

If your replacing a water heater I'd consider a good nat. gas tankless water heater. You don't need to use a chimney to vent it they vent directly to the outside. They only work when you turn on a faucet, so your not paying to keep a storage tank warm. I think they are offering tax rebates on them again, something like $300.00.
They do require electric but a simple battery back-up like that used on a computer will run the unit if power goes out. :D
plumb-r
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 608 Energy Master I Stoker

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: samhill On: Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:30 am

I'm leaning on going with electric since I have propain now & will probably never be able to get anything else in my area. My electric co-op will give, install & maintain a new electric WH & replace if ever needed, with only the two of us living here full time it seems the way to go, just getting rid of the noisy exhaust fan would be a big+. The only thing I would have to do is run the electric from my breaker box to the location.
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: McGiever On: Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:35 pm

samhill wrote:I'm leaning on going with electric since I have propain now & will probably never be able to get anything else in my area. My electric co-op will give, install & maintain a new electric WH & replace if ever needed, with only the two of us living here full time it seems the way to go, just getting rid of the noisy exhaust fan would be a big+. The only thing I would have to do is run the electric from my breaker box to the location.


Those electric co-op water heaters are typically the Rheem Marathon 80 gallon. No steel, all spun fiberglass tank w/ brass ports and foamed insulation inside a plastic outer jacket.
They last forever. If you where to buy one outright it would be near $1000.00

I just installed one of them I picked up on Craig;s List for $150.00 and it has a mfg'd. date of 2003...it is as good as new. :)
I did power flush it w/ vinegar and chlorine, pressure tested it and ohm test the elements before I installed it.

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McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: samhill On: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:26 pm

McGiever, from the picture that looks like the same thing, I'm gonna have to give them a call & see what size line I need & see if I have everything I need, am I correct in its being a 220volt?
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: McGiever On: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:43 pm

samhill wrote:McGiever, from the picture that looks like the same thing, I'm gonna have to give them a call & see what size line I need & see if I have everything I need, am I correct in its being a 220volt?



usually it is 4500 watt and 220 Volt
Wire needed...10/2 w/ground...goes on a 2-pole 30 amp circuit breaker
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: Sting On: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:15 pm

K.I.S.S
Sting
 
Other Heating: BurnHAM=NG-gas

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: samhill On: Wed May 22, 2013 2:53 pm

Just had a new 80/gal electric tank installed just like the one pictured above, picked up a new 30amp double pole breaker for $7 at a garage sale & I had a 250' ft. roll of 10/3w/g so the whole thing only cost me $7 plus the wire that I've had for years. Lifetime warranty (hope they don't know something I don't) :shock: , any problems at all they take care of it & a free replacement of the same or like 90+ or better heater, hard to turn a deal like that down.
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Best way to do domestic hot water

PostBy: McGiever On: Wed May 22, 2013 5:25 pm

SWEET :D
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek