'Nother plumbing question. Water heater.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by charlie chitlin, May 17, 2021.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I just bought a house and I hate having stuff in my own house that I don't understand!!.
    Below is my (leaking) water heater.
    What is this thing...besides EXPENSIVE.
    It's obviously connected to the oil burner.
    I kind of want an electric one.
    Cold in...hot out...220VAC.
    And when I need another one in 10 years, it'll take 20 min. IMG_20210515_205635.jpg
    The house has hot water baseboard heat...I've never had that either.
    Can I just cap the stuff off that runs from the oil burner to the water heater?
    Does this water heater have anything to do with the baseboard heat?
    That's a closed system that does its own thing, right?
     
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  2. Bortyeast

    Bortyeast Tele-Holic

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    It probably does the baseboard heat as well. Better pictures would help (not of the tank, of the plumbing that's attached to it).
     
  3. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Tele-Meister

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    I cant say for sure but by the looks of the cracks in the covering on the tank I woud replace it ASAP if the Tank gives out you will have some big problems from water damage. The Base board heat should be on a separate line due to cross contamination to your drinking water supply.
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’m putting in one of those tomorrow, but all SS so it won’t rust through.

    I’ve considered going to electric but the oil burner you have is cheaper to run and a tank cost vs multiple electric water heater replacements comes out cheaper to run what you brung instead of switching to a new system.
    AFAIK you can disconnect the circulator lines and thermostat that tells the oil burner to run that “zone”.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here’s the lifetime warranty all SS tank I just bought for $1100.

    5401BBCF-AE6E-4CAC-B5B3-329A61AA5541.jpeg
     
  6. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Oil burner?
    Is natural gas an option? If so, I'd go with a tankless water heater.
     
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  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Tankless AKA on demand water heaters are dependent on inlet water temp.

    Warmer climates have higher inlet water temps but cold climates cold water cant be heated at a good flow rate without a bigger unit.

    At work we have summer on demand gas heaters and they need service pretty often while not lasting very long.
    I looked into electric tankless for my house and the inlet water temp needs the huge 300A heater while my whole house has 200A service.
    Lots to consider!
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Oh congratulations on buying a house!
     
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  9. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Electric tankless are also much less efficient than gas from all I've seen. So they don't really save you money. Our gas one has paid for itself in the past 3 years based on energy savings.
    Plus our community well water has a lot of minerals, so the sludge build up in our traditional one (1.5 years old when replaced with the tankless) is ridiculous.
     
  10. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Oh yeah, seconded.
     
  11. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    Like @jaxjaxon says, replace that ASAP. They go from leaking to burst very quickly. Don't even look at it funny. Just get a plumber in there.

    Gas has a much faster recovery time vs. electric and is almost always (save funny market conditions once every decade or so) cheaper to run. Stick with gas if you can.

    If a manufacturer has two options, e.g. a 6 year and a 12 year, be aware they are generally the same unit. They extra money you pay is for the warranty. The actuarials have worked out the rate of failure, claims, and costs, and price accordingly. With the higher priced unit you're just buying an extended warranty. Unless they quote specific feature improvements in the "longer life" (aka longer warranty) unit, it's the same.
     
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  12. glenlivet

    glenlivet Tele-Afflicted

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    what everyone else said.....get rid of that one asap. Call a pro to put in the new one, IMO stick with gas if you can.
    If it's leaking a little now....someday soon it's going to be leaking a LOT. Like spraying water all over the place type of leak.
    If you don't have a boiler (furnace) it *could* do heat as well.....I've never seen one do that...but I live in a place where a furnace is a must.
     
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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It’s probably worth getting it serviced regularly, the three on the property I maintain seem to have issues except the one with an additional tank is more reliable.
    Maintenance people and plumbers in the area find them to be less reliable than other systems, but water issues is a whole nother thing.
    Get it flushed out yearly!
    Not my specialty just what I’ve been told.
     
  14. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    According to folks in the area, oil is still cheaper than gas.
    I think gas would involve some tanks and MORE plumbing.
    Tankless is out, I think, due to cold well water and lots of minerals...I hear they clog fast with hard water.
    One of the problems is, it's a rural area undergoing a serious housing boom.
    All trades people are booked WAY out, and want to do nice, clean new installs.
    I want to get this done myself...and fast.
    Electric water jug eaters are what I know.
    I can wire and plumb it quickly and easily.
    What I'm not sure about is how to isolate the heating system from the water heater to make sure everything keeps working.
     
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  15. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    Stick with gas all the way. Electrict tankless are terrible...gas tankless is pretty good actually.

    Replacing a tank isn't as expensive as you might think. The key is to measure it and replace with the same sized unit so that you don't need to run new lines.

    The other question is are you sure it is leaking? I don't see a drain for the pressure relief valve so it might just be the relief valve doing it's thing onto the concrete flooring and not actually be leaking from the internal liner. Place a bucket or mason jar beneath that pressure relief line and see if that is the source of the water and go from there.
     
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  16. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Afflicted

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    A buddy of mine who's a plummer replaces these things all the time... in his state the water is hard for the most part, and tells me that people go out and get the tankless ones and then they're replacing them with traditional in about 2 years... so, I guess minerals in the water tables play a factor with these types as well
     
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  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The heated style you have may be pretty economical compared with electricity. I had a gas one, it failed and I was lazy so put in an electric. It's much more expensive to operate. I think about $30 a month which so far has then cost me $1100 in 3 years.
    The new gas heater would have been maybe $300 more to buy, but I would have had to wait a few days so I went with the electric.
    Something to think about.
    A gas one requires a vent to the outside, often through the roof.
     
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  18. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    there is another option. some call it a side arm tank, it may have other names. the hot water tank has a heating coil that takes in boiler water. boiler water and domestic do not mingle, the heat simply transfers. the water heater is simply treated like another zone.

    these are usually high thermal efficiency and hold the heat really well. the modern boiler systems are all set up to work this way (a big plus if/when you upgrade the boiler). they typically have a setting that give domestic hot water priority. that means if you are taking a shower and the room T-stat calls for heat the boiler will ignore that call until the domestic hot stabilizes.

    I have 12 flawless years on mine. I'd do it again absolutely.

    gas is cleaner and usually cheaper than oil. there used to be retrofit burners. dunno if that is still done.

    as for the tankless..... as mentioned, depends a lot on inlet water temp, and how much water you want. here in AK they struggle unless you get a system that is way larger than normal for your typical house. low flow and low pressure make it easier to heat enough water.
     
  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Electric water heater is far less energy efficient. Be very careful changing anything, because if it is connected to your water baseboard heating system it could be a variety of ways it is hooked up including a pump and/or pressure relief valves. Not the typical stuff of a homeowner to deal with. This is not for your garden variety plumber either.
     
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  20. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If you have a closed loop heating system, you may be struck with buying another one just like it.
    It's an odd duck, that's for sure.

    On the other hand, it if does not supple hot water to the baseboards, an Electric is the way to go.
     
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