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Old 01-03-2012, 10:35 PM   #16
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


Zacker...look into a heat pump water heater. It's a much better alternative for your current electric water heater. No additional modifications would be needed. ( no gas, no flue) Just a simple plumbing swap. And many states offer rebates for the heat pump units. Check into it first!!

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Old 01-03-2012, 11:12 PM   #17
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


aaahhh the hot water heater blues... I know them well. We bought our house 20 years ago. A hud repo with a blown hot water heater 100 gallon solar assist tank. Hud replaced the blown one. 15 years latter, it rusted out. So, I started to look around for a new solar tank. 1500 bucks for a 100 gallon tank!!!!!!!!!! no way!! so I found this website that showed how to modify as standard electric hot water heater for solar use, with no cutting or drilling or anything but straight hardware store parts. I put together the parts, intalled a new 100 gallon tank and its running great. so with all of that said, I have to tell you that you might want to look at solar as an option. we have never run out of hot water. we turn the WH breaker off for about 6 months out of the year. I happen to know that the cost of running the pump is 6 bucks a month in the summer time.

Check out solar systems, diy on them is easy if you get can solder a pipe!!!.

btw, my brother just got done re-piping his collector and it works great too. the collector was just about 30 years old. oh and with solar you just about never have to drain/ flush the tank. there is very very little sediment that builds up!!!
solar rocks.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:21 PM   #18
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


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oh and with solar you just about never have to drain/ flush the tank. there is very very little sediment that builds up!!!
solar rocks.

OK, I give up....why would solar create less sediment?
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:53 AM   #19
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Not an expert on this, but I think normal hot water heater sediment is caused by the heater elements. The elements get hot, cook the minerals out of the water. The minerals collect on the heating elements and then flake off and fill the bottom of the tank with sediment. With solar, the water is never exposed to really really high heat, so I dont think that the water gets cooked enough to bring the minerals out of solution. Its just a theory. What I do know is it saves me money, year in and year out. 4 people (some times 6) in the house and we never run out of hot water. Note that a tempering valve is needed on because the top tank temp can go up to around 200 degrees on a sunny day. The tempering valve is set to 150, due to long water line runs.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:56 AM   #20
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Tankless Water heater, worth it??


Well your "theory" makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure if it's accurate or not but unless someone can prove it wrong, I'll agree with you. What about the cost of a solar system vs a conventional water heater? That certainly must be a major consideration. And I would think that location has everything to do with the systems performance.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:22 AM   #21
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well, location (city/state) does make a difference. Here in Phoenix, we get like 340 days of sun a year. so its a prime market for solar hot water. I did look quick at the state of MO and found this http://dnr.mo.gov/energy/renewables/solar9.htm

it looks like it would be fine and could produce up to 80 percent of your hot water needs.


the cost is really hard to figure out. There is the cost of the parts and the labor of course, but then there is additional costs when say, you want to reroof and you have to disconnect the collector, or if a pump fails. Finding someone to work on them, is costly also (my neighbors know all about this!!) In my case the system was installed by the builder of the house in 1979. I do all the repairs on the system. to date, after 20 years, 1 new pump, one new sensor (freeze). one new tank (and its associated plumbing) and once I had to fix a split pipe inside the collector (see replaced freeze sensor above,,,LOL) Note that this is an open system, which means that fresh water is pumped into the collector and then back to the water heater. its only freeze protection is to back pump the hot water into the collector to keep it from freezing. I think I have recorded only a couple time that this happened.

cost has been really low for me, since I do the work myself. Others in the neighborhood have abandoned their solar systems. I like the challenge of learning about the system and my kids like the green aspect. so, in my case solar rocks!!

now back to the regularly scheduled discussion of tankless water heaters!!! Sorry to hijack the thread!!!
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:26 AM   #22
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Not an expert on this, but I think normal hot water heater sediment is caused by the heater elements. .
Er, no. If that were the case then gas heaters wouldn't ALSO have the problem.

The sediment in the bottom of your water heater is any solid material that settles to the bottom; it can be sand or other debris from your well or the water mains, or (more commonly) it can be minerals, (calcium carbonate), that precipitate out of the water at higher temperatures.

It can and should be flushed out periodically.

hth
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:26 AM   #23
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no doubt you know more about this then I do!!!! I was only explaining what my opinions and experiance was. I know that I used to try and clean the tank once a year, but nothing but clean fresh water came out. I also looked in the old tank when it was empty and had not been cleaned in about 7 or 8 years and could not find much if any sediment. Now it may have been the design of the fresh water piping that kept it clean or maybe even some other reason, I dont really know. again, I am just a homeowner not an expert
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:34 AM   #24
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Now it may have been the design of the fresh water piping that kept it clean or maybe even some other reason..
That would probably/mostly be the city water treatment department.
Some parts of the country have really bad water... some great water.
The really bad water tends to get treated more thoroughly.

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I dont really know. again, I am just a homeowner not an expert
I'm no expert... I've just been messin' around with stuff for 40some years.

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