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Old 11-25-2012, 12:42 PM   #16
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Hot Water Heater use in emergency

If your hot water tank is a power vented model, you will be out of luck because the burner on the tank will not light unless a vent is established. And without electricity, the vent will not operate.


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Old 11-25-2012, 07:48 PM   #17
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Hot Water Heater use in emergency

It would be more efficient to run the water from the water heater through several standing or baseboard radiators (or a few hundred feet of hose) compared with just one fashioned looking radiators. At the far end you have a valve open partway to let the water out (to the drain) slowly enough that the exiting water is down to about 60 degrees F or whatever the target temperature of your room is. At this rate you have extracted the maximum usable amount of heat out of the water. By using several radiators you have the water exiting unattended at a constant flow rate at a somewhat constant low temperature as opposed to one standing radiator that you need to let the water sit in and give off heat and then change the water and then wait again requiring much manual interventions.

Still more heating efficiency is had recirculating the water into the water heater tank. If you simply pour the "used" water down the drain, then makeup water from the water main will be at about its usual 40 degrees to have to be raised to the 140 or so degrees you set the water heater to. Whereas if you recirculate the water, it returns to the tank at around 60 degrees so it doesn;t need to be heated as much and little or no makeup water at 40 degrees enters the tank. Also for recirculated water it does not matter how fast or slow the water flows around the loop and at what temperature it returns to the tank at.
Do you get coverage you can count on? From the bag of fertilizer? From your lawn sprinklers?

Last edited by AllanJ; 11-25-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #18
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Hot Water Heater use in emergency

In an emergency, the easiest way to get warm from a water heater is to fill up some hot water bottles (rubber things -- you might have seen them in old movies) and jump in bed with them.

Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Still more heating efficiency is had recirculating the water into the water heater tank.
Don't forget this is a potable water system... you'll be drinking the water that went through that radiator a time or three. Do they make radiators approved for this use?

Assuming such a radiator is allowed by code, just get yourself one of those hot water recirculating pumps. You know, the kind you add so you get instant hot water at a tap that's distant from the hot water heater. You'll need to rig it so that it runs constantly, but otherwise, that wheel has already been invented.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:28 PM   #19
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Hot Water Heater use in emergency

You guys crack me up.


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