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Old 07-22-2011, 11:21 AM   #1
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Hot Water Tank Placement


I am completely renovating our house(Kitchen,Bathroom,New On-suit and Laundry room)and installing a new gas power vent water heater. I am also completely replacing all the old copper line with new Pex 3/4" and 1/2" with manifolds. That allows me to position my gas water heater were ever it would be the most practical. I have a unfinished crawl space which is approx 6' high so room is no issue and I have access to all the old plumbing which runs under and some along inside the floor joists. My question is if you had the opportunity to place your water heater where ever you wanted where would up place it, closest to the kitchen (we entertain a lot and my wife does a lot of cooking) we have 2 sinks and a dishwasher, or closest to the 2 bathrooms which are back to back. I am thinking of hot water supply to each area and which would be the best.

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Old 07-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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Hot Water Tank Placement


Midpoint between your kitchen sink/dw & your shower. This will yield the smallest heat losses. Since you use you kitchen likely as much as your shoer then you should treat them equally. The handwash sinks are a side story after those.

Since you're completely renovating, try to layout a plan that puts them as close together as possible.

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Old 07-22-2011, 01:11 PM   #3
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Midpoint between your kitchen sink/dw & your shower. This will yield the smallest heat losses. Since you use you kitchen likely as much as your shoer then you should treat them equally. The handwash sinks are a side story after those.

Since you're completely renovating, try to layout a plan that puts them as close together as possible.
I have done a few layout plans and continue to lean towards putting the tank a little closer to the kitchen as the sinks there are used a lot more than the bathroom so my thinking was I would use the hot water more there than the bathroom and should save hot water.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:19 PM   #4
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Hot Water Tank Placement


heat loss on insulated pipes is going to be relatively negligable unless you are talking about a really long run. The biggest losses will be from the tank itself unless of course you're going tankless.

We are currenlty doing a renovation to a housing complex. A total gut and go. We installed the tankless gas units for heating and DHW. Through this past winter they compared existing units that haven't yet been done with the new units that are completed. There was a 50% reduction in the energy costs. Now part of that was the new fiberglass insulation, but i think the majority was taking the 80% oil boilers and side tanks and changing them to 95% gas tankless.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:19 PM   #5
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heat loss on insulated pipes is going to be relatively negligable unless you are talking about a really long run. The biggest losses will be from the tank itself unless of course you're going tankless.

We are currenlty doing a renovation to a housing complex. A total gut and go. We installed the tankless gas units for heating and DHW. Through this past winter they compared existing units that haven't yet been done with the new units that are completed. There was a 50% reduction in the energy costs. Now part of that was the new fiberglass insulation, but i think the majority was taking the 80% oil boilers and side tanks and changing them to 95% gas tankless.
If I center the water tank between the kitchen and the bathrooms it would only have a run both ways of about 18 to 20 feet. I was going to run 3/4" to a manifold and then branch off to 1/2". How long a run of 3/4" would you recommend from the hot water tank in both directions?
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:29 PM   #6
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Hot Water Tank Placement


Unfortunately I'm not well enough versed in pipe sizing to give you a confident answer. The energy efficiency parts is where I was giving my 2 cents.

As a point of reference from one plumbing sizing rookie to another, my current house has this:

3/4" DCW main. Splits into two 1/2" lines soon after the meter. One side feeds the kitchen sink, d/w, boiler, and a hose bib. The other side feeds the two toilets, two sinks, shower, washing machine, and hose bib.
The DHW is fed from the boiler by a single 1/2" line to the kitchen sink, d/w, two bathroom sinks, shower, and washing machine. With this setup I have plenty of pressure and plenty of flow, though it's only myself and my fiance' living there.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:54 PM   #7
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Me I say put it anywhere that it easier to service and replace later, F this non-sense about putting it close to a bathroom or kitchen. If your going to repipe why not install a hot water re-circulation line as well run it to the kitchen and the bathroom's. You can buy small 1/2" pumps with a built in timer, so it doesn't have to run all the time.

As to the previous poster yea it is a great idea to insulate your water lines especially the cold ones.
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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Hot water re-circ for a 40' run is ludicrous...those systems are for giant runs so you don't have to run the water for 10 minutes to get hot water. Pumps, timers, etc. are just added cost, maintenance, and headaches.

By locating it as close to center as possible the wait time is reduced for all applications...
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:10 PM   #9
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Hot Water Tank Placement


Your right they are about 130$ online Grundfos comfort UP10-16. Why wait for hot water when it can be right there, like I said before the tank can go anywhere better to place it where you can change it out with ease or work on it.

But what do I know I'm just a dumb service plumber.

Edit: If it's power vented you still need grade on your venting easier to place on outside wall especially if your limited room above the unit.

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Old 07-22-2011, 04:24 PM   #10
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Recirc system extras: couple hundred for pump, couple hundred for the extra pipe needed to loop, added expense of additional insulation needed, the electric needed to constantly circulate the water. The extra gas energy needed to heat the water that has a greatly increased surface area due to the continuous circulation through the loop, and the timer system.

Not saying it can't be done, but impatience (20 seconds or so wait time) at the hot water spigot is a costly endeavor.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:57 PM   #11
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Hot Water Tank Placement


2 key points the OP mentioned-
Gas heater and power vent. How much extra gas piping are you willing to do? Have you read the tank specs in regards to venting? How about electricity to run the vent?
IMO- I would place the heater in relation to these factors, not oversize my pipes, and insulate them well. If needed, add the recirc line. It won't break your bank and probably cheaper then moving a gas line.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:23 PM   #12
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2 key points the OP mentioned-
Gas heater and power vent. How much extra gas piping are you willing to do? Have you read the tank specs in regards to venting? How about electricity to run the vent?
IMO- I would place the heater in relation to these factors, not oversize my pipes, and insulate them well. If needed, add the recirc line. It won't break your bank and probably cheaper then moving a gas line.
The gas piping is very easy to move or add on to so that does not come into play and as far as the power venting it uses very little power and I don't have to run a dedicated line I can tap into an existing run. I didn't think running 3/4" from the tank and my cold water was over sizing or was I wrong.

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