Indirect water tank versus Electric boiler?

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-22-13, 08:40 PM
biketrax's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 386
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Indirect water tank versus Electric boiler?

Domestic water is what I would like to discuss. My indirect has failed after 7 years. It will cost over $1100 (Tank only) to replace without any install service cost.
I have been persuaded to try an electric hot water heater at a cost of 50 to 75% less. I have replaced a few of these in the past along with some natural gas hook ups. I will ask for a bit of help installing the indirect since its a bit more involved.
Question What's the advantages along with pros and cons of each?
I believe that either one will ( indirect tank or stand alone Domestic HW heater )comes with a lifetime warranty.
thanks for your input!
PS 2500 sq ft house with 2-1/2 baths and two adult occupants.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-22-13, 09:10 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 58,537
Received 1,036 Votes on 960 Posts
Everyone has their own opinions. I'm not in the plumbing department. Just making a few observations....a little food for thought.

Tankless hot water heaters require a large electrical connection to your electrical panel. Usually in the neighborhood of 240 volts at 60 amps.

Standard hot water heaters and those tankless units are not lifetime warranted. Hot water heaters have anywhere from a 5 year to I believe a 12 year warranty. The more expensive the unit the longer the warranty. In looking at several of the tankless types they range from 5 to 10 years.

Tankless hot water heaters seem to have issues with hard water. Early heating element failures.

Just some of my observations.....the pro's will stop by and give you theirs.
 
  #3  
Old 05-22-13, 09:12 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 421
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Indirect tanks are able to utilize the BTU's of an existing boiler to make and store large amounts of hot water available for immediate use. No need for an exhaust stack vent into a chimney.

A quality indirect tank should last more than 7 years. They usually fail prematurely because of high chlorides or other water-quality issues.

The main drawback to electric tanks is the hideous price of electricity. That being said, if poor water-quality is indeed the cause of your current indirect tank failure, then replacing it with an electric tank might actually be more cost-efficient in the long run - due to their easier installation and lower price (as compared to indirects). The thought being, as long as you are going to be burning through tanks every 5-7 years, then you might as go with an electric.
 
  #4  
Old 05-23-13, 12:26 AM
S
Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 137
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
What failed on the indirect and why?

I had an Amtrol Boilermate fail. Plastic liner cracked and water got between liner and shell. When it was installed there was NO potable water expansion tank on cold input. Water got hot with nowhere to go and kept flexing the liner. Covered under the lifetime warranty except of course the labor.
 
  #5  
Old 05-23-13, 04:46 AM
T
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,174
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Just to re-iterate.

Electric is expensive to operate and the recovery is slow. Installed costs is low.
Indirect is cheaper to operate as long as it's well sized to the boiler, and is capable of fast (very fast) recovery.
A quailty indirect should not need to be replaced
 
  #6  
Old 05-23-13, 04:53 AM
biketrax's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 386
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Sequoia

Mine was an Amtrol also!! The company that sold it to me no longer carry's them. They Said they were getting lots of failures!

They only carry aone make that DOES have Lifetime Warrenty.
thanks
 
  #7  
Old 05-23-13, 06:00 AM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,145
Received 60 Votes on 52 Posts
Did you purchase this original amtrol tank?

Why did it fail? You did not state.

Here is the warranty. It does not matter the company you bought it from does not carry them. You need to go through amtrol...

http://amtrol.com/media/pdfs/warranty.pdf

Now we don't know what model # you have and what that warranty is on your specific unit. You can input data here.

Amtrol- Warranty Lookup
 
  #8  
Old 05-23-13, 07:17 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 58,537
Received 1,036 Votes on 960 Posts
Sorry....I misunderstood your question. I thought we were comparing one of the new style instant hot type units with a regular water heater.
 
  #9  
Old 05-25-13, 12:21 AM
S
Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 137
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
biketrax,
Back to some of original question imo-

Indirect Pros-
Very little stand by loss
VERY fast recovery- endless hot water (*as long as boiler works)

CONS-
Needs boiler to run (price of gas/oil)

Electric Pros-
Not as much plumbing to mess with (Circulator loop) if need replacement
Cost of unit

Cons-
Cost of Electric
SLOW recovery- With 2 adults probably not big issue unless you each like long showers, have a hot tub, or decide to shower together .

I've got 3 adults and 2 teens so need the quick recovery. 4 of that group would be happy with steam/sauna for hours if possible.

If replacing either way you need to make sure there is an expansion tank on either version. Neither is hard to do if you've done plumbing before. When installing either version add some extra ball valves to isolate all the lines for if needed in future.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: