Setting up new V8H3WT Burnham boiler

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Old 01-13-15, 10:51 AM
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Setting up new V8H3WT Burnham boiler

Replaced my V14AT with the PV8H3WT-TBWF after the first of this year. Have some questions on the set points because it seems to operate a bit different than the V14AT.

Background info; 3 Taco zones valves in conjunction with the main circulator, Bed/Bath zone, Main zone, and a small office zone. Downstairs radiant heat with separate circulator switched off the ZC port on the "Intelligent Oil Boiler Control (Warm Start)" with a relay into the bottom back return on the boiler. Same setup as the V14AT was. Home is ~2500 sq ft with 6" insulated walls and Pella windows and doors. Tankless coil used for DHW. The radiant heat does not control the call for heat, it just runs off 2 thermostats that switch the circulator on and off through a relay, one T on the floor set at 75 and one on the wall set at 69 in series. In effect the floor T keeps the floor from getting too hot and preventing a big overshoot. It seems to work pretty good.

I'm pretty anal so I've set up a A-D converter with the software so I can track when each zone goes on, plus the blower (in effect burn time). I have relays for each zone that I've wired back to the A-D converter and that lets me track everything in real time on the PC and record it. (DATAQ DI-194RS)

First question: the HVAC installers left the boiler set up with the steam nozzle and air settings, I called Burnham about that and they said it would be fine as long as it produces enough heat for the zones, which it does. The steam nozzle is a .60x60 where the HW is .85x60. Set up for steam DOE heating MBH=91, HW MBH=125. The boiler kept up just fine with some really cold days we had here last week. I've never had any problem keeping the house at 73F in the day and 67 at night. Is this OK?

Set point questions:

Why does the "Operating Mode Options" display both 'HL' high limit setting and 'SP' Operating Setpoint when in fact they are the same thing according to the instructions (Sect XII, Para 6, end of a.) "The Operating Setpoint (SP) will equal the High Limit Setpoint."

Circulator Pre-Purge time (PP) is factroy set to 0, should I increase that to a minute or so to stop the burner from cycling so much sometimes, if it actually does after I track it for a while.

The V8H has a smaller tankless coil than the V14 (3 gpm vs. 4 gpm). The unit came with the lower limit set at 110 and I've already pushed that up to 130 and this morning the DHW was pretty luke warm, I took a shower with just the hot water on in the shower. I can't remember what I had for the LL on the V14, but I'm thinking about pushing up the LL to something more like 140 or 150. It would be really nice if there were a clock function on that LL setting since we always shower at the same time. Rest of the DHW is not so important.

I'm somewhat confused about the Priority Time (Pt_) and ZC and ZR Terminal Function (2C_). Right now I've got it set at Pt=On and 2C=2r. As far as I can tell, there is no way the boiler can tell if there's a call for DHW except the temperature of the boiler so with my setup the Pt setting will do nothing?

The book also says if 2C is set for 'dh' (Domestic How water Demand) it appears to be for "Indirect Water Heater", I assume this is different than my tankless coil where I'm just drawing water from the coil, not a separate circulator and storage for hot water? So I've left the 2C set at 2r which allows the ZC terminal to be energized while the boiler is above the LL set point which I am considering raising to 140 or 150.

I hope this hasn't been too long, but it's sorta confusing to me, maybe after time I can wrap my mind around it.

I've been thinking about getting an electric heater that I can put under the Jauczzi to supply more hot water for showers and the tub, but I'd rather just use the tankless coil if I can make it work better than luke warm water when the boiler is not heating the baseboards.

Dave
 
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Old 01-13-15, 03:40 PM
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I called Burnham about that and they said it would be fine as long as it produces enough heat for the zones,... Is this OK?
If Burnham says it's ok, then it's ok.

Why does the "Operating Mode Options" display both 'HL' high limit setting and 'SP' Operating Setpoint when in fact they are the same thing
I'm guessing that you don't have an ODR (OutDoor Reset) option card connected to the system. If you did, the setpoints would differ.

Circulator Pre-Purge time (PP) is factroy set to 0, should I increase that to a minute or so to stop the burner from cycling so much sometimes, if it actually does after I track it for a while.
I don't think it's going to do anything for short cycling. All it will do is delay the burner firing if a heat call comes in when the boiler is hot, until the boiler water drops below 140F.

BUT... you are running WARM START due to having that 'thankless coil' for your DHW and this setting will CONFLICT with the LOW setpoint. So, if a heat call comes in and the boiler is above 140F (which it probably WILL be because of your LOW LIMIT setting) the circulator won't start... and may NEVER start because the LOW limit will fire up to keep the boiler warm...

So in your situation I believe I would leave that at OFF ( zero ).

The V8H has a smaller tankless coil
Well... what can I say... 'thankless coils' 5uck! They are only better than one way of producing domestic hot water. And that way is a kettle on a cast iron wood stove.

Keeping a boiler hot continuously to produce a few gallons of domestic hot water now and then is akin to leaving your car idling in the driveway with a brick on the accelerator at 2000 RPM just in case you need to run out to the store later. It is extremely inefficient and a waste of fuel.

Did the installers not try to talk you into an INDIRECT WATER HEATER?

I'm thinking about pushing up the LL to something more like 140 or 150.
Yeah, I'm not surprised!

Keep in mind that the control will not allow you to set it closer than 20F to the HIGH setting.

You should also look at the LOW LIMIT DIFFERNTIAL setting. This controls the 'band' that the LL operates in. If you set the LL at say 140, and a 10F Ldf, the burner will fire at 130F and quit firing at 140F. With a 20F Ldf, the burner will fire at 120F and stop firing at 140F. It's SUBTRACTIVE... so read that and understand that function.

You may end up having to push to 150F to get adequate hot water for showers and laundry, and if you do I would recommend increasing the Ldf to 20F.

Did the installers put in a TEMPERING VALVE on the hot outlet of the coil? They should have... more info later if you need to know. If there's a tempering valve, it should be set at about 125F.

It would be really nice if there were a clock function on that LL setting since we always shower at the same time.
Ya know, that's an EXCELLENT idea! Kinda like the 'setbacks' on thermometers... they could do that in the firmware... Let the boiler idle down or go cold at certain times, and only kick up when you want to use hot water... Better get a patent on that, I bet they're working on it now.

I'm somewhat confused about the Priority Time (Pt_) and ZC and ZR Terminal Function (2C_). Right now I've got it set at Pt=On and 2C=2r. As far as I can tell, there is no way the boiler can tell if there's a call for DHW except the temperature of the boiler so with my setup the Pt setting will do nothing?
Priority time will do nothing for you, not with that 'thankless coil'.

The 'priority' is built in to the fact that you are using the Low Limit function.

Turn Pt OFF.

ZC = ZR is the correct setting.

Downstairs radiant heat with separate circulator switched off the ZC port on the "Intelligent Oil Boiler Control (Warm Start)" with a relay...

...The radiant heat does not control the call for heat, it just runs off 2 thermostats that switch the circulator on and off through a relay,
This could have been done differently, but the end result would be the same.

Your control has NO WIRE on the ZR terminal, is that correct?

Is there a MIXING VALVE included on the radiant zone?

I assume this is different than my tankless coil
That is a correct assumption. If you set ZC = DH your radiant system pump will never run.

I've been thinking about getting an electric heater that I can put under the Jauczzi to supply more hot water for showers and the tub, but I'd rather just use the tankless coil if I can make it work better than luke warm water when the boiler is not heating the baseboards.
I bet you would spend as much (maybe more!) having that installed than you would having an indirect water heater installed.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 05:29 PM
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I have been using a timer to bring a cold start boiler temperature up to the high limit to produce DHW, just requires a relay and a timer.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 06:21 PM
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a timer to bring a cold start boiler temperature up to the high limit
But we don't want to bring it up to high limit...

I can think of ways to do what you are talking about, but not with this electronic aquastat... wouldn't risk shorting out a triac...
 
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Old 01-13-15, 07:40 PM
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Thanks NJ, I'll have to digest your comments tonight and tomorrow. But I'll say the tankless coil in the V14 I had for 30 years cost me maybe $50/year to heat the DHW through the summer (I track my oil usage pretty close). I'm thinking that's better than a 50/80g electric hot water heater through the summer, but I'm not sure. It's only 2 of us using DHW. I have been thinking about other DHW solutions and I'm very welcome to suggestions. We also have LP available. We live in the country on well water, LP cooktop, LP fireplace lightly used, and private septic field.

I have noticed with the temp set at 130 LL the radiant heat is slow to come up (it's a bit cold down here tonight) but there's a long lag time on radiant heat, I must have had the V14 LL at about 150 or so. As I remember the V14 would come on about every 3 hours for maybe 3-5 min. to maintain the LL temp. If there's no call for heat this V8H doesn't come on for maybe 5 hours or more and that doesn't help the radiant heat because the RH thermostat doesn't control the call for heat, just the RH circulator.

I'd be more than glad to turn off the boiler through the summer if I can figure out the DHW issue.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 07:55 AM
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OK, point by point,

What is an 'outdoor reset option card', I read that also in the book and don't know what that is.

I'll leave the PP time at 0 for now.

What is an 'indirect water heater'? Electric or is it something that runs off the V8H? Like I say I'd be more than glad to produce hot water some other way, however, like I said before, I don't find the tankless coil such an in-efficient way to make domestic HW 'given our situation', just the 2 of us and low demand. I've added up the burn time during the summer and it has to be much less than keeping an electric WH going all the time. It may not be the best thing for the boiler however. I did run the LL up to 150 this morning and the shower was more than acceptable, I may try 140.

I understand about the LL diff and it being subtractive.

Tempering valve: Well I had one (a very large Holby) installed in the radiant heat side and I soon found that the valve couldn't be adjusted high enough to warm the floor, so I took it out and run the radiant heat at what ever the boiler has to supply, no more that 180 and no less than LL.

Yes, I see the new instructions say to use a tempering valve for the DHW, but I've never found it necessary for us. We have learned to use the DHW one item at a time, I know that may be undesirable for some, but it works for us and we're used to it. The lines to the bath and kitchen are unfortunately Quest pipe and not insulated very well so it takes a while for the heat to come on and if I only had 125 at the main input to the DHW, it would be maybe 90 at the faucet and shower, I've started to insulate what I can.

Correct there is nothing connected to ZC, the radiant heat circulator controller is hooked to ZR.

Again, what is an indirect water heater?

I notice this morning when I turned up the heat for the Main Zone, and my wife turned up the small office zone (about 15' of baseboard) the boiler is cycling on and off like it hasn't before but it's settling down once the main zone comes up to heat. She turns up the office zone pretty high (73) and I notice that thermostat tends to stay on for a while, but the temp in that zone and the boiler tends to reach a hot level that will stay there until the T is satisfied.

Lets see if I can post a picture of the DAC for what it's doing. Each small mark is 6 minutes. The top line is the blower motor, second line is either the Bed/Bath zone or the Office zone, the red arrow shows where I switched from the Bed/Bath to the Office zone, (the DAC only has 4 inputs and I need 5) the 3rd line is the radiant heat zone, and the bottom line is the Main zone and the black arrow shows where I turned up the thermostat from 67 to 70 at about 8am. The blue arrow is current time, it just keeps wrapping around in about 7.5 hours and I can record with no time limit if if I like. The glitch at the beginning time for the Main zone is a glitch produced by a defective relay. It has no affect on the heat system.

 
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Old 01-14-15, 08:29 AM
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NJ will probably elaborate but I will do my best.

What is an 'outdoor reset option card', I read that also in the book and don't know what that is.
An outdoor reset uses user inputted values, a boiler temperature sensor and an outdoor temperature sensor to calculate the necessary boiler water temperature to heat the home to a "design" temperature. With the values you input into the unit, it generates a "reset curve" which only lets the boiler reach the temperature necessary to heat the home. For example, if you set your boiler design to 180, and your design temp is 0 (coldest day of year) with a desired room temp of 68, anything that is colder than 0 outside will result in boiler temps of 180 (some controllers, maybe all would result in 180+10 or 190). Anything warmer than 0 is a linear curve down to "boiler start" setting (typically thermostat setting in this case 68). What you end up with is a linear relationship between the outdoor temperature and the supply water temperature required.

What is an 'indirect water heater'? Electric or is it something that runs off the V8H? Like I say I'd be more than glad to produce hot water some other way, however, like I said before, I don't find the tankless coil such an in-efficient way to make domestic HW 'given our situation', just the 2 of us and low demand. I've added up the burn time during the summer and it has to be much less than keeping an electric WH going all the time. It may not be the best thing for the boiler however. I did run the LL up to 150 this morning and the shower was more than acceptable, I may try 140.
An indirect water heater is a storage tank with a boiler water supplied heating coil running through it. It is typically on its dedicated zone. City/well water fills the tank, and the coil from the boiler heats said water. They have their own aquastat and call for heat accordingly.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 10:44 AM
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OK, I read about the outdoor reset option and I'm pretty sure my boiler doesn't support that feature. I did look at a model that did and it was about the same I paid for this V8H, I just didn't know about that plus this V8H is pretty much a direct replacement for the V14, the ports are very similar so there wasn't a whole bunch of re-piping to be done. I had one fella that wanted to sell me a 150 MBH furnace and I knew that was way overkill. I think even this boiler at 90 MBH is overkill but I think at the time (80's) it was about the smallest I could find. I've got my computations on the BTU/ft of baseboard somewhere in my notes. I'll dig them up but I'm pretty sure they like to run at 180 for the rated output.

I sort of thought indirect heater might be a storage tank that runs in conjunction with the boiler, however, I wonder if I can do that? Then there'd be another circulator and how would I set up the thing with my current system? I've kind of got the ZR port tied up with the radiant heat. I could invert the ZC port I suppose to make another ZR?

It's funny today, the boiler seems to be sort of short cycling and it hasn't been doing that before, it may just be a combination of the outside temp (25-34) and heat load? It's been going on and off in maybe 3-4 minute cycles for about 5 times and then it settles down and turns off for a while. This boiler seems to bring the water temp up faster than the V14 ever did even though it's got a .6 gpm nozzle compared to the .75 in the V14 which was reduced maybe 5 years ago from a 1.0.

My house faces due south with a lot of windows and on sunny days, the heat doesn't even come on even if it's in the teens outside like it was last week.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 10:56 AM
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You can get add on ODR systems. Not sure if you are using a Taco control box for your zone valves, but Taco makes and ODR that plugs right into their control boxes. There are other options out there as well such as Tekmar. Check it out if it's something you might be interested in. Only issue comes when trying to use "setback" on your stats as you will have very long recovery times (you may even never reach the target temps) due to the ODR calculating the exact required water temp for the outdoor temp, if that makes sense. i.e. since you may only be pumping 160* water with an ODR vs. say maybe 180* without the ODR, you may never be able to overcome the temperature setback. They typically don't play well with each other, I would go with one or the other.

You don't necessarily need another circ for an indirect heater. Like my system, I have one circ for all 5 zones. The heater would have its own zone and its aquastat would be wired in to run on the system circ. Again, what type of controller are you running for your zone valves? If Taco or the like, adding an indirect heater may be as simple as piping in another zone dedicated to DHW.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 12:52 PM
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the tankless coil in the V14 I had for 30 years cost me maybe $50/year to heat the DHW through the summer (I track my oil usage pretty close)
You think so? 30 years ago $50 went a lot farther than today... I would like to know how many GALLONS of fuel you burn over the summer keeping that boiler hot 24/7

Tempering valve: Well I had one (a very large Holby) installed in the radiant heat side and I soon found that the valve couldn't be adjusted high enough to warm the floor, so I took it out and run the radiant heat at what ever the boiler has to supply, no more that 180 and no less than LL.
For various reasons that's not the right thing to do, but I'm not going to debate... if it works for you, so be it.

I was talking about a tempering valve on the DHW, and again, if what you're doing works for you...

I read about the outdoor reset option and I'm pretty sure my boiler doesn't support that feature.
I believe the V8 manual has some 'cut and paste' errors in it. The mention of the 'optional module' are remnants of the manual for a different boiler which that section was copied from.

The module they talk about in the manual is for boilers equipped with the " IQ " control, like the MPO series.

Your boiler does not have the IQ control.

You COULD use an add on Honeywell control that plugs into the L7224 aquastat, or probably the Taco one if you have a Taco panel that accepts it.

I'm pretty sure they like to run at 180 for the rated output.
Yes... but the point is that you don't NEED the rated output but a few days each winter. 99% of the time you can heat the home with lower water temperature just fine and save some fuel in doing so.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 01:55 PM
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Well, like I said before, I tracked the burner times over the summer with the V14 and as I remember it would burn maybe 3 min every 3 hrs or so plus or minus. So figure 3m every 3 hrs = 24m/day = .4hr/day at .75 gph = .3 gallons and at $3/g = $.90/day = $27/mo. Even if it were 6 minutes run time it would still be less than $60/mo. I can't tell with this boiler until the heat cycle goes off enough to measure.

Yeah, I was disappointed the large Holby tempering valve didn't work in the radiant heat (it was rather expensive, I think it's a 1" valve), but that was all I could do to make it work at the time. It's been working fine for me this way for 30 years now.

I've got 3 Taco 571-2 zone valves each hooked through a 24VAC transformer to 3 plain Honeywell battery operated thermostats (I tend to manually turn them up and down depending on our situation, I find it too hard to set up a schedule, it's too varied, plus I keep the bedroom set at 65 all the time). They are connected to the "Intelligent Oil Boiler Control" T-T terminals that came with the V8H and that controls the main 1 1/2" circulator on the main return of the boiler. They are all connected to baseboard heat. The burner is a Beckett AFG with a GeniSys Model 7505 Controller.

The radiant heat has it's own B&G circulator that's controlled off the ZR terminal on the 'IOBC'. It turns on and off a low voltage transformer that controls a SS 120VAC relay that turns on and off the B&G. That circulator is connected to the other return on the other side of the boiler with a 1" iron pipe and actually I can turn on and off each of 4 rooms downstairs, but I only heat one, it never freeze downstairs, it's 1/2 underground (full walkout to the south) and never gets much below 60 without any heat. It doesn't take much to bring up a room to 68 or so but it takes a couple hours.

The V14 used to have seperate aquastat and controller and they were all replaced after about 15 years, the relays burned up in them.

Unfortunately the radiant heat is also Quest tubing, but so far so good. I did look into getting in with the lawsuit over the pipe but discovered that if it didn't leak you had no recourse and it's still working. Of course I don't have any chlorine in the water here, so that may be why. I would not be interested in digging up all that Quest pipe in the finished floor downstairs, it's covered with large Italian 14" tile. If it did start going bad, I'd convert that downstairs zone to forced air, I have a heat exchanger in the air handler for the A/C.

The boiler seems to have settled down today, it's been running about 9-10 minutes every half hour today (it's right at 30 outside today and cloudy) mainly for the Main zone set at 72, just a tiny bit of radiant heat action and the office has not been on since it came up to temp this morning.

I'd be interested in seeing how I could put in an independent DHW system, I'd need a drawing or similar. Is there somewhere I could see a diagram with a 2-3 zone system similar to mine? It sounds like all I would need is a circulator, aquastat of some sort and storage tank, how big? It's not clear in my mind though. And then what happens to the ZR circuit?
 
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Old 01-14-15, 02:06 PM
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Dog, here's a link to Crown's Mega Stor indirect water heater installation manual. http://www.crownboiler.com/documents...ion_manual.pdf

I have the 26 gallon & it does fine normally but I always suggest the 40 gallon just for the extra capacity. Cost differential is minimal.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 02:14 PM
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And then what happens to the ZR circuit?
That would need to be re-engineered.

I don't think the changes would be significant.

Basically, what I envision would be a single zone relay such as the SR501 Taco or equivalent, The power that now comes from the ZC terminal to power the pump would come from line voltage. The SS relay would 'go away' to be replaced with the SR501. The second pole of contacts on the 501 would go to the T T terminals of the boiler. It would act just like any other zone.

This frees the ZC and ZR to use for the indirect control
 
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Old 01-14-15, 02:19 PM
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figure 3m every 3 hrs = 24m/day = .4hr/day at .75 gph = .3 gallons and at $3/g = $.90/day = $27/mo. Even if it were 6 minutes run time it would still be less than $60/mo
With oil prices escalating faster than electricity (a trend which will likely continue) it's gotten to the point where an electric water heater costs about as much to run as your estimates... I don't believe my electric water heater costs more than $50 / month to run.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 03:42 PM
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Trooper have you not noticed the drop in oil lately ?
 
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Old 01-14-15, 03:50 PM
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Trooper have you not noticed the drop in oil lately ?
Of course... just how long do you think that will last?
 
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Old 01-14-15, 07:57 PM
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"With oil prices escalating faster than electricity (a trend which will likely continue) it's gotten to the point where an electric water heater costs about as much to run as your estimates... I don't believe my electric water heater costs more than $50 / month to run."

Notice I haven't figured out how to quote here yet.

I'll agree with you there NJ. I expect the oil prices will be down for about a year and then go back to where they were once the americans forget what's happening. I was seriously thinking about converting to electric a few years ago when the oil was nearly $3.80. But I also think the electric will be going up too, so there's no free ride here. I've thought about black tubing on the roof with our southern exposure but thought better of it. It would be such a hassle and the heat exchanger cost, maintenance, etc. My fuel oil costs are around $1700/yr or 600g/yr over the last 8 yr average. Easier than chopping wood or dealing with a pellet or corn stove. Plus I can afford that amount easily, it's not like taxes at all, heck I'll spend that much on gravel for the half mile road to our house once in a while (like every 8 years).

Wow, over $1K for the MS-40, that's pretty healthy. I've got a 50G electric heater in the barn that's never been used I could press into service easily. The tankless coil under the Jacuzzi would be under $300 installed, but I understand they only last a few years but it would be instant HW at least in the shower and 220VAC is available there. We never use the Jacuzzi, but the wife had to have it, flash in the pan.

I assume the Crown MS-40 and the like is just another heat exchanger from the boiler as far as I can tell with casually looking at it, so the boiler is just indirectly heating the water in the tank? I suppose they last better and probably work better than the electric ones. Believe me, our hot water usage here is pretty minimal, I would find it hard to justify that price. I don't even worry about what the temp is in the dish washer or the clothes washer either, neither does the wife. And the sinks are just for washing hands etc. The only big usage is our showers, mine every day and the wife maybe every other. We've really gotten used to it. (It's called living in the country) Only problem comes is with visitors and then we're very careful. Plus no electric water heater is going to last 30 years. We must have half decent water because all I ever had to do is back flush the tankless coil once in a while and that's for well sediment. I did take it out once to clean it and it wasn't worth the trouble, but I wanted to change the gasket since it was leaking.

I appreciate youse guys ideas, thanks, it's nice to get some fresh views.
 
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