If the gov't is behind energy saving programs, then why don't they.....

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Old 01-22-10, 12:39 PM
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If the gov't is behind energy saving programs, then why don't they.....

....mandate tankless full house water heaters?!

What a waste anymore for people to be heating up stored water! How dinosauer-age archaic.

I watched well known tv home improvment show last night where the regular plumber that is featured, ripped out the old gas w/h, and installed a full house gas tankless one on the basement wall.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 01:10 PM
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I won't argue the pro's and con's of tankless but I'm curious - Is the government going to pay for everyone to convert?

Figure a hundred or so million homes, many without gas service, at a couple of thousand dollars each . . . .

Or do you propose that citizens pay out of their own pocket for this government mandate?
 
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Old 01-22-10, 02:00 PM
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Ec, I am just waiting on my relic to reach it's EOL. Then I will probably pop for the tankless. I have seen them installed on my project remodels, and they are super. I asked the installer how much hot water would it put out. He said constantly until that tank of LP ran out. Then it would get cold. Hey, you ain't heating water while you are at work, while you are asleep.....that's dumb, and we should have latched onto this new technology long ago.
Now as for the government mandating it.....doubtful. Giving incentives, maybe.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 02:13 PM
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If it takes gas, I doubt I'll ever go tankless, it's hard enough to find a driver that's skilled enough [or not scared] to bring a dump truck up my driveway. I can live without gravel if I have to but wouldn't want to be without hot water.

I read an interesting article maybe 20 yrs ago about a low tech water heater. Basically you took and old water heater, painted it black installed where it got the most sun and then piped it to your normal in the house water heater.The water would usually be hot enough when it got to the water heater where no energy was needed to heat the water..... of course it might take some doing to get the better half to allow a black water tank to remain in the front yard
 
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Old 01-22-10, 02:40 PM
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There's running water in your neck of the woods? Sorry, couldn't resist.

Since nobody is mentioning it, I'm assuming there isn't an electric model that is energy efficient and able to put out enough hot water for the average home?
 
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Old 01-22-10, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
There's running water in your neck of the woods? Sorry, couldn't resist. :
I wasn't born and raised here but my wife was..... and they always had running water when she was young, it was just a matter of how far you had to run to go and get it
 
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Old 01-22-10, 02:55 PM
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Since nobody is mentioning it, I'm assuming there isn't an electric model that is energy efficient and able to put out enough hot water for the average home?
Indeed, it'd be interesting to see what I'd have to have when the city water coming out of the ground this time of year is ~36 F. If natural gas I would probably need a jet engine.


....they always had running water when she was young, it was just a matter of how far you had to run to go and get it
Good one!
 
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Old 01-22-10, 03:00 PM
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Yeah, I understand the electric ones just don't cut the muster with continuous hot water. My wife had a house b4 we met in Orlando with solar panels on the back side which heated the pool. You could swim from February to November comfortably. Just don't stand in front of an inlet. It'd burn yoooou. Now for domestic hot water, the panels do offer an alternative like marksr suggested, just a little more sophisticated.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
Or do you propose that citizens pay out of their own pocket for this government mandate?
Yes, in the same way the gov't has made smokers pay more for cigs.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
.
Now as for the government mandating it.....doubtful. Giving incentives, maybe.
Yeah. That would probably be the approach. The gov't can't be literally mandating everything. Just health care, when it goes through. They will tell us what to eat and how to excercize, to keep down costs.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
If it takes gas, I doubt I'll ever go tankless,......
Why's that? Gas is cheaper than electric.

.... of course it might take some doing to get the better half to allow a black water tank to remain in the front yard
It all depends on the person. Might fit in well with a toilet in front yard with petunias growing in the bowl. Or those plywood cutouts of the woman bent over.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 04:26 PM
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Last time my WH failed I would have went tankless but they don't make one that will vent 20'. My WH is in the center of my house and I have no flue going up. I still think the payback is too long. Tankless unit is about $1000 plus vent/ larger gas line, etc so your looking at about $1200-$1500. Standard WH is about $400 tops You would have to have a LOT of hot showers to save $800 in gas.

No, I'm not going to include the 30% tax rebate because it is your money already. Your not getting any money, your just paying less tax.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 04:46 PM
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Tolyn, why does the vent have to go 20 feet?

Your cost analysis reminds me of people who spend like $20,000 to solar their new house. You hear some figure like 7 year payback time, but wonder if that is really true. I think some people look at it like they hear the big savings and then when they include that feature in the mortage, the mortgage increase must make sense to them. And also gives them something to talk about when they have guests. When one guest says they bought a such and such, then the solar people tell them all about what THEY got.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 05:53 PM
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20' vent probably because the installation would be in the middle of the house. Vent pipes for the ventless runs $65 per 2', so the impetus is to put it on an exterior wall so the vent will be shorter. It only has to exit the house, not go up over the roof.
I may have mentioned it in an earlier post, but a Doctor friend has built an approx 60' x 180' "barn". On top of one side is totally covered in solar panels. He has all the switching equipment to run it back to the POCO. He buys electricity for 11 cents and sells what he gathers for 22 cents. He anticipates his turn around to be 5 years. Lot of money in this set up.
 
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Old 01-22-10, 07:42 PM
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Chandler is correct. The WH is in the middle of the house and vents horizontal through 2" PVC. It is a power vented water heater. I know they have power vented demand WHs but you still have to mount the WH on an outside wall.

Let me know when they can vent one through 2 or 3" PVC and we'll talk.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
If it takes gas, I doubt I'll ever go tankless,...

Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Why's that? Gas is cheaper than electric
I'm not so sure it's cheaper here, TVA dams give us a lower priced electricity source. But even if LP was almost free, I'd still have to deal with truck drivers that are scared of my driveway

As long as it isn't snow covered, my driveway isn't bad but many are intimidated by a steep driveway that winds up the side of the hill. I've had tri axle dump trucks, a concrete truck and block truck come up my driveway but most UPS an Fedex drivers refuse to go up it. Whenever I order gravel I always let the gravel yard know I need a driver that isn't scared of a steep driveway. I refused to pay the last driver that came out because he wouldn't spred the gravel - he decided he'd rather truck the gravel back to the yard [with no pay] than spread it on my road.

Could you imagine relying on LP and not being able to get it when you need it?
 
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Old 01-23-10, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Originally Posted by marksr
If it takes gas, I doubt I'll ever go tankless,...



I'm not so sure it's cheaper here, TVA dams give us a lower priced electricity source. But even if LP was almost free, I'd still have to deal with truck drivers that are scared of my driveway

As long as it isn't snow covered, my driveway isn't bad but many are intimidated by a steep driveway that winds up the side of the hill. I've had tri axle dump trucks, a concrete truck and block truck come up my driveway but most UPS an Fedex drivers refuse to go up it. Whenever I order gravel I always let the gravel yard know I need a driver that isn't scared of a steep driveway. I refused to pay the last driver that came out because he wouldn't spred the gravel - he decided he'd rather truck the gravel back to the yard [with no pay] than spread it on my road.

Could you imagine relying on LP and not being able to get it when you need it?
Ohhh? Cheap electric vs. propane. Well, you might be right then.

How about taking a pic of your driveway and posting it. I am really curious as to how even YOU would even want to drive up your own driveway.

There is a road in the mountains that they had on recent tv show that you would not get me on it if you dangled a $1M in front of me! It has like shear 2000 foot drop in places, and no guard rail. Are people and truckers who drive that road out of their living mind? I guess people indeed go driving off it to their doom once in a while, also.
 
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Old 01-23-10, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Chandler is correct. The WH is in the middle of the house and vents horizontal through 2" PVC. It is a power vented water heater. I know they have power vented demand WHs but you still have to mount the WH on an outside wall.

Let me know when they can vent one through 2 or 3" PVC and we'll talk.
Remount it on outside wall then?

Why would you want to run it through the existing pvc? Don't care for the looks of that huge metal box they mount on the outside?
 
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Old 01-23-10, 03:08 PM
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so, where does everybody get the idea it is cheaper to heat with a tankless?

logic would argue there is more inherent loss in a tankless since the water can only absorb heat so fast. Any heat not absorbed by the flowing water would be lost either out the flue (if gas) or into the surrounding air (if electric). In a tanker, it simply sets there absorbing the heat plus it is a greater mass absorbing, logic would make the tank more efficient. You can apply fewer BTU's over a longer period of time with less loss to have the same result.

Kind of like a high efficiency furnace that has mildly warm exhaust compared to a low efficiency furnace that the exhaust will injure you.

does anybody have proof opposing that?

The only gain I could see would be in standing losses. In the winter time, there is no such thing unless the tank is outside. All losses from the tank would go to heating the house. In the summer, the heat gain (in the house) would increase AC costs though so,

insulation.

and don't go talking about heat losses due to plumbing runs. Unless you are going to install a point of use heater in every bath and kitchen, you will have the same heat losses attributable to the plumbing in either situation so again,

insulation.

so, where am I missing the point?
 
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Old 01-24-10, 07:18 AM
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"that's dumb, and we should have latched onto this new technology long ago."

Not exactly new technology. I lived in Spain in the early 70's and we had a gas (butano) fired hot water heater. It worked great. I couldn't find one. It used a tank of butane similar in size to our 20# propane tanks. A tank lasted about 2 weeks.

My issue with the OP was the government mandating this sort of thing and the costs involved.
 
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Old 01-24-10, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
How about taking a pic of your driveway and posting it. I am really curious as to how even YOU would even want to drive up your own driveway.
Pictures by markhamsr - Photobucket

IMO it's a good road although it can be a little dicey when covered with snow and ice. Not near as steep as the neighbor's [across the holler] road but his does get full sun, some of my road never sees the sun.
 
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Old 01-25-10, 07:25 PM
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Yipes! The pic resembles Eau Claire's Silvermine ski jump hill.

last switchback before the top picture by markhamsr - Photobucket
 
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Old 01-25-10, 07:36 PM
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nap,

I would have presumed they did studies on this. They both are going to waste energy to flue gases. With tankless, you have 0 run time while no hot water is being used (contrary to tank type)

But? - if a family uses hot water around the clock, like it is going out of style, maybe the energy savings would not be anywhere near to the person or family who doesn't use it as much.

Maybe a Google on this subjectmatter might serve us all well.
 
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Old 01-25-10, 08:17 PM
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If the gov't is behind energy saving programs, then why don't

Ecman -

A 2000' drop off a road in Wisconsin does not seem to be possible or probable. In all my travels my relatives told me the Blue Hills SE of Rice Lake were some of the highest in the state. Rib Mountain off I90/I94 is certainly noticeable but not 2000' above the adjacent land and is eroded so it is a popular ski slope. Certainly 200' is possible considering the maximum elevation and the lowest elevation. In some places that are eroded, building on the tops is not probable considering the cost of getting water in the limestone until you get below the lower water tables. - I don't know what has to do with OP of tankless vs. storage water heaters.

Tankless are very popular in Europe and many other regions because living spaces are more compact and they do not have room for a big unit. That is why the technology came from there.

It is possible to use a dual system of storage heaters, especially in a larger home. I had an 1860 sf lake home (floating slab on grade with stem walls) with a propane heater and a furnace in the small basement under the bathrooms. The run to the kitchen was about 45-50', so I put a small electric water heater (10-20 gallon) under a corner sink fed from my propane storage water heater in the basement that consistently maintained hot water in storage. When I came up on Friday afternoon, I flipped the switch for the small electric heater, I relatively immediately had hot water in the kitchen. When I left early Monday AM, I flipped the switch off. Because the propane heater was in a controlled or semi-controlled area and close to the baths, I had relatively hot water quickly and had a chance to flush some extra lean water into my septic system.

Bottom line is if you have the room and layout, you can put in any type of water heating system that works well. when I built I was not aware of the benefits of immediate tankless systems.

When it comes to fuel/energy, it depends on the location and the economics. I had buried power (universally done there), buried cable and buried telephone, but no NG, so I only had the choice between a propane tank or electric, so there the cost difference was obvious. The bottom of a corner sink was wasted, the electric heat fit fine and I could wire it myself easily.

It all depends on the situation.

Dick
 
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Old 01-25-10, 09:31 PM
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,

I would have presumed they did studies on this. They both are going to waste energy to flue gases. With tankless, you have 0 run time while no hot water is being used (contrary to tank type)
so? tankless produce huge BTU so it can heat water fast. Tank type produce less btu and it takes longer to heat. It doesn't take any more btu's to heat with a tank type than tankless and as I suggested, I believe there is less waste heat with a tank.

if the thing just sets there, as long as it is insulated, little heat loss, doesn't need to run to keep hot.

in winter, that heat loss would simple reduce furnace heating time. the only time there would be actual wasted heat is when it was running (exhuast) Tankless ; all heat loss goes out the exhaust.

Since the tankless I would like/need cost about $1700 and I have 2 bathrooms and a kitchen, I would have to have 2 of them so as to be able to use both bathrooms at the same time so

$3400. I would definately have to install larger gas lines so being cheap, let's say $500. I'm up to nearly $4000 for water heaters.

any idea, even if they saved money how long the payback would be over a $350 tank that is already in place?

I doubt I would ever recoup the costs.

On top of that, I would be willing to bet a beer there are no actual savings.
 
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Old 01-26-10, 11:07 AM
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One aspect of a gas tankless concerns me. I used to work as an engineer for a large natural gas company and did a lot of work sizing gas meters and regulators. Its no secret a gas regulator does not seal absolutely perfectly, especially as it ages and the seats in the regulator get worn or dirty. If a regulator seeps almost impercepabily, and the gas run is dead ended (no gas being used), the pressure downstream can rise to the point the relief valve built into the regulator has to relieve the excess pressure with a short "burb". In the past, pilot lights on furnaces and water heaters would usually consume enough gas to bleed down any excess natural gas a regulator might let through, but with pilot lights being eliminated with new furnaces and tankless water heaters, I can't help but wonder if the function of the pressure relief valve at the pressure regulator will become even more critical.
 
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Old 01-26-10, 12:46 PM
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here is one cost comparison analysis.

wow, look at that, the most efficient of the tankless saved a projected $50 over a year. Wow, at that savings, it would only take 80 years to start actually saving money.

and that is, of course that I do not have to replace the heaters over that 80 years.

Tankless vs. Tank Type Storage Water Heater Efficiency Comparison Testing - Archives - PM Engineer

Now, if I suffer and not want to use both showers at the same time, I can cut that down to a 40 year payback,


Sign me up.
 
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Old 01-26-10, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
Ecman -

A 2000' drop off a road in Wisconsin does not seem to be possible or probable
Dick

You are right. I was talking about watching some tv show that showed such a road in the mountains - in some other state. We have technically no real mountains here. The dictionary defines a mountain as a hill that is more than 2,000 feet high. (at least according to one dictionary I read).

Now my curiousity is really pecked, between you and nap, as to why tankless water heaters are being hyped.

I'm going offline for the night, but plan to look this up tomorrow.
 
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Old 01-26-10, 07:21 PM
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There is a time and place both tankless and tank heaters and the situation depends on the conditions to determine which is the most common or desireable.

In many European homes or purchased apartments/condos (very common) the space is limited and there are not multiple baths, a tankless unit is preferred since it can serve both the kitchen with immediate hot water for the sink and dishwasher and the adjacent bath also and not use an excess of water to heat the lines and get hot water sooner, which saves on water usage over-all. In many situations, homes and apartments/condos can be sold without cabinets, which are treated as furniture and the European cabinets with adjustable legs are just most common and possibly added to. Some times, the heater may also not be included in the unit, so it can be moved just as easy to the new residence. Many European single family homes have concrete or masonry structures (wood is not desired) and a small boiler is used to provide heat in the concrete floors.

In the U.S., the sprawling multi-bath homes make it difficult to justify a tankless unit since they are usually sold or dumped in about 7 years (on average). In the colder climates the low heat loss on a modern tank heater is really not lost, since it escapes into the conditioned space of the home, which just distributes it as necessary by the forced hot air system or ventilation system. In the summer the minimal heat loss is a true heat/energy loss, but the tank water heaters increase the water usage to distribute the heat to the desired tap.

In Russia, the common 4-15 story apartments in the cities, where everyone lives, have a central heating plant the area the provides heat and hot water. They even cycle the heat thought the pipes in the shower portion of the precast bathroom to provide heated towel racks/heaters/driers. Since everything is concrete, it is very efficient and comfortable. The only problem is controlling the heat in such large buildings that only have 1-3 controls. It is not unusual to see the the windows on the south side open in the winter and spring, while the southern windows may be open in the fall and early winter. Another problem is the 2-3 week shut down of the hot water for maintenance late every summer. - This is the exact opposite of the tankless system, but it is very efficient. - Gas is common for cooking, but not used for heating.

It all depends on the situation.

Dick
 
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