Church Water Heater Replacement - Tank, Tankless, or both?


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Old 04-22-10, 07:58 PM
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Church Water Heater Replacement - Tank, Tankless, or both?

I was told that my Church's water heater was venting out the top, and there was some water on the ground. I assume this means I need a new water heater, so I am considering a tankless system.

The Church uses very little hot water, as it is only moderately used 6 days a week. Even then, the hot water is only used for handwashing. There is occasional moderate draws for the kitchen sink, dishwasher and shower, but this is less common. The only large draw is for the baptismal font, but these have usually been cool at best, as there could only be 50 gallons of hot water put in at a time.

Therefore, I am considering a tankless system, but I am leary of major electrical work that would be needed.

Alternatively, I could install a small tankless system, or a small tank system, with a larger system for the heavier draws.

Any thoughts? I'm out of my comfort zone on this one...
 
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Old 04-23-10, 08:10 PM
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if its only one shower bing used at a time you could use a tk-jr it will give you enough gpm for 1 shower and always have hot water even if you take back to back showers.
tankless foes by how many gpm your using at one time and it will keep up with it forever.
 
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Old 04-24-10, 04:30 AM
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NW, in order to save money in the long run and have an endless supply of hot water, go with a gas tankless system. I am assuming you have gas now. I am hesitant with recommending an electric tankless, as I don't believe their heating capacity is up to snuff with a gas. Just remember with any storage type system, you are heating water when the building is vacant and with only occasional use, that water is reheated uselessly. Oops, I see where you mention "electrical work". You may still save money having a propane tank installed dedicated to this water heater. You only use the gas when it is heating water. You will run out of hot water when you run out of propane.
Let us know what you decide. If it is a Baptist church like ours, good luck with the committees. I have made several suggestions to ours, and after the committees get through with it, a complete transformation has taken place and the original tire swing we wanted turned into a booster rocket.
 
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Old 04-24-10, 06:08 AM
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Yes, we have only electric, not gas. While it would be great if it was used more, I just don't see a benefit to brining in gas or propane due to it's occasional use. Even if electric couldn't keep up, I'm only interested in keeping the water luke warm, not sauna hot.

Additionally, the shower is rarely used. I hear you about the church committees. As the lead on the bath and kitchen remodel, I got overruled on the "need" for a shower. The backers insisted it would be cheap, but the city required a handicap shower. Cha-ching $$$ It's been nearly 3 years, and nobody has used it yet...

I considered small tankless units at each bathroom, but the transport distances are short from the current unit. Therefore, one larger unit might suffice. The hot water heater is in the basement furnace room, with the basement bathroom (and shower) in the next room and the kitchen on the other side. The upstairs bath and kids bath are immediately over the furnace room.

What gpm tankless would I need for 4 sinks and a dishwasher? (Likely that only 2 would be going at a time - max).
 
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Old 04-24-10, 09:42 AM
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I strongly recommend that you do not consider an electric tankless water heater. Even the smallest, just enough for hand washing, will take a sizable amount of electricity and require much larger wiring than a tank-type heater. If the church goes unoccupied for days you could install a timer on the electric tank and program it to come on an hour or two before the church is occupied and go off when the the last person leaves or maybe even an hour or two before the last person leaves.

If you still need hot water for hand washing most days then a small "point-of-use" tank-type of about 8 gallons probably makes sense. It too could be fitted with a timer to preclude operation when nobody would be using hot water.
 
 

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