Replacing 30 gal water heater with tankless?


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Old 05-09-16, 06:10 PM
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Replacing 30 gal water heater with tankless?

Hi guys. I just pulled out my crawlspace 30 gallon elect water heater. best I can tell it was 24 years old. My home is set up with a 135 gallon main solar water heating system. This 135 gallon tank is in the corner of my garage and feeds 2 - 30 gallon elect units in the crawlspace (essentially 195 gallons of hot water). In the summer time typically I will have 135 gallons of 130f to 155f water available at all times in the solar tank. In the winter it can drop all the way down to the city water temp and be in the 60's at times. It is a drain back system so produces NO heat when temps stay below freezing. I have installed a simple bypass line for now to replace the leaking 30 gallon water heater and we will be good all summer but I will have to do something before the dead of winter hits. I am thinking about a tankless to replace it but I really do not want to run gas lines/vent and am really a bit nervous about having a gas appliance in my crawlspace. I see some electric models but they require a fairly large power supply except for one here called a HeatWorks. Looks like I could use the existing 10-2 wiring and set this unit to 30 amps? Anyone tried one of these HeatWorks units yet? This end of the house where the 30 gallon water heater was leaking has a bathroom upstairs / a rarely used mudroom bath downstairs / kitchen and laundry room connected to it. There are a lot days even in the winter when I get well over 100f in the solar water heating system it is just not 100% dependable enough on its own. Open to any suggestions.

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Old 05-09-16, 06:20 PM
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Why not stay with a proven performer..... a 30 gallon electric.
Definitely a whole lot more cost effective.
 
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Old 05-09-16, 06:47 PM
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Looking for some new technology I guess. I saw this thing called a HeatWorks Model 1 and it looked like a interesting concept. Was hoping someone here might have some real world experience with the product??? It would be very easy to pop another 30 gallon water heater in but I do like new technology. I may just pick up a HeatWorks and try it apparently my local Lowes store has them. Worst case I take it out and toss it and put a regular tanked heater back in. Anyone that has one or some other tankless that they have used with a high temp preheated supply system please chime in.
 
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Old 05-10-16, 07:00 PM
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Well looks like my options are more limited than I thought. I was going to just go ahead and get another 30 gallon and do a drop in replacement HOWEVER my crawlspace access door is 22.5 inches clear and that is IF I tear out the door frame. Old water heater was 20" OD. ALL new 30 gallon lowboy water heaters are now 24" OD. Apparently due to some new laws in 2015. I CANNOT GET ONE BACK IN MY CRAWLSPACE! Sigh Nothing is ever easy with home repairs.
 
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Old 05-22-16, 08:21 AM
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Taking the plunge. I am going to order a HeatWorks Model 1 at Lowes today. I see a lot of reviews that indicate problems early on but i am willing to try it since it has a cool factor to it. I will try to remember to update here in the winter to let you know how this works out.
Will be a few weeks before I get it put in. Got 135 gallons of 145f solar water heater temp today. Cleaned the solar panel glass yesterday when on the roof while cleaning out the gutters. Seems to have made a noticeable difference in solar water heater efficiency! I guess the little solar rays like to go through CLEAN glassName:  solar panels 5-21-16.jpg
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Old 05-22-16, 10:49 AM
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You can run the Heatworks Model 1 off of your 10-2 30 amp line but it will not heat at maximum speed. You will need to find out (maybe after trying it yourself) whether it can heat water fast enough for one person showering.

If the incoming water is below room temperature you can preheat it using a passive device consisting of a few dozen feet of finned pipe dissected out of hot water baseboard radiators. Mount this on but not touching the ceiling or horizontally on the wall of heated space in the house, out of reach of person's heads or shoulders. This may make a tankless unit perform acceptably with no help from the solar heater.

You will need to have multiple routings of water for summer versus winter use respectively since solar heated water must not go through the finned preheater on the way to the electric heater.
 
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Old 05-25-16, 05:34 PM
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Hey I see that now on the Heatworks website. The unit can be programmed to draw a max of 30 amps. Not sure what heat rise and at what flow it will do at 30 amps setting? Website seems to be limited in that information. Super simple and easy install that way. Worst case will have to pull a new wire and set new breakers in the winter sometime if capacity is not quite enough. Passive idea is very good but wife will not like it LOL
 
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Old 05-26-16, 05:54 PM
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ARS Rescue Rooter

So I was looking up my HeatWorks tankless on line and the Lowes site ($469.00 off the shelf) they had a button to click for install well it went directly to the local ARS rescue rooter company so I figured what the heck let's get a furnish and install price. When the guy came out and quoted the little project and handed me his price sheet I almost had a heart attack and needed an ambulance rescue. $6,100.00 COME ON MAN LOL reminds me of the old joke about the plumber that got called out to a high powered lawyers house to fix a plumbing problem. Plumber gets it fixed up in 15 minutes and hands the lawyer a bill for 200 dollars. lawyer is just flabbergasted and says oh my gosh that is equivalent to 800 bucks an hour! You are charging more per hour than I charge my clients for my time. Plumber kinda smiles and says well now hoss that is why I am no longer a LAWYER....hahahaha now that is funny I don't care who you are
 
 

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