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Country Discussion Topics
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Water Heater Question
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pbutler    Posted 01-27-2005 at 18:07:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We are building a new house and the contract has plumbed in 2 40 gallon hot water heaters-in series. We are currently getting along fine with 1 40 in our current house.

I don't want to try and replum around everything but would like to save some propane $.

Anyone see anything wrong with just turning the 1st one off-or at least on really really low?

Oslo in nc    Posted 01-27-2005 at 20:46:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
pbutler; I would save the cost of buying and installing a new tank. You could always leave room, to add one later if needed. If you do add two tanks you might want to turn on the second(the one closer to the house plumbing) If you do it the other way you will be using the second tank as a holding tank, not a good idea. You might turn the first one on to pre heat the water and then let the second boost to desired temp. All this depends on your having a large family. 4 or 5 people is not a large family. Check the cost per year of operating the second tank. Might change your mind. Washing clothes and dishes at night can make a 40 gal tank ok. hth

Peanut    Posted 01-27-2005 at 18:54:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you turn off the first (in the series) you have nothing more than a $200 forty gallon holding tank for room temp water.

The water coming in will be at whatever temp the water service (well, public, etc) gives you.

The second tank (with gas) is heating forty gallons each burn. As the tank depletes hot water it is filled from the first tank (no or little heat). The second tank still has to heat the water to the appropriate temp.

You are no saving gas with this so far. (I don't think.)

In the above scenario, I do no see the benefit of two tanks in series.

If you have heat on the first and second tanks, you can certainly provide hot water beyond 40 gallons to your house faster.

The big question is: Do you need this? A 40-gal heater is pretty big. We have a 50 gal htr with 7 people in our house and never run out of hot water.

Do you want to burn gas by heating two tanks? Maybe not.

Do you have a high volume hot water use? Normal households do not.

Perhaps you should dump the two in series and get a 50 gal htr or a heat-on-demand system. Just a thought.

pbutler    Posted 01-28-2005 at 12:30:56       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Had I known they were putting in 2 heaters I most definately would have had one of them be an inline. Unfortuantely they are building the house on the farm while I am 120 miles away in St. Louis.

Other problem is the house layout we picked has about a 30ft run for vent-so had to do a power vent off the heater and I haven't yet seen an inline with a power vent.

very slight disagreement    Posted 01-28-2005 at 04:28:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
Peanut, I agree with all you said except I think there'd be savings involved with using the first tank as a holding tank.

I say this because incoming service water is typically pretty cool...mine at least was about 45-50 degrees when I checked one time.

So while the water is sitting in this "holding tank," even without the gas on, it is absorbing "free" heat from the surrounding air. The temperature is rising to whatever the ambient air temperature my house the hot water tank is in the basement, which is a pretty constant 70 degrees because the furnace is down there and it is underground. So that equals 20 degrees of temperature rise that you don't have to pay for in propane. We could approximate the BTU savings of that rise, and it may or may not pay for the extra tank over its life, but my guess is that it probably would.

Tom A

Sid    Posted 01-28-2005 at 05:47:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Interesting thought, Tom A. But it seems to me that as well as those tanks are insulated. that it would take a long time for the water to reach ambient air temperature. I think a water heater would make for a eexpensive holding tank.

Bkeepr    Posted 01-28-2005 at 07:15:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree, a very expensive solution. I was just making an engineering assessment for the fun of it. Truth is, I almost flunked a heat transfer elective 25+ years ago as a college senior, which would have ruined my heat transfer is a subject near and dear to my heart and I like to dream that I understand it now, even if I didn't back then! :-)

Fern(Mi)    Posted 01-28-2005 at 01:20:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Legionnaires disease comes to my mind?????? Just a bad thought! Sorry!

TB    Posted 01-27-2005 at 18:20:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
woul just set it really low enought that it keeps the condenced water out of it so it wont rust and would act as atempering tank also.

Clod    Posted 01-27-2005 at 18:18:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you turn off the gas on the first one,The second one will act like it is the only one. Because it will be.

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