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14

Regardless of code, I like to get them off the floor just in case the basement floods. My preferred (and easily available anywhere) solution is a few solid concrete blocks; one under each foot. You can stack them if you want, too. This is an easy way to increase the height in 4" increments. I don't suggest using lumber. If your floor is the least bit ...


9

Newer water heaters do not last as nearly as long as they used to. Nowadays, you are lucky to get 10 years out of one. This is due to the way they are manufactured. There are still some water heaters around that are from the 1960s that work perfectly fine. The tanks on some of those heaters are made out of copper, and won't corrode like modern steel tanks. ...


8

Check the manufacturer's installation instructions for the heater. As far as I'm aware, a gas appliance only has to be raised off the floor if there's a possibility of flammable vapors being near it (e.g. in a garage). IRC P2801.6 Water heaters installed in garages. Water heaters having an ignition source shall be elevated such that the source of ...


7

The typical way to pre-warm water is to install a standard tank water heater before the tankless, but leave it turned off. Using an automotive radiator is a terrible idea. You don't want to connect something not designed for potable water to your plumbing. That's just asking for trouble. The pex idea is interesting. The only reason that I can think that ...


7

If the tank itself is rusted out, it's time to replace it. Water expands when it's heated, which creates pressure in the system. Pressurizing a rusty water tank is a recipe for disaster. Replace the tank before it causes problems. Trying to eek out a few more months is foolhardy.


6

@Pigrew is right in the comments. My previous answer was wrong and dangerous. Do not supply 30 psi of propane to a tankless water heater. New Answer: According to Rheem (a manufacturer of tankless gas water heaters) and The West Virginia Propane Gas Association, modern homes have a 2 psi supply line from the meter with regulators on each piece of ...


6

You could add a smaller tank-less heater in front. Some of them are even rated to be plugged into an outlet so you won't have to do additional electrical work. In Europe I've seen it done with a bigger unit to supply the whole house and a smaller one at the shower for use during the winter. In either case you're going to get a lot further with this ...


6

Electric resistance water heaters are only slightly more efficient (better insulation is the only reason) now than they were then. From that point of view you could apply an insulation overwrap and be money ahead. If the tank is solid and you check and/or replace the anode regularly (and flush the bottom) to keep it that way, you may simply be benefitting ...


5

Since you have a flue I assume it is either gas/propane or oil fired. Most water heaters have cover near the base to service the burner or the igniter. First shut off the fuel source. If you remove the cover you should be able to look inside with the aid of a flashlight. Most burners are round and you may find that the cap has fallen into the center and may ...


5

1984! You are now the proud owners of a historic landmark! Many circumstances effect how long a water heater can last. The maintenance it was given (as you suggested), but mostly what material was used and their quality to manufacture the parts are the surest way to predict the lifespan of any product. You also heard correctly; at the very most todays ...


4

Do NOT use an automotive radiator - it's not meant for nor suitable for potable water use. If you have a "relatively warm basement" you can either use a plain, uninsulated pressure tank (a "tempering" tank in this application - cold in the bottom, warmed out the top) or run a long run of large-ish diameter PEX (to minimize pressure drop) around the basement ...


4

Your diagnostics so far point to the indirect hot water heater coil leaking potable water into the furnace loop as the most likely issue. You could perhaps verify if you can shut your hot water down for a few days (not convenient, I know.) Depending on the overall condition of the indirect water heater tank, the coil can often be replaced as a part, if the ...


4

Any leak large enough to stop the water from filling the heater tank would have to be so large as to basically be an open ended line. It would be impossible not to notice the flooding caused by a leak this large. A smaller leak would not stop the heater from filling and operating and you would have some hot/warm water delivery. I am not saying you don't have ...


4

A - Expansion tank. This prevents the pressure increase due to heating water, from damaging the plumbing. The tank is filled with air, that is separated from the water by a bladder. When the water expands due to heating, water compresses the air absorbing the pressure. B - Check valve (or back flow valve). This is designed to only allow water to flow in ...


4

Not likely will it be possible to replace the two 30A breakers with 40A breakers. The wire size (AWG) for a 30A circuit should be 10 gauge. Proper wire size for a 40A circuit is 8 gauge if the run from the service entrance to the tankless heater is a reasonably short distance. So do not simply replace the breakers like you asked. The breaker's primary ...


3

Most Likely - the return line of a hot water recirculation loop. ie, "instant hot water" by means of a circulating pump which pulls hot water from the hot line and returns it to the hot water heater through this tee on the drain line, after running it through the supply lines to your faucets. Given your location 2 (3?) stories above the heater this seems ...


3

Your best bet would be an IR or instant read thermometer. You should test it from the closest faucet to the hot water tank, and make sure to let it run for several minutes first. If you do use a leave-in meat thermometer, it might take several minutes to get an accurate reading. Ice water should be close to 0C/32F (and if you add salt, it would get even ...


3

According to the National Electrical Code, a gas furnace (or any other central heating equipment) must be on its own circuit. So connecting a water heater (or anything else), would be a code violation. National Electrical Code 2014 Chapter 4 Equipment for General Use Article 422 Appliances 422.12 Central Heating Equipment. Central heating ...


3

Since you talk about venting, I'm going to assume you're talking about a gas-fired water heater. First thing you should know is that in many jurisdictions, gas pipe fitting may only be performed by licensed gas fitters. Based on that and the fact that you are asking these types of questions leads me to believe you are probably out of your depth on installing ...


3

The white pipe at the top left appears to have a thermostatic mixer valve. That's the output side of the water heater. To avoid running out of hot water too quickly, the tank is set to a somewhat higher temperature than is actually desired, and this valve mixes that with cold water to get the actual temperature and sends that to the rest of the house. The ...


3

No: water heaters are designed to be left on 24/7/365. You might turn one off if you're leaving for a vacation to save energy, but safety isn't part of the decision.


3

No disrespect to you or your plumber, but I would be suspicious of any person who is able to predict the demise of an appliance by reading mineral andiron deposits in an aerator screen. It is common after replacing a water heating tank (or doing any work on the plumbing) for debris such as hard water minerals, silt and bits of metal and rust to break free ...


3

Safest and easiest repair is to purchase a replacement at the hardware store. It isn't worth trying to repair a part that primarily functions as a safety device. You may need to replace the valve if your existing thermocouple isn't removable or if the warranty is expired, bite the bullet and replace with a new unit.


2

I've been looking into a heat pump replacement. You said "However, when the heat pump is in heating mode, the exiting refrigerant line is actually colder, not hotter, than when it enters. As a result, you cannot heat water during the winter." That will depend on the location of the internal connections. The HP models I have seen with a desuperheater ( hot ...


2

A thermocouple makes 30 mv power by a temperature differential across the tip of the thermocouple which contains 2 dissimilar metals. If the entire tip is hot,there is no temperature differential thus no power made or not enough power will be made.A thousand millivolts = 1 volt,so a thermocouple's 30 mv is about 1/33 of 1 volt,a AA battery has 1.5 volts ...


2

I ended up getting a Rheem XG40T12DM40UO instead. According to my Kill-A-Watt it uses the following amounts of power, depending on the state of the water heater: Standby, Idle: <= 1 Watt Damper active open/close: ~4 Watts (lasts about 10 seconds or so) Active burn: ~4 Watts


2

Replacing the tank eliminates the most common suspects, although it is conceivably possible that you've just had terrible luck and there's a similar issue with the new tank as well. You can test the capacity of your water heater using this procedure, filling buckets with hot water and measuring the temperature to see how much you can draw down before it gets ...


2

There are a few problems with your plan. Thermal Conductivity First off. If you're going to make a heat exchanger, you should use copper instead of PEX. Copper has a thermal conductivity of 401 watts/meter kelvin (W/mK), while PEX is closer to 0.51. Volume The next problem, is the volume of water you're preheating. 1" PEX has an inside diameter (I.D.) ...


2

The only 'problem' is that it fills with hot water. The water sits there and will get cold if not being used. When the hot water is turned on again, this cooler water will mix with your hot water. Your hot water will change in temperature a bit until the water in the tank, and the metal of the tank get hot. Nothing will happen that will ruin your ...


2

The usual remarks about the safety of scalding water anywhere in your system go here. Physics says the life of your tank will decrease, but not enough for you to notice. Everything else being equal, hot water has a slightly higher pressure, but expansion tanks are there to deal with that very problem. The one place you might notice a difference is in ...



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