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Number of ports in electric water heater tank?

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Charles_8
Charles_8 Member Posts: 74
For the duration of the non-heating season (in Aroostook County, about three months maximum) I want to be able to shut my boiler off and heat water only with the electric elements.

(The rest of the year, the boiler will be either providing hot water or actually producing steam to heat the house, and the power to the elements could stay turned on for backup although it would rarely if ever kick in).

I could design a circuit so when an element thermostat closes, a relay actuates the circulator pump. The pump power will be supplied from the same circuit as the boiler power, so the pump would not "reverse heat" (from the tank to the boiler) during electric-only mode.

But it'd be a lot easier if there were someplace to put a separate aquastat (I realized I can't use the one on the boiler because it will always be open during steam production, and the pump would never turn on!)

My (older) electric water heater in Missouri has an extra outlet port on top that is plugged. Yes, it has a T&P valve on top too.

-Charles

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  • Charles_8
    Charles_8 Member Posts: 74
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    One more (dumb?) question

    As on several other posts, I want to use a conventional electric tank water heater as storage for my "hybrid" indirect system. Of course it needs the usual cold water in, hot out lines, and the T&P relief valve, which they all have, along with the screw-in heating elements.

    But I also need a hole for the aquastat, and an entrance for the preheated water pumped from the tankless coil.

    I could feed the coil output into the drain port at the bottom, and tee in a drain valve there for service or sediment removal.

    So the big question is, do all (or some) electric tank heaters have at least one spare "hole" to mount the aquastat (or thermowell), or will I have to use a surface mount temp sensor somewhere?

    thanks

    -Charles

  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 770
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    Use

    You can use the aquastat that is with it if you aren't planning to use the electric elelmets. That is how we do it.

    Leo
  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
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    water heaters

    Leo is correct. Use the internal thermostats to run your circulator. Not quite as accurate, but I know of no electric tank with and extra element. You could use a oil fire or gas tank, less the burner and you would have the tap for a regular aquastat. Just fill the combustion chamber with insulation and cap the flue to avoid stand by loss thru it.
  • Charles_8
    Charles_8 Member Posts: 74
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    But I do want the electric...

    For the duration of the non-heating season (in Aroostook County, about three months maximum) I want to be able to shut my boiler off and heat water only with the electric elements.

    (The rest of the year, the boiler will be either providing hot water or actually producing steam to heat the house, and the power to the elements could stay turned on for backup although it would rarely if ever kick in).

    I could design a circuit so when an element thermostat closes, a relay actuates the circulator pump. The pump power will be supplied from the same circuit as the boiler power, so the pump would not "reverse heat" (from the tank to the boiler) during electric-only mode.

    But it'd be a lot easier if there were someplace to put a separate aquastat (I realized I can't use the one on the boiler because it will always be open during steam production, and the pump would never turn on!)

    My (older) electric water heater in Missouri has an extra outlet port on top that is plugged. Yes, it has a T&P valve on top too.

    -Charles
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
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    > For the duration of the non-heating season (in

    > Aroostook County, about three months maximum) I

    > want to be able to shut my boiler off and heat

    > water only with the electric elements.

    >

    > (The

    > rest of the year, the boiler will be either

    > providing hot water or actually producing steam

    > to heat the house, and the power to the elements

    > could stay turned on for backup although it would

    > rarely if ever kick in).

    >

    > I could design a

    > circuit so when an element thermostat closes, a

    > relay actuates the circulator pump. The pump

    > power will be supplied from the same circuit as

    > the boiler power, so the pump would not "reverse

    > heat" (from the tank to the boiler) during

    > electric-only mode.

    >

    > But it'd be a lot easier

    > if there were someplace to put a separate

    > aquastat (I realized I can't use the one on the

    > boiler because it will always be open during

    > steam production, and the pump would never turn

    > on!)

    >

    > My (older) electric water heater in

    > Missouri has an extra outlet port on top that is

    > plugged. Yes, it has a T&P valve on top

    > too.

    >

    > -Charles



    Are you sure that "extra" outlet on top isn't the annode rod?
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
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    Are you sure that "extra" outlet on top isn't the annode rod?
  • Charles_8
    Charles_8 Member Posts: 74
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    Interesting thought.

    I'll be back in MO in a week, and will look closely. I seem to remember that it was clearly labeled "OUTLET" though, and wondering why there were two outlet ports on this heater...

    I think I'm OK. Look at this pic from the Whirlpool installation manual.

    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=5xrov2s

    There are three ports on top plus the anode rod (the third is labeled as alternate position for T&P valve) and I can use that for the aquastat thermowell. Or put the T&P in the top, and the aquastat on the upper side port.
    What do you think?
    -Charles

    ps "Swampeast" :) I live in West Plains when I'm not freezing in Maine...
This discussion has been closed.