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Inexpensive boiler buffer tank

I'm looking for a 30-50 gallon buffer tank with large tappings.  I just don't have $1200.  Something with a coil for owb would be great too.  Any suggestions, or am I doomed to buck up the big bucks?

Yes, yes I am cheap.


  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    The buffer craze!

    The cheapest way is go get a keg of beer. Now, drink all off the beer, eat the deposit, and go to a qualified welder.
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,576
    cheap tank

    if you have a tractor supply near you, they will have well tanks-made of galvanized, and good for 100 psi. i think i saw a 70 gal tank for a C-note.

    made by quick tanks


  • scott markle_2
    scott markle_2 Member Posts: 611
    boiler buddy

    Google boiler buddy,

    You can buy directly from them, I think they are in Wisconsin. The 30 gallon tank is insulated has giant tappings, and a nice air eliminator on the top and drain at the bottom.

    As I recall it's around $600.
  • shoudabeenaplumba
    shoudabeenaplumba Member Posts: 74
    Shipping is a killer

    I think shipping would have put me close to a grand.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,121
    the best bang for

    you buffer bucks is a electric water heater. They come in many sizes and are insulated nicely. They are challanged in the connection department however.

    One solution is to remove the two elements and use those for 1" connections. You can buy a 1" male by 1-1/4 sweat adapter and get to 1-1/4" easily in those connections.

    The drain port with a reducing tee can be another 1" connection.

    You can then pair together the two top (h&C) connection for another large tap. Remember to remove the dip tube.

    Some brands have dual anode rods with 3/4 taps. i suppose in a close loop system the anodes could be removed, it may void any warranty.

    Leave the factory T&P and add an additional 30 l b relier for hydronic applications.

    Plenty of plain steel tanks for cheap, like compression tanks, under 200 bucks. But by the time you insulate and jacket and weld in additional taps, may as well buy a Boiler Buddy.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • scott markle_2
    scott markle_2 Member Posts: 611
    not so bad

    The 30 gallon model is UPS able. I think it was Around $40 bucks to NY
  • Gordan
    Gordan Member Posts: 891
    Thread mismatch


    Isn't the heater element thread NPS rather than NPT? Any tricks for using these ports without creating a potential source of leaks?
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Straight threads never stopped us before!!!

    Most products from across the pond come with straight thread. One can either triple dope (paste, 5 to 7 wraps of teflon tape, followed by final coating of teflon) or....

    The alternative would be one of the thread wrap strings on the market, and if you can find it, hemp.

    The ground source heat pump people do this every day, with little to no problems.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Rob Blair
    Rob Blair Member Posts: 227
    What about higher temperatures in the glass lined tanks?

    I thought I read somewhere that the glass lined tanks cannot take over 160 degree water?


  • BigRob
    BigRob Member Posts: 322

    Now that a couple of years have gone by, what is the consensus regarding the best electric water heater to use as a buffer? I have some small radiator loops that need some extra water.

    Is there a jacketed value leader?

  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766

    are too small for this
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833