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Interium Heat Source

Hi all,

For the past few months I have been doing a remodel on a house I purchased. It needed a lot of work and since the floors needed to be torn out I decided it would be a good time to install radiant. Since I am an Engineer I like do do it myself so i can see how it all works. I picked up Hydronic Radiant Heating and Modern Hydronic Heating and went to work. I set a up a spreadsheet and did a full heat load calculation (full load came to about 35k, SF Bay Area where it doesn't get below 35 deg). Anyway PEX is in and I am ready to start to connect up everything in the boiler room. I am pretty sure I am going to go with the Triangle Tube Prestige but my issue is funds are running low. Would it be ok to hook up a interium unit like a electric water heater for a couple of months while my piggy bank fills up again? I can't put off not getting the heat on since I need to start to mud/tape and paint. I just need a interium solution for a couple of months. Thanks and Happy Holidays.


  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    The trick....

    Is going to be the ability to find a residential water heater with 10 KW of electric element. Most residential water heaters are around 5 KW. If you could re-wire it AND if you had adequate electrical power available, then you could fire both elements at the same time for a total of 10 KW, but you're still short about 2/3 of your goal. Will work OK so long as you are not experiencing real cold temps...

    Why dontcha just stick in a cheapo gas fired unit. Then you can donate it to Habitat for Humanity when you are done and get the value in the form of a tax credit for donation to a non profit org. Cycle the pump with the thermostat in the house and your cooking with gas.

    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.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,120
    cost of operation

    might be more for electric, but for a temporary, why not. Electric might be an easier install for you, no gas line , vent or combustion air to deal with.

    You can purchase 5500 watt elements to replace the 4500W. You would need two 30 amp 240V circuits to run it, however. Get another upper thermostats control with the reset button for the lower element. You may need an electrician to help change the wiring.

    Or buy two stubby 40 gallon tanks and stack them.

    Shop for scratch and dents, WHs the box stores seem to have an endless supply of them at discounted prices.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Heat Sources:

    Mark E. is the man with the ideas.

    One electric water heater is a bad idea. You need a PRV to use it and you only get 4.5 KW out of it. Someone suggested wiring the two elements so they are independent to get 9KW, more if you change elements. That is two 30 amp circuits. Can the service handle that? And find an electrician that understand that it isn't practical to install two HTCO's in the same water heater and the wiring is too small to handle the load. Two heaters is a way to go but has its own issues.

    You can buy a real El Cheapo gas boiler and you are ready to go. I'll bet it is cheaper than buying two electric hot waters, No matter how damaged they are.

    I've seen some real El Cheapo gas boilers that I know the manufacturers insurance on the appliance was more than the cost of manufacturing the boiler. And check supply houses. They often have damaged goods that they would be more than willing to unload on someone who doesn't mind damaged goods. 

    Do what you wish. 
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,431
    You would probably....

    be better off getting 2-3 electric space heaters to have around the house when you are there.... would be a lot less of a hassle.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    I am with

    Kcopp You could get a portable heavy duty construction heater and run it off the stove or dryer outlet. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200329299_200329299 maybe a couple of these? Depending on the house size.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • When in doubt

    go with the right solution. I appreciate all the advice. I took a step back and thought that I would be spending all that time and money on a band-aid on top of a band-aid. So I ended up spending the time selling some items off and raising the money for the TT Presitige. I figure might as well do it right the first time.
  • dano415
    dano415 Member Posts: 22
    warranty on triangle tube

         This is for anyone, who's not a licensed heating contractor, who's considering

    buying a TT boiler.  Yes--internet companies will sell you a TT boiler, but TT

    has made it clear they will not authorize the  warranty.  I liked TT better than Mclain, but Mclain seems more reasonable with their warranty. 

         I think TT knows many of their boilers are being installed by knowledgeable

    personnel(but not heating contractor's)-- but some "wonder boy" at he company thought this would be a "good"

    legal maneuver?  

         I'm also in the bay area, I'm getting close to completing my system.  I want to

    thank Alan Forbes--again--for the help--it's a daunting challenge in the beginning.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    With Good Reasoning

        Fuel fired appliances for space heating need to be installed correctly. Following directions to a T is a must for venting, piping, and commissioning the boiler.  Combustion testing a must.  How many people that are not certified to do this own the proper testing equipment, know proper venting, piping techniques and are installing these appliances.

       All these variables come together which dictate how long, and trouble free your new boiler will operate.  Keeping the variables to a minimum by using properly trained installers keeps manufactures like TT from getting in to litigation's, and unnecessary warranty claims that could have been avoided if properly installed in the first place.

       Not to mention the implications from improper venting, and combustion testing leading to a house full of CO possibly killing someone.


This discussion has been closed.