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Water Heater Upside Down

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Have any of you energy shavers ever mounted a standard 50 gallon electric water heater upside down as a way to reduce losses? Hot and cold would switch, but how would the P&T valve do? Could I simply switch the drain and P&T ports? This would be on my own house, if feasible, so no warranty or liability concerns.

Comments

  • billtwocase
    billtwocase Member Posts: 2,385
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    I see

    no heat loss benefit to installing it upside down. Early Phase 3 indirects could be installed horizontal, but never installed one that way. I see no benefit in your case, and the bottom of the tank has no insulation most likely, and you will have an even greater heat loss, not to mention reinventing the tank to do so.
  • Sage_Building_Solutions
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    R-Value

    If I can blanket the bottom (now top) of the tank with an R-19 wrap, that is better than the R-5 I can get out of 3/4" pipe wrap on the feed lines. What I don't know is; does the P&T valve need to be at the top of the tank for temperature relief, or can I keep it on the bottom assuming the pressure of an overheat will blow it off?
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,323
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    Relief valves used on tank type heaters...

    ...respond to both pressure and temperature. they need to be in the top six inches of the tank so they will "see" the hottest water. This is good as it can keep the tank from blowing up!



    Yours, Larry
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,323
    edited December 2011
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    Relief valves...

    duplicate
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 998
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    Europe

    I have seen many European electric tanks with both entry and exit at the bottom and safety on top. They have a stand to clear the piping. I have even seen a Rheem tank like that at my friends house in Les Sables D'ologne.
  • Sage_Building_Solutions
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    Good news..

    Thanks for the reply. I think I am going to go for it as I need to drain and clean the tank, change old valves, etc... The only slight concern I have is that the electrical connection is on what is going to be the bottom, so if it ever springs a leak, it could short out.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,438
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    It never ceases....

    to amaze me where people come here to seek professional and time tested advice on the RIGHT way to do a project. They receive the Best information and then against that advice the do whatever they please...often dangerous. If there is an issue that your insurance company gets involved with don't expect any help from them... they will run away.
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
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    With all do respect

     Don't do it!! There has to be a hundred other ways to cure some heat losses. It's a novel idea. It's also one that that we would end up reading the consequences of. Water heaters blow up every now and then. It's a huge risk.
  • Interceptor
    Interceptor Member Posts: 46
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    drain

    I'm not saying it's a good idea to install a water heater upside down, but couldn't you just swap the drain valve and the T&P valve to get them in the right locations? 
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,438
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    more to it....

    than that. Tstats are different and in the wrong place,the botom of the tank is different (concave) so you can"t get the t&p in the top 6", electrical is in a bad place, Whats the advantage....? insulate it better.... good grief.
  • Sage_Building_Solutions
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    I appreciate...

    the feedback and input from you all thus far and am glad this thread has been lively. I suppose my approach to any system in the home starts with the science. Assuming one COULD get the P&T into the top 6", then it would be good to go. The electrical placement is a concern, but will not create a bomb... though it might trip a breaker with a leak. At any rate, I certainly got what I came for, which is a conversation. For me personally, I feel the risks are too high and I will rebuild my tank as designed and super insulate. But I think we all need to ask ourselves why we toss 15% (or sometimes much more) of our water heating budget out the window due to inadequately designed and insulated tanks with these heat dissipators we call 'feed lines' on top. If the conversation continues, please keep the tone as if we were face to face and hold back on the "good grief" comments. Thanks to you all... Doug
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    edited December 2011
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    heatloss reduction

     I really see no advantage as others have already stated to what you are trying to do. There are other ways to save energy in DH heating. Rather than reinvent the wheel.



     What thermal loss advantage do you expect to gain by doing this? If it is only piping losses, then piping strategies can be applied. Most new water heaters have built in thermal traps to begin with. You could use piping to create traps also. Pipe insulation etc.



     What about sediment? Water heaters act like huge dirt separators, now by doing what you would like to do all that sediment ends up in the plumbing fixtures.



     Heating elements are strategically placed in a water heater for staging of elements ( thinking electric here). Let alone the PT valve.



      Bottom line I hardly think that taking an electric water heater turning it upside down, and expecting to get around the design that goes into one to make it as economical as possible. Expecting to gain15% heat loss benefits.

    Please help me understand the SCIENCE in what you expect to gain because I do not see it.



    Gordy
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    air bound tank will be great

    for burning out the elements. If you do not burn out the element on the former bottom then getting blown up will be a good possibility. Also wrapping the tanks can cause the wiring to reach temps that tey are not rated for.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
This discussion has been closed.