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My setup

J.A.J.A. Posts: 18Member
Hi Folks, I'm usually over at the Strictly Steam section of heatinghelp but I figured it is time for me to start asking questions about my hot water situation. I'm going to take pictures and get information off of the instruments, but what else would be helpful information you may need to help answer questions I have?

Thanks in advance.


  • JackJack Posts: 1,044Member
    Let's start with....

    Tell us what you have, fixtures, location of hot water source vs hot faucet locations, fuel current and desired. What are your goals? Future load increase? How many people? Narrow it down for us?
  • J.A.J.A. Posts: 18Member
    What I have

    I'm in a 10 unit building (11 when you count the super's apartment) and each unit has 2 baths and a kitchen. The natural gas hot water heater and 80 gallon holding tank are in the basement and the super has 1 bath and a kitchen and there is also a slop sink in the basement. There are no plans for future load increase.

    I've posted some pictures (I can't tell if they are too large in the preview they look fine to me, but if they are I can re-size and re-post) that we can use as a starting point.

    This all started when people in the building mentioned the hot water being too hot, which sent me down to look for a thermostat. I noticed the temperature gauges on the boiler were reading almost 160 degrees, which sounds a bit high but I understand the hot water has to travel to a final destination of 5 stories up. I have not taken a temperature reading a the tap but I will, though I believe the recommended temperature for hot water heaters is 120 degrees.

    This also led me to actually look at the units and the piping and now I'm looking for knowledge about the system, which all starts with a number of general questions about the configuration as to whether or not the system is piped correctly and if there is a better/more efficient way of doing so. Also, I have general questions about maintenance of the various parts.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 12,042Member
    DHW temperatures

    you REALLY don't want to be sending much over 120F to your fixtures. Most codes advise 120- 122F. What you should have is a thermostatic mixing valve at the outlet of the tank. It regulates the temperature leaving the tank headed for the faucets. It should have an ASSE 1017 listing on it to assure it is listed for point of distribution use.

    Stick a cooking thermometer under the hot water faucet to see exactly what you have. Make sure the system is up to temperature when you test it. If in fact you have 160, even 140F at the faucet, get it addressed ASAP!

    You need to get a pro in there to see what you have, or need. A soft tissue lawsuit would be a lot more expensive than a thermostatic valve installation or repair :)

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • J.A.J.A. Posts: 18Member

    The temperature issue is currently being addressed. Any thoughts on the setup or do you need to see better pictures of the piping, or maybe edited pictures showing the hot pipes vs cold? For instance, everything running into and out of the holding tank is hot, the bottom two pipes ( I did not take a clear picture of the two pipes running into the bottom of the holding tank) I believe are to and from the hot water heater with the pipe coming out of the top of the holding tank running off to feed the apartments. Then there are two more hot water feed lines that run from the gold B&G circulating pump. What seems odd to me is that the cold water feed (which you can see in the third picture, top row) is next to the B&G pump but it actually connects below to a hot water pipe in one direction and also then goes into the hot water heater in the other direction, does that seem right?
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 12,042Member
    Best I can tell

    The upper pump, which appears to be bronze, is the re-circulation pump to keep all the DHW lines hot. The lower red one, which should also be a bronze pump if this is in fact a DHW system, moves the water from the boiler to the tank.

    You might go to the Lochinvar website for a piping schematic and to make sure those pumps are sized correctly for the job.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • J.A.J.A. Posts: 18Member
    Thanks Again!

    I took a look at the website and found the manual for my system. Looked through it and found that the piping schematics were followed correctly, and now I understand most of what I am looking at. The red pump is the one that came with the unit, while the gold Bell & Gossett was put on to help run the hot water around the building.
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