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2 Gallon electric water heater.

SteveSteve Member Posts: 486
Please see attached pictures, this is a 2 gallon electric water heater used instead of a boiler and is only serving 1 towel rail in an apartment building. I did not do the install, but he is having problems with air. I have been back a couple of times and removed the air, but the problem seems to keep reoccurring - I am thinking of adding 1 small spirovent or equivalent air eliminator and bring the make up water and expansion tank in at the bottom of the spirovent.

This may seem simple, but I have never seen a 2 gallon electric water heater used instead of a boiler before. Anyone see any problems with this?

Thanks in advance.


  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,746
    edited September 2013
    Seems like....

    a lot of work. An electric towel warmer would have been a simpler approach. I would add a hy-vent where the PRV is and add a 1/2 cup of dawn dishwasher detergent. 99% chance that works.... Fix is from Mark Eatherton.
  • EricEric Member Posts: 261
    edited September 2013

    I agree with above, an electric warmer would have been cheaper and easier.

    simple question.... which was is the heater installed? the correct way? and your picture is sideways or.... is the heater laying on it's side?

    If the heater is on it's side... your never going to get the air out, it's trapped in the heater... big ol air pocket, reinstall the heater the way it was intended and you fix your problem.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    If that towel warmer is installed sideways

    it must be holding some kind of quadrature gravity towel.
  • SteveSteve Member Posts: 486
    edited September 2013

    Towel rail is over a bathtub he did not want to use electric

    I am not Familiar with hy-vent

    It is installed correctly picture is Sideways

    You can just see the bathtub in the picture
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,102
    edited September 2013
    I did

    A temporary hook up with a 4.5 gal ariston electric water heater, and a Laing circ with a built in thermostat for about 400sf of RFH . Between the differential on the water heater, and the differential on the thermostat for the circ 'twas not the best control, but temporary.

    Battled air also., and the aqua stat on the water heater would run wild sometimes.

    Electricity was killer on the wallet.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Electric Towel Warmer:

    Nice install, bad idea.

    As far as electric towel warmers, that's what GFCI's are for.

    There should be GFCI's in the bathroom. If you take a power cord, plugged into a GFCI protected outlet, get into the tub full of water, and stick the live end of the cord into the water, the circuit will trip before the electricity can "get" you.

    Too bad that someone who should have known what's up, didn't know.

  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Member Posts: 1,173
    If that water heater...

    ... has an anode in it, there will be gas formed and there doesn't seem to be a way for it to escape.  I'd agree with venting at a point where the gas collects.... unless the "quadrature gravity" is at work. :~o

    Yours,  Larry
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 3,476
    I agree...

    I agree with Chris on the electric. I put in the electric version of

    that exact warmer. They literally screwed the element in where the

    piping threads in and filled the thing most of the way with water (a

    little air for expansion).It was right next to a shower with the timer installed across the room.  It worked great. Some people fear electricity

    and there is no talking them out of it. Personally, I fear all that extra stuff in cabinet waiting to spring a leak and flood my house.


    I had not thought of the anode. An air vent is a good call,

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • SteveSteve Member Posts: 486
    edited June 2014
    Towel Warmer

    Hi guys, Installed the vents as suggested, still having the same problem. I did try adding dish soap. Customer claims it worked for 3 weeks and that's it. I'm wondering if I install a 3/4 inline spiro vent like I do on all the larger systems, if this would solve the problem? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I fully understand that an electric towel warmer would have been easier, cheaper, and a better option, but the owner really wants to stay with this. he wants to get it fixed, so swapping it out for an electric towel warmer is not an option. (towel warmer picture is sideways)
  • SnowmeltSnowmelt Member Posts: 750
    Expansion tank

    I think the expansion tank is on wrong side of the pump, pump away from exp. tank.

    Air seperator would definitely help. I like to stay with the taco 4900 residential.

    Also I would get rid of the pressure reducer.

    I lust took second look expansion tank Looks good. ( pumping away)

    I would put the air seperater where the tank is and set it up like a boiler.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 7,013
    vertical air purger

    A vertical air purger would be ideal, and add a hygroscopic vent on the towel bar if there is a connection.

    Could be that small circ is not providing the 2 fps to get all the air back to the vents? Save those vents for high point applications, they are not a replacement for an air separator.

    Maybe pull the circ and be sure that the impeller spins and is not partially plugger and not providing enough flow, it's about the only thing that may have changed.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
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