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Hydronic off new DHW for Basement

RawbeeRawbee Member Posts: 1
Folks--My 40G atmospheric-draft water heater is near the end.. I have a ranch with forced air and the basement distribution is terrible (ceiling of course). I'm thinking of going with a new HW heater and have a hydronic zone installed for the basement. Thoughts on A) What type water heater? B) Other?


  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Basement heat

    Given the topic, your post would probably get more eyeballs in the Main Wall.

    Do you have a heat loss calculation for the house, especially the basement?  Is the basement occupied regularly or intermittently?   Is there insulation under the slab?
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,530
    Dangerous! Do NOT Attempt!

    You do not want to connect a hydronic zone to a domestic water heater. You'll create a breeding ground for Legionella as well as many other issues.

    If you want hydronic heat in the basement, look at installing a combi boiler of sufficient size with panel rads or baseboards. The combi has separate circuits for domestic and space heating.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • HomeOwner1HomeOwner1 Member Posts: 134
    Combi Boiler

    You may want to look at combi boilers. There are a bunch out there. Triangle Tube, Navien and many others.

    It would accomplish what you are after and run pretty well these days.
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 907
    Bradford White

    Makes a water heater with a space heating loop through a internal heat exchanger. Model # c-dw2-504t10fbn. I'm sure others make them as well.
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    What is your heat loss?

    This is going to depend how much energy you need for your basement loop...

    I get this question all the time from customers, raised ranches and colonials with finished basements with forced warm air systems...

    Each property is different, some times the issues can be fixed with duct zoning and design change {assuming the existing furnace output is sufficient for the load}.

    It is much more cost effective to add a zone control and a couple zone dampers then add baseboard and a reliable hydronic heat source... Most customers worry about cutting ceilings and plaster repairs when in reality that is the easy part...

    Now if the existing unit is not sized to heat the entire dwelling {this is rare, but I have seen it, common with older properties that have had additions made}, another option and IMO the best way is another heater. This can be anything, something as simple as an Empire RH25 or Cozy space heater, to another furnace, 90+ furnaces can be installed almost anywhere, airtemp makes a -40K Btu 90+ that can install in a closet and vent out PVC, armstrong also has a small 44K btu unit that I install a lot of...

    You may be surprised with the cost of just having a another small furnace installed vs running baseboard and purchasing a new combi unit. Another aspect to take into consideration is service, a 90+ furnace will most likely go much longer with out service vs a combi heater.

    So my recommendation is first get a good sheet metal tech in there and see what he thinks about modifying your existing system to make the basement more comfortable. If this can not be done efficiently, than ask about a small second furnace {a nice feature since if your primary unit goes down, you won't be totally without heat}.

    This would allow you to just replace your existing water heater with a std $400 unit vs a combi unit that can cost much much more...

    good luck, hope this helps...
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