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use 40 gallon electric hot water heater as indirect storage tank

HI,
I salvaged a 6 month old electric hot water tank from my sons condo building that replaced all units regardless of age due to fire in another part of the building.
I would like to use this tank as an indirect hot water heater for my daughters ancient Chevron oil fired steam system.I thought it was a one pipe system because the fin type convectors have only one pipe going to them although they have a capped outlet opposite the one pipe .A plumber showed me that the one pipe actually goes to a return pipehence I was told it was indeed a two pipe system.
My idea was to put the tank in line , using the hot water feed from the Chevron's tank less hot water output pipe to fill the electric tank with hot water, and that way the electric tank would not have to work hard to raise the temp- thus increased hot water .
- the plumber I had look at it wanted to use a circulator pump to route the hot water back to the Chevron, I'm not sure he understood my idea...
- The electric tank is only 6 months old and is 40 gallon , any thoughts on this ?

Comments

  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Its a one pipe steam system. There's no indirect potable hot water coils in the system. The potable hot water is heated by electric hot water heaters, I don't think that the OP understands that there is no valve to putting a Potable electric hot water tank into a one pipe steam system. Or, at least I can see no advantage to doing so.

    None whatsoever.
    plantain
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    He says the boiler has a tankless coil. What's the problem?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Nothing if the steam boiler actually has a boiler indirect water heating coil. The person wasn't sure if it was a one pipe steam but he found a second pipe. If it has a tankless, by all means, use the water heater. If that is what is intended. I didn't get that impression.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    plantain said:

    HI,
    My idea was to put the tank in line , using the hot water feed from the Chevron's tank less hot water output pipe to fill the electric tank with hot water, and that way the electric tank would not have to work hard to raise the temp- thus increased hot water .

    Seems pretty straight forward to me?
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    If you think that it is cheaper to heat the hot water with electricity, why bother using the boiler coil?

    Of oil is cheaper, why not use the boiler coil and store the cheaper hot water in the storage tank? You don't need a new electrical circuit to do that.
  • plantain
    plantain Member Posts: 7
    thanks everyone, it seems that it is ok to use the 40 gallon electric tank as a storage tank being fed directly in line from the oil steam tankless coil , but it is not necessary to electrify the 40 gallon holding tank since it's contents should already be hot from the tankless feed. I am trying to get more hot water for the kids, but they got no cash .....when the condo restoration people replaced all the hot water tanks carte blanche due to the fire, well- their tank was only 6months old and I thought it would be a good way to boost the hot water in my daughters tiny house for not too much money. Believe me , the ancient Chevron unit has to go, and some posts have offered a few nice oil steam units that look like a good fit , despite the expense. I just know one of these days the Chevron oil boiler is going to crap out-poof- in a cloud of black smoke.

    But for now, why not just splice onto the hot water out pipe form the tank less coil,
    connect this to the input pipe of the electric hot water heater tank ,
    connect the out pipe from the electric hot water heater tank back to the hot water out pipe

    I am assuming at some point the electric hot water tank must be filled with either cold or hot water from the tank less coil output to the electric hot water heater input pipe .

    Turn on the hot water and the water is drawn form the electric hot water tank , which should already be fairly hot, depending on if it was wired up or not,

    The call for hot water reaches the tank less coil as per usual and it sends it predictably luke warm water to the 40 gallon electric hot water heater.
    The plumber I brought in to look at the situation wanted to use a pump to send some of the the hot water back to the steam boiler fill... which would be great but not really what I was looking for ,

    i am not a plumber but have done some diy stuff, cant solder my way out of a paper bag...any of this make any sense?

    Is an expansion tank of some sort needed off the electric hot water heater?
    thanks a bunch !
  • plantain
    plantain Member Posts: 7
    icesailor, do you mean that there may be no coil heating the drinkable water from in the ancient chevron, ? I , not being a plumber just assumed that there must have been ....are you saying that the same water that goes into making steam could end up in the drinking water pipe? That sounds really nasty.
    potable = drinkable ?

    Let me take a picture, attach it and see if that helps ,
    My daughter hasn't been in the house that long , but the boiler was new when hector was a pup.
    Again, thanks
    P.S.
    my thoughts were that the electric hot water tank by itself would be expensive, due to energy costs and retrofitting the boiler,. I was advised against going to all electric because the boiler was so old, if it sat all summer it might not come back to life in the fall. (leak rust etc)
    using both seemed like the perfect plan, the oil boiler wouldn't have to fire as often because it wouldn't get a call for hot water till the 40 gallon tank ran out of hot water, and the electric tank wouldn't have to work that hard because it was being fed by hot water from the boiler.
    Am I being penny wise and pound foolish?
    Putting the ox before the cart?
    Cant see the forest for the trees?
    ;)
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Things just don't work the way you imagine.
    plantain
  • plantain
    plantain Member Posts: 7
    so might as well just hook up the electric heater and go with it instead of running the ancient oil burner at all , for the summer, see how costs go and fire up the ancient oil burner once a month to keep it alive until replace .
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Any chance you could post a pic of the rads, just to be SURE they are two-pipe. The description confused me.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF