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Well water and Indirect Water Heater

Looking for some advice-had an Amtrol BoilerMate for 28 years. Due to the more recent bad reviews, I chose not to go with another Amtrol and plumbing supplier recommended a stainless steel Laars. I have softened well water with normal PH and high chloride content due to the softener. The Laars is leaking after only 21/2 years. When first installed, it produced gas and smell, Laars tech support told me it was the anode rod reacting with the water and once it disintegrated the problem would go away and not to replace the rod. Well, now I need a new unit and have no idea where to look. I have doubts Laars will honor the warranty due to all of the fine print.
I've read about the stone lined Vaughn producing smelly water also.
Should I look back to the Amtrol, or is there an alternative out there for my circumstances?

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,606
    That high chloride content from the water softening is pretty corrosive -- not surprised that the Laars anode a) smelled and made gas; b) disintegrated quickly and as a result the tank failed. Without the anode, I would be very surprised indeed if Laars would even think of honouring the warranty; they shouldn't, in fact. Has nothing to do with the fine print; the anode is an integral part of protecting the tank.

    I'd go back to the Amtrol Boilermate. Be careful about bad reviews for any heating or plumbing product; they tend to come almost exclusively from annoyed customers -- talk to suppliers for their experience instead.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    SuperTech
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,871
    Stainless tanks are sensitive to chlorides, how high is your level? Does Laars provide a spec for water quality?
    Is the softener working properly, it may not be backwashing and final rinsing properly?

    I'd consider a glass lined steel tank, they seem to handle high chloride and TDS better.
    Bock, Bradford White are a few brands.

    Switching anode types should make the smell go away.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    SuperTechMARKEY
  • MARKEY
    MARKEY Member Posts: 9
    Thanks-softener is working OK. What type of anode would you switch to? Usually from the factory it is magnesium.
  • MARKEY
    MARKEY Member Posts: 9
    Laars tech support are the ones who suggested removing the anode and replacing with a hex nut.
    I hope they honor warranty as their factory trained supplier suggested it knowing up front my water conditions.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,871
    You can swap aluminum rods, or an electronic version.

    Just recently stainless tanks started showing up with anode rods. I wonder how much life they add?

    Larry runs www.waterheaterrescue.com, good info and parts there.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    SuperTech
  • MARKEY
    MARKEY Member Posts: 9
    Thanks all for your help and advice
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    edited February 2018
    I pulled the magnesium rod and went with aluminum. I replace it every 2 years at my house... no smell not taste...
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,784
    You sure it was stainless AND had an anode? Ususally its one or the other.
    Laars specs have a glass lines steel w/ 3 anodes or just a SS tank w/o anodes.

    I would opt to do a Bradford white power stor w/ 3 anode rods.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/bradfordwhitecorp/wp-content/uploads/residential_indirect_powerstor_series_sw_single_wall_sw_2_specsheet_554.pdf
  • MARKEY
    MARKEY Member Posts: 9
    Yes it is definitely stainless and definitely has an anode rod
    Model number is LSRTV 40 L
  • MARKEY
    MARKEY Member Posts: 9
    It’s essentially the same thing as the Bradford white unit
  • MARKEY
    MARKEY Member Posts: 9
    Has anyone had any experience with the
    TFI ever hot EA series?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,784
    Amtrol worked 28 yrs.... that's pretty hard to beat.
    bob eckSuperTech
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,247
    Hello, Regarding Water Heater Rescue, it's run by a friend. I have no financial interest, but do use it's forum to help out. I'd look at the powered anode sold there made by Ceranode rather than an aluminum anode for odor control. It does a better job than aluminum and doesn't add anything bad to the water. About softening the National Assn. of Corrosion Engineers suggests leaving 60-120 ppm of hardness (calcium/magnesium) i the water after softening. Most softener folks like to take it down to zero. At that setting I've seen anodes completely used up in six months.
    It's a surprise to me that any manufacturer would advise removing an anode as that must certainty void the warranty. >:)
    Yours, Larry
    kcoppSuperTech
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,871
    kcopp said:

    You sure it was stainless AND had an anode? Ususally its one or the other.
    Laars specs have a glass lines steel w/ 3 anodes or just a SS tank w/o anodes.

    I would opt to do a Bradford white power stor w/ 3 anode rods.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/bradfordwhitecorp/wp-content/uploads/residential_indirect_powerstor_series_sw_single_wall_sw_2_specsheet_554.pdf

    HeatFlo rolls a big fat anode and inserts it from the side, many of the stainless tanks have added anodes.

    Here is the HeatFlo water spec also.



    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • MARKEY
    MARKEY Member Posts: 9
    Thanks again everyone for your input-going will the Amtrol boiler mate.
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 927
    Vaughn has a new indirect water heater called the Featherweight



    Thermoplastic indirect water heater.
    No anode rod needed in tank.
    Resistant to cloridies.

    www.vaughcorp.com

    Check it out.

    If you are in the New England area or NY, NJ or PA have your contractor call F W Webb for pricing on the Featherweight indirect water heater.
    F W Webb also has a private label indirect water heater called the Purepro and it is built by Amtrol. Tank is similar to the Amtrol boiler mate.
    Water in the tank never touches a metal or SS tank.
  • MARKEY
    MARKEY Member Posts: 9
    I did research the Vaughn featherweight but dimensions will not work for my space.