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advice on apartment apollo hydronic setup in closet

ron Member Posts: 148
edited May 10 in THE MAIN WALL
This is in an apartment, about 700 square feet I guess - a bedroom loft type of apartment. You walk into the building from one end and it's a straight hallway about 50' to 100' long with maybe 8 units on each side; each unit has an upstairs. Each unit has it's own hvac (as far as i know).

Here are pics & info on mine, I am looking for advice. The gas water heater was replaced in 2008, prior to that it was all original (going back maybe 20 years I don't know/remember).

Currently the ignitor on the natural gas hot water heater does not work, and the pilot light has gone out 3 or 4 times over the last couple months. I relight with a grill lighter easy enough and the water heater works for however long on it's own.

My understanding is the hot water heat exchanger in the air handler is at ~ 100 psi (city water pressure) and uses the hot water out of the hot water heater for heat. Is this good or bad? Should I just replace the hot water heater, or should I consider a complete system update? Do I need to worry about the water heat exchanger in the air handler springing a leak?

The AC is R22 in this unit.

The closet width with doors off is 50 inches.

Is there a better way (21 years into 21st century) to do this setup?

And is it a requirement that the hot water heater have a side tap for a circulating loop, or can that external heat exchanger just be teed off the in and out to the hot water heater?

30 AHW 3B with AO SMITH GCVT-40L-100


  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,170
    edited May 10
    The water heater probably has a bad thermocouple although the pilot burner could be dirty/needs adjustment.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,170
    edited May 10
    BTW, there are lots of better ways to do this, this was the cheap way to do it. If i were to replace i probably would use some sort of boiler either a combi or possibly something like an htp phonix and a heat exchanger depending on the dhw needs and gas supply and connect to the existing heating coil and keep the ac and air handler.

    Replacement won't make sense cost wise until you have to, you will never gain enough efficiency to make up for the cost of replacement.
  • ron
    ron Member Posts: 148
    edited May 11
    is a water heater with a side tap required here?

    or can the forced hot air heat exchanger just be teed off the in and out piping to the top side of the water heater?

    having trouble sourcing a replacement heater that will fit in this closet.
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