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My latest project: HPWH

JakeCK
JakeCK Member Posts: 246
edited October 10 in Domestic Hot Water
So my current water heater is pushing 14+ years. And I discovered a while back that the flue it vents in to has been open for years to a stud bay in the kitchen where the wood or coal stove used to vent. Previous HO had covered the hole in the plaster with a metal pie plate and then plastered over that. As a consequence of the age of the current tank, the need for the flue to be relined, and the just finished solar installation (110% offset), I decided to go with a Heat pump water heater as a replacement. This would also allow me to tear down 1 of 3 chimney's(initially to just below the attic floor) reducing heat loss even further. There is also the added benefit of dehumidification and cooling of the basement in the summer. Currently I run a dehumidifier Late April/early May to October, and it raises the temperature quite a bit down there. 

Now with that all out of the way here is what I have so far: Everything is dry fitted so changes would be easy. Old tank is still hooked up but I've shut off the gas so I'm not wasting energy. 

Any glaring mistakes I should correct before I pull out the old tank? Also no I have not been running the old tank with out a pipe on the T&P valve. I moved it to the new tank. 

 Unfortunately I'll probably be forced to use a sharkbite for the two connections to the existing water lines. There is cat6, a gas line and a joist right where I would have to sweat the pipe. 

I also need to order the intake kit so I can have it pull air from the main room with the boiler in it.

Comments

  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 246
    Hope I got it all right because it's plumbed in now. So far working excellent. Although I must admit if I had to redo it I would skip the tempering valve. At least on the near tank plumbing. Not a single one of my sweated joints leaks. But the unions on that valve sure did. 

    Still need to bond between the hot and cold.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,072
    The domestic extrol should be on the cold side. 
    If the relief valve needs replacing, will it unthread before hitting the wall?

  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 246
    edited October 11
    For the expansion tank, is there any reason other then heat loss? The only reason I put it where I did was because of where the valve is.

    T&p valve should clear, it is out before the wall. If not a minor movement of the tank will allow it. Is it the same length as the one in my RV's tank?
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,218
    if you can solder that well, why use the flex? No vacuum breaker?
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,617
    @GW

    Vacuum breaker is a MA thing. Good idea I think but other states don't require it CT for instance.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,218
    Ed wow didn't know that, good to keep in the back of my noggin
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 246
    GW said:

    if you can solder that well, why use the flex? No vacuum breaker?

    Those are good solder joints? Look like S*** to me, I'll take it as a compliment. Soldering is an art form, and I drew stick figures in art.

    I thought vacuum breakers were only needed if the tank was above the faucets. Like on a second floor or attic?

    And the flex to make it easier to connect to the lines by the ceiling.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,686
    GW said:

    if you can solder that well, why use the flex? No vacuum breaker?

    If Gary is complimenting your soldering, that is high praise.

    He's posted his work, as well as a video of him soldering, he's quite talented.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    GW
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,218
    well, the flex is 'less appealing'. Many guys can't solder that well. My favorite soldering story is back in '87, my then-boss barked across the shop "WILSON you gotta get back to abc street, Inspector shot you down for not soldering the tub valve" (new construction,first floor, we didn't test that 1st fl stuff). So i drive over there and yes the valve was soldered, i guess the Inspector didn't have his reading glasses on.

    Vac breakers-- if the fireman is pulling on the lines in the street, you could lose your tank, then tank could 'implode'. At least that what was explained to be way back, (prior to 1987), never seen it with my own eyes.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 246
    edited October 11
    GW said:

    well, the flex is 'less appealing'. Many guys can't solder that well. My favorite soldering story is back in '87, my then-boss barked across the shop "WILSON you gotta get back to abc street, Inspector shot you down for not soldering the tub valve" (new construction,first floor, we didn't test that 1st fl stuff). So i drive over there and yes the valve was soldered, i guess the Inspector didn't have his reading glasses on.

    Vac breakers-- if the fireman is pulling on the lines in the street, you could lose your tank, then tank could 'implode'. At least that what was explained to be way back, (prior to 1987), never seen it with my own eyes.

    I really like the flexibility provided by the flex lines. And it still looks better then the cluster that was piped in before. It took me hours to solder those up, between deburring and cleaning the ends. I actually did all of that on the tailgate of my truck. It was a beautiful day yesterday and I don't like using a torch in the house if it can be avoided.
    GW
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,218
    I’m feeling that, we pipe heads just sweat it all in place. Looks good though
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,218
    edited October 11
    Hopefully this makes somebody smile, I took a picture of this recently, not sure if it was for my own edification or some other motivation. I despise couplings so I unsweat the ugger and soldered in a longer piece. 
    Everything was lovely, until about 45 minutes I saw drip coming off of it. I’m like son of a gun, I thought that joint came out pretty nicely. Upon further inspection the ball valve was leaking where the body is threaded together.

    So, we cut it out and pinched in a new valve. Sometimes you just can’t win.



    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    JakeCK
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 852
    edited October 12
    JakeCK said:

    GW said:

    I thought vacuum breakers were only needed if the tank was above the faucets. Like on a second floor or attic

    My code requires a vacuum breaker on all bottom fed tanks, regardless of where they are installed.
    JakeCK said:

    For the expansion tank, is there any reason other then heat loss?

    Yes. The bladder on the expansion tank will last much longer if it is only exposed to cold water. Not sure of local codes where you are, but in my code it is required to be on the cold side.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 246
    delta T said:
    I thought vacuum breakers were only needed if the tank was above the faucets. Like on a second floor or attic
    My code requires a vacuum breaker on all bottom fed tanks, regardless of where they are installed.
    For the expansion tank, is there any reason other then heat loss?
    Yes. The bladder on the expansion tank will last much longer if it is only exposed to cold water. Not sure of local codes where you are, but in my code it is required to be on the cold side.
    Then it sounds like I have some rework to do.

    It'll probably be a few weeks or a month before I have another free weekend. Unless I can find time during the week. 
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 246
    Now the question is what is the best way to seal the hole in the old chimney. Both the three inch from the old hot water tank and this 8"