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Indirect water heater recommendations

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ek99
ek99 Member Posts: 24
Looking for recommendations for indirect water heaters.   Currently have a techtanium 79 gallon glass line tank.  Need to replace.  

Was thinking of replacing with the exact same model but was told HTC is a better brand with a longer warranty.  

Any thought on whether glass lined or stainless steel better?  And whether HTC is a good brand etc… 

should I consider the existing piping?  Ie it’ll be easier to replace with the same model vs a new model?  

many thanks 
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Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,981
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    Need to check you water chemistry and the instructions for the compatibility of stainless, especially chloride. HTP and Weil Mclain(or others) have different requirements, either one could be the right choice depending on your water. Just make sure it is large enough.
    ek99
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,391
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    Hi, I agree with @mattmia2 , Water chemistry matters a lot. For difficult waters, generally glass lined steel does better… if the anode is regularly checked /replaced. You might even check the anode in your present tank. If there is much left, the tank is very likely sound.

    Yours, Larry
    ek99
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    I’m debating between just replacing with the exact same model (techtanium TT-79) and this time actually replacing the anode rod (which I failed to do so previously). Or spending $500 more to get a HTP stainless steel tank.  I checked the water report for my town and the chloride and sodium levels are both quite low below 12 mg/L.  

    My rational for choosing the same model would be cost saving of the tank and cost saving from using the existing piping.  Going to the stainless steel will end up costing more for the tank and labor for having to change all the piping.  What do you think? 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,505
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    maybe use the same brand tank but add an electronic anode, plenty to choose from, this from SupplyHouse.com
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    kcoppmattmia2MikeAmannSuperTech
  • flat_twin
    flat_twin Member Posts: 353
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    How old and what exactly failed on your current tank?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,452
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    I have been using the Bradford White powerstor series.
    They have a stainless version and a glass lined verson that has 3 anode rods.

    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,981
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    Both stainless or a powered anode are good options. Both are worth it to me to avoid having to deal with it again for a longer period of time.
    kcoppMikeAmann
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,849
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    @ek99

    Pick the best tank period. Don't consider piping changes it doesn't amount to much. Your installer will most likely cut the old piping back and there it's not a sure thing that the new tank will line up with the old even if it's the same tank. manufacturers change things on a whim
    Derheatmeister
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
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    I went with a stainless IWH and added this powered titanium anode.
    Nothing dissolves into the water.
    https://www.waterodor.com/
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,922
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    How much capacity do you actually need? A separate water heating system might be just fine.
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
    edited December 2021
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    never mind
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    Thanks for everyone’s comments.

    Replacing indirect because I have a leak in the coils.  Pressure in hydronic system keeps increasing even after replacing expansion tank, Autofill valve and relief valve.  I’ve also isolated the coil section and monitored the pressure just for that section and see it rising above the boiler side.  So fairly confident it’s the coils leaking.  The tank is only about 9 years old.  I’ve never replaced the anode rods (my mistake).  Lesson learned. 

    I’ve been told to go stainless to prevent this from happening but was thinking it’ll be more cost effective to replace with same model and this time keep an eye on the anodes.  I’ve confirmed the new version of the same model has the same dimensions and pipe locations so should be a simple swap. 
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    I hate to ask this question but what’s a reasonable charge for labor to replace an indirect water heater?  Let’s say the water tank plus materials is 2500.  How much should labour charge be ? 

    I understand each home is different and can have it’s own challenges with install.  I have included a picture of my current setup.  Each pipe going in and out of the existing heater can be closed off.   

    Thanks

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,968
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    ek99 said:

    I hate to ask this question but what’s a reasonable charge for labor to replace an indirect water heater?  Let’s say the water tank plus materials is 2500.  How much should labour charge be ? 


    I understand each home is different and can have it’s own challenges with install.  I have included a picture of my current setup.  Each pipe going in and out of the existing heater can be closed off.   

    Thanks

    What we get on Eastern LI will be much higher than other areas. That is why Pricing is not allowed.
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    Understood.  How about if I ask how much time will it take to install?  Is it a 5hr job?  Or 10 hr job?  Thanks
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,968
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    5 hour jobs get billed as a full day
    Rich_49
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    T^he piping configuration on that tank is QUITE similar to an HTP SSU . Take into consideration that they also come with a lifetime warranty without a million caveats .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,505
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    A few other changes to consider, a ASSE 1017 thermostatic mixing valve, thermal expansion tank is most often on cold supply.
    Insulate as much as the hot and recirc copper tube as possible to lower operating costs.

    I'd certainly check your water for all these parameters, this stainless tank has some specific ranges, or you have no warranty.

    Chloride levels tend to be high in snow belt areas and islands surrounded by sea water :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    Hot Rod thanks for the advice.  My system has a mixing valve already.  Will look to isolate as much of the hot water pipes as I can see in the utility room. 

    Latest water contaminate levels seem to be within range.  Chloride 11.7 mg/L.  Sodium 9.95 mg/L.

    im leaning towards the HTP SSU-80 for the lifetime warranty and benefits of stainless steel.  

    I’ve been asked whether I truly need a 80 gallon vs a 60 gallon.  My only reason for 80 gallon is the house came with a 80 gallon.  Given we are a family of 5,  primarily only take showers and never 5 back to back I’m guessing a 60 gallon would be sufficient and be a lot more efficient.   Thoughts?  

    Thanks!!! 
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,922
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    I’m guessing a 60 gallon would be sufficient and be a lot more efficient.


    Not at all. A larger size shouldn't matter for efficiency. It will cost more. What size is the boiler? You could actually go even smaller.
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    It’s a pure fire PF-140 ,  113,000 BTU

    60 gallon wouldn’t be more efficient than heating a 80 gallon?  

    Also I was thinking I could run it a bit hotter and since I have a mixing valve that would provide more hot water if needed.

    thanks!!


  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,922
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    60 gallon wouldn’t be more efficient than heating a 80 gallon?


    Maybe it would have slightly lower jacket losses because of the smaller surface area, but it's insignificant. With that size boiler, you can use an even smaller indirect tank if you want.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,981
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    I'd go with the 80. Because if the dynamics of how long it takes for the tank to sense that there is a draw followed by how long it can take for the boiler to purge and fire and then heat the mass of the boiler enough to start heating the tank, you could have used 10-20 gal by the time it starts making hot water. Even though it is 2x-3x the iring rate of a tank type water heater, it still may require a larger tank. Add to that incoming water that is around 40 f in the winter and I would go with the 80 to be safe.

    We get posts from people in cold climates with 40 gallon indirects that run out of hot water a lot.
    Derheatmeister
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,505
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    ek99 said:

    Hot Rod thanks for the advice.  My system has a mixing valve already.  Will look to isolate as much of the hot water pipes as I can see in the utility room. 

    Latest water contaminate levels seem to be within range.  Chloride 11.7 mg/L.  Sodium 9.95 mg/L.

    im leaning towards the HTP SSU-80 for the lifetime warranty and benefits of stainless steel.  

    I’ve been asked whether I truly need a 80 gallon vs a 60 gallon.  My only reason for 80 gallon is the house came with a 80 gallon.  Given we are a family of 5,  primarily only take showers and never 5 back to back I’m guessing a 60 gallon would be sufficient and be a lot more efficient.   Thoughts?  

    Thanks!!! 
    Does the water drop list hardness and TDS, those are also good numbers to know 

    It looks like you have a hot water “extender” not a true ASSE listed mixing valve? Does it have a tag on it. It’s nice to have a safe mix valve if you want to run elevated temperatures for legionella concerns or additional tank output
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    #60 will be fine , especially storing at 160* and mixing down . I have 80#s using this strategy that have never left the owners annoyed . Some of those houses have 7-9 people and have 10 baths .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
    MikeAmannDerheatmeisterSuperTech
  • cooper185
    cooper185 Member Posts: 31
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    For 13yrs, my indirect fired SS TriangleTube Smart 60 has been working flawlessly. But I made a big mistake. I did a DYI from forced air to a boiler system and stored the Smart 60 for several months. The factory pressure test left water in the jacket around the stainless steel tank. Had to push it up the basement stairs, and then flush the rust out with a garden hose.

    Make sure, if you decide on SS, to get a freshly manufactured tank, and don't let it sit around.
    Life is a river, changing at the blink of an eye.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,981
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    cooper185 said:

    For 13yrs, my indirect fired SS TriangleTube Smart 60 has been working flawlessly. But I made a big mistake. I did a DYI from forced air to a boiler system and stored the Smart 60 for several months. The factory pressure test left water in the jacket around the stainless steel tank. Had to push it up the basement stairs, and then flush the rust out with a garden hose.

    Make sure, if you decide on SS, to get a freshly manufactured tank, and don't let it sit around.
    I think the triangle tube smart 60 is a steel outer tank in a shell and tube configuration. An htp is either all stainless or a cupronickel coil with a stainless tank depending on exact model.
    cooper185
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 998
    edited December 2021
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    Just FYI, I installed a Crown Boiler Mega-Stor II and it is ALL stainless - the tank, the coil, all of it.
    Lifetime warranty.
    https://www.velocityboilerworks.com/product/mega-stor-ii/
    https://www.ecomfort.com/Crown-Boiler-Co.-MS2-040/p103185.html

    And I added a powered titamium anode so that nothing ever dissolves into the water.
    I expect it to last forever.
    Derheatmeistercooper185
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
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    After checking the specs on your current waterheater it seems that you have a Glass lined Coil.
    If the Glass lining was in place that means that it would help protect the steel from the domestic side only.
    In other words: The steel coil is not protected via glass from the heating side so proper system fluid is essential !

    Can you shed some light on the rest of your heating system ?
    Infloor ?
    Maybe post some Pictures.
    Do you have tubing with a O2 barrier,large setback modes that may allow Oxygen ingest ?

    >>>A close picture of the writing on the tube would be great...i.e wirsbo Aquapex ? <<<

    Is your Heating systems expansion tank adjusted ?

    Do you have any leaks that may require fresh water to repressurize the system?

    It is possible that your coil had a leak from the heat side to the domestic side !

    If you did have a leak from the heat side to the domestic now would be the time to investigate why and not make the same mistakes..
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    Some pictures of the hydronic system.  I don’t know what fluid was originally in the system but it’s probably mostly fresh water now I’ve been letting water out since the pressure builds up in the system due to coil leak.  ( I have auto fill shut off).  Every few days I’ll let out approximately half a liter of water to bring the pressure back down. 

    What system fluid should be used?  I’ve had a number of people come and no one has ever questioned the fluid in fact they used the Autofill to flush out part of the system so assume it’s all fresh water now. 

    Yes have an expansion tank on the system. 

    Thanks!!

  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,572
    edited December 2021
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    Not sure...But based on the Blurry makings of the tubing you could have Aquapex tubing which does not have an oxygen barrier !
    Could you get some better pictures of the Tubings markings ? does it say "Wirsbo Aquapex" somewere ? or does it say "Wirsbo Hepex"...O2 barrier..
    One thing noted that you do not have a service valve on you expansion tank..
    Did you have to change any system component regularly,i.e Expansion tanks.Circulating pumps

    System fluid is a whole different subject and the opinions differ: There is the Chemical and none chemical world

    Chemical= at least 20% Glycol which has enough inhibitors to protect the system from corrosion.. Good luck with oxygen ingest and glycol ! Even with O2 scavengers the system fluid deteriorates prematurely and will need to be addressed frequently..$$$$

    None Chemical= Deironized water and a Sacrifical anode as per VDI 2035 or ANSI H 1001.1

    Caleffi Idronics #18 will assit some with this...However they do not talk about Sacrificial anodes..
    I perfer not using chemicals for various reasons. :)
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    You just made my head explode!  I can’t change the tubes. They’re in the walls!!  All the markings are smudged or printed in a non legible way.   I think I’ll probably be out of the house by the time the next tank goes. 

    I’ll get indirect replaced first as I’m worried that the leak gets worse and the pressure jumps.  I’ve noticed that the pressure is going up faster these days.  

    Based on what I’ve heard going up to 80 gallon over 60 won’t increase energy consumption that much but it will guarantee I won’t run out of hot water.  So leaning towards the 80 gallon,  the cost seem to be only $300 more.

    Replying to Hot Rod it looks like I have an asse mixing valve from honeycomb picture attached. 

    Will ask the plumber that installs about adding glycol to the hydronic system.   Thanks!!


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,505
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    It is very rare to hear someone say that they have too much DHW. The 80 gallon at 140f with that mixing valve at 120f will give you plenty of hot water. Enough for a small hotel 🏨 
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    cooper185MikeAmann
  • cooper185
    cooper185 Member Posts: 31
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    A TrianglTube Smart60 at 130°F has been plenty for five.
    Life is a river, changing at the blink of an eye.
    Derheatmeister
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    Okay I’ll go with your recommendation on the  60 gallon.  I had a plumber tell me why not go with 80…. I’m so confused and disappointed that I get so much conflicting recommendations.

    I just listened to your presentation on hydronic fill and purge,  and I believe you mentioned that the hydronic expansion tank should be pre-pressurized to hydronic system pressure. So if I have roughly a 3 story house and the hydronic psi is roughly be 20,  should the expansion tank be set to 20?  Plumbers I’ve spoken to tell me it should be the factory 12 psi.  20 makes more sense to me so it can absorb increase in pressure, at 12 psi that would mean water would partially fill the expansion right away.  Again confused why there is this difference of opinion or do I have it wrong? 

    Many thanks - learning a lot from this forum. 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,505
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    It’s really tough telling someone how much DHW they should buy, it is your call, base it on the size you have had in the past. If 50 or 60 was adequate, no need to buy more.

    determine fill pressure by the vertical distance above the boiler or expansion tank. .433 psi for every 1 foot above that point. Call it .5 or 1/2 psi and the math is simple and you have some positive pressure at the highest point.  3 stories at 9’ each = 27x .5. Call it 15 psi

    Running 20 psi diminishes the expansion tank capacity, really no advantage to that.

    The tank needs to be pre charged before connecting to that pressure

    Some installers put the tank pressure a few lbs lower, so when the system cools you don’t panic and see a pressure drop.  Called a safety seal in the solar business

    Assuming the tank is adequately sized.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Rich_49
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,981
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    You can look at the instructions for the expansion tank. It should be pressurized to the cold fill pressure of the system with no pressure on the water side of the tank, so if your cold fill pressure is 20 psi because you have a taller than normal system then you should set it at 20 psi before you install it.

    The amount of hot water you need will depend on your exact usage patterns, it isn't a simple calculation and people saying you need this or that with certainty are just taking a guess.
  • ek99
    ek99 Member Posts: 24
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    I just checked the first hour rating on the 60 vs 80 gallon.  It seems to suggest 260 gph for 60 gallon and 330 gph for 80 gallon..

    who uses 260 gallons of heated water in one hr? I don’t think I would ever come close to this I would have to fill my bath tub up 4 to 5 times in the hour! 



  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,505
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    That first hour rating assumes you can throw 10 gpm of 180f from the boiler during that period But still plenty of capacity gpm most families.

    I know families that live with 40 gallon electric tanks. Happily 
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Derheatmeister