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Which HW heater for very aggressive water?

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seized123
seized123 Member Posts: 297
edited September 2023 in Domestic Hot Water
Our well water is so aggressive it bites the mailman. Below are some significant numbers from a lab test we did 2-1/2 years ago (high chloride, ridiculous hardness I believe, ph 6.87, we have a neutralizer for pH but no water softener). We have been going through Triangle Tube Smart 40 indirect hw heaters (off of oil burner) which I believe are stainless steel, every couple years or so, and before that Weil-McLains, on the latest TT the small well where the sensor tube goes down is now overflowing - I shut it down. That has happened before and my then-plumber battled it apparently to no avail. 

Obviously I’d like to find something that will last more than a couple of years. I gather the first choice is between stainless, glass, and stone lined, what would you recommend? Then there’s brand. I notice that Vaughn says “Both our HydraStone lined and Thermoplastic tanks can handle even the most aggressive water conditions,” quite a claim.

Numbers are mg/L which is the same as ppm:

Chloride                                850
Total Dissolved Solids         1500
pH                                        6.87
Total hardness (as CaCO3)  940




Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    It's the chloride that's the killer. That water is barely drinkable -- for some people it wouldn't be. Why is the chloride so high? Highways? Seaside?

    If you can't change the source, you're going to have to go glass lined -- and even then expect a short and miserable life.

    pH is OK -- maybe a little low.Hardness, as you say, if high --I would be suggesting softening, but since your chloride is already off scale you'll need a softener which does not use salt regeneration.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,335
    edited September 2023
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    Hi @seized123 , Is there any way to make a Marathon (by Rheem) work for your situation? It's a polybutylene lined, fiberglass tank. They make both electric and storage tanks. They come with a lifetime warranty.

    @Jamie Hall is right about the salt. Here's an article on it: https://waterfiltercast.com/how-to-remove-salt-from-water/ Looks like there aren't lots of realistic choices for removing salt, but you do have a few.

    Yours, Larry
    ethicalpaul
  • seized123
    seized123 Member Posts: 297
    edited September 2023
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    Thanks @Jamie Hall, why glass and not stone? And we’re nowhere near a highway or the ocean. 

    @Larry Weingarten, thanks I was hoping you’d weigh in. Oh, and I have your Hot Water Heater Workbook. So I guess add polybutylene to the mix, so I expand the possibilities:

    Glass, stone, or polybutylene?

    I will definitely look more closely at the Rheem Marathons. They appear to be electric only, but Vaughn’s Featherweight indirect (I just randomly looked at their site) is polybutylene, so with that I could keep indirect. But since you bring up electric I add as a side question:

    Electric vs indirect? 

    But my main question is glass, stone or polybutylene for high chlorides? (Brand/model would be a bonus.)
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    The Rheem Marathon. It's OK that it's electric. Even resistive electric domestic hot water is only like $600-$800 per year.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,335
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    Hi @seized123 , I think Marathon tanks are made as strictly storage, and storage with a backup element: https://www.rheem-mea.com/products/water-heating/thermal-storage/marathon-thermal-storage-tank/ And you can also get an electric and just not use the elements. o:)

    Yours, Larry

    ps. Thanks for reading my book!
    MikeAmann
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,259
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    I'd spend money on fixing your water first. It's not good for you or your plumbing system at those numbers.

    Plenty of equipment available.

    We turn sea water and sewage water into drinking quality water. Certainly we can make your water better :)

    Look at the tank manufacturers water quality requirements. Do the stone lined tanks like that ph?

    I think there are some composite indirects now also? Maybe check Flexcon offerings. An Argosy with external HX maybe?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Larry WeingartenIntplm.
  • seized123
    seized123 Member Posts: 297
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    Interesting stuff I will look into. Flexcon, polybutylene…
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,886
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    The Rheem Marathon. It's OK that it's electric. Even resistive electric domestic hot water is only like $600-$800 per year.
    I thought Pricing wasn’t allowed!
    mattmia2
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,343
    edited September 2023
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    pecmsg said:

    I thought Pricing wasn’t allowed!

    Pecmsg, think about that. Paul is repeating information THAT IS ON EVERY WATER HEATER SOLD IN THE USA. The BIG YELLOW STICKER.
    @Erin Holohan Haskell has asked us to not discuss pricing of specific jobs. It is my understanding this is because of the local nature of labor costs, local costs of doing business, and no two jobs are the same. Pecmsg, you yourself said in another thread that buying a boiler is not like buying a new car. The boiler comes in several boxes and must be assembled and connected on-site, hopefully not in a Willy-Nilly manner. The MSRP of a new car is published, car dealers don't add additional value (You want undercoating with that?).
    I believe repeating widely published commodity prices is allowed on HH. Examples would be market prices of fuel oil, natural gas, or today's share price of Carrier corporation.
    Oil $3.34 / gal
    NG $2.65 / mmbtu
    Carrier $52.87 / share
    https://finviz.com/futures.ashx
    https://www.google.com/search?q=carr+nyse
    We have also discussed what we locally pay for electricity. 9.3 cents per kWh for me.
    WWW.SUPPLYHOUSE.COM advertises here on HeatingHelp (possibly through google and not a direct sponsership). I don't think Erin is about to give up that advertising revenue even though SupplyHouse lists prices for everything they sell on their site.
    I DIY.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    On pricing, @WMno57 . I think the rule needs some common sense, no? The reason we don't talk pricing on jobs, and rarely on major equipment, is that the price varies so widely with location and, on jobs, with factors which we can have no knowledge of. Further, if the pricing is by a bid -- even by just one bid, with no competition, to post such information is to inform other potential bidders -- who may either then collude with you to distribute jobs, or to underbid you. Behcavious which are, even if not illegal, certainly unethical.

    However, things like price of a product which is openly advertised have never been a problem -- although even there there are traps for the unwary, particularly for consumers who may not be well-versed in the trade. Even for non-regulated things like fuel oil. This can lead to anguished wails either from the consumer or their law firm that they saw X advertised on some web stie, such as this one, for Y, and I was quoted Z, therefore I'll sue the web site for false advertising. Even for professionals -- or well versed consumers -- pricing can be misleading; I can't think how many threads I've read where energy pricing is seriously, if usually unintentionally, misleading (if you are going to publish how much you pay for energy, do everyone a favour and specify where you are -- at least geographic region).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,326
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    WMno57 said:


    @Erin Holohan Haskell has asked us to not discuss pricing of specific jobs. It is my understanding this is because of the local nature of labor costs, local costs of doing business, and no two jobs are the same.

    Yes to this. Thanks.

    President
    HeatingHelp.com

  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
    edited September 2023
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    pecmsg said:



    I thought Pricing wasn’t allowed!

    I assume Pecmsg is making a joke here. The cost of electricity to run a water heater for a year is obviously not the pricing that is forbidden on this site.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,006
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    @seized123

    I must repeat what @hot_rod says above.

    Your water quality is your biggest problem. Any type of water heater you install is going to have a problem because of those water numbers. Not to mention the rest of the plumbing system and the health of those who use the water.
    I would invest in a good water treatment company and use the equipment that they recommend.
    mattmia2
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    Let me go back to those quality numbers a bit. The problem child is the chloride level. Yes, it is possible to "ttreat" for chloride -- as @hot_rod said, we can turn sea water into drinking water. What he didn't mention is that it is energy intensive to do so, by any of the usual methods, and results in a very high chloride level brine waste stream which is hard to dispose of.

    The first thing I'd do is to try and find out why the chloride levels are so high. The stuff doesn't just magically appear.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Intplm.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
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    If you look at composite indirects, look for ones where the HX can be removed and replaced since even if the tank is plastic the water will still attack the HX.

    It might make more sense to use a brazed plate HX and a circulator to heat a storage tank and treat the HX and circulator as disposable every couple years. At that cost a plastic electric tank and changing elements every couple years could be the lease expensive option.

    With either of the plastic options, figure out what you need to do to keep them from seizing up, what you need to be able to get the elements loose or the HX out.

    If you try the glass lined tank I would switch the anode to a powered anode.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,259
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    It must taste like sea water with that level?
    This  site does a good job of explaining chlorides, where they can come from and acceptable levels for potable use

    https://www.knowyourh2o.com/indoor-6/chloride
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream