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Longest lasting indirects

Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
I know that indirect longevity depends on alot of factors . Around here it seems most of them last 10 to 15 years tops ( closer to 10 for the majority )  . Took out this aquabooster . Just a glorified holding tank ( boiler makes the hot water with a coil ) . Not the first one I've seen last much longer than 20 years . Are there any brand indirects out there that can consistently get past the 20 year mark ?

FYI , the aquabooster wasn't even leaking . The customer wanted to be proactive since the tank was almost 30 years old .


  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 2,939

    Most fail because they are electric water heaters and the element leaks. Best indirect I've come across is Buderus S-120, installed well over 600 since 2005 it and not a single failure. Only 8 years but going on the failure rate of competitors,many would be leakers already
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  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I think it depends a lot on water chemistry

    Out here in hard water land, the Phase III tank-in-tank designs (Triangle Tube, also relabeled by several boiler manufacturers) hold up better than anything with a coil.  They don't like high chlorides, however.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 7,085
    oh my aching back, in my experience

    the stone lined tanks last the longest, regardless of the brand. Not the most powerful coils, as far as recovery speed. Maybe that too extends their life by not having rapid temperature changes?

    But the layer of stone in the tank seems to really work to keep them running 20 years or more.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    edited May 2013
    I would say the vaughn stone lined indirects

    last pretty long, but I notice around 15 years max {but have their problems... I hear the alliance hydrastones will be good for close to the 20 mark...

    Buderus are nice, but I have had some leak, smart tanks are nice but some leak, Water quality amount of use, ect make a big difference in how long they last... When you buy one, just keep in mind you will replace it in 10-15 years, better than 5-7 with a direct fired...

    Nothing are like the old ones, I have a customer with what must be the oldest ng fired water heater in the world, I forget the brand, remember the olf 3d front covers that covered half of the front, they were a goldish brown color, his still works perfectly...
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 1,996
    buderus st150

    Nice to see you post ron ,i like the buderus st150 i have a bunch out there and have only had 1 failure and it was the HO fault for not having the electric anode kit replaced when it stopped working aside from that one going i have not replaced any others .I believe the oldest installed is about 13 to 14 years which is not to bad as for cost effetiveness at least in my book.I stay away from those traingle tube tank in tank indirects mainly due to the hi chlorides alot of supply house in my area will not even warranty them and most of my plumbing buddies refuse to due the warranty jobs  they state it tough to get them covered andf reburesed.I have put in the smaller st120 and have had no promblems with them except i love that rear piping connections on the ST line.peace and good luck clammy
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 2,939

    That's why I like the S-120, the tapping locations! :) The S-120 is discontinued and is being replaced by S32, pretty much the same except not in blue, white only
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  • billtwocasebilltwocase Member Posts: 2,385

    for me it was Amtrol.  Mine, and many other I installed back in the mid 80's are still in service. That would make them nearing 30 years old. The newer tanks are not lasting, I am finding. We used to instal Carlin/Ford as aquabank and gun fired, Many of those are still going strong. The only S-120 I tried was a defect. Haven't tried one since, but have them out there. Oldest gun fired still going in my customer base, close to a 50 year old Gould rear flue. I had quite a few of them, and never had a leaker. I put in many Thermaflow/Vaughn and found them to be among the worst. Barely lasted the 7 year warranty period in almost all cases. The Top Performer is a little better, but not much
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 7,085
    operating temperature

    seems to make a big difference, also. Both from the expansion stress on the metal, welds, and glass lining , but also the mineral precipitation.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,774
    I have started....

    using the Weil-Mclain Aqua Plus indirects... All stainless (tank and coil) AND they have an anode on the side that can be easily replaced. If the owner keeps up on the maintenance that should last a very long time.
  • JasonJason Member Posts: 294
    Indirect s

    I have super-stor & Vaughn stone lined tanks in excess of 20 years. I have many Burnham Alliance tanks (Vaughn) with not one issue but only about 6 years to present. I switched to them due to local water quality in a certain area with lots of farms. I was losing stainless steel tanks in a few to 5 years.
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    This one

    was made to be just a storage tank I believe . The old Ford storage tanks seemed to last a long time too . 
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    Stone lined

    We've been installing them for 5 or 6 years and no leakers yet . Had to take one out because the lining was coming off and getting into the water . The recovery time is longer than tank in tank design and indirects with a larger diameter coil. But I think you're right about the idea of longer recovery might make the tank last longer too .
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    We're finding

    the indirects last just as long as the oil fired tanks around here . With that in mind , at least some indirects come with a lifetime warantee . And not needing an extra oil burner , oil line , and flue ...... make an indirect a better choice over an oil fired almost every time . 
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    Nice to see you posting too Clammy !

    We stay away from tank in tank design too . Same problems with cloride . Mine lasted less than 5 years . My neighbor is on his 4th in 12 years give or take . I went with a Superstor Ultra 20 gallon . So far I haven't ran out of hot water .....

    I'll never understand why some manufacturers paint their heating products white ! The darker the better ! Although I do like the S-120 .

    We've been installing domestic expansion tanks right at the heater for some time now . I'll guess that helps alot with stress on the heater also .
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    I remember

    the first Techtanium we installed was a defect . Water was pooing on top of the heater . No tappings anywhere near it . We've installed a dozens of them since without a problem again . We've also installed a few of the new Weil Mclain indirects . Warantee replacements . Not exactly a swap out anymore since nothing at all lines up on the new design ! 
  • Tim PotterTim Potter Member Posts: 212
    Reverse Indirects ???

    How would a Reverse Indirect perform in the tough situations mentioned above?

    WATER CHEMISTRY, Hard Water and/or High Chlorides

    HIGH WATER TEMP, Expansion Stress

    As a homeowner with a 10 year old Amtrol 80 gal Blue Bullet, I'm just thinking ahead to have something picked out.

    Winter Park, CO & Lenexa, KS
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 7,085
    wonder what the fracking

    chemicals will do to HW tanks when it starts showing up in our aquifers :0

    Oh they already are? Just because cattle won't drink it doesn't mean it's bad for human consumption, and bathing.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    edited May 2013
    Hot rod

    You are thinking way too far ahead here... That is like saying second hand smoke is bad for infants.... The ill effects aren't going to be seen for 5 or 6 years at least, meanwhile the smoke tastes so good rite now, easily worth it... {that's a joke, I don't smoke or have an infant}
  • TonySTonyS Member Posts: 849
    You got to start acting like a Keynesian Hot Rod

    If you break something, then you stimulate the economy by hiring people to fix it.

    Start thinking Water Conditioning systems and Graphene base RO systems.
  • Ron Jr.Ron Jr. Member Posts: 527
    Probably alot better

    than regular indirects . Just about every boiler we replace has a coil for hot water . Every once in a while the homeowner had issues with the coil . But the majority work well for decades . The reverse indirect works like a coil boiler , but with a much larger coil . Never installed one but we've been on jobs with an existing reverse indirect . The homeowners love them . 
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 2,939
    The common thread

    is that almost everyone has had issues with one brand or another at one time. Seems like a simple concept,a coil in a tank or a tank in a tank,yet so many problems!
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  • SpeyFitterSpeyFitter Member Posts: 420
    edited May 2013
    Viessmann? Bradford White?

    How about Viessmanns stainless indirect made of 316ti stainless? Or the Bradford White stainless steel indirects made of 444 stainless generally regarded as more immune to chloride attack compared to more common 300 series stainless steels? Did you guys ever see the picture of a viessmann indirect pressure tested to 555 psi? Or the fact that the Viessmann indirect is the only single wall coil tank that has been given equivilency to double wall with leak detection tanks?
    Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber
  • sunlight33sunlight33 Member Posts: 120
    best indirect?

    Not to jack the thread but which indirect has the lowest standby loss?
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