External Hot Water Tank

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jkon, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. jkon

    jkon New Member

    I have a Weil-McLain oil fired boiler that is 14 years old. Was never in love with the manner in which it produced our home hot water, with that internal coil method. Never seemed to be enough HOT water. Was thinking of having some sort of hot water tank installed but am not sure what system is best. It is just my wife and myself in the home now. The fella that services and cleans my burner says he can install an external 40 to 50 gallon stainless tank on its own zone for around $1300 dollars. Would this be the best type of system at a fair price or are there better alternatives? What about indirect hot water heaters or a booster tank? Thank you.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2005
  2. depending on the costs.

    I dont know what it costs to run an oil boiler
    year round and dont know how trouble free they are either...

    I am pretty sure you could just install a 50 gallon electric
    water heater for about 600 plus the cost of a 220 volt electrical run
    It will cost about 470 per year to heat the water..

    they are pretty much trouble free with SS elements in them
    for about 10 years

    so do the math and decide
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2005
  3. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy New Member

    I had the same system (even worth - with little external heat exchanger).
    Hot water was a BIG problem. About 8 years ago I replaced the entire system.
    Now I have Burnham cold start (no need to keep it warm when there is no
    demand for heat) oil fired boiler with 82.2% efficiency, 1.02 GPH
    fuel consumption and indirect SuperStore 40 gallons water heater (this heater
    came with life time warranty and should last forever) on its own heating zone.
    I am very happy with this system – so far never ran out of hot water even
    wile taking two showers simultaneously at winter time.
    At summer time boiler turns on no more then twice a day (usually only once).
    This translates into fuel consumption about 2/3 gallon per day or about
    250 gallons per year. Coast of course depend on fuel price (who knows
    what it will be this year). Until recently I did not know, I had a very high
    (90+psi) city water pressure. So, I installed PRV to reduce house water
    pressure down to 50psi. This way I’ll have far less water wasting (hot and
    cold) and less money should fly out the chimney.
    Another words,
    I have very good experience with indirect water heating system.

    - Vitaliy
  4. what does it cost per gallon??

    it really depends on what it cost per gallon
    during the summer time to heat that hot water..

    winter time is NA ---but from april through septermber
    about 6 months of the year

    someone else do the math.
  5. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy New Member

    Here is some math

    Hi Mark,

    Why Winter time is NA (Not Applicable?)
    There is nothing to do with season, it does not matter.

    Ok, here is some math.
    BTU is amount of heat energy required to raise one pound
    of water one degree Fahrenheit.
    Gallon of water is 8.33 pounds;
    10min shower required about 20 gallons of water
    (assuming shower head rate is 2Gallons per Minute)
    or 20x8.33= 166.6pounds.
    Assuming inlet water temperature is about 40F and
    temperature, comfortable for taking shower is about 100F.
    So, one 10minutes comfortable shower required
    166.6(100-40)=166.3x60=9996BTU (~10,000BTU)
    regardless of energy source (Gas/Oil/Electric/Solar/etc.)
    and regardless of season (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall).
    Assuming heat conversion efficiency is 80%, energy source
    must supply 10000/0.8=12,500BTU
    One gallon of heating oil could produce about 140,000BTU
    The above shower will need about 12,500/140,00=0.089
    gallons of heating oil. And finally if price per gallon is $3.00
    then cost of one 10 minutes shower is 3x0.089=$0.269
    So, just a shower for 4 people per day is a bit more then $1.00
    or about $400 a year.

    Electricity versus oil:
    Or 1KWH= 3600000/1055=3412BTU
    or Energy from burning of 1 Gallon of Heating Oil is equal
    to 140,000/3412=41Kilowatt*Hour of Electric Energy.
    If price for 1KWH is about $0.15 then the same energy
    from electricity is about twice expensive then from burning
    oil 41x0.15=$6.15
    Well, I am not surprised: Most of the Electricity is coming from
    burning oil/coal plus overhead.

    - Vitaliy
  6. fuzzy math??

    It looks like you did some homework here,

    wether its fuzzy math or not is beyond anything
    I want to figure out tonight...

    but it looks pretty legitimate, and thats all that counts.
    throw a bunch of numbers at me and I am convinced..

    the reason hot water is not factored in in the winter
    is because the boiler is being used already and its probably
    minimal to heat the water at the same time...so its basically
    hot water for free rideing piggy back on the heating needs.

    I was just looking at the time during the
    non heating months
    when the only reason the boiler
    is comming on was to heat the hot water
    figured about 6 months... it probably balances itself out.

    someone out there has the answer to this question
    and they most likely work for a boiler distributor or company

    they could probably throw a few graphs and bar charts at me
    and really get my head to spinning.

    if the hot water from the boiler is pretty much low maintaince and
    trouble free, and gives you good hot water when you
    want it, then it appears to be a cheaper way to go.

    as long as oil stays low its the way to go
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2005
  7. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy New Member

    Hi Mark,

    From your post:
    “the reason hot water is not factored in in the winter
    is because the boiler is being used already and its probably
    minimal to heat the water at the same time...â€

    This is absolutely wrong assumption!
    It takes the same amount of energy to heat the same amount of
    water (well at winter time it will take even more energy because
    of supply water is colder) to the same temperature regardless of
    other energy consumers (house heating system in this case).
    However if boiler is not a “cold start boiler†and required to be
    hot all the time (I had that monster before) then yes, at summer
    time it will waste a lot of energy to keep himself warm and at
    winter time relative energy waste will be less because of high
    demand for house heat.

    - Vitaliy
  8. jkon

    jkon New Member

    Indirect Storage Tank

    Maybe I didn't explain myself well because you are getting away form the point. I'm really just wanting to know the different systems i may use in heating my domestic hot water and the way in which those options work. i.e.....indirect heating storage tank, booster tank, etc. It's looking like I may go the indirect storage tank heating method. Any recommendations on what brand tank to use and ballpark figure of parts and installation? Thanks again.
  9. Thread drift

    we just got off the track and started debateing
    about the cost and economy of a few different approaches.

    I dont know wether Vitality is right or wrong, we are really
    cutting hairs here and neither of us are experts....

    its best to find an oil boiler man and ask that guy to get the facts.

    do whatever you feel is the best for you...

    personally I feel the most simple way to do something is the best.
    the less complicated the better ,

    and I personally despise all boilers, and refuse to work on them..

    some guys just love them, they give great heat ect... except you
    usualy have to add teh AC system separate...ect..ect..

    but for me they only seem to break down

    on me on X-mas day...or on Sundays, so I have had my fill of them.

    I just would rather install something that anyone can work on
    and repair quickly instead of being dependent on your boiler man,

    even if the electrical water heater cost more in the long run
    its ok with me.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2005
  10. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy New Member

    Here are my unprofessional comments:

    You already have a boiler. Check what kind of boiler it is.

    If it is “cold start boiler†(i.e. does not have to be worm if there is no
    demand for heat) then indirect water heater will add less installation
    complexity then all other options and it is virtually maintenance and
    trouble free (if it is installed correctly).
    I am 100% with Mark – simplest system is the best.

    Don’t even think about indirect water heater if you boiler must be kept
    worm all the time – system still will work fine but a lot of your money
    will be flying out through the chimney and contribute to global warming.

    The final decision is yours but my approach for all my projects is to
    minimize maintenance/service/troubles in the future instead of minimizing
    initial installation cost (which also must be very reasonably priced).

    - Vitaliy.
  11. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber


    Enough of the talk.
    Just put in a 40 or 50 gal gas w/h and be done with it..........
  12. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy New Member

    Hi Plumber1,

    Why you are so aggressive?

    JKON has OIL fired heater!
    He may not have GAS supply at all and your very
    aggressive advice in this case is absolutely useless.

    - Vitaliy
  13. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber


    Sorry Vitaliy.

    All I meant was that it seemed there was too much technical talk just to chainge a w/h. Wheather it be oil, gas or electric.
    He said he had an oil fired boiler. but there could be gas in the house...
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