New water heater for shop ?'s

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by TravisG, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. TravisG

    TravisG New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Brighton, Co
    Howdy fellas. Got a couple of noob questions. I have just finished the rough framing on a 50'x50' shop. I am looking for any recommendations on a high efficency water heater. I don't really need a lot of capacity really. I just have a toilet, a hand sink and a shower(that will rarely be used I imagine) I am running lp gas to the shop if that helps. I am also at about 5500' of elevation. Thanks in advance.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,302
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You either have to maintain above freezing temperature during the winter or completely drain all of the plumbing in the winter. I have a natural gas overhead furnace in my shop/garage and set the thermostat at 55 year round. Even in the dead of winter, it only takes a few minutes to raise the temperature to comfort level. If you want to be able to shower, you will need a tank in the 30 gallon size area, but I doubt that even a 50 gallon tank would cost much more than a smaller one.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,809
    Location:
    New England
    Bradford White seems to have a good reputation here. In the same capacity, they have multiple models, so some careful study of their website may help you choose the features/efficiency you desire. At least a few qualify for energy star rating, but not all.
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Get a $199 electric 30 gallon from True value and wrap it like christmas in r-30 or all your old winter jackets. Most for the least.
  5. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,785
    Location:
    01609
    What ballvalve said. With the huge standby loss of LP-fired tanks the as-used efficiency factor in this low-volume use situation will be quite low- less than 50% efficiency even with a power-vented version. The cost of a condensing tankless up to the job of supporting a mid-winter shower would be astronomical compared to the actual savings standby loss.

    At current LP & electricity pricing in CO, an electric tank is the way to go. It's standby loss is already quite small compared to an LP burner, and can be made much lower with additional insulation.

    Don't stop at just insulating the tank itself- roughly half of the standby on an electric tank is heat conducted out via the near-tank plumbing, so 5/8" wall closed cell pipe insulation on everything within 10' of the tank (including the cold feed and the t & p valve outflow) is called for. In new construction you might as well put in on ALL of the hot water distribution plumbing. (It's now required by code in some areas.) True Value sometimes carries 5/8" or 3/4" wall thickness pipe insulation for half-inch pipe, but otherwise it's available online, Graingers, or plumbing supply distributors. Home center box stores only carry 3/8" wall goods.
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    And a switch to turn it off if its an occasional use would make it a real energy saver.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,302
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Please remember that insulation will not prevent freezing in the winter if there is no heat in the shop. Insulation only slows heat transfer, it does not provide heat. Unless you can keep the temperature in the shop above freezing, pipes and the heater will freeze if not drained.
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