West Trail Mechanical Ltd
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I know for some hot water tanks it says something on some of them about being approved for heating applications, but if you asked me to install one for you for a hydronic application I would RUN, FAR and FAST. Use the right tool for the right job and you'll go far, and a hot water tank is NOT the right tool for the job in my opinion.
You are better off installing a seperate electric boiler with one circulator, and zone valves if you are inclined to have more than one zone. For example Thermolec now makes one wth an outdoor reset that is fairly inexpensive, and they can make you one with a stainless tank/internals too (which they don't list on their website). Something like this, with a small circulator, air seperator, and you build your own manifold, that is set up right, will last you a long time, and most electric boilers have pretty decent warranties on the elements, heat exchanger, etc. The beauty part is they (Thermolec) makes an electric boiler that is as small as 5 kilowatts (around 17,000 BTU's), Argo makes one that is 6 Kilowatts too, and these are perfect for small applications, and if that's not small enough for you, Electro Industries makes a "mini-boiler" that comes in 120 Volt models from 1 to 5 KW, and they have a 240 Volt 4.5 KW model. This is a MUCH better option than using a hot water tank in my opinion.
To add - if you don't already know, an outdoor reset is a sensor that goes outside that tells the boiler the outside air temperature, which causes the boiler to throttle the water temperature it sends to the floors based on the temperature outside. The just of it is the colder it is outside, the warmer the water it sends to the floors, and vice versa. This control feature alone found on the Thermolecs anyways, can account for some savings, as well as increased comfort.
Last edited by Scott K; 05-10-2009 at 04:21 PM.
I WORKED ON SOME OF THESE SYSTEMS USING 40 GAL, A. O. SMITH WTR/HTR'S ON 2 BEDROOM APTS AND CONDO'S IN THE SO. CALIF, AREA IN THE EARLY 90'S IT DID NOT WORK TOO WELL IN THE 3 BDRM'S UNITS !
PEOPLE COMPLAINED THAT WHEN THEY STEPPED OF COLD SHOWER WATER
THE HOT AIR CIRCULATING SYSTEM FEEDING OFF THE SAME WTR/HTR
WAS BLOWING COLD AIR
CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
SINCE JAN. 1989
Good marketing, certainly not a bad product, but they are still ironing out some kinks. We've had some annoying issues with a few of them, and I've seen some horror stories on the net about them.