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AGE of WATER HEATERS
ALTERNATIVE HOT WATER SOURCES
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
ANTI SCALD VALVES
APPLIANCE DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
AQUASTAT CONTROL Functions
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BACKFLOW PREVENTER, HEATER WATER FEEDER
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHECK VALVES, WATER SUPPLY
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPING
CROSS CONNECTIONS, PLUMBING
DEBRIS in WATER SUPPLY, Water Heater
DRAIN a WATER HEATER TANK
ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GAS BURNER Flame & Noise Defects
GAS FIRED WATER HEATERS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
HEATING COST SAVINGS METHODS
HOT WATER SUPPLY
HOT WATER IMPROVEMENTS
HOT WATER DELIVERY SPEED UP
HOT WATER EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT
HOT WATER PRESSURE EXPANSION RATE
HOT WATER PRESSURE LOSS
HOT WATER PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS
HOT WATER QUANTITY IMPROVEMENT
HYDROGEN SULFIDE GAS
INDIRECT FIRED WATER HEATERS
MANUALS & PARTS GUIDES - HVAC
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
NO HEAT - NO HOT WATER: HEATER DIAGNOSIS
NOISE, WATER HEATER
ODORS IN WATER
PIPING IN buildings, Clogs Leaks Types
RELIEF VALVE LEAKS
RELIEF VALVES - Water Heaters
SCALE REMOVAL, WATER HEATERS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SOLAR HOT WATER HEATERS
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMOSTATS, WATER HEATER
TIMERS for ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS
WATER HEATER ALTERNATIVES
WATER HEATER ANODES, DIP TUBES
WATER HEATER AIR INLET
WATER HEATER DEBRIS FLUSH
WATER HEATER DRAIN PROCEDURE
WATER HEATER EFFICIENCY
WATER HEATER FLUSH PROCEDURE
WATER HEATER NOISES
WATER HEATER PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS
WATER HEATER PROPERTIES
WATER HEATER SCALE
WATER HEATER SAFETY
WATER HEATERS for HOME HEATING USE?
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PIPES, Clogs Leaks Types
WATER PRESSURE TOO HIGH: DANGERS
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER QUANTITY IMPROVEMENT
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes alternative methods of providing domestic hot water, comparing the characteristics of various hot water heating methods and describing different ways to heat water for washing and bathing. Whether you make your building hot water using a water heater, geyser, or hot water cylinder, there are alternative methods that can dramatically change the hot water quantity, pressure, flow rate, and operating cost.
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Thanks to Carson Dunlop, a Toronto Home Inspection Firm and Home Inspection Educator, for permission to use sketches shown in this article.
There are easy steps one can take to determine why the hot water pressure or quantity in a building are inadequate. We discussed tankless coils for making hot water, anti scald valves, and the problem of clogged hot water piping or clogged tankless coils. Then we discussed steps to increase hot water quantity such as insulating water piping and water tanks, and the use of extra tanks to pre-warm or store hot water.
Before you start fixing or buying stuff to fix a hot water problem hot water problems and diagnostic guides for all kinds of hot water troubles are summarized at WATER HEATER PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS. You might want to check there to be sure you're fixing the right problem.
Below we describe some alternative ways to make hot water, either to replace or to supplement an existing hot water supply system. After knowing what the hot water problem really is, there are steps we can take to get more hot water or to increase hot water pressure.
Ways to improve total hot water quantity, pressure, temperature and flow are discussed beginning at HOT WATER IMPROVEMENTS and continuing at HOT WATER QUANTITY IMPROVEMENT. Here we provide links to articles describing alternative methods for obtaining hot water or for obtaining improved quantity of hot water at buildings.
The following articles discuss alternative ways to produce domestic hot water for washing and bathing.
The characteristics of various water heaters such as life expectancy, cost, safety, and capacity are discussed at
Scale, mineral deposits, lime reduce hot water quantity: because scale, mineral deposits, lime, and silt in any water heater, and certainly scale on electric water heating elements can reduce the amount of hot water available as well as slowing water heater recovery time, see WATER HEATER NOISES where we describe deliming and scaling in water heaters.
Multiple Hot Water Sources? How to Use Separate Oil, Gas, or Electric, Solar, Wind, or Combination-fuel Water Heaters for More Hot Water
Separate water heaters can provide more hot water than a tankless coil in most cases and choices among water heater types by fuel, size, recovery rate, etc. can make a big difference in the hot water quantity, pressure, flow, and cost at a building. This article explains some alternative water heating methods.
Installing an instantaneous water heaters are usually installed as a 'point-of-use' hot water system. You can see the basic appearance of a point-of-use instantaneous water heater in the sketch at left, provided courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
For example an instantaneous water heater, electric or gas fired, may be installed at a single kitchen or bathroom.
In the U.S. and Canada, this is an approach to providing hot water that is usually applied where the total hot water delivery rate needed is modest or where only a limited number of fixtures need to be supplied with hot water.
Higher-capacity instantaneous water heaters are available, and in countries where people use water more modestly, these systems are sometimes installed as the only hot water supply.
Where hot water volume requirements are high, in addition to installing a single larger-capacity water heater, one can install a several water heaters connected in parallel. You can see this design in our sketch at left, provided courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
Parallel water heaters means that all of them are "on" and heating water at the same time, providing a very large quantity of hot water to the building.
We see this installation most often when building occupants find that they do not have enough hot water but their present water heater is in good condition.
Rather than scrapping a perfectly good water heater to install a single larger unit, a second water heater is simply added, installed in parallel to the first one.
Some buildings use water heaters installed in series to handle variations in hot water demand more economically. Unlike the illustration of parallel water heaters shown above, water heaters connected in series means that incoming cold water flows first into heater #1, then out of heater #1 into heater #2, then out of heater #2 into the building hot water supply piping (or into additional water heaters if more than two are used.)
A synonym for water heaters connected in series is a cascaded water heater design. Cascaded or in-series water heaters is an economical way to handle large variations in hot water demand in a building.
See Extra Tanks to Increase Hot Water for more discussion of extra tanks to provide more hot water.
As the sketch at left shows (courtesy of Carson Dunlop), a side arm coil is a variation on the tankless coil (inside the boiler) discussed at TANKLESS COILS where we explain how these work and what goes wrong, and further at Tankless Coil for Hot Water where we describe how to get more hot water from a tankless coil.
A side arm coil is quite similar to an in-boiler tankless coil except that it is located outside of the the heating boiler itself.
We found this system common on older home heating systems such as those using a GE down-fire heating boiler or other boilers whose original design did not include an opening and fittings to mount the tankless coil right into the boiler itself.
Also see WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS - how to install and adjust a water softener to avoid hot water piping or tankless coil clogging due to hard water and minerals - since a side arm coil can also become clogged by the minerals in hard water.
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