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Old 09-13-2007, 11:59 AM   #21
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Yea, I knew it was a not that good, but it is the only thing available. When it is full it reads 90%, and goes down slowly. I always assumed it was a preasure gauge. Anyway, thay put in 100 gal. which brought it back to 80%. As it is a 500 Gal tank, it seems close. I have checked the web to see how these things work, but, have not come up with an answer yet.

Found it. Seems it is a float guage. Live and Learn
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:47 PM   #22
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I'm glad you figured out it wasn't a pressure gauge. When I read ERD50's response I thought, I hear what you are saying, but it doesn't make sense with the way my propane tank worked. Maybe that is how it works on the very small tanks, but I had a 500 gallon tank, and it seemed to very accurately track my usage. I used to watch it ever week or so during the winter to see, and it gradually went down like I would have expected. It did not stay high until the last moment and then sink.

A float gauge makes a lot more sense with what I saw.

Laters,
-d.
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:29 PM   #23
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DW must have been a early adopter. Ours is about 20 years old. We actually purchased the replacement a couple years back, saw one at a Big Box store on sale for a few hundred dollars, essentially the same unit updated, figuring the plumbing would like match up nice. The old one so far refuses to die, it's a we really should get around to it project but likely we'll procrastinate a bit longer or that final failure will make us do it. Thought I'd chime in just to show the longevity is real and true. Unlimited hot water when you want it, and little or no cost when you don't. A good thing.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:10 PM   #24
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We have electric WH the builder put in. Its 80 gal and its gottta go. Any gas WH will be pricey due to add'l plumbing for the vent.

I have an idea to use a tankless unit with a very small (10-20gal) storage tank installed downstream to avoid the low flow problem? The tankless unit could very efficiently heat large volumes while the storage tank only maintains the temp for small draws and until the tankless kicks in. tis scheme might also require a tempering valve.
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Old 09-15-2007, 08:33 PM   #25
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Ours was $1700, installed in 2005. It will have paid for itself soon, since by reducing propane usage, we can buy propane only in the summer, when it's cheaper (currently $2.42/gal).

Main disadvantage: Hot water doesn't diffuse into the pipes, as it does with tank. So it takes longer for the hot to get to the faucet -- up to two minutes.
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:06 AM   #26
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Ours was $1700, installed in 2005. It will have paid for itself soon, since by reducing propane usage, we can buy propane only in the summer, when it's cheaper (currently $2.42/gal).

Main disadvantage: Hot water doesn't diffuse into the pipes, as it does with tank. So it takes longer for the hot to get to the faucet -- up to two minutes.
I saw an interesting show on PBS about this... you know "This Old House".... they had put one in a green house... BUT, they added a recirculating pump... the guy asked 'wouldn't that defeat the purpose' and got a response that they use a motion detector in the bathroom to turn it on.... so, it takes away that time lag.... I don't think I will add that to mine, but it is an idea if you have a long run... mine only takes 30 or so seconds to get to the shower and maybe 15 more to get all the way to the kitchen...
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:18 PM   #27
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[quote=TromboneAl;556498]when it's cheaper (currently $2.42/gal).

quote]
And I thought the $1.95 was high! At least they gave us another $.15 discount for filling in August. So it was only $1.80.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:47 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jazz4cash View Post
We have electric WH the builder put in. Its 80 gal and its gottta go. Any gas WH will be pricey due to add'l plumbing for the vent.

I have an idea to use a tankless unit with a very small (10-20gal) storage tank installed downstream to avoid the low flow problem?
They do make small electric tankless WH. Various sizes.

Google "+tankless +electric"
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Something to consider
Old 09-18-2007, 03:25 PM   #29
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Something to consider

We put in a ground source heat pump in Jan. 06. We had to go with 4 150' deep wells (no acreage for the shallow buried pipe) That was more than half the cost.
Cost was about $15k with subsidized financing @2.9%
Probably added $20k to the home value.
Heat/cool the house for less than $2/day (subtracting previous electric usage.)
Energy tax credit was $300, as I remember.
Hot water is FREE all winter. There is a desuperheater on the heat pump that circulates 130 degree water back through the water heater whenever it runs.

With the cost of fuel oil now over $2/gal, I figure payback in under 5 years.

Biggest problem - regrading and reseeding the back yard. Crabgrass! ugh!
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:55 PM   #30
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We put in a ground source heat pump in Jan. 06.

Cost was about $15k with subsidized financing @2.9%
Probably added $20k to the home value.

Hot water is FREE all winter. There is a desuperheater on the heat pump that circulates 130 degree water back through the water heater whenever it runs.

With the cost of fuel oil now over $2/gal, I figure payback in under 5 years.
ww8 - how are figuring payback? I don't know your estimated annual heating bill before/after, but five years seems quick.

$15K (minus maybe $5K for 'conventional system'?) means a $2K savings per year.

I don't think your hot water is 'free', but may be a byproduct of the heat that you are paying to produce. I don't see how it can be free.

-ERD50
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:18 PM   #31
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We put in a Siebel Tempra electric tankless. (don't have LP or Nat gas) It replaced a 40 gal electric. It gets cold here in the winter and the 40 gal electric was only good for one or 2 showers and the water was cold. The Tempra works great. You can have a shower going and one other faucet going with no loss of hot water. I put it in myself. It required 2 - 50amp double pole breakers and # 6 wire going to the unit. It took me and my son about two hours to do the installation. Both of us have experience with electrical wiring. It mounted on the wall so we also gained a lot of storage space were the old 40 gal heater was setting.
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:37 PM   #32
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I don't think your hot water is 'free', but may be a byproduct of the heat that you are paying to produce. I don't see how it can be free.

-ERD50
I have a condo in a development in Honolulu that did this to supply hot water to the units. Because of the exchange it provides "free" air conditioning to our garbage rooms.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:13 PM   #33
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ERD50

I had the spreadsheet until my hard drive crashed about 6 months ago.

As I remember, it included calculations for base load (without heat/ac), additional electric heat pump load, previous fuel oil costs and projected costs (the first time I got a fuel oil bill @ $2.40/gal, I was shocked!), heat pump installed cost vs. cost of fuel oil furnace replacement and A/C replacement (they were 27 years old and due to need it soon),and then current vs projected maintenance costs.

The actual usage cost came out somewhat better than my original estimates, but who knows, with enough global warming, I might not need a furnace.
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