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doug30293 05-25-14 03:20 PM

Instant hot water, wrong side of house
I am nearing completion (construction, not fitting out) of a mechanical room. This will enable me to move the HVAC, HW, and well water storage out of the living space.

Here's the problem. The kitchen and both bathrooms are about 35 feet of plumbing away from the planned spot for the HW tank.

I want the HW at the taps quickly. A circulation loop would be fine in the winter as the piping heat loss would be within the conditioned envelope. In the summer this would be unacceptable wasted energy.

There is room for a small HW tank in the downstairs bathroom. What are your thoughts on putting a 10-20 gallon HW tank in series with the main tank? It would provide quick HW and act as a buffer for the 30 feet of line from the mechanical room.

Next thought - tankless instead of a small tank at the bathroom, again fed by the main tank. I've never used a tankless and wonder how they react to sudden inlet temperature changes, such as would happen when the feeder line finally fills up with hot water.

Suggestions are welcome.


Mikesolar 05-25-14 06:58 PM

Why not put the recirc pump on an occupancy sensor. When in the bathroom or kitchen the pump runs, otherwise, it won't.

doug30293 05-25-14 07:31 PM

That makes sense. The whole idea of a mechanical room was to get mechanicals out of the living space. And I'm not too thrilled about another troublesome water heater.

NiHaoMike 05-25-14 11:56 PM

You should have put the mechanical room as close to the kitchen/bathroom as you can. Other than that, it seems like just keeping the water heater in either the kitchen or bathroom would be your best bet.

doug30293 05-26-14 05:51 AM

I'm working with a poorly arranged existing structure. The mechanical room started out as a way to utilize wasted space. I considered putting the water heater in the bathroom but it would be harder to service in a closet. Perhaps that also deserves a second look.

Servicetech 05-26-14 09:28 PM

Is water heater electric or gas?

doug30293 05-27-14 04:32 PM

40 gallon electric.

NiHaoMike 05-27-14 06:19 PM

You could put a little 5 gallon or so tank under one of the sinks, connected in series with the hot water feed.

Also consider hacking together a heat pump.

doug30293 05-28-14 01:42 PM


Originally Posted by NiHaoMike (Post 38409)
You could put a little 5 gallon or so tank under one of the sinks, connected in series with the hot water feed.

Also consider hacking together a heat pump.

The heat pump hack is part of what got this mechanical room idea started. There is plenty of room to install a diverter duct so I can run the cold air to the house in the summer and vent outside in winter.

I'm also leaning toward the under sink tanks as you suggest. My concern with these is the inevitable leaks when they rust out. Our water eats metal tanks. Do you know of a reasonably priced stainless or composite HWT in the 2 gallon range?

ecomodded 05-28-14 09:40 PM

Instant on hot water is well within a electric tankless on demand electric water heaters capabilities.
it could be placed where the old hot water tank was for use of its 220v and water access.

There is great economy in a tankless water heater , if you preheated the water in a soil loop you could have a more efficient system.

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