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Old 07-13-18, 01:41 PM   #1
Lurking Renovator
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Grand Rapids MI
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Question Need some help conceptualizing a reduced cost water heater solution for rentals

Backstory, I own rental properties and want to come up with a water heater solution.

1. Cost of city permits
2. Cost of electricity (18 cents) in some of my areas (MI)
3. Cost of equipment and installation
4. Maintenance

Gas power vent is expensive and requires multiple permits. The powervents seem to go bad often.

Resistive electric is cheap to install/maintain but costly to run.

Hybrid is expensive to buy, requires maintenance (dust), cools houses in winter.

I need something scalable and inexpensive so I was thinking of a preheater tank (non insulated). Not sure if it would condensate too much. Then an electric resistive. Preheater wouldn't add to permitting. I thought maybe a DC element in it connected to a single solar panel. Eliminate the inverter and being low voltage the wiring requirements would be low. This solution could also be combined with an electric hybrid if the situation merited. Still, feels like someone could come up with something better.

Edit to add: I also thought of feeding the water heater through a coil in the furnace and a flow switch would trigger the fan. This would be efficient in winter with a 90% and cool the air while warming water in summer (at little cost).


Last edited by Zooomer; 07-13-18 at 05:30 PM..
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