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Indirect HW tank installation advice, pls!

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Posted by Reyesuela on January 22, 2009 at 17:50:04:

Right now, I have an electric water heater and hate it. It costs a fortune to run for barely any hot water. I havenít had a full bath of hot water in two years.

I am seriously considering an indirect hot water tank. Unfortunately, I have a high-mass Burnham boiler, killing a good deal of my cost-savings, but the heat season here does last from late October through early April, so thatís half the year. This boiler probably has 20 years left in it; after that, Iíll get a low-mass, modulating boiler. (If we don't retire in this house, my husband will have a shallow grave after all the work I've put into it! :-) )

We have 4 people in the house currently. A bath and a shower might be run concurrently, and possibly a dishwasher, too. In the future, there will likely be more--people and bathrooms, both.

The house has 3200 heated square feet. 1800 is completely above grade, about 600 has the lower 2-3' below grade, and the remaining 700 sq ft is a finished walkout basement. We have three zones: upper floor, main floor, and lower floor and basement together. The house was built in 1965. The boiler in a 1998 Burnham rated at 121K BTU. It is grossly oversized for our usage, and one of the advantages of getting an indirect is to up the demand on it so it won't short-cycle so danged much, especially since I'm replacing all the old, leaky windows with new ones and am slowly re-insulating the walls, too.

Iím looking for recommendations for what you would consider the ideal setup with our situation.

-Right now, two different professionals have recommended a 40-ish-gallon hot water tank. I think this is excessive for our current needs, but I think that considering how long a tank will last, it is a good size for our future needs.

-Iím concerned both about Legionnaireís disease and about scalding, so I am planning on asking for a Holby mixing valve.

-An energy manager has also been recommended by one professional. Any opinions on that?

-What brands of tanks are your favorite and why? Iím currently planning on Amtrol's Boilermate.

-I know I need to make sure that the other zones have shutoffs or one-way valves so no hot water goes there during the summer. Any more specific recommendations?

-Anything else at all?

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