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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18
    Hi,

    I have a Weil Mclain boiler in my home. I have been having issues with a lack of enough hot water (I have a tankless boiler with a coil).

    My new plumber thinks that a Weil Mclain Gold Plus 80 (56 gallon capacity), will do the trick. He said I will not run out of hot water at that point.

    I am looking for something that will run off of oil (or not an electric hot water heater). What keeps the element warm (is it electric)?

    Is this a quality item or is this something I will need to replace in 5 years? It has a lifetime warranty on it as well.

    I was told the only thing that goes wrong with these is that they leak.

    Any advice?

    Thanks,
    Rich

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    117
    An indirect water heater is a tank that makes and stores hot water. Instead of having electical elements like an electric water heater, there is a spiral coil inside of the tank that water from the boiler circulates through. The indirect water heater is piped into the boiler piping and treated like another zone. Most installations will have a priority control for the indirect that will shut off the heating zones in order to devote full capacity to recovering your hot water faster. Usually this takes less than 20 minutes, so you'll never notice any fluctuations in your house temp.

    Here is a link to Burnham's line of indirects. Weil-Mclain's products are similar. Page 4 shows what the inside looks like.
    http://www.burnham.com/lit/alliance.pdf

    Most indirects will last a very long time. They are also more efficient than a tankless coil, so your oil usage (particularly in the summer) will be lowered.

    Michael

    [Edited by aemeeich on 04-18-2006 at 01:06 AM]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SW Colorado
    Posts
    162
    There are two major designs for indirects. Coil-in-tank has been mentioned. Your plumber mentioned the other which is tank-in-shell. In this design the boiler water circulates (in a shell) around the domestic water tank. Weil-Mclain's version is, I believe, made for them by Triangle Tube. A very good water heater. Stainless steel inner tank for domestic hot water and warrantied forever. Can't beat it with a stick.

    http://www.triangletube.com/Residential/ProductIWH.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    18
    So, what powers the coil that keeps the water warm? Does oil power the indirect hot water heater?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    Hot water from the boiler indirectly heats the water inside the water heater. The boiler will fire and circulate hot water through the heat exchanger of the tank. The indirect tanks are usually well inssulated and the water stays hot until you start using it. You use so much hot water and it is replaced by cold water. This lowers the tank temperature until the thermostat in the indirect tank will trigger the boiler to fire

    I have had good luck giving them priority.

    It means the boiler can put its entire heat output into the tank for the few minutes it takes and your house will not even miss the heat. There is very fast recovery this way.

    Works well if you have an outdoor reset on a high mass (cast iron)boiler too, as sometimes with the boiler heated up after 'making' the domestic hot water, it simply circulates the built up heat for a while before it fires again.

    I like the triangle tube ones.

    Other systems are set up as zones without priority meaning the boiler will heat your house and the hot water at the same time. There is slower recovery this way as it is possible that only a portion of the boilers output is used to make your hot water.

    If you have a really big hot water demand, like lots of people all taking showers at the same time, or you refuse to use water conserving shower heads then you may want to consider having it set up for priority.





    [Edited by Carnak on 04-18-2006 at 01:06 AM]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    117
    Originally posted by aemeeich
    The indirect water heater is piped into the boiler piping and treated like another zone.

    So in your case, it would be oil.

    Michael

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996
    You should get 15-20 years out of a stainless steel indirect if your water is not high in clorides and there's no leaks in your HW heating system. Oxygen entering your system from fresh water refilling the boiler shortens the life of the boiler and the indirect.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    how about summer usage? whole boiler must fire?
    harvest rainwater,make SHADE,R75/50/30= roof/wall/floor, use HVAC mastic,caulk all wall seams!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    some places have two seasons winter and july

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    654
    Originally posted by trapeze
    .....Weil-Mclain's version is, I believe, made for them by Triangle Tube. A very good water heater. Stainless steel inner tank for domestic hot water and warrantied forever. Can't beat it with a stick.
    I've changed out leaky Phase III's since the outer tank is regular 'ol mild steel. Just like a steel boiler. The inner stainless tank doesn't fair well in water with chlorides either, seen an inner tank leak too. I'm pretty sure the Phase III (aka: Triangle Tube) is a foreign company too, yuk!

    Look at MegaStor indirect tanks instead, made by Crown. This tank is 100% stainless, has a big smooth coil inside of a SS tank and American made. Less money than a Phase tank too. Win-win situation.


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