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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NE wisconsin
    Posts
    392
    Usually see the plate heat exchangers in outdoor wood burning boilers. Never seen them used to heat potable water, only when there is systems that need to be seperated like swimming pools and driveway snow melting systems or garage heat with antifreeze.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,642
    Quote Originally Posted by HowiefromAPEX View Post
    I agree that Buderus makes a GREAT product, they're also prohibitively expensive. Regardless of the recovery rate, they're alot of money up front.

    t527ed, where was your fathers house (region/climate) how much water was used at one time, and what size unit? I suspect that those answers will result in my situation being more practical to simply add a second water heater. Indirect fired units are still storage tanks, just like conventional water heaters. The only difference is that they're being heated by hot water from the boiler. So if I use enough hot water it is certainly possible to "run out".
    Dads house is in Burlington Co NJ.
    when the system was originally installed my younger brother and 2 sisters were still in the house. the whole family could shower with 2 showers going at once and not run low on hot water. he has an 8 person indoor hot tub that after emptying to clean he could fill with hot water if in a hurry to get in it.

    system was installed years ago with a 100,000 btu Hydro pulse boiler that we changed out a few years ago with a W/M ultra.
    boiler heats house with mix of h/w baseboard and in floor radiant, heats domestic with the indirect tank and heats his hot tub with a water to water heat exchanger.

    the indirect may not be the cheapest solution but we tend to focus on the best solution.

  3. #29
    HowiefromAPEX Guest
    If you are focused on the "best" solution, and you are familiar with water to water plate exchangers, then why an indirect? A plate exchanger is half the price, takes up TONS less room, and is more efficient. The best indirect fired tank is still storing water, which i still going to have some heat loss. Its still going to require the boiler to fire up when there is a demand for water. So, unless I'm missing something, the "best" way would be a plate exchanger, 'just sayin'

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    pulaski ny
    Posts
    3,261
    i think you have your mind set on what you want and it seems you are going with the plate exchanger. i don't see much support from the pro's here and that should tell you something. this is what i ansd most pro's on here do on a dailt basis. hydronics is 90 percent of my business and i have been in the field 20 years. i know it seems it is the easy cheap option to just run the plate echanger system. but it won't be cheap if it doesn't work. and it won't be easy if you have to do it again. as someone mentioned, if it worked that well i would not install anything else. i hope it works for , i realy do and hope you tell us, but the pro's here mainly are saying don't do it. good luck.

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,642
    Quote Originally Posted by HowiefromAPEX View Post
    If you are focused on the "best" solution, and you are familiar with water to water plate exchangers, then why an indirect? A plate exchanger is half the price, takes up TONS less room, and is more efficient. The best indirect fired tank is still storing water, which i still going to have some heat loss. Its still going to require the boiler to fire up when there is a demand for water. So, unless I'm missing something, the "best" way would be a plate exchanger, 'just sayin'
    problem with using any heat exchanger will be the limited flow you will need through it to get water temp raised enough.

    same thing as the old tankless coils installed in boilers, you never ran out of hot water, you just didn't have any volume.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,587
    A plate to plate is designed to separate two systems, like out door boiler which is not pressurized to a pressurized system, or a zone with glycol to separate it from the rest of the system. Like someone said it most likely won't bring the water temp up enuff. Don't think about how much the indirect cost, think about what it will save you in the long run, the tank will last longer and it will be more eff. You will have 500 in controls just to make the HX work, if you look into Amtrol indirects you might save some money.

  7. #33
    HowiefromAPEX Guest
    Well I'd love to not think about the upfront cost, but I have to pay for it. Its a tight budget to begin with, and I'd much prefer to have the nicer tile or shower fixtures. I dont expect zone controls to be that much, but even so, it'll be a bit more than half of an indirect fired unit, which will also need zone controls. So the zone controls are a wash either way. the heat exchanger is about $, a small HX is over $. Thats a significant difference. I'd sooner install a standard gas fired tank, which will be $ invested by the time I'm done installing it.

    I honestly dont see the draw that everyone else sees with an indirect fired unit. Its just not practical in this application. Sure, its theoretically tons more efficient, but only during the heating season. To fire up my boiler just to heat potable water is no way more efficient that a good gas fired water heater. Sure it depends on the efficiency of both and the heat loss per hour. assuming they're the same, the BTU my boiler will use is way to much to JUST heat domestic water. Plus, there will be heat loss in stored water, no mater what heats it or how its stored. With a brazed plate HX there is no stored water, so during the summer months, the boiler will not run at unless there is a call for heat. Even on an aquatstat, trying to get theoretically 1 gallon of water back to temp is alot easier than trying to get 40 gallons back.

    I drive a 2007 Ford F-150, if I get rid of it and get a 2013 F-150 it'll be more efficient right? This is very true, but unfortunately it'll never actually pay off. Laying out $1500 to save $20 a month. At those numbers it'll be 75 months or over 6 years to simply break even. That is also assuming that I am saving that money EVERY month, which obviously I wouldn't.

    If there is any other argument for an indirect fired unit, I'm willing to listen, but simply that it'll save me money over the next ten years just doesnt do it for me. Its far more practical at this point to save it now, and pay it out over the next ten years. This is what brought me to the brazed plate exchanger. The HX should be approximately $. So even at $ for zone controls then I'm at $, which is not that much more than a standard tank, and I lost essentially no space at all in the basement. indirect fired units are at least $, and still require zone controls, so now I'm at $, and I lost the same space I would if I used a standard tank.
    Last edited by beenthere; 12-18-2012 at 06:17 AM. Reason: Prices

  8. #34
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,587
    Hell I don't care what you do because I'm 99 percent sure I won't profit off it but I think the braze plate won't work that great. One other factor is the pressure drop across the plate to plate, will you have enuf to feed your big shower heads after the fact? Tell us how it works when your done!

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NE wisconsin
    Posts
    392
    Second 40 gallon conventional water heater, its the most common solution to high demand that I see because it works well. No need to reinvent the wheel, its not plumbing on the space station right.

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    3,384
    So, You will never be happy with your plate heat exchanger.

    Your boiler needs to be zoned. Get it zoned.

    While your at it, put in a indirect.

    When piped properly, when you need hot water in the summer, the boiler will run for a few minutes to heat the indirect. It will not be a waste because of how it's piped. The heat loss will be nothing. If you go with the buderus you could have hot water in that tank for weeks before it would need to warm back up. Here's a little drawing. the water in the DHW loop is minimal which will only need a few minutes to warm up the water.

    Name:  dhw.jpg
Views: 44
Size:  26.3 KB

  11. #37
    HowiefromAPEX Guest
    Thanks for all of the info everyone.

    Joehvac25, I am also 99% certain that you will not, and the pressure drop is a very important and relevant concern that had not crossed my mind, and that alone may be the "deal killer".

    Philjafo, I agree whole-heartedly, and will go with another 40 or 50 gallon if the brazed plate turns out to be a bust. I'm hopefully going to find people with actual experience, as they are supposedly rather popular/common in parts of Europe.

    Gravity, thanks for the drawing, you're quite an artist. You should maybe read all of the previous posts. Maybe then you'll stop just saying the same thing over and over without any further information or explanation to stand behind it. I believe there has been some very good points and counter points relevant to the discussion that it seems you may have missed.

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    353
    If you are worried about pressure drop with the plate heat exchanger why couldn't you run a hot water recirculation loop? I know the main obsticle is volume but a recirc loop might combat the pressure drop problem.

  13. #39
    HowiefromAPEX Guest
    I have a 36 port pex manifold very close to the water heater and boiler. I have multiple runs already installed for the shower alone. I know I could run a return loop through the manifold, which would be easy, but what that really do anything?

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