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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    25

    Residential Heat Reclaim??

    I've been doing some research about possibly installing a heat reclaim system for my hot water heater. There are many systems out there. Usually coming in a box that houses what only looks to be a simple tube in tube condenser and a small rotary water pump. I've heard mixed reviews about the whole deal from, "It works great!!" to, "The tubes are always scaling up!". Any opinions???

    Also, there are claims that it'll increase system efficiency. Kinda makes sense because of the de-superheating factor. Are there any underlying issues that I am missing?... I don't know... I guess it just seems to good to be true. Should I be concerned about any head pressure issues in lower ambient temperatures? I'm in the Orlando, FL area and I got a 3.5 ton heat pump. So in the heating season wouldn't I lose the heat that I would normally use to heat my house? I think I'd rather use the collected heat for my space heating rater than the heating of my hot water. Maybe using "O" from the thermostat to energize the heat reclaims water pump rather than the compressor contactor? Is it all even worth it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,506
    IMHO not worth it. If outdoor temps are high enough to warrant the use of AC, chances are incoming water temperatures aren't that cold. We use very little energy in the summer for water heating.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Float'N Vally, MS
    Posts
    1,876
    Quote Originally Posted by Kon99lbi View Post
    Is it all even worth it?
    Depends on a lot of factors. Most homes A/C is over sized. Chances are that in Orlando you have a HP.
    IN that area it could be a good idea. In a home we used to have I literally turned off my electric water heater with a "hot pot".
    Life is too short, Behappy!
    TFMM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    EVERYWHERE
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    229
    It is worth it. I live in Tampa so the temp here is very close to yours. Also you should let it run all year it is cheaper to heat water and it should not affect heating your home that much. Just install a fan cycle and a relay so the fan will run in heating. As far as ROI goes that depends on how much you run your unit. It is also a good idea to put a timer on your water heater. I installed mine in July 2011 when I bought my house and it works great. In the summer my water heater stays off with the air set at 75.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    IMHO not worth it. If outdoor temps are high enough to warrant the use of AC, chances are incoming water temperatures aren't that cold. We use very little energy in the summer for water heating.
    Water temp is about 70 out of ground and discharge line around 130. That is a big difference.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kon99lbi View Post
    I've been doing some research about possibly installing a heat reclaim system for my hot water heater.
    If u have tank, I would immediately replace it with Rinnai tankless water heater

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,506
    Quote Originally Posted by FixItRight View Post
    Water temp is about 70 out of ground and discharge line around 130. That is a big difference.
    130 is petty high, you could reduce to 120 and save a few $$$ from that alone. We have ours set at 110. With a 40 degree difference we spend about $5/mo in the summer for our gas usage that includes stove, dryer, grill, and water heater. This is for a family of 4. In winter the water heater has significantly longer run cycles than summer. At $5/mo payback time for a recovery system would take a long time unless you can put a system together inexpensively...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    130 temp for discharge line of compressor not hot water heater. Also he might have gas water heater but not that common in Central Florida. Mine only cost 300 total put in myself.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    25
    All great feedback, thanks guys!! Sometimes you get tunnel vision on trying to do a green DIY project that you forget the little things like adding a simple timer. Adding that, plus doing the install myself hopefully will yield a quicker ROI.
    I'm judging from the lack of comments on scaling in the tube in tube coil, that its not much of a concern. I guess a yearly chemical cleansing aint that big of a deal.
    Any particular heat reclaims that stand out more than others? I notice they all have different ways of tying into the hot water circuit. Is there a preferred method?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    EVERYWHERE
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    229
    not much difference in the models.as far as installation goes tee off of the cold water right before the hot water heater and pipe into the unit. Than out of the unit into the hot water heater's drain. you can make your own adapter to go into the drain or they sell one that is premade.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    802
    A timer on an electric is normally not worth the effort to install it unless you are on time of use and are very diligent about managing your usage. Unless your (tank style) water heater is in an unheated space, it simply doesn't lose much standby heat, especially if you don't keep it set too hot. I'm with 54regcab on my gas usage. In summer, my family of 3 uses about $6 month of gas for water heater and dryer, and we keep the water heater at 130F. It is in the basement. I seriously considered switching to a tankless heater a few months ago, but I calculated the breakeven point to be over 18 years. So, I just picked up a $6 thermocouple from the supply house and will keep the now easily repaired tank.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    468
    Whenever we install a desuperheater / heat recovery system, we include an extra tank upstream of the tank (or tankless) water heater. The desuper then has coolest possible water to work on and its output is accumulated for later use

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