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Thread: Polaris WH

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    49

    Polaris WH

    Looks like a few years ago I see positive reviews of these units - wondering if that is still the case?

    Would use a propane unit for HW as well as for back up coils in two HP's (possible small space radiant and maybe a towel warmer depending on $$)

    -- also told it could heat the water from cold quickly as this is not a full time house -- we currently turn off the Oil WH when we are away. See any problems doing this?

    This looks like a nice simple compact solution -- vs having an electric HW unit on all the time and having to provide another system for back-up for the HP's. I don't want to use an "on demand" HW unit. Only the two off us and guests occasionally -- we do have a jet tub that is occasionally used.

    We use this house more in the winter time -- although only on the weekends. We have high propane costs (almost $3) as well as high electric rates PECO (.18 - .20). So a lot of the year I could turn off the unit. With the propane costs going all electric is almost a possibility .. although I'm getting different opinions on the actually crossover point. Electric would be simple.

    I'm rebuilding my house and going crazy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,901
    the polaris water heaters are nice units and work very well .the only thing is they do burn out ignitors from time to time
    We really need change now

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    49
    Thanks for the input. With no NG available I'm stuck with expensive alternatives -- so I have no choice but to get the best heat pumps available. I'm going to spray foam the whole place and install good windows to minimize the heat load .. but I still need a back up. I just don't want to get this system too complicated. With my old oil systems -- the service company had a set of keys!

    I'm amazed how many different water heater designs are now available.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Propane is expensive enough, they you are no better off with Propane over electric heat strips in most cases. The advantage of propane would be for a tankless water heater if you have a high demand like for a soaking or whirlpool tub. But even then, you could just install 2 electric water heaters.

    When you have propane, geothermal becomes a viable alternative. It will also generate most of your hot water very economically.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    49
    The Propane vs Electric is what I am trying to figure out. Drilling the wells for geothermal will be 60k -- don't see the payback. I have a 84% direct vent fan forced propane heater out in my 1800sf studio -- I keep it around 55% throughout the week and turn it up on the weekends ....... the problem is that if I conserve and only use 200 - 300 gallons of propane per year it costs me over 5 bucks a gallon plus a tank fee! This is my only propane experience other than camping -- it is cheaper to use electric at $5 propane.

    So I am trying to understand how to figure out my future costs -- because it would be much easier to design the rebuild to just use electric.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,901
    1st buy your tank and get a big one ,that way you can shop for the best price and fill it while the price is down and not be at the mercy of a single supplier . in my opinion a polaris with a aqua coil in the supply duct that way the heat pump keeps running .
    We really need change now

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    53
    One of the contractors -- not an HVAC guy -- mentioned that he had a 1k tank buried and purchases his own propane ... this has worked out well for him. Having a buried tank was recommended by my current propane company -- they would run the lines to the equipment for whatever heat I decide and to the new stove (presently electric) and out to the studio to replace the current 2x 100G tanks. I'm not going with a gas dryer. They own the tank.

    I thought with electric back-up both the heat strips and the HP could work together - am I incorrect on that as I was about the furnace and the HP working together?

    I have a neighbor who installed some radiant about 10 years ago in two of his bathrooms, the kitchen and also in the middle of his great room -- it is all connected to a small electric boiler. It is only used as a supplement and has worked out great -- and while he notices the difference in his bills when running often it is no more than what I had to pay to run all the motors for the oil setup -- my electric bill would go up well over $150.00 and that was the only change. He also uses electric for a standard water heater.

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