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  1. #14
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    Your friend can have an electric water heater piped up with the indirect.
    If its piped up right. When the electric rate goes up, he can use the electric water heater as a natural tempering tank.
    If oil becomes more expensive again later, he can just turn the EWH back on, and open the appropriate valves.
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  2. #15
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    Sep 2006
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    The depths of hell in PHX AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by casturbo View Post
    Double check your electric rate you pay....electric bills are loaded with added costs. My electric bill has one cost for generation charge, one for distribution, and then at least 5 other tidbit costs to add up to 18.6 cents per kwHr.

    Take your last months bill and divide cost by the total kwhr used, that is the true rate you're paying.

    And btw, electric tanks will rot out lonnngggg before the oil-powered tank is at half its life. Electric tanks need element changes whereas as indirect tank does not. Hmmmph, oil is cheaper, as always.
    Ummm Skippy too dumb to figure out generation, delivery, charges to electric bill. YES my delivered electric averages .10 per kw hour (regulation at work). Even when PA is deregulated in two years I expect oil to be at about 5 buck by then at this rate so I'm not concerned.

    Electric tanks rot out yes...change your anode rod every few years and it won't if our that concerned. We had a customer years ago that did that and he had his water heater like 30 years. I've had water heaters last me 20 plus years as well. I'll take the hit if I'm saving money. And you act like oil is maintenance free. LOL. Please just stop. Oil needs to be cleaned once a year. Indirect tanks need acid washes more often than not because people are too stupid to soften their water and even if they do you still get scale buildup.

    I've been doing this long enough. I think I have a bit of a grip on the situation. Look at the extra cooling load alone in the summer time for running your hot a$$ boiler to make hot water. Theres alot of things to take into consideration. Hey I'm obviously not against indirect heaters since I ripped my old HWH out about 3 years ago and hooked the coil up to begin with. Oil was about 1.25 a gallon then too!!
    I will believe that the government is broke when the welfare checks start bouncing!!

  3. #16
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    Sep 2006
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    The depths of hell in PHX AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobb25 View Post
    If you use those prices and 80% oil efficiency, you'd actually save about $2 after you've used 1,000,000 btus.

    140,000 btus x 80% = 112,000 btus divided into 1,000,000 btus = 8.93 x $3.50 = $31.255
    3,412 btus x 100% = 3,412 btus divided into 1,000,000 btus = 293.08 x $0.10 = $29.308

    Lots of people pay less for oil, and more for electric. Around us today, oil can be bought for about $3.27 a gallon. Boiler efficiency also varies, but 83% is more in line.

    Other intangible factors to consider are electric water heaters have greater standby loss, you still must keep a boiler on, so there would be less winter on/off cycles and higher seasonal efficiency, oil prices fluctuate, and can go down, electric rarely goes down, you can shop around for best oil price. These all must be considered.

    140,000 btus x 83% = 116,200 btus divided into 1,000,000 btus = 8.61 x $3.27 = $28.15
    I haven't seen oil go down in about two years. And lately it's been trending alot higher in the summer that it should. Also I find it hard to believe that my sweaty hot boiler has good stand by loss. You have to keep your boiler sitting at 140-160 to keep yourself in hot water and that boiler is almost always hot to the touch. I think there are alot of things to take into consideration. Cooling load on the hot sweaty boiler. Maintenance.
    I will believe that the government is broke when the welfare checks start bouncing!!

  4. #17
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    Mar 2003
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    7,326
    Wow.......there seems to be a lot of information tossed around, but some is good and some is horrible. There are simple minded people who cannot see the light of day. A properly tuned oil burner is not that expensive to run. You all can calculate the numbers via the links posted. While water source is definately more efficient for heating if available, the original question was about changing from an indirect loop off a boiler to an electric water heater. Most oil boilers are not cold fired.....yet for obvious reasons I think. So, we have a constant availabiltiy to make hot water. The indirects are typically stainless steel and last a lifetime. They are very well insulated. It is already in place and being used. Recovery rates if sized correctly are superior to electric water heaters. Now if we consider first cost to install, power consumption, replacement costs, and standby losses, there is no way we are at the point of that being better than an indirect. Sorry. Look at lifecycle costs, not just your kw rate. Even if you get a hack to install it, with electric feeders, cost of heater, labor and materials it has got to cost roughly 150 bucks a year for the installed product on top of the utility bill. Think again.

  5. #18
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    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    Oil at $5.00 a gal 80% eff, is cheaper then electric at 100% eff at $0.16 a KWH

    In you install an electric water heater to save on operating cost, keep the indirect usable.
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  6. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy-lvhm View Post
    I haven't seen oil go down in about two years. And lately it's been trending alot higher in the summer that it should. Also I find it hard to believe that my sweaty hot boiler has good stand by loss. You have to keep your boiler sitting at 140-160 to keep yourself in hot water and that boiler is almost always hot to the touch. I think there are alot of things to take into consideration. Cooling load on the hot sweaty boiler. Maintenance.
    Oil prices have fluctuated this whole winter in the Lehigh Valley. They were up over $3.25, then down to $3.00, and now back up. PPL will be deregulated in 1 to 2 years, and we'll be paying twice as much. They use mostly fossil fuel to generate their electricity, so you're paying their profit, all their employee's salaries, their transmission costs, etc.

  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy-lvhm View Post
    I haven't seen oil go down in about two years. And lately it's been trending alot higher in the summer that it should. Also I find it hard to believe that my sweaty hot boiler has good stand by loss. You have to keep your boiler sitting at 140-160 to keep yourself in hot water and that boiler is almost always hot to the touch. I think there are alot of things to take into consideration. Cooling load on the hot sweaty boiler. Maintenance.
    Oil prices have fluctuated this whole winter in the Lehigh Valley. They were up over $3.25, then down to $3.00, and now back up. PPL will be deregulated in 1 to 2 years, and we'll be paying twice as much. They use mostly fossil fuel to generate their electricity, so you're paying their profit and all their employee's salaries.

  8. #21
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    Sep 2006
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    The depths of hell in PHX AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by flange View Post
    Wow.......there seems to be a lot of information tossed around, but some is good and some is horrible. There are simple minded people who cannot see the light of day. A properly tuned oil burner is not that expensive to run. You all can calculate the numbers via the links posted. While water source is definately more efficient for heating if available, the original question was about changing from an indirect loop off a boiler to an electric water heater. Most oil boilers are not cold fired.....yet for obvious reasons I think. So, we have a constant availabiltiy to make hot water. The indirects are typically stainless steel and last a lifetime. They are very well insulated. It is already in place and being used. Recovery rates if sized correctly are superior to electric water heaters. Now if we consider first cost to install, power consumption, replacement costs, and standby losses, there is no way we are at the point of that being better than an indirect. Sorry. Look at lifecycle costs, not just your kw rate. Even if you get a hack to install it, with electric feeders, cost of heater, labor and materials it has got to cost roughly 150 bucks a year for the installed product on top of the utility bill. Think again.

    You can tell the die hard oil guys here. I have no reason to keep my boiler stoked up to 140-160 degrees all summer EXCEPT to make hot water. I haven't found an oil boiler yet that is insulated with more than like what? 1 inch fiberglass insulation. I never go up to a water heater and touch the side and feel it hot. And the whole installation issues and costs doesn't really apply to us. Sure a customer may not see the benefits. Some of us here need to look at the total picture here and not just how much it costs to make the hot water. Not to mention don't all people pay their oil company's to at a minimum clean their oil units every year to the tune of at least 100 bucks. Plus if people pay for service contracts they pay even more. I'd say if you ran a heat only boiler you can go 2 years without cleaning your boiler without all of the damn short cycling the unit has to go through all summer to make hot water. The simple fact is fossil fuel SHOULD cost less and right now I can heat my house with a heat pump and save a butt load of money. Just because it has always been less in the past though some of us cant let go of the fact that it's not always the answer.

    And I REALLY want someone to tell me how standby loss on a boiler is so freaking good? That boiler has more uninsulated space on it than any hot water heater on the market.


    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Oil at $5.00 a gal 80% eff, is cheaper then electric at 100% eff at $0.16 a KWH

    In you install an electric water heater to save on operating cost, keep the indirect usable.
    I would love to see the facts that support this. I'm not even trying to be smart either. I really would love to see the hard facts.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobb25 View Post
    Oil prices have fluctuated this whole winter in the Lehigh Valley. They were up over $3.25, then down to $3.00, and now back up. PPL will be deregulated in 1 to 2 years, and we'll be paying twice as much. They use mostly fossil fuel to generate their electricity, so you're paying their profit, all their employee's salaries, their transmission costs, etc.

    Actually oil dipped to about 2.90. I didn't say it doesn't come down during the year. In the past two summers it has gone up from the winter prices and not dropped. The past two years in prebuy prices have gone up and up since it stays high all summer anymore. And I am really sick of people saying deregulation is going to double rates. Rates are expected to rise 30-50 percent. Anyway do you see oil being 3 bucks in 2 years at this rate? Get a heat pump and save money.



    I expect more bashing on this matter so go ahead.
    I will believe that the government is broke when the welfare checks start bouncing!!

  9. #22
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    Nov 2004
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    SW FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy-lvhm View Post

    I would love to see the facts that support this. I'm not even trying to be smart either. I really would love to see the hard facts.

    Get a heat pump and save money.
    Very straight foward ...

    140,000 BTU /gal
    _ * 0.8
    112,000 BTU output

    3413 BTU/ kW
    32.82 kW
    $0.16 per kW
    $5.25
    Designer Dan
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  10. #23
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    Dec 2002
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    317

    Arrow Costs/continuation

    Its seems like the "OIL-TECHS" don't believe in low mass boilers ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
    The single pass boiler with a "Tankless-Coil" is the only thing they believe in and sure putting a storage Tank in series gives you storage capacity
    An "INDIRECT-WATER-HEATER" is a "SEPERATE-ZONE" a step upwhen teamed up with a low mass boiler but still requires the boiler to run all year

    guys everyone who has answered this thread please read the info from..

    "www.foreverhotwater.com" "Rinnai's website I think all of you will get some benefit from the info on this site..

  11. #24
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Well, sometimes people are limited to oil and electric because they don't have natural gas available and propane is a step backwards from oil. The whole problem with a lot of the posts on this topic is that many are speaking with passion about THEIR favorite way to make hot water. A lot of opinions mixed in the a good dose of objective facts. IMO, a HO has to make a choice between operational costs and installation costs. Generally, (please note, generally is a broad brush, not an abolute) it costs more to install higher efficiency but the long term operating costs are lower. This is true in the automotive, aviation and HVAC industries, as well as many other, I'm sure. Put in a geo-thermal heating/cooling system with a solar tank, double fed with the geo desuperheaters and you've got about the most energy efficient systems available today. Throw in some photovoltaic on the roof and you're even lowering the electrical usage. The upfront costs will make the averge wage earner very sick. Makes no sense to someone who can't afford it. Just a pipe dream. The worst case is an electric water heater. Everything else is a compromise between the two extremes.

    So postulate on your favorite fuel but the facts are the facts. Mr. HO, you need to decide whether you're willing to put up the money for greater efficiency or not. If not, stick with what's there as it's a good compromise. If you are ready to step up to the plate, get out your checkbook and start down the road of lower energy and lower greenhouse gasses. Either way, it's your choice.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  12. #25
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    Very straight foward ...

    140,000 BTU /gal
    _ * 0.8
    112,000 BTU output

    3413 BTU/ kW
    32.82 kW
    $0.16 per kW
    $5.25
    Once again this is only what it costs to make the hot water. How much heat loss is actually in an oil boiler that tend to come with very little insulation compared to a hot water heater tank. My boiler running all summer tends to keep my basement pretty darn toasty and DRY. I don't think that comes free! I have never had a hot water heater keep a room warm. I have seen hot water heaters rust into oblivion due to moist environments. Not alot of heat loss out of the tank there...Also when I first moved in and the indirect wasn't even hooked up ( I waited till I put a water softener in to hook it up incidentally) I noticed one very noticeable thing. The boiler was less sooted up when running it for heat only....hmm coincidence? And believe me I set them up to run cleaner than clean because I hate working on oil.


    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    Well, sometimes people are limited to oil and electric because they don't have natural gas available and propane is a step backwards from oil. The whole problem with a lot of the posts on this topic is that many are speaking with passion about THEIR favorite way to make hot water. A lot of opinions mixed in the a good dose of objective facts. IMO, a HO has to make a choice between operational costs and installation costs. Generally, (please note, generally is a broad brush, not an abolute) it costs more to install higher efficiency but the long term operating costs are lower. This is true in the automotive, aviation and HVAC industries, as well as many other, I'm sure. Put in a geo-thermal heating/cooling system with a solar tank, double fed with the geo desuperheaters and you've got about the most energy efficient systems available today. Throw in some photovoltaic on the roof and you're even lowering the electrical usage. The upfront costs will make the averge wage earner very sick. Makes no sense to someone who can't afford it. Just a pipe dream. The worst case is an electric water heater. Everything else is a compromise between the two extremes.

    So postulate on your favorite fuel but the facts are the facts. Mr. HO, you need to decide whether you're willing to put up the money for greater efficiency or not. If not, stick with what's there as it's a good compromise. If you are ready to step up to the plate, get out your checkbook and start down the road of lower energy and lower greenhouse gasses. Either way, it's your choice.
    AMEN I agree with everything you just said except for the electric hot water heater being the worst case anymore. Everyone has a favorite and I NEVER had an issue with indirect hot water heaters to be quite honest. But oil has never been higher and yet the oil dealers still put out their little pamphlets saying its the best choice. More and more people in my area are looking to alternative means of heating their houses because they just cant keep up with it anymore. Even my one friend that works for an OIL COMPANY says he cant keep up with it anymore. His boss wont even give hom a break on oil prices for god sakes. I ran the numbers and I'm installing a heat pump ( I need central air anyway) and using a hot water coil for aux. I know alot of people that prefer hot water heat but I have convectors and I always feel cold. At least with my heat pump I can throw in a nice Honeywell steam humidifier (if the EVER release that is) and make myself more comfortable with that. Will it always be cheaper? I don't know. When PA deregulates and electricity "doubles" as some people think I ran the numbers on that too. Guess what. Heat pump still saves me money....


    I think this whole idea that homeowners wont pay for the extras is a bit off the wall. If you sat down and gave them the facts of the money they can save I think energy savings would take a new turn in this country. There are too many contractors out there that just install what the customer already has without even talking to them about the options of different methods. There are 3500 plus sq ft houses going up in my area with one heating system installed to do the hole darn house. No split units. No zoning. Nothing. Heat the hole house or heat nothing. I think more and more we all have a responsibility to make our homes as energy efficient as possible. We cant afford cheap energy anymore because when it was cheap we were out of control with it. But I find it hard to believe that people cant spend the money to upgrade their insulation, install a higher efficiency system, EVEN maintain the system they already have to work to its potential WHEN; the malls are packed every weekend, everyone has a new car every 3-5 years, everyone has a big screen TV or more, people have up to 5 computers in a household now, the latest and greatest cell phones, and the list goes on. We spend PLENTY of money on things that do nothing to save us money.
    I will believe that the government is broke when the welfare checks start bouncing!!

  13. #26
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    Jan 2004
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    The amount of heat you loose through the boiler insulation, is also directly related to the temp you maintain in the boiler.

    Whens the last time you saw a resi water heater maintaining 160 or 180* water.

    Electric can be cheaper depending on the spread between oil cost and electric cost.
    But electric is going to go up a lot when the deregulation takes effect.

    Don't forget. When they are allowed to make profit on the electric, not only will you pay for that % increase, you will also be paying tax on that increase.

    Keep the indirect handy!
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