Holy Cow! Now that Prices have changed, Which Way Should I Proceed?
I came here, last year and decided to wait until my 19 YO A.O.Smith actually fails. After a thorough tank flush and although the thermostat is all the way up to the limit, it still hasn't failed. I have a power vented unit in the basement and, after replacing the leaking pressure valve and doing a flush, it has no leaks and has enough hot water for two showers.
I had shopped around the Net, last year, and had pretty much decided on another power vented unit from A.O.Smith. Of course, since I had to trash my old hard drive on the computer, I lost all of that information.
I know that I do want a high efficiency power vent unit and NOT a tank-less unit.
I surely would like to do this job myself so I may ask about the gas plumbing changes that are needed, if any in fact are needed. My hope is to find a new unit that matches up to the old unit in exterior dimensions and plumbing dimensions, as well, so that there will be little to do but shut off the gas, evacuate the plumbing, disconnect, connect the new and turn it on and fire it up. It shouldn't be THAT big a deal. Right?
My current unit is a FPS--40--J00N010000, a 42K BTU Gas fired unit.
I would like to move up to a larger volume unit, even there are only two of us living here.
I'm open to suggestions and providing any additional information.
While at Costco the other day, I noticed a Lenox Promo table and asked for literature. I haven't called for an estimate appointment because I would like to do this on my own or with a helper. Any suggestions or comments?
Is it practical to consider more for a Hybrid or High Efficiency Unit, considering the relatively small amount of savings that I will realize by doing so?
Just want some information about this
Jim has it right- with a drainwater heat exchanger and a 42KBTU/hr 80% efficiency burner you can get "endless shower" performance during the summer/fall when the incoming water temps are warmer, and more than double the apparent-capacity of the tank during the winters. What you don't get out of it is "endless tub fill" performance, since to deliver the heat from the drain flow to the incoming water both the drain & hot water need to be running at the same time.
Drainwater heat recovery enhances the apparent efficiency as well as capacity, since it's taking heat that was literally going down the drain and returning it to the hot water tank. If you just swap out your existing unit with a comparable non-condensing unit and still don't have enough showering capacity, a drainwater heat exchanger will fix that. I suspect that with a shiny new unit that has a full-length dip-tube you'll be fine on showering capacity for a decade at least. At current natural gas prices drainwater heat recovery would probably take nearly a decade to pay for itself, but if it bumps north of $1.50/therm- delivered there's a reasonably short-term ROI on them. (If it keeps you from having to hear about it if your partner takes a shower right after you, the payoff is immediate! :-) )
Ok, I need to hear more about this drain water heat exchanger and what benefits it
I read the link and it appears rather like something I dreamed up about 30 years ago... but never attempted because I could not see any payback or benefit...
Why not loop some copper around the flu pipe on the water heater or on the furnace flu??
better yet... Why not install a 30 gallon pre heating naked tank next to the heater..if you have the room.
from what this fellow has presently, he probably ought to just get himself a
50 gallon power vent and that will probably solve all his hot water problems without
trying to break the bank... the extra 10 gallons is not gonna cost him but a few dollars a month more to heat and it will make the wife happy too......