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Thread: Electric Hot Water Heater used for Baseboard heat

  1. #1
    DIY Member enosez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Long Island NY

    Default Electric Hot Water Heater used for Baseboard heat

    My question is this:
    Can I use an electric hot water heater to supply hot water for hydronic baseboards.

    If I install a 60 gallon elkectric hot water heater with air scoop, expansion tank and taco 007 circulator feeding approximately 35 feet of slant fin baseboard, 1 high output toe kick heater and 25 square feet of radiant floor heat. Will this work?

    I know that electric hot water heaters have a low recovery rate but if I use the 60 gallon with the 007 circulator, I should be able to compensate for that.

    Another option is to use an aquastat for a higher temperature range, example, off a boiler where I can set the higher temp limit which will radiate the baseboards better.

    Plumbing is no concern as the loop is piped with hePEX and copper and I can hard pipe the circulator and air scoop of the heater.

    One draw back I see is that the life of the hot water heater will be diminished becasue of the higher temp and from possible sediment buildup becasue of a closed loop.

    I need a cheap inexpensive way to heat a cottage.

    YES, NO, What do you think?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default heater

    A closed system does not have more sediment buildup, it has less because you do not continually add new water with new sediment to it. But the recovery rate on an electric heater is fixed, regardless of the size tank, unless you opt for one with 5,500 watt elements which gives about 25% faster recovery. Whether it would be adequate depends on your heat loss calculation.

  3. #3
    Plumber/Gasfitter dubldare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    What you need to look for is the total btu load you are needing, what temperature water that requires (per the amount of radiation you have), and whether or not an electric dhw will supply that.

    Guess off the top of my head is no.
    --Customers of plumbers: Never be afraid to ask for proof of licensure of the plumber servicing your equipment. A licensed plumber will be proud to show you his personal license.--

  4. #4
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    200 miles south of Little Rock


    Following the initial expense, cheap heat in the woods could be available from an outside stove with a heat exchanger servicing your heaters.


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