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Thread: really Cold Water

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
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    Default really Cold Water

    I live in the Phoenix area. There is no such thing as cold water in the summer here. And it does not really help that I have a solar hot water system either. I really hate the summers here and working in the heat and then trying to take a good shower was nearly impossible until I got a water fountain like you drink out of in a public building, a small Taco circulating pump and a couple of used 40 gallon hot water tanks. I bleached out the tanks and plumbed it all together and have 66 degree water at my cold faucets and showers. The fountain chiller is set at the least cold setting. It was a terrible waste of water waiting for some that was cool enough to even stick my head under. I just don't like a hot shower. When I remodeled my house I ran all the waterlines in the attic. I have a hydraulic loop on my hot water line that I brought back from my master bath and tied in to the tank drain with a check valve so I don't have to wait a long time for hot water too. I also ran a return back to my water chiller from the far end too. The return is on the inlet of the circ pump with plenty of check valves to make the water flow the right way through the tanks. My place is a plumbers nightmare! I'm insulating all the waterlines with 1" thick wall fiberglass stick insulation and hand cut angled pieces to make elbows too. It is really hot in my attic now. I started this two months ago but got a piece of wood in my hand and had to have surgery, so I could not do anything for about six weeks. All that time the PVC cold return was laying in my attic not chilled and uninsulated.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Using a drinking fountain as a water chiller for the whole house is going to make APS or SRP extremely happy, when they see what your electric bill is going to be.

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    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
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    Maybe my waterbill will make up the difference since I'm pouring gallons of water down the drain that is too hot to stick my head under! I want to take a shower, not be dressed out like a dead chicken like my parents used to do on the farm. Boiled feather smell is one I remember.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Don't say boiled feather smell.
    Now I'm picturing chickens running around without heads, and the sickly smell when you start pulling the feathers off.
    And I just had chicken for dinner.


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    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    Plucking chickens.... ugh.
    Last edited by asktom; 06-24-2010 at 09:04 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
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    Yup! That's the smell!

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Electricity in AZ, at least, is MUCH more expensive than water. Once you realize that the water is not going to get much cooler no matter how long you run it, you will waste a lot less water. One of my friends used to turn off his hot water heater in the summertime. He used the "cold water" faucets for hot water, and since the water in the heater cooled down to the room's ambient temperature, the "hot water" was fairly cool.

    Talking about plucking chickens gave me a flashback to when I was in Chicago. One of the customers sold chickens, and I still remember the smell when he put them into the barrel of scalding water.
    Last edited by hj; 06-25-2010 at 06:45 AM.

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    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
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    Electric bills do suck. I pay 210.00 monthly. I would really like to put a new roof on the house and put electric solar panels up to get off the grid. I suppose Uncle Sam would come and tax the crap out of me for that too.
    I know what you are saying about the water heater. I would not have hot enough water to my dish washer though. And my waterlines run in the attic. Once cooler weather gets here again I can just shut it all off.

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    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry View Post
    don't say boiled feather smell.
    Now i'm picturing chickens running around without heads, and the sickly smell when you start pulling the feathers off.
    And i just had chicken for dinner.

    Yes i had that happen when i was 10 yrs. Old we were moving from the farm into the city
    my dad killed some 1500 hens my brothers and i plucked them my mom cleaned them and
    made ready for the freezer, we lived off those chickens for two or three years after
    that,

    I like the ideal of the cooler !
    Do you run the water though the cooler first then into storage or the other way round ?

    MACPLUMB 777

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    35 YEAR MASTER PLUMBER, HEATING, ELECTRIC, DRAINS, FIRE SPRINKLERS, WATER HEATER
    AND BOILERS SINCE JAN, 1989

    281-706-1631 7 DYS A WEEK SALES AND TECH. SUPPORT
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  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
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    Hi,
    What I did was ran my cold water 3/4 copper line to the far end of my house to pick up the Master bathroom. I then returned it through 1/2 PVC. I chose the thicker schedule PVC tube that the Home Dipstick sells. I ran that return line back to pick up the kitchen faucet. Then I ran it back outside and into a check valve then the Taco circ pump. The circ pump forces water through the bottom of the chiller. Out of the top of the chiller into the hole on tank number one where the anode rod was. Then I connected from the drain valve hole of tank number one into the top of tank number two into the hole where the anode rod was in that tank. The cold water is fed into the cold connection of tank two and then I feed the house with the hot connection of tank number two. I put a check valve in the cold water supply of tank number two to prevent water being pushed back into the supply. This keeps the loop flowing.
    I actually had this running last year with only one tank and just circulated it through the one tank. The chiller ran perfectly for several days and then I noticed that I was not getting cold water. The chiller quit completely. I unplugged it and waited a minute and plugged it back in and it turned on and worked a few more days. Then it did it again the day I was flying to Indiana. I unplugged it and just left it unplugged. When I got back I plugged it in and it worked great for awhile. The thermostat was going bad. Also I had bought a brand new tank from the Home Dipstick. Within six months it started leaking. I called them and they told me to call GE for replacement. GE asked how and where it was installed and I told them it was under the eave of my house for cold water storage. That blew my warranty. I had a few choice words for them! I then decided to start stripping the sheet metal off and pry off the foam. About an 1/8th of an inch under where the cap had been welded was a pinhole. OK, so it did not freeze. I then drilled, tapped and gooped a bolt with silicone to try to salvage it. The next day I turned the water on only to have another leak at the other side on the bottom. I then figured it was just a bad heater and boy did I get a good screwing! I stripped the metal and foam there and it was an even bigger hole. I took it to work and threw it away. Aren't all heaters glass lined? I really did not have water circulating through very long at all. But was drawing through it since it was hooked up. I actually had the connections backward for the single tank use. Do you think the movement of water through it could have caused the pin holes?? I have pre filtered soft water going through my house piping. I use .5 micron whole house filters.

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    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    No !

    I think you got the screw !

    Those wtr/htrs are made by rheem/ruud for home cheepo they use the ge name so if you

    are selling a rheem pro. People won't think they can buy the same one at the depot !

    I would have pulled the rating plate and returned to depot for credit !

    MACPLUMB 777

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    35 YEAR MASTER PLUMBER, HEATING, ELECTRIC, DRAINS, FIRE SPRINKLERS, WATER HEATER
    AND BOILERS SINCE JAN, 1989

    281-706-1631 7 DYS A WEEK SALES AND TECH. SUPPORT
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  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    When I lived in Kuwait, we had a water supply tank on the roof since they didn't supply water 24/7. During most of the year, we shut the WH off in the house since the water on the roof got way hotter than needed for showering and washing up. But, if the water in the WH tank hadn't sat long enough in the cool house, or you had multiple people showering, you'd run out of the cooled water and then there'd be no cool to temper the hot. It was messy in the winter when you had to turn the WH back on as you'd have to remember to switch which valve was hot.

    If you have room, the probably cheaper way to do this would be to add one or more storage tanks in the conditioned space so it could cool to room temperature, rather than chill and pump it around.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Do you have a good homeowner's insurance policy with a low deductible, because using ANY PVC inside your home, especially in a hot attic, is a good way to have a disastrous flood. The 'heavy" PVC you got from Home Depot is acually the "thinnest" one we use for anything other than lawn sprinkler work.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    PVC isn't legal inside a home. It's meant for outdoor use.
    And certainly not with heated water.

    PVC cold water building supply and yard piping
    IAPMO IS 8-95
    This standard shall govern the installation of PVC piping (with solvent cemented or elastomeric gasket joints) in cold water building supply and yard piping,

    Location. PVC piping shall be installed only outside the foundation of any building or structure or parts thereof. It shall be buried in the ground for it's entire length except vertical piping may be extended above grade.
    It shall not be installed within or under any building or structure or mobile home or commercial coach or part thereof.
    Last edited by Terry; 06-26-2010 at 02:24 PM.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
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    HMMMMM That's odd. The Specification I read about schedule 40 PVC is that it will handle fluid temps to 140 degrees and 120PSI. When did it become illegal to use in a home? When I went through plumbing school in the 80's in Indiana, I sure don't remember anything about PVC not being legal in a house. My parents built a house in 1976 and it is all PVC and CPVC and they have never had a leak. They have a water softener and two water heaters. I asked dad if he ever had trouble with the water heaters. He said they are original and the heating elements are too. I am surprised at that.
    I went to home depot to buy CPVC. They said they don't sell it because it is not legal either. What is up with that anyway? I have a home in Indiana that I rent and it too has PVC and CPVC and I have never had that pipe fail either. I had no intention of running hot water through it. My project got interrupted by a piece of wood getting in my hand while I was up there working. I slid my hand down a rafter and I got a splinter in my hand about an inch long. I tried to pull it out and it broke. Then I tried to push it through the other side, but would not pierce through my skin. I gave it one big push but it broke into two pieces. I went to a doctor and he refused to even touch it. He did give me a tetanus shot. It quit hurting and I was very busy, it was in my hand for about a month. I was holding something down hard and drilling into it, that's when it started to hurt again and give me fits. The surgeon told me I never would have gotten it out on my own.

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