Indirect Water Healer Failure

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mglover

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Hey all,

Our indirect water heat tank has begun leaking. My gf wants to switch to a directly heated one but I'm not sure that's going to be a really good choice. Currently we use a wall hung buderus to heat our house (through forced air heat exchanger) and then heat our indirect water tank. Everything is all plumbed in with soldered copper tubing and the thought of capping the ends that run to the indirect water tank to switch to a direct natural gas heated tank seems excessive.

Keep in mind that the Buderus Boiler we have is almost 10 years old so I'm thinking it will likely fail in the near future as well.

Any thoughts? I would really just like to have a tech install a new indirect tank and keep things as is. It would be nice to be able to do this myself but I'm not really interested in draining/soldering a bunch of glycol filled copper lines.

Regards,
Mike
 

John Gayewski

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It's really a pick your poison. Gas is likley cheap now but won't be in the future. The downside of having an indirect is you have one unit doing everything so a failure is an emergency no matter whet time of year. And switching heating types usually cost more up front.

If your going to switch heating types can you go electric with a heat pump? Depending on your circumstances just a plain electric tank might be best. This is really kind of just a personal choice based on lifestyle and personal preference.
 

DanInNaperville

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I'm just curious, what kind of indirect water heater and how old is it? Does your area have really low quality natural gas? I'm considering replacing my (still working fine) conventional boiler from 1988 but don't need to (Burnham Series 2). If your boiler really is on its last legs, you might look at getting a conventional boiler instead of a high efficiency boiler. You might save 5% or even 10% on fuel cost each year with a high efficiency boiler but you'd likely save more if you bought a boiler every 30 years instead of every 10 years. Add some insulation to your house and you'll probably lower your gas cost more than the difference between fuel use of a mod/con vs. conventional boiler.
For now, why not put in an indirect water heater that can handle a wide range of water types? Something like a triangle-tube smart series that uses a stainless steel tank instead of a coated steel tank.
 

Fitter30

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Indirect heat exchangers fail from one of two problems. One is the gylcol can go bad and turn to acid eat the copper or mineral build up on the water heater side of the heat exchanger insulating the tubes causing hot spots. Tanks they also need to flushed at least once a year or more.
 
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