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Boiler/Water heater supply question?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by babalu87, Nov 14, 2007.

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  1. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
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    middleborough, ma.
    I think I know the answer so I'll throw both out there and see how stupid I am ;)

    I have a FHW boiler that is only used for heat if we are away from the house. Currently this boiler also heats our hot water.
    We will be putting a 50 gallon electric hot water heater in late this month or early next month.
    Eventually, I want to have some sort of solar system that will heat the hot water in summer and help the electric heater along in the winter.

    Cut the supply line from the well to the boiler. Put a tee and tie the water heater in before the boiler.

    OR

    Cut the hot supply coming out of the boiler and tie in the water heater to that line.

    Is either correct, are both correct, is there a better way?

    I will put valves and capped ends on tees or four-ways so I can tie in later with the eventual solar system.

    As a "bonus" my electic box is full :(
    Time for a sub-panel.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    Central NYS
    You could do it either way, but I'd make it slightly more complex to maximize your flexibility and protect your investment.

    I'd leave the connection to the oil boiler intact, but pipe in a bypass around the boiler coil so that you can make it flow directly from the well into the hot water heater. That way, you can still use the boiler to heat your water if you need to for some reason, say if the water heater breaks down, or if oil suddenly becomes a lot cheaper than electricity. The main reason for the bypass is that I don't think it's a good idea to constantly push cold water through a coil in an idle boiler. I think you run the risk of excessive condensation, and why put wear and tear on the coil when it's not doing anything other than cooling your boiler? It's maybe $20 more to create a bypass. Worth it, IMO.

    The piping is obvious to me, but it may not be to you. Let me know if you want to see a basic diagram of what I'm talking about.
  3. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,440
    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
    I think I got you.

    The black represents valves and extra spuds for future solar
    Blue and red are well supply and hot

    I would just have to remember to turn the boiler back on should we leave the house for vacation etc.

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