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I have my pellet stove now need something to heat the water! Hot water is killing me here!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Steveo, Jul 23, 2008.

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  1. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    I installed my Harman P68 to heat the house and hopefully I will not use any oil for heat this year. I have been keeping track of how much oil I am using to heat my hot water and figured out that I use 5 gallons of oil every six days just to heat my hot water. If oil was $4.00 a gallon it is costing me about $1216.60 per year just to heat my hot water. Holy crap thats alot of money just for hot water. It is obviously costing me more since oil is more than $4.00 per gallon. So what is everyone else doing for hot water? Natural gas is not an option here in Maine for me. I thought about the Rinnai but have not read anything good about them. Maybe I should have got a pellet fired boiler. I am really considering installing the most highest efficient electric water heater I can find. Solar water is way to expensive at this point in time. I do not have a chimney so a propane water heater will need to be direct vented and they are big bucks I think. Any ideas on what I can do for hot water?

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  2. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Limerick, Maine
    That's why I went with a pellet boiler. However, I am still purchasing/installing an electric hot water tank. It will sort of act like storage during the heating season, and will provide my DHW 100% during the shoulder season. I will be totally by-passing my oiler boiler for DHW.
  3. trailblaster

    trailblaster New Member

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    Loudon, NH & Greenville,ME
    I have a direct vent propane water heater. I had to replace it last year when the old one died (8 years old) with a replacement 40 gallon from home Depot for $690 after a 10% coupon. It works great and is all electonically controlled so it uses very little gas.
  4. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    How much gas are you using?
  5. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Southern NH
    Get some insulation and wrap up your pipes if they are copper, maybe the tank it's self. In China, they use pellets for just hw, I seen the systems. I wonder if you can get one, I don't know of a source. A heating boiler will cost big bucks and the pay back for just hw alone will take a long to recover the costs, and may not be practical during the summer.
  6. Ossy

    Ossy New Member

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    Steveo ...

    Thats about what I am using for hot water...somewhere between 0.5 to 0.75 gal per day....I have a tank on my boiler system though which may account for some of the differance since it doesnt have to kick on to get hot water....on average I have 4 showers going per day, 1 load of dishes in dishwasher, and 1 load of laundry....

    Maybe next year I will look into an on demand system of some sort....which I could do it this year but after the pellet stove and dentist work, the old bank account isnt to flush now.... :down:
  7. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    I think I am going to invest in one of those direct vent propane water heaters. Now I just have to find out which one is the most reliable and the most efficient.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Get a good electric water heater. Our house is all electric and since we 100% heat with wood our whole electric bill for everything else including A/C and well pump averages $1,200 - $1,300 a year at 14 cents a kwh all delivery, fuel adjustment, taxes etc. included.
  9. SteveT

    SteveT Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    West of Boston
    You can probably save something meaningful (not dramatic) by reducing the boiler temperature by 10 or 20 degrees. My guess is 10 - 15% but that is just a guess.

    The boiler temperature is usually set for the heating needs, not hot water. You get the same water temperature at the tap by adjusting the valve (ratio of hot to cold) so you won't save anything for water you actually use. But with lower temperature differential between the boiler wall and the air in the basement there will be less waste heat.
  10. RedNeck Wrangler

    RedNeck Wrangler New Member

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    Loc:
    "The Alton Bog" Maine
    I installed a 40 gal. electric water heater with a timer and it's is costing me $15.00 a month for hot water. Initial investment just under $400.00.
  11. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    What is the manufacturer of the hot water heater you installed?
  12. RedNeck Wrangler

    RedNeck Wrangler New Member

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    I think the water heater was GE brand, just a basic electric water heater, the timer was separate it is called "The Little Gray Box". I got them both at Home Depot. I set the water heater to run 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the evening. We have plenty of hot water throughout the day for 3 people.
  13. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    western Ma , close to NY state border
    The little grey box (timer) is probably not necessary if you have a new Sears series 12 electric water heater . This model has the longest warranty and comes with 3" of foam insulation .
    Most heat lost with a tank comes from inadequate insulation.. I read one testament from a user who lost power for a week and the water in his tank was still hot.
    Not sure how much truth in that story but I`m tempted myself to go back to an electric tank and shut off the oil for 6 months.
    John
  14. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    central maine Lat 45
    I have a Bock oil fired hot water heater, went to 30 gallon electric. First full month cost about $1 a day, 2 adults, saving big time. I think it was costing as much to heat water for a year as it was to heat the house.
  15. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    I hope to completely shut off the oil except when there is a problem with the pellet stove.
  16. Ossy

    Ossy New Member

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    But Steveo...the Maine Oil Dealers Association will loose another customer since you wont be buying their product!!...its only $4.50 a gal on average..Oh what shall they do!!...(Did you read the paper today?)

    Regards
    Ossy :lol:
  17. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    LOL yes I saw the article. Oil is going down, Discount energy is at $4.04per gallon in my area and in the portland area they are 3.99 per gallon

    http://www.discountenergy.org/
  18. Fire It Up

    Fire It Up New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    If you have the money a propane on demand water heater is the way to go.

    Until I get one, I am turning my oil furnace off when I don't need hot water and turning it on at the emergency switch when I do. Takes 5 short minutes to heat up. I went from .98 gallons a day to about .42
    I don't have a tank, but a coil style boiler.
  19. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Southern NH
    Many years ago I bought a GE Profile Series "quick recovery" electric hw tank, one thing you should look for is insulation, mine is an R15 rating uses that expanding foam in a can. It cut like 12 bucks up my electric bill, but I have not kept tracked since the install 10 years ago so I don't know if it's consistent. Now if you use a instant electric hw system, those I hear uses 100 amps, make sure your electrical can handle it. Right now the coast of oil to electricity is about equal, but if oil prices drop than oil is cheaper than electric.
  20. Sheepdog

    Sheepdog Member

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    Loc:
    York, Maine
    Steveo,
    I had the same question and there were some very good thougths put forth. Here is the link to that thread http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/19035/
    I finally decided to get rid of my direct coil and put in an indirect zone with a well insulated tank. I estimate it will cut my oil usage from 400 to 200 gallons a year. Hope this helps.

    -Sheepdog
  21. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Burbs of B'more, MD, Hon!
    It sounds like you have a boiler with a tankless heater in it. These are generally very wasteful in the summer as the standby losses are going to be very high. You can get a quick return with little or no investment by shutting off the boiler when you aren't using hot water. It will heat back up very quickly and you can automate it with a relatively cheap timer. Lotta bang for very little buck on this one.

    If your needs are low, a regular electric water heater with a 6 year warranty isn't very expensive and may pay for itself in about a year. There are lots of people that have done this and never looked back. I'm not a believer in the super insulated water heaters as you can wrap it up after you install it and get the same savings.

    If you have kids or do a lot of laundry, you might consider an LP heater, but the payback is going to be lengthy if you have to install a propane tank.

    Those stand alone oil heaters (like the Bock) are hawgs and have a tendency to burn out quickly, but you will never run out of hot water. I don't think they are cost effective except in commercial applications, and even then, LP is cheaper.

    That was a very long thread Sheep, and we went off on lots of tangents. Sounds like you made a decision...

    Chris
  22. orangecrushcj7

    orangecrushcj7 Feeling the Heat

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    I have forced hot water fired by oil for my primary heat, with an electric water heater. In the past, when I have kept the furnace on in the summer, I would go through about 150 gallons - just so the furnace can keep it's internal temp up. So, a few summers back I turned the furnace off, to save on the oil. I didn't matter as much back then, b/c oil was like $2.40/gal (seems cheap now.) But now that would be $4.50/gal x 150gal=$675 up the chimney. So far this summer, I have been keeping my oil fired furnace turned off. This winter, I only only intend to turn the furnace back on in case of pellet problems, once I get my stove installed.

    All that said, The only problem I have, is when the furnace is off, the gaskets dry out and it leaks water. Not a whole lot, maybe a cup or so per day. As soon as it gets turned on and heats up, the leaks stop. I don't mind so much because I have a wet basement anyways, and it gets pumped out witht he sump pump. The only issue is I can't imagine it is good for the gaskets, and I would think after several "dry outs" the gaskets are going to fail entirely. Anyone have a similar problem?
  23. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Great topic....this one has been on my mind as well and I just read through the previous thread too. I believe I am at a point where the price diff between me 40 gallon LP water heater and a new electric water heater would be pretty small....but i'm still thinking about making a change.
    Anyone care to offer an opinion on whether it makes sense for me to change to an electric hot water heater.

    Current situation is this:
    1998 Bradford and White LP 40 Gallon Storage Hot Water Heater (Wrapped with insulation, pipes are also insulated)
    I have calculated that I am using 160 Gallons of LP per year for DHW last fill-up cost 3.09 per gallon. That averages to about 500 per year, or 40.00 per month.
    Electricity is .16 per KWH in my area through CMP

    Clearly my next LP fill-up is going to be even higher, but i'm wondering if I can do better than 40 per month with a similar (40 gallon) electric hot water heater?
    We are a family of 4 and I would classify our usage as below average. We wash the cloths in cold water and we all generally take quick (5-8 min) showers.

    Ideally i'd love to go with electric on demand, but i've heard a lot of bad stories about the reliability of the technology. On demand LP is also a thought, though my preference would be to get rin of LP entirely (to simplify our situation)

    I welcome any and all opinions, thank you
  24. trailblaster

    trailblaster New Member

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    I'm not sure on how many gallons of Lp it uses but I use about 25gallons every two months in non-heating months between the water heater and LP dryer. There is just myself and wife in the house and I set the dial to 2 clicks above vacation setting and it comes out plenty hot. Also, I only hear the water heater come on for about 5 minutes after using hot water.
  25. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    I had a tank-less in my oil fired boiler and just recently went to a indirect fired tank water heater. The Boiler use to kick on all day long to keep the hot water at a certain temp and now the oil burner kicks on maybe three times a day or when I am doing a couple of showers or a few loads of laundry. Oil consumption has gone way down. Electric according to the research I did is not as cost effective as indirect fire. Cost about $1800 installed.
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