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OK WE have the stove it works I still see a lot of people using oil for hot water

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by control1, Sep 29, 2008.

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  1. control1

    control1 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    bucks co pa
    I was burning over a tank 275 gals per year just for hot water ok I do have 2 teenage girls changing clothes 3 times a day .I recently changed to an electric water tank my bill went up approx $35 per month or $425 per annum this is still a lot less than 1 tank of oil , my last deliv was $4.19, only got 87 gals but in context over a grand to heat hot water.I suggest anyone on oil heating hot water convert to electric or gas this is a no brainer. Why are people so hesitant to change their hot water to something else, everyone keeps saying I just use my furnance to heat the hot water.Why not go the distance and really dump oil
    the alternative is just as efficient and cheaper.

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  2. piscassic

    piscassic New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Loc:
    NH seacoast
    this is my plan at the moment as well. i just put in a pellet stove on the first floor, and intend on installing a 50 gallon electric HWH in line with my present tankless oil system. figure i use 200 gals a year, so the savings should be pretty substantial.
  3. peirhead

    peirhead Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Messages:
    374
    Loc:
    PEI Canada
    piscassic..I am curious as to whet you mean by "in line" do you mean upstream (before the water enters the coil in the furnace) or downstream (after the water leaves the coil ) or bypassing the coil entirely. I see advantages and disadvantages to all 3 configurations of installing the electric HW heater:
    1) Upstream (before coil) will preheat the water going into the coil so your furnace doesn't have to work so hard... you still use oil but a lot less!!! this is how I have a solar water preheater set up (in the warm weather!!)
    2) Downstream (after the coil) I like this configuration for one reason only...I hate the cycle of cold - hot! hot! - hot water every time I turn on the hot water tap...you get the colder water in the pipe, then the very hot water in the coil, followed by the moderated water flowing over the coil...seems to waste a gallon of water waiting for the "regular " hot water. The water heater will act as a buffer for this and outputs water at a consistant temperature...don't need a 50 gal to do this though..and you still heat "city water" from 50 deg F with your oil so no savings at all.
    3) bypass the coil..this is probably what you intended and makes sense especially when it is time to replace the coil anyways (that is what I plan to do when my coil gives out)...be sure to get a foam insulated tank and add a blanket to it as well....this should be your cheapest option but the economics all revo;ve around changing oil and LX costs!!
  4. cncpro

    cncpro New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    341
    Loc:
    NE Connecticut, USA
    Hey folks,

    As long as you're going to chat about water heaters... Let me mention this interesting system. I normally would have dismissed something like this but the fact that it is briefly mentioned in the October 2008 issue of This Old House magazine lends some credibility to the idea...

    http://www.airgenerate.com/products/airtap.html
  5. Smudge88

    Smudge88 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    104
    Loc:
    Cedar Knolls, N.J.
    I've lower my setpoints on my boiler...so run time is much less...It's not good to just turn of a boiler...it's should maintain a temp in the jacket to keep it from rusting form the inside out....Helps keep it ready just in case you need it...You can just lower the setpoint to 120 on 140 off....I get pletty of HW that way
  6. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    i have been thining on this subject as well, i have been checking out heat transfer products in mass, saw them on planet green a while ago. mostly nat.gas heaters

    http://htproducts.com/
  7. piscassic

    piscassic New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    15
    Loc:
    NH seacoast
    i was thinking that i'd put it after the boiler (downstream), but plumbed so that i could bypass the boiler entirely, which is what i'd like to do.
  8. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    912
    Loc:
    Essex County, New York
    This continues to be an interesting subject. However as the fuel and cost varies, also for gas and electric, and the availabiity of gas for some folks. The in-line preheater subject is also important. We know that the price of home heating oil will never go down from the current point, as the supply is controlled. Using oil fired burners smarter helps reduce the costs.

    Using a attic preheater for domestic hot water in the warmer months is my next improvement. Taking advantage of the high temperatures in the attic to preheat the water supply. Yes, to drain or use a coolant mix is necessary in the heat exchanger.

    Has anyone done this?
  9. lecomte38

    lecomte38 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    249
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    I shut down my oil furnace and turned on my electric hot water tank last May. The electric bill for 2 of us went up about $25 per month. My oil furnace burns 25 gallons ($100) per month just to make hot water in the summer. No brainer.
  10. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    497
    Loc:
    Northcentral Connecticut
    What they fail to account for is that in taking the heat from the air you've already heated in another way (e.g. oil, pellets, etc), you're cooling it which means your space heating needs to compensate. This is not "free" heat for your water - just changing where it gets the heat. While the unit itself may be very efficient, it is going to add to the btu load need for whatever you use to heat your home and is making the energy go through multiple changes (oil to air to heat exchanger to water + electric for the heat exchanger....vs. oil to water for example). Overall this will be less efficient (cost more).

    Everyone repeat after me: "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!"
  11. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,026
    Loc:
    Western CT
    Unless you do not actually ever heat the space you are using the heat pump/heat excahnger in, right?

    http://www.nyletherm.com/waterheating.htm

    That is why I have this heat pump water heater in my garage right now tapped into my electric hot water system. They are perfect for basements and garages.

    They heat the water as they cool the space and they DEHUMIDIFY!! Works wonders in the summer and very good in spring and fall. Winter I will have it in bypass made.
  12. alexdrozd

    alexdrozd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    New Haven County,Ct
    The reason I haven't converted from oil to electric is because I have heard it takes much longer to recuperate. That is, if two people take a shower and the washing machine is going, the third person is in for a cold shower because electrics take so much longer to heat the water back up to temperature.
    Is there any truth to this? This is why I am hesitant.
  13. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,225
    Loc:
    western Ma , close to NY state border
    Well now , a KWHR is $.18 where I am (includes delivery costs and taxes) Total bill amount divided by KWHRs used= real cost.
    If your bill only went up $35 your KWHR`s are significantly less than mine or you take co-ed showers , lick your plates clean , and wash with cold water.
    I hope you can prove me wrong cause $35 a month for hot water is darn cheap and I`d like some of that myself.
  14. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    497
    Loc:
    Northcentral Connecticut
    The picture in the OP article shows it sitting on top of the water heater. That means it's either in the basement or the living space somewhere. Your installation in the garage is not the norm. In my garage in the winter I'd not likely to get much usable heat (as you've found I guess) - it's uninsulated and has a single door for both bays. It's usually as cold there as it is outside and once the temp gets below 35 degrees, a heat pump isn't getting much heat out of the air - it's getting heat from the resistive element inside the unit instead (at very high costs).

    For basement installs, while someone may not be paying to heat the basement during the summer, they are during the winter regardless of what they think if they've got their furnace in the same space - running their furnace keeps the space warm even in the absence of specific radiators, etc. If they take heat from there, the space gets colder. If the space gets colder, they're likely to get some amount of thermal transfer from places where they deliberately heat (like the upstairs) and that is air they paid to heat.

    It's not nearly as simple & clear-cut as the article implies (that you'll get 2.5 units of "free" heat for your water for every 1 unit you consume in electricity). It might make sense for non-winter use as you do, but then that's a different cost model than basing it on annual fuel costs for hot water. The cost of the unit amortized over a reasonable period and the additional electric might not offset the cost of using oil to heat the water.
  15. ktfinch2000

    ktfinch2000 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    Coventry, Rhode Island
    I can't believe your using that much oil to heat your water per year. I've only use around a quarter tank of oil per year to heat my water. I have 2 adults and 2 children. I don't want to change only because I like the fact that I have yet to run out of hot water . My wife takes very very very long showers and still have hot water to spare when I use the shower. I guest its different for everyone but 275 gallons a year seem like a lot to me. Hey if you can save some dough with the conversion then all the more power to ya!! :)
  16. 90durham

    90durham New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    53
    Loc:
    Southeast Ontario
    Replaced my oil fired a couple months ago after it began leaking, checking back on my oil deliveries I estimate my summer hot water used approx 75 litres of fuel per month. At todays rate that adds up to well over a thousand dollars/yr and at previous prices at least $800.00, I had no idea how much that heater was sucking up or I would have jerked it out years ago. I have no baseline for the electric bill yet but we have not adjusted how we use hot water and have no shortage of hot water with the electric heater.
    If my hydro bill jumps by $90.00 a month then it's a break even, otherwise I am on the upside. I expect the latter.
  17. Chinkowski

    Chinkowski Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Binghamton, NY
    here is my situation. the propane boiler heats the hot water. i'm trying to cut back on propane thus the pellet stove. would i be able to further reduce my propane consumption by heating the hot water by a different method. i cant totally shut off the boiler because i have infloor / inground heat in the house. i will be able to turn down the first floor but i need to bring the basement / concrete up to about 58 degrees or so to keep the structure warm. so would it be cost effective to install an electric hwh or a freestanding propane one or just keep using the boiler?? maybe a freestanding propane hwh is more efficient than the boiler but i'm not sure. i still would be using propane but maybe not as much??? any advise / suggestions would be helpful. thanks
  18. Catfishjack

    Catfishjack Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Loc:
    Northern NY
    We use a Toyotomi Hot water heater ( 5 gallon holding tank) ON DEMAND..kids, laundry and all our outside faucets have a blend of hot water on them..I use approx 80 gallons of kerosene a year..power goes out..no problem for a small portable generator...
    just my 2 cents..
  19. terryjd98

    terryjd98 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Ontario Canada
    I was thinking of switching to an Oil water heater about 5 or 6 years ago. Oil Conpany said it would take about a tank a year on average. I called the Electric Company and they said a 40 gallon hot water tank would cost around $500.00 a year to run. At the time that worked out about even so I stayed with electric. I can say pretty positive that electric is a lot cheaper then oil right now and has been for awhile.
  20. oak194

    oak194 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Northeast Pa
    I would never change from my oil hot water heater. even at 3.39 a gal. Today's price by the way.
    For one it's less than a year old and the last one was still good after 42 years!!
    I use very little oil for heat my hot water and you can turn every faucet on full blast to hot and leave all day and still come back to scaulding hot water.
    I love my bock water heater, I just burn wood to heat the house. Now for heat oil is ot the way to go.

    Just my 2 cents.
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