Water heaters as designed by .gov

Discussions about our lives, families, jobs... things may get a little personal
Rich Jordan
Trigger Junkie
Posts: 1583
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:04 am

Water heaters as designed by .gov

Postby Rich Jordan » Mon May 22, 2017 12:51 am

Our water heater sprung a slow leak today.

We live in a townhouse; the water heater and furnace are in a closet just off the living room, and the water heater is nestled in between the incoming natural gas pipe (wall) that feeds it and the furnace, the main incoming water line (up from the floor), the main water meter, and the input and output water pipes to the heater come out from the wall 57" up from the floor. We have a 38 gallon tank, 18" diameter and 50" tall. There's barely 1/2" clearance from wall to heater and heater to the nest of gas and water pipes.

Apparently .gov decided that all water heaters must be more efficient and now its impossible to get anything the same size because the insulation is thicker; 40 gallon-ish water heaters are 21-22" diameter unless they are 'tall' (60" and up), then they might be 19.5-20". That height would run into the cold and hot water feed pipes coming out of the wall, and require rebuilding the flue stack since the manifold that ties the water heater and furnace exhaust into the flue would have to move up too.

We don't have the option to move the pipes, or reduce the wall thickness of the closet (fire code on the latter), and we can't install a tankless heater (insufficient electric capacity, and can't share flue with furnace, especially if its power exhaust, and the flue (goes up two flights) isn't big enough to share.

Right now we're looking at having to downgrade to a 30 gallon heater to fit the space. On Monday we hope too find out if there are still heaters of our type/model/size in distribution (can't get them at retail but maybe those in the trades can).

Any suggestions for sources or alternatives?

And OBTW can a water heater burner be used for high output cooking like a turkey fryer, large outdoor flatiron, etc? Nothing wrong with the burner on our unit, and if the jet or orifice could be switched to allow LPG usage.....

User avatar
Steamforger
On a list somewhere
Posts: 2739
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:41 pm

Re: Water heaters as designed by .gov

Postby Steamforger » Mon May 22, 2017 4:09 pm

Edited for reading comprehension and too many margaritas at the beach.
Last edited by Steamforger on Mon May 22, 2017 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
randy
Moderator
Posts: 7209
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:33 am
Location: EM79

Re: Water heaters as designed by .gov

Postby randy » Mon May 22, 2017 6:03 pm

Rich Jordan wrote: ...and we can't install a tankless heater (insufficient electric capacity, and can't share flue with furnace, especially if its power exhaust, and the flue (goes up two flights) isn't big enough to share.
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".

Rich Jordan
Trigger Junkie
Posts: 1583
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:04 am

Re: Water heaters as designed by .gov

Postby Rich Jordan » Tue May 23, 2017 8:53 pm

Steamforger wrote:Edited for reading comprehension and too many margaritas at the beach.


There are forums I go where members will rend and tear at a poster who doesn't include enough detailed info for a positive, correct response, and others where a long post causes drifting off to bored slumber and/or imbibing.

Sometimes lose track of which is which.

User avatar
Steamforger
On a list somewhere
Posts: 2739
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:41 pm

Re: Water heaters as designed by .gov

Postby Steamforger » Wed May 24, 2017 12:49 am

No big deal, Rich. It was all my fault.

Rich Jordan
Trigger Junkie
Posts: 1583
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:04 am

Re: Water heaters as designed by .gov

Postby Rich Jordan » Wed May 24, 2017 3:23 am

No worries. We'll just end up with a too small heater (marginal for us, but too small if a family of 4+ moves into this place someday) or else pay an estimated extra $600-$1000 for a lot of plumbing and flue work to fit in a new .gov approved oversized ~40 gallon unit. Hell of a tax for a little 'efficiency'.


Return to “The Kitchen Table”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests