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smarcus

Cold Water Storage Tank

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I am not sure if I am posting to the correct forum or if this belongs in the plumbing forum.

I saw this cold water storage tank (precariously balanced) in the basement of a 30s home in Chicago. It is difficult to see from the photo (sorry for the bad picture) but water flows from down into the tank from above, cold water to the boiler doesn't flow through the tank it branches to the right just before the top of the tank. The water to the water heater goes through the tank. I thought that it may have been originally intended for use by the boiler. Being used by the water heater I would think that its current purpose would be to bring water to room temperature before entering the water heater. Can someone explain this? I am sorry if this is obvious, but it is escaping me for now.

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I've never seen a setup like that but it looks like its just a big expansion tank for the water heater. As far as water heater expansion tanks are concerned, its a bit of overkill maybe.

BTW, the vent for the water heater doesnt look too good all horizontal like it is.

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Thanks, I hadn't considered water heater expansion tank.

Good eye, I hadn't yet realized that the vent was horizontal. I did mention that the venting was in need of correcting. There is corrosion below the dielectric union where it appears that some spillage occurs and what you can't see is that the flue empty into the chimney which is unlined for the first three feet and at the base of the chimney at the exterior there are loose mortar joints and efflorescence on a recently repointed building. Thanks for the quick reply.

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The arrow is pointing to an expansion tank (laying on the floor). Was this piped into the domestic water system?

I would think that the tank in question was from the original boiler system and used as a water heater. Kurt or Bill K should be able to say for sure.

If the cold water enters the tank and then just goes to the water heater then there is no need for it.

I'm sure you noted it but the domestic water system is loaded with galvinized piping. How were your water flows?

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Looks like the original boiler's expansion tank, mounted vertically... you can see the pipe leaving the top and being connected to the distribution system of the boiler to the top-right. ..

A piece of stuff no longer needed... "remove it if you want more space in your basement near the water heater and boiler'..

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Actually, I believe I posted a similar tank about two years ago and Les chimed in with an identification. I don't think it turned out to be an expansion tank.

Terence, I'm drawing a blank: What's it called when you have tons of tubing within a jacket - a form of heat exchanger (notice the ports in the jacket at the top and bottom closed loop)? I think turned out to be a heat exchanger (domestic water heater) that used the original boiler for heating.

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We call them "tempering tanks". They were located next to the original coal fired boiler to pre-warm the water before it got to the water heater.

You did say water flows through it to the water heater, right?

I find them in the old joints all the time, but not so much anymore.

I tell folks to take them out. I found one that was lead lined once.

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Terence, I'm drawing a blank: What's it called when you have tons of tubing within a jacket - a form of heat exchanger (notice the ports in the jacket at the top and bottom closed loop)? I think turned out to be a heat exchanger (domestic water heater) that used the original boiler for heating.

Shell & Tube.

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We call them "tempering tanks". They were located next to the original coal fired boiler to pre-warm the water before it got to the water heater.

You did say water flows through it to the water heater, right?

I find them in the old joints all the time, but not so much anymore.

I tell folks to take them out. I found one that was lead lined once.

How was heating of the water accomplished then Kurt? A seperate coal fired water heater or such?

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Water flow was great to the first floor and pretty low to the second.

I did conclude while I was there discussing with the client that it did not appear to do anything significant and could be removed. I hadn't considered that it may be lined with lead, but that is a good point with the age of the tank.

There was another old boiler expansion tank mounted horizontally between the joists (just out of photo) so I don't believe that it ever functioned as an expansion tank for the boiler.

Tempering tank makes sense with its proximity to the boiler.

Thanks for all the responses, nothing is worse than looking at a system that looks like it is functioning perfectly well and not knowing what a part of it does.

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How was heating of the water accomplished then Kurt? A seperate coal fired water heater or such?

I'm not sure. Folklore from one of my old plumbing gurus (who, if he were alive, would be about 110 years), told me these were tempering tanks.

I've only ever found these in smaller working class housing. I have some suspicion that it was the sole heating component, i.e., it was a water warmer in winter, and in summer it was cold shower time.

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I need an editor.

I meant to say "used to"......didn't.

It is kinda like a Yogism, except his are funny. Mine are just confused.

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That tank was manufactured to be part of a "range boiler" domestic hot water system. It is now being used as a tempering tank for the boiler feed and cold supply to the gas water heater.

A range boiler is a system that generated hot water by a "water back" in the firebox of coal range.

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Thanks for the pic, Bill. We called that thing in the stove a "water jacket".

The tall shape made for better separation of the hot from the cold.

Steve, that one is being held up by the plumbing. You are right it is a tempering tank and should be strapped to the wall.

I don't know about the lead. They could do a water test. They are usually just a nice copper tank, I think?

They could run that WH gas vent in a nearly straight line from the tank to the chimney, maybe with a slight curve around the front of the plumbing pipes.

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That tank was manufactured to be part of a "range boiler" domestic hot water system. It is now being used as a tempering tank for the boiler feed and cold supply to the gas water heater.

A range boiler is a system that generated hot water by a "water back" in the firebox of coal range.

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Thanks Bill.

The tank can be removed from the system. It's no longer needed as a water heater and the boiler is being used for hydronic heating.

For residential steam systems, at least around here, I've never seen a pre-heater for makup water whether it's for a single or two pipe system (and we've got some pretty old shacks around ch'ere). For two pipe it typically goes into the condensate return.

I asked once before, and I'll try once more (however I doubt the traction is any better) where do you gold mine all your pictures Bill? You had one of a structural terra cotta foundation layout (that I swiped) and I searched high and low for that, via Google, with no joy.

Here, email, PM, IM, Skype, smoke signals, telepathatcly - just not after 9 PM, can't stay up late anymore.

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I asked once before, and I'll try once more (however I doubt the traction is any better) where do you gold mine all your pictures Bill? You had one of a structural terra cotta foundation layout (that I swiped) and I searched high and low for that, via Google, with no joy.

Here, email, PM, IM, Skype, smoke signals, telepathatcly - just not after 9 PM, can't stay up late anymore.

The wife and I are serious bibliophiles. Before kids, we traveled extensively and a good percentage of our travels revolved around visiting our favorite antiquarian booksellers. While my wife's purchases would be considered investments, I couldn't stop purchasing technical publications, mostly pertaining to buildings, ancient furniture and early woodworking.

Most of my collection on building materials and methods are publications from before 1930. It also includes pamphlets and journals from architectural, engineering and mechanical industry associations. Some of the best images are from the advertisements in the journals. I often scan images to include in inspection and consulting reports and articles.

Very recently, I found all the hot and cold water pipes throughout a large home were insulated. I didn't recognize the small diameter pipe insulation, but found a manufacturer's product tag. I found an ad for the exact product, extolling the quality of the product, 'cuz it contains asbestos. In the report I didn't have to "suspect" it contained asbestos or recommend the hassle of testing.

There have been a couple occasions where I've pulled up to an inspection with a book to show the clients a pen and ink drawing and exact floor plan of the home.

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Where have you found most of the books Bill, or is it mostly hit and miss as you travel about?

We eventually found our favorite booksellers that we would return to a couple times each year. They also keep an eye out for what their regular customers collect. The favorite was our annual pilgrimage to the bibliophile nirvana of Hay-On-Wye, Wales. A small 12th century town packed with 30 antiquarian bookshops.

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