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[?]Hi. I've got a question. a found a cheapy heating system using an 82 gallon hot water heater as a source. nothing new there. but it also supplied domestic hot water to the house. I can't find any written advice to the contrary but my gut says this is not right. optinions appreciated. code is even better. thanks. dave from CT.

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You should dump the notion that using hot water heaters to heat a house is a 'cheapy' system. It's done all the time around here and some of these systems cost more than a conventional forced hot air system to install. The only thing cheap about them is the savings on heating cost.

If the system was specifically designed to do double-duty by someone who knew what he/she was doing, it's probably fine. You do have to learn the differences between good installs and bad though. Look in the Free-Downloads forum. I just added a couple of links to training programs where you can learn the difference between good systems and bad.

In the meantime, click the link below for a .pdf article from JLC about using hot water heaters for domestic heat.

Ya gotta keep an open mind in this business.



Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif HotWaterHeatersForHeat.pdf

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I agree completely. The only folks that think water heaters are "wrong" for hydronic heating systems are the boiler mfg's.

I've installed a few of these, & they work fine; it's a water jacket, a combustion chamber, & some operating controls. Doesn't matter if it's cast iron, sheet metal, or copper tubing (or ceramic, if you know the Euro stuff).

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Yep...I'm seeing a lot of them, especially in new or newish townhomes, feeding fan driven wall convectors. Usually only a 50-gallon, albeit high BTU, heater run at higher temperatures with a tempering valve for the potable water. Some homes have a "blown" gas fireplace for additional heat...some not. Aside from no air filtration, they seem like a good, zoned system for a well insulated home. Running the PEX to the heaters is no doubt simpler than forced air ductwork, but the wall convectors obviously cost a lot more than simple floor registers. I wouldn't call it "cheapy" either.

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