Hire the best Gas Fitter

Expected water loss from hot water system

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,122

    Default Expected water loss from hot water system

    Got a quick question..

    Went out today and before I left I had a look at the water meter. 12 hours later I returned and checked it again.

    Over a 12 hour period I lost around 20ml water. It's not a major water leak, but not a good thing if it is, say, going into the wall.

    Question is, what amount of water would be expected to be consumed/lost by the hot water system? Is 20ml a reasonable loss considering we were using the hot water about 20 minutes prior to leaving?

  2. #2
    1K Club Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sydney-south
    Posts
    1,858

    Default

    You shouldnt lose anything from a HWS unless the TPR valve is leaking.
    Call your plumber to come out and do a pressure test for you. 20ml inb 12hrs is hardly significant and you may find it could be one of your taps or a cistern leaking slowly.
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

  3. #3
    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,122

    Default

    Well, when my hot water system goes into a heating cycle, it emits a significant amount of steam. I am wondering if the amount of steam would equal around 20ml.

    I just can't see where else I would be losing water. I know 20ml in 10 hours is stuff all...much less than a very slow leakign tap....but it is still 20ml that is unaccounted for.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    391

    Default leak

    20ml is a tablespoon full. These meters must be accurate. I suggest it is evaporation in the cisterns.

    Cheers
    Juan


    "If the enemy is in range, so are you."

  5. #5
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,815

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by juan View Post
    These meters must be accurate.
    They seem to be. The meters in Melbourne read to 0.01 litre but I don't know exactly how accurate they are.

    I have read the meter one night and checked it again in the morning (while using no water overnight) - it hadn't budged (less than 10ml). I have filled a 10 litre bucket to check the meter, and it seems to read surprising accurately - well, as accurate as you can expect using plastic buckets for measuring!

    I've got no idea why the water supplier would measure down to 10ml when they bill by the kilolitre

  6. #6
    1K Club Member journeyman Mick's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Kuranda, paradise, North Qld
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,782

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisp View Post
    .....................I've got no idea why the water supplier would measure down to 10ml when they bill by the kilolitre
    Give 'em time, when water gets expensive enough there's every chance they will bill in 10ml increments.

    Mick
    "If you need a machine today and don't buy it,

    tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."

    - Henry Ford 1938

  7. #7
    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisp View Post
    I've got no idea why the water supplier would measure down to 10ml when they bill by the kilolitre
    Important to check for water leaks. Also it has to measure (tick over) in small increments anyway (its a small meter) so why not show a counter for it.

    I will track down my missing 20ml I will run another test overnight and see if it is a consistant 20ml per 10 hours.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    391

    Default missing water

    I agree it is worth investigating. 17520ml per year infact. Nearly enough for a home brew.
    Juan


    "If the enemy is in range, so are you."

  9. #9
    1K Club Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sydney-south
    Posts
    1,858

    Default

    I agree its worth investigating, Im curious as to what type of heater you have that makes steam when heating, but bear in mind it could be a soft soldered joint in the ground thats weeping ever so slightly, or an outlet rubber on the cistern etc.
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

  10. #10
    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wonderplumb View Post
    I agree its worth investigating, Im curious as to what type of heater you have that makes steam when heating...
    It's one of those AquaMax units that I've seen selling at Bunnings. Seems to have a good energy rating. The manual says it is normal for the unit to emit steam during a heating cycle. On a cold night you would think something is on fire.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    106

    Default

    Gooner, the steam you are seeing is from the water vapour in the air. When the burner fires, it needs air to provide the oxygen for combustion, It will exhaust the combustion byproducts from the gas, plus the non oxidising components in the air, water vapour heated to steam and condensing on exposure to cool exterior air (the cloud you see) plus the nitrogen etc in the mix that we call air, from memory about 70% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, balance other gasses.

  12. #12
    1K Club Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sydney-south
    Posts
    1,858

    Default

    What Malb said, products of combustion contain carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapour.
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

  13. #13
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    832

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gooner View Post

    Over a 12 hour period I lost around 20ml water. It's not a major water leak, but not a good thing if it is, say, going into the wall.

    Lets put things in perspective.

    A schooner of beer is 425 millilitres, so 20 ml is not even a decent sip.

    Also, where can one get a flowmeter that can accurately measure to that degree of accuracy. I think the scientific term is "not statistically significant".

    Cheers

    Graeme

  14. #14
    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GraemeCook View Post
    A schooner of beer is 425 millilitres, so 20 ml is not even a decent sip.
    I hear ya.... but again, my only concern was that even a small 20ml leak over 10 hours is just under 50ml per day. Big deal... but even 50ml a day leak within a wall can cause damage over an extended period of time.

  15. #15
    3K Club Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    3,585

    Default

    Did you check the barometer at each reading?

    Maybe the barometric pressure fell, allowing the various pipes and seals in your water system to expand ever so slightly, and take on the extra 20ml.

    On the other hand, maybe a butterfly flapped it's wings in a remote Brazilian jungle...

    If you are concerned about water leaks in your walls, go check them out, but worrying about a 2ml/hr loss over the whole plumbing system is a little bit obsessive...

    woodbe.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    391

    Default water issues

    Woodbe you are forgetting Gooner is from Victoria and we in SA know how possessive Victorians are of their water (and ours too)
    Juan


    "If the enemy is in range, so are you."

  17. #17
    PLU.MBR.BL.DR. bricks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Adelaide - West
    Age
    42
    Posts
    643

    Default

    you hws will discharge a little bit of water everytime it heats up
    this is psrt of normal operation.
    If you dont play it, it's not an instrument!

  18. #18
    1K Club Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,664

    Default

    I'm not sure how much the temperatuce fluctuates with the gas water heaters, but with electric there is a heat, cool and heat again cycle of a few degrees even with no water use.

    When heating there will be some water discharged from the relief valve. That will keep happening every heating cycle even if no hot water is used. When the tank cools and internal pressure drops, a small amount of cold water will enter from the mains. Simple expansion and contraction here and nothing magic.

    I don't know the figures but 20mL doesn't seem at all excessive to me. If I had one of those water meters then I'd check mine but I would have guessed it would be higher than that. I suspect the gas heaters may fluctuate less (?) which would reduce the water loss through expansion and contraction.

  19. #19
    1K Club Member journeyman Mick's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Kuranda, paradise, North Qld
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,782

    Default

    Why don't you shut off the cold water feed to the HWS next time you go out for the day? This will tell you if the problem is the HWS or a leak somewhere else.

    Mick
    "If you need a machine today and don't buy it,

    tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."

    - Henry Ford 1938

  20. #20
    1K Club Member Gooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
    I'm not sure how much the temperatuce fluctuates with the gas water heaters, but with electric there is a heat, cool and heat again cycle of a few degrees even with no water use.

    When heating there will be some water discharged from the relief valve. That will keep happening every heating cycle even if no hot water is used. When the tank cools and internal pressure drops, a small amount of cold water will enter from the mains. Simple expansion and contraction here and nothing magic.
    Thats exactly what I think it is. 20ml seems about right. Probably more to do with the expansion/contraction of the water cylinder is it cools down thus allowing a little more water to trickle through. I had a shower about 30 minutes before I read the meter. So by the time I read the meter, I assume the HWS was fresh from a heating cycle.

    In fact, I calculated that the water cylinder diameter would have to increase by a fraction of a mm (around 40 micron) to accommodate an extra 20ml. It would bulge in the middle meaning that it would probably be about 120 micron in the middle...about a growth of the thickness of a hair in radius....

    Hmmm.. maybe I spend too much time thinking of this kinda stuff...?

  21. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orstralia
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
    T I had a shower about 30 minutes before I read the meter.
    You need a hobby, try woodwork..

  22. #22
    gasfixeruperer
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast
    Age
    55
    Posts
    108

    Default

    A single revolution of a water meter is usually 1 litre. x.001 stamped on the meter dial means one thousandth of a cubic metre (1 kilolitre)

    When you heat cold water it expands. The colder it is (in Melbourne), the more it expands. This is what the cold expansion valve on the cold water inlet is for. The manufacturers instructions advise that sometimes as much as a bucket of water a day may be lost through the expansion valve. This is normal. Save it to a bucket and water your plants with it

Similar Threads

  1. Hot Water System is Leaking (uh-oh) !
    By dammit in forum Plumbing
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 4th May 2008, 02:54 PM
  2. Hot Water System
    By gregt in forum Plumbing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16th Mar 2007, 07:27 AM
  3. Electric hot water system making cold water
    By Nolesy in forum Plumbing
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 14th Dec 2006, 08:36 PM
  4. Hot water system troubleshooting (bosch water wizard 780)
    By weezlebub in forum Heating & Cooling
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 5th Jul 2006, 06:41 PM
  5. hot water system
    By Gaynor in forum Plumbing
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 1st Aug 2004, 05:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •