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Plumbing help. New LPG Hot water needed.(continuous)

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  1. #1
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    Default Plumbing help. New LPG Hot water needed.(continuous)

    I need to buy a new LPG continuous hot water system for our country house. Yes it DOES need to be that kind. I am not going electric, and we cannot possibly afford a solar heat pump system with gas assist (I am on a pension & a $600 federal grant is useless for a $5000 system that sounds like a jet plane).

    Our home/system has two sources of water...both our rain tanks (which are under pump pressure) and bore water (under pressure from a 4 meter tower with a very large header tank). I would prefer to continue to use both with a bypass switch. Do you have any suggestions on which hot water system might work well without the need for an extra pump? I have no idea how many Kilo Pascals our system produces in pressure. I know it was enough to run an older model system (used 2 D cells for ignition) but things change in appliances, and many new models seem to require a great deal of pressure.

    Incidentally, the bore water has very little sediment in it (a very small amount of iron granules) and has some salinity, but enough to bother a garden, a lawn, or stock and other animals. In a pinch we could drink it but we prefer the 40,000 litres of rain water we have <grin>.

    1) Any ideas as to which heaters might work well in this system? I know I could always pay another $200+ and put a pressure pump onto the bore, but there is no reason to have on at this time, and if it can easily be avoided I would prefer to do so.

    2) Any idea (or decent guess) at how much KPA pressure a 4 meter bore header tower creates? I haven't the foggiest. I know we get between 7 and 8 litres per minute through the small copper pipe inlet into the laundry area, more through the larger black pipes outside the house (and from the outside taps connected to them).


    Your help would be appreciated.




  2. #2
    Golden Member manofaus's Avatar
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    i think for every 10m of head you get 1 atm or 101.3kpa, ignoring losses. thats from the top of the water to the point you are taking the water from.... or perhaps that is diving....
    sorry for the ramble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manofaus View Post
    i think for every 10m of head you get 1 atm or 101.3kpa,
    Correct, this is static head. The pipe friction losses then determine the dynamic (working) head which is the static head less the total of all friction losses. The head is calculated from the header tank's upper working level to the system's outlet; that is, the height where it would enter the heater will determine the available dynamic head and this may be less than the height of the header tank. The heater will also contribute to the friction loss.

    The size of the header tank has no influence on head pressure apart from the fact that the tank will have a slower draw down, thereby maintaining the higher available pressures a bit longer.

    You need to check on the pressure required by the heater.

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    I that is true, then I would need roughly a ten meter tower in order to get the 100KPS which the extreme majority of continuous LPG hot water systems now require, which is far higher than any hot water system really needs.

    However, nearly everything but these days (other than electric tank systems of course...which will cost you a great deal to run) require at least 100KPs, which is (as I understand it) essentially low mains pressure. As I said it is also nowhere NEAR what is *really* necessary to run a simple gas heater. Most of the older models did not require this much pressure. It is rather annoying and in my opinion they are now engineering ONLY for the city, and forcing people to use electricity hungry pumps where none are really needed. We all ought to be moving toward low flow systems (which are far more more ecologically sound and cost less to run). Besides which there are a large number of homes in the country that still have low flow systems. All those people are and those people are being forced to either put on a pump or use a very energy hungry pump system.

    Many of the older BOSCHE and RINNAI heaters ran just fine at much lower amounts of pressure. I have contacted Rinnai vial email, as they make a fair number of heaters that are not quite as high in their pressure requirements. WHo knows, I might get lucky. I don't look forward to the cost (and effort, as I am disabled) of putting on a new pump system too. The old pump (now dead, and was never replaced as there was no reason) was english pipe fittings, and so are all the pipes on the property. The adapters that they make tend to require a lot of fiddling (in my experienmce so far) and are also rather expensive, considering that they a small bits of plastic and cost a fraction of a cent to make.

    I am also a bit puzzled as to why there are no longer any continuous flow LPG systems that run with 2 D cells, as so many of them used to. The engineers all now make ones that require mains power and also mains water pressure. Those which do not use require mains power INSIST on high pressure in order to kick over a water pressure generated ignition system (which are kind of cool, but don't work at low pressures). I just think given the price of electricity, it is really silly to force people to buy energy sucking pumps, when many of them have low flow system specifically to keep their energy costs down...all when electrical prices are soaring..

    In my opinions this is why so many of these crappy and dangerous Chinese knock off water heaters are selling to people who do not know the dangers of them.

    They are not overpriced (as so many water heaters are) and they *DO* run at low pressure and with ignition by 2 D cells, and many people seriously WANT those features. Some have no choice in the matter as they either get those features or they don't get hot water (remote locations, no mains power, limited solar only and with header tanks). Unfortunately the AGA certified heaters don't seem to have them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Linder View Post
    It is rather annoying and in my opinion they are now engineering ONLY for the city, and forcing people to use electricity hungry pumps where none are really needed. We all ought to be moving toward low flow systems (which are far more more ecologically sound and cost less to run). Besides which there are a large number of homes in the country that still have low flow systems. All those people are and those people are being forced to either put on a pump or use a very energy hungry pump system.

    The adapters that they make tend to require a lot of fiddling (in my experienmce so far) and are also rather expensive, considering that they a small bits of plastic and cost a fraction of a cent to make.

    The engineers all now make ones that require mains power and also mains water pressure. Those which do not use require mains power INSIST on high pressure in order to kick over a water pressure generated ignition system (which are kind of cool, but don't work at low pressures). I just think given the price of electricity, it is really silly to force people to buy energy sucking pumps, when many of them have low flow system specifically to keep their energy costs down...all when electrical prices are soaring..
    I agree with your sentiments and I also think that the powers that be often do not consider the overall picture when designating the various efficiency ratings. I could do a long rant about this one!

    The other problem is that the Australian hardware retail landscape has changed for the worse in many ways that are not apparent to the average consumer and things are only going to get worse. The big green shed and others of the same ilk are full of cheap and nasty foreign products as well as many other product lines formerly carried exclusively by smaller dedicated hardware stores and plumbing outlets. The problem now is that the new major players only carry the common high turnover lines and are not interested in stocking the less common and hence slower selling lines. If consumers can't find the less common line that they are after or seek a product of better design and quality, they head down to a small struggling hardware outlet to get themselves out of trouble but do not support the independents otherwise but still complain when they shut down. This rationale also affects manufacturers when the slower selling lines are not wanted by the majors and supplying to the smaller customer deprived players incurs a decreasing financial viability of product continuance and the decision is often then made to cease production.

    As I am a product developer and manufacturer, I have to point out that "small bits of plastic and cost a fraction of a cent to make" does not figure for the development costs. When you look at a "small bit of plastic", you don't see the time and wages spent on market research, regulations and compliance research, product design and development, prototyping costs and testing, design engineer's drawings, patents or design registrations if applicable, die design costs and manufacture, die trials to make sure it all works, advertising, travel to present the product to distributors and/or buyers, trade show demonstrations, packaging, bar coding registrations, administration, storage, transport etc etc etc.

    It is also extremely difficult to compete against products manufactured overseas. By way of example, we recently lost a big job to Vietnam because we couldn't compete with moulding /press time of $10 an hour or an operators daily wage of $9. Such products are invariably the high volume variety, check out the big green shed! When supplying smaller volume production, the break even costs are disproportionally higher and the retail price seldom reflects a lucrative profit to the manufacturer.

    Re energy costs, have you considered using a large pressure tank fed from the pump? This will substantially reduce your energy bill and prolong the pump's life but you would need to check that the reducing pressure that occurs when the pressure tank is emptying would still be sufficient. Different tanks operate with different pressures and some are quite high; the only drawback is that the higher the pressure - the less water by percentage volume is available to draw down.

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    RE the cheep plastic comment. I WAS including the cost of design and development. Most of those items come out of the 3rd world now where there are no standards for safety, and they dump toxic waste into the water table. As a result there are very low operating costs to make the new stuff. I think it is cool that the new pressure fittings are so adaptable, but they still cost $30 a pop to hook up in any real manner.

    NEXT


    1) no I can't afford to put in some high priced pressure tank system to cut electrical costs in the long run. I can barely afford $1000 for a continuous flow system as I am on a pension. We have been without reasonable access to hot water for two years now. The pressure equalizing system in the attic is dying (electric anyway) and the idiots who last lived here put a PUMP onto a system designed to be LOW FLOW. Tons of air block is the result (of course) and it has been that way the whole time we have lived here, slowly getting worse as the system dies & a few pipes need replaced as well.

    Otherwise I would use a tank based solar hot water system. I would love that but I do not have $5000. Plus installation out here is a nighmare. It is $100-$150 per call out, so every day they come out to your house it racks up extra casts in transportation. As a result we wind up doing most of our own work., Thankfully I grew up in a country area back in the days when we did EVERYTHING ourselves. I was under the house doing pipes and running wires through the attic when I was 8 (the advantage of being small). Whatever gets done on our hot water system, I have to do it on my own as the cost otherwise are too high.

    I spoke to the folks at Rennai today and spoke to a guy at the technical line (1300 555 545 & press "3") to find out my options. Yes I will need a pump (time to replace the dead one we never botherd to replace).

    According to them I would need a 40 meter head to use any of their continuous flow heaters. FORTY METERS??? HOLY *#&$6. or put in a pump (which eliminates the entire point of having a low flow system as they use drastically less $$$ in electricity than a system with a pump does).

    The rain water tank system already has a pump (is is no longer low flow, which is a part of why I need to REPLACE the hot water system as the folk who used to live here put a pump onto a low flow large pressure equalizing tank in the ceiling (water into the bottom and out of the top), which puts TONS if air into the lines ... thin of hitting a kids wading pool with a high pressure jet from the hose (it is a bit like running a fish bubbler into your hot water tank).

    I can tap into the rain water tank system without any huge dramas...but we really want to continue to have acess to the BORE water for hot water via the bypass, so we can use the bore. Not one person out here uses ONLY rain water in their hot water system, as the water has no significant sediment in it, and is just a bit saline...perfectly good for stock and plants (my garden does wonderfully on it & the animals and gardens have been getting that water here for the last 100+ years around here). You could honestly drink it and do OK, although the taste is annoying, but far less salty than Gatoraid is,

    They are sending the water heater specs to me to see if I would void my warranty using my BORE for the water supply (it has been tested).

    I told the guy that what really annoys me is that NONE of the AGA certified heaters make anything that will work under 100KPa anymore. NONE of them sued to require that kind of pressure and now they all do.

    He agreed with me.

    I said that they no longer cater to country Australia at all, at a time with high electricithy prices (and rising_) and with city people going over to their own independent rain water systems (off the grid) and many of them low flow...being ALSO forced to put n a pump or get a $5000 hybrid heat pump solar heat system with gas backup...or solar on the roof with gas backup )(all still VERY spendy).

    Basically they have abandoned the needs of their customers totally.

    He agreed with me.

    Our bore pump died ages ago and we have had no reason to replace it as every OTHER appliance we have works well at low flow rates...even the dish washer and washing machine. I do not need more than 10 liters every 45 seconds to fill a tub or take a shower. Nobody really does.

    Also mentioned that with everybody "going green" this is a really bad idea for their company and ANYBODY who makes an AGA certified continuous gas system that work at low flow rates (that are not TANK systems) will clean up & take away their business.

    He again, agreed with me.

    So their own employees know they are being stupid







    -------------------------

    He agreed with everything I said. Believes that this move to high pressure only isn't very bright, with all the city people going over to "rain water only"...going "green" and being independent on theie water use. the problems with chlorine with all the water utilities talking about going the way of "the L.A. water district in the USA" and getting rid of the chlorine & choramine as there are better methods of water treatment which cost them less and don't cause cancer, spinna biffada and miscarriages.


    ) at a time when everybody is going green and electricity prices are getting higher all the time. The future of all regional plumbing is LOW FLOW people...not high pressure mains, as you pay too much to AGL.

    , and the entirety of regional Australia is plumbed LOW FLOW, I told him that in my opinion the engineers are being lazy, and only catering to the city area and that with how high the cost of electricityh is, with everybody "going green" it is realaly short sighted to force people to use pumps, with all these city folk going over to rain water as well (which is also healthier for you than city water).


    a large number of city folk who have access to both rain tank system and nasty chlorinated water (which makes me ill) have been changing over to LOW FLOW

    . reg , and is lightly saline, but we could drink it if we needed to...it is fine for the animals and gardens which have been getting that water for the last 100 years around here).

    I also mentioned to him that it is reallt odd

  7. #7
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    RE the cheep plastic comment. I WAS including the cost of design and development. Most of those items come out of the 3rd world now where there are no standards for safety, and they dump toxic waste into the water table. As a result there are very low operating costs to make the new stuff. I think it is cool that the new pressure fittings are so adaptable, but they still cost $30 a pop to hook up in any real manner.

    NEXT


    1) no I can't afford to put in some high priced pressure tank system to cut electrical costs in the long run. I can barely afford $1000 for a continuous flow system as I am on a pension. We have been without reasonable access to hot water for two years now. The pressure equalizing system in the attic is dying (electric anyway) and the idiots who last lived here put a PUMP onto a system designed to be LOW FLOW. Tons of air block is the result (of course) and it has been that way the whole time we have lived here, slowly getting worse as the system dies & a few pipes need replaced as well.

    Otherwise I would use a tank based solar hot water system. I would love that but I do not have $5000. Plus installation out here is a nighmare. It is $100-$150 per call out, so every day they come out to your house it racks up extra casts in transportation. As a result we wind up doing most of our own work., Thankfully I grew up in a country area back in the days when we did EVERYTHING ourselves. I was under the house doing pipes and running wires through the attic when I was 8 (the advantage of being small). Whatever gets done on our hot water system, I have to do it on my own as the cost otherwise are too high.

    I spoke to the folks at Rennai today and spoke to a guy at the technical line (1300 555 545 & press "3") to find out my options. Yes I will need a pump (time to replace the dead one we never botherd to replace).

    According to them I would need a 40 meter head to use any of their continuous flow heaters. FORTY METERS??? HOLY *#&$6. or put in a pump (which eliminates the entire point of having a low flow system as they use drastically less $$$ in electricity than a system with a pump does).

    The rain water tank system already has a pump (is is no longer low flow, which is a part of why I need to REPLACE the hot water system as the folk who used to live here put a pump onto a low flow large pressure equalizing tank in the ceiling (water into the bottom and out of the top), which puts TONS if air into the lines ... thin of hitting a kids wading pool with a high pressure jet from the hose (it is a bit like running a fish bubbler into your hot water tank).

    I can tap into the rain water tank system without any huge dramas...but we really want to continue to have acess to the BORE water for hot water via the bypass, so we can use the bore. Not one person out here uses ONLY rain water in their hot water system, as the water has no significant sediment in it, and is just a bit saline...perfectly good for stock and plants (my garden does wonderfully on it & the animals and gardens have been getting that water here for the last 100+ years around here). You could honestly drink it and do OK, although the taste is annoying, but far less salty than Gatoraid is,

    They are sending the water heater specs to me to see if I would void my warranty using my BORE for the water supply (it has been tested).

    I told the guy that what really annoys me is that NONE of the AGA certified heaters make anything that will work under 100KPa anymore. NONE of them sued to require that kind of pressure and now they all do.

    He agreed with me.

    I said that they no longer cater to country Australia at all, at a time with high electricithy prices (and rising_) and with city people going over to their own independent rain water systems (off the grid) and many of them low flow...being ALSO forced to put n a pump or get a $5000 hybrid heat pump solar heat system with gas backup...or solar on the roof with gas backup )(all still VERY spendy).

    Basically they have abandoned the needs of their customers totally.

    He agreed with me.

    Our bore pump died ages ago and we have had no reason to replace it as every OTHER appliance we have works well at low flow rates...even the dish washer and washing machine. I do not need more than 10 liters every 45 seconds to fill a tub or take a shower. Nobody really does.

    Also mentioned that with everybody "going green" this is a really bad idea for their company and ANYBODY who makes an AGA certified continuous gas system that work at low flow rates (that are not TANK systems) will clean up & take away their business.

    He again, agreed with me.

    So their own employees know they are being stupid







    -------------------------

    He agreed with everything I said. Believes that this move to high pressure only isn't very bright, with all the city people going over to "rain water only"...going "green" and being independent on theie water use. the problems with chlorine with all the water utilities talking about going the way of "the L.A. water district in the USA" and getting rid of the chlorine & choramine as there are better methods of water treatment which cost them less and don't cause cancer, spinna biffada and miscarriages.


    ) at a time when everybody is going green and electricity prices are getting higher all the time. The future of all regional plumbing is LOW FLOW people...not high pressure mains, as you pay too much to AGL.

    , and the entirety of regional Australia is plumbed LOW FLOW, I told him that in my opinion the engineers are being lazy, and only catering to the city area and that with how high the cost of electricityh is, with everybody "going green" it is realaly short sighted to force people to use pumps, with all these city folk going over to rain water as well (which is also healthier for you than city water).


    a large number of city folk who have access to both rain tank system and nasty chlorinated water (which makes me ill) have been changing over to LOW FLOW

    . reg , and is lightly saline, but we could drink it if we needed to...it is fine for the animals and gardens which have been getting that water for the last 100 years around here).

    I also mentioned to him that it is reallt odd

  8. #8
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    Default very odd repeating pieces of my post

    My apologies for the multiple postings and bits and pieces of posts (several times it looks like). I have no idea why that happened. The site kept not quite posting my comments. So after 20 minutes or so I brought the page mack in and tried again.

    It also seems to have eaten pieces of what I wrote in some of my attempts to send. Very odd indeed.

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    I suspect this isn't the answer you are interested in hearing, but a simple electric HWS connected to off-peak would get around all these pressure hassles and shouldn't be expensive to run as long as it's well insulated. Not too expensive to buy either.

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    Ken...give the lads at Servgas in Sydney a yell on 02 99057486. They do water heaters for RVs, caravans and home units and they may be able to help you with your low flow requirements - minimum working pressures of 30kPa are quoted.

    They have a website but it is rather scant and wobbly so I suspect not a high priority for them Main Category Listing - Replacement Hot Water Systems for balanced flue, under cupboard, internal applications. Get instantaneous hot water to your home unit, caravan and motor home

    Best of luck
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

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    I've looked into RV hot water heaters. Seems from what I have read, most of them are NOT AGA certified and are actually illegal & putting on onto your RV (or granny flat, shack or home) means that if anything happens regarding your hot eater heater (fire or worse) your insurance will not pay up. There is a fair amount of discussion about this on various AGA plumbing forums. I figure most consumers have no idea what they are buying is dangerous or uncerftified. I've yet to find any small LPG units for low flow situations that *ARE* AGA certified, only a few electric jobs...or ones for camping that are not rated to be used on any building.

    Most of these Chinese (not AGA certified) jobs tend to die fast. They also only turn on for 15 minutes out of one days time, require knob fiddling to turn them on, and every so often one will blow up in a persons face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Linder View Post
    They also only turn on for 15 minutes out of one days time, require knob fiddling to turn them on, and every so often one will blow up in a persons face.
    There's nothing quite like a water heater blowing up in your face to start the day...

    Pardon the attempted humor. But I can just imagine someone standing outside in pyjamas fiddling with the knobs and trying to get the thing going on a cold winter morning whilst swearing and cursing constantly...

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    The very old towns gas bath heaters were a real hazard for singeing eyebrows and nose hairs, but golly they were reliable.....

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