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New water heater install with new technology called Heatworks

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I am going to upgrade a water heater from a forty to fifty gallon which is routine, but we have found a device at Lowes called a heatworks on demand booster. When I put in the fifty gallon, I will install a new forty amp breaker and about twenty five feet of 240 amp eight gage wire. The heatwork device is about the size of a football and only weights less than twenty pounds. It has an input, and output pvc plumbing connection. Your hot water heater has two heating rods. In this case the new traditional water heater will pull 5500 watts which each one of your heating elements pull, with the top one going on first, and then the second one going on at the bottom, but only after turning off the top heater. In this way the water heater never pulls more electricity from your panel and allows on the standard water heater to pull thirty amps.

The really cool thing about the new technology is that it is an on demand water heater which does not heat up the water by first heating a rod which over time gets corroded with minerals. It heats the water directly and is able to give a twelve year warranty where the new fifty gallon traditional water heater only has a six year warranty. This booster will take the fifty gallon capacity of the new water heater I am installing and boost capacity to eighty gallons using a fifty amp breaker, or about seventy gallons at forty amp. The best part I am able to bolt a bracket above the new water heater and put the unit in the bracket where it acts as a control unit on the two heating elements in the traditional water heater and turns on an on demand water heater using the same wire from the panel with a provided extension wire which connects the two units. It comes with a small control window where you can digitally set water temp and the watts you want to pull on the unit which in this case it is preset to 15 amp which I will increase it up to 40 amps which gives the unit the ability for three hundred dollars to double my hot water capacity, while saving energy because it is not heating and storing water but only turns on when a spigot is turned on in the house. This is a rental house with five bedrooms which had a forty gallon traditional hot water heater on a double pole 20 amp breaker which never could fill the master bathroom big tub with hot water. Now the three bathroom home can turn on all three showers and get almost unlimited hot water. The conservation of electricity, water, and cost of wire and breakers makes this an unbelievable bargain for upgrading your hot water and increasing capacity.

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I might give that a look on my cabin next spring. I'm trying to move things to theft crawl space to maximize interior/living area. I'll also be looking at stackable washer dryer units.

They can be used as stand alone without a traditional water heater.  Many big houses in new construction are using these as on demand in multiple areas in the house, and instead of plumbing long hot water runs, they are saving money with just cold water runs, and plumbing hot water locally in each bathroom and kitchen, and upgrading wiring to ten instead of twelve and putting multiple thirty amp breakers.   There is a great utube which shows how easy the install is and you could easily take out your current water heater and get less expensive side by side washer and dryer.   We will be buying a water heater and the new device this afternoon and will report the electric work and plumbing issues which always pop up in an install.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5cKGd9wEdY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBN1xmqQFS8

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Try a tankless water heater. Except, in Pensacola, if you use no gas during the month, you still get charged a $10.82 flat-fee.

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I have put in tankless water heaters both electric and natural gas. I have no natural gas available in Navarre. I do not want to run off propane. Right now we have found a shark mixer valve at home depot which allows you to increase the temp to 140 degrees in the tank and the valve mixes cold water to 120 which says it doubles your hot water output from the water heater, so we could now get a double pole 20 amp 3500 burner forty gallon water heater and it will be equal to the 80 gallon output of the booster. We will use more electricity, but will not increase the load on our breaker, not have to do any electrical work, and the new unit will only have a 20 inch diameter which will allow it to slip into the old water heater closet. Going shopping to determine the best answer.

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I have always wanted to do this. My water heater is 40 gallon, but it's located in my shed, which is a short distance from the house. It works fine; just takes forever to warm up inside the house. I will look into this; please let me know how your retrofit works out.

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I have had a bad today. I am weakening very quickly now, and with my driving the dump truck 19 straight hours, I have been off since Saturday. I will show photos before, and after in my water heater closet. If you are running a water heater out of the shed and could insulate the hell out of it in the winter, this set up I have now will definitely increase your hot water and they argue in the videos that it kills bacteria like legionnaires because of the very high temp.

My only concern is a friend left their two year old at the baby sitter, and the sitter gave the child a bath and left the room briefly as she got a towel, but because of the water heater being set to high in less than one minute the child suffered third degree burns which required skin grafts and multiple operations. Because the women was running a business out of her home the homeowner's insurance denied coverage, and the lady had no assets. It was a tragedy which I am concerned with my natural gas whole house on demand water heater which I cannot turn down because it will not heat without the high setting, and a person can get scalded if they do not mix cold water at the shower. We do not bath the grandkids that often, but my wife will premix before they enter the tub. What is nice about this is there is an allen wrench which will adjust the mixer valve and then you test all your fixtures for scalding and temp. This house could easily have six people in the five bedrooms so a forty gallon does not work, but this mixing valve allows a huge amount of hot water at 120 degrees, which seems to be what most on demand require because of liability. So for example it might have drawn down a gallon of hot water in one minute at 120 degrees, but if the temp starts at 140, and you can mix a gallon of cold water at the water heater, then instead of running out of hot water on a long shower, you are only using half the water in the hot water tank, and as a result the water you are bringing in cold is getting more time to heat. Photos to come.

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The funny thing is that a plumber came up to me as my wife and I were checking out shark bite joints at home depot, and he goes" you look lost, how can I help you.....I am a plumber and these clerks do know anything" My wife looks at me as we both smell alcohol on his breath, and then I explain that we were trying to make a decision on the heatworks booster system or the shark bite cold water adjustable valve mixer. He goes "huh", like we were idiots, and then I just proceeded to have him cocking his head like a puppy explaining both systems which he knew nothing about. He was going to try to bad mouth the shark bite joints which are very expensive, but they can go over copper, pex, or pvc and they make absolute tight joints, and the best part they have a tool which allows you to easily take out the plumbing next time your replace the hot water heater. I explained that I prefer to solder copper but the house has pex, and it is a pain in the asz in tight space to transition. He asked a few questions, and then realized he was not going to troll for work at Home depot with folks who have been plumbing houses for forty years. I was polite, and took his card, but he had no idea what a mixing valve was, and I almost said it works exactly like the mixing valve in every shower in America, but he knew and I knew hell would freeze over before I would hire him, as he did not even understand basic plumbing.

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We built the water heater stand, got a new drip pan, ran the 10 gauge wire in conduit through the crawl space to the box, cut the drywall below the box and drilled a hole into the crawl space. Pulled the wire and are ready to do wiring to a new 30 amp double breaker to cover the 4500 watts on the heating element on the hotpoint 40 gallon water heater. We have fallen in love with shark bite fixtures as we put two shut off valves on the existing lines in four minutes and turned the water back on and not one leak. With the funny looking orange tool, after I pass the next person can simply put that tool next to the joint and push and the damn thing comes off effortlessly to be reused.



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I will be working tonight in between the Cavs and Bulls game, and will post photos. The first photo shows the mixing valve. It is a simple configuration which if anybody has ever put in a shower, the mixing valve on every shower in America uses this old technology which is a manual turn of the valve to regulate the water in the shower. The difference here is that the mixing is done right on top of the water heater which allows the water heater to be set at a dangerous high setting. The photo is not great but there are two manual adjusting nuts using an allen wrench where you set the cold water mixing. Once I fire up the electric it will take a couple of hours to heat the tank. I will manually set the hot water thermostat to the highest reading which I believe is 140. I then will check each shower and bath in the house to test the scalding with the hot water only. If I set it too high, the tenants will waste water cooling the hot water down. The ideal situation is to have mostly hot water premixed to 120 of sufficient pressure to allow just a small amount of cold water to be turned on when showering. About an hour of electric work and an hour of finishing the plumbing. I still need to insulate the water heater closet. I have insulated the water heater stand and the lower walls, but need to insulate the upper part. If you can insulate and seal, you save a tremendous amount of money keeping the water heater from a cold floor, or air conditioning. It will be hot in the closet as somebody foamed all the joints to make it an airtight closet. I will do the same when I seal it back up. The house is 12 years old in May, and it is remarkable that this water heater lasted this long.



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I am not happy the way things are done in Florida concerning codes. The damn yellow wire you see with the caps is the old 12 wire that came from the double 20amp breaker which really should have been a 30 amp and orange wire which is 10 gage. Additionally all they did in the closet was punch the romex through the drywall and pull it to the old water heater, and then they foamed the hole. You are suppose to come out of the wall into an approved electrical box. I will temporarily do it the same way to test the system, but before I seal up the water heater closet and insulate it, I will put in a junction box at the point the conduit comes through the floor, and I will put a box on the 12 wire and drill through the wall which has no brick and run some exterior motion lights and provide power to the new deck. I will remove the double 20 amp breaker and put two individual 20 amp breakers.

I have four new homes built in 2005 which I am now renting and I am appalled by the use of 14 gage wire to save a few bucks. A house in these modern times should be wired with 12 gage wire. A person putting a microwave, refrigerator, or window unit to supplement the central air is clueless that these houses are not wired to support that and face fire risk or if everything is working correctly popped breakers. I have wired over five houses and I run 12 to everything and pay a few hundred dollars a house more. It is no accident there are so many fires reported in the PNJ. It is appalling.

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It is done. The shark bite compression fittings make it simple and a child could replace this water heater next time. Cold water tested fine, and released the air in the water heater. Turned on the breaker and will wait three hours before going to each bathroom and testing scalding and adjusting the water heater mixing valve. The shark bite mixing valve was simple. I have looked it up and the difference between 120 setting and 140 setting eliminates dangerous bacteria and only cost about 2 dollars a month more while saving water. We got lucky to get 12 years out of a water heater, but if this mixing valve which was about fifty bucks saves $500 to double up water heaters, the ten years of higher electric bills would only be half of the cost of a new water heater. So this simple mixing valve really is providing unlimited hot water for half the price of getting two hot water heaters, or paying an arm and a leg for an on demand system. I am going to install the heatworks in the park model as a stand alone. It is such a simple system, and the install will be in tight quarters in the park model. Worn out but waiting for the next challenge.

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After closing on our house in October on PB we traveled to our vacation spot near the LBL area in western KY. Our son and his wife had recently been to our vacation spot recently and called to tell me he could hear water in a wall adjacent the shower in the guest bedroom. I had told him not to worry about it and simply turn the water off and I would deal with it. One of my good friends who lives here year round works at the local hardware store and came down to give a hand. He told me about the Sharkbite and we replaced the fittings to both the hot and cold to the shower . . . .I was very impressed as to how easy it was . . . . . great product!

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I have been old school on plumbing in regard to copper. I believed all plumbing should be soldered. However, these shark bites compression fittings work with everything and a child could do it.

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Had a problem.  I was at another project unloading my bobcat from the dump truck when my wife called and said she was not getting hot water.  I never checked the voltage read from the box, so we picked up a voltage meter, and began to figure what was wrong.  Reset the circuit breaker and tightened the connections and checked the ground.   The wire to the water heater was getting power.  Turned the breaker off and opened the top hatch to review the connections.   One of the wires seemed loose, and fired up the breaker.  We were getting good power to the input into the water heater.  Went to the bottom heater took the cover off, and removed the insulation.  Turned the breaker on and oh oh.....no power to the lower heater.......chit.   So I open the top heater and set the temp to 140 which I forgot to do earlier only setting the bottom one, and no power to the upper unit.......chit.    Then in the back of the upper thermostat and heating rod there appeared to be a button.   I figured it was a safety breaker and reset the button.   Power to the top unit.   Power to the lower unit.   No idea what caused it to trip, but we are cooking hot water now.   If there is a problem, it will trip again.   Nothing is ever simple, but I think we have this covered.

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2seaoat wrote:Had a problem.  I was at another project unloading my bobcat from the dump truck when my wife called and said she was not getting hot water.  I never checked the voltage read from the box, so we picked up a voltage meter, and began to figure what was wrong.  Reset the circuit breaker and tightened the connections and checked the ground.   The wire to the water heater was getting power.  Turned the breaker off and opened the top hatch to review the connections.   One of the wires seemed loose, and fired up the breaker.  We were getting good power to the input into the water heater.  Went to the bottom heater took the cover off, and removed the insulation.  Turned the breaker on and oh oh.....no power to the lower heater.......chit.   So I open the top heater and set the temp to 140 which I forgot to do earlier only setting the bottom one, and no power to the upper unit.......chit.    Then in the back of the upper thermostat and heating rod there appeared to be a button.   I figured it was a safety breaker and reset the button.   Power to the top unit.   Power to the lower unit.   No idea what caused it to trip, but we are cooking hot water now.   If there is a problem, it will trip again.   Nothing is ever simple, but I think we have this covered.

Good troubleshooting Mr. Oats . . . .

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