The Tank › Barn Water Heater
- July 11, 2008 at 5:26 pm #9051
Hi- a neophyte here, hoping to find help in choosing a water heater for the barn – it will mainly be used for bathing horses, but also a little bit of cleaning and general use.
1. we are at altitude: 7200 ft
2. Colorado – it is VERY cold in the winter, the barn is not heated
3. I only need hot water perhaps once a day to bathe horses in the summer, maybe once or twice a week in winter
4. I have electric, possibly propane, no natural gas
5. HARD water – like none you have ever seen.
We bought a Bosch Aquastar LP tankless, set up a heated, portable box for it, only to find out that it won’t work (light) at altitude. Tankless heaters are VERY expensive but are easier to drain in the winter I assume, but I would rather not spend $1000. Do you have any suggestions?July 13, 2008 at 1:52 am #9058Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: It seems you could change the tankless heater burner orifice to adjust for elevation, but still tankless don’t like hard water. I’d compare prices of propane and electricity to see which one to lean towards. In a dusty environment, electric will be easier to deal with. Another thing to consider is what number of gallons you’ll need at a time.
Tankless heaters are much lower mass than tank type heaters so are more at risk of freezing. There are different freeze control strategies, but a power outtage during a cold snap could create trouble. If you go with a tank and it isn’t used much, sulpher odor is a possibility. Does that help?
Yours, LarryJuly 15, 2008 at 8:42 pm #9090
Thank you for the reply. Yes it does help. I will ask my plumber about changing the burner orifice.
I need to bring probably about 6 gallons of water a minute from (i’m guessing) 55 degrees to 90 or 95 degrees. I don’t think an electric heater would work? but if it would it would surely be easier. I will ck on this unless you have suggestions. We were planning on draining the lines after each use in the winter, as well as having the heated box around the tank. Sulphur odor probably won’t be a problem in the barn, it sounds as though hard water will be however with a tankless. We have a sediment filter on the incoming line, but that won’t help the mineral deposit I am told… and I thought it would be so easy!
Thanks so much for your reply, if you have other comments based on the above, I would love to hear them.
AnitaJuly 16, 2008 at 1:51 am #9092Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: One other thing comes to mind and I don’t know why, with EnergyExpert nearby, it took me so long… Marathon electric heaters need no anode, so make no odor. They are not cheap, but are efficient, should tolerate dust and hard water and might be just the thing 😎 All that’s needed (aside from $) is to figure how much hot water you’ll need at a time to see if the right size heater is available.
Yours, LarryJuly 16, 2008 at 7:16 am #9094energyexpertParticipant
If you decide to go with a Marathon the cheapest place I’ve found is http://www.chec.coop. 800-454-5615. Ask for Ann Swain.
If you go with electric and recovery is an issue and you have the ampacity available:
You can change out the lower thermostat with another upper thermostat and pull a separate circuit to feed it. Each thermostat will run independently of the other.
4500 watts will heat 1/2 gpm 60 F rise. Wired as above you will get 9000 watts for 1 gpm 60 F rise.
DavidJuly 16, 2008 at 7:39 pm #9096
David and Larry,
Thanks so much – I looked into the Marathon, they seem like a great solution, and the cost is less than LP tankless heaters, or at least comparable. I have plenty of power in the barn… You guys are great for spending your time to help out! I will get back with questions if I have any, or reports when the heater is installed.
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