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[#] Wed Feb 25 2009 00:05:47 EST from Harbard @ Uncensored

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Efficiency numbers are flexible.  I would think it would be higher for my situation.  I live alone.  So I have a 60 gallon tank heating water 24/7.  All for one shower a day, laundry and dishes a couple of times a week.  The real question is how fast the payback is.  With the price of natural gas going up all the time...might be worth it when this tank finally gives up the ghost.

[#] Wed Feb 25 2009 01:23:05 EST from triLcat @ Uncensored

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solar rulez!

[#] Wed Feb 25 2009 08:12:42 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Solar rulez if you live in a desert, sure ... most of us don't :)

[#] Wed Feb 25 2009 08:45:18 EST from flynnfx @ Uncensored

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Heh - I remember a story about London puchasing solar parking meters to cut costs,

only to find out a ton ofthem weren't working in rainy London most of the time.

Ah, here's the story...


British weather clouds solar parking meters

[#] Wed Feb 25 2009 10:09:19 EST from Peter Pulse @ Uncensored

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When I was in HS, my friends father built a solar hot water setup for his house (on Long Island). This was just a zigzag of pipe, painted black, within wooden trays covered with glass. Connected to an insulated tank in the attic such that convection caused the water to flow through the collector. The cold water came into this system, and the warm water was taken out the top into the regular hot water heater. It does not seem like it would do much in New York, but in fact it did work well, he told me the hot water heater barely went on at all in the summer and much less in the winter, the system paid for itself in a few years.

[#] Thu Feb 26 2009 11:22:23 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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That's pretty cool. Sounds like it was built from scratch, not a solar "kit" of some sort?

[#] Thu Feb 26 2009 20:25:57 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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They claim to be 8-14% more efficient. I guess they're not keeping up

temperatures at night, so they can be more efficient in the long

The tank that came with my house leaked about 2 years ago, and it turned out there was a class action lawsuit about that particular model, but since I wasn' the original owner, I don't get a refund.
So I bought this monsterous stainless steel thing that will outlast this country, and I'm pretty sure I don't have to worry about it maintaining heat over night.
I've been without power for 4 days and was still able to get warm water on day 4.

[#] Thu Feb 26 2009 20:30:26 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Users of a tankless heater don't have to deal with drop-off in temp as

they're showering/washing/doing/dishes/etc...since there's no inflow of
water into the previously hot water, the only negative effect on water temp

counter likewise, I can set the temperature of my tank to be a lot hotter than I want it.
The advantage, is a) the lowering of temperature of water in the tank doesn't adversly affect the use of the water, because it's still way hotter than I'd ever want it, because
b) the hotter the water in the tank is, the more cold water I will mix it with at the tap to make it comfortable, which means I use less of the hot water, and it lasts longer.
This also means the boiler has more time to catch up when I do start using noticable amounts of hot water.

So while your instant-burner can heat on demand, I expect there's a practical limit as to HOW hot it can make the water, so you probably end up pissing away a lot of energy to heat as quickly as you can just to get as much hot water as you do.
There is value in a buffer, and like I said, my tank (ymmv) is a monster of efficiency. Of course I paid for it, but it's there now, so it's free.

[#] Thu Feb 26 2009 20:31:49 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Solar rulez if you live in a desert, sure ... most of us don't :)

Heh, that's almost exactly what I ws going to say.

Solar rules if you live in the desert, but why the hell would you want to live in the desert. :-)

Actually, I was in florida last week, and Ihave to say, the desert, when it's not humid, is pretty damn nice.

[#] Thu Feb 26 2009 21:41:01 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Ford: what brand/model monster did you get? Is it an indirect-fired tank system?

[#] Thu Feb 26 2009 23:27:13 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Different subject: I'm looking for the best way to fix a slow-running drain.

The thing that makes this one a little bit special is that I know that the clog is pretty far down the line. Not in the main stack, but the clog is "shared" between the tub and the bathroom sink, so it's probably in the section of pipe that goes from the bathroom area to the main stack.

Also, I suspect that it could be a foreign object rather than a hair clog, because it started in the sink a few months ago, and after a *long* plunging session the sink drained into the tub. Drain opener got it running again, but it's been slow ever since.

Do those CO2-charged openers work? How about the ones that connect to a garden hose?

[#] Fri Feb 27 2009 06:55:26 EST from Freakdog @ Dog Pound BBS II

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So while your instant-burner can heat on demand, I expect there's a

practical limit as to HOW hot it can make the water, so you probably
end up pissing away a lot of energy to heat as quickly as you can just

to get as much hot water as you do.

I'm going to assume that you don't have a houshold of 6, Ford, but I do...I'm doubtful that your tank could keep up with my household.

My tankless heater has an electronic setup for max temp of the water comign out of it...I don't have to set it ridiculously high...I've either got it set to 124 or 140.

Whether or not one is more efficient than the other remains a subject of conjecture...I do know that my gas bill has been lower over the last year and a half that I've had it than it had been before....and I can't blame a warmer winter for that, as this winter has been below freezing for much of the time, here in the midwest.

[#] Fri Feb 27 2009 19:00:26 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Ford: what brand/model monster did you get? Is it an indirect-fired
tank system?

Superstore Ultra. 60 gallons, I think?
Stainless steel indirect fired water tank.

[#] Fri Feb 27 2009 19:05:03 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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Do those CO2-charged openers work? How about the ones that connect to

a garden hose?

Before you go nuts with the high tech, use a snake.
I pulled this thing, and I do mean 'thing' out of my tub train (same thing, sink and tub both backed up, in fact you run the sink, and the tub starts to fill up) with a snake. It took a long time and it was really really far down, but I got it. It was like those pictures where the guy is holding up the big fish he caught on the board.
This thing was at least 2-3 feet long of solid hair and sludge muck.

It was awesome.

Plumber taught me a few tricks:
1) if you can run the snake through the drain stopper VALVE, do that, you avoid having to go through the trap under the tub drain.
2) use the tub drain its easier (though if you have better access under your sink, maybe take off the trap and do it that way.
3) be careful if you have lead pipes, I carved a hole in my lead pipes the first time I snaked it because the snake just spun and spun and scrached a line through the pipe just like a pipe cutter, but from the inside.

[#] Fri Feb 27 2009 22:16:49 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Going through the stopper valve opening is a great idea. Ours never worked, so I've long since removed the handle and it's only there as an overflow drain.
We use an old-fashioned plug to fill the tub.

The last time I had a really bad clog in the tub, I took the trap apart.
It was rather convenient because most of the bathroom plumbing is exposed in the basement underneath. When I got it off, the "thing" that I removed was ... all of the broken parts from the drain stopper valve. (I never bothered to rebuild it... too many small and custom parts, and the plug is just so much easier.)

I know that this clog originally started in the sink drain -- a lot of plunging "pushed" it past the part of the pipe where the tub drain joins. Since it started in the sink, and started suddenly, I'm assuming that the Little Princess of Entropy dropped a small solid object of some sort into the drain. Depending on the nature of the object it may be something that will never decompose.

Hmm... I just looked at my pipes again and both the drain and the overflow go through the same pipe to the trap. But, it occurs to me that I could remove the trap again and snake directly from there. I've got an old crappy snake but it might work.

[#] Fri Feb 27 2009 23:58:07 EST from Ford II @ Uncensored

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erm, I wasn't thinking little plastic toy, snaking might not grab it unless you managed to dig a hole in it.
Try it, if snaking doesn't work, maybe some nasty liquid plumber type chemicals would melt it or at least soften it so it would flow down.

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 21:08:51 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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We ended up doing all of the above. Started by removing the trap and snaking the line out from there. It got a lot of goop out but it didn't relieve the clog. So we stopped up the sink and did some *very* *messy* plunging at the tub. Seems to have done the job.

[#] Sun Mar 01 2009 01:57:21 EST from Harbard @ Uncensored

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"Little Princess of Entropy"


I AM SO STEALING THAT!  Of course I doubt anyone in my family will understand it....

[#] Mon Mar 02 2009 00:01:38 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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I guess you have one too. :)

[#] Mon Mar 02 2009 13:54:32 EST from fleeb @ Uncensored

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So I was sorta thinking it was colder than usual in the condominium.

I kinda guessed that I was imagining things, since it snowed so much outside... that I imagined that the temperature was colder than usual. I didn't even bother to check the temperature inside to make sure I was right or anything.. just assumed it.

Then, I decided, imaginary or not, I was going to pump up the temperature a bit, so I went to my thermostat and discovered that the battery had gone dead.

Damned funny timing.

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