Saaby, just over a month ago the only 15 year old unit in this house gave up the ghost as well. Since mine was insured they didn't replace it with anything quite that fancy, but I got a new outdoor unit for the heat pump and a new set of coils inside and a new set of electronics. Only the blower from the old system left.
I highly advise anyone purchasing a house with a heating and ac system more than a couple of years old to buy (or make the folks selling to you buy) a home warrenty. I renued ours at the end of the first year here. Cost me around $300, if I had to pay for that furnace myself would have been several thousand!
So we're happily heat pumping again rather than running on electric heat which was pretty scarry for the electric bill. One more month of that and I would have paid for the new furnace that way!
I thought I'd pass the code heat requirement (theoretically; must maintain 70F at 3 feet from floor for 24 hours with outdoor temp of 29F.) (that's right, here in South Cali.) with in-concrete-floor hot water radiant heating.
After all it only needed a few hundred feet of plastic tubing embedded in the concrete, hook up a recirculating, on demand water heater, and we're in business, right? Nope, turns out installing this stuff is a lucrative part time business for some of folx; they wanted $5K for the 700 sqr. foot job..har har..guess the installer won't be getting that new hang glider with my money this season...seems a Carrier propane "wall furnace' is what the contractor wants to put in, he swears there's no blowers, that it's all convective, and 'only' $1500-$1800 -- I still don't understand why so expensive -- heck, a Bosch Aquastar demand hot water heater for the shower I built was only about $600..grumble..
Hey Ted, I also have a Bosch Aquastar, natural gas unit with pilot (we get numerous power outages due to weather) and since I've installed it a year ago, no problems whatsoever.
Are you happy with yours? I love mine. Took 5 minutes to adapt to the subtle differences between storage based vs. demand hot water.
Now we take real long showers, do endless loads of laundry in tandem, then can run the shower right after that. We do observe local water restrictions when issued for drought conditions (last summer). This year we don't have to worry, we are way over our normal precip for this year and it's only Abril. The unit supplies all of our hot water needs in this household of 3 humans. Gotta say this, the plumbing supply outfits around downplay them so much with such "jibbers" as "You can only run one thing at a time." and "It can't keep up with the damand." Total "jibber" to quote the fellow above. Mine works better than any tank unit we've ever owned, incl the 80 gal. unit we had two houses ago. Thats when I had two kids living at home and all of the contractors said 80 gals in more than plenty. Yeah, plenty of margin to line their wallets. This unit, the Bosch Aquastar, was much less than the 80 gal tank($1400 vs $500), and has never once failed to deliver our daily demands. (I love long showers when using that new Moen pulsating/massaging shower head thingie to sooth me aching bones.) Do you have a local serviceman who would repair it should it ever fail? I don't as I installed it myself. I was wondering if you keep spares of anything should the need arise. I may consider buying a spare heat exchange coil as this part probably cannot be had locally. Prices from Bosch directly aren't that bad for parts. I am just trying to be proactive in the maintenance of things since if it does fail, no local plumber will be able to help me with replacement parts in an emergency.
TedTheLed, before I tease you about complaining about the price of the heating, when I could see that your ranch has some pretty expensive-looking solar panels thar... I'll pass on the data that I also got the outrageously high quote for in-floor heating, even way over here in the New England area. I was having a new garage & workshop built lately and talked with my contractor about the in-floor heat option for the workshop.
Aside from his saying "it's too late" (the concrete floor had already been poured) and "the price/benefit sucks and the technology is still changing rapidly" I got the following paraphrased description:
1. The heat would have had to be put on top of insulation, for underneath and sides, below a sort of floating separate concrete block that is poured over the radiators.
2. The radiation pipes require some zoning, even for small areas (I don't recall exactly why)
3. The zoning controlling is annoying to the customer who must monitor it for some reason. Computer control is on the way but not commercially good yet.
4. The laying/zoning of the separate pipes has to be done right and it's still sort of an art form. (I don't recall why it's so picky)
So my contractor would have tried to talk me out of it anyway. Of course, I have a neighbor up the street who put his in himself, did the zoning thing, and just never touches the controller valves and has no prob's. Oh well. There's always a zillion perspectives to anything like this.
One funny side-note regarding the in-floor heating being "new". I live in a house that came out of a Sears & Roebuck catalog back in 1909 when they sold houses as kits. In the catalog, one of the options, the description of which covered at least 2 pages of the catalog, was in-floor radiant heating throughout the whole house. No kidding. They had great cutaway drawings & everything of it. Needless to say though, the fellow who ordered the kit I'm living in didn't check off that particular option. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
Come to think of it I remember learning about Roman bath houses which would be what, a few years earlier still, that had subfloor radiant water heat too.
yup I love the Aquastar = no problems in the the three years since it was installed with help by local plumber, except for the time 2D cells got wet (due to faulty sealing of flu) and exhausted themselves so they couldn't supply the spark for the flame ignition. Now there's a model that has a tiny generator in the water flow path which spins when you turn on the water and makes the spark! Genius. I plan on putting a couple of rechargeable D's in mine and hooking em up to little solar panel.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Think you take long showers? I've got my Aquastar hooked up directly to a 250 gallon propane tank, and a 3,000 gallon water tank (in turn supplied by solar-pumped well) -- what can I say? I haven't run out of hot water yet.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
Does the "jibber" above actually mean something? could someone explain to me?
well, it took a few years to accumulate all those panels, and another one to get the tracker..we don't have grid power here, so solar is a necessity..
hooray for your neighbor up the street, he gets my vote! I think once you get the water "manifold" adjusted for a somewhat even flow through all lengths of tubing, it should be forgotten about. I'd guess the tinkerers can't help tinkering with it to get one part of the room warmer..as for keeping the insulation thin above the tubing, it's true, even fiber undercarpeting is discouraged, and < 1/2" natural rubber is suggested, as well as under 1/2" carpeting.. a disappointment to me, since this heating system was supposed to be a cheap way of meeting the building code, I expect it would never be used to heat the house..that would be done by woodstove, or a small propane flame.. I am in the process of finding out if the code would allow a woodstove as part of the house heating btu's..
"Zoning" of the tubes is needed, I would guess, because the length of a run from and back to the manifold is limited to something like 200 feet..depending on the local code, the space between the tubing is 6" or 9"..an insulating layer is recommended for underneath the concrete slab foundation, and the tubing is within 1/2" of the surface..a wire grid (cheap) is placed over the rebar to hold the tubing in place during the pour....it would be a great way to go, especially hooked up to passive solar hot water heaters, it would really keep the tootsies warm on chilly nights, but will the code allow for it, noooo... sigh...
Ted and e=mc2,
We stayed in a house in southern France (it's owned by a British couple, does that make it OK?!) a few years ago. The water heater was a tankless type and I was very discouraged by its functioning. The shower water would go from ice to steam in a millisecond. We had to adust the shower faucet so it only went from ice to lukewarm so as not to get burned. Is this because the unit is too small, too big, the water pressure fluctuates, ???? I wanted to go tankless in a few years but the family doesn't think too highly based on their experiences. Any ideas?
One of the key components to any (tankless or storage tank) shower regulation is having a fawcet with a pressure balancing mechanism. In fact, it is now code here in NJ, and if you don't have pressure balancing fawcets installed in bath & shower you will fail inspection. That being said, the other factor is the outlet temperature. On the Bosch units this is adjustable quite easily by a large dial right on the front panel. I only had to do this during initial setup. Sounds like the unit that you had experience with had its output temp set too high. It should never get blistering hot. My output temp is set to 120° F. Works like a charm. And with the pressure balancing fawcet, you can even "flush" and the person in the shower will be unaffected.
I have a question for you, why do British call the commode a "loo"? What is that an abbreviation or acronym of sorts?
I have a question for you, why do British call the commode a "loo"? What is that an abbreviation or acronym of sorts?
[/ QUOTE ]
From the Oxford Dictionary:
What is the origin of the word Loo ?
There are several theories about the origin of this common term for a familiar article of sanitary furniture. The first, and most popular, is that is derived from the cry of `gardyloo' (from the French regardez l'eau `watch out for the water') which was shouted by medieval servants as they emptied the chamber-pots out of the upstair windows into the street. This is historically problematic, since by the time the term `loo' is recorded, the expression `gardyloo' was long obsolete. A second theory is that the word derives from a polite use of the French term le lieu (`the place') as a euphemism. Unfortunately, documentary evidence to support this idea is lacking. A third theory, favoured by many, refers to the trade name `Waterloo', which appeared prominently displayed on the iron cisterns in many British outhouses during the early 20th century. This is more credible in terms of dates, but corroborating evidence is still frustratingly hard to find. Various other picturesque theories also circulate, involving references to doors numbered `00' or people called `Looe'.
the Aquastar shower is on it's own pump and water 'circuit' - so no pressure problems.. to be perfectly honest; the water temp gets hot within 20 seconds..then slowly drops a bit as the heater warms up, necessitating the gradual turning down of the cold water faucet to maintain the heat for the first few minutes of showering..then things equalize out and the temps stay pretty steady.. adjusting the temp with the cold faucet while showering has become second nature, no bother at all..
Don't know about the "loo" origins..(tho' I did once know a Rush groupie
named "Lu Way" -- but I don't think there was any relation [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] )
e=mc2 & Ted,
Thanks for the info. When we go tankless we'll just have to remember to change our showering "procedure" along with the shower faucets! I'd hoped there was a simple "cure" and you guys supplied it.