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Help !!! With install of side arm water heat echanger

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Woody3e, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Woody3e

    Woody3e ArboristSite Lurker

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    Good day to everyone, Im glad that I have found this site, seems that there are some preety good folks out there with alot of good advice and experience.
    I have ? and I'm sure that it has been asked in the past but cant find in the search section, any info or pics would be greatly appreicated on my issue. Here it is in a nut shell.

    I bought a Central Boiler unit back a few months ago and I am currently trying to hook it up, it seems that it has been a nightmare from the word go. I have my lines ran from the stove into the house and I'm at the point of hooking up my side arm water heat exchanger and forced air coil. On the pics that are from the central boiler web site dont exactly depict my water hearter, hence the problem here, I have a Whirl Pool "Smart" electric water heater (50 gallon) that only has a incoming cold line and a outgoing hot line from the top of the tank. I need to install it right with the anti scald valve but I am at loss to figure out how to get this right and not mess up, which will include me paying more allready unecessary $$$. Thanks for any help that you can provide on this matter.



    Woody
     
  2. oneoldbanjo

    oneoldbanjo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I really can't help you with your anti-scald valve - but it should have nothing to do wiith your sidearm.

    For your sidearm run the line out of the drain hole and plumb it to the bottom of your sidearm - I put a tee in this location and installed a new valve with a hose connection to serve as the water heater drain. Run the top of the sidearm into your water heater by removing the T&P valve and installing a tee with as short of a nipple as possible and reinstall your T&P, then connect the top of the sidearm into the water heater. The goal is to let the colder water sink out of the water heater and into the sidearm - then as the water warms and rises it will flow by thermosiphon back into the water heater. If your installation has any high spots that air could be trapped you will need to install an air release valve. Run the Pex tube from your OWB into the top of the sidearm and have it exit at the bottom - this provides the hottest water at the top of the sidearm which helps promote the thermosiphon flow. There are mixed thoughts on wether you should run the OWB hot supply to your furnace or the water heater first - mine goes to my water heater first and then to my furnace and it works almost too well and provides very hot water. Others on this site have plumbed their OWB line to the furnace first and they have good luck as well.

    Your anti scald valve gets plumbed into the exit of the water heater and will need a supply of cold water from the cold line that enters the water heater to mix with the hot. None of this plumbing gets connected to the sidearm and if you want to get your OWB running soon you can do that without the anti scald valve - but be very careful if you have children or elderly. I don't have an anti scald valve and it works fine.....but don't ever turn the hot water on without adding some cold into the mix.

    One the point that I want to make is that I have my filll point in my system located at the bottom of system in the basement of my house. It is located at the bottom of my sidearm and it has a valve and a female connection for a garden hose. When I connect a hose from my utility sink to the system and open the valve it fills the system from the bottom and pushes out air as the system fills. When in operation the flow from the OWB goes in a direction that will also force trapped air out in the heat exchanger in the furnace - it enters at the lowest point and flows out at the highest point. This situation cannot occur at the sidearm however - the highest point is where the water enters and there is the potential for trapped air at this location - but I don't believe it has ever caused air to be trapped at this location. I have read on this site about a problem when a fellow hooked up the exchanger in his furnace backwards and the air trapped inside the exchanger prevented adequate flow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  3. blakey

    blakey ArboristSite Operative

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    I pulled out the anode rod out of the top of the water heater and plumbed into that fitting, then put a T on the drain and plumbed into that. I installed a bleeder valve at the top of the sidearm but have never needed to use it. It will challenge your plumbing skills to get it all soldered together, I am not looking forward to the day my water heater needs replacing. I installed the sidearm 7 yrs ago and it has worked great.
     
  4. Woody3e

    Woody3e ArboristSite Lurker

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    good info

    Thanks for the great and fast info on this. Sorry about not beeing very clear with my post, I'm trying to figure out the plumbing part, from the side arm to the anti scald valve, I like the idea of taking out the anode, but does this leave the tank vurnible to corrosion ? Thanks again

    Woody
     
  5. blakey

    blakey ArboristSite Operative

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    It probably depends on how hard your water is. My tank is about 9yrs old with no problems yet, been running 7yrs without the rod. We are on well water and the rod was pretty eaten away already when I pulled it out so I don't think it was doing much anymore. I got a strong sulpher smell from the taps when the heater was new and it went away. The antiscald valve does not attach to the sidearm, it goes on the hot water outlet that supplies your house and mixes cold water in to reduce the temp.
     
  6. oneoldbanjo

    oneoldbanjo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I would never remove the anode.....it is there to sacrifice it's existence and extend the life of the water heater. My experience with water heater is that they are good for about 20 years at most. If the anodes were an optional accessory they would be left off of the low end units to save money - they are needed and beneficial, and will help to postone that replumbing job you are not looking forward to.

    As stated previously - the anti scald valve and the sidearm are not related and have nothing in common. They do not connect in any way to any each other or any part of the water heater. The sidearm is connected to the hot water tank and the OWB sytstem - the anti scald valve is connected to the inlet and outlet pipes of the water heater (6 inches or so away from the water heater connections).
     
  7. Woody3e

    Woody3e ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks

    I have a good hold on the side arm placement, what I dont understand, once it is in place and the the anti scald valve needs to be done, how do I plumb it into the system, with only a cold coming in and hot line going out. So many of these water heaters are differnet with line placement, its crazy, I have come to find that there is no one fix all soulution to any of this plumbing, all the folks who set out to help in the beginning, I cant seem to find them now that I need to get the stove up and running, LOL !!!
    Thanks to all that are replying...

    Woody
     
  8. oneoldbanjo

    oneoldbanjo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Here is a link for what the sidearm install should look like. I don't agree with the direction they have for the flow from the OWB - I believe the hot water should enter at the top - but it probably doesn't make too much difference as there will be very little heat lost from the water when it is in operation.

    http://www.**********/econtent/index.php?ACT=24&fid=21&aid=5443_fHKIhy1NubIVrOs3cXMe&board_id=1

    The anti-scald valve is tapped into the supply line and outflow line of the water heater - these will be the 3/4 inch lines connected to your water heater and the house plumbing.
     
  9. cleanburn

    cleanburn ArboristSite Operative

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    I PM'd you but then I thought I could just scan this in and post it for you instead of emailing it to you....

    This is from my Heatmor Manual....

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Hawken

    Hawken ArboristSite Lurker

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    The anti scald valve has three openings, hot,hot water in, cold water in, and hot water out. It gets attached to your water line going out of the tank. You will have to "T" your cold water line so that one line goes to the anti-scald valve and one goes to the water tank.

    I just installed a CB about three weeks ago with a side pipe and anti-scald valve. I used a lot of sharkbite fittings.

    I will try to post some pics of my install with the valve.

    Good Luck
     
  11. oneoldbanjo

    oneoldbanjo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Well that diagram sure does make it look like the sidearm and the tempering valve are plumbed together....but they don't have to be. My water heater has a T&P valve on the side of the water heater and my sidearm uses that port for the return from the OWB.
     
  12. Woody3e

    Woody3e ArboristSite Lurker

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    great stuff

    Thanks for all the replys and info,im starting to get somewhere on this now.

    Woody
     
  13. Slick

    Slick ArboristSite Operative

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    Yeah I have to admit that heatmore diagram looks a bit different than I usually see it, doesn't the top of the side arm's output back into the heater go into the side on the tank, thre pressure releif valve? With that diagram the hot water has to work it's way back down into the tank...doesn't hot water want to rise? I realize it will certainly flow down like that but wouldn't it be more efficient coming in the side?
     
  14. oneoldbanjo

    oneoldbanjo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    When I was installing my sidearm they claimed mounting the return to go into the top was OK - but warned that you should not go more than needed. I didn't like this idea at all and mine goes in the side where the T&P was located. I used a T fitting to move the T&P out a bit to make room for the sidevalve return.
     
  15. Woody3e

    Woody3e ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks to All

    I just wanted to take a second and thank all of you that viewed, replied and gave good feedback information. I now have better understanding of what is to be done now. I have made my parts list and I will be off to the hardware store tomorrow and hopefully after my 24 hour workshift, I will be able to assemble everything on thursday morning. I will post with info and pics to give a helping hand to anyone else of the things that I have learned. Once again, thanks to all and have a very Merry Christmas.

    Woody
     

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