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    "Smart" Hot Water Heater

    It seems it won't be long before I need to replace my hot water heater. Does anyone have experience with smart ones that can be controlled by HS?

    #2
    You didn't specify the fuel source, electric or gas.

    My advice, go tankless. Had to replace both big gas hot water heater and a separate cast iron heating boiler after Sandy, with one combo tankless unit. Reclaimed a load of space in my utility closet and my gas bills were reduced by more than 50%.

    With a tankless setup one doesn't have to worry about controlling it since you're not wasting energy constantly heating water until it's actually needed.

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      #3
      TC1 Thanks. I have gas now but I also own my solar panel system so I could go either way, electric or gas.

      The problem (I think) with tankless for me is that it's a 60' run from where the heater is in the garage to the furthest bathroom. I solved the problem by putting in a hot water return line, a small pump and a Qubino relay with a temp sensor. At specified hours HS turns the pump on and circulates hot water. The water gets returned to the hot water tank through a "T" connection at the drain so I don't even waste any water. It also turns on in the middle of the night when one of us walks into the bathroom. By the time you finish your business, the water at the sink is nice and warm. This system works phenomenally well.

      With a tankless system my Rube Goldberg hot water recirc would be out the window and it's something that's become part of our HA expectations and WAF is very high with this. Not sure if there's a place on a tankless system that's the equivalent of a drain on a regular hot water tank..

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        #4
        A little googling reveals plenty of solutions for tankless. Some tankless units have the recirculation function built-in already.

        Tankless Recirculation Accessories | Rinnai

        After living with a traditional water heater tank for decades, I'll never go back. It's ancient technology that rusts and corrodes, wasted energy keeping the tank warm/hot, has to be replaced every 8 or 10 years, etc. The cost savings from going tankless simply astounded me.

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          #5
          Originally posted by racerfern View Post
          TC1 Thanks. I have gas now but I also own my solar panel system so I could go either way, electric or gas.

          The problem (I think) with tankless for me is that it's a 60' run from where the heater is in the garage to the furthest bathroom. I solved the problem by putting in a hot water return line, a small pump and a Qubino relay with a temp sensor. At specified hours HS turns the pump on and circulates hot water. The water gets returned to the hot water tank through a "T" connection at the drain so I don't even waste any water. It also turns on in the middle of the night when one of us walks into the bathroom. By the time you finish your business, the water at the sink is nice and warm. This system works phenomenally well.

          With a tankless system my Rube Goldberg hot water recirc would be out the window and it's something that's become part of our HA expectations and WAF is very high with this. Not sure if there's a place on a tankless system that's the equivalent of a drain on a regular hot water tank..
          I have 2 tankless water heaters here at home and a tank WH at a weekend home. While I generally prefer the tankless, each has it's plusses and minuses. That said, recirculation is viable with both types. Google "tankless water heater recirculation system".
          -Wade

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            #6
            I use a tankless with a controlled recirculation pump. Used to have the recir. controlled to hold a temp for instant hot water and for a while run on a schedule but now just have it turn on by voice thru Alexa.

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              #7
              Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. Research, research, research.

              Comment


                #8
                I have a Rennai tankless that I installed myself (except for the gas line) a few months ago. It comes with a little wall-mount thermostat that has a LED when it is running, so I'd like to use a HomeSeer Flex sensor to monitor the LED and track runtime in Grafana. I have it on my list to do, but never enough time
                HS4Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi4
                72 Z-Wave Nodes, 111 Events, 422 Devices
                Z-Wave, UPB, WiFi
                Plugins: EasyTrigger, weatherXML, OMNI, Z-Wave, Tuya, Device History
                HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by rmasonjr View Post
                  I have a Rennai tankless that I installed myself (except for the gas line) a few months ago. It comes with a little wall-mount thermostat that has a LED when it is running, so I'd like to use a HomeSeer Flex sensor to monitor the LED and track runtime in Grafana. I have it on my list to do, but never enough time
                  More than likely, you can install a WiFi module on your unit and access status:
                  control·r™ App | Rinnai

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                    #10
                    I've got an 18-year-old Rennai still going strong, knock-on wood... Bought another one for the garage/bonus room but haven't gone live with it just yet. Didn't realize they integrated the new ones with an app, somebody with the skills needs to integrate it with HS. I agree long runs for tankless can be less than ideal, instead of putting in a recirculating value I went with a Bosch electric mini tank under the sink in the kitchen (my only run we had problems with).

                    Don't forget to flush your tankless periodically.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have a question. Unlike most recirc systems my return line Ts at the furthest point but doesn't return via the cold water like nearly all the systems I've seen. It returns the "lukewarm" water to a T at the drain line of the bottom of my tank.

                      My question is, with a "conventional" recirc when you turn on the cold water, isn't it unusually warm at times due to being the return?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by racerfern View Post
                        I have a question. Unlike most recirc systems my return line Ts at the furthest point but doesn't return via the cold water like nearly all the systems I've seen. It returns the "lukewarm" water to a T at the drain line of the bottom of my tank.

                        My question is, with a "conventional" recirc when you turn on the cold water, isn't it unusually warm at times due to being the return?
                        They can be but the idea with those is that hot is used much more frequently than cold.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by racerfern View Post
                          I have a question. Unlike most recirc systems my return line Ts at the furthest point but doesn't return via the cold water like nearly all the systems I've seen. It returns the "lukewarm" water to a T at the drain line of the bottom of my tank.

                          My question is, with a "conventional" recirc when you turn on the cold water, isn't it unusually warm at times due to being the return?
                          If you have a dedicated return line you actually have an advantage most people don't, a dedicated line is the standard/right way to do it.

                          With a recirc that shares the cold-water line what happens is that once a cold-water faucet valve is opened the pressure on the cold-water line quickly overrides the pressure from the recirculation. Cold water will come out at the same rate as normally flushing the line.

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