Replacing hot water tank for radiant heating system

jcanimalsApril 4, 2012

Currently, the condo I'm living in has an indoor closet w/ a combination hot water heater supplying hot water and the hydronic radiant heating system. I live in Seattle, so heat is needed for much of the year. The tank is an expensive Bradford White model that costs ~$2000, but the existing tank is leaking.

One plumber suggested a simple drop-in replacement. But this would still be quite expensive due to the price of the tank.

Another plumber suggested a tankless replacement. Normally it's an expensive upgrade, but since a traditional tank is so expensive anyways, the cost would be similar. Would such a system be appropriate for my situation? Also, I've seen hybrid models (w/ a small reserve tank as a buffer) -- are these worthwhile?


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I am trying to understand your system. Is this one combined unit, or do you have a separate domestic hot water tank which is heated indirectly?

If the hot water tank is separate, then why not replace it with a conventional hot water heater?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 12:08PM
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I would think that a proper installation of an instantaneous hydronic heating & potable water boiler system would be substantially more expensive than a simple combi swap.

If the person recommending the tankless water heater is just going to install a regular tankless system that is not made for both space heating & potable water and is not going to modify the delivery system very much, then I would expect this system to have (potentially serious) delivery problems.

Tankless systems are generally superior to tanks, but if it's not a proper space heating + potable water system (In Vancouver you can't even buy one of these systems wholesale for less than $2000) I'd just go with the combi.

Here is a link that might be useful: Benefits of a Tankless System

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 10:44PM
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