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Author Topic: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers  (Read 3106 times)

juddspaintballs

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Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« on: January 22, 2020, 04:59:07 PM »

I currently have a sidearm heat exchanger on my water heater.  It warms the water in the water heater nice and hot.  I installed that when I had hard and iron water.  I have since installed an iron filter and water softener.  I am at zero grains of hardness and no iron in my water.  So, now is the time to go with a flat plate heat exchanger, right?  I want to heat the water coming into the water heater so I have (essentially) unlimited hot water.


Should I remove the sidearm heat exchanger all together?  It would be a little more work to keep it plumbed into the system if I also ran the flat plate.  The water heater can maintain temperature, so I don't think I need the sidearm anymore. 


I have already flushed the crud out of the water heater since having soft water, don't worry. 
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wreckit87

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 05:12:40 PM »

If the sidearm already existed, there would be no harm in leaving it there and simply adding the plate to the incoming cold line on top- assuming your sidearm is piped through the relief port on the side, that is. That'd get you the best of both worlds if you ever go long stretches without using DHW
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juddspaintballs

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2020, 05:55:18 PM »

I have 4 kids and I work a flex schedule.  We don't usually go long stretches without using hot water.  The sidearm is plumbed between the drain valve and the cold inlet.  I didn't touch the relief valve so it would be totally unaltered. 
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E Yoder

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 02:47:34 AM »

I don't know how much trouble it is to plug where it is teed into the water heater, but you could cut the stove lines off of it and route them through the flat plate. The sidearm could just stay there, but it will radiate a bit of heat.
You'll love the flat plate .
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savebigmny

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 01:29:54 PM »

For reference I have a 3x8 30 plate HX on the incoming line.  With 170-180 boiler water temps it heats well water to 150 when running 1-2 GPM.  You can run the shower, washing machine, etc endlessly and the heat never slows down.  I don't have a mixing valve so it requires mentioning to people visiting that the water is very hot.
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slimjim

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 02:07:53 PM »

Depending on the tank, itís worth mentioning that preheating the tank to those temps you might overheat the tank and need to reset the breaker when you decide to shut down your boiler! Better to go ahead and install the mixing valve and set it at 140
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juddspaintballs

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 07:46:15 PM »

Slimjim, at my old house I had to reset the breaker on the water heater when I shut down the boiler because the water was that hot.  I was using a sidearm exhcnager with a stainless Taco 007 to circulate the tank.  This house, it's just passively heating the water inside, though I think it still gets up to the same temperature eventually.  I never have to reset the breaker on this water heater.  I do have a mixing valve to tone the water down to about 135 degrees, which is still pretty hot but not ~160 like the boiler's low set temp is. 



I'm looking at the 10 plate exhanger from Anderson's. 
http://www.freeheat4u.com/LB31-10-1-INCH-10-PLATE_p_172.html
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RSI

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 08:21:00 PM »

Go with a 20 plate instead. A 10 plate will add a huge amount of head pressure loss.
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slimjim

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2020, 03:20:57 AM »

RSI is right on the head pressure, typically when I set them up I use a 30 plate and use a mono flow tee in the wood boiler loop for better flow.
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slimjim

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2020, 03:22:56 AM »

Juddspaintballs, so you sold the place in the mountains? I liked that location, Where did you go from there?
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E Yoder

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2020, 06:01:56 AM »

I had an interesting call yesterday, a 3x8 30 plate preheating into a 40 gal water heater was tripping something on the dishwasher (too hot). Anyone seen this before? It's a first for me. Wondering if I should just out a point of use mixing valve in at the dishwasher. They love the hot water in the rest of the house.
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slimjim

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2020, 06:27:07 AM »

130-140 degree water is pretty darn hot and with the plate exchanger they will never run out.
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juddspaintballs

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2020, 06:45:01 AM »

Juddspaintballs, so you sold the place in the mountains? I liked that location, Where did you go from there?


Nope, still here in the mountains.  I used to live in Maryland and I had the Heatmor there, too.  I am trying to move in a year or so, but I'm not going far from where I am.  My parents bought a farm on the other side of the mountain and we're all going to live on the farm.  My dad has his boiler running there already and I'll be taking mine with me (again). 
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juddspaintballs

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2020, 06:50:01 AM »

So that 10 plate exchanger I linked above is 12" long with 1" nipples.  The 30 plates that I can find are 3"x8" with 3/4" nipples.  Will the 30 plate still have less head pressure?
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slimjim

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Re: Flat plate and sidearm water heater heat exchangers
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2020, 07:26:23 AM »

Badger Pipe has 30 plates with  inch ports. For some reason I thought you already moved after I dropped off your pipe years ago.
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