Monday, November 27, 2006


Awesome news; today's post is all about plumbing. In case you haven't been following (what?) I got myself in almost completely over my head with a hot water heater project. My old electric (electric? Holy shit!) heater has been leaking a little for a while now. I'm sure it's so massively corroded inside that it's been sucking up 100x more electricity than it would ordinarily need.

I'll keep the details short. Notice that the tool bucket is pretty much empty?

I quite nearly used every tool I own. I used some I didn't own. Most of this job went pretty smooth. Some of it was nervewracking (mostly the gas work.) At times, I was very pleased with the way it was all coming out. Other times, I thought I may have gotten in over my head (that would be the time I had it all together and found a small leak which took me WAY too long to fix.)

All in all - looks like this...

Those two copper pipes running through the middle of the photo are not part of the installation. Do not be fooled. In fact, those pipes serve no purpose.

I got all the little valves, pipes, and wires in all the right places and it all works. I can't believe how well the gas pipes turned out. Considering that, unlike the copper, the black pipe can't be cut on location, and I have to measure and figure out the bends ahead of time. You also can't be off by much because that shit doesn't BEND. And what if you've shut off the gas (heat) to the house, and you start disconnecting and reconnecting things only to find that something isn't lining up? Hey, you know what? Let's not even think about that. Hey, let's move on.

Ok, great. How does it work? Works ok, I guess. The main issue with tankless heaters is their flow rate. A shower uses about 3 gallons per minute. A golden shower requires substantially less flow, but that doesn't have anything to do with this. Anyway, here's the rundown:

I bought a small one because there are only three of us here, and we have only one full-bath. I don't notice a change in water pressure in the shower, but this thing is working full-out just to run that one shower. Not a big deal in our house. But, if you need hot water in two places at once, buy bigger.

It's pretty quiet. Thank you very much for that.

The preset temperature options are lame. 113° is the first choice (not quite hot enough) and the next option is 122° (2° above what most places consider the maximum allowable tap temp. Dumb.) For $100, you can buy an accessory that will let you set 117°. Did I say "dumb" yet?

Last night I woke up around 2AM or so and I thought about all the money I was not spending to heat a tank full of water that I was not using. That was not a bad feeling.

But, as with most of my endeavors, I'm a hack, and this is art...

Seriously. Look at that. While everyone was upstairs all partying up on dairy vegetables, I was down in the basement getting my mind blown. Seriously. What kind of savant did this?

No comments: