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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Tankless water Heater ?

I would like to build a small fulltime camp/cottage on a slab foundation. The building would be a ranch 24x40. I would like to use radiant tubing in the slab and was wondering if a tankless water heater could be used for heating the slab or is would it be too much for it to handle? This building would be used fulltime in the winter with showers, laundry etc. Essentially a small home.

I don't know if they make different sizes or not but a second smaller unit could be used for the shower, sink and washer.

Anyone with plumbing and heating experience care to provide a little insight?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 11:46 AM
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Re: Tankless water Heater ?

Hmmm.. interesting question.. My understanding, and I have a Rinnai tankless in my home, is the tankless heaters provide virtually endless hot water. However, anytime the water is moving the heater is burning fuel. So, for radiant heating, I believe the water is circulating all the time.. therefore the tankless heater is burning fuel all the time..

If my assumptions are correct, makes me wonder about the efficiency..

???

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tankless water Heater ?

I have no idea how radiant floor heat works. I just assumed that the water would only circulate when the thermastate called to turn it on for circulation. I wasn't even sure if it's plain water or an anti-freeze mix in a closed system. I have heard that it can be done with a large standard water heater.

I want to do this building on a slab and was concerned that the floor would be too cold during the winter with an overhead forced air heating system piped through the ceiling. Not sure how I want to go about it. Trying to figure out some of this stuff without paying the professional service fees; I will need to do alot of the work myself as funds allow.

I am leaning toward building a pavillion; plumbing it and pouring the floor and then framing it up from there. Sure is alot of things to consider; trying to avoid high costs in the foundation and other conventional home construction while still endeding up with a building that is energy efficient and passes code. I would be living in it fulltime eventually though. Any comments are welcomed.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 12:15 PM
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Re: Tankless water Heater ?

For heating & cooling maybe a ductless mini split heat pump. Could use a heat pump hot water heater. A bit techie but may be an efficient use of electricity. 24x40 is not real large.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 04:50 PM
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Re: Tankless water Heater ?

It's not as simple as it sounds,trust me. My buddy is a HVAC and his garage/shop is radiant floor heat and forced hot air upstairs. The pic is the heater and piping for both, no way to do it on the cheap without compromising safety and efficiancy. That being said a tankless heater/potable hot water units are 96% efficiant and only run when t-stat is calling for heat. The slab if properly insulated will hold heat for a long time more evenly than air,less temp swings. You do need to use an antifreeze solution in the system in case it fails,you dont want the water to freeze and burst the pipes in the slab,unfixable. Spacing of the floor tubing is critical for proper btu output,space too wide and unit will run way too long,space too close and unit will short cycle. You are taking a big risk doing this yourself.
Get a few estimates from reputable contractors with radiant experience. Sorry for the pic from cell

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 05:31 PM
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Re: Tankless water Heater ?

Go ahead and build on your slab but spend a few more bucks and put a floor on to of it. It won't take much and it'll be a lot simpler and cheaperthan radiant heat in the slab. You also would have to use glycol in the system unless you plan to heat the place year round. Personally, I would put down 2x4's right on the slab for floor joists, Use a vapor barrier, insulate, and then use 3/4 OSB for the floor. If you want to have almost the same effect, lay firring strips down, use foamboard to insulate and then your flooring.

I did 2x6's (mostly to allow for enough fall in the drains) when I converted half of my one car garage into a nice size bathroom and the floor is nice and comfortable.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 06:18 PM
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Re: Tankless water Heater ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wald Jager
It's not as simple as it sounds,trust me. My buddy is a HVAC and his garage/shop is radiant floor heat and forced hot air upstairs. The pic is the heater and piping for both, no way to do it on the cheap without compromising safety and efficiancy. That being said a tankless heater/potable hot water units are 96% efficiant and only run when t-stat is calling for heat. The slab if properly insulated will hold heat for a long time more evenly than air,less temp swings. You do need to use an antifreeze solution in the system in case it fails,you dont want the water to freeze and burst the pipes in the slab,unfixable. Spacing of the floor tubing is critical for proper btu output,space too wide and unit will run way too long,space too close and unit will short cycle. You are taking a big risk doing this yourself.
Get a few estimates from reputable contractors with radiant experience. Sorry for the pic from cell
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Being an electrician....that would never pass inspection. If you have a water leak you are in some seriuos troublrMG]http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/...jeby/image.jpg[/IMG]

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 12:04 AM
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Re: Tankless water Heater ?

If I ever build a cabin with electric, an on-demand water heater would be the way to go for domestic water. Since you're inquiring about radiant floor heat, why not consider something like "Alternate Heating Systems" in Chambersburg. These can be plumbed for radiant heat and I think you can have it serve as domestic hot water too. They're remote, outdoor furnaces that burn wood or coal. I know a fellow that heats his house, shop, driveway and water for his swimming pool.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-16-2012, 01:44 AM
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Re: Tankless water Heater ?

In referance to slab floor. You could put insulation under cement,and along foundation. This helps more than you can believe, did farrowing house for hogs this way. Takes very little to heat. Insulation on craigslist. Good luck, Blacksmith

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