On-demand Water Heaters

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Radiant Floor Company pioneered the use of on- demand, tank-less water heaters for radiant floor heating nearly 20 years ago when many in the heating industry believed that “on-demand water heaters would never work for radiant heat”…we disagreed! We’ve been doing this longer than anyone, with great success!

Here’s a helpful tidbit: One gallon of propane can produce 91,000 BTUs,…..  A Therm (100 cubic feet) of Natural gas, is equal to (approximately) 100,000 BTUs.

Interested in cheap fuel bills? We realized, first hand, the amazing efficiency, energy savings, and their extraordinary heating power!! We design radiant heating systems to suit the unique characteristics of tankless water heaters. Today, tankless heaters are low cost, high efficient units that are cheaper to maintain & operate. They have become the standard heat sources for radiant heating applications. The reasons are outlined below.

Takagi on-demand water heaters have many excellent features. They’re extremely well engineered, quiet, compact (2.2 cu. ft.), lightweight (60 lbs.), can mount conveniently on a wall, vent easily, are “direct vented”, meaning they use outside air for combustion, and use 3″ PVC for both intake and exhaust. All models virtually eliminate “stand-by” heat loss. In other words, they don’t store hot water, they heat water only when you actually need it.

The only electrical connection to the On Demand / Tankless water heater,… is the power (plug) to/from the unit. The water heater is triggered when the unit senses a minimum of 1/2 gallon per minute of flow. The water heater activates when any or all zones call for heat and the pump(s) circulate liquid through the unit, thus creating the “flow” that signals the water heater to fire up!

Takagi water heaters are truly instantaneous and extremely powerful, and the following example illustrates this claim perfectly.

Several years ago, one of our techs installed a Takagi on-demand water heater to heat his 2100 sq. ft. garage. The slab was literally ice cold due to weeks of sub-freezing weather. After filling the system with anti-freeze, he fired up the radiant system and watched 28 degree fluid leave the floor, enter the Takagi, then emerge from the heater five seconds later at 180 degrees!

Amazingly, the Takagi had raised the water temperature 152 degrees!

Of course, a mixing valve was used to temper the water down to 130 degrees before it returned to the floor, but this example shows how a Takagi performs under extreme conditions.

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Takagi T-H3j

Based upon your BTU requirements, one of the above two units would be ideal for both floor heating AND domestic hot water. Detailed information and specifications for theT-H3j (left photo) and the T-H3 (right photo) can be found by following the above links. Both units are rated at 95% efficiency.

Takagi TH3

Takagi TH3

 

The T-H3 is Takagi’s newest high efficiency model. It’s rated at 95% efficiency and vents with PVC.

For schematics and photos of these Takagi on-demand water heaters in various radiant heating configurations, see: Takagi and radiant heat

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Note: If your town or region has unusually hard water, that is, minerals in the water that could clog the heat exchanger in an on-demand water and shorten the unit’s life, a water softener might be a worthwhile investment.

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Elite wall mount unit

The Elite is another on-demand unit used for radiant heating applications. At up to 98% efficiency it is an extraordinary heat source, but the Primary/Secondary plumbing configuration recommended by Heat Transfer Products is somewhat more complicated than the Takagi.

But, if you’re game for a minor plumbing adventure and want an on-demand unit that is “one of the most efficient heaters on the market”, as well as, compact, lightweight, reliable, all stainless steel, direct vented with PVC pipe, and boasts a full heat exchanger warranty of 7 years…the Elite is for you.

Heat source efficiency is calculated by taking the heating unit’s BTU input, multiply that number by it’s efficiency,…This equals the unit’s BTU output. Example: 199,000 BTU unit with a 95% efficiency has an output of 189,050 BTUs. (199,000 X 95% = 189.050). This number will change and must be re-figured (derated) for higher altitudes (above 5,000′). Contact a Technician for details.