The Basics: Glossary, Household Use, How They Work
Planning: Sizing, Operating Costs, Venting Options
Common Products: Tank Heaters, On-Demand, Combo
Unique Products: Stoves, Solar, Heat Pump, D’MAND
Issues: Water Quality, Treatment, Energy Efficiency
Safety: Combustion Gases, FVIR, Safety Tips
Maintenance: Troubleshooting, Maintaining, Replacing
1. The Basics: Glossary,
Household Use, How They Work
So you think an acre-foot is what you get from stubbing your toe (groan). This easy-to-use glossary from Nevada
Division of Water Resources Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, gives you explanations of common
terms used in the water industry.
Household Water Use
If you want to know how much hot and cold water is used in different household applications, this Energy Source
Builder article has graphs and charts showing the averages for each.
How Water Heaters Work
Popular Mechanics offers you an article with drawings showing you how different water heaters work. Included are
electric & gas tank-type, tankless, and instantaneous systems.
Sizing, Cost Comparisons, Venting Options
Tank Sizing Calculator
Here is an online calculator from Bradford White to help you decide how big your tank should be (capacity) and
what your first-hour rating is for sizing the energy input requirement.
Fuel Cost Comparisons
This article from BC Hydro shows the relative space and water heating costs for gas furnaces of various
efficiencies and different electric systems.
The Terasen Gas Web site has a brief description of four different methods of venting gas heaters. It covers
vertical, through-the wall, direct vent, and power vented systems.
Products: Tank Heaters, On-Demand, Combo
Efficient Gas & Electric Tanks
Power Smart explains gas and electric high efficiency water heaters. To view the electric system click on the “High
Efficiency Electric Water Heating” link on the right sidebar.
Demand Systems: Tankless Or Instantaneous
Systems that provide hot water on demand are covered in this brief from the US Department of Energy. Keep in mind
all costs mentioned here are in US dollars.
Combo: DHW Plus Space Heating
In energy efficient buildings a water heater can possibly provide both the DHW and space heating needs. This Building
Science Corporation Report gives a good overview of these systems.
Products: Stoves, Solar, Heat Pump, D’MAND
Hot Water From Wood Stoves
This article from Hearth Net site explains (with diagram) how to design a system for getting free hot water from a wood
stove using internal or external heat exchangers.
Solar Water Heating
If you use a lot of hot water, or have high fuel costs, solar may provide at least part of your needs. Advanced Buildings
shows you where and how a system works, along with costs.
Heat Pump Water Heaters
The US DOE has a detailed overview of heat pump water heaters including how they work, where to use them, design
considerations, savings and maintenance issues.
Hot Water On Demand System
For those times when you want water quickly, especially to distant fixtures, this innovative D’MAND hot water
recirculation system as explained by NAHB might be just what you need.
Water Quality, Treatment, Energy Efficiency
Safe Drinking Water FAQ
With water quality being of increasing concern to many consumers this FAQ from Lenntech could be valuable for
answering some common drinking water questions.
To help you sort through the various water treatment methods check out these CMHC articles that include overviews
of reverse osmosis, UV, distillers, filters and softeners.
Energy Efficient Water Heating
If you or your homeowners want to reduce hot water heating costs this fact sheet from DOE has info on lowering
usage, increasing efficiency, and links to more resources.
6. Safety: Combustion Gases,
FVIR, Safety Tips
Combustion Gases In Your Home
Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be a concern if fuel fired DHW tanks are not selected and installed based on considering
the House as a system, as CMHC explains.
FVIR: Flammable Vapour Ignition Resistant
New standards call for gas DHW systems to be equipped with FVIR. This consumer information from GAMA gives some
background and answers common questions about FVIR.
This Water Heater Rescue site has information on a number of safety issues such as vents, dielectric connectors, T
& P valves, earthquakes straps, controls, hatch and pedestal.
Troubleshooting, Maintaining, Replacing
To help you or your homeowners troubleshoot problems the Plumbing World site has a couple of very simple charts
listing various problems along with possible causes and solutions.
Maintaining A Water Heater
Water heaters do require maintenance and Lowe’s has a very simple online tutorial showing how to check the pressure
relief valve and steps to follow for flushing the tank.
Replacing A Water Heater
The homeshow.com site offers this tutorial with drawings showing how to remove and replace natural gas, LP and
electric water heaters.
For Today: On
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.