A: The Super Store Ultra heaters have a life time warranty against leaking; TO THE ORIGINAL OWNER. They were able to offer this type of warranty because they typically last 20 years or more and the average person stays in a home 7 years. But this created a problem for the manufacture because people with failed units that were decades old would expect a new one for free even though the original owner had sold the house decades before. To stop the bleeding the manufacture would often request proof that the person looking for a unit under warranty owned the house the year the unit was made. As I am sure you can imagine going to your town hall and requesting a copy of a tax bill from decades ago is not easy. So the system was not good for the consumer or the manufacturer. Thus a new system has been rolled out and the "N" signifies the change. From now on only "N" units will be offered. When you buy an "N" unit it will come with a 10 year warranty. To make it life time you only need to register the product with the manufacture within the first 6 months after installation. The intention is that this will motivate homeowners to register the product which will make warranty claims easier for everyone moving forward. There is no physical change to the product created by this change. If you still have questions feel free to give me a call. Chris 978 651 3301
A: This water heater is installed in conjunction with a boiler. So the efficiency of this water heater is directly dependent on the efficiency of the boiler that supplies it. However I can say with confidence that this technique is generally more efficient. But the real advantages are they last much longer and when part of a well thought out system have more more productive capacity when needed. If you would like to get into the math and have a much more detailed conversation about this versus other methods you are welcome to give me a call. Chris 978 651 3301
A: An indirect fired hot water heater is essentially a storage tank with an internal coil. Boiler water is pumped through the coil to heat the potable water in the tank. Put differently it is a heat exchanger with some hot water storage. The thinking is that the stored hot water will supply the user while the boiler is coming up to temp. Based on this logic there is typically nothing specific to one brand vs another. So if you have one brand you can typically replace it with another brand. However as a plumber I typically replace like for like for two reasons. First if the connections have not changed it makes the plumbing easier when everything lines up. Second most indirect units have a life time warranty. So typically I am replacing the failed unit with one supplied by the same manufacturer.
A: This is an indirect water heater, so without being familiar with the Heat-Flo, I would say probably yes. If your Heat-Flo has a separate zone on your boiler you should be fine and the only other thing to consider is the control. This unit provides a well where a temp control needs to be added. Note that some older indirects had built-in sensors - this does not. Temp control is required to control the zone that heats the water. You can use a control with a short sensor where the control box hangs directly on the unit, or one with an electronic sensor and then the control box can be mounted near the circulator and a wire is run to the sensor placed inside the well. Be sure to use heat conductive grease.
A: Great question. The answer would really depend on the person’s definition of the word efficiency. Trust me when I say there is more than one definition of this term. The one most associated with heaters is AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). If we have a cubic foot of natural gas we know that due to the laws of chemistry and physics that it contains 1015 BTU’s (British Thermal Units) of potential energy. If you were to burn that in the least efficient boiler available by law today, meaning one with an AFUE of 80% you would extract 80% of the heat. (1015 x .80 =812 BTU’s) The remaining 20% of the heat would remain in the flue gas and be wasted. If you were to burn that in the high efficiency boiler I have in my home you would extract 96% of the heat because it has an AFUE of 96%. So the efficiency is determined to be the percentage of the heat the fuel combusting appliance extracts. And indirect fired hot water heater does not burn fuel. Thus it can’t have a typical efficiency. Its efficiency would be that of the boiler it was tied to as it is simply a heat exchanger. So in the first example you could say it is 80% and in my house it would be 96%. That is the long answer and I hope it helps. What I can tell you is that these tanks lose only ½” of one degree per hour. They are built like thermos bottles and have some of the lowest standby losses of any appliances out there. More importantly as I assume your question might stem from a desire to get a rebate, I can tell you most of the agencies that hand out conservation rebates recognize that indirect fired hot water heaters go a long way to saving energy. So even though they don’t burn fuel and have a typical efficiency rating they include them in their programs. However you would need to confirm that with them as the programs are different by area. Also if I lost you in my explanation I am sorry. You are welcome to give me a call and we can talk further. Chris 978 651 3301