Indirect Water Heaters – All You Need to Know About

Indirect water heaters are not new, they have been around for decades. However today, with growing concern for the environment and rising energy costs, indirect units are enjoying renewed popularity.

For some homeowners in certain parts of the country, indirect water heating can deliver a powerful one-two punch of energy use reduction and cost savings. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, under ideal circumstances indirect water heaters are “the least expensive means of providing hot water” to the point-of-use fixtures you rely on every day, multiple times a day.

Given that water heaters consume a lot more energy than most people think, more energy than most other household appliances combined—opting for a high-efficiency solution can go a long way toward improving your bottom line, especially over the long term.

If your home ranks among the relative few with hydronic baseboard, radiator, or in-floor radiant heating, when you install an indirect unit, the boiler drives both systems, heating the house and the water.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • There are obviously significant benefits associated with running only one power-devouring major appliance instead of the usual pair.
  • The key distinction is that the efficiency of an indirect water heater equals the efficiency of the boiler, and boilers typically outperform most water heaters.
  • With forced-air HVAC equipment dominating the market, boilers are increasingly rare.
  • “To understand its ingenious design, the first thing to know is that an indirect water heater is, in essence, little more than a well-insulated storage tank that holds a coiled heat exchanger, though a less common version relies on a tank-in-tank design.”

    Original Source: http://www.bobvila.com/articles/indirect-water-heaters/

    Porter Cable Brushless EDGE Drill And Impact Driver – Pushing The Edge

    Many innovation in the tool industry has come from Porter Cable brand over the years, the first portable belt sander and the world’s first helical drive circular saw.

    They are now under the DeWalt umbrella, and one of their great tools is the Porter Cable Brushless EDGE 20V MAX Drill Driver And Impact Driver.

    Brushless motors, combined with Lithium Ion batteries, provide more efficient operation, which translates to more power and longer run times.

    Here are the specs from Porter Cable:

    – Brushless motor provides 50% more run time
    – Powerful motor has 370 MWO (Max Watts Out) of power for heavy duty applications with minimal stall
    – Transmission has 1,800 MAX RPM for speed of drilling & fastening applications; No Load Speed: 0-450/0-1800 rpm
    – 1/2″ Ratcheting chuck for improved and reliable bit retention
    – Compact size of 7.4″ for work in tight spaces
    – Lightweight design at 3.3 lbs. (including battery) for less fatigue
    – Capacity in Steel ½”, in wood 1”

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Since the kit comes with two batteries, that should allow enough time to re-juice the spare.
  • A built-in holder keeps your bits handy.
  • Other features include an LED light that comes on when you pull the trigger, and stays on for 18 – 20 seconds.

  • The Porter Cable brushless drill is pretty lightweight, which is a definite plus.

    The rubber overmold adds decent cushioning, and should help when using the drill for long periods.

    Original Source: http://homefixated.com/porter-cable-brushless-edge-drill-and-impact-driver-review/

    DIY Project – Concrete Fire Pit

    Building a concrete fire pit is actually a pretty simple DIY project. It requires only very basic skills and tools, along with a bit of heavy lifting. The beauty of it is that you can customize your design, making it as large or small as you want. It is not a costly project and you should get plenty of use out of it.

    Here’s the material list for my 4’ X 4’ concrete fire pit:

  • 8 2X10X8’ for walls
  • 4 2X4X8’ to tie 2X10s together
  • 1 box of 50 4” large-head GRK exterior screws, GRK R4 or similar
  • 2 lbs. of construction-grade 2-½” screws to attach wall supports
  • 20 50-lb. bags QUIKRETE all-purpose gravel
  • 20 60-lb. bags QUIKRETE Concrete Mix
  • Steel heat shield insert (See “The final step” below)
  • Steel rebar, sixteen 24” pieces
  • One sheet of steel remesh, 42” X 84”
  • Wire ties for the rebar
  • 2’ piece of 2” or 3” PVC pipe
  • Lava rock
  • And here’s the tool list:

  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Rake
  • Tamper
  • Circular or miter saw
  • Drill driver/impact driver
  • Hole saw slightly larger than your piece of PVC
  • Portable cement mixer or wheelbarrow
  • Trowel
  • Wood or steel float
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Once you’ve selected your shovel-ready build site, the first step is to mark out the dig zone. Now get digging!

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Try to find as level a spot as possible, to minimize any regrading, and provide for comfortable seating around the fire.
  • Most of the project can be done solo, but some portions definitely require a helper.
  • Your concrete fire pit will require two forms to hold the concrete while it sets: An inner and an outer.

  • Tamp down the soil well, pack it hard and level. Start hoisting bags and fill up the hole. Depending on the depth, you will need to estimate how many bags per square foot. Rake it out, grab your tamper again, and flatten it out and compress it as much as you can.

    Original Source: Concrete Fire Pit DIY Project – Quikrete Makes It Easy-ish

        
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