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Basics & Theory

Fine Homebuilding: Choosing Tank Or Tankless Water Heaters
Fine Homebuilding article explains how tank and tankless water heaters work, how to choose and size one to suit your needs, and how to save money and energy in the process. (PDF)

GBA: Domestic Hot Water Heating Systems
Green Building Advisor describes various types of domestic hot water heating systems.

GBA: Types Of Domestic Water Heating
Green Building Advisor describes how water can be heated efficiently with a solar hot water system, an on-demand gas or electric heater, or a tank-style heater using gas or electricity.

NREL: Info & Tips On Domestic Hot Water Heating Systems
National Renewable Energy Laboratory fact sheet covers DHW system types, selection, demand calculations, annual cost (USD) comparisons, new innovations, energy, safety and maintenance tips. (PDF)

Popular Mechanics: How Water Heaters Work
Popular Mechanics offers article with drawings showing how different water heaters work, including electric & gas tank-type, tankless, and instantaneous systems.
Industry Information

US DOE: Disaggregating Hot Water Use & Predicting Hot Water Waste
US Department of Energy report Disaggregating Hot Water Use and Predicting Hot Water Waste in Five Test Homes shows how the hot water distribution system affects overall system performance and energy use. (PDF)
Industry Sectors

ORNL: R & D Roadmap For Water Heating Technologies
Oak Ridge National Laboratory report Research & Development Roadmap For Water Heating Technologies establishes a set of high-priority RD&D activities for water heating systems. The proposed activities address the major unfulfilled needs regarding the latest equipment and equipment-related advancements, critical gaps in knowledge and tools related to efficient distribution systems, and market transformation activities related to these areas. (PDF)
Information Sources

NRCan: Resource Site On Domestic Hot Water Heaters
Natural Resources Canada provides information and resources on hot water tanks including energy sources, storage tank, tankless, combination systems, heat pumps, solar, operating tips, and drain water heat recovery.
Issues & Performance

ACEEE: Emerging Hot Water Technologies & Energy Efficiency Savings
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy report Emerging Hot Water Technologies and Practices for Energy Efficiency as of 2011 shows energy-efficient water heating technologies and practices can save residential and commercial buildings on average 37% more energy than conventional technologies. The study examines a suite of 16 products and services including heat pumps and high efficiency gas water heaters, as well as various maintenance practices for multifamily buildings.

BC Hydro: How to Adjust Your Hot Water Temperature
BC Hydro describes steps and considerations for adjusting the temperature of your domestic hot water tank.

CIPH: Cautions For Use Of Water Heaters In Hydronic Heating Applications
Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating bulletin clarifies the use of water heaters in hydronic heating applications, due to water heaters being inappropriately installed in all jurisdictions of Canada. (PDF)

David R: Natural Draft Water Heaters Have Potential To Be Dangerous
David R Blog looks at why natural draft water heaters have the potential to be so dangerous and what can be done to ensure this type of incident stops occurring.

Energy Star: US Criteria For Energy Star Water Heaters
Energy Star provides documents outlining the final results and stakeholder input into the US Department of Energy strategy of establishing ENERGY STAR criteria for residential water heaters. (PDF)

FEC: Hot Water Systems Lab Offers Side-by-Side Testing
Florida Solar Energy Center has opened a Hot Water Systems Lab which will be a hub to test solar, tankless and conventional domestic water heating systems for efficiency.

Home Energy: Hot Water At Any Faucet In 3 To 5 Seconds
Home Energy magazine describes a solution to slow delivery of hot water using is a demand-controlled circulation system with what the industry calls structured plumbing.

NRCan: Energy Efficiency Regulations For Gas Water Heaters
Natural Resources Canada lists Energy Efficiency Regulations For Gas Water Heaters that applies to stationary gas-heated water containers having an input of 21.98 Kw (75 000 Btu/h) or less and a storage capacity of 76 litres (20 U.S. gallons) to 380 litres (100 U.S. gallons) that use propane or natural gas.

NRCan: New Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations For Water Heaters
Natural Resources Canada describes proposed Energy Efficiency Regulations under which dealers in Canada would be required to comply with higher efficiency requirements for gas and oil water heaters and new reporting requirements for electric water heaters. For the first time in Canada, commercial water heaters and tankless water heaters will have minimum efficiency requirements.

P & M: Preventing Legionella In Home Plumbing Systems
Plumbing and Mechanical magazine says the risk of contracting Legionnaires' Disease from residential plumbing is rare, but some inexpensive measures can be taken to prevent it.

Plumbing Engineer: Balancing Hot Water Temperature For Scalding & Legionella Prevention, Part 1
Plumbing Engineer describes how to address two of the more important challenges of a domestic hot water system, by providing hot water for bathing and washing that will not cause scald injuries and hot water that is at a temperature high enough to prevent Legionella bacteria growth. Part 1

Plumbing Engineer: Hot Water System Temperatures & Codes
Plumbing Engineer says there are a lot of people that think the model plumbing codes address domestic hot water system maximum storage temperatures. But they are not aware of any model plumbing code that addresses minimum or maximum storage temperatures.

Plumbing Engineer: Sustainable Water Heating Solutions
Plumbing Engineer says two water heating options for reducing the energy consumed for a building are instantaneous systems and storage-type water heaters. But you must be aware of the energy demand of a building with both of these options.

PM Engineer: History Of Hot Water Temperatures
PM Engineer says it has been an interesting history in plumbing codes regarding hot water temperature. It is hard to believe 35 years ago there were basically no regulations on the temperature of hot water.

PNNL: Impacts Of Water Quality On Residential Water Heating Equipment
US Pacific Northwest National Lab report Impacts of Water Quality on Residential Water Heating Equipment provides recommendations for selecting and maintaining water heating equipment based on local water quality characteristics. (PDF)

US DOE: Disconnect Between Rated & Field Performance Of DHW Systems
US Department of Energy report Exploring the Disconnect Between Rated and Field Performance of Water Heating Systems summarizes input from a group of water heating experts. The goal was to advance the shared knowledge on key water heating performance issues and identify additional data needs that will further this critical research area. (PDF)

US DOE: Estimating Costs & Efficiency of Storage, Demand, and Heat Pump Water Heaters
US Department of Energy shows how to estimate annual operating cost of different types of water heaters, to help determine energy savings and payback period of investing in a more energy-efficient model, which will probably have a higher purchase price. It also suggests using the energy factor to determine energy efficiency of a storage, tankless, or heat pump water heater. The energy factor (EF) indicates overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day.

US DOE: Overview Of Energy-Efficient Water Heating
US Department Of Energy provides info on lowering usage, increasing efficiency, and links to more resources.

US DOE: Overview Of New Criteria For ENERGY STAR Water Heaters
U.S. Department of Energy has announced new ENERGY STAR criteria for water heaters. Five categories of residential water heaters will be eligible for an ENERGY STAR label: high-performance gas storage, whole-home gas tankless, advanced drop-in or integrated heat pump, solar, and gas condensing.

US DOE: Side-by-Side Testing of Water Heating Systems
US Department of Energy slide-show Side-by-Side Testing of Water Heating Systems: Results from the 2010-2011 Evaluation documents results of testing and evaluation of seven water heating systems. (PDF)

US DOE: Simple Retrofit High-Efficiency Natural Gas Water Heater Field Test
US Department of Energy report Simple Retrofit High-Efficiency Natural Gas Water Heater Field Test summarizes research of four high efficiency natural gas water heaters. They were designed specifically for retrofit applications and were installed in single-family homes along with detailed monitoring systems to characterize their savings potential, their installed efficiencies, and their ability to meet household demands. (PDF)

Water Heater Rescue: Safety Tips On Care Of Hot Water Heaters
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.
Procedures

ACEEE: Guide To Efficient Water Heating
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy describes how to choose a water heating system. They cover fuel choice & sizing, comparing life-cycle costs, selecting a new system, and minimizing operating costs.

Bradford White: Sizing Calculators For Water Heaters & Tanks
Bradford White Rightspec Product Sizing Guide provides these online sizing calculators to help decide water heater and tank size (capacity) requirements.

CMHC: Tuning Up DHW Systems In High-Rise Residential Buildings
CMHC online guide Tuning Up DHW Systems In High-Rise Residential Buildings describes how to tune up gas, electric and oil fired DHW tanks and DHW circulation pumps & motors, and how to adjust DHW temperature and pressure. (PDF)

GBA: Choosing A Water Heater
Green Building Advisor describes how to choose a water heater, given that simple, affordable water heaters aren’t very efficient, and efficient equipment is complicated and costly.

GBA: Inefficient Hot Water Piping Layouts Waste Hot Water
Green Building Advisor says it's time to change building code provisions that allow designers and plumbers to build homes that waste hot water.

Heating Help: How To Maintain A Water Heater
Heating Help says by maintaining a gas or electric water heater and replacing old components before a failure occurs, you can both save yourself some money, and potentially even save your life.

Home Show: How To Replace A Water Heater
Home Show site offers this tutorial with drawings showing how to remove and replace natural gas, LP and electric water heaters.

Lowes: Maintaining A Water Heater
Lowes explains that water heaters do require maintenance and provides an online tutorial showing how to check the pressure relief valve and steps to follow for flushing the tank.

P & M: Don't Forget DHW Tank When Upgrading Furnace Or Boiler
Plumbing & Mechanical magazine describes why, when installing a new furnace or boiler, it is recommended to upgrade to a high-efficiency water heater at the same time.

Remodeling: How To Clean A Water Heater
Remodeling magazine online video shows how to clean a water heater to help extend its life. This could save you a headache when trying to diagnose exactly what's wrong with your or your client's water heater.

US DOE: Efficient Hot Water Distribution
US Department of online slide show presentation Energy Efficient Hot Water Distribution II, How to Get it Right describes how to deliver hot water to every fixture, wasting less than one cup of water while waiting for the hot water to arrive, and wasting less energy than would have been wasted running the water down the drain. (PDF)

US DOE: Energy-Efficient Controls For Multifamily Domestic Hot Water
US Department of Energy online presentation Energy-Efficient Controls for Multifamily Domestic Hot Water summarizes a field study in which two types of central domestic hot water systems controls, demand control and temperature modulation, were retrofitted into four existing multifamily buildings in New York. Energy savings, cost savings, and resident satisfaction are presented, including interactive effects with space conditioning systems. (PDF)

US DOE: Evaluating DHW Distribution System Options With Validated Analysis Models
US Department of Energy report Evaluating Domestic Hot Water Distribution System Options With Validated Analysis Models summarizes a developing body of work that collects data on domestic hot water consumption, water use behaviors, and energy efficiency of various distribution systems. (PDF)

US DOE: Hot Water Energy Savings
US Department of Energy infographic describes different types of water heaters on the market and will help you figure out how to select the best model for your home.

US DOE: Sizing A New Water Heater
US Department of Energy describes how find information about how to size DHW systems including tankless or demand-type, solar, storage, and heat pump (with tank).

US DOE: Storage Water Heaters
US Department of Energy describes how storage water heaters work, selection, installation & maintenance, and improving energy efficiency.

Utility Dive: How Lowly Water Heater Could Power The Smart Grid
Utility Dive says the domestic water heater may be the most important, most strategic appliance, because it's the only appliance today that has the ability to store energy.
Product Supply

Fine Homebuilding: Comparing 10 Year Costs Of Tankless vs Tank vs HPWH For Large Custom Home
Fine Homebuilding describes a builders comparison of 10-Year cost estimates of tankless vs tank vs heat pump water heater for a large custom home in an area with hard water.

FortisBC: Online Home Energy Calculators For DHW, HVAC, Appliances
FortisBC provides online home energy calculators for DHW, HVAC, and appliances. The Energy Comparison Tool lets you calculate your home energy costs for water heating and space heating and cooling, and then compare the cost difference between natural gas, oil, propane and electricity. The appliance cost tool identifies the approximate annual energy cost for a variety of home appliances, lighting, water heating and space heating and/or air conditioning systems including natural gas and electricity.

GBA: Electric Vs Solar DHW System
Green Building Advisor discusses considerations for choosing between an electric-resistance water heater and a solar thermal system.

LOWE'S: Water Heater Buying Guide
LOWE'S explains the 3 things to consider when buying a new water heater, fuel type, storage type and space.

US DOE: Estimating Costs & Efficiency of Storage, Demand, and Heat Pump Water Heaters
US Department of Energy shows how to estimate annual operating cost of different types of water heaters, to help determine energy savings and payback period of investing in a more energy-efficient model, which will probably have a higher purchase price. It also suggests using the energy factor to determine energy efficiency of a storage, tankless, or heat pump water heater. The energy factor (EF) indicates overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day.

US DOE: Proper Water Heater Selection
US Department of Energy strategy guideline Proper Water Heater Selection provides step-by-step procedures for evaluating preferred cost-effective options for energy efficient water heater alternatives based on local utility rates, climate, and anticipated loads.

US DOE: Selecting A New Water Heater
US Department of Energy provides information on types of domestic hot water heaters and considerations for selecting the right one for your application.
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