Storm Sewer Cleaning

Many factors impact the blockage in your system, which can cause leakage and unpleasant smell in and around your building. Preventive measures or simply taking extra time to inspect, clean, and repair pipes will avoid unexpected mishaps such as burst pipe, leakage, condensation odor, and others. Blocked drains can cause collateral damage, affect your budget and your everyday lives. Regular inspection by a professional plumber is the safest way to preserve the integrity of your plumbing system, but if it is more convenient and economical for you, the regular use of Do-it-yourself cleaning tools, plungers, and pipe sealants will help. However, if it is improperly applied or used, it can create a problem. Therefore, we need to be vigilant and follow the directions properly. As we all know, the excessive use of materials will lead to health and environmental problems. There are also instances of devices that end up inside the pipe because they unintentionally fall, triggering the blockage.

If this happens, you need to call a skilled plumber or a reliable commercial plumbing service. Plumbers have access to software that can help them evaluate the situation and get them through the problem area with ease. Because of their area of practice, skilled plumbers will say what process or technique should be used to solve the problem. New devices are being used to unblock storm-water drains, pipes, and sewers that are environmentally friendly. Closed-circuit television allows the plumber to successfully find the cause of the blockage. Hydro jet can help flush the block with its high-pressure water, moving unwanted debris with water under great force. The plumbing electrical eel scrapes and chews items that obstruct drains and sewers. Air dryers and suction cups are used to clear excess water from the drains and sinks.

It is important for any homeowner to be aware of what’s going on in their drains. Pipes should be inspected periodically to see if the water flows smoothly through the pipes. It is also best to reduce the buildup of unnecessary material inside the pipes by cleaning out what goes inside the drains, such as the hair dropping while taking a bath or the extra food when washing dishes. Prevention is always the better thing to do than repair.

It is advised to use a hair catcher to prevent the clogged drain from occurring. It’s a tool that looks like a colander that catches hair falling and stops it from reaching the bath drain. It is also useful to use bent wires to pull out the hair stuck on the drain without the hair catcher.

Yet in the event that a household stormwater drain is blocked, creative approaches are already in place to clear up the blockage. They will normally solve the issue themselves for anyone who wished to save. One useful plumbing first to disinfect and unclog drains and pipes is the use of environmentally safe and non-toxic cleaning agents. Such agents have potent chemicals that break down unwanted particles within the pipes. Many homeowners often use home plungers to remove the particles that are trapped inside their toilets and sinks.

Occasionally, when a blocked drain becomes more difficult and can’t be fixed with the normal handy home appliances, it’s always better to call your trusted plumber to test and finish the work. With their new gadgets that can patch blocked stormwater drains, pipes, and sewers, they can finish their job in no time. Devices such as a hydro jet pressure system that blasts out excess dirt inside the pipes and an electric eel which gets out the dirt are ways to make sure that damaged stormwater drains are fixed more effectively.

Storm sewers are washed to remove contaminants and to prevent flooding. Pollutants such as water particles, organic matter, tar, grease, garbage, road salt and trace metals are collected from storm drain inlets, storm sewer pipes and ponds manually or mechanically. Otherwise, they will end up destroying our wetlands and waterways without a storm drain maintenance network.

Storm Drain Cleaning

Pressure wash and vacuum cleaner storm sewer pipes, catch basins, lift stations, and culverts ensure efficient flow of water through the entire urban sewer/stormwater system. Vacuum cleaning is a cost-effective way to remove dirt, dust, and other debris that can build up, resulting in partial or full blockage and delay of stormwater. Vacuum cleaners such as Super can easily clean storm sewer lines using high-pressure water while at the same time vacuuming backflow debris and water from the catch basin or manhole into the sealed and enclosed collector container installed in a self-contained mobile unit.

Storm Drain Camera Inspection

Storm Sewer Cleaning companies carry out comprehensive inspections of your storm drain system. We will identify the source of leakage and clogging with our cameras, and our contractor will decide whether your storm drain on your property needs substantial repairs. Drainage pipes are not pressurized to detect leakage without a camera.

Hydro Jetting And Cleaning Storm Drains

Use a high-powered water jet to clean storm drain pipes and surfaces. Various techniques may be used depending on the source of obstruction, leakage, or clogging. Cleaning may remove clogs and allow the drain to function more effectively and quickly, or a leak may be discovered requiring repair of a liner or specific pipe drain.

The hydraulic dewatering system helps operators to compact the material into the debris body, remove the water from the material, and drain it separately. This allows more debris to be collected on each trip and also leads to a drier, lighter load being transported to the dumpsite, lower fuel consumption, and other operating costs, along with increased productivity and performance.

Although cleaning the water system by yourself can be fun and rewarding, sometimes it can do more damage than is necessary. With less experience and know how to unblock the storm water drain, this could lead to a much bigger job. It’s actually better to hire a trusted plumber who can clear up the blockage for you because he’d have the right tools that can speed up the cleaning process or repair whatever it might need to fix. It saves you time, as well as money, because their work could be long-lasting.

Benefits of hiring professionals for air condition repair.

The air conditioning unit is considered as the most important home appliance that is used for regulating the indoor temperature so that you and your family do not get exposed to extreme weather conditions. This is the reason why you should make sure that your ac unit is well maintained and for this you will need to hire professionals for regular inspection of the unit. The professionals will visit your property for looking at your ac unit and making sure any minor issues with the unit are repaired and resolved before it turns into a major problem. Moreover, with regular use, the ac tends to face wear and tear which makes it even more important to hire the right kind of professionals for air conditioner repair. This is the best way of making sure that your ac unit will work efficiently for a longer period of time and you will not have to spend extra money on the replacement of the air conditioner. Additionally, when the issues with the ac are identified early, it will help in eliminating the issues so that it does get worse over time says, Southern Seasons Heating & Air Conditioning of Mt. Pleasant.

Southern Seasons Repair Techs

There are many benefits of hiring professionals for air condition repair and the most important benefit is that these professionals have the right kind of experience and training that are needed for completing the repair works. You will have an assurance that the expert has been entrusted with the task of repairs so that your air conditioner will continue working efficiently for a longer period of time. The right kind of tools and equipment possessed by these professionals will make it easier for them to carry on the repairs in the desired manner. The knowledge, skills, and expertise of these professionals will make it easier for them to identify the potential problems with the ac unit so that it can be repaired at the earliest. Hence, when you find that your ac is making a strange noise or it’s not regulating the indoor temperature then you should hire professionals at the earliest. You should never attempt carrying on the repairs work yourself because you might not have the right tools, expertise and experience of doing the repairs work yourself. Moreover, it can also dangerous and it is advisable that you hire skilled and trained ac repair experts who will offer you the highest level of assistance and services at the best price. These insured and certified professionals will locate the issues with the air conditioner quickly so that it will be repaired within a short span of time. You will not face any inconvenience when your ac unit is not functioning because you can call the professionals to offer you quick service so that you will enjoy in a comfortable environment.

Professional air condition repair will eliminate the constant discomfort that you might face during the hot summer months so that you don’t have to suffer from sleepless nights. Therefore, it is important that you hire a reputable and reliable ac repair company that will offer the best professional for the job. This is the best way of enhancing the lifespan and longevity of the ac so that you will not have to spend money on the replacement of the unit. You should never ignore the problem with the ac because it can lead to last time frustrations and you and your family will be left suffering in the hot summer days and nights. Timely ac repair will enhance the energy efficiency of the unit so that the overall operational costs of the ac will be kept low. The professionals will also inspect and maintain the different parts of the air conditioner so that it will perform efficiently for a longer period of time. Additionally, timely and routine maintenance and inspection of the air conditioner will also reduce the electricity costs considerably. Your ac unit will also consume less electricity when it is maintained and inspected on a regular basis. Your HVAC system will also function efficiently for a longer period of time along with reducing the carbon footprint so that it does not cause any harm to the environment. Your home will have a comfortable environment and it will work according to the needs of your family.

Commercial Roofer in Spartanburg-Know the services offered for business

The roof of your commercial property plays an important role in keeping the safety of the people inside the property intact while protecting your valuables and belongings from any kind of theft and burglary. Therefore, you need to be completely sure that the roof will be in good condition and this can be achieved by hiring the best commercial roofer in Spartanburg. The assistance of these professionals will preserve the structural integrity and overall functionality of the roof intact so that the roof will perform the function for keeping your investment in the best possible condition. When your roof remains in good condition, you will be protected from the different elements of nature so that you don’t have to worry about facing the wrath of nature. The right selection of the roof is very crucial for your commercial property as it should be fire-resistant, insulated, heavyweight and architectural style. If you want a good quality roof, you need to hire a good roofing contractor who will ensure that the requirements of your property will be fulfilled by the roofers.

As a commercial property owner, if you want to enjoy the benefits of a good quality roof, you will need to look for the best commercial roofer in Spartanburg who will make sure that you roof will last longer than expected. The material and workmanship of the roof determines its longevity and lifespan and this is the reason why you should hire a roofer who will offer excellent workmanship for the roofing project. Thus if you are facing long standing and serious issues with the roofing system of your commercial property, you will need to look for a roofer who will address the issue immediately. You will need to hire a reliable and trusted roofer who will undertake the task of roof repairs so that it will be completed within a short period of time. Trusting a professional roofer will offer you complete peace because it means that the problem with the roof will be resolved quickly and you will carry on using the property for your commercial needs. The roofing contractor is also known to offer maintenance services for your roof so that it will remain in good condition throughout the year. It will also mean that your employees, workers and clients will be safe and secured inside the property and their safety will not be compromised in any manner. With regular care and maintenance of the commercial roofs, its overall beauty, functionality and longevity will be enhanced. Therefore you will need to stress on the importance of hiring the best roofers who will offer a wide range of services in a professional manner so that you will get a functional and beautiful roof. The creativity and experience of the roofers at the time of hiring a roofer is very important as it means that your commercial property will get the kind of roof that you are looking for.

Commercial roofers are committed professionals who are known to offer many different kinds of services for meeting the different requirements of your commercial property ranging from roof installation, repairs, replacement, maintenance, guttering, roof flashing and a host of other services. Even if you are looking for emergency services for your commercial property, you will need to hire the right roofers who will strive to meet the immediate needs of your business. You should hire someone who is offering services round the clock so that you can call the roofers for assistance even when the roofing problem arises at any hour of the day. You should not delay the task of roof repairs because it will mean that your roofing system will be damaged further and you will face a lot of problem without a properly functioning roof. When you call a commercial roofer for an emergency repairs needs, the professional will arrive fully equipped for solving the problem immediately. You should never compromise on the quality of roofing professional that you hire because it might affect the functioning of the roof and it can also cause serious damage to your commercial property. Always look for someone who will offer the most superior quality of work at competitive prices so that it will be beneficial for your business in the long run.

The Pros and Cons of Hot Water Heating

Some Points to Consider Before Winter

Now is the time of year to go apple picking, watch horror movies and get your fill of pumpkin spiced treats. But with winter on the horizon, you might already be thinking about the cold days ahead.

Reliable heat is a necessity for homes in and around Chicago. But people who grew up using a furnace may be apprehensive about buying or building a home with a hot water boiler. We’re here to allay any of your fears. The warmth of a radiator heated home simply cannot be matched.

In addition to providing furnace installations and furnace repair in Wilmette, IL, and nearby communities, we also install, repair and maintain boilers. Hot water heating might be less popular to modern builders than forced-air heating, but it will keep your home feeling cozier all winter long.

The Pros of Hot Water Heating:

  •  Longer lasting heat. When a furnace shuts off, the warmth disappears and you’re more likely to feel drafts. But with hot water heating, the radiators add hours worth of heat because they retain heat from the water in them. The boiler retains so much heat that you can still feel warmth coming from the radiators three to four hours after the system shuts off. This gives your home that consistently cozy feeling that people want during the winter months.
  • No breeze. Even though furnaces distribute warm air, the forced air can feel uncomfortable during the winter. The air movement alone can cause you to feel cool when you should be feeling warm. With radiator heat, you will feel warmer at a lower temperature because there’s no breeze.
  • Quieter operation. Furnaces can make quite a bit of noise as they blow warm air throughout the home. Since there’s no forced-air component to hot water heating, these systems work much more quietly.
  • Better air quality. Forced-air furnaces circulate everything in the air, including dust and other allergens. Because boilers involve no air movement, this will reduce the amount of dust and debris circulating in your home. You also won’t have any air ducts to clean and there will be fewer allergens in the air to purify.

The Cons of Hot Water Heating:

  •  More expensive to install. Hot water systems are more expensive upfront. However, given the many benefits they provide, we here at American Vintage Home encourage customers to consider everything they stand to gain from hot water heating.
  • Cannot add an air conditioner to a boiler. Furnaces are convenient because they can use the same ductwork as air conditioners. To add air conditioning to a radiator-heated home, you must consider alternative duct systems such as SpacePak or Unico or a ductless system. 

What If I Already Have Forced-Air Heating?

If your home currently uses forced-air heating, you can still experience radiator heat without investing in a boiler. The answer is radiant in-floor heating. Providing improved comfort and unmatched energy efficiency, with radiant heating your floor essentially acts as a radiator, warming all of the surfaces in the room. Compared to traditional heating systems, radiant heating has less heat variance from ceiling to floor and is more efficient. In fact, it’s the single-fastest growing segment in the heating industry.

Click here to learn more about radiant in-floor heating and its benefits.

Let’s Discuss Your Options Together

With so many heating and cooling options, the process can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help.

If you aren’t sure which type of heat is right for your home, give us a call. We’ve been installing furnaces and boilers for many years and will help you make an informed decision.

Overall, experience has taught us that you simply can’t mimic the warmth and comfort that boilers provide. Their mechanisms are intrinsically different from furnaces. For customers who want to experience the greatest level of warmth at home, hot water heating can’t be beat.

Trust the experts at Aztec Solar Water Heating Home Improvement Contractor to keep your home nice and cozy this winter. Whether you need to purchase a new system or schedule furnace repair , and beyond, we’re here for you.

5 Tips That Will Help You Find The Best Solar Water Heating System

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Many people are switching over from electric water heaters to solar water heating system due to its so many advantages. This has brought out a lot of competitors for solar water heaters in the market. Even though most people go by recommendations from other people to choose a product for themselves, a solar water heating system should be bought after a lot of consideration. Given below are some tips that will help you choose a good solar water heating system.

Do Research

This is the first step and the most important one to know which one suits your needs best. The internet will come in very handy for this. You can easily search the topmost competitors of a solar water heater in your location. Search each of them and see which one has the benefits to offer.

Check The Reviews And Recommendations

Always choose at least 2-3 competitors from the internet that are the best in the market. While choosing from them you can check their reviews on the internet. Go through their websites and see if their clients are satisfied with their services. Most companies are transparent enough nowadays to let you know about their reputation in the market. If your chosen competitor has a lot of good reviews and recommendations, you can choose them.

Contact The Manufacturer

Once you have come down to one option, you can take the next step and contact the manufacturer. You can easily contact them through their websites or any other listing site. Talking to them will give you a more clear idea of whether choosing them has been the right step or not.

Ask About The Installation Process

The whole installation process should be taken care of by the company itself. Make sure you learn beforehand what kind of services they provide and if they are willing to install it for you at your home. They will also be able to tell you the best place to install it at your residence once they check out the place to help you get the best from your solar water heating system.

Check The Warranty Period

A solar water heating system is usually a long-time investment. So, lastly, check out the warranty period your company is giving you. Usually, a solar water heating system tends to work smoothly for at least 15 years. If your company is providing you with a satisfying warranty period, you have chosen the perfect system for yourself.

So, check out all these things and choose your solar water heating system very carefully.

How Solar Water Heaters Industry Benefits the Local Economy

Heating and cooling account for nearly half of global final energy consumption, but most of the energy use is currently generated from fossil fuels. With the declining costs of renewable energy, solar has become especially attractive for water heating. Just like other renewable energy technologies, solar water heaters have a role to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, improve healthcare and communications, and drive local commerce through the market and industry they build at the local level.

The case for local industries is especially pertinent in the time of COVID-19, when countries experience disruptions in the supply of materials and workforce, and domestic supply chains have proved to be very essential for the economies.  Policies are therefore crucial to strengthen local industries, consequently expanding benefits along all segments of value chains by leveraging local capacities to create domestic value.

Solar water heaters are a mature technology that has been successfully deployed in several countries for more than 30 years, mostly in the residential sector, providing an affordable solution for many households. It is assumed that a four-member household uses about 300 litres of hot water per day. Given that heating water accounts for about 18% of household energy use on average, and that demand for hot water is growing with household incomes, the decarbonization of water heating in particular becomes a key element of the on-going energy transition.

In its latest addition to the Leveraging Local Capacity series, IRENA examines beyond the environmental benefits of solar water heaters by outlining the ample opportunities for the creation of local socio-economic value presented by domestic solar water heaters industry. The Renewable Energy Benefits: Leveraging Local Capacity for Solar Water Heaters examines the kinds of jobs created and suggests ways for policymakers to build on existing solar water heaters industry.

Project planning for solar water heaters takes place in the households. As solar water heating involves a relatively simple technology, local manufacturers in most countries—often small to medium enterprises—can produce, install, and maintain the systems themselves. The potential to create value mostly lies in the following phases of the value chain: manufacturing, wholesale distribution, sales and installation, as well as operation and maintenance. Some of the technology’s main components—such as the collector, the pump, or the storage tank—can be manufactured locally, thus creating local jobs.

The skills needed to manufacture, install, and maintain a solar thermal system are easily transferable from occupations in manufacturing, construction, and plumbing. The manufacturing, planning, installation, and decommissioning of small-scale solar water heater systems for 10,000 single-family households requires more than 460,000 person-days, and the labour requirements vary across the value chain. Complete assessment of the human resources requirement for the entire value chain can be seen in the figure below.

Domestic value creation can be maximized by leveraging and enhancing capabilities in existing industries along the value chain, or developing them through policies and measures that stimulate demand for solar water heaters and later enhance capacity along the value chain. To further drive domestic solar water heaters industry, policy makers can implement the following measures:

  • Setting ambitious targets for the number of systems, collector surface or thermal capacity.
  • Issuing obligations and mandates to install solar water heaters.
  • Providing financial incentives such as grants, low-interest loans, and tax incentives.
  • Setting technical standards for product quality through certifications and warranties.
  • Implementing appropriate training and retraining programmes for the proper, efficient, and safe installation and maintenance of solar water heaters.

In addition, initial measures to enhance consumer awareness of solar water heaters benefits are key to overcoming non-economic barriers. The environmental benefits are clear; reduced greenhouse emissions lead to a climate-safe world and improved healthcare. But if the public understands how the technology also benefits them economically, a competitive market will be created, starting at the local level and scaled up to national level.

5 REASONS YOUR HOME SHOULD HAVE A SOLAR WATER HEATER

“If there is magic on this planet,” wrote anthropologist and naturalist Loren Eiseley in 1957, “it is contained in water.”

If Eiseley were still alive, he would surely applaud the fact that more and more people in today’s society are waking up to the importance of conserving our water supplies. Yet he would doubtlessly point out that the magic of water includes even more than its life-giving properties.

Water: the magical transporter

Part of what makes water so essential to life is its ability to be a carrier for other things. Called the “universal solvent” in scientific circles, water can readily transport nutrients and wastes in, through, and out of living systems. Yet one of the most important things water is capable of holding and carrying is not a substance at all. It is heated. Our vast oceans of water absorb and hold the sun’s energy, regulating temperatures and weather on our planet.

Were you aware that there is a way to benefit even more from that magical ability of water to retain heat? It’s true — and you can do it right in your home, by installing a solar water heater.

The “other” kind of solar energy

Solar Water Heater: Boy Washing DishesThe solar water heater is a solar energy system that uses the sun to heat your domestic hot water. Just like a solar electric system, it uses panels to collect solar energy. However, these panels contain a water-based fluid that carries the sun’s heat down to your hot water tank.

Without mixing the fluids, the system transfers the sun’s heat into your hot water supply using a device called a heat exchanger. The cooled fluid returns to the panels to pick up more heat — and you have emission-free hot water you can use to shower, do laundry and wash your dishes.

Benefits of solar hot water

While a solar water heater won’t directly reduce your water consumption, it does carry with it many benefits. Here are just a few:

1. Fighting climate change.

Water heating accounts for 17 percent of a typical home’s energy use. Many North American homes heat water with natural gas or other fossil fuels. That’s many tons of carbon going into the atmosphere. Switching to solar hot water is a great way to reduce carbon and other greenhouse emissions and protect our climate.

2. Protecting air quality.

Many additional homes use electricity to heat their water. Over one-third of U.S. electric power comes from burning coal. Particulates and other byproducts of burning coal pollute our air and contribute to a number of negative environmental and health effects. When you heat with solar hot water, you become a part of the solution to these public health problems.

3. Protecting water quality.

Carbon and particulates aren’t the only byproducts of burning fossil fuels. The Natural Resources Defense Council has identified power plants as the primary source of mercury and other toxic heavy metals being released into the environment each year. These substances are a major threat to the health of our rivers, streams, and lakes — and to human health as well. Solar water heating is one practical step we can take to put a stop to mercury contamination of our watersheds.

4. Monthly savings.

A solar water heater can provide up to 80 percent of your hot water needs, even in temperate climates. This translates to major utility bill savings, month after month. In fact, a solar hot water system typically pays for itself in just four to eight years and can be expected to last for 40 years or more. That’s a lot of free energy and a lot of savings.

5. Increased home value.

Studies show that homes with solar sell faster and at higher prices than those without. Thus, adding solar hot water to your home is an investment that will pay back whether you stay or sell.

The magical side benefit of solar hot water

Of course, the sun doesn’t shine all day, every day. Solar water heaters typically have a backup gas or electric water heater that kicks in during periods of little sun. However, many solar water heater owners prefer to use backup heating as little as possible. Instead, they make a game out of using their hot water when it’s most readily available. Small habit changes such as doing laundry on sunny days can add up to even bigger environmental and financial savings.

Does the side benefit? Many of these homeowners say that paying attention to their hot water use has made them more aware of how they use all their resources. Even though their solar water heater doesn’t save water directly, they find they are using less water — and saving even more — overall. Thanks to the power of water!

One final note

Some utility companies offer rebates for installing solar water heaters. Contact your service provider to find out if they have a rebate program and how to qualify.

Advantages of solar panels

1. Renewable energy

Solar power systems derive energy from the sun. Panels on your roof help reduce carbon emissions and bring down our collective dependence on fossil fuels. By installing solar, you’re not only reducing your carbon footprint but also doing your bit to increase renewable energy generation when you export energy from the panels to the grid.

2. Reduce what you pay for electricity

You will meet some of your energy needs with the electricity your solar power system has generated. This should mean you will pay less for the power you use. How much you save will be dependent on the size of your solar system and your electricity usage.

Not only can you reduce what you pay for your electricity, but you can also get paid for any surplus power you generate by supplying it to the grid. This is called a ‘feed-in-tariff’.

3. Property value increase

If you’re looking to sell your home, the installation of solar power systems can increase its value. Based on surveys, most Australians think that solar panels add value to a property, and estimates suggest that a 5kW solar panel installation could add around $29,000 to the value of a house. That’s a bright investment.

4. Low maintenance costs

Solar power systems generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them relatively clean; cleaning them a couple of times per year will do the job. After covering the initial cost of the solar system, you can expect very little spending on maintenance and repair work. The average cost of an annual inspection with a qualified inspector is about $150.

Aztec solar water heating home improvement contractors customers enjoy:
  • a smartphone app and online usage tools that can help you gain better insights into your electricity usage;
  • solar feed-in tariffs greater than the government recommended amounts; and
  • for those with smart meters, access to a heat map of your solar output through so you can know more about your solar energy system’s performance.
Thinking about installing solar but don’t know where to start?

Head to Aztec-solar-water-heating.com  and we can help take the stress out of looking for a quality solar installer. Get an estimate on whether installing solar will save you money and roughly what these savings could be.

For more information about Aztec-solar-water-heating.com visit our solar energy page

2.0 Solar Technology

Although most forms of energy have the sun as their ultimate source (see box), the term solar energy is generally used to refer to methods of collecting light and turning it directly into a useful form of energy. Technologies such as:

  • Passive solar gain
  • Solar thermal (for heating)
  • Concentrated solar power (for electricity)
  • Solar Photovoltaics (electricity)

The Ultimate Source of Energy…

Hydro-electric power: heat from the sun evaporates water, which falls as rain in high places, then flows down to a dam and drives turbines which generate electricity.

Wind power: winds are created by temperature differences caused by heating from the sun.

Wave power: driven by the wind.

Solar energy: light is turned directly into useful energy.

Heat pumps: extract heat absorbed from the sun by air, water or shallow ground.

Biomass: (plant material e.g. wood). Plants turn carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates (a chemical store of energy) using light energy to drive the process.

Fossil fuels: petrol, gas and oil are simply biomass that has been subject to great pressures underground for thousands of years.

Exceptions to the rule: nuclear fission (moderated chain reaction splitting radioactive isotopes extracted from earth’s crust), tidal power (driven by the orbit and gravitational forces of the moon), deep geothermal (left over heat from the formation of the earth, plus radioactive decay) and nuclear fusion (like in the sun but still proving tricky to arrange on earth)

2.1 Passive Solar Gain

how passive solar gain works

This form of energy is often taken for granted; but can contribute a significant amount of the energy demands of a well-designed building in the heating season. Sunlight enters a building through windows, and warms the inside. In an average house in the UK, passive solar gain contributes 14% of the heating demand.

Thoughtful design can improve this figure further with very little, if any, increase in the cost of building the property:

  • Orienting the house so that the more often used rooms face south;
  • Larger windows on the south side, smaller on the north;
  • Using building materials that store heat by adding “thermal mass” to the house and
  • Laying out housing developments so that buildings do not over-shadow each other

Care needs to be taken to avoid causing overheating in summer through the provision of too much glass, measures such as overhanging eaves and brise-soleil can provide shade in summer months (when the sun is high in the sky), while still letting the light into the building in the heating season (when the sun is lower in the sky).

Highly optimised passive solar design can provide 40% of the space heating load of a property.

2.2 Solar Thermal

solar water heating system

A solar thermal panel is simply a black surface that absorbs light, heats up and transfers the heat into a working fluid. It can be unglazed or glazed. Glazed panels can be flat, or made up of a collection of glass tubes. The working fluid moves the heat to a place where it is useful – perhaps a hot water store, swimming pool or directly to space heating for a building.

Panels with higher levels of insulation, such as a glazed cover above and thermal insulation behind do not require direct sunshine to operate and will collect heat on a cloudy day. Most commonly, the energy is used to provide for low temperature applications such as hot water for washing, space heating, feeding heat into district heating networks or providing heat to industrial processes.

In recent years, progress has been made using heat from solar thermal panels as an energy input to drive air conditioning plant, though these implementations remain largely experimental in nature.

More about solar thermal

2.3 Concentrated Solar Power

concentrating solar system

If the sun’s rays are concentrated by mirrors, much higher temperatures can be created. The light is focused onto a central point with a carrier fluid such as oil flowing through it. The oil heats up to around 400C, hot enough to heat water and make high pressure steam that can drive a turbine and generate electricity.

Solar concentrators only work in direct sunshine. The mirror is held on a support that can turn to follow the sun as it moves throughout the day, adding to complexity and cost. Because of this, they are only used in areas benefiting from a sunny climate, with more clear-sky days.

Utility-scale projects in countries such as Spain concentrate light from whole fields of mirrors onto a tower (image).

2.4 Photovoltaic Solar

solar photovoltaic cell

Photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert light directly into electricity, first found application in space before becoming commonplace on devices such as calculators and watches and also providing power to locations without a connection to the electricity grid. As costs have fallen and efficiencies of PV materials have risen, governments (notably those in Germany and China) provided generous support that has seen the levels of solar deployment soar. Efficiencies of scale and fierce global competition drove the cost down, creating a virtuous circle of lower prices driving higher levels of demand and leading in turn to even lower prices that has been the defining feature of the industry in recent years. Solar PV has now reached a point where without subsidy it can compete with the retail cost of electricity in developed economies, and with wholesale electricity in sunny climates.

The most common technology uses thin wafers of silicon semiconductor materials, connected in series in a photovoltaic panel or module.

The direct current (DC) electricity the solar PV panels produce needs to be converted to alternating current (AC) for grid-connected applications. A solar inverter performs this trick, enabling any energy generation in excess of local demand to be exported to the grid and used elsewhere.

WHY IS SOLAR ENERGY IMPORTANT?

importance-of-solar-energy

We have all heard of solar energy by now. Whatever your opinions on it are, it is a simple statement of fact that it is probably one of the best methods we have for reducing carbon emissions. The importance of solar energy is first that it is clean, it is renewable and with the latest technologies available, it could have the capacity to supply a much more significant proportion of our energy requirements.

At the moment, solar energy production accounts for about 1% of the global electricity generation. This might seem small but the technology is already showing potential for a much larger take-up, both commercially and privately.

CLEAN ENERGY IS VITAL FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

The environment is under threat. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is growing and if we are serious about avoiding the worst of climate change, it is incredibly important that we rapidly reduce carbon emissions. Solar panels are ideal for this.

Though solar panels do have a carbon footprint, it is significantly smaller than other energy production methods. Solar panels use photovoltaic cells to capture energy from the sun. As you would probably guess – this is a renewable energy source and doesn’t produce any further carbon emissions.

SOLAR WORKS COMMERCIALLY AND PRIVATELY

One of the best things about solar energy is that it is viable on a commercial and a private basis. It is worth the investment for a private homeowner to put solar panels on their roof in the same way that it is worthwhile for large energy companies to increase solar energy production on a commercial scale.

Solar panels may be expensive as an initial investment, but they do provide a return – usually over a set number of years. After this point, the energy they produce for the rest of their lifespan is effectively free.

Though the initial cost may be off-putting for many businesses, many consumers are now much more concerned about the energy efficiency and green credentials of the companies they deal with. An investment now could be what makes a business stand out for all the right reasons in a few years time.

SOLAR DOESN’T THREATEN ENVIRONMENT

Energy production methods such as mining for coal, drilling for gas and fracking are all threatening the environment – particularly areas that have remained wild, natural habitats for a wide variety of plant and animal species. The invasive nature of this type of energy production has a massive, lasting impact on the land.

Solar panels are easy to install in lots of different places. Rooftops are a natural choice as they tend to get a lot of sunlight and the panels won’t get in the way. However, farmland is also a viable option as sheep can graze safely between the solar panels and many crops will flourish here too.

FIND YOUR SOLAR ENERGY SOLUTION AT SOL-UP

As the climate changes, we need to do as much as we can to avoid catastrophic change. Solar power is a simple, feasible and affordable solution that everybody needs to take seriously and can start today with Sol-Up USA and move towards a brighter future.

Domestic Water Piping Design Guide

1.0 INTRODUCTION

A domestic water system describes the indoor and outdoor potable water distribution system. It includes the connection to the water supply, whether it is an underground central city, county, state or federal distribution system or a private well. The domestic water system includes above-ground and below-ground piping, valves, fittings, ancillary equipment and the various plumbing fixtures that use the potable water.

Domestic Water Piping Layout

Figure 1: This figure shows an example of a domestic water distribution system (only cold water) for a commercial kitchen. This figure will be used to exemplify how a domestic water system is sized.

1.1 UNITS

The primary units that are used in this calculator and guide are the United States Customary System Units (USCS). However, there will be another version provided in International System of Units (SI). This version is not guaranteed and is not included with the purchase of this product.

2.0 DISCLAIMER

In no event will Engineering Pro Guides be liable for any incidental, indirect, consequential, punitive or special damages of any kind, or any other damages whatsoever, including, without limitation, those resulting from loss of profit, loss of contracts, loss of reputation, goodwill, data, information, income, anticipated savings or business relationships, whether or not Engineering Pro Guides has been advised of the possibility of such damage, arising out of or in connection with the use of this document/software or any referenced documents and/or websites.

This design guide book and calculator was created for the design of primarily commercial and residential domestic water systems. Although these products can be used for industrial type systems, the intricacies of industrial type plumbing fixtures make it very difficult and it is not recommended that you use this calculator industrial purposes.

3.0 PLUMBING CODES

The design of a plumbing system is greatly influenced by your applicable codes. The most common plumbing codes are the (1) International Plumbing Code or IPC, (2) Uniform Plumbing Code or UPC and (3) Unified Facilities Criteria Plumbing Systems or UFC 3-420-01 Plumbing Systems. Each plumbing design will follow under a certain jurisdiction, which is the governing power that makes the legal determinations and interpretations of the code. For example, a job may be on a federal base, which means the federal government has jurisdiction. This jurisdiction then determines that all plumbing designs must follow UFC 3-420-01 Plumbing Systems. If you do a job for a state government property, then that state has jurisdiction and you need to check with the jurisdiction for the applicable code. There are many different jurisdictions like federal, state, city and county. Each of these jurisdictions will tell you which code to follow, whether it is IPC, UPC or UFC and each of the jurisdictions may have adapted the code to fit their specific location’s needs.

This design guide will focus on the two most applicable codes, UPC and IPC. Just be sure to search through your jurisdiction for any adaptations.

3.1 APPLICABLE SYSTEMS

Plumbing systems include domestic water (cold and hot), sanitary sewer and vent, storm drain, special waste like grease and special systems (oxygen, fuel-gas, vacuum, nitrogen).

This design guide focuses on domestic water systems, primarily cold water. Hot water is not including in this design guide. This design guide focuses on the domestic water piping, plumbing fixtures, valves, booster pumps and other miscellaneous design issues related to the design of domestic cold water systems.

3.2 Water Supply Fixture Units

Prior to sizing a domestic water system and determining pipe sizes it is important to understand the concept of fixture units. Water Supply Fixture Units (WSFU) is the standard method for estimating the water demand for a building. This system assigns an arbitrary value called a WSFU to each fixture in a building, based on the amount of water required and the frequency of use.

For example, a water closet (tank) is assigned a WSFU of 2.2 fixture units (FU) while a sink (lavatory) is assigned 0.7 FU. These values are based on the International Plumbing Code Water Supply Fixture Unit table. The difference in fixture units is due to the fact that a toilet requires more water than a sink. The frequency of use between a private sink and a water closet would be the same, since a person will normally use the water closet and the sink within the same bathroom visit. A public water closet has a WSFU value of 5.0. Even though the water closet (tank) is the same as the private water closet and uses the same amount of water, a public water closet has a higher WSFU value. The public water closet has a higher usage frequency, which increases the WSFU value.

IPC: The international plumbing code or IPC uses the following water supply fixture unit table.

International Plumbing Code Water Supply Fixture Unit (WSFU) Table

The water supply fixture units are distinguished between cold, hot or both. If a plumbing line serves only the cold water side of a fixture, then the corresponding value should be used. For example, a main line may serve the both cold and hot water, but then a branch line may go to the hot water heater. The branch line would only use the hot water value.

If a plumbing fixture is not available in the table below, then a fixture unit value can be assigned by the designer or engineer. Typically, a similar plumbing fixture that has a similar maximum flow rate and frequency of use will be selected. If the plumbing fixture will be on for long periods of time, then the volumetric flow rate can be inserted into the domestic water piping calculator.

4.0 DOMESTIC WATER PIPE SIZING

The sizing of domestic water supply system must be based on the minimum pressure available for the building in question. The designer must ensure that the required pressure is maintained at the most hydraulically remote fixture and that proper and adequate quantities of flow are maintained at all fixtures. In addition, the designer must ensure that reasonable velocities are maintained in all piping. The velocity of water flowing in a pipe should not exceed 10 feet/sec and should be designed for 7-8 feet per second or less, because high velocities will increase the rate of corrosion leading to pipe failure and cause undesirable noises in the system and increase the possibility of hydraulic shock. The designer should compute and/or know the following:

  1. Hydraulically remote fixture
  2. Available main pressure
  3. Pressure required at individual fixtures
  4. Static pressure losses (height of highest fixture relative to main pressure)
  5. Water demand (total system, and each branch, fixture)
  6. Pressure loss due to friction
  7. Velocity

Hydraulically Remote Fixture: The most remote fixture is the fixture that is the furthest distance away from the main domestic water supply point. The most hydraulically remote fixture is the fixture that is not necessarily the furthest away but the fixture that will have the least pressure given the projected water demand.

Available Main Pressure: The civil or fire protection engineer will typically investigate the main water pressure available at the project site. This pressure will determine the starting point for the pressure loss calculations. If there is insufficient pressure available to meet the pressure required at the individual fixtures, then a booster pump will be required. In addition, if the pressure is too high, then a pressure regulating valve will be required. High pressures at the plumbing fixture can lead to unsafe operation and unnecessary water loss.

Pressure at Individual Fixtures: The mechanical engineer should research the plumbing fixtures and determine the required pressure. For example, tank water closets only require 5 psig, while flush valve water closets can require 15 psig. Each plumbing fixture will have a different pressure requirement. Even different manufacturers of similar plumbing fixtures will have a different pressure requirement.

Static Pressure Losses: The static pressure losses are found by taking the difference between the initial elevation at the available main pressure point and the final elevation at the hydraulically remote fixture.

Friction Loss: The friction losses are determined by finding the flow rate, velocity, pipe size, pipe roughness for the entire hydraulically remote run. Friction losses can be due to the viscous forces of fluid flowing through the pipe and similar losses through fittings like elbows and tees. Lastly, friction losses are also due to miscellaneous equipment like water meters, valves, backflow preventers, pressure regulating valves, etc.

Water Demand: The water demand is the projected flow rate. The projected flow rate is based on the water supply fixture units and any other continuously operated fixtures. The water demand is important because as the water demand increases, there will be an increase in friction losses. This will reduce the pressure at the hydraulically remote fixture. Thus, the water demand must be checked along with the pressure at the hydraulically remote fixture.

Velocity: Based on the water demand, the projected velocity can also be found. The velocity within the piping must be limited in order to avoid excessive noise, water hammer and increased pipe erosion.

4.1 MAIN AND BRANCH PIPING SIZING

It is very difficult to quickly obtain the velocity, water demand, friction loss and static pressure losses within a piping system, just to size the plumbing lines. Often times, estimates are used to size the main and branch piping, which can lead to inaccuracies and increased pressure losses or oversized piping. These estimates typically consists of a table of copper pipe sizes and the maximum fixture units that each pipe size can serve. The designer will sum the WSFUs that are served by each pipe and then choose a pipe size that can accommodate the total WSFUs.

This process is exactly the same as the previous process, with a table and the maximum WSFUs for each pipe size. Except, the table can be customized for any pipe material, tank or flush valve and for any range of velocities and pressure drops. The previous process determined the maximum WSFUs for a pipe size based on some random velocity limitation and/or pressure loss limitation. However, higher velocities can be accommodated in certain areas where water hammer and noise are not an issue. Higher pressure drops can also be accommodated on piping that is not part of the hydraulically remote run.

In both processes, the piping layout must be completed. The piping layout consists of the geometrical arrangement of the pipes from the water supply to all plumbing fixtures.

4.1.1 STEP 1: DETERMINE WSFU

The water supply fixtures units (WSFU) fed by a pipe is determined by the number of each plumbing fixture that is connected to the pipe and the governing plumbing code. The plumbing code establishes the WSFU value for each fixture type. The piping layout determines the amount of each fixture type that is fed by each pipe.

4.1.2 STEP 2: CONVERT WSFU TO GPM

The next step is to convert the WSFU value to gallons per minute (GPM). This volumetric flow rate will help to determine the pressure drop and fluid velocity within the pipe in the next and final step. The conversion from WSFU to GPM will depend on whether or not the connected fixtures are predominantly flush valve type or tank type.

Flush Valve vs. Tank: This distinction is common of toilets. A tank type toilet uses the tank fluid elevation to forcefully flush the toilet waste through the waste system. After a tank toilet is flushed, a fill line is used to fill up the tank. The fill time is typically around 20 seconds. At a residence or where there is infrequent use, this fill time is acceptable. However, in a public space with frequent use, this fill time is not acceptable. A flush valve toilet is used in these situations. A flush valve type toilet does not have a tank to provide the pressure to force the waste into the waste system. Thus, a flush valve toilet will require a much higher minimum pressure.

Table 1:  This table shows that tank type water closets require less pressure and a lower flow rate than flush valve type water closets.

Table 1: This table shows that tank type water closets require less pressure and a lower flow rate than flush valve type water closets.

A pipe that feeds predominantly flush valve type fixtures will have a greater volumetric flow rate requirement than a pipe that feeds predominantly tank type fixtures.

Table 2:  This table shows the WSFU to GPM conversion difference between a predominantly tank type versus a predominantly flush valve type.

Table 2: This table shows the WSFU to GPM conversion difference between a predominantly tank type versus a predominantly flush valve type.

Predominantly Flush vs. Tank Type: A group of plumbing fixtures is considered predominantly flush valve if the group has more than one flush valve for every ten tank type water closets. Other companies may use a different determination, but the reasoning is that one flush valve type water closet has a significant impact to the maximum flow rate for a pipe, as shown by the table that showed the fill velocity as 32 GPM versus 2 GPM. If there is a branch run that serves no flush valve type water closets, then that branch can use the predominantly tank type WSFU to GPM conversion. But all pipes downstream from a predominantly flush valve type branch will need to be sized with the same conversion, unless the amount of tank type water closets becomes much greater than the amount of flush valve type water closets.

4.1.3 STEP 3: QUICK SIZING TABLE

Once the WSFU and the appropriate GPM conversion are determined, then the quick sizing table can be used to select the appropriate pipe size. The first step in using this table is to select the pipe material, pipe sub-type, predominantly tank/valve and the C-value. The pipe materials, C-values and sub-types are discussed in a subsequent section in this guide. The tank vs. flush valve type has been discussed earlier in this section. The C-factor describes the pipe smoothness. Steel pipes are given a C-factor of 100 and smoother pipes have a higher C-factor and rougher pipes have a lower value. For example, copper’s C-factor is typically 135 to 150, CPVC & PVC is 150.

Domestic water quick sizing table inputs

Figure 2: The first step in using the custom quick sizing tables is to select the pipe material, sub-type, valve or tank and the C-value.

Once the pipe information has been entered, then the next step is to determine what are the acceptable velocities and pressure drops within the pipes. This will vary between each situation and each company. Each company will have its own standards, but below is a brief discussion on the typical acceptable velocities and pressure drops.

Sizing Based on Velocity: The typical ideal pipe fluid velocities for a domestic water system are between 4 and 8 feet per second (fps). Less ideal velocities are between 2 and 4 fps and 8 to 10 fps. At higher velocities, 6 to 10 fps, there will be increased erosion over time and noise during operation. At the lower velocities 2 to 6 fps, erosion and noise will not be a concern, but there may be a stagnation concern and there will be an inefficient use of money.

Velocity Pressure: The pressure drop through fittings is dependent on the velocity pressure, which is dependent on the fluid velocity. At higher velocities, the pressure drop through a fitting will be significant and may lead to insufficient pressure at the fixtures. The equation used to solve for velocity pressure is shown below.

Velocity pressure equation

The pressure drop through fittings is found by multiplying the velocity pressure by a K-factor that is used to characterize the fitting geometry, fitting size and turbulence within the fitting. A typical fitting is a 90 degree long radius elbow with a K-factor of 0.24. The table below shows the pressure loss of ten 90-degree elbows at varying velocities.

pressure drop of 10 copper standard radius elbows at varying velocities

Figure 3: A greater velocity will cause increased pressure drop through fittings.

A lower velocity is more suitable for pipe runs with a lot of fittings. If there is sufficient pressure, then a higher velocity can be accommodated.

Sizing Based on Pressure Drop: The second method used to size pipes is through an acceptable pressure drop per 100 feet. The typical values range from 1.7 to 3.4 psi per 100 feet of piping or 4 to 8 feet of head per 100 feet of piping. Less ideal values range from 1 to 1.7 and 3.4 to 4 psi per 100 feet of piping. The lower pressure drop range is less ideal because it means the piping is oversized. The upper range is less ideal, because it may lead to insufficient pressure at the plumbing fixtures.

The pressure drop is determined through the Hazen-Williams equation. This equation is shown below. This equation is not accurate for laminar flow and for extremely turbulent flow. However, this equation is very useful for the typical velocities of 2 to 10 fps and higher velocities.

Hazen williams, and acceptable velocity and pressure drops for domestic water piping.

Figure 4: The second step is to determine the acceptable pipe sizing criteria. Pipes can be sized based on pressure drop, velocity or both. This part of the calculator allows you to pick your preferred range in green and your acceptable range on the high side and low side in yellow.

Domestic water piping custom quick sizing table

Figure 5: This figure shows a snippet of the quick sizing table based on the previous inputs. The green indicates a velocity or pressure loss value within the ideal range. Yellow indicates a value within the acceptable but not ideal range.

The pressure drop values are not as accurate for the lower and higher velocities. This is because the quick sizing calculator uses the Hazen Williams equation as opposed to the Darcy Weisbach equation.

4.2 FIXTURE PIPING SIZING

The pipes that directly feed the fixtures are sized based on the table below. These pipes are the rough-in pipes that connect to the branch pipes. Do not get this pipe confused with the fixture connection pipe. The fixture manufacturer will indicate the fixture connection sizes, but these sizes typically refer to the braided hose sizes and not the rough-in pipes. A rough-in pipe will typically be copper, which will be soldered to a dielectric union. On the other end of the dielectric union will be a threaded metal fitting. A shut off valve can be connected to this metal fitting, followed by a braided hose. The braided hose is then connected to the fixture piping connection. The size of the braided hose is determined by the fixture manufacturer.

Minimum pipe size for various plumbing fixtures

Table 3: This table shows the rough-in, pipe size for various plumbing fixtures.

4.3 SAMPLE PIPE SIZING DISCUSSION

Now, you can use the quick sizing table to go through the piping layout and assign sizes to each pipe segment based on the connected WSFU values. The next part of this guide will take you through a sample layout, based on Copper Type K tubing. The sample layout is shown on the following page, but the discussion starts below.

Sample domestic water layout with water supply fixture units, pressure loss and pipe sizes

Figure 6: This figure shows a sample cold water distribution system, with each plumbing fixture labeled with its IPC WSFU values for cold water only. In addition, the flow direction is shown and the lengths of each pipe segment. Finally, the initial point, “A” shows a starting pressure of 50 psi and the minimum required pressure values are also shown.

Size B-C Segment (1.5 WSFU = 1/2”): The first segment that will be sized will be segment B-C, which only serves a lavatory. Since this line only serves a single fixture then you can use the fixture table, which indicates that the minimum pipe size as 3/8”. However, the pipe length is fairly long and according to the quick sizing table, there will be a large pressure drop. So a 1/2” pipe should be used for the long run. The individual connection to the fixture will be 3/8”.

Size E-D Segment (3 WSFU = 3/4”): The next segment that will be sized will be segment E-D, which only serves a washing machine. At 3 WSFU, the quick sizing table will need a 3/4” pipe. If you also check commercial washing machine product data, you will also find that the typical connection size is 3/4” for both cold and hot water.

Size H-I Segment (3 WSFU = 3/4”): The next segment that will be sized will be segment H-I, which only serves a kitchen sink. At 3 WSFU, the quick sizing table will need a 3/4” pipe. If you also check commercial kitchen sink product data, you will also find that the typical connection size is 1/2” for both cold and hot water. For the individual fixture piping, you should use a 1/2” pipe but for the H-I, you should use a 3/4” pipe.

Size G-H Segment (6 WSFU = 1”): This segment serves two kitchen sinks, which totals to 6 WSFU. The quick sizing table indicates that this pipe should be 1”.

Size F-G Segment (9 WSFU = 1-1/4”): This segment serves three kitchen sinks, which totals to 9 WSFU. The quick sizing table indicates a pipe size of 1-1/4”.

Size B-F Segment (12 WSFU = 1-1/4”): This segment serves four kitchen sinks, which totals to 12 WSFU. The quick sizing table indicates a pipe size of 1-1/4”.

Size B-D Segment (4 WSFU = 1”): This segment serves one washing machine and one laundry tray, which totals to 4 WSFU. The pipe size should be 1”.

Size A-B Segment (17.5 WSFU = 1-1/4”): This segment serves four kitchen sinks, one lavatory, one washing machine and one laundry tray, which totals to 17.5 WSFU. The quick sizing table indicates a 1-1/4” pipe.

Sample domestic water layout with water supply fixture units, pressure loss and pipe sizes results

Figure 7: This figure shows the results of the pipe sizing example. The pipe sizes are determined based on the quick sizing table for Type K Copper Tubing.

5.0 Domestic Water Pressure Calculator

Once the designer has completed the first pass of the pipe routing and sizing, the designer can use the excel file, Domestic Water Calculations.xls in order to determine the pressure loss of the piping, fittings and miscellaneous equipment. This will determine if there is sufficient pressure at the most hydraulically remote fixture. If there is not sufficient pressure, then a domestic water booster pump will be required.

Results of the domestic water pressure calculator

Figure 8: The calculator will automatically output the above results. This shows the pressure loss due to piping, fittings, miscellaneous equipment, valves and elevation change. Then the calculator compares the final pressure at the hydraulically remote fixture to the required minimum pressure at the hydraulically remote fixture.

The first step in using the domestic water pressure calculator sheet is to input the basic water information shown below.

Input the basic water information for the domestic water pressure calculator

Figure 9: The water information is the first set of inputs required for an output from the domestic water piping pressure calculator. The temperature determines the kinematic viscosity. The initial pressure is typically provided by a civil engineer, fire protection designer or by a city/county/state/federal utility provider. The initial and final elevation is shown in feet above finished grade. The difference between these two values determines the static pressure loss. The fixture type is used to determine the WSFU to GPM conversion. The minimum pressure is the lowest pressure required at the hydraulically remote fixture.

The second step is to insert the piping information.

Input the piping information for the domestic water pressure calculator

Figure 10: The second step involves inserting the basic piping information for each pipe section. A pipe section changes whenever the pipe size/material or the fixtures served by the pipe changes.

The third step is to add the fixtures that are served by each piping section.

Input the fixtures attached to each pipe section for the domestic water pressure calculator

Figure 11: The fixtures served by the pipe determine the WSFU value, which then determines the flow rate within the pipe section.

The fourth step is to check the velocities and piping pressure losses. If the velocities or pressures are not acceptable, then you may need to adjust the pipe size.

The domestic water pressure calculator calculates the WSFU, GPM, velocity and piping pressure loss in each pipe section.

Figure 12: Check the velocity and pressure drop for anything out of the acceptable or ideal ranges.

The valves and fittings section requires you to put in the values for each fitting that are on a certain pipe section. A pipe section is defined as having the same flow rate and same pipe information.

Input the fittings and valves attached to each pipe section.

Figure 13: These are the possible fittings that are built-into the calculator. If your fitting is not present, then look for a similar fitting and adjust the K-values for the fitting as shown in the following sections.

The next step is to insert the pressure loss for any miscellaneous equipment like a water meter or backflow preventer.

Input the miscellaneous equipment and determine the pressure loss for each pipe section.

Figure 14: The pressure loss due to equipment is specific to the manufacturer of the equipment. You should check the manufacturer product data for this information, but you should also remember that the pressure loss is specific to a certain flow rate. If your flow rate is different, then you will need to adjust the pressure drop to match your application.

Input the miscellaneous equipment and determine the pressure loss for each pipe section.

Figure 15: The calculator automatically determines the K-total from all the fittings, the velocity pressure, Reynolds number and the pressure loss due to the fittings/valves.

Following all of the previous steps, the calculator with then determine whether or not you need a booster pump and will also determine the available pressure at the hydraulically remote fixture.

The following sections will discuss in more details the equations used to determine the following items within the calculator: Fluid Velocity, Reynolds Number, Friction Factor and Pressure Drop due to Piping, Fitting, Valves and Equipment.

5.1 FLUID VELOCITY

The first equation uses the inputs from the pipe information section and the user input flow rate to find the fluid velocity in the pipe. When you choose the pipe material, pipe type and pipe size, the calculator will automatically determine the inner area from the table within the references. If the combination of pipe material, pipe type and pipe size is not in the calculator then a “N/A” will appear in the velocity column. You should double check to make sure the combination exists before proceeding.

Velocity equation

5.2 REYNOLDS NUMBER

The next equation calculates the Reynolds Number. This equation uses the velocity from the previous equation along with the pipe inner diameter and the fluid properties (density & viscosity).

Reynolds number equation

The Reynolds Number classifies the fluid flow into either (1) Laminar, (2) Transition or (3) Turbulent. The breakdown between these three classifications is defined below. The friction calculations are most accurate with fluid flow in the turbulent region. For this reason, the calculator will highlight in red any Reynolds Number that is below the turbulent region.

Reynolds number ranges for laminar and turbulent flow

5.3 FRICTION FACTOR

The friction factor is found through the Colebrook Equation. The Colebrook Equation relates the friction factor to the Reynolds Number and the relative roughness.

Colebrook friction factor equation

Iterative Process: Since the friction coefficient is on both sides of the equation, you must use an iterative process to find the friction coefficient. You must first choose a value for the friction coefficient on the right side of the equation and then solve for the friction coefficient on the left side. Then use the friction coefficient that you just computed and plug-in this value to the right side of the equation and repeat the process. The process ends when the right and left side friction coefficients converge to nearly the same number. The calculator completes this process by running nine iterations.

Turbulent Flow: This equation only works for turbulent flow. A different equation is used for laminar flow. Luckily in practical chilled water applications, flow is nearly always turbulent. However, the calculator does incorporate conditional formatting to visually tell you if the flow is not turbulent. You should use your knowledge of the turbulent range from the previous section to ensure that your flow calculations are in the turbulent range.

5.4 PRESSURE DROP – PIPING & VALVES/FITTINGS

The pressure drop for a straight length of piping is found through the friction factor and the Darcy Weisbach equation. This equation uses the velocity, friction factor, pipe inner diameter and the length of piping to calculate the pressure drop. For more details, see the equation below. The output for this equation is the pressure drop in units of feet head.

Darcy Weisbach equation

The pressure drop through valves and fittings is found through the 3-K method. The 3-K method uses three K-values to characterize each type of valve and fitting. These three K-values are K1, Kinf and Kd. These K-values are used with the Reynolds Number and nominal pipe diameter to find the final K-value.

3K method pressure drop through fittings and valves

Since, the calculated K-value is a function of Reynolds Number and nominal pipe diameter, the K-value is applicable for various pipe sizes, pipe materials, fluids and fluid velocities. Once you have the K-value, the K-value is used to calculate the pressure drop through the valves and fittings.

3K method pressure drop through fittings and valves part 2

5.5 PRESSURE DROP – EQUIPMENT

There are no equations governing the pressure drop in equipment section. In this section of the calculator you can input the values for pressure drop at equipment. Typical equipment includes strainers, filters, flow meters, control valves and backflow-preventers. The pressure drop through this equipment at a specified flow rate must be provided by the manufacturer of the equipment. Typically, the manufacturer will provide a single value that indicates the pressure drop at a specified flow rate (GPM). Other times, a manufacturer will provide a graph that shows the pressure drop at various flow rates. This is typical of flow meters, control valves and strainers.

5.6 JOINING METHOD

In the fittings and valves section, you must choose the joining method. The available joining methods are flanged and threaded. Threaded fittings are the same as soldered, brazed and pressed fittings, for fluid dynamics purposes and for the calculator. Most often in the domestic water systems, you will use the flanged fittings. Threaded fittings are not often used for domestic water systems.

5.6.1 SOLDERING

Soldering is the primary method used to join copper for a building’s domestic water system. The American Welding Society defines soldering as “a group of joining processes that produce coalescence of materials by heating them to a soldering temperature and by using a filler metal (solder) having a liquidous not exceeding 840 F and below the solidus of the base metals.”

Soldering is different from brazing because it uses a lower temperature for the melting of the filler metal. It is different from welding because welding requires the two metals that are being joined to be melted.

The soldering process is fairly long when compared to the Propress system, shown below. Both processes involve proper measuring and cutting of the pipe. Once the pipe is cut it must be reamed, in order to provide a smooth surface for better flow. The pipe must then be cleaned, because the removal of all oxides and surface soil is necessary for the solder to properly flow onto the joint. A flux is a substance that will dissolve and remove traces of oxide from the pipe. Thus prior to assembling the two copper tube into the fitting the fitting and tube must be fluxed. Once this is complete and the tube and fitting are situated correctly, then the joint area can be heated and the solder can be applied.

5.6.2 BRAZING

Brazing is the joining of two materials using a third dissimilar material. This differs from soldering because it uses a higher temperature for melting the filler material. The brazing process is fairly similar to the soldering process. However, brazing occurs in the range between 1200 and 1550 F while soldering occurs below 840 F. Brazing is required when routing piping in the slab, according to UPC soldered joints on copper lines run under a slab are restricted. When running copper under a slab, wrought copper fittings are required and all joints must be brazed.

5.6.3 PRESS CONNECTION (PROPRESS)

This is the newest method of joining copper tubing, it was unveiled in 1999. It is more than on its way to becoming the favored joining method by many contractors because of the ease of installation. This system involves pre-engineered copper fittings, ranging from sizes from ½” to 4”.

6.0 PIPE MATERIALS

The most common inside building water distribution piping is copper. But this guide will cover other materials and their uses, properties, advantages and disadvantages.

There are other pipes available for use in the calculator but you can also add your own pipe information. The pipes built-in to the calculator include ASTM A53 Steel (Schedule 40 & 80), ASTM B88 Copper (Type K, L & M), ASTM D2241 PVC (SDR 26), ASTM F2389 Polypropylene (DR 9), ABS ASTM D1527, ABS ASTM D 2282, Brass Regular and Extra, CPVC ASTM F441 and F442, PEX, Ductile Iron, Galvanized Steel and Stainless Steel 304 & 316. These are the most common pipes used in chilled water pipe application. If you have a special case, then please use the references sheet to add in your pipe information or contact Justin via email contact@engproguides.com.

Figure 16:  This figure is a sample of the pipe information built-in to the calculator, references tab.

Figure 16: This figure is a sample of the pipe information built-in to the calculator, references tab.

Each pipe material and pipe type within that pipe material have its own standard pipe sizes. For example, Schedule 40 Steel does not have a 5/8 inch pipe size. When you change pipe materials and pipe types, please also change the pipe size to ensure the pipe size you want is available within the standard. The calculator will give you an error if you select a non-standard pipe size within the pipe material & type.

6.1 ABS PIPING

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene. This piping is most often used for drainage, waste and vent systems and not used for domestic water systems. You can often see this pipe serving the waste for plumbing systems and it is often black. This piping is light and somewhat flexible and suitable for temperatures between -30 °F to 140 °F. Just like other plastic piping, ABS is not suitable for outdoor conditions when exposed to sunlight. The UV rays will degrade the ABS piping.

There are two standards that govern ABS piping, (1) ASTM D 1527 and ASTM D 2282. ASTM D 1527 is titled Standard Specification for Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) Plastic Pipe, Schedules 40 and 80. ASTM D 2282 is titled Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) Plastic Pipe, SDR-PR. These two standards give the dimensions and tolerances for the various ABS pipe types.

6.1.1 ASTM D 1527 SCHEDULE 40 & SCHEDULE 80

The pipe schedule describes the thickness and pressure rating for each pipe size. Schedule 80 has thicker walls than schedule 40 and thus schedule 80 piping has a higher pressure rating than schedule 40 piping. Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 piping have the same outside diameter, but their thicknesses are different. The schedule 80 piping has a greater thickness, which makes the inside diameter smaller when compared to schedule 40 piping.

Table 4:  This table shows the pipe dimensions for schedule 40 ABS plastic piping in accordance with ASTM D 1527.

Table 4: This table shows the pipe dimensions for schedule 40 ABS plastic piping in accordance with ASTM D 1527.

Pipes will typically have the same outer diameter, because this allows pipes of different schedules to be joined together. As you can see, schedule 80 piping has the same outer diameter as schedule 40 piping for each specific pipe size. However, the inner diameter is smaller because the schedule 80 pipe has thicker walls.

Table 5: This table shows the pipe dimensions for schedule 80 ABS plastic piping in accordance with ASTM D 1527.

Table 5: This table shows the pipe dimensions for schedule 80 ABS plastic piping in accordance with ASTM D 1527.

6.1.2 ASTM D 2282 STANDARD DIMENSION RATIO (SDR)

The Standard Dimension Ratio or SDR describes the relationship between the pipe outer diameter and the thickness of the pipe wall.

For example, SDR 17 for an outside diameter of 1.315 inches will have a pipe thickness of 0.077 inches and 0.063 inches for SDR 21.

Table 6:  ABS pipe type SDR 26 pipe sizes

Table 6: ABS pipe type SDR 26 pipe sizes

Table 7:  ABS SDR 14 pipe sizes

Table 7: ABS SDR 14 pipe sizes

Table 8:  ABS SDR 13.5 pipe sizes

Table 8: ABS SDR 13.5 pipe sizes

6.1.3 PRESSURE RATINGS

The pressure ratings for ABS piping are determined by the pipe diameter, pipe thickness and the pipe material. Although the pipe material is ABS, there are different classes within the overall ABS pipe material family. The typical ABS pipe classes include ABS2112, ABS1316, ABS1210 and ABS1208. ABS 2112 is the strongest, then ABS1316, followed by ABS1210 and finally ABS1208. The burst pressure for these materials and SDR combinations are shown below.

6.2 BRASS PIPING

Brass piping is in some cases an approved potable water piping and was popular in the past, but it has been replaced by materials that are easier to work with and usually provide longer service. There are two types of brass piping, (1) regular strength and (2) extra strength. The extra strength brass has thicker walls, which allows this pipe to have a higher allowable working pressure. The table below shows the dimensions of brass regular and extra strength piping. As you can see the inner diameter for extra strength piping is slightly less than the equivalent regular strength pipe size. This is due to the increased pipe thickness.

6.2.1 REGULAR STRENGTH

Table 9:  This table shows the dimensions of regular strength brass piping.

Table 9: This table shows the dimensions of regular strength brass piping.

6.2.2 EXTRA STRENGTH

Extra strength piping is typically not used for domestic water systems, since the pressures in domestic water systems typically never exceed 300 psi and the regular strength brass piping has sufficient strength to withstand 300 psi. The following two tables show the maximum allowable pressure for both regular and extra strength piping to further explain this point. As you can see, the maximum allowable pressure decreases with an increase in temperature.

Table 10:  This table shows the dimensions of extra strength brass piping.

Table 10: This table shows the dimensions of extra strength brass piping.

6.2.3 PRESSURE RATINGS

Table 11:  The maximum allowable pressure decreases as the temperature of the fluid increases.

Table 11: The maximum allowable pressure decreases as the temperature of the fluid increases.

Table 12: The extra strength brass piping has much higher maximum allowable pressures as shown in the below table.

Table 12: The extra strength brass piping has much higher maximum allowable pressures as shown in the below table.

6.3 CPVC PIPING

Chlorinates Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) is a plastic piping that is used to distribute cold water and sewer, waste, vent systems. Its main benefit is that it is low cost and easy to install. It is suitable for pressurized cold water (73 F) at pressures up to 300 PSI for smaller diameters and thicker pipes. However, at higher temperatures (180 F) the pressure rating drops down to 100 PSI and lowers for thinner pipes and larger diameters.

CPVC is slightly stronger than PVC and can handle higher temperatures. However, CPVC cannot handle temperatures as high as copper piping. In addition, CPVC has a larger coefficient of thermal expansion than metal piping. This means that you will need to account for pipe expansions and reductions for long runs of CPVC piping.

There are two standards that govern the dimensions of CPVC piping. These standards are ASTM F441 and ASTM F442. The first standard provides dimensions in the Schedule format and the second standard in the SDR format.

6.3.1 ASTM F441 STANDARD SPECIFICATION FOR CHLORINATED POLY VINYL CHLORIDE (CPVC) PLASTIC PIPE, SCHEDULES 40 AND 80

Table 13:  This table shows the dimensions for CPVC Schedule 40 piping.

Table 13: This table shows the dimensions for CPVC Schedule 40 piping.

Table 14:  This table shows the dimensions for CPVC Schedule 80 piping.

Table 14: This table shows the dimensions for CPVC Schedule 80 piping.

The pressure rating of the piping ranges from 1,130 PSI for Schedule 80, 1/4” pipe down to 230 PSI for Schedule 80 12” pipe and 210 PSI for Schedule 80 24” piping. The pressure rating also ranges from 780 PSI for Schedule 80 ¼” piping down to 220 PSI for 4” Schedule 40 piping and even further down to 120 PSI for 24” Schedule 40 piping. As you can see the pressure rating (maximum allowable water pressure) decreases as the size of the piping is increased and the pressure rating for schedule 80 piping is higher than the pressure rating for Schedule 40 piping.

The pressure rating is also de-rated as the water temperature increases. The previous pressures are based on 73 F water temperature. The pressure rating is de-rated down to 20% of the pressure rating when the water temperature is 200 F. The pressure ratings for piping are readily available from pipe manufacturer’s websites. But as a designer you should understand that CPVC is not suitable for high temperature water at pressures greater than 100 PSI and even lower for larger pipe sizes.

6.3.2 ASTM F442 STANDARD SPECIFICATION FOR CHLORINATED POLY VINYL CHLORIDE (CPVC) PLASTIC PIPE, SDR-PR

Similar to ABS piping, CPVC can also be rated in the SDR format. However, most manufacturers in the United States do not use this format. Thus these pipe sizes are not included in this guide nor are these pipe sizes included in the calculator.

6.4 COPPER PIPING AND TUBING

6.4.1 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PIPING AND TUBING

Piping is primarily used as a fluid carrier and is measured by inside diameter (ID). Thus when a ½” nominal copper pipe is selected, the inside diameter is roughly ½” while the outside diameter is 0.625 inches. Tubing is primarily used for structural purposes and is measured by outer diameter (OD). A ½” copper tube has an outer diameter of 0.545 while its ID is less than ½”. In domestic water piping systems, copper tubes are used and not copper pipes.

6.4.2 COPPER TYPES

There are six standard types of copper and are shown below for reference, you should select the type that most closely matches your project’s situation:

6.4.3 TYPE K COPPER TUBING

Type K copper tubing is commercially available in 20 ft lengths, drawn or annealed. It can be used for domestic water, fire protection, fuel, fuel oil, refrigerants, compressed air, LP gas and vacuum. It has the thickest walls of types L and M. Type L walls are thicker than Type M. These relations hold true for all pipe diameters. The outside diameters for each type, only the inside diameters and wall thicknesses vary for each type.

This type of pipe is most often used for below ground installations or when damage can occur to an above ground installation and a harder material is required.

Table 15:  Type K Copper Tubing Table

Table 15: Type K Copper Tubing Table

6.4.4 TYPE L COPPER TUBING

Type L copper tubing is commercially available in 20 ft lengths, drawn or annealed. It can be used for domestic water, fire protection, fuel, fuel oil, refrigerants, compressed air, LP gas and vacuum. It has the second thickest walls of Types K, L and M.

This type of pipe is most often used for above ground installations and when possible damage is not likely to the above ground installation.

Table 16:  Type L Copper Tubing Table

Table 16: Type L Copper Tubing Table

6.4.5 TYPE M COPPER TUBING

Type M copper tubing is commercially available in 20 ft lengths, drawn or annealed. It can be used for domestic water, fire protection, fuel, fuel oil, refrigerants, compressed air, LP gas and vacuum. It has the thinnest walls of Types K, L and M.

Table 17:  This table shows the pipe dimensions for Copper Type M tubing.

Table 17: This table shows the pipe dimensions for Copper Type M tubing.

6.4.6 TYPE DWV COPPER TUBING

Type DWV: This type has the thinnest walls and is used in drain, waste, vent applications where little to no pressure is involved. This type should not be used for pressurized water, so it is not included in the Domestic Water Piping Calculator.

6.4.7 TYPE MEDICAL GAS COPPER TUBING

Type Medical Gas: This type has an internal cleanliness requirement that meets the standards for piping conveying oxygen, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, medical compressed air or other gases used in medical facilities. This type should not be used for pressurized water, so it is not included in the Domestic Water Piping Calculator.

6.4.8 PRESSURE RATINGS OF COPPER TUBING

Pressure Ratings: The pressure rating of copper piping is very suitable for domestic water systems, since the pressure typically never exceeds 300 psi in a building. Water pressure can exceed 300 psi in high rise buildings.

Table 18:  Type K is the strongest copper pipe and thus has the highest allowable pressure. Although Type K piping is typically used for underground domestic water piping, you should also use this type when you have pressures exceeding 150 psi and larger pipe diameters.

Table 18: Type K is the strongest copper pipe and thus has the highest allowable pressure. Although Type K piping is typically used for underground domestic water piping, you should also use this type when you have pressures exceeding 150 psi and larger pipe diameters.

Table 19:  Type L tubing is the 2nd strongest copper type.  This pipe is typically used for indoor tubing and where pressures do not exceed 150 psi for larger tube diameters.

Table 19: Type L tubing is the 2nd strongest copper type. This pipe is typically used for indoor tubing and where pressures do not exceed 150 psi for larger tube diameters.

Table 20:  Type M is the weakest of the three copper pipe types and should be used very carefully.

Table 20: Type M is the weakest of the three copper pipe types and should be used very carefully.

6.5 PEX PLASTIC PIPE AND TUBING

Cross-Linked Polyethylene or PEX piping’s main advantage is a plastic, polyethylene pipe or tube. This material is flexible, which means that the installation cost is lower than other piping. Crosslinking is a chemical reaction that links one polyethylene polymer chain to another. There are three main classifications of PEX piping, PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c. The different classifications describe the method of crosslinking. Each method meets ASTM F 876 and ASTM F 877, which determines the dimensions, pressure ratings and temperature ratings. However, the cost of each type is slightly different and the flexibility of each type is different.

The other classification of PEX pipes is whether or not the pipe has a barrier. Typically domestic water systems use non-barrier type PEX piping. The barrier refers to a laminated surface that is placed on the outside of the pipe, which restricts oxygen from entering the fluid. This is used for hydronic systems and other non-potable water systems.

Lastly, PEX cannot be used outdoors because it cannot withstand UV rays, unless it has a UV coating. Designers do not like to risk a pipe’s life on a coating, so PEX will not be used outdoors, similar to other plastic piping.

ASTM F 876 is the standard that specifies the material properties and the dimensions for PEX tube. ASTM F 877 is the standard that specifies the performance requirements for a PEX system, tube and fittings together. PEX tube is typically manufactured according to SDR-9. The dimensions for PEX SDR-9 are shown in the below table. The manufacturing method does not matter for the dimensions, since PEX-a, b, c are all manufactured to the same dimensions.

Table 21:  This table shows the dimensions for PEX SDR-9 piping.

Table 21: This table shows the dimensions for PEX SDR-9 piping.

PEX piping is only used for smaller distribution pipes, up to 1” but some manufacturers do provide piping up to 2”.

6.5.1 PRESSURE RATINGS

PEX tubing typically has a maximum allowable water pressure of 160 PSI at 73 F, 100 psi at 180 F and 80 PSI at 200 F.

6.6 DUCTILE IRON WATER PIPE

Ductile iron is typically used by civil engineers as underground main piping. This pipe is not normally used by mechanical engineers for the building domestic water piping. This piping is suitable for underground, larger pipes because of its very long life. The piping is designed to last typically more than 100 years. The pipe is very strong and durable, so it can also withstand pressure loadings from being under roads and also any possible damage during handling and installation. Ductile iron is stronger than carbon steel piping and is also easier to work with, hence the name, ductile.

Ductile iron is an iron, so it is susceptible to corrosion. Linings are usually provided to slow down corrosion, but this will add cost to the piping. Ductile iron is relatively more expensive than its plastic counterparts.

Ductile Iron has different pressure classes. These classes identify the allowable water pressure. These classes include, 350 PSI, 300 PSI, 250 PSI, 200 PSI and 150 PSI. The outer diameters for each of the classes are the same, but the inner diameters are adjusted as the thickness changes for each pipe class. The higher pipe classes have increased thickness and smaller inner diameters.

The dimensions for these pipe classes are shown in the Domestic Water calculator.

6.7 GALVANIZED STEEL PIPING

Galvanized steel piping is in some cases an approved potable water piping but it is difficult to work with and subject to rust, which can cause leaks, decreased pressure and reduced flow.

Table 22:  This table shows the dimensions of galvanized steel, schedule 40 pipes.

Table 22: This table shows the dimensions of galvanized steel, schedule 40 pipes.

Table 23:  This table shows the dimensions of galvanized steel, schedule 80 pipes.

Table 23: This table shows the dimensions of galvanized steel, schedule 80 pipes.

6.7.1 PRESSURE RATINGS

The pressure rating for galvanized steel pipes vary based on the pipe size and schedule. The thicker schedules have higher pressure ratings and so do the smaller pipes. The maximum allowable pressure ranges from 2,000 psi for small pipes down to 200 psi for larger pipes and lower schedules. The pressure ratings are suitable for temperatures ranging from 0 F to 300 F.

6.8 POLYETHYLENE AND POLYPROPYLENE PLASTIC PIPING AND TUBING

Polyethylene and polypropylene are types of thermoplastic materials. These materials are not used as often for domestic water systems. These materials are typically used for fluids that are not chemically compatible with metal pipes. In addition, these materials can be used when corrosion is a concern, since plastic piping does not corrode. Plastic piping is also used because it is much cheaper and easier to work with than metal pipes.

However, these plastics are not as long lasting as their metal counterparts and do not do well when exposed to UV, unless the plastic has a UV coating. Some polyethylene pipe can be constructed with UV resistance built-in. In addition, plastic piping expands/contracts more drastically with changes in temperature and also has a much lower pressure rating than metal piping, especially at high temperatures.

Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) piping can range from sizes ½” to 65” but the calculator only includes the smaller pipe sizes since these are the most common for domestic water systems.

There are different types of PE and PP materials. These different types are usually given a four digit material code. The first two digits classify the cell, which determines the material’s density, tensile strength, slow growth crack resistance and much more. The second two digits determine the recommended standard hydrostatic design stress category. This is the basis used to determine the long-term strength of the pipe.

The applicable standards for polyethylene and polypropylene piping are (1) ASTM D 2239, (2) AWWA C901 and ASTM D 2737. ASTM D 2239 is titled the Standard Specification for Polyethylene (PE) Plastic Pipe (SIDR-PR) Based on Controlled inside Diameter. AWWA C901 is titled Polyethylene (PE) Pressure Pipe and Tubing, ½ inch through 3 inch for Water Service. AWWA stands for the American Water Works Association. ASTM D 2737 is titled the Standard Specification for Polyethylene (PE) Plastic Tubing. ASTM F 2389 is titled the Standard Specification for Pressure-rated Polypropylene (PP) Piping Systems.

6.8.1 PIPE DIMENSIONS

There are two ways that the pipe dimensions can be expressed for these plastic pipes, (1) SIDR and (2) SDR. SDR or standard diameter ratio was previously discussed with ABS and CPVC piping. SIDR stands for standard inner diameter ratio, which is the ratio of the inner diameter to the pipe thickness. SIDR is used for smaller pipes and for a special joining method that uses insert fittings. Thus the outside diameter can be varying, but the pipes can be joined as long as their inner diameters are the same.

Table 24:  This table shows the pipe dimensions for plastic SIDR7 piping.  A lower number indicates a greater pipe thickness.

Table 24: This table shows the pipe dimensions for plastic SIDR7 piping. A lower number indicates a greater pipe thickness.

Table 25:  This table shows the pipe dimensions for plastic SIDR9 piping.  The higher number indicates a smaller pipe thickness.  As you can see, the inner diameter is the same as SIDR7, but the thickness is smaller.

Table 25: This table shows the pipe dimensions for plastic SIDR9 piping. The higher number indicates a smaller pipe thickness. As you can see, the inner diameter is the same as SIDR7, but the thickness is smaller.

The second method that the plastic pipe dimensions can be shown is through the SDR or DR method. In this method, the outer diameters are the same and the inner diameters vary.

Table 26:  This table shows the plastic DR7 pipe dimensions.

Table 26: This table shows the plastic DR7 pipe dimensions.

Table 27:  This table shows the plastic DR9 pipe dimensions.

Table 27: This table shows the plastic DR9 pipe dimensions.

The calculator also has the following plastic pipe types, DR11, DR13.5, SIDR11.5, SIDR15, and SIDR19. The calculator only includes smaller pipe sizes for these plastics, because these are the sizes that are most common for domestic water systems.

6.8.2 PRESSURE RATINGS

The pressure ratings for plastic piping are much lower than metal piping. The pressure ratings range from 160 psi to 63 psi for the various pipe types. Also these pressure ratings are only for 73 F and the pressure ratings will drop as the temperature increases.

Table 28:  Maximum allowable pressure for plastic piping

Table 28: Maximum allowable pressure for plastic piping

There are different material types within the overall PE and PP piping categories and each sub-material type will have slightly different maximum allowable pressures. So be sure to use these pressure ratings only as a guide and to check with the pipe manufacturer for the exact pressure ratings, based on the pipe temperature, pipe size, pipe type and sub-material type.

6.9 POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC) PIPING

PVC piping is typically used for drainage, waste and vent systems and irrigation systems. PVC piping can be exposed to UV rays unlike most other plastic piping. This piping is cheaper, lighter and easier to join, compared to metal piping.

The applicable standards are (1) ASTM D 1785 and (2) ASTM D 2241. ASTM D 1785 is titled Standard Specification for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Plastic Pipe, Schedules 40, 80, and 120. ASTM D 2241 is titled Standard Specification for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pressure-Rated Pipe (SDR Series). These standards govern the dimensions shown in the next section.

There are different types of PVC piping, PVC 1120, 1220, 2120, 2116, 2112 and 2110. These different types of PVC have slightly different material properties like density, strength, slow growth crack propagation, etc. Each sub-material type will have slightly different pressure ratings, but the dimensions will be the same for each sub-material type.

6.9.1 PIPE DIMENSIONS

There are two ways that the pipe dimensions can be expressed for these PVC pipes, (1) SDR and (2) Schedule.

The main SDR types are SDR 17, 21, 26 and 32.5. The lower SDR values have larger thicknesses and larger pressure ratings.

Table 29:  This table shows the dimensions of PVC SDR 17 piping.

Table 29: This table shows the dimensions of PVC SDR 17 piping.

Table 30:  This table shows the dimensions of PVC SDR 21 piping.  SDR 21 piping has a smaller inner diameter

Table 30: This table shows the dimensions of PVC SDR 21 piping. SDR 21 piping has a smaller inner diameter

The calculator also includes SDR 26 and SDR 32.5. The two main schedule types are Schedule 40 and Schedule 80. Schedule 10 and 120 piping is also available but these are less common and are not included in the calculator.

Table 31:  This table shows the dimensions of PVC Schedule 40 piping.

Table 31: This table shows the dimensions of PVC Schedule 40 piping.

Table 32:  This table shows the dimensions of PVC Schedule 80 piping.

Table 32: This table shows the dimensions of PVC Schedule 80 piping.

6.9.2 PRESSURE RATINGS

The various PVC sub-material types and SDR’s has pressure ratings from 50 to 315 psi. The lower SDR’s have higher pressure ratings and the higher SDR’s have lower pressure ratings. Schedule 40 piping has a pressure range from 810 psi down to 60 psi, depending on PVC sub-material type and pipe size. The smaller pipe sizes have greater pressure ratings. Schedule 80 piping has a pressure range from 1,230 psi down to 60 psi, depending on PVC sub-material type and pipe size.

As the temperature increases, the pressure rating also decreases. The pressure rating decreases by nearly 22% when the temperature is increased from 73 F to 140 F. There are different sub-material types within the overall PVC piping material category and each sub-material type will have slightly different maximum allowable pressures. So be sure to use these pressure ratings only as a guide and to check with the pipe manufacturer for the exact pressure ratings, based on the pipe temperature, pipe size, pipe type and sub-material type.

6.10 STAINLESS STEEL PIPING

Stainless steel piping is not often used for domestic water systems due to its cost. Stainless steel is suitable for conditions where corrosion resistance is required. Although the name stainless implies that the pipe will not corrode, but it only means that the pipe is more resilient than other metals. The key to its corrosion resiliency is the chromium. Stainless steel is a steel alloy that is comprised of at least 10.5% chromium. A steel alloy is the combination of iron and another element, in this case chromium.

There are two main types of stainless steel piping and they are 304 and 316 stainless steel. The difference between 304 and 316 is the chemical composition. 304-stainless steel contains iron and (10.5%) chromium. 316-stainless steel contains iron, (10.5%) chromium and (2-3%) molybdenum.

There is another distinction added for stainless steels. A stainless steel will have other elements besides iron and chromium. For example, this is the typical composition of 304-stainless steel.

Table 33:  The percent composition of typical 304 stainless steel.

Table 33: The percent composition of typical 304 stainless steel.

A stainless steel can be distinguished with an “L” at the end of its number designation. This indicates that the stainless steel has a carbon percentage that is less than .04%. This low level of carbon increases the metals corrosion resistance. 304 or 316 stainless steel is more likely to corrode at weld locations, but 304L or 316L will have more corrosion resistance at weld locations.

In summary there are four main types of stainless steel pipe materials, (1) 304, (2) 304L, (3) 316 and (4) 316L. These materials are excellent for locations where corrosion is a concern.

6.10.1 PIPE DIMENSIONS

The pipe dimensions are the same for 304 and 316-stainless steel. The pipe dimensions only change with the various pipe sizes and schedules. ASTM A312 is titled Standard Specification for Seamless, Welded, and Heavily Cold Worked Austenitic Stainless Steel Pipes. This specification shows the outer diameters and the thicknesses required to meet the various schedules, 10S, 40S and 80S. Schedule 10S is the thinnest pipe and 80S is the thickest pipe. The outer diameters are the same for each schedule, but the thicknesses vary. Constant outer diameters allow pipes of different schedules to be connected to each other.

Table 34:  This table shows the dimensions for schedule 10s stainless steel piping

Table 34: This table shows the dimensions for schedule 10s stainless steel piping

Table 35: This table shows the dimensions for schedule 40s stainless steel piping.

Table 35: This table shows the dimensions for schedule 40s stainless steel piping.

Table 36:  This table shows the dimensions for schedule 80s stainless steel piping.

Table 36: This table shows the dimensions for schedule 80s stainless steel piping.

6.10.2 PRESSURE RATINGS

Stainless steel pipes have pressure ratings that vary based on the type, pipe size and schedule. The thicker schedules have higher pressure ratings and so do the smaller pipes. Similar to the other previously discussed metal piping, stainless steel piping has a maximum allowable pressure ranging from 2,000 psi for small pipes down to 200 psi for larger pipes and lower schedules. The pressure ratings are suitable for temperatures ranging from 0 F to 300 F. The 304 pipes will be stronger, since it has more iron and the 316 will be weaker.

7.0 VALVES

A valve is a pipe fitting that regulates the flow of a fluid. There are many types of valves, like the globe valve, plug valve, angled valve, butterfly valve and 3-way valve. As an engineer you should understand each type of valve and when to use each type of valve. The different names of valves are given based on the shape of the valve. A good resource for valves is at any valve manufacturer’s websites, like Cla-Val, Apollo Valves and Powell Valves. However another good source is at the control valve webpage at Emerson Process’s website.

7.1 TYPES OF VALVES

Globe Valve: A glove valve consists of a plug and a seat. The plug is raised and lowered to increase and decrease flow through the valve. Since the fluid has to make two 90 degree turns the pressure drop is much higher than other valves and the wear on the valve is greater.

This valve is characterized by infrequent operation, good flow control, high pressure drop and high pressure rating.

Figure 17: A section view of a globe valve.  As the valve is closed, the plug is lowered into the seat, which blocks the fluid flow from moving up and to the right of the valve.

Figure 17: A section view of a globe valve. As the valve is closed, the plug is lowered into the seat, which blocks the fluid flow from moving up and to the right of the valve.

Ball Valve: A ball valve is called a ball valve due to the ball shape in the center of the valve. This ball has an opening on sides 180 degrees opposite of each other. The rest of the valve is solid. When the valve is aligned such that the openings are in line with the fluid flow, then the valve is 100% open. When the valve is aligned such that the openings are perpendicular to the fluid flow, then it is 100% closed.

This valve is characterized by frequent operation, bad flow control, low pressure drop and higher pressure rating. This valve can be used for on/off control but can also be used to regulate flow. The ball valve is the most common types of valve used in domestic water system. They are used as shut off valves to isolate parts of a building, in case maintenance is required in one area, the whole system does not need to be drained.

Figure 18: A section view of a ball valve.  As the valve is closed, the plug is lowered into the seat, which blocks the fluid flow from moving up and to the right of the valve.

Figure 18: A section view of a ball valve. As the valve is closed, the plug is lowered into the seat, which blocks the fluid flow from moving up and to the right of the valve.

Butterfly Valve: A butterfly valve has a disc in the center of the valve. The disc is connected to a rod, which can be spun to open and close the valve. Rotating the rod turns the plate parallel or perpendicular to flow and any angle in between. Because the plate is always located in the flow, there is an increased pressure drop.

This valve is characterized by infrequent operation, bad flow control, low pressure drop and a low pressure rating.

Figure 19: A section view of a butterfly valve.  The valve is currently shown as a ¼ open.  The fluid passes around the disc.  As the valve is closed, the disc is perpendicular to the path of the fluid flow, creating a wall.  When the valve is 100% open, the disc is parallel to the fluid flow.

Figure 19: A section view of a butterfly valve. The valve is currently shown as a ¼ open. The fluid passes around the disc. As the valve is closed, the disc is perpendicular to the path of the fluid flow, creating a wall. When the valve is 100% open, the disc is parallel to the fluid flow.

Check Valve: This valve allows fluid to only flow in one direction. There are many different types of check valves. The most common are swing and lift check valves.

Gate Valve: A gate valve is used for on/off control and operates by lifting a gate out of the path of the fluid.

Figure 20: A section view of a gate valve.  As the valve is closed, the gate is lowered into the seat, which blocks the fluid flow from moving from through the valve.

Figure 20: A section view of a gate valve. As the valve is closed, the gate is lowered into the seat, which blocks the fluid flow from moving from through the valve.

This valve is characterized by infrequent operation, bad flow control, low pressure drop and lower pressure rating.

Needle Valve: A needle valve has a similar build to a globe valve but instead of a disc there is a needle-shaped plunger that fits into the seat. It is primarily used for low flow.

Figure 21:  A needle valve has the same construction as a globe valve, except the plug is shaped as a needle as opposed to a disc.  This allows for greater flow control, but also increased pressure losses.

Figure 21: A needle valve has the same construction as a globe valve, except the plug is shaped as a needle as opposed to a disc. This allows for greater flow control, but also increased pressure losses.

This valve is characterized by infrequent operation, excellent flow control, high pressure drop and higher pressure rating.

7.2 VALVE FLOW CHARACTERISTICS

Flow characteristics describe the relationship of the flow rate and the % open/close status of the valve. For example, if a valve is 50% open, then the flow is at 50 GPM or if a valve is 75% open, then the flow is 80 GPM. This is an example of the term flow characteristics and a collection of these points’ results in a flow characteristics graph.

The graph shown on the following page is an example of a flow characteristics graph of various control valves. Each valve produced by a manufacturer will have a corresponding graph. This graph will allow you to properly select the type of valve that you need for your application. For exam purposes, you should be able to understand this graph and determine how the flow will be controlled by the control valve under various operating points.

Figure 22: The flow characteristics graph gives the operating conditions of a control valve at a constant pressure.

Figure 22: The flow characteristics graph gives the operating conditions of a control valve at a constant pressure.

As you can see from the above graph, there are a variety of different control valves, each with its own flow characteristics. The simplest control valve is the valve with linear characteristics, this means that if the valve is 50% open, then the flow rate is 50% and if the valve is 75% open, then the flow rate is 75%. The quick opening valves let through the majority of the flow when the valve is only slightly opened. The others need a larger percent opening to increase the flow.

If you needed tight control in a certain area near the 90% to 100% operating region, then you could use quick acting valve. If you needed tighter control in the 25 to 50% region, then the hyperbolic globe valve could be used. As an engineer you should be able to read these graphs and select a control valve that best suits your need.

7.3 VALVE SIZING METHOD

The sizing of a liquid valve is dependent on the following equation. This equation shows that for flow through an orifice like a control valve, that the square of the fluid velocity is directly proportional to the pressure drop across the orifice.

Valve sizing method

The valve is coefficient is specific to each valve and is found through controlled experiments. This value corresponds to the flow rate through the valve in one minute, when a pressure drop of 1 PSI is maintained across the valve.

8.0 Miscellaneous Design Issues

8.1 HYDRAULIC SHOCK OR WATER HAMMER

Hydraulic shock is the term used to describe the pounding noise and vibrations in a piping system when a volume of liquid flowing is abruptly stopped. A pressure wave is started at the point of fluid stoppage and is reflected back and forth from this point to a point downstream. This wave is slowly dissipated after a period of time. Devices in a domestic water system that can trigger water hammer include, solenoid valves, quarter turn valves (assumed quick closure), and flush valves. In many cases a loud sound is present with water hammer, as if someone was hitting the pipe with a hammer, hence water hammer. The sound may be upsetting to a client, but the cause of the sound is even more of a worry.

8.2 STERILIZATION OF DOMESTIC WATER PIPING

For all new and renovation work, the water system should be cleaned and disinfected. Disinfection is usually conducted with chlorine. It is injected into the system through a service cock, near the entrance into the building. Once the disinfectant is injected into the system at the correct concentration, it is then held in the system for a set period of time. After the retention, the concentrations are checked and if they are satisfactory, the system is flushed. Finally samples are taken at the furthest fixture and tested. An acceptable test shall show the absence of coliform organisms and should be submitted to the owner prior to the contractor permitting the use of any portion of the domestic water system.

8.3 WATER LEAK TESTING

This test is conducted prior to the sterilization of the system. It consists of capping all system openings and filling the system with water, and pumping a static head into the system at around 100 psi for at least 2 hours.

5 Different Types of Water Heaters

Picture this: it’s the dead of winter and you’ve just finished shoveling your driveway after a full hour of snow-slinging. Nothing sounds better than a warm shower to bring life back into your frozen body, but upon cranking the hot water, only cold water comes out. Your water heater has bit the dust and the timing couldn’t be worse.

In a perfect world, water heaters would be invincible—no test of time or durability could phase them—but in reality, the average water heater only lasts 8-12 years. When it’s time to replace your water heater, you may quickly realize that not only are there several types of water heaters out there, but each comes with different benefits and drawbacks. With so many modern options on the market, it’s always better to be equipped with the knowledge of your many options rather than leaving it up to random-choosing or a potentially biased professional.

There are five main types of water heaters; conventional, tankless, heat pump, solar, and condensing. Each comes with its own technological advancements and energy efficiencies, so it’s well worth your time to understand the differences between each to make an informed decision.

Using this guide, we’ll walk you through all five water heater types and dive into the pros, the cons, and the many reasons why one water heater may be better for your home than another.

Types of Water Heaters

  1. Conventional Water Heater
  2. Tankless Water Heater
  3. Heat Pump Water Heater
  4. Solar Water Heater
  5. Condensing Water Heater

Types of Water Heaters

1. Conventional Water Heater

Conventional water heaters are among the most popular water heater options. They feature a sizable insulated tank where water is stored and warmed.

Pros:

  • Lower initial cost: Unless you opt for an ultra-modern model, you’ll likely spend far less on the initial up-front costs of a conventional water heater than you would for any of the four alternatives.
  • Efficient across all climates: No matter where in the world you live, you can rest assured knowing that a conventional water heater will function to perfection. Solar, tankless, and heat pump water heaters all require specific conditions for optimal performance. A conventional water heater will deliver steady and seamless performance provided proper upkeep is maintained.
  • Lower installation costs: In addition to attractive initial costs, conventional water heaters are also inexpensive to have installed. This, of course, depends on where in your home you plan on installing, and where you may need plumbing, gas, and electrical configurations. Typically, installation costs tend to be lower than the alternative installation types.

Cons:

  • Increased energy waste: Because conventional water heaters house a constant well of warm water, they are constantly using energy to maintain the temperature. On the contrary, tankless models only heat water as it’s needed.
  • Space hog: There’s no getting around the size of a conventional water heater. Because they are designed to accommodate a reservoir of warm water, they tend to run on the larger spectrum of size.
  • Vulnerability to water damage: One of the most notable fatal flaws to conventional water heaters is their potential for water damage. In the event that you forgo regular routine maintenance checks, you could end up dealing with rust and corrosion that could comprise the functionality and health of your water heater. This could even lead to extensive, and dramatically expensive, water damage to your home.

2. Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are able to produce instantaneous hot water through super-heated coils. These coils fill up with water the instant you demand it, offering near-limitless hot water for your home. 

  • Instant hot water: Rather than waiting for cool water to turn into warm water, and warm water to turn into hot water, tankless water heaters provide instant hot water the moment you demand it. Because tankless water heaters only heat water when you need it, they require less overall energy, especially compared to a conventional heater that maintains a constant warm well.
  • Space-saving: One of the most notable benefits of a tankless water heater is its compact size. Without the need for a constant reservoir of water, tankless models don’t require any bulky storage space. This makes them easy to mount on walls or store in compact nooks and crannies.
  • Lower month-to-month costs: Suiting up your home with a tankless water heater effectively lower your month-to-month costs, saving you hundreds of dollars on an annual scale, too. The decreased need for energy flow allows you to enjoy the fruits of your power-saving choice.

Cons:

  • Higher initial cost: Even the most affordable tankless heater options begin at $1, 000 whereas the average conventional water heater will run around $500. While there are many benefits to making the switch, those on a budget will have to wait some time before making up the cost differential.
  • Limited supply of hot water: For smaller families, a tankless water heater is perfect—for a larger family, the supply of hot water may run out should too many demands being made at a given moment. For example, if someone is taking a shower while the dishwasher is running, the hot water demand will likely go cold.
  • No outstanding benefit compared to similar inexpensive options: Tankless water heaters are considerably more expensive than a number of other water heater options but don’t necessarily come with wildly impressive perks that are hard to find with cheaper alternatives. It could take anywhere between 6 and 12 years to make up the initial and installation costs before the month-to-month savings kick in.

 

3. Heat Pump Water Heater

Heat pump water heaters, also known as hybrid water heaters, are designed to work without directly generating heat. By using the heat in the ground and surrounding air, the only electricity used is dedicated to moving heat from point A to point B.

Pros:

  • Money-saving: According to Consumer Reports, heat pump water heaters use about 60% less energy than conventional heaters. Though heat pump heaters tend to run a higher average cost than tankless models, you’ll see the fruits of energy-saving payback at a faster rate. Conserve water at home without any habit changes with a heat pump system.
  • Long-term efficiency: Heat pump water heaters are the most efficient alternatives to fuel, oil, and electric water heating systems. For those in the market for a water heater that is both energy-efficient and cost-efficient, heat pump water heaters show great promise.
  • Less Maintenance: When it comes to regular maintenance, heat pump systems are incredibly unfussy. Requiring check-ins only once a year, keeping your hybrid system in check can be easily self-assessed and completed—energy-efficient HVAC professionals or pricy labor bills required. It is recommended that a professional checks on your system every 3 to 5 years.

Cons:

  • Mediocre life span: Heat pump water heaters typically come with life spans averaging out to 10 years. Next to solar and tankless heaters that average out at 20 years, and conventional systems that average between 10-15 years, heat pump water heaters shy in comparison.
  • Space requirements: Heat pump water heaters require at least 1, 000 cubic feet of space to operate safely and at optimal efficiency. It’s also worth noting that hybrid water heaters can only be installed in climates that stay between the temperatures of 40 degrees and 90 degrees— so those living in the frigid north or the sizzling south may be out of luck.
  • Carbon neutral: Though heat pump water heaters do not directly generate electricity, they are considerably dependent on it for seamless functionality. Those looking for a water heater option that reduces their carbon footprint will likely frown upon this carbon-neutral system.

4. Solar Water Heater

Solar water heaters depend on the power of the sun. They work by using roof-mounted panels that transfer energy through a closed-loop system that connects to the water tank which then warms the water.

  • Uses renewable energy: Solar water heaters are the most energy-efficient water heater options available today. Because solar power is completely dependent on sunshine, it can be harnessed wherever the sun’s rays reach on any given day.
  • Lower utility bills: In addition to being incredibly eco-friendly, solar panels are also incredibly cost-friendly. While the initial installation cost could put a dent in your wallet, you could significantly reduce both your water and electricity bills when you make the solar switch.
  • Tax credit eligibility: The federal government has made a huge push toward incentivizing solar panel projects. There are a number of federal-level tax credits that can assist with the installation costs incurred.
  • Only great for climates with plenty of sunshine: If you live in a shady area or a climate that gets more rainy days than sunny ones, upgrading to a solar water heater may not prove as fruitful as it would for residents living in Southern California or coastal Florida. Though solar power can be collected on gray days, consecutive low-sun days can have a noticeable impact on your system’s performance.
  • Cost of installment: The cost of installing solar panels is one of the most notable downsides to solar water heating. Fortunately, there are a number of financing programs that make the payment process easier if you’ve set your sights on switching to solar power.
  • Rooftop space requirements: The more electricity you demand from your solar panels, the more solar panels you’ll actually need. The more solar panels, the more roof space you’ll need to dedicate. If your home is small in size, your roof may not be able to accommodate the level of panel power you desire.

 

solar water heater

5. Condensing Water Heater

While condensing water heaters are similar to conventional heating systems, they work by capturing hot exhaust gases that would normally exit the home through a flue, and redirecting them to a heat exchanger located inside of the tank.

  • Better for the environment: According to ENERGY STAR, condensing water heaters allow you to cut energy costs by 30% provided you suit your home up with an ENERGY STAR qualified heating system. This alone allows you to minimize your carbon footprint by reducing your greenhouse gas emissions output.
  • Cheaper to operate: Designed with efficiency in mind, condensing water heaters can significantly reduce your natural gas bill.
  • Efficiency: Condensing water heaters are capable of producing hot water as quickly and instantly as tankless water heaters. The tank heats up the water as quickly as it’s filled up, so you can enjoy a near-constant flow of hot water when needed.

Cons:

  • Expensive price tag: Newer condensing water heater models can cost between 2 to 3 times more than a conventional water heater— and that’s initial cost alone. While installation costs for condensing systems typically run lower than conventional heater installation costs, the initial cost may not make up the difference.
  • Fussy reconfiguration: Switching to a condensing water heater isn’t as simple as a quick installation— it’s an involved process that requires a fair bit of reconfiguration. From gas lines to venting alignments, be sure to consider the hidden costs before making your final decision.
  • Size: Condensing water heaters are typically capable of accommodating water capacities of 55 gallons or more, meaning they’re designed for heavy-duty water usage. This heavy-duty capability is directly reflected in the bulky size of the heater itself. You’ll need to carve out a dedicated space for this mega-machine.

Summary

There is plenty of research and qualitative weighing to do before deciding on the perfect type of water heater for your household. With a well-rounded understanding of everything available to you on the modern market, you can rest assured knowing you’re making the best and most informed desicion.

Advantages Of Installing A Solar Water Heater

The basic need for hot water is very expensive as it heaps a huge amount of energy. It is believed that more than 18% of domestic energy is used to heat water.  In most homes and businesses this energy is generated from fossil fuels – gas and oil.  Most modern domestic boilers run on gas and heat water on demand. On top of that, there are many people who prefer using electricity to heat the water which is the most expensive method out of all. 

We also can’t deny the fact that we need hot water on a daily basis, and in some manufacturing businesses, hot water is the lifeblood. We can try and save energy by implementing some lifestyle changes to use less hot water (for example, running fewer full baths, using thermostats on our heating system more efficiently), but in the 21st Century, we all want hot water on tap.

The advent of ‘green energy has helped people to adopt efficient and sustainable methods to carry out daily activities. Here, the ‘green’ energy is generated from the natural and ultimate source of natural energy that is the sun, using solar panels. Solar energy comes from natural sources and leaves no carbon emissions like other fuels. In addition, the process does not produce any waste, does not produce any noise pollution, and neither leaves any hazardous effects on the environment.
We know the major advantage of the solar panel is power saving. We are using the natural source of energy that is free, renewable, and unlimited- You will definitely notice the decreasing rates of the electricity bills. Electricity bills are usually high because of electrical water heaters and using sustainable and affordable methods of heating solutions will definitely cause a decline in electricity bills. So, it makes perfect sense to look for sustainable and affordable water heating solutions.

One way to cut down the massive electricity bills due to water heating is to invest in solar water heaters. Solar water heaters will not only reduce the electricity bills but will also offer numerous other advantages in a cost-effective manner.

Here are the few advantages of solar water heater:

Zero-cost

Ideally, the solar panel uses energy from the sun. This means we do not have to pay a single penny to the power grid for using electricity. Being a renewable source of energy, it is completely free and available each day. All we need to do is figure is how to fine-tune our panel to optimize the performance in cloudy weather. You can contact the best solar water heater suppliers to know more about how solar water heaters can be effective in all seasons.

Efficient

One of the primary reasons solar panels have great outweigh any other form of energy is that when it comes to heating water is the efficiency, they bring to us. Efficiency here means the solar panels convert almost up to 80% radiation into heat energy without making use of any external fuels.

Cheap installation

You will spend a lot less to install a solar panel in comparison to a PV panel. A good way to earn rewards is by transferring the unused unit back to the electricity grid. They are a one-time investment for long-term benefits.

Save space

If there is a thought of space for mounting a solar PV panel, we do not need to worry about it as well. If the room is not enough, we can go for a thermal panel.

Save for environment

The world is accepting ‘green’ and there is no greener energy than solar panels. They have no dependency on fuels, have zero-emission, and lower carbon footprints.

Low maintenance

Solar water heaters do not require high maintenance. It only demands simple cleaning. As it does not contain any moving parts, there will be no tear and break which would need regular repairing attention. The manufacturer of solar water heater guarantees that it will work for almost 20-25 years but tend to work longer.

Wrapping up!

Solar water heater requires an initial investment but is always a better alternative for heating water. The only thing we need to remember is the correct number of solar panels in order to meet the appropriate requirements of heating at your home.

It is advisable to connect to professionals for solar water heating mounting. If you are looking for an expert solar water heater in Ahmedabad, you should take a step towards Citizen Solar. They are a recognized solar water heater supplier, known for offering top-notch quality and service.