I just bought a 1960 split-level - it's one of these floor plans that's
basically four floors (bottom to top: basement, garage/ground level,
living level, bedroom level).
Needless to say, plumbing and electrical work is quite... interesting.
Currently, we have a boiler and holding tank in the basement on the
side of the house that is furthest away from all the actual plumbing
fixtures / appliances. Consequently, all of the plumbing lines have to
take very long trips to get to their respective fixtures.
I'm considering replacing the boiler/tank setup for a more efficient
water heater. I am also considering placing the water heater elsewhere
in the house (not the basement). We have utility closets on the living
and bedroom levels that are centrally located to plumbing fixtures and
that would allow the water heater to vent through the roof.
Positioning is important because we also have a TON of replumbing to do
(lots of leaky valves, shabby home fixes from yesteryears, and an
interest in making significant renovations). I would envision placing
the water heater in the bedroom level (where most of the plumbing
fixtures exist) and running new pipe throughout the house up through
the attic crawlspace and back down into respective fixtures.
And now, my questions:
1. Water heater recommendations? I'm willing to pay extra $ for
efficiency and quality.
2. Placement of the water heater in top level of house - any watchouts
3. Is running new plumbing up into the attic and back down into
fixtures a good idea? My big concern is heat loss / freezing in winter
months (I live in upstate NY)
4. The house has 2.5 bathrooms, W/D, and a typical kitchen. Currently,
it's just my wife and I living in the house. Is a 40g water heater
sufficient? We only need hot water for showers, sinks, and dishwasher
(no baseboard heat, etc).
5. What should I do with the boiler if I go this route? Our heat is
currently electric baseboard (shudder) and electric radiant (cringe).
Should I look into using the boiler for changing over to hot water