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dragt

"green"-ing up our homes

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So I just made a post in the main forum about following the LEED of the developers around town and making some "green" improvements to our own homes... Thought it might be cool to have a little exchange of ideas, war stories, questions and stuff.

With that in mind... I really wanted to put a tankless water heater (big enough for two showers plus a couple sinks to run at the same time) in my house, but the inspector told me that I either had to put in two or put in a backup tank (kinda defeats the purpose) because the current michigan code requires enough (flow) capacity to run every fixture in the house (because you do that every day right?). This seems absolutely ludicrous to me seeing how technically a 30 gallon tank would pass inspection but not allow me to fill up my tub or even take two showers at the same time (unless the were each like 90 sec)

Anyone find (or know of) a way to get one of these things past the silly code?

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So I just made a post in the main forum about following the LEED of the developers around town and making some "green" improvements to our own homes... Thought it might be cool to have a little exchange of ideas, war stories, questions and stuff.

With that in mind... I really wanted to put a tankless water heater (big enough for two showers plus a couple sinks to run at the same time) in my house, but the inspector told me that I either had to put in two or put in a backup tank (kinda defeats the purpose) because the current michigan code requires enough (flow) capacity to run every fixture in the house (because you do that every day right?). This seems absolutely ludicrous to me seeing how technically a 30 gallon tank would pass inspection but not allow me to fill up my tub or even take two showers at the same time (unless the were each like 90 sec)

Anyone find (or know of) a way to get one of these things past the silly code?

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I no nothing about plumbing but my first thought is follow the letter of the code but not the spirit. Don

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Anyone find (or know of) a way to get one of these things past the silly code?

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Mike Holcomb is West Michigan's residential energy efficiency expert.

I know he has been pushing instantaneous water heaters for a while so surely he has dealt with the installation code issues.

He also knows how to tap "energy efficiency financing". Its a lower rate loan on efficiency improvements to your home set up in the Carter Administration, that most folks aren't aware exists. It involves an energy audit and payback $.

BTW this isn't an advertisement. I'm not associated with his business, but he has lots of experience actually installing the energy features we talk about endlessly.

Here is his contact info:

Home Inspector General

http://www.homeinspectorgeneral.com/

(616) 878-7200

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I recently bought a book called "Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time." There is a chapter on the water heaters, but so much more...definitely worth a look.

For the rest of you out there, don't forget the most important GREEN way to improve your home: REUSE what you already have! The wood floors in these old houses can usually look brand new with enough sanding (Dragt--have no idea what the condition of your floors are...just giving an example)

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When we finally go to buy our first home, I definitely plan on hiring Mike or someone similar to go through the house before we actually buy it. I want to know where we need to spend money to 'button down the hatches' and make the entire house mechanically efficient. I think analysis like what Mike can provide is a valuable knowledge base for any home owner!

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I would love to see an article or suggestions from an expert on 10 ways to green up your existing home. I'm sure there are plenty of tips and tricks to making your house more green as you renovate or replace existing items (such as furnaces, appliances, water heaters).

Joe

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I would love to see an article or suggestions from an expert on 10 ways to green up your existing home. I'm sure there are plenty of tips and tricks to making your house more green as you renovate or replace existing items (such as furnaces, appliances, water heaters).

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Whothehell runs the dishwaher (I don't have one), a load of sanitizing laundry, and a shower all at the same time? Why would you have two long hot showers going at once? I am a veteran of many special event camping trips where a portable shower truck ran off a fire hydrant, with a propane burner. They kept it at a comfortable warm temp and could shower 50 people all at once. (I've lowered the temp on my water heater to something below scalding.)

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16 ways to green your home [from the USGBC: LEED for Homes website]

I would love to see an article or suggestions from an expert on 10 ways to green up your existing home. I'm sure there are plenty of tips and tricks to making your house more green as you renovate or replace existing items (such as furnaces, appliances, water heaters).

Joe

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I would love to see an article or suggestions from an expert on 10 ways to green up your existing home. I'm sure there are plenty of tips and tricks to making your house more green as you renovate or replace existing items (such as furnaces, appliances, water heaters).

Joe

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I've looked into tankless. My plumber resisted the idea, stating that I'd need a separate vent for the gas line. He never mentioned any codes requiring extra capacity.

Whothehell runs the dishwaher (I don't have one), a load of sanitizing laundry, and a shower all at the same time? Why would you have two long hot showers going at once? I am a veteran of many special event camping trips where a portable shower truck ran off a fire hydrant, with a propane burner. They kept it at a comfortable warm temp and could shower 50 people all at once. (I've lowered the temp on my water heater to something below scalding.)

Others of my parade of contractors (gosh I love Angie's List) have stated that a permit is not required for interior work such as plumbing. I have not confirmed this DT, and in any case it has to wait until I pay down the roof job.

Another option I am considering is a water heater timer. Think about that--why pay to maintain 100 gals of hot water during the 9 hours you're gone during the day, and the 8 hours you're sleeping?

HTH

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I would be careful of anyone who tells you that you don't need a permit. Believe it or not the code is there to protect you, and interior work does require a permit. The only permit you don't need for interior work is one from the HPC.

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I would be careful of anyone who tells you that you don't need a permit. Believe it or not the code is there to protect you, and interior work does require a permit. The only permit you don't need for interior work is one from the HPC.

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I recently added a couple of shut-off valves to my kitchen water supply lines. Did not pull a permit.

And I believe that the staff at 1120 would laugh me back down the stairs if I proferred such an app.

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So technically if I wanted to, hypothetically, install ceiling fans, I'd need a permit?

Where is that line (legally)?

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Greening of our homes, eh?

I'd love to try LED based lighting. LED bulbs put even florescent lights to shame when it comes to energy efficiency. They also last allot longer than any other type of light that I know of.

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Thanks Andy.

Interesting stuff. I have done a lot of stuff on the list (flourescent bulbs, programming the thermostats). I wonder what the number one energy saver can be to an old house (besides proper insulation). New windows? New Appliances?

Also, does anyone know of anywhere in town with a good selection of cork floors? I can't find it anywhere, and it is pretty hard to tell water you are going to get when you look online.

Joe

16 ways to green your home [from the USGBC: LEED for Homes website]

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Also, does anyone know of anywhere in town with a good selection of cork floors? I can't find it anywhere, and it is pretty hard to tell water you are going to get when you look online.

Joe

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Also, does anyone know of anywhere in town with a good selection of cork floors? I can't find it anywhere, and it is pretty hard to tell water you are going to get when you look online.

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