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Antique "Rex" Gas Hot Water Heater  Rate Topic 
 Posted: Fri Aug 5th, 2011 04:19 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 5th, 2011
Posts: 1

We own an old home built in 1901 and are in the process of renovating/remodeling it.

In the basement, there is an access door that leads to underneath the front steps of the house and is just about tall enough to walk upright. The previous owners apparently used this space for storing/throwing away uneeded items. One of them being an OLD tankless water heater with a nomenclature plate calling it a "Rex".

Standard configuration of a cast iron burner, copper coil with (1) cold water inlet and (1) hot water outlet and a 3" flue pipe connection at the very top.


#1 - Did this run off of standard natural gas?

#2 - Does this water heater require an expansion tank of some sort to work properly?

#3 - What would be the normal sequence of operation?

 I've posted a picture I found that looks exactly like mine. Any other help/assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Attachment: IMG_9890[1].png (Downloaded 25 times)

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2011 12:18 am
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Joined: Sat Sep 11th, 2004
Posts: 4131
Hello:  This is a side-arm heater. Go to "Fun Stuff" from the home page.  Then look for "Weingarten Collection", then "Hotstream Tank Heater".  You'll see a unit like yours, and a bare steel tank behind it.  The unit used natural convection and two pipes, (one low and one high) to heat the tank only when you lit the thing.  Most used gas of some sort.  Yours likely is natural gas.  An expansion tank is normally used only when there is a pressure reducer on the house. To operate, you lit it and waited.  Once the tank was sufficiently hot to the touch, you turned off the gas and went to take your bath. :cool:

Yours,  Larry

ps.  That damper in the vent pipe in the photo would never have been installed :shock:
pps. These heaters had no safeties at all!  Do be careful.

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