SuperStor Ultra Indirect Water Heater Review

411 plumb The SuperStor Ultra Stainless Steel Indirect Water Heater is a great product for people who use a boiler to supply their domestic hot water needs. “Indirect” water heaters do not heat the water by passing it through the boiler, rather there is a separate tank which both stores and heats the water. The water is heated by a coil in the tank that has hot water from the boiler passing through the coil which heats the water. The indirect water heater offers storage so more hot water can be used without the boiler turning on, and offers more constant temperatures of hot water during peak usage than a domestic hot water coil in a boiler can provide. Heat Transfer Products Inc. which manufactures the SuperStor Ultra has been manufacturing and designing heat exchangers since 1974 and offers a full array of products including highly efficient boilers, gas water heaters, solar water heaters, indirect water heaters, electric water heaters, and hot water storage tanks.

When a SuperStor Ultra Indirect Water Heater is used it is installed in a separate heating zone off the boiler with its own circulator and zone valve. The boiler will only turn on for other heating needs or, when you need to make additional hot water in the SuperStor Ultra. Many boilers have a coil in the boiler through which the domestic hot water passes being heated. Although there is a small amount of energy stored in the tankless coil of the boiler it is rapidly depleted even with a small domestic hot water usage causing the boiler to fire. An indirect water heater offers much more storage and will not fire the boiler until a more substantial amount of water is used. This increases the economy of your water heating system and saves you money.

The tankless coil in a boiler has limitations on how much water can be heated up in one pass and high demands can result in a lower temperature of your hot water. The limitations of the tankless coils heat transfer capacity will be more apparent in the winter when water supply temperatures are low and as the age of the tankless coil in the boiler increases. One of the effects of heating water is as water is heated the water molecules increase in size and minerals precipitate out of the water. These minerals build up in the tankless coil and are detrimental to its effective heat transfer. When the heat transfer ability declines enough you will notice a decline in the water temperature as flow rates increase. The tankless coil can sometimes be cleaned by a service tech using acid coil cleaners but this may not always be successful and the acids may eventually cause the coil to leak. When the tankless coil can no longer be cleaned or, leaks you are looking at having the coil replaced an in some cases a new boiler. Indirect water heating is an excellent solution for those homeowners who are facing this problem.

Indirect water heater installation while costly offers many benefits such increased economy and better delivery over the tankless coil in a boiler. The SuperStor Ultra Stainless Steel Indirect Water Heater is a great choice for you to install. The rugged corrosion resistant construction and the economy of operation of the SuperStor Ultra makes the choice of the SuperStor Ultra a “No Brainer” decision. The SuperStor Ultra offers a tank constructed out of 316L Stainless Steel, with an attractive silver finish Plastic Outer Jacket, and the Cupronickel Heat Exchanger give the SuperStor Ultra great corrosion resistant properties even in a moist basement. The High Output Cupronickel Heat Exchanger with its 15 – 30 sq. ft. surface area (depending on size tank) delivers larger amounts of hot water often 3–5 times more recovery compared to conventional water heaters. A 40 gallon electric water heater will give you about 40 gallons of hot water in the first hour, A 40 gallon gas water heater with a 40,000 btu burner will give you about 75 gallons in the first hour. A 45 gallon SuperStor Ultra has a whopping 292 gallon first hour recovery rating. The SuperStor Ultra also has 2” thick CFC-Free Foam Insulation to minimize heat loss vs. 1” typically found in conventional water heaters and does not have the temperature loss associated with a flue in a gas water heater. Conventional water heaters offer a typical service life of about 12 years vs. the long life of the Stainless Steel SuperStor Ultra with its Lifetime Warrantee Protection for residential use.

Comments

  1. Francis Fernando says

    I have a weil McLain CGI heating system with a gold plus 40 heat exchanger. The first tank sprung a leak and was replaced under warranty after 6 years. The replacement gold plus 40 tank seems to have an internal leak and probably needs replacement. I am looking for a replacement to the gold plus 40 tank, but of better quality. Please send me a quotation with specifications.

    • says

      Hi Francis,

      We at 411Plumb do not sell or install this equipment to or, for our readers, we offer Information to the Consumer only. Visitors to this site come from many countries around the world. However, Having installed these locally for my plumbing customers I can assure you that these SuperStor Ultra Indirect Water Heaters are among the best out there and I recommend them highly. To have one installed I recommend calling a local plumber and requesting that he install one for you.

      Redwood

  2. Paul says

    My 20 yr old, direct oil fired 50 gallon water heater is in need of replacement. I am looking at the SuperStor indirect system and my plumber is telling me I need a 60 gallon system because the recovery time is not as good as my 50 gallon direct fired unit. It is a very large house but i have never run out of water in 15 yrs with the 50 gallon. Best i can tell the price difference between the 45 gallon adn 60 gallon is about $400 plus i assum a 20% increase in fuel cost usage. Is my plumber correct or is he trying to sell me to much heater??

    • says

      Hi Paul,

      It is difficult to say what your needs are without a lot of additional information in terms of fixtures, usage habits, the operating parameters of your boiler as in temperature GPM etc.

      Your plumber knows these factors and should be able to size the water heater correctly to best meet your needs.

      Redwood

      • Paul says

        I understand your comment, but regarding usage if I havn’t ever run out of hot water with a 20 yr old 50 gallon unit in 15 yrs, generally speaking why would I potentially run out of water with a new 45 gallon indirect. Do indirect systems as a rule of thumb have less recovery time then direct fired oil units with everything else being equal. That is what my plumber is telling me. In looking at the Super stor 45 gallon first hr capacity of 200+ gallons doe sthat mean it would generate about 3+ gallons a minute which essentially means it would never run out of hot water unless I was running multiple fixtures for a very long time?

        As for the oil fired boiler the indirect woud be hooked up to would be an Ultimate 3 unit that is about 5 yrs old.

        you comments are much appreciated

        • says

          Hi Paul,

          When you look at the chart for recovery you will note that the recovery varies with boiler water temp and the GPM of the boiler water going through the loop on the indirect. That is probably where the recovery difference is.

          Redwood

    • says

      Hi Betty,

      You can call Heat Transfer Products Technical Support at 800-323-9651 ext. 130.
      They also have a contact form on their website if you want to use that today.

      Redwood

  3. Abe Weber says

    My Service Provider (indepent) installed a Superstor Ultra SS indirect fired water tank and each 3 years it springs a leak. Well, tomorrow he will be replacing the 3rd tank. Based on this 3 year life I can only state that the reliability of these tanks are extremely low and I would not recommend them to anyone.

  4. Bruce Kidder says

    I have two superstors supplied by a gas boiler.The in and out differential is only 6 degrees and I get very little hot water. What is wrong

    • says

      Hi Bruce,
      It sounds like the circulation flow rate through the loop may be off spec.
      Is this a new installation or, one that has been in use for a while without problems?
      Redwood

    • says

      Hi Andy,
      The Bradford White Sw-2-65-L is a glass lined steel tank.
      Cheaper yes, as good as the SuperStor Ultra? No.
      The Bradford White PowerStor Series SS would be a comparable model to the SuperStor Ultra.
      Redwood

  5. George Horton says

    I am in need of replacing my 60 gallon gas water heater and am considering the Superstor Ultra SSU-45. The plumbing store says the SSU-45 is what I should get. From reading the specs it sounds like a really great water heater but after reading some of the comments on this site about the tank leaking I now have doubts. Is there anything you can say to help restore my confidence in this product?
    George

    • says

      Hi George,
      I have one in my house, my brother has one in his house, my sister has one in her house, my daughter has one in her house, and I have installed many without problems. One of the questions I have asked a few times without getting answered is if the people that were experiencing problems had pressure and or, thermal expansion problems. Heating water expands and in a closed system the effects of the expansion can be detrimental to the service life of any water heater.

      Hope this helps,
      Redwood

  6. Kirby says

    I am deciding on an exact replacement of my Triangle tube unit (45gal) which leaks after 14 years with a superstor brand comparable sized unit. Is one better than the other. My plumber likes the superstor because it costs less and he feels thay are about the same. Which is better and will last longer?

    • says

      Hi Kirby,
      Either unit is a great choice, the stainless steel construction is far superior to a glass lined steel tank.

      The primary difference between the Triangle Tube and SuperStor Ultra tanks is the Triangle Tube is a tank within a tank design with the heating loop flowing between the two tanks, and the SuperStor Ultra has a tank with the heating loop flowing through a coil in the center of the tank. Both designs work well with the tank within a tank being less susceptible to scaling but harder to clean, 6 of one and a half dozen of the other IMHO.

      The SuperStor Ultra is more popular here in the northeast since it is manufactured in East Freetown, MA.

      Redwood

  7. Sharon says

    We have just replaced an 80 gallon holding tank, water heated via a heat exchanger on our System 2000 (oil fired boiler). It was replaced with stainless steel indirect storage tank (MegaStore 53, 51 gallon tank). the MegaStore’s built-in exchanger is heated directly via the boiler–and not through the heat exchanger on the boiler.

    This leaves an unused heat exchanger on our boiler–and, in fact, we notice a significant difference in length of time we can shower. (Admittedly, we have a high gallon flow rain shower we use in place of a hot tub…perhaps a larger tank would have been better). And duly noted: the mega-store recovery time is definitely fast!

    The question is–is there any reason we could not and/or should not “pre-heat” the water going into an indirectly heated tank such as this? Disadvantages? We’d set the call for heat when the outgoing water temperature reached say 10 degrees cooler than the setting that calls for the indirect tanks’ coils to heat (currently this is set at about 130, be nice if it were set just over 120). It “sounds” like best of both worlds…? What am I missing?

    • says

      Hi Sharon,
      Obviously the high flow shower system draw was not considered when sizing the indirect water heater. I would call the installer back to discuss their sizing of the indirect water heater and what may be done to provide adequate hot water, I do not have adequate information to discuss this via the comments here.

      Some of the options available include reviewing priority settings, making sure the wiring is correct, increasing flow in the loop, increasing the aquastat temperature setting and installing a tempering valve (must meet code anti-scalding requirements), adding an additional storage tank, adding an additional indirect water heater. Consideration of these options should only be made with all of the information available about your boiler size, and firing rate, the heating requirements of your home and domestic hot water usage.

      Redwood

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