The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Titan Tankless

Well, we still haven’t had found a thermometer or measured our water pressure, but I do have a few things to say about our Titan Tankless water heater. Since we’ve started using our shower regularly about two weeks ago, we’ve only had two problems with our hot water, neither of which is demonstrably the heater's fault.

First, since all of our plumbing is new and PVC, there is still some debris in the lines. What kind of debris? PVC shavings. For those of you not familiar with PVC plumbing, no matter how careful you are, sooner or later you’re going to have to go back and cut the pipes you’ve already installed. It might be to add a line, you forgot a fixture, et cetera. Doesn’t matter why, it’ll happen, believe me. And, no matter how hard you try to prevent it, some of the pipe shavings will fall into the pipes. As you use your new plumbing, these shavings will work their way through the system. In the case of bath tubs and toilets the water lines are big enough for the shavings to pass through without a problem. However, shower heads, sink faucets with screens (kitchen and bath for sure), and other small outlets will collect these bits until they clog the fixture.

So far our shower head has been clogged four times (I think). We keep a wrench next to the shower so we don’t have to interrupt our shower to fix the problem (like this morning).

Our second problem is our water pressure. Under normal conditions as our friend from Springdale mentioned, our water pressure is around 2.5 gallons per minute (or is that our flow and not pressure?). He’s an engineer works with such things so I believe him. However, since we live in rural Arkansas, the Land of Tyson Chicken, there are a lot of commercial farms around here, particularly chicken houses. And, when the weather is abysmally hot (the last two weeks), you need to keep your chickens cool. Otherwise, the little shits will die by the hundreds or even thousands. The only thing that smells worse than a chicken house is a chicken house full of dead, hot chickens.

The best cooling method they have for these chicken houses is a fine mist of water. The ventilation fans blow the mist through the house and the temperature is keep under control; it’s like a giant swamp cooler.

When Crow Mountain and most of the surrounding area received “city” water (that is municipal water instead of well water), virtually no one lived here. Just some farm families with tens of thousands of chicken, hogs, cattle, and horses. Over the last twenty years or so, the area has seen a small town version of urban sprawl. Small subdivisions have begun to spring up all over the mountain. This is taxing the water system. There are plans to expand & improve it, but that is several years out at the best. So, in the mean time, when the chicken farmers kick on their sprayers en masse, the water pressure for system drops noticeably.

The Titan has trouble heating water when there isn’t any. What you end up with is a slow trickle of cool to cold water. If you turn it up to a higher setting, the Titan will kick in and send you a lot of hot water, but since the pressure is low, you don’t get much cold water. Instead of a hot shower you end up with a scalding hot one. Either way you aren't confortable. We had similar problems with our water pressure at our old house, but, since we had a traditional heater with its reserve of hot water in the tank, it wasn’t as noticeable.

Overall, we’re still pleased with out Titan. I don’t imagine anyone with a decent water utility would have this kind of problem with one.

Tarr, to answer one of your questions from this post (Frisky and Tankless from June; blogger won't let me link, sorry) the table of temperatures listed on the Titan website I linked to refer to the number of degrees the heater will raise the water from its current temperature. For example, on the highest setting, the Titan will raise the water temperature 91 degrees F. The cold water coming into your house should be around 58 degrees F. This means the hot water will be at 149 degrees. This is extremely hot (water boils at 212 F). Sorry for the confusion. The site I linked to wasn’t very clear on this point; I found the clarification on a different website.

If I ever finish our dumbass kitchen sink (this weekend please, God help me), I’ll try turning on our #2 heater.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Brenda from Flatbush said...

So, your water pressure fluctuates because guys are spraying their chickens. That does so not happen in Brooklyn. Fascinating (if annoying).

12:43 PM  
Blogger Titan Owner said...

You mentioned PVC shavings. Debris like this or sand from a well, etc. can be trapped with a very inexpensive sediment filter. They run around $15 to $50 at the larger depending on size. Installed on the inlet side of tankless water heater would be the way to go. At least this would protect the unit's flow switch from debris.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so far very satisfied with my titan water heater. I am actually running two in parrallel on an open hydronic system. I can draw a nice hot bath in Connecticut all day long and they seem to handle the prolonged temperatures of the hydronic system just fine.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Florida and I had installed a Titan N120 3 months ago.
Not one problem, it is set on medium and delivers 114 F water so I still have to blend some cold in which also helps the water pressure.
I should have put 3 of these in, both showers and the kitchen when I built the house.

5:26 PM  
Blogger CatFromFlorida said...

I was so skepticle about a water heater so small covering my whole house. I bought from their site at www.titantankless.com and have never looked back. Endless hot water, space savings, electric bill down, can have 5 guests shower, teens taking long showers and it never ends!! The installer I had did put a sediment filter in at the inlet point as he said it lengthens the life of the Titan. I love it!! Thanks Titan Tankless you made a believer here!

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bought a Titan tankless hot water heater last July. Didn't end up putting it in until Halloween, trick or treat was yet to be determined. Less than a month and a half later,TRICK, no hot water. Talked with Chuck from the ebay store, where I purchased mine, and figured out the problem(circuit board was fried) and got it fixed about five days and another fifteen dollars later. Then earlier this summer another TRICK, no hot water again. It started overheating and tripping one of the reset tabs on the left heating column. Talked with Chuck again, he informed me that the reset button may be sitting to close to the heating column. So the fix is to loosen the screws on this one in particular. Well I did that and it fooled the switch temporarily. Now that the heater is out of warranty, no answer on either one of his phones and no returned emails or phone calls. Now I have hot water with the minimal amount of flow. Turn your faucet on all the way and the water isn't even lukewarm. What a hassle, BEWARE OF THE TITAN HOT WATER HEATERS.............

6:47 AM  
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12:40 PM  

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