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The mansion near the college. The ranch with a radiant floor in the suburbs. The duplex upper town. The loft in the center. The weekend cabin on the lake. They all want to upgrade, and they all need both domestic hot water and water heating. I think my quotes would be more competitive if there was one device from one vendor that could handle both. Why install a water heater and a water heater when you can do both?

At the moment I get my instantaneous water heaters from a number of wholesalers and my boilers from various wholesalers. My installation crew complains about the confusion between different manufacturers’ requirements, as they like to know what comes with the unit and what doesn’t. My service crew wants training from a single brand source, to learn the ropes of the controls and settings. My accountant wants fewer salespeople, so there are fewer checks to cut. Life is not easy with so many complaints.

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What about that one source idea? The sellers of some of the boiler brands I currently buy have sent me information about their offerings, but I really want to get to a single source from a brand I trust and that my prospects recognize. Would that boost company morale, make jobs run smoother, and also reduce those annoyingly expensive callbacks?

It wasn’t hard to find out that there is one appliance that does both domestic water and space heating, from Bosch, a brand with an excellent reputation for quality, backup and brand awareness among consumers. The product is the Singular, and it is the latest model from Bosch with an AFUE rating of 95% and an environmentally friendly burner with a low NOx metal fiber.

Everything, including the boiler pump, is installed and wired in a compact cabinet (18.11” W x 31.87” H) that can be wall-mounted and saves space, which homeowners like. The low water protection is also already installed and wired. Modifying the pipes for the installation of the LWCO is no longer necessary, eliminating another possible place for a water leak; and no more looking for a wiring diagram, saving time and reducing frustration.

It weighs only 80 pounds and is easier to maneuver and take stairs.

Since the Singular model comes in two sizes, I can adjust the size to suit the job. The domestic hot water production of the Model 4000 can handle up to two showers continuously, while the Model 5200 can handle three showers. The sizing for domestic is as I am already known.

The heat capacity of the Singular 4000 for space heating is 19,900 to 80,000 BTU/H.

For the Singular 5200, the heat capacity for space heating goes from 19,900 to 140,000 BTU/H.

The heat capacity of the Singular 4000 for domestic hot water is 19,900 to 155,000 BTU/H.

The Singular 5200 has a domestic hot water capacity of 19,900 to 199,000 BTU/H.

The temperature range for space heating in both models is 82 degrees F to 180 degrees F. For instant hot water, the temperature range for both models is 86 degrees F to 140 degrees F.

What I really like about using the Singular for hot tap water is that the heat exchanger needs to be cleaned so little, because this is completely different from a normal flow heater. Two stainless steel heat exchangers are involved in the Singular. The gas burner heats water in the boiler’s heat exchanger and that hot water is pumped through one side of a separate brazed plate heat exchanger to heat the incoming cold water flowing through the other side.

That’s important because a regular instantaneous one uses the 400-degree flame to heat the incoming cold water, while the Singular uses 180-degree water to heat the incoming water. I know that higher heat causes faster fouling, so using half the temperature will significantly reduce fouling, increasing the time between cleans. My customers will appreciate the savings and my crews will be able to do more profitable work.

This combination is perfect for converting fuel oil to gas. When we connect it to natural gas, it is ready to use. If we hook it up to propane we can just install the included conversion kit before hanging it on the wall.

Installing a new flue is required when using a high efficiency gas appliance, and Bosch gives me the flexibility to use a variety of flue materials. I can still use PVC where allowed – my crews are familiar with it and availability is good. I can use CPVC, but polypropylene, which is also approved, is cheaper and more available every day. The vent pipe lengths are generous, 2″ pipe can go up to 60 feet while 3″ pipe can go up to 150 feet. An exhaust gas temperature sensor ensures safe operation.

My installation manager loves the convenience of the space heating connections as the boiler pump is already installed – that’s one side of a primary secondary connection that has already been done. If the space heating application is a single zone with minimal pressure drop (such as a cast iron radiator track with one t-stat and huge pipes), it can simply run it as full flow, using the already installed pump. I like it when he likes something.

The cabinet is small, but contains many functions for domestic hot water and space heating. The convenience of having both domestic hot water and space heating from one source simplifies installation, service and billing, allowing me to focus on figuring out how to grow my business. I’m quoting this about the projects I mentioned at the beginning: the mansion, the ranch, the duplex, the loft, and the cabin.

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