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I need to get a new water heater soon.
Been about 13 years since my last one.

Is it better to go electric nowadays or stick to gas? Cost is important.

And we're a family of 3 now, so what would you say is a good size?
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Location is always relevant in these issues.
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>>1246488
Central ohio
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>>1246487
Depends on what gas and what electricity costs in your area. I regret having gone with an electric, over my old gas unit. My gas bill before, with water heater, stove and floor furnace, was only about $25/month. Just adding the water heater to my electricity bill made it go up by about $70 a month... and why? Gas works when the power is out, is clean and reliable, fast to heat up water and much cheaper to operate...
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If you're plumbed for gas go gas. Faster recover time, cheaper to operate, works when the power is out. If you don't have the flue and gas line already run then it's probably not worth converting.
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If you've already got gas in place, replace it with another gas water heater.

Also, take care of the fucker. They're low-maintenance, but not maintenance-free.
Cycle the T&P valve periodically. Replace every 5-8 years.
Keep the air intakes clean - shove a vacuum back there and suck up the dirt/dust on the intakes every year or so.
Shut off and drain the tank every 2-3 years. Flush the sediment out. Modern heaters do pretty well minimizing the sediment buildup to begin with, but there's almost always some scale/chunks that comes out the drain.
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>>1246500
All you said wasn't wrong but the biggest thing you can do to prolong the life of a water heater is change out the sacrificial rod every decade or so. Everything else is superfluous if you're not doing that.
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>>1246487
do you actually need one - is the old one rusting inside and leaking?

I've had the same one for 18 yrs, all I've done is replace the pressure valve (scale deposits), vacuum out the sediment every other year, and replace the anode rod.
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>>1246505
yeah, that too. I'd say do that every 2-5 years depending on how shitty your water is.
Much like everything else, it's cheap to replace and easy to do.
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>>1246487
i think >>1246488 meant more electricity rates and natural gas/propane availability.

where i live electricity is cheap, no natural gas and people have propane tanks. obviously electric is the way to go in my area.

pros of gas
it can work without power, doesn't mater if you have a well though unless you have some way to power the pump when power is out.

cons of gas
you can't really add additional insulation as well because the burner need an air source, plus it can be a fire risk because its gas. pilot may go out if it has one or flame sensor might go bad, though they usually just report no flame and shut the unit off.

pros of electric
you can warp they with insulation once installed and if you live alone they become very very efficient. some come with timers built in, no sense having it keep the water home if no one is there to use it, if your handy with electricty and your local codes allow it you can put a timer on the line yourself to achieve the same thing, mechanical ones last just about forever.

cons of electric
it uses electricity to heat an element/s submerged in the water, even if you have a sacrificial anode the element will eventually have to be replaced, its easy and the tool is cheap, but you have to drain the tank which can be a major pain in the ass depending on where it is and might require the use of a pump.

also another thing to consider is if where you live constantly deals with water main leaks/breaks. you should have a one way valve on your water line anyways, but i know with electric you can burn out the elements if the municipality drains the water main and sucks your tank dry, i've never dealt with gas heaters, but heating them dry can't be good for them either.
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10 years of scale buildup on a T&P.
Old fucker did not want to come out, put up quite a fight.
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Tankless is expensive up front but will save money in the long run.
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>>1246545
Not unless you're going to live there 20 years. Tankless is shit unless you need to fill a hot tub or jacuzzi. Tankless also require more maintenance and are a bitch to fix if you have problems.
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>>1246487
So I happened to notice this summer that heat would build up in the house even though we were cooking outside. It was ambient heat from the water tank driving up the temp indoors. There was a battle going on between my water heater and my AC system to see who could outspend the other.

Go tankless.
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>>1246487
You're lucky you only have one water heater, I have two; one at each end of the house.
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>>1246581
Ambient heat from the water tank? That's completely ridiculous. Maybe your pipes would radiate heat if you had the water too hot but there's no way the tank was putting off enough ambient heat to effect your AC.
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>>1246487
Average life span is 8-10 years on a regular heater, at 13 yours is probably due. Stick with gas unless you like watching your electric meter spin like a deli slicer.
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DO NOT go tankless if you have hard water. Scale plugs them up real easy. Especially if you don't flush with vinegar periodically, which you won't.
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>>1246526
Looking like that, I'd tell you to flush the fucker out, but that scale might be the only thing sealing holes in the welds by now
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Check your local gas company for rebates. Mine was offering a $600 rebate for a tankless heater meeting a certain efficiency this year. Our heater is only 5 years old though so I'm not going to replace it. Rebates makes a tankless unit cost about the same as a traditional tank model.
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>>1246487
If you're going to get electric then wait, new battery storage water heaters that buy and heat water at off peak hours during the night and store it until use are coming soon. About 1/8 the price of gas though it depends on gas prices in the area. If you're already set up just go with the system that is installed

>t. utility vendor
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Can't add much that hasn't been said before. but a 250L should be enough for three people to never run out.
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>>1246905
I flush it every couple years. This is the first time i've replaced T&P. Anode could stand to be replaced, but the local home-depot didn't have the right one, and with any luck in <9mo i'll be out of here anyways and it'll be someone else's problem.
Honestly I'd bet this water heater will go another 5 years without any more maintenance. Same for the furnace.

>>1246581
callingbullshit.jpg

>>1246562
>Tankless also require more maintenance and are a bitch to fix if you have problems.
They're nice for constant hot-water - endless showers, no waiting for recovery if you've got a couple people using hot water (as long as it's appropriately sized).
If you can swing it, a tankless feeding a traditional tanked water heater can get you the benefits of both, at the expense of the additional maintenance. Valve them both so you can isolate/bypass either one. Makes it easier to maintain without having to shut off hot water for the building.
Buddy's got a few cabins/condos and that's the setup he's got in there.
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>>1246581
How high did you have the temp set?
Protip: I turn mine down for the summer and up for the winter, the 2 minutes it takes are worth it.
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>>1246707
So they make insulating blankets for no reason whatsoever. Zero heat loss or the heat somehow leaves the house quietly through the side door. Ok.

>>1247021
I'm sorry you're too dumb or too presumptuous to understand. Heat loss becomes ambient heat in the house. It's not rocket science.

>>1247025
I realized too late that my temp was set too high. It's a new tank and the installer set it up. I never even considered that may be part of the problem.
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>>1247110
I honestly didn't expect people to call bullshit on such a plain and obvious concept. The internet never ceases to failmaze me.
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Consider getting a heat pump or solar (depending on the area) hottie. Costs more upfront but they'll more than pay for themselves by the time they go toes up.
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>>1247110
>>1247112
Every major manufacturer tells you not to use those insulating blankets, they don't do shit. Go put your hand on the side of your water heater, you won't feel heat, know why? The tank is insulated already at the factory. Most of your waste heat from the tank goes up the chimney.
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>>1247137
>suggests heat pump or solar
>posts pic of crappy under-counter electric
wew lad
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>>1247181
I've taken some photos with an infrared thermometer that clearly displays how mistaken you are. And these temps are after I turned the water heater temp down last week.

If you still don't understand how heat loss in the basement could result in hotter temps in the upper floors during the hot summer months and how that required cooling, I suggest you just fuck right off because you're stupid and your mouth is flapping needlessly.
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>>1246487
Do you own the property and do you have a decent backyard and lack of HOA/extreme regulation?
Build or buy a solar hot water heater. Can be done under 1k and massive savings. A 4x8 panel, even homemade can make 30-40 gallons a day. Add another panel in series for extra winter time production.
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>>1246500
flexible gas line
ugly af
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>>1247181
>you won't feel heat, know why?
what is this material that the tank is made from and why the fuck aren't we building spaceships out of it if its such a good insulator?
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1. Fiberglass batting between two layers of sheet metal. 2a. Because it's fucking heavy. 2b. Because the temperature delta with a water heater is a few tens of degrees, not a few hundred like in space.
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>>1248032
well really its closer to thousands but hey infinite r value is infinite r vale right?
i mean thats what you are sayin? the r value is infinite. for there to be no temperature difference touching the tank.
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>>1246487
I went to a tankless, electric, water heater several years ago and I'll never look back.
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tankless strongly depends on your water quality as well
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>>1248047

How does the electric cost compare to the costs of a traditional gas unit?
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Electric water heaters are generally cheaper up front but more expensive to run
Gas is opposite-more expensive up front but cheaper in the long run.

I have a gas water heater and I love it. It will NOT run when the power is out. Depending on where you live and how it is vented it may be code to have a power vent on it. Long horizontal runs necessitate a power vent to ensure adequate ventilation. I rarely lose power, maybe once a year for an hour if that so it is a non issue.

I don't like the tankless style, just personal preference. If you want to save money on an electric water heater put a double pole time clock on it and choose what times it can kick on and off-that way it isn't heating water when you don't need it to. There are also ways to "warm" the incoming water to room temperature before it goes into the tank so you have to expend less energy to heat the water.
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>>1248074
Far less. With a tank heater, it needs to constantly heat the water on and off all day long even if you are not using it. The same thing happens with gas or electric. I even wrapped my electric tank heater with 4 layers of R11 fiberglass insulation, which helped a great deal.

With a tankless electric water heater, it only heats when the water is flowing. Unless you are running hot water all the time, the cost will be very low. I pay electric costs for 3 apartments and the highest has been $170 for all 3 and that includes AC electric for them. Before tankless, I'd pay something like $200 for each apartment. So, yeah, savings is amazing.

Just buy an expensive one with a good warranty. If you don't, they will fail rather quickly.

>>1248094
I have a few stock pots that I use to heat water over the gas stove top when the electric is out. It is never out for more than 2 weeks at a time during the year. For the shower, I have a camp shower bag I break out in that situation.
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>>1246545
Tankless is great, with 4 people in the house we can take showers right after each other and never run out of hot water. Replaced conventional electric water heater with gas tankless, it cost around 2 grand but I would't ever have anything else unless I couldn't afford it.
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>>1247279
tell us a bit about your venting. is it common vented with the furnace? is it double walled? how old is the heater...we need more facts man...
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>>1249604
Well, to answer one of your questions if you look a little closer in the pics you'll see the install date written in red paint pen. (it was new when installed)

Just had a high efficiency furnace installed which I believe exhausts out through pvc. Anyways, the had to put a reducing sleeve into the chimney stack where the water heater exhausts to, I believe because the furnace no longer exhausts through it.

It's double walled. All water heaters in Canada have to be IIRC.
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>>1249707
I do phone tech support for johnwood... but in the states, I know that sometimes some of them make their way south. from what I'm aware the heaters up there are installed and regulated way more then down here... that's a plus on your end. as for the symptom you were describing... I was asking about the venting because that would be the thing that would give off the most heat that would effect the rest of the house. the amount of surface area that is the t&p valve wouldn't be enough to cause drastic heating throughout. even if it was giving off 90+F temps.
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>>1249727
Well the venting was just configured by one of the best heating and cooling companies in the region and passed inspection by a guy that failed the install on the first pass (little things not related to venting)

All I can say is that it gives off significant ambient heat and in a small, well insulated home I believe that's contributing a lot during the AC months.
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>>1249735
rarer things can happen. did you take a temp reading off the vent? from what I've been told the amount of training gas heater installers is crazy strict compared to here in the states where anyone with a wrench can just go at it. keeps the 30+ people where I work busy through. we love to deal with Canada techs. they know what's needed and why and all the proper tests needed to double check. people I deal with on a regular bases wouldn't know the difference between a TCO and a thermopile.

just brainstorming but best of luck good sir.
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>>1249758
thanks
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In Balkans, we always install water heater above our heads inside the shower. So if you don't get electrocuted, that shit will eventually fell and kill you.
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>>1250045
the fuck why
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>>1246525
>but you have to drain the tank which can be a major pain in the ass depending on where it is.

I've actually taken old aquarium pumps, or simply the ones you get from harbor freight for like 25 bucks, and use those when draining to run the water in the tank to the bathtub on the occasion there isn't a drain installed near the tank, or barring that, a 5 gallon bucket nearby. It works surprisingly well.
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>>1250045
Holy fuck that's a piss poor installation... and I'm from Serbia.
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>>1246708
Depends on the water chemistry. The electric heater in my house just turned 31.
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>>1246487
I say stick to gas. Chances are your old one was guaranteed for 9 years. This one is in my house, it's a more efficient by having a damper that closes off the exhaust when not running, holding in the heat, and it's guaranteed for 12 years.
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>>1246487
>protip

Drain it before you try to move it.

I gave myself a hernia 10 years ago lifting a hot water heater out of my basement by myself, Had to have 4 additional surgeries from complications.
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>>1246487
Make a cavitation water heater. Dont you want 100% efficient energy to heat conversion?
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>>1246487
If you switch. don't forget the cost of the conversion. When I was looking at a new water heater, the cost of adding a new 220 circuit for the thing was more than the heater cost. Plus, local code required that the existing gasline run for the old heater be removed all the way back to its beginning. More reasons to NOT switch.
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>>1246545
>>1246562
Tankless is the way to go.

Extra maintenance is, if you don't have a water softener, you might have to run vinegar through your water heater for 2 minutes every few years. (Cost is a tiny pump an a couple gallons of vinegar)

You will recoup the expense of a tankless heater in a couple years. No reason to keep a tank of heated water in the basement.
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>>1248174
>It is never out for more than 2 weeks at a time during the year.
"Just" 2 weeks... Third world sounds like suckyplace
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For those of you with tankless, is a "recirculating line/pump" worth the cost. I just typically deal with the cold water until it heats up anyway so can't imagine the convienience is a big deal but wife thinks differently. Worth or no?
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>>1252863
You need to run recirc lines for that to work.

Just jam a 200000BTU tankless in there and never worry about hot water again. I would say to pay the extra for the 3-way valves off the bottom of the unit for easy flushing
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>>1252883
>for easy flushing

I would think that a tankless design would never need flushing since there is no large reservoir where anything could settle. Doesn't the water flow right over the heating element?
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>>1252883
That's what I was thinking plus the added cost of runnin even more pipe the recirculation doesn't seem necessarily a big payback.
>make sure to fit valves for easy flushing
That for sure is going to happen if I do indeed go with tankless, it'd make the vinegar flush much easier since my water heater location is in the attic.
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>>1252812
Flyover state actually. Storms can be pretty harsh here. They knock down 1000s of trees and 100s of powerlines. A relative was a lineman during one of the worst summer storms. He was working 18 hour days back to back for over 2 weeks, no days off. He said he crashed for like 3 days straight. The power at my place didn't come back on for 3 weeks.

The up side is that it won't happen again for another 20ish years. We had a massive snow storm do the same thing. Thus, all the trees that were problems with snow loads and high winds are gone and it will take a while for new ones to replace them.
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Personally I have solar hot water. Idk how widespread this is, but it seems to be the most cost effective to me. Just be wary that it may be more expensive up front though. After that, a sunny day will heat your water right up!

The only drawback is that on long stretches of cloudy days you may lose hot water. I have a supplimentary Electric hot water heater for those days but it seems like you won't have the luxury.
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>>1247279
My water heater is literally ~10°F cooler than body temperature. It really isn't radiating much heat at all.

>my thermal imaging camera when
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>>1247279
Most of the heat escaping is via the chimney and around the bottom [this is while it is actively heating, same as video above], and the pop-off valve is quite a small area and not super hot anyway.

Also, not that it really matters in this instance, but using a metal surface for measuring radiated heat generally isn't a good idea as it is essentially a mirror in the thermal spectrum, so really you are measuring whatever heat is bouncing off it from the things around it.
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>>1246487
i have one of those eco heaters, instead of having a tank that stays hot all the time, we have a box with copper pipes and torches that heat up the water as we use it. so it might take 1 or 2 mins to warm up but it puts out unlimited hot water uts fucking amazing and ill never go back.
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>>1248094
Your gas heater doesn't run when the power is out?

This is strange to me.

The two houses I've had here in WI had heaters with no connection to the home's electrical system.

I get that gas delivery to your home is hindered in an outage - is that the situation or does your unit shut down?

I'm just curious. All my heater knowledge is hands-on so I only know from my own.
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>>1256191

newer energy efficent models have ignition on demand, need power
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Moving into a house that's been empty for about 3 years, electricity has been on and the house has been maintained but water and gas was cut off in 2014. Odds the (gas) hot water heater is shot?
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>>1256485
will probably fire up without an issue not sure about the overall condition for usability




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