40 gal just not enough: Replacing water heater for 2400 sq home. Family of 2 adults + 2 children

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Only a junk unit would not modulate, I will bet all do now, no modulation means its on 100% all the time and that is a waste of money, my shower is fine, ive never had an issue. With no modulation and a 100f rise 70f incomming would be heated to 170f.
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That's a partial factor, but fear of change is as old as humanity itself.

. [irrelevant stuff snipepd]

Again, it's as old as humanity. I could dig out some quotes from ancient Greece or Rome, but why should I?

So did primitive tribes thousands of years ago.
Now, I will say that, as an "advanced civilization", we should have outgrown those issues, but another look at our modern culture shows westill have the trappings of primitivism, superstition, etc.
These "trappings" are our "security blankets".

I hope to hell not, because thatpride is what helps us to adpt, to do great works, and to outgrow that "trappings" mentioned earlier.

Adults take a much different tact, but maturity is in short supply, just as "common sense" was not so common to Ben Franklin 250 years ago.

There is nothing more noble or honorable than someone admitting they were wrong. Philosophers have written about it for centuries.

Problem is, free will (thinking) is not automatic. And you are right to an extent, in that our (US) education system has been geared in the opposite direction for about 100 years now.

I think a major failing shown here is your own naοvetι about history and human nature, but your making the effort for yourself which is a good thing.
Matt
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wrote:

people buy overpriced desgner clothes, drive big hugger SUVs and do a myriad ofr other wasteful things to make them happy, or try to.......
just look at the lifetime cost of cigarretes, while they literally burn the money with a match, then want health care to pay the bucks to save their life when they get ill from the same tobacco products they wasted money on.
so enough hot water is a very minor issue........
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wrote:
:> people buy overpriced desgner clothes, drive big hugger SUVs and do a :> myriad ofr other wasteful things to make them happy, or try to.......
Or maybe they buy these things because they're happy and prosperous.
:> just look at the lifetime cost of cigarretes, while they literally :> burn the money with a match, then want health care to pay the bucks to :> save their life when they get ill from the same tobacco products they :> wasted money on.
WTF, due? Are you on medication that we should be aware of, are you congenitially unable to make mental connections?
:> so enough hot water is a very minor issue........
Right: you got caught with your head up your ass, so change the subject.
[plonk]
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"glen stark" wrote

Interesting rant Glen, and some truth to it for some, but what about those of us who did check them out and found we get a slight edge with a tank system? I used the links. It doesnt matter if the cost of gas goes up or down a little as it's a ratio that will still be there. I matched only newer gas 40g's to tankless of the same output level.
The only 'edge' spot in our use pattern the tankless had, was possible longevity but this _may_ be offset with the difficulty of repair on a relatively new item and finding a repair person trained to work on them. Also, it wasnt clear how stable the parts will be since the technology seems to be changing fairly fast? (IE: you can still get a VCR repaired if you want, but I wouldnt waste time looking for betamax parts).
Lets see how stable the parts market and inventory of technicians is when I need to replace first. If mine lasts another 3 years, the efficiency ratios and other aspects will probably have changed. It could well be that then, tankless will be a much better bet.
Could you fill me in though on 'temperature balancers'? I simply didnt track that one fully and suspect we might need something for the shower if we go tankless? Thats probably not very expensive to add but this is an older house and wouldnt have that in there now.
I also need to backtrack my earlier post. I had forgotten my old 40g gas one went bad when we were overseas and our house was rented. The 'new' one is about 5 years old but *not* a very efficient model. I am certain from other aspects of the house, the renters never did any maintenance on it. We are looking up the book on the model to see how this one is cleaned.
It also clarified for us why we are running out of hot water. I found the old book on the old unit and it was a 60G gas. However looking at efficiency ratings, I think we will stay with a 40G or if we go up, go up to 50G.
We already talked with a retired handyman who's done small stuff for us and he knows this type of unit well. He even mentioned that on some of them, it can be just a touch tricky to do the maintenance. I think he was referring to the pilot light but not sure? He'll be over later this weekend to take a peek at it. Don't worry, he's a very careful type. If he's not absolutely sure how this unit is cleaned, he won't touch it. (He doesnt do electrical work etc, just odd side handyman stuff like fixing lawnmowers, helping with regular maintenance chores, cleaning gutters and so forth. Helping clean hot water heaters is a common one for him).
If it can be cleaned and isnt damaged too much by no maintenance, it may last another 6 years but we may replace earlier due to energy ratings.
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Making an assessment of "requirements" and conditions is the basis of engineering.
Making decisions on the basis of something like, "That's the way we always did it" is what Glen was driving at.
They point Rico was making is that there are alternatives available that offer advantages FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES.
Analogy: if you have six kids, a compact car is probably not appropriate, a mini-van is more feasible. If you live in snow country or haul a lot of stuff, and SUV might be the trick (think of the picture we've all seen of the compact car with a load of plywood on the roof).
Or, put another way, a .22LR is not suitable for moose, and a .300 Win Mag won't leave much meat on a rabbit. :~)
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I believe the cost of gas does matter. A basic tankless and a good, normal efficiency tank will both have a marginal efficiency of about 80%. The difference is in the initial efficiency, since the tank has the standby losses and the tankless doesn't. That is, for any usage, the tank gas water heater will roughly use the same amount of gas as the tankless would, plus a fixed amount for the standby losses.
So the natural gas savings of the tankless are basically independent of usage, and the dollar savings depend exactly upon the price of natural gas. For a given cost difference of the initial installations, the payback time for the tankless will vary inversely with the price of natural gas.
Yours, Wayne
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This subject has really gotten a lot of attention. So, I'd like to toss in my 2 cents....
I have a tankless unit and I think it is great in that there is endless hot water and it is only creating hot water when needed.
The point I'd like to make is that there are MANY household items that folks purchase that cost as much or more than tankless water heaters and those items are not scrutinized in the way of efficiency or payback. So, how does one justify paying $2,000 for a huge diagonal LCD TV? Has anyone ever seen a big yellow EnergyGuide sticker on an item like that?
Oh well, for what it's worth....
...Bob
wrote:

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My tankless was 500 with tax, 117000 btu battery ignition Bosch. Many households need no more.
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earlier you said them,any did you install?
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I installed mine, I dont follow you on " earlier I said them"
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On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 09:11:28 -0700 (PDT), ransley

In Canada, you can't touch anything related to natural gas or propane unless you are licensed gas technician. In addition, all work requires a gas permit be pulled and two signatures on the green tag for sign-off. Definitely not something you can tackle on your own, at least not legally and without voiding your homeowner's insurance policy.
Cheers, Paul
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wrote:

Dont tell anybody.
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On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 11:12:05 -0700 (PDT), ransley

You're OK recommending folks knowingly and willingly break the law, void their homeowner's insurance policy and expose themselves to third party liability damage just to save a few bucks?
Cheers, Paul
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back to tank tv tankless, if you use more hot water from longer showers etc you wouldnt save any money and may actually see costs increase:(
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Why? The marginal efficiency should be the same in both cases.
Wayne
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assuming the tank runs out of water the shower ends
the tankless runs longer, possibly indefinetely........
more water more sewer, more gas........
can be a big loser...........
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Extending your reasoning leads to the energy benefits of taking cold showers. Next up - sack cloth and self-flagellation!
What a particular person chooses to do with their money is no concern of mine. That is a personal choice and they're paying for it. What I object to is built in inefficiency which robs people of that choice and steals their money with nothing added.
R
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wrote:

Don't forget the ashes! Ashes lend a certain 'ambiance' to ascetics.

BING! BING! BING!
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I don't think that is actually true--the marginal efficiency is about the same for a tank and tankless, assuming comparable combustion technology (i.e. both 80% non-condensing). The tankless wins by eliminating the fixed standby costs which are basically independent of usage. So you could rephrase your statement as "with a tankless someone could choose to spend some of their savings on a longer shower, and still come out ahead, if it isn't too much longer."
Cheers, Wayne
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