Good Water Heater Brands

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It's time to replace our aging AO Smith 52-gallon electric water heater. Home Depot offers GE water heaters...6, 9, and a 12 year warranty. The 12 year warranty is $385.00 + installation by a plumber for an extra $385.00. Is GE a decent, reliable brand, or should I look elsewhere?
Thanks! Scott
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they are all about the same, weith just 2 or 3 companies making them.
why not DIY install to save half the price?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

yeah, I might think twice about gas, but an electric, there isn't a whole lot to go wrong there.
nate
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wrote:

Not much can go wrong with a gas one either but if it's real old he might need a plumber to bring it up to code. Also, getting the old one out and the new one in can be quite a challenge.
I think I'd just refer that job to a plumber! But it's not cheap. Get a couple of bids at least.
Olddog
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Scott wrote:

The trend is for tankless on demand water heaters. Why have a water heater run when you are not using water? You will save money and energy.
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Long time before you save any money. You need a hefty electric service for them. Most need 100A to 120A just for the heater so you need 200A service in the house.
Examples here http://www.tanklesswaterheatersdirect.com/shop/tanklesswaterheaters/tankless-water-heaters-sortelectric.asp
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Homes/On-Demand-Water-Heater.aspx?page=2 Although on-demand heaters are more expensive to buy and install, they're a good investment if you consider fuel costs over time. Accounting for installation cost and energy use, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy determined that total cost for on-demand water heaters is less than for standard water heaters over a 13-year period. And tankless heaters generally have a life expectancy of 20 years, versus 13 years for a tank heater. You can expect to pay $360 to $1,800 (plus installation) for a new on-demand unit.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

http://www.tanklesswaterheatersdirect.com/shop/tanklesswaterheaters/tankless-water-heaters-sortelectric.asp
They make oil fired tankless demand water heaters that will give you endless hot water and are about $1500 and require no special electrical.
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but may require a dedicated vent?
a couple years back that was the case for gas fired ones.. and it's common for both furnace and water heater to share a vent..
wrote in message news:-

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But you need oil lines if they are point of use.
I have oil heat and I'm going with an indirect fired tank. It will be installed in about two weeks.
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Claude Hopper wrote:

Those are not without faults. I considered installing one in my house, gas is pretty much required, electric tankless are available but they use an enormous circuit. Either way, the installation can be considerable expense and effort, I would consider installing one in a new house, but I don't think I'd attempt retrofit into an older house. Either way I strongly suggest trying one before biting the bullet and buying one.
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I think you will have a hard time substantiating that. Tankless heaters pop up here about every 6 months when someone thinks they've discovered this amazing new energy saving concept. I wonder if these are the same people that drive hybrids? You can google groups on tankless and find out the real facts.
In short, tankless heaters make financial sense in a very few limited residential situations: They cost more to install and more to maintain. Since it takes the same amount of energy to heat the water and the line loss is the same, the only savings from tankless heaters comes from storage loss. For most of the country, where the water heater is inside the thermal boundary of the house, that heat is only lost during the summer.
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Robert Neville wrote:

The small ones only take 30 amps and cost $150 each. One under the kitchen sink and one under the bath does it for me. With a 50 degree rise at half a gallon a minute makes 40 degree water 90 degrees. Now if you pre-heat the water and store that with solar or an electric tank set for 70 degrees (which would be very efficient) that would give you 120 degree water. Mine is off my heating boiler and I have the coil mixer almost turned off so the water is only 70 degrees coming out so I get 120 degree water. The boiler almost never starts since the hot water usage is low. The high energy of the tankless heater only draws power while you are actually using the water. I find in the summer that the demand heaters are adequate since the celler water is 50 to 60 degrees. If you don't want to save 100 kilowatts a month never mind.
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I agree - but there is a significant difference between a point of use tankless and a whole house tankless setup. Even with POU, you are talking $150 plus a 30A circuit for each install. That's not a standard bathroom circuit and that's on top of the cost of a standard water heater.
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100 kW is about $216 a year here. The boiler is still using some energy to heat the water to 70. A 1 gpm is not so good for taking a shower so a larger unit is needed there. Then you must wire to each unit and be able to have sufficient power in case they all hit at the same time. Still a pretty long payback. A new install would be far more cost effective compared to a retrofit.
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Claude Hopper wrote:

Hi, Is the tankless pretty reliable(comparable to gas heater with tank)? And can it really supply constant hot water, say filling a Jacuzzi tub?
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current gas tankless have lots of high tech controls, that require pro maintence. older tankless with pilot lights were lower tech, and probably less likely to need service but less efficent.
to fill a jacuzzi tub you must have a large enough tankless that takes into account winters colder incoming water temperature, large incoming gas line, max flow necessary with all hot fixtures on, like jacuzzi, dishwasher, and washing machine all on together, might need a new meter, and shop carefully many gas tankless require line voltage to operate, that means a power failure means no hot hot water AT ALL.:(
plus at low flows you may not get any hot water at all, like a valve cracked open just a little
ELECTRIC TANKLESS arent very practical, cause they require a 200 amp service entrance JUST to heat water, and in bad situations perhaps 400 amps just for water heating. plus a normal 200 amps for regular homes power requirements.
there are hybrid super high efficency tanks with burners in the center of the water, but so far I havent met anyone who has spent the big bucks, hopefully as production increases their price will drop.
you have to watch payback period, just like hybrid cars if the super efficency costs thousands more the perspective purchase must last long enough to get at least some pay back.
soon water heaters will start being imported from china and india, costs will drop a lot.. oof course more americans will be unemployeed.... but I guess thats how america is these days:(
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The small ones only take 30 amps and cost $150 each. One under the kitchen sink and one under the bath does it for me. With a 50 degree rise at half a gallon a minute makes 40 degree water 90 degrees. Now if you pre-heat the water and store that with solar or an electric tank set for 70 degrees (which would be very efficient) that would give you 120 degree water. Mine is off my heating boiler and I have the coil mixer almost turned off so the water is only 70 degrees coming out so I get 120 degree water. The boiler almost never starts since the hot water usage is low. The high energy of the tankless heater only draws power while you are actually using the water. I find in the summer that the demand heaters are adequate since the celler water is 50 to 60 degrees. If you don't want to save 100 kilowatts a month never mind.
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On Thu, 11 Dec 2008 09:13:32 -0500, Claude Hopper

Ok, so you buy your $150 tankless heaters that warm water up to 90 degrees. What are you going to do with that? Washing your hands is about all that water is good for. 120 degrees is recommended for most water heaters and below that can start causing smells and bacteria to grow in your tank. Water heaters are designed with a 90 degree temperature rise so you take 50 degree incoming water and raise it to 140. A 50 gal gas will give you about 65 gal recov the 1st hour and almost 90 after that. I'll stick with the conventional heaters for now. Bubba
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On 12/11/08 10:30 am Bubba wrote:

But now they warn against setting the temp. above 120 degrees F because of the danger of burns/scalds.
A 50 gal gas will give you about 65 gal recov the 1st hour and

Me too.
Perce
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wrote:

yes, I believe now the trend is to require tempering valves at every point of use (to protect you from yourself.) Me, I just set the WH to 130F and remember not to stick my hand under a faucet when pure hot water is coming out. Works for me and never a cold shower at my house. Have to figure out how to adjust the WH in the garage though as the installer would not set the thermostat for me (and it's electric so it's hidden somewhere. I have literally never used that shower though so it is not such a big issue.)
nate
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