Hot Water Heater: Gas vs. Electric

Greetings. I used Google to see if there had been any *recent* discussions of this and it appears that there hasn't.
I live in the Kansas City area and my natual gas bill level pay is $127.00. I'm betting it shoots way up once we have a REAL winter instead of the pretend winter we just had.
The wife is not too keen on our hot water heater. It was here when we moved in three years ago. She's afraid of it, frankly. For one thing, the pilot light tends to get snuffed when we run the attic fan. It 's old. It's an off brand. And in general she's just plain apprehensive of, well, US BLOWING UP for whatever reason.
We just replaced a door and several windows, as well as all of our bulbs with those nifty flourescent things, and the light bill went way down.
Either way, it's time to do something about The Hot Water Heater Issue. I'm inclined to get an electric hot water heater instead of gas. We have a 220 line nearby so the wiring wouldn't be too bad. We have 2300 square feet and four baths. Previously posts on this topic are consistent that gas should be cheaper; but is it still? What would you do?
Your thoughts. Thanks for commenting.
Godzilla
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I'd stick with gas. I don't know your local rates, but here in CT, electric is much more expensive. Gas has faster recovery, is more economical. Is that 220 line sufficient for the amp draw of the heater?
There is no accounting for irrational fears of gas though. If the pilot is blowing out due to the attic fan, you have to be sure proper air intake is provided, not the fault of the gas heater.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I'd probably go with the gas one too for the reasons Edwin outlined. Gas is still generally cheaper than electric, though the gap has narrowed in recent years. Also, some utilities have lower rates for water heaters connected on a seperate meter that run only during off peak hours.
The recovery rate can be important depending on how many users there are and gas will win out there. The only other factor worth mentioning is that electric units generally last considerably longer than gas. For gas 10-13 years is typical, electric I would say 20 is not uncommon.
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On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 12:46:44 GMT, Godzillarama

Ignoring, for the moment, the psychological issues, the sensible thing to do would be to get either your gas-provider or some other HVAC pro to come see why the existing heater isn't working properly.
If you've decide that you're abandoning gas reguardless of what makes economic sense, then the next cheapest option is oil. And it's going to STAY oil until someone builds a nuclear plant near you. Of course, oil probably will require a different flue-liner.
If, in spite of that, you still decide to go electric, the existance of another 240V circut near where the heater is isn't going to help, the WH is going to want it's own dedicated line.
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Godzillarama wrote:

You would have to do your homework to know whether gas is cheaper in your area.
Tank style electric water heaters have poor recovery capability. So you would need a huge one to supply four baths.
I would correct the air supply issue and stay with gas.
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While your replacing the water heater, be sure to put in an overflow pan & pipe. I'm not a big fan of having water in the attic where it won't be checked on. TB
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Gas will be far less expensive to operate, and with better recovery too.
I suggest replacing the tank there are new style super high efficency 90 plus models available although the cost just over a grand,
pelonis is i believe one model
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have you properly insulated the house, insulation pays back forever, and reuires no maintenance.
this can save you big bucks on your gas bill
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Yes.
A month ago, I replaced my 14-year-old GAS water heater with another gas unit. Even if gas rates do eventually overtake electricity, I want gas for its MUCH faster recovery rate.
Prior to this home, I used an electric water heater for 13-years. There is NO comparison in recovery rate. I'll take gas any day.
--
:)
JR

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