Hot water heater recommendation....

15 year old 40 Gal NG water heater has finally decided it has had enough expanding and contracting - now leaking from underneath. Time to replace.....
Just wondering who has had the occasion to replace their gas hot water heater recently - what brand/model did you investigate and what did you ultimately install....and about what would one expect to pay (DYI install).
Looking to replace with a 40-50 gal NG, high recovery unit. Will soon have two teenagers in the house (both currently 12 3/4 going on 25 - or so they think) - expect hot water usage to increase.
Thanks in advance...
Steve
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"Steve" wrote

On a DYI install, one usually doesn't pay themselves. But tip yourself a couple hundred and enjoy!
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into hardware prices, but that is what I meant. BTW - I usually tip myself a nice cold beer when these things get completed.
--Steve
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"Steve" wrote

Heh, sorry I couldn't resist.
I just put a Bradford White 40 gal gas. I have one of those teenagers that is 13 going on 25 also. She loves to use up the water. Bradford is not available through the retail outlets as far as I know. You have to get them through a supply house, at least I did.
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Get a tankless unit like a Takagi or Rinnai.

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HeatMan wrote:

> Get a tankless unit like a Takagi or Rinnai.
Yes. It takes a BUNCH less space, but needs a larger vent.
"unlimited hot water" mostly in that it's heating the water on demand.
They're a little new in the US but FAR from new in Asia and Europe (I saw my first one here in 95 or so).
They cost more. They last longer (tho you're 15 years is pretty good). They use less energy (there's no mass of water being maintained at a certain heat).
I friend with a mountain ski cabin got 2 to replace a dead 40gal. One for the general house but a small one in the shower/big tub room that is far away from the utility closet with the heater/ and water and always needed a LONG warm up time and could run the 40gal out of hot water when a gang of people took serial showers and/or ran the big 4 person tub.
Being a ski house, the water was drained from tubs in the week.
Insta-hot rules.
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Get a Tankless , Bosch, or Takagi and start saving 25- 40 % . I did and am happy.
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I took my tank-less Bosch back to Lowes and got a 40Gal Whirlpool. The hot water presser went to zero with the tankless. Water just dribbles out of the shower one floor up. I did get the normal $350 model and they do have an $800 model, but check on your flue size. You might need a six or eight flue. Check the Bosch web page. Read about the low water flow problem.
I think the big savings in tank-less is when the hot water sits in the tank for days. If you are continually using what is in the hot water tank I think the savings really falls off.
It was amazing how similar all the water heaters look the same at Lowes, Sears, Menards, etc.
PS -- Lowes took it back without a problem. They advertise "Satisfaction Guaranteed."
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You may have gotten a bad unit, I had no change in pressure 3 floors up and no one else has spoke of that issue over the years. True the more you use it the less you save but they last up to 30 yrs and dont loose efficency as they get old , tanks do as scale builds reducing heat transfer. I removed a tank recently and it had a foot of hard scale in it. Ive been very happy with tankless and will not go back to a tank.
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Barry wrote:

Continously, sure. but people don't use 40 gallons of hot continuously in residences. Here, *we* hit it at 7-7:30 for showers and then a little bit in the evening. A little bit. Perhaps a dishwasher run.
Mostly, 50 gallons of water sits around hot waiting for the morning.
A friend with a 3 story skinny brownstone has tankless in the bottom floor with no problem. These are COMMON in japan and europe as they take up a bunch less space. And yeah, they make more exhaust in the bursts, so you usually want a bigger flue than a tank will take. Otoh, it doesn't take up 3-4' feet square like a tank does.
Do you have no water pressure? A bad install?
All that said, there's a 120 year history of using the Sun to preheat water. My solar installer was debugging a problem where a tankless wass having problems. Water went from a 10gal tank to a roof panel and circulated around all day. From the tank, water went into a "tankless" water heater. If the stored solar warmed water is 80 degrees, you don't have that 30 degrees to heat it.
The *problem* was that the water in the tank was hitting 150 degrees or more. Which is 1) too hot to use safely and 2) wasn't "expected" by the tankless which was designed and tested with cooler water coming in on the cold side.
The guy was throwing a tarp over the panel in the afternoon. The real solution they came up with was simply a bigger holding tank (20 gal) and working with the manufacturer to let them know that being able to take in hot water is a Good Thing.
I just wish I had either no walls or that the builder in my non-freeze high sun area had blown $100 for a a pair of pipes running from heater room to the roof.
Cheap in an unbuilt out, can be left capped for those that don't use. Be nice to drop that $40/month gas bill to, er, zero. (be nice if PG&E let me over-generate electricity and apply it to gas or, hmmm, cash).
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