OT: Replacement water heater for home (NSOT??)

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cross-posted: rec.food.cooking & alt.home.repair
Argh!! The ancient and antique, 30-something-year-old natural-gas water heater (40-gallon, short) in my home went kaput yesterday (figures it'd happen on a Friday!!) because the gas-line was disconnected, then reconnected, due to obligatory construction by the power company. For the past 1.5 years, I have anticipated the need for a new water heater :( Besides, money spent to repair this ancient unit will be far better applied to the purchase of a new and more energy efficient one!!!
Anywho, it'd be a great help to me if folks would share any "anecdotal" <VBG!> stories about their water heater replacement experiences. The online Consumer Reports (via local library) website is worthless today, just as it was in August 2014 when I checked that resource then - no brand comparisons, reliability ratings, no specifications, mostly nothing!
Knock on wood, the less money spent (for the value) is desired. However, selling points to potential home buyers some time in the future is a high point of consideration for the new water heater. Will consider 50-gallon unit except space might be an issue.
In the meantime, I'll wash and rinse dishes with basins full of water heated by the MW.
TIA, Sky
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Sky wrote:

If considering a larger water heater be aware that you might have to upgrade your electric box. I've seen that happen with a friend.

What fun. Cold showers too? A cold shower at 5am will definitely wake you up and get you moving! :-D
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Do you not like combi boilers? You don't need to heat up a huge tank of water.
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On Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 10:37:24 AM UTC-4, Ophelia wrote:

Good way to turn an $800 project into a $5K one. The cost of maintaining the tank of hot water with NG isn't much.
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Ophelia wrote:

What you describe sounds like the "hot water on demand" things like Sheldon has. I don't have them here. I have 2 giant water heaters in the basement right underneath my apartment. They supply hot water to 24 apartments in my building. They work well too... the only time I ran out of hot water was during one hurricane that took out power for 3 days. Gas water heaters but they don't run without electricity.
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On 6/4/2016 11:09 AM, Gary wrote:

We were without electricity for 11 days ... one saving grace was we had hot water. Gas. Not sure why yours didn't work.
nancy
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Nancy Young wrote:

My guess would be that you had pilot lights. The newer water heaters here are gas but electronic ignition so they don't work without power. My gas furnace is the same. My old stove does have pilot lights and I can use that even when the power goes out.
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On 6/4/2016 12:02 PM, Gary wrote:

I didn't have heat, but my newer water heater must have a pilot light as it stayed on. I haven't had an older water heater since we moved here some 30 years ago. Several new ones. Went through a couple of cheap ones earlier, not worth the money you save.
nancy
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On Sat, 4 Jun 2016 12:46:02 -0400, Nancy Young

With no electric your water would not operate, for one its thermostat wouldn't function. Unless it's a pot on the stove bo water heater operates with no electric, with no electric its thermostat shuts down so it stops heating water, even a gas fired water heater will not operate with mo electric.
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On 6/4/2016 10:03 PM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

Where I live (NY state, USA) most of the gas water heaters have no connection to the 110 VAC power. Most use a thermocouple to the gas valve.
I've only seen two or three gas WH in my life, which need 110 VAC power. Those were the power vented ones.
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On Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 10:21:56 PM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

+1
That's still the most common type. It's what I have. During Sandy I had no power for a week, but plenty of hot water.

Right, either power vent, or tankless use AC. I think there are some tankless that don't require AC though. There are probably some conventional type tank that now use AC instead of a pilot light for ignition too.
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On 6/5/2016 1:42 PM, trader_4 wrote:

You are better off than many. Some folks on this list had gold and silver coins, but no food or hot water.
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wrote:

I had a gas floor furnace years ago that worked fine without an external power supply. Older gas/propne water heaters also worked without an external power supply. They didn't have fans for the exhaust gases. A brief explanation here: <http://www.ehow.com/info_12199012_thermopile-vs-thermocouple-fireplace.html
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On Sat, 04 Jun 2016 22:03:19 -0400, Brooklyn1

Most will. Most use a thermopile to run the thermostatic controls. Only the forced exhaust type typically require outside power - some of them have electric ignition too - but certainly not all. Without the forced draft the gas cannot come on on the forced draft units.
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On 6/4/2016 10:03 PM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

Would have been pretty stinky around here if no hot showers.
nancy
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On 6/4/2016 10:03 PM, Brooklyn1 wrote:

The last long power failure we had in NJ (5 or 6 days, wintertime), we had plenty of hot water available from our gas water heater.
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S Viemeister wrote:

I have gas heat, hot water, and stove. I've never lost gas but during a power outage, my gas furnace won't work (needs a fan to blow the forced air) and it shuts down without electricity. Same thing for my gas hot water heater. Without electricity, it shuts down. Gas stove is the only thing I can use during a power outage.
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S Viemeister wrote:

I have gas heat, hot water, and stove. I've never lost gas but during a power outage, my gas furnace won't work (needs a fan to blow the forced air) and it shuts down without electricity. Same thing for my gas hot water heater. Without electricity, it shuts down. Gas stove is the only thing I can use during a power outage.
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Same here.
Cheri
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wrote:

My natural gas generator will run my natural gas furnace or my electric stove when the power goes out. My natural gas water heater will work without electrical power input. If I need the FULL output of my generator I need to run it on Propane or Gasoline - then I can run the stove and the furnace and most of the lights at the same time.
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