Quick basic advice on a dripping gas 40-gal hot-water heater

Page 4 of 16  
On Feb 10, 9:38pm, "Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator"

Donna:
Get a heater with the same gallons as you currently have, and as high an efficiency rating as possible, go for at least a 5-year warranty. Get a unit that is exactly the same outside dimensions so the piping does not have to be changed and find a reasonably handy neighbor to put the new tank in. It should take less than 30 minutes to do the entire switch-out if the old and new tanks are the exact same size. Compare prices on a cost per year of warranty coverage, I have seen a lot of heaters that go bad within a year or so of the expiration of the warranty, so cost per year of coverage is a good comparison criteria. If you have the room, adding a fibre-glass water heater cover over the new tank will improve the heat loss and thus raise the efficiency. Don't obcess(SP?) about this, it isn't worth the time and effort.
H. R.(Bob) Hofmann
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 21:20:35 -0700, Rick Blaine wrote:

It turns out Rick is right.
The size of the home water heater (e.g., 40 gallons, 50 gallons, etc.) is nearly meaningless, as is the warranty period.
The only way the tank size plays any role in the selection process for purely physical reasons. Why? Because both the EF and the FHR already take into account the size of the holding tank so there is no need to even bother to look at tank size (other than for purely physical reasons).
Likewise, the warranty is always less than the average lifetime of a home water heater, which, at 13 years, is vastly greater than the 1-year labor warrantees all the heaters I looked at (from Sears, Lowes, and Home Depot) provided. (Note: The 12yr/9yr/6yr/etc. warranty figures often quoted by Sears/Lowes/HomeDepot are for PARTS! Not labor).
Thanks everyone for enlightening me ... If I didn't know better, I'd buy by the size of the tank and the warranty but now I know they are meaningless figures. The manufacturer WANTS you to look there but in reality, the truthy lies in the FHV, EF, and cost/therm.
I didn't realize you guys knew so much about home water heaters ... but I'm glad you do. In only two days, I was able to take my knowledge level, with your help, from absolutely nothing to being able make basic lifetime cost comparisons given any two home heaters.
Thanks!
Donna
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A quick comment on warranty period and the AVERAGE home gas water heater life.
The AVERAGE is exactly that: an average or mean calculation of the life for all units shipped/sold. The real life span is affected by many things, including the water quality/hardness (it consumes the anode quicker), the temperature setting you select (hotter means it builds more internal pressure and you get a shorter life) and the amount of hot water that you use (more cycles of the burner mean a shorter life).
I am on my third gas HWH and purchased the house new in 1991. The first heater lasted about 7 years and the second 6.5 years. I had a 7-year warranty on the tank from Sears and they gave me a replacement free of charge which has been in now for over 5 years. I believe that I will get a longer life this time around since two of my children are no longer living at home.
The bottom line here is that the warranty period may be important depending on your circumstances. It is basically a cheap insurance policy that covers only the cost of a replacement heater. For me, that was important since I do the installation myself, but for someone hiring a plumber, the material cost could easily be less than the labor and associated miscellaneous expenses (permits).
Good luck in whatever you choose.
Bob
message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
FOR ME I bought a 50 gallon tank since it was the largest that would fit, with a high output burner to minimize running out of hot water, the warranty is on high output tanks is 7 years. could of got a 12 year tank but I prefered more hot water over longer warranty which is generally pro rated anyway and replacement usually based on list price rather than sale price.
sometimes a tank on sale is cheaper than the same tank warranty replaced.
minor $$$ savings are just that minor, like some fret buying a new tank, to me its a low enough cost, like one candy bar a week who cares,
bottom line i just want lots of nice hot water. costs are way below in priority
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 08:34:00 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Just to be clear, my research indicates ALL warranties (at least all those from Sears, Home Depot, and Lowes) are really only 1 year labor.
I don't know about you, but, it's not likely I'll be disconnecting my water heater and bringing it to the manufacturer after that one year is up.
May I ask a "real" question?
Given installation is about the same price as the home water heater itself, what do you get for that vaunted 12 year warranty after the first year?
Sure, they'll replace it for free ... but it costs as much to replace as it did to buy so ... tell me please (I'm not being fascesious) ...
WHAT does the warranty *really* buy you after the first year is up?
Donna
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
message wrote:

Well if I understand this right, when you buy the heater you pay for the heater, plus you pay for the installation. For a warranty replacement you pay for the installation, does that not save you the cost of the heater?
My line of thought is that a unit with a longer warranty is likely built better, with better quality components, and thus likely to last longer. Whether this is universally true I can't say, however last time I looked at them, the 12 year warranty heaters did have a nicer fit & finish than the 6 year models, and the price difference was very small. I'll replace it myself if it ever fails, and I'm sure it will outlast the warranty with the soft water we have here, but if it's a higher quality unit I'm willing to pay for that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I read the article you referenced at http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/WHRpages/English/Longevity/water-heater-preventive-maintenance.html
It doesn't say WHERE the 41,045 BTU number cames from.
What is this "magic" number of 41,045 BTU?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wrong reference.
http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/images/DayAndNight3.jpg
The right reference is http://www.gamanet.org/gama/inforesources.nsf/vContentEntries/Product+Directories?OpenDocument
The document that has that calculation is http://www.gamanet.org/gama/inforesources.nsf/vAttachmentLaunch/C2AAFB8D41D003F485256E9000607F66 /$FILE/12-07-gas-rwh.pdf
But it still doesn't say where the "magic" 41,045 BTU comes from.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 11:53:00 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 11:53:00 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Whatever magic it is, googling for 41045 BTU gets *lots* of related PDFs!
Residential ACM Manual: Water Heating Calculation Method, page 8 http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2005standards/residential_acm/2005_RES_ACM_APP_RG.PDF The standard energy in the hot water delivered, 41,045 Btu/day.
Comments on Energy Star Ratings of Home Water Heaters, Page 5 http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/prod_development/new_specs/downloads/water_heaters/controlled_energy_corp.pdf Using the formula: 41,045 Btu/EF($/Btu)*365
ENERGY STAR Residential Water Heaters: Analysis, page 10 http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/prod_development/new_specs/downloads/water_heaters/WaterHeaterSecondDraftCriteriaAnalysis.pdf Energy consumption estimated using the DOE test procedure. Based on the following formula: (41,045 BTU/EF x 365)/100,000
LIFE CYCLE COSTS AND SAVINGS FOR WATER HEATING SYSTEMS, page 3 http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/ush2o/pdfs/life_cycle_costs_info_sheet.pdf The annual delivered energy is 14.98 MMBtu (41045 Btu/day).
OPERATING GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS FOR WATER HEATING SYSTEMS, page 32 http://www.solar-rating.org/standards/ogdocuments/OG300SEP02.pdf Total Energy Draw 43.302 MJ (41,045 Btu)
Consumers Directory of Home Water Heater Ratings, page http://www.gamanet.org/gama/inforesources.nsf/vAttachmentLaunch/BA8B7EB0CFA8AFEF85256E9000609F9A /$FILE/12-07-oil-rwh.pdf Using the formula: 41045 Btu/EF($/Btu)*365
Calculating water heater costs for meaningful comparisons http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/W/AE_water_heater_cost.html You need to know the unit cost of fuel 365 41045/EF fuel cost (BTU) = estimated annual cost of operation 365 0.4105/EF fuel cost (therm) = estimated annual cost of operation
Review of hot water heaters http://www.consumersearch.com/www/house_and_home/water-heaters/review.html 365 X 41045/EF X Fuel Cost (BTU) = estimated annual cost of operation 365 X 0.4105/EF X Fuel Cost (therm) = estimated annual cost of operation
On-demand water heaters, page 8 http://www.naffainc.com/PDF-Files/on%20demand%20water%20heater.pdf .41045 x cost per therm of gas x 365 / EF = yearly cost to operate
etc.
I would guess any engineer should be able to tell us what this 41,045 magic number really is.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 16 Feb 2008 22:57:32 GMT, Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator wrote:

I'm surprised a chemist or engineer isn't on this group.
I think this is the fundamental answer!
page 11, Water Heating Calculations http://www.green-trust.org/2000/solar/solar.pdf 43,302 kJ/day is 41,045 Btu/day is the energy delivered to the hot water load per day
And, this one says most plumbers don't understand the efficiency factor for home water heaters
Residential Gas Water Heating: Program Design & Specification Considerations, page 6 http://www.cee1.org/cee/mtg/09-07ppt/Tuesday/6%20Residential%20%20Gas%20water%20heating.ppt Annual Savings (Therms/year) is based on the DOE Test Procedure: (41,045 Btu/EF*365)/100,000
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat 16 Feb 2008 23:08:42, Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator

Boing!! Payoff.
You tell 'em Donna. Show them you knew the answer all along.
Poor " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com" and others like him now don't know what's hit them.
Nothing like reeling in a very long fishing line that you've carefully laid out. Good one!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 16, 5:57�pm, "Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator"

maybe its a test standard somehow.
i have seen tanks under 30,000 BTU
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 11:17:11 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I think it's the assumed amount of BTUs an "average" household uses in a day.
I'm sure there are math majors out there in the crowd who could tell us if that assumption is true given the formulas previously provided.
Sears 33154 (marketed as Kenmore but made by AO Smith) FHR EF=0.63 (41,045 btu/0.63)($1.21106/therm * 1 therm/100,000 btu) x 365 = $288/year
CHOICE B: Home Depot 183-717 (marketed as GE but made by Rheem) FHR EF=0.58 (41,045 btu/0.58)($1.21106/therm * 1 therm/100,000 btu) x 365 = $313/year
Are any mathematicians out there who can tell us the units on the 41,045?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you do self installation, like most of the audience on your target newsgroups, then the warranty means a big deal. If you pay someone to install, then it may not be as important, especially if the design, materials, and construction quality is identical.
Bob
message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
having only 1 heater leak before the warranty ran out, and as far as i know its still a pro rata warranty....
number of installed months, vs number of warranteed months, gives a percentage, thats then applied to a brand new similiar heater at full list price
on that one heater the sale price was less than the pro rata price, kinda mad i bought my new one somewhere else........
warrantys are sales tools, they rarely help the purchaser much. wheres your original invoice? company like sears might no longer be in business in 8 years.........
just look at all the retailers who have goine out of business over the years.....
a warranty from builders square or hechinger isnt worth the paper its written on........
the BTU # is from the manufacturer, they vary from under 30,000 BTU to 75,000 BTU on my current tank.
higher btus cost more to build, better stronger burner and heavier tank to take the added heat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can't say that I know what the 41,045 BTU is in the calculation but it can't be different for different gas burners because it's the same number no matter what gas heater you use.
So it must be some kind of other "magic" number.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You keep all of that stuff, and not just in case you ever need to invoke the warranty - you keep it for tax or insurance purposes.
You keep this stuff in a file folder in a drawer - it takes a few second to put it there when you buy something new. Or in the case of something like a water heater, you put it in a plastic bag and tape it to the appliance.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my case, it was not pro-rated. I was given a new gas HWH by Sears to replace the one that developed the small leak within the 7-year tank rust out warranty period. I did need to bring them the old tank though, which was not an issue.
Bob

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 19:33:41 GMT, Bob Shuman wrote:

I've learned that I agree with you. The warranty is for the fire-and-forget type of homeowner. The one who doesn't flush twice yearly, who doesn't add the second anode, who doesn't replace the anode after a few years, who doesn't add the ball valve, etc.
Even then, the owner with the warranty has to bring the soaking wet heater in the back of their car in to the manufacturer after their 1-year is up on their supposed 12-year warranty - or else pay as much for the plumber to visit ($400) as the heater cost in the first place ($400) to obtain the 'free' heater.
Some deal, that 12-year warranty!
Or am I reading it wrong?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator wrote:

You're pretty much right, although you still might find that within a particular model line there are some quality/efficiency/construction differences between the 6-year and 12-year models. you'll have to evaluate those on a case by case basis though.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.