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

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Donna,
I just attach a short section of garden hose and then open the bottom drain for a minute or so every few months to keep the sediment to a minimum in my gas HWH tank. I am fortunate enough to have a floor drain there in my basement so this is fairly easy to do.
Also, if you can find a tank with the exact same dimension (Height x Width) and that has the gas inlet, exhaust flue, cold water inlet, and hot water outlet all located in exactly the same position/heights (or as near as possible), then it makes the installation much simpler.
I also agree with the suggestion of installing the fiberglass "blanket" insulation regardless of which model you choose to make it as efficient as possible.
Good luck!
Bob
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On Mon, 11 Feb 2008 08:47:41 -0600, Bob Shuman wrote:

We *should* have done that but never did. This article says almost nobody drains their tanks nowadays: http://hkentcraig.com/2WHarticle.html So, I don't feel too badly.
Also, Home Depot GE salespeople on the phone tried really hard to sell me the patented little fan that stirs up the sediments.
It would be nice to find an article that scientifically looks to see if those sediment stirrers really worked or not.
Consumer Reports was a total disapointment as they told me to buy based on warranty - which is a marketeer's dream. I'm surprised at Consumer Reports, but, the older (and wiser) I get, the more I realize they don't know what they're doing. Sigh.
Dan Rather, and now Consumer Reports. Another trusted icon bites the dust!
All I have left is you!
Donna
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It depends on your usage. EF assumes typical usage patterns, whatever that is.
If your usage is above typical, go for the better burner. If your usage is below typical, go for the better insulation.
EF is not the holy grail, unless you actually know for a fact that your usage patterns mirror those assumed in the EF calculation.
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On Mon, 11 Feb 2008 14:44:50 GMT, Malcolm Hoar wrote:

True but ... you can CALCUATE your personal situation (I'm doing it now).
READ THIS document (it's a MUST HAVE for water-heater calculations)! http://tinyurl.com/38eh4d (long url) http://www.gamanet.org/gama/inforesources.nsf/vAttachmentLau nch/C2AAFB8D41D003F485256E9000607F66/$FILE/12-07-gas-rwh.pdf
You'll also need your current costs per therm, e.g., read this (for me): http://www.pge.com/tariffs Specifically, these prices of approx $1.33/therm for gas-fired residential water heaters in the local area: http://www.pge.com/tariffs/pdf/G-1.pdf
Armed with those two documents and the FHR & EF ratings for your prospective water heaters, you can do all the calculations you need to apply to your specific situation.
I just wish there were a freeware water-heater calculator out there to make this easier on all of us!
Donna Note that it might not matter much as all water heaters are basically the same according to this article (http://hkentcraig.com/2WHarticle.html ).
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On Mon, 11 Feb 2008 18:04:46 GMT, Franklin wrote:

Hi Franklin,
Thanks for asking for help. I did some research just for you and I think the closest I can find to help you in a freeware section (since you are so well known from the freeware side) is the GAMA Association of Applicance Manufacturers web site - open and available to all. http://www.gamanet.org
At that site, they provide links for both supplier and consumer bill-of-material and inventory calculators, mostly for suppliers who wish to design and deliver inventory to commercial and consumer.
For example, here's their section on product certification: http://www.gamanet.org/gama/inforesources.nsf/vAllDocs/Product+Directories?OpenDocument
Here is their section on government affairs: http://www.gamanet.org/gama/govtaffairspublic.nsf/vAllDocs/Current+Issues?OpenDocument
And, Franklin, here is their section on public information: http://www.gamanet.org/gama/stats.nsf/vAllDocs/Public+Information?OpenDocument
I've run a few more searches for you and this is the best they have that I can find to help you but I will try to see if I can write a PERL program that does the FHV and ER calculations I need.
You can rest assured Franklin that I will post the results (if successful and meaningful) back to the group but first, I'm asking the experts who know much more than I do about the implications of the FHR and EF ratings because I want the program to be correct. Don't you think that prudent?
As you know, I always help everyone I can and I always give back more than ask for, and I summarize in the end so a newbie starts off where we left ... so, you can rest assured, at least on the water heater topic, that I will provide full telephone numbers, part numbers, product specifications, prices installed, gotchas (like mandatory replacement of flex pipes and $77 plumber's inspection fees) and the like.
What else do you need Franklin?
Donna
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Hello Donna, thank you for the information but I feel you have got the wrong end of the stick. Oh dear, how silly of you. BOMP parts and contact numbers can only be obtained for existing suppliers. I am referring to the design of a complete new system. For that I was wondering if you knew of a suitable CAD-CAM freeware application.
Or perhaps one of your friends in the groups you post your detailed and painstaking posts might know? After all I think Bill would be pleased to see the spirit of self-survival at work in the modern age if we were all to design our own hot water systems. We could choose the amount of certain types of metal to match our individual eco-preferences.
For instance, you probably like one metal but I like another. I think it's all to do with our different respective star signs because they are associated with different substances for jewels. And so, logic dictates the answer that it must be the same for metals. You would design a hot water system which minimized one metal and maximized another. I would do so with different metals. Of course we would extend this to control equipment and also to distribution equipment (I think Bill calls these "pipes").
Oh Donna, you're such a great help. Our project is more assured of success with such skills to hand. Can you let me have a link to a freeware app which can do this. I mentioned my other requirements earlier about linking in to BOMP and inventory. For now, accounts receivable will have to wait as we are not apying anyone until we have completed our first design. How's your own design coming on? You certainly have amassed a lot of information about water heating and I am sure we can assist anyone who is new at this.
For the same reason I do not think we should restrict ourselves only to gas water heaters. Eco-friendliness must permit all fuels. I think we will soon have a true winner on our hands.
Please let me know what freeare CADCAM you are using. My keyboard is poised! Let's get started.
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:) Whoooshhh!
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On Mon 11 Feb 2008 18:30:38, Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator

Hello Donna
Are you able to help me with my freeware question I posted in reply to the same message of yours?
See <
Thank you for your help. This will be a great project for us all and we will help lots of other people too.
Franklin
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On Tue, 26 Feb 2008 22:30:09 GMT, Franklin wrote:

Franklin is an idiot.
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I think rather that his attempt at sarcasm was pretty weak. If that makes him an idiot, so be it.
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I finally found out WHY only a cup of water leaks out if you decide to remove the drain valve from a hot water heater in order to replace the nylon valve with a brass ball valve.
This recent OSH article explains the proper procedure to create a vacuum such that only a cup (and not all 50 gallons) of hot water leak out when you remove the drain valve at the bottom of the hot water heater tank. http://www.osh.com/Cultures/en-US/Articles/HeatingCoolingInsulationVentiliation/ResidentialWaterHeater.htm
Specifically, the article says " When replacing a water heater drain valve, turn the gas control to the "Pilot" setting or, if the water heater is electric, turn the power off. Connect a garden hose to the existing drain valve and drain the water to a safe location until the water is warm. If the valve is inoperable, you should run hot water through a large tap, such as a tub spout, until the running water is at a warm not hot temperature. Allowing the water to cool to a warm temperature will minimize the chances of you getting scalded, when you replace the drain valve.
It is not necessary to drain the water heater to replace the drain valve, as long as the pressure is off. To temporarily disable pressure close the shut-off valve on the cold line and open one hot water faucet. Water will run for a while and then stop. Once water has stopped, close the faucet to prevent air from entering the system. Warn others not to use the water supply, while you are replacing the valve, otherwise you may get drenched.
Expect some water to leak from the tank, when you replace the valve (maybe a cup or so). When the job is completed close the hot water faucet you opened and open the shut-off valve on the water heater cold line.
A good choice for a replacement valve is a 3/4-inch ball valve. You will find ball valves, plastic-lined steel nipples (if one is needed) and adapters to go from 3/4-inch pipe thread to hose thread (which is needed to be able to attach a garden hose to the ball valve for flushing and draining) in OSH's plumbing department."
Donna
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On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 21:49:53 -0700, Rick Blaine wrote:

Actually, since my cost per therm is far from the average used for those stickers, the sticker numbers are innacurate in my situation.
The sticker numbers might work to roughly compare two models in performance but they don't work to calculate the true payback period for two models.
For that, the math I've posted today should be sufficient (assuming the calculations hold water under scrutiny of this esteemed group).
Donna
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It's really easy to take the cost shown on the sticker and extrapolate the actual cost in your area. Cost per year on sticker/cost per therm on sticker = X/Your cost per therm, solve for X.
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On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 08:13:09 GMT, James Sweet wrote:

Hi James, You're right.
I guess what I meant was I can "solve for X" without looking at the sticker. I can call Sears, Home Depot, or Lowes and just ask for FHR & ER and, from that (and my known cost/therm), I can compare two heaters side by side:
CHOICE A: 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
But, you are right. If I were in the store, I could basically double the annual operating costs shown and I'd be in the ballpark.
Thanks! We learned a lot in this thread, didn't we!
Donna
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On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 08:13:09 GMT, James Sweet wrote:

Hi James, In running your calculations, I realized the EF is NOT shown on the energy sticker! But, it can be derived. Is my match below correct?
Given an EnergyGuide sticker that says: "This Model Uses 240 therms/year".
I think we can calculate the ER. Does this calculation look right to you?
240 therms/year * 1 year/41,045,000 btu * 100,000 btu/1 therm = .58
The part of the math that escapes me is why this calculation uses 1,000 times the BTUs per year than the previous calculations. Any idea?
Donna
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On Feb 13, 12:46 am, "Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator"

Why do you use 41,045 BTU in one calculation when you have the EF in hand and 41,045,000 BTU in the reverse calculation when you're trying to determine the EF?
What is this "magic" number 41.045 anyway?
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On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 11:28:41 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'm guessing it's the number of BTUs used in a day for the average household.
(41,045 btu/0.63)($1.21106/therm * 1 therm/100,000 btu) x 365 = $288/year
If my assumption is correct, you can better estimate YOUR usage simply by using the number of BTUs you normally use in a day.
Does that work out?
That is, do most people use up about 41,045 BTUs a day on their water heater?
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The labels show the estimated annual energy usage AND the estimated annual cost, based on an average cost of fuel. Take the energy usage and multiply by your own fuel cost assumptions.

I doubt that your calculations are "true" - in the way that you initially didn't account for the time value of money, I didn't see that you took into account the changing cost of fuel. What is today a $25.00 annual saving could be a $50.00, $75.00, $100.00 (make your own assumptions) annual saving a year or three down the line. Nor did you account for general inflation, or even the normal tendency for people's income to rise over time - today's annual payback might mean an hour or two of work a year, but assuming constant fuel costs, it'll probably be less work time a year or two down the line.
You can estimate payback periods only by making a cat's cradle of assumptions.
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Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator wrote:

Earthquake straps? In the Bronx? What a rip-off. I haven't been able to find an earthquake in that area larger than a 2.6 (roughly equivalent to closing a drawer). You have to get to 4.0 before there's any damage that's even noticable. (The WTC collapse registered 2.3.)
$50 permit? Call city hall and see if a permit is required.
As for charging you to haul the old one off, forget it. Just put the defunct heater on the curb and the urban faries will scoop it up during the night (they sell them to scrap metal places or make hinges for the doors on their little Leprechaun houses, I forget which.).

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On Sun, 10 Feb 2008 21:30:43 -0600, HeyBub wrote:

I called this morning and the town said I need a PLUMBING permit because it's a gas heater. I forgot to ask the price but the installer will handle that for me (and charge me).
I just hope there isn't the 8.5% sales tax charged on top of the permit costs!
As Will Rogers said, thank God we don't get as much government as we pay for!
Donna
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