Replacing a hot water heater. Efficiency?

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Hello,
I need to replace a hot water heater whose tank has cracked. Any recommendations? I'm leaning towards just a straight replacement, with a good energy rating. However, I've seen some articles on retrofit recirculating systems, as well as "on-demand" hot water, and would like to hear if anyone has any strong opinions. I'm willing to pay for an efficient system provided it breaks even cost-wise over say 5 years. Thanks. JP
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Jay Pique wrote:

Gas or electric? Size of the family? Here in Douglas County, WA., where electric power is about 1.2 cents per KW hour, I would do a straight replacement in my household with the most efficient 60 gallon electric heater I could find.
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Huh?! Is that 1.2 or .12 ???
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Al Bundy wrote:
1 point 2 cents. Douglas County has the cheapest electrical rates in the nation. Only a fool uses natural gas for appliances around here.
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Dave
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That's about as close to free as it can get. Just curious Dave, what is the primary reason?
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Al Bundy wrote:

Grand Coulee dam?
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wrote in news:h7S_g.49$vT7.25

OK, where is Douglas County???? In Houston after deregulation we enjoy about 14 cents per kilowatt hour if you switch often to the cheaper provider. 10 years ago I averaged 5 cents per kilowatt hour.
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Dave Bugg wrote:

I suggest you check at: http://www.douglaselectric.com/billestimator.php
and tell us what the cost per kWh is.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

Huh? Douglas Electric has nothing to do with Douglas County, WA. It ain't our electricity provider.
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Dave
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It's one of the PUD's right?
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Dave Bugg wrote:

Sorry about that. Forgot that Oregon had a Douglas County.
I see that Douglas County PUD (your electric provider) signed a recent agreement to provide electricity for an industrial contract at 1.8 cents per kWh. Industrial power usually sells at way below residential rates.
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Al Bundy wrote:

Huh? Nobody gets electric power for 0.12 cents per kWh, nobody. I don't think anybody in WA gets domestic electric power for 1.2 cents per kWh. There may be some applications, e.g., irrigation pumping, that get a rate that low, but it would be by oversight. Any rate that is less that 4 cents per kWh is considered very very low.
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I suppose there is always a first......a wooden hot water heater. Wonder what type of wood?? IPE?? Problem wood (pun) be is the heat and the water. I think 20-30 coats of poly might work. Stain?? Gas would not be my first choice.

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I was, money in hand, ready to go tank-less, but am thinking better of it. I think the savings projected depend on an ideal situation. I lack that. If you have a situation where the runs to the taps or appliances that use the hot water are short, it might be a savings. If you are gone and the house is empty more than occupied, you might see some savings. The consensus here seems to be that it would be worn out before the pay off ever came and in the meantime you would have a noisy expensive unit that few people know how to repair, and no reserve hot water during a power outage. My plan now is to put in recirculation loops on the units I have and get instant hot water at the taps. That plan might use a tad more energy to heat the water, but should eliminate a lot of wasted water, which in my case has to be pumped.
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My plan when I put in the recirculation pump is to have a push button near each water faucet. Push the button, the pump turns on for long enough to get the hot water to all faucets on the loop. This will have no additional loss when no water is being used.
Bob
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Recirc wastes a lot of energy, unless the runs are thoroughly insulated. It's like running a little heat loop all the time! Efficiency wise, you're better off wasting the startup water each time. Wilson

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Wilson wrote:

The only time I've ever seen circulated hot water is in mid-rises where you have really long runs of pipe -- say 10 floors -- that would never get fully hot if you didn't recirculate.

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Did you actually TRY to read what I wrote?
Bob

enough
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A $15 motion detector might be more convenient.
Nick
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Electric? It makes no difference as electric is 100% efficient. Just buy a good quality, standard 40- 50 gallon, or whatever fits your needs Now with gas the different heaters are too numerous to mention, but if you are looking for a 5 year payback, it ain't gonna happen! If it were me I would just go with a good quality 40 or 50 gallon natural draft heater and be done with it. It may not be the most efficient, but they are the most trust worthy as repairs go. Any thing in a water heater that requires electricity to run will most likely need repairs and there goes you payback! Plus the price for efficiency goes up fast killing any idea of a quick payback. As far as I am concerned, you ether a pay a premium for the equipment, or pay the utility, cost is about the same in the long run! Greg
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