water heaters...gas or elect?

what do y'all think? I've heard that electric heaters are a much greater energy consumer,,, for a gas tank we neeed to run gas lines which we would prefer to not do. if it's a huge difference in energy use tho,,,it may be worth it. ???????
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eisenslimer wrote:

I think what you really want to know is operating cost. That depends mostly on how much gas costs vs electricity in your area, which we have no way of knowing.
For most of the US, gas has been quite a bit cheaper than electric. However, in the last couple years, the gap has closed quite a bit.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

What you really need to think about is how good is the insulation around the water heater regardless of whether it is electric or gas. If you aren't using any hot water and the insulation is perfect, the water heater won't cost anything in operating expenses.
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Stubby wrote:

So, you don't use any hot water where you live? Like insulation anywhere else, there are diminishing returns for adding more insulation. And heating the water you do use is a major factor in how much it costs to operate. Also factor in that in gas water heaters a lot of the standby loss is up the flue, which more insulation isn't gonna fix. I'm not convinced adding more insulation around a water heater is gonna do a whole lot. Insulation is cheap, and if it were that easy to reduce energy costs, manufacturers would be doing it, because they would then have a significantly more efficient unit that customers would pay more for.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I agree. The question is not simply "gas or electric?" For instance if you have a teenager who soaks all day in hot showers, your heating costs are likely to be higher. Of course I use hot water and the OP needs to consider the limiting cases-- teenager for max waste and no use for min waste.
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The cost of conversion totally swamps any other financial concerns. In general, whatever you've got, replace it with a like design. If it was new construction and you already had gas, it might make some sense to go that route as it's slightly better, but not by a huge amount.
John
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eisenslimer wrote:

Divide the cost of a gallon of gas by 21.44 and compare that to the cost per KWH of electricity (including fuel adjustment).
In my area, it now costs almost twice as much to use LPG as it does electricity. Still not worth it to go out and buy an electric water heater though.
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is your home heated with gas? if so locate hot water heater right newxt to gas furnace. this minimizes gas line runs.
you can get a forced vent tank so you dont need a chimney or flue. this futher minimizes expenses
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Do you have a flue for the gas heater? That is certainly a factor.
A couple years ago I looked into changing my dryer to gas from electric; but even if I did the work myself, the payback wasn't there. Sure, water heaters use more energy, but I didn't get the sense you were doing the work.

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we are doing all the work... but running gas lines would warrant our first call to a pro...don't want to mess around in that department what is a flue? i don't think we have one.
Toller wrote:

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we are doing all the work... but running gas lines would warrant our first call to a pro...don't want to mess around in that department what is a flue? i don't think we have one.
Toller wrote:

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wrote:

A flue is a chimney for your gas hot-water heater or other gas appliances. Generally, there are strict requirements on flue construction so that you don't burn the house down.
First of all... Where do you live? Electric costs vary greatly... Natural Gas may be cheap in a place like Texas, but more expensive in New England, if you can get it at all. Electricity is cheap in a place like Washington State or Idaho (hydropower), but expensive in a place like Vermont or New Hampshire.
Gas heaters are better in terms of recovery. (They heat up faster when someone uses up all the hot water). Maybe 45 minutes vs. 1 1/2 hours. If I had a big family, I'd go for the gas. They do require a flue, and a source of outside combustion air. Around here (the Pacific Northwest), that usually means placement in the garage or attic (The latter... is often a pain in the ass for maintenance). In the Midwest, they often put the gas heaters in the basement which is sucky if you ever have a flood that quenches the burner.
If you are luck to live in a place where electricity is cheap and you never want to fool around with pilot lights, an electric heater is cheap, almost 100% silent, and should be mostly maintenance-free over the life of the unit. You can put it almost anywhere that you can run an electric line. No worries about venting or a source of combustion air supply.
So it all depends on your circumstances
Beachcomber
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