I have an unfinished basement. I have a 50 Gallon Gas water heater in
the basement. I have a water softner feading it. Home is about 3000
In the summer time, our electric prices skyrocket. In the winter
time, the gas prices sky rocket. (AC and GAS heat / supply -n-
demand, I assume.)
I am currently paying on average $300 for these two utilities from
different sources. Gas is the bulk of it in the winter, and electric
in the summer. This is after switching to florecent lighting, adding
extra isulation, etc.
My question is this. Can I place an electric water heater right next
to my gas water heater, and have them run in parallel. In the summer
time using the gas one and in the winter time running the electric -
to benefit from the lower price per unit during those times?
I would guess that I would have to have some sort of flow back
restricter from both water heaters output into the home lines right
before a cutoff switch. Would I power off the electric when
appropriate, and turn off the gas when appropriate? Would I have to
drain the water heater as well? (I have a sump pump right there.)
Or is this just a bad idea?
Ive often thought abt doing this with my home heating..... i.e.
installing electric baseboard heaters in a home that has forced air
natural gas heat as well. And then switch between the two depending
on whichever is cheaper.
Our natural gas bills were ridiculous this year
Oh yes.... I agree with that.
Problem is I rent this place..... don't own it
But when I do buy a home.... my money will be spent on insulation and
windows..... and THEN a means to heat/cool the home last.
Insulation is always the best investment no doubt
Where do you live, what is your KWH cost, I dont beleive anywhere
electric vs gas change in the summer enough to offset gas.
I also dont know anywhere that raises their summer electric rates.
If you are paying 0.03 - 4 kwh then you might change . You
probably need new efficient HVAC . And get a tankless gas water
Ohio Edison, rate 11B, Sept 30 to May 20 No demand and 3.5 cents per KW. Summer
demand but 11cents KW.
There area about 25 other rates available.
I suggest that you contact your utility for a list of approved contractors. IF they
have any then call a few to see if they know the rates. In our area we can heat
electrically cheaper with electric baseboard over natural gas!!!
Without knowledge of utility base costs for cubic feet of gas and cost per KiloWatt,
system may actually be costing you money! We have installed units and financed the
systems and the payment on loan was less than what the utilities were and people after
paying the utility and the loan was putting left over money in their pocket
I know I man that has dine just as you ask. He added the second heater to
get off peak electric rates for heating water, added the gas heater to pick
up the slack if the electric is off for a extended period of time. He added
a pump to circulate the water between the two tanks.
In your case, couple the two heaters togather, run a circulating pump
between them, and run which ever heater you want.
Now my question, Do your rates fluctuate enought to make this pay off? Have
you put a pencil to it and done the math? You may be surprised and find that
the gas is cheaper than the electric all the time! Or maybe not!
Being the plumber I was before retiring, I got carried away during the
late 1970's energy crunch. At the time I lived on a farm where the
gas was propane and would jump around like crazy due to the oil prices
(since propane is made from petroleum and natural gas). Since I had
lots of low cost or free plumbing parts, I actually had FOUR water
heating sources. I had a propane gas heater, and electric heater. I
also had two pre-heaters, one being solar, (for summer), the other a
coil in my wood furnace (for winter). The pre-heaters would heat the
water before it got into the tanks, and oftentimes, would be hot
enough so that the actual tank heaters would not even run. It all
worked fine as long as I turned the proper valves, and there were many
valves, not to mention backflow preventers. I had to make myself a
chart of what to turn on and off. I never had any problems, except
the one time we had an early freeze and got a few busted valves on the
home made solar panel lines (outside), because of freezing. I saved
quite a few dollars too.
There is no reason you can not do this. Just be sure to put shutoffs
on the water lines (in and out lines) to both tanks. Then shut off
the water, and energy source (including pilot lights), on the tank not
in use, and drain the tank not in use too.
Since you already have both tanks, if you are handy, you will only
have to pay for a little more piping and some valves. Just dont run
both tanks at the same time.
On 1 Apr 2004 06:32:07 -0800, email@example.com (Edwin Davidson)
Sounds like a terrific idea. Just put a water shutoff valve on the cold side
of each W.H. and leave them full of water all year round. Shut off the cold
water to whichever one you're not wanting to use the power. In the case of
the electric, you can also switch off the breaker. In the case of the gas
one, it's a good idea to leave the pilot on. The little bit of heat causes a
very mild draft up the flue, and helps hold down rust (from high humidity).
In Arizona this might not be a concern.
Your plumber might either give you a funny look (two W.H.???) or might see
the logic in it. but it can be done.
I don't think check valves are needed, unless you plan to run water through
both W.H. at the same time.
I don't have a problem with draining, but it seems much easier to me to just
turn on heater on, and the other off when you want to change. Thirty seconds
and the job os done.
Also you have the benifit of a larger capacity of hot water, two 40 gallon
heaters equal 80 gaollons of hot water.
Physically, I don't see why not. You would need a shut off valve on
the inlet side of each tank. You would close the valve to the tank
which is not in use. If you want to drain the tanks, you need a valve
on both sides (inlet and outlet). I doubt if code would allow it. If
both valves (inlet and outlet) were shut and the tank turned on, it
could be a real safety issue if the relief valve fails (possible
rupture/explosion). You really need to discuss this with a plumber and
the local code people. Another possibility might be an instant gas hot
water heater (i.e. tank less hot water heater)in series with the hot
firstname.lastname@example.org (Edwin Davidson) wrote in message
Actually, I am in Missouri. South West Missouri.
The Gas Folks just announce that, while they are very profitable, they
will be increasing our rates around 20% soon.
I've got all my utility bills for the last 10 years, so I will do the
math and write back here what I find out.
Last month my Gas bill was $130. This month $80. Of this $80, $65 is
for the Gas while the rest is *taxes* of one sort or another. Some
of these taxes are a percentage, some are flat fees.
Electric was $180 this month.
Some have suggested a new high effeciency HVAC. This home is 5 years
old. Would I there really be a difference? The HVAC does say high
effeciency on it. The windows are double pain. The home has a lot
of isulation in it. I watched them build it. I have an electric
range and fridge. I am guessing, next to the HVAC, these take the
most to power. The range is a low end unit, as is the fridge. The
fridge is 11 years old.
I gotta believe there are some easy ways to get my energy costs down
without going overboard (heat pump, solar...)
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