It looks like I may need a new hot water heater. We lost hot water and
when I checked it out, there was water dripping from the emergency
release valve and a large amount of water on the floor (but less than
when the 2nd hot water heater died). The pilot was out also.
I'm curious about tankless heaters. The apartment has two sinks, a
bathtub, and dishwasher, and washing machine (rarely used with hot
water). Are tankless heaters appropriate for this type of usage? Can
anyone comment on their experiences and approximately how much it might
cost to install? Thanks.
If all the leakage came from the safety valve, you might have a
repairable problem. The valve, expansion tank, regulator could
be looked at. Did the leakage from the safety valve put out the
There didn't appear to be any water in the area where the pilot is. The
2nd floor's hot water heater is about 3/4 the size of ours but the
amount of water on the floor was perhaps 33% of what was there 2 months
ago when the 2nd floor tank leaked from the bottom. The pipe from the
safety valve was dripping a bit. After checking that the pipes and tank
were not warm, I tried opening that valve and only a bit of water came
out; it wouldn't close all the way unless I pushed down on the center
pin that the lever is attached to.
We did have some heavy winds today and a basement window was open. In
the past, that has caused the pilot to go out. That's what I thought had
happened when I heard there was no hot water. Could the pilot going out
have in any way caused the release of water?
With out looking at your water heater any advise on what the problem
might be is only a guess. however I do have experience with the
tankless water heaters.
When I built my new home in N.Florida I installed a tankless LP gas
water heater. Love it! Unlimited hot water and very cheep to run. I got
the 9.3 GPM heater becouse of the size of the house # of baths (3.5)
and dishwasher washer ect.I can shower have the kids run the bath
water and do laundry at the same time and have enough water. It was
expencive up front, 900.00, but the savings in the long run will pay
off. Also as a bonus, It is the size of a very small suitcase and
mounted on the outside of the house. No huge tank to store hot water
untill you might need it!
My mom bought a new house and had it set near by my home and first
thing we did was take out the tank style water heater and put in a 4
GPM electric tankless heater. this one was even smaller, cost less and
ave her a new closet to hang coats in. her Highest power bill this
summer was 80.00 in FL.!!!! unlimited hot water on demand! Tankless Is
the wat to go! I got both on Ebay!
The wind blowing the pilot light out would not cause water to be
released from the relief valve. One big question here is how old is
the unit? If it's older than 10 years, and depending on where it's
located, I wouldn't even fool around with it. Somewhere around 13
years or so is the typical life expectancy. And if it's located where
if it suddenly starts leaking, it's going to do big damage, I'd just
As for the tankless, one big consideration in an apartment is whether
you have a gas line large enough to support it. If you don't, you may
not be able to install it at all, unless the building allows the work
and your willing to pay for it.
It sounds like it should be worth figuring out the problem and fixing
it. If it's just leaking out the safety valve, and it is not likely to be
the tank that is the problem. Maybe the safety valve, thermostat,
regulator, expansion tank, etc.
An apt, do you rent or own the building. You cant be renting or this is
your landlords issue.Tankless are great I will get a 4.5 yr payback,
they can last 30+ yrs, there is no tank to rust, only copper pipe. And
you only pay to heat what is used. You can spend 450-2000$ for one, but
pipe sizing is an issue, they use alot of Btu, up to near 200,000.
A copper tank is worth keeping IMO. Mine is a glass-lined steel tank and
it's going on 28 years old. Replace the anode every couple of years and
you'll go well beyond the usual lifetime of a steel tank.
It's kind of annoying to hear people say "they only last 10-15years anyhow"
when the problems leading to such a short life are easily and cheaply
fixable. (drain the tank yearly to get rid of sediment and check/replace the
anode every few years)
Sorry to annoy you, but the simple fact is 10-15 years is a typical
lifespan for gas water heaters. And, IMO, depending on where the tank
is located, anyone trying to push the lifespan of one of these is
foolish. Sure, inspecting and changing the anode is a good idea. The
difference is, I look at that as a way to get to 13 years with some
extra safety margin, not a way to extend the life indefinitely, which
it cannot do. And when they go, the failure can be sudden and
depending on where it's located, catastrophic. Would you rather have a
bill for $500 for replacing a 13 year old heater, or a bill for $10K in
damages caused by a water heater that suddenly starts spewing water?
Good news. The copper tank lives! The plumber said something about the
water temperature being set too high causing the release valve to open
(That doesn't make sense since the temp has been set like that for
years). In the end, the cold water valve and pressure release valve
were replaced and we have hot water again.
Luckily, the tank is in an old cement basement that is very porous so
when the tanks leak they don't cause any problems.
I've never found an anode on the copper heater. Do all tanks have anodes?
Cost of tank including new gas line, electric outlet and possibly Flue
will likely exceed the energy saved over the life of the tank.
tasnkless only warranteed for 10 years, regular tanks last about that
so as a example a tankless for $1200 or a regular tank for $400 their
warranty life about the same.
That means that you would need to save 800 bucks on gas over the life
of the tank before you save one cent in actual costs. to pay back the
Now in regular tanks today the foam insulation makes standby losses
low, I have turned off a tank and had a nice hot shower a day later.
while doing some remodeling here.
If your tank lives indoors in a part of the country that needs heat in
the winter the stanby losses help heat your home so they really arent
losses at all for maybe 1/2 the year.....
so double your tankless payback period.
now the fellow who loves his tankless... sounds like he lves in florida
where oudoor temps dont freeze hard in the winter.
A tankless in the summer may work fine, when the incoming water temp is
65 degrees, in the winter with incoming at 40 degrees showers may be
Around here where every few years we lose water for a day or so it's
nice to have 50 gallons of fresh water always available.
Also, don't forget the opportunity cost of the money when determining
payback. Folks tend to forgot about that.
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