Figures. I was in the middle of doing annual "plumbing
maintenance" (flushing all the water heaters and preparing to inspect/
probably replace the anodes) which was prompted by the failure of the
T&P valve on the main (gas) water heater - I figured that since the
basement floor needed a good mopping I'd start doing all the dirty
work I needed to do anyway prior to clean up. Well anyway I hadn't
touched the gas heater yet except to replace the T&P valve as the
drain valve was messed up, last night's project was supposed to be to
replace the drain valve. Got home, no hot water, pilot light was
out. Had to run to store to get matches - couldn't find any in the
house, I guess there's not much need for matches anymore as all
appliances except the water heater use spark ignitors or resistive
ignitors (furnace) so I never stocked up. Anyway, I got it lit again
and it cycled OK and then went out. a few seconds later I heard the
gas valve snap shut which is good, at least the thermocouple is
working OK. Lit it again and it was still on this AM. I'm hoping
there was just a slug of something in the gas line but if this starts
happening regularly it'll be new water heater time unless simply
cleaning the pilot assembly fixes it; it's so old it's not worth the
money to buy any parts for it unless they can be scavenged when it is
So the question... what's the group's current opinion on gas vs.
electric for a water heater? I keep hearing that gas is no longer
much cheaper than electric, although my own back of envelope
calculations don't seem to support that. I also like the much quicker
recovery time of the gas heater. Is replacing a gas heater with
another gas heater still worth the extra money? not only would it be
more expensive to purchase, but I think that while I could install an
electric heater myself I might feel more comfortable having a
professional install a gas heater due to gas piping and flue issues...
I really don't want to blow my house up or kill myself in my sleep due
to trying to save a few bucks.
thanks for any opinions...
Pricing varies greatly from one area to another. However there are
still few places where electric will be cheaper, especially is you have a
modern high efficiency gas heater. Where I am, I will replace mine with
another gas when it needs it.
Well it may be premature. Still lit since about 9 PM last night. I'll
keep an eye on it but I really hope I can limp it along at least until
the new A/C is paid off. I did stop and buy a set of welding tip
cleaners on the way home, that might have scared it into functioning :)
Joseph Meehan wrote:
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
still lit as of this AM (took a nice scalding hot shower) managed to
replace drain valve last night using a Ridgid brand basin wrench to
remove the old one. Cost me $35 but is a handy problem solver for
limited access situations like this. I guess it probably wasn't meant
to be used with two pipe wrenches turning it, but hey, it worked.
However, it looks like there's a lot of carbony (I assume) junk in the
combustion area - is there a good (read not messy) way to clean this?
Is it really a problem or can it be safely left in there? I'd prefer
not to have to pull the burner if I don't have to. I noticed it
because after the first time it cycled I opened the little inspection
hole to see if the pilot was still lit and could see glowing red bits
of carbon in there, looked kind of like the inside of the combustion
chamber of an old car.
yes I know I should just get a new water heater. There's a lot of
stuff I ought to replace but can't afford to at the moment...
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