I'm looking for recommendations for a gas water heater. Do you know of a
good brand (and product line) that you'd recommend? Any general tips on
selecting a water heater would be helpful too.
Thanks in advance.
A little more info would be helpful. Are you replacing an existing tank?
Is it serving your needs as far as how much hot water it delivers? Then
stay with that size. No sense heating more water than you are going to use.
If you frequently run out of hot water, then go for a larger tank. Look for
one with the highest energy rating / lowests cosst per year of ownership.
As Mark suggested it makes the decision easier if you are replacing an
existing tank. If the tank size you have is supplying enough hot
water then stick with the same size; if it is not then get a larger
one. Look for energy star ratings and pick the most efficient one
that is in your price range, it will save you some cash over time with
lower utility bills.
But before you do, measure the size of the closet that contains the
water heater, including the height. And look at the height at which the
water inlet and outlet pipes come through the wall. You might have
plenty of ceiling height, but if you're replacing a 40 gallon with a 50
and the pipes come out of the wall at about the height of the existing
40, you're going to have to tear open the wall and move the pipes higher
up in order to get a taller water heater in there. (Even if you're
replacing a 40 gallon tank with another 40 gallon tank, check the height
of the tank and where the pipes come out of the wall. Not all 40 gallon
tanks are the same dimensions.)
There is not much difference from one manufacturer to another, but your
needs may be better met by one model or another. Tell us more about what
your needs and concerns are. For example.
What size do you have now?
How old is it?
Why are you replacing it?
How well has it met your needs?
Are you willing to pay a little more now and save money later on
operational cost? Are you paying more or less than average to gas?
How many in your family?
Do you need lots of water all at once? (The washer running and two
people showering at once.)
Is there a lot of down time (like we use it in the morning and not again
until everyone gets home)
I have a garden variety State that is about 6 years old now that I
bought at HD. A year ago, the thermocouple went bad. I diagnosed
it and called State up and got someone right away. They had a new
thermocouple on my door in 2 days for free, no shipping charge, no
return of old part.
I looked at paying more for higher efficiency units, but concluded it
didn't appear to be worth it. Of course, now gas is more expensive,
so it might. You should also consider if there is any reason to go
with direct vent. For example, if your furnace is near the end of
it's life and you're going to go with a 90%+ new furnace shortly,
having a direct vent water heater means you would no longer need the
chimney, don't have to worry about it possibly needing a liner when
you switch furnaces, etc.
Also, make sure you consider where water will do from a leaking unit
and use an appropriate drain pan solution.
Bigger is always better:) So a 50 gallon tank is prefered over a 40
gallon, for say laundry. plus a larger tank experiences less thermal
stress from heating and cooling completely when you run out of hot
Buy the longest warranty you can, normally 12 years, longer warranty
means less overall cost per year. plus better quality, pricer tanks
more likely to have brass drain valves, cheap tanks tend to have
plastic valves:( real junk they break easy and often drip after just
most tanks are about 40,000 BTU, some cheap tanks 34,000 BTU
I prefer my 75,000 BTU tank 75 gallon tank. It cost more, but no cold
Dont stress too mucxh about what you buy, confirm it will fit the
space. do replace the vent pipe they rust over time, and check out the
chimney or have it iunspected to make sure its safe. bad chimney caps
can be dangerous, detoriated linings etc.
Think of this.......
most people dont have to buy a tank till they are at least 20 years
by 70 most dont need to buy one again.
So they need to buy one for 50 years MAX.
say the average tank lasts 10 years, if you buy good quality.
so you buy 5 tanks in a lifetime, and probably less. because previous
owner just installed one, lived for a time in a apartment or rental,
hot water tanks are a minor inconvenience and overall minor cost too.
figure 500 bucks for new tank installed, 10 year life of 12 year
50 bucks a year. less than one nice candy bar cost per week.
Basically it shuts down the pilot if there is a buildup of combustible
gas under the water heater. I think this required modification came
out 2-3 years ago. I used to be able to get a 40 gallon heater for
around $125 at Menards. I would guess that the higher cost of metal
is another reason that they cost more, but they jumped at least $75
when this feature was added.
I"m sort of compulsive, so I wanted a wh that would fit the current
pipes. LOL. I had AOSmith, but I had, still have, the impression
that a WH would be more expensive at plumbing supply store. Any truth
I looked a few places and none matched until I got to Sears. They call
them Sears brand, but the pipes were in the same place and the same
distance from each other as AOSmith from 28 years ago, and the owners
manuals have the exact same format.
My 3BR 2 1/2 bath townhouse came with an 80, that's eighty gallon wh.
I presume they all did but it's conceivable the first owner, who
bought pretty early, ordered something special, even though he was
single. I thought if I went to 52, it would be plenty (I"m single)
and I'd have enough room to get between my wh and furnace and try to
fix the condensate leak from the AC. IIRC, I ended up fixing the AC
when the WH was out altogether, so it didn't even matter that it was
smaller. But I am better able to get behind the furnace now, which is
almost a foot from the wall. And I have more storage for scrap wood
on both sides of the WH while still keeping the wood a foot from the
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