Did you ever consider a tankless water heater? They are not alot ($ up
front) more than a good tank style heater but alot less maintenance as
well as a heck of alot cheeper to run. No tank draining, No TPR valve,
No tank to rot out, No anode to change. All around a better deal. In
europe Tank style heaters are considered antque. almost all houses
there are built new with tankless heaters. Just something to think
Sorry, they are considerably more expensive than a storage tank heater.
Especially in a retrofit situation, but even in new construction.
How often exactly to you drain your storage heater? Excluding vacation homes
(where all the plumbing would need to be drained) the only time I've ever done
it is when I replaced a 20 year old unit.
I've never had to replace one.
Modern storage tank heaters are glass lined and self cleaning. If you don't get
a minimum of 20 years use out of one, you aren't trying.
WTF???? If you are changing anodes on a residential water heater, you have far
more problems with the rest of your household plumbing that you need to be
You don't really have any experience with tankless heaters, do you?
No, in Europe they have a lot of older housing stock with construction that
makes it difficult to run insulated hot water lines. There are other factors
that come into play as well.
Most of the new residential housing I've seen in the UK uses storage tanks.
Here's an example:
Go down to the plumbing section and note the words: "Each apartment includes an
insulated hot water cylinder, with electric emersion heater back-up." A Google
search on "hot water cylinder" will yield many other references.
And if you would like some factual information, you can download this study:
State builds both types of heaters, so they have no particular reason to favor
one type over another.
The bottom line is that except for a few specific circumstances, storage tank
heaters are cheaper to install and operate over a given period of time than
On Fri, 06 May 2005 16:59:15 -0600, someone wrote:
And that makes a LOT of sense in general principle. To get tankless
to work, you are installing a HUGE capacity heater, that will only run
for minutes a day. Waster capacity. And then it is way oversized for
low flow situations.
OTOH, using a tank, you run a much smaller heating element, just for
longer periods. And you store the warmed water. The relevant balance
would be between the cost of the storage loss, and the cost of the
huge capacity heater unit. In "normal" use where hot water is used at
various times of each day, apparently a storage tank does pretty well.
BTW, in Europe, often energy costs are higher due to tax structure,
and people are apparently willing to put up with more (living with the
limitations of a tankless unit's performance characteritics) for
economy. Hey, in Europe, manual transmission in cars are much more
common. In the US we tend to have relatively luxurious housing, even
of our total incomes are no longer the envy of the world.
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
Yes, we got a fixed rate (6%). Since it was a relatively new house (14
years old) we thought most appliances would last for a few years, but
we've already replaced the dishwasher and, of course, the water heater.
I can't wait to see what else will break.
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On Jan 8, 3:40�am, firstname.lastname@example.org (Stacia) wrote:
time for a new one, if you run short on water sometimes invest in a
better unit, most 40 gallon tanks are under 40,000 BTUs.
upgrade to a 50 gallon 75,000 BTU tank and enjoy near endless hot
water. better tanks cost a bit more but are better built with things
like brass drain valves. larger tanks get less thermal shock since
they are larger, keep temp kinda low for longer life and energy
on a brite note the new tank will be much better insulated saving you
congrats to the new home owner!
We have run our two homes since 1960 with a 30 US gallon electric hot
water heater/tanks. This included doing some business catering from
the home. Our average lifespan has been 8 to 9 years; this in an area
where most suppliers now will not honour the manufacturers six year
warranties! This is due to the type of local water which tends to be
acid due to soil type and acid rain (Thanks to central North American
air pollution?) affecting both well water and municipal water
Average cost of replacements, doing the work ourselves, over some 45
years has been around $150 to $200.
Each heater has two 3000 watt elements each with its thermostat
arranged flip-flop (that is the upper element heats first and when
that part of tank is hot it flips over to the bottom element until
whole tank is hot). On one or two occasions with visitors it has been
possible to move one wire to enable both upper and lower elements
(each with its thermostat) to heat water simultaneously (faster
How long the heater lasts depends on the water and other things. It's not
a question that we can answer except in the most general of ways but 15 yrs
is a good life expectancy.
Your heater should have a faucet near the bottom for draining. Though
some folks do drain tanks annually others just flush out a few gallons in
the hopes of getting some of the settled crud out. Sometimes the crud can
block the drain faucet so don't be surprised if you need to replace the
faucet after the drain/flush procedure. Cheap plastic faucets seem
especially prone to this.
Your local library will have books on home maintenance and repair.
In my locale, the tap water is basically undrinkable "canal water".
I've had my current house for two years, and I believe the WH was replaced
not long before the sale.
Are there any maintenance recomendations for areas where the water is
You could consider a water softener. Calcium is exchanged for sodium so
if you are on a low salt diet, this is not good. My plumber tried to
talk me into one but I did not think analysis supported it, it would not
improve pH and my well water has always tasted good. I don't think hard
water tastes bad and there are charcoal filters and the like you can put
on drinking water taps to remove off flavor. A lot, maybe most,
municipal water is chlorinated to remove bacteria but some chlorinated
materials like trace phenols can make water taste awful. Charcoal filter
could be good for you. I do have a sediment filter and as other posters
suggest, drain some water from bottom of water heater occasionally.
I don't really have room for the equipment as it is a townhouse. I'm
considering an undersink unit to avoid trips to the water store, but a
fullhouse unit is out of the question. I could stick a cheap filter unit on
the water heater's inlet, but even that might be overkill as we'll most
likely be living somewhere else in ten years.
For drinking, a tap cartridge filter or pitcher with a filter would
probably do you. I would not worry about water heater. Guy that just
put in my newest suggested turning off cold water inlet, opening a hot
water tap and draining off a couple of gallons from the bottom water
heater outlet every couple of months or so to remove sediment.
We have one but it doesn't do nearly as good a job as what we get from the
water store. We only use it for boiling food and when we run out of
store water. I'm considering an undersink filter because my wife and
I are getting a little tired of making weekly trips to the water store.
My neighbor across the street has bottled water delivered. Makes no
sense as we are in the same aquifer and water tastes fine. Have not
been in his house but with the 5 gallon bottles, he must have a water
That's about the expected lifetime, especially for a gas heater.
Yep, definitely time. The good news is that you shouldn't have to pay for an
"emergency" replacement. Just find someone that will do it within a day or so.
It can be a diy job, but based on what you said below, you are probably better
off with a Lowes, Sears or HD install.
There should be a small, faucet like valve near the gas valve. You attach a
garden hose to a drain or the garage entrance and open the valve. Some newer
heaters require a flat screwdriver to open the valve.
Crud in the bottom of the tank is taken care of by flushing once a year.
Corrosion on the copper pipes on top will be taken care of by replacing those
with the heater. You probably won't be there in another 15 years.
We have a local plumber out here now, and get this: the water heater is
too big to be removed from its closet! Apparently the walls were built up
around the water heater and furnace. My husband had to cut out part of
the wall and they're wrestling with removing it right now.
The plumber hates us.
Thanks. I think we're going to try to move before the furnace needs
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Until it dies. It can die from lots of things, each individual and varies
in your area. Mostly the water. But the water heater can make a
difference, too. Some are built better than others. Yours is the
equivalent of a 90 year old person. It might make it for a while, but the
odds are against it.
We have one (40-gallon, gas) which is original to the house, so
GIT R DONE before you got 40 gallons of water everywhere it can get and
you're trying to get it dried out in cold weather.
Read up on it and visit local shops in your area, mostly water softener
shops. Take a water sample to see how good/bad your water actually is.
Take the same sample to a pool store, and see if the results are the same.
They'll try to sell you overpriced systems, but you can ask questions about
water heater electrodes and such while there. Maybe even get lucky and
actually find someone at Lowe's or Home Depot that knows something.
VERY IMPORTANT: When you put in your new one, be absolutely certain to put
a pan under it unless it sits next to a floor drain or somewhere you could
shoot it with a shotgun and the water would run out safely without messing
up a bunch of carpet and drywall and stuff. It's real simple to do it at
that time, and impossible with the heater full of water. It's also cheap
cheap cheap compared to a catastrophic cleanup.
Water heaters ALWAYS fail at 2AM local time. I wonder why that is.
sounds like it is time to get moving and get a new one!
BEFORE your end up with a lake in your basement.
we remodeled a couple years ago, and had a new 80 gal tank put
in......................a new "energy efficient"
kind...................SOUNDS like a damn space ship when it is
i hate it!
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