OK... so let us say that you get "point of use" 5-6 gallon water heater to
run in addition to your regular unit to save money and use the timer scheme
. I'll bite.
BTW Larry, a 40 gallon with do for two people regardless of those pesky dog
s taking so many showers!) as he is looking at now. Check the posted energ
y ratings and projected cost of use on the tanks and you MIGHT see a bit mo
re savings over the life of the heater. Probably not too much, but it depe
nds on local energy costs.
So, Larry is in for $1000 for his straight replacement, give or take a coup
le of hundred depending on his site conditions, code requirements, permitti
ng fees, old tank disposal fees, etc.
Check the prices of a 5-6 gallon water heater and you will see they are abo
ut the same cost as a 40 gallon, about $275 to $300. Add fittings, about $
325. You will be giving up closet space somewhere to place this unit, and
will need to install it according to your local codes (read: permitted job
since it is new). You will be cutting into walls to splice into the hot wa
ter system, blocking off the flow from the rest of the house so you don't g
et a cold mix, then splicing into the supply line to get water to the fixtu
re. Would you do that for your shower, too? Double the plumbing cost, so
I would say about $750 for cutting into the walls, cutting into the pipes t
o splice in the new supply route and head off the old supply, and install t
he new water heater. Add more if you are going to try to tie in the shower
as you will have to do supply it as you did to the lavatory.
You are now about a $1000, $1100 bucks. But, you now need to have your ele
ctrician run a 30 amp circuit to this new unit (you weren't thinking of pip
ing in gas with your remark of the unit turning off and on by itself). Do
you have room in your circuit box? How hard will it be to run a new circui
t across the house or upstairs through the walls to get it there? My elect
rician could probably do something like that for about $1500 or so. Don't
scream bullshit! Remember, <<10ga>> copper wire all the way, a new 30 amp
breaker, a new 220v plug/box/cover and a pigtail as well as a 30 amp servic
e rated timer have to be purchased and someone will be fishing wire and cra
wling through attic insulation to get it where you need it. Fishing 10ga d
own a wall is no picnic.
Will you be repairing the demolition you did yourself to allow access to yo
ur piping yourself? Maybe if you have the time, the inclination and the sk
ills. (I can do anything on site with wood but I really suck at tape/float
, myself.) You might need to add a little to your estimate for sheetrock re
pair, wood work and paint on top of the plumbing and electrical. $500?
With you doing the demo, cleanup and replacement yourself, you are going to
be in at about $2600 or so for the "point of use" system.
How long would it take you to accrue the kind of savings you anticipate to
get to $2600 for its recovery? Remember too, there is NO consideration for
the extra annual power usage for the POU unit, and even if it is just on 6
hours a day that is still a helluva hit for an electrically powered water
If you would, please take a minute and explain how long in real numbers it
would take to pay off this machine, and don't forget a probably $ 20 a mont
h ($240 a year) for its operation (that is a very minute .66 a day, only .3
3 per cycle!)when explaining.
My HUD classes told me that in a retrofit for energy saving updates, they s
hould all pay out in 3 to 5 years or they aren't worth doing for a number o
f reasons. A water heater is an appliance, and it falls in the 5 year cate
gory. So if we take your project at $2600 (remember, you do he demo/rebuil
d/job cleaning) and add in $1200 for energy use in the same period (the cos
t would never go up, right?) we now have a $3800 bill for a five year payba
That's $760 a year. Really? That is almost $65 a month in hard cost expen
se for five years. That means your investment wouldn't pay off unless it w
as actually saving you that much every single month for FIVE years before y
ou realize one dollar of gain to recover your investment.
How is that supposed to work? You have seen all my numbers and how I arriv
ed at them. Seriously, I would like to see how you arrived at the point of
thinking this is a good idea and how you justify your dollars spent vs. th
e savings gained. I would love to the "point of use" scheme justified for
an existing home.