I need to replace a hot water heater whose tank has cracked. Any
recommendations? I'm leaning towards just a straight replacement, with
a good energy rating. However, I've seen some articles on retrofit
recirculating systems, as well as "on-demand" hot water, and would like
to hear if anyone has any strong opinions. I'm willing to pay for an
efficient system provided it breaks even cost-wise over say 5 years.
Gas or electric? Size of the family? Here in Douglas County, WA., where
electric power is about 1.2 cents per KW hour, I would do a straight
replacement in my household with the most efficient 60 gallon electric
heater I could find.
Sorry about that. Forgot that Oregon had a
I see that Douglas County PUD (your electric
provider) signed a recent agreement to provide
electricity for an industrial contract at 1.8
cents per kWh. Industrial power usually sells at
way below residential rates.
I suppose there is always a first......a wooden hot water heater. Wonder
what type of wood?? IPE?? Problem wood (pun) be is the heat and the water. I
think 20-30 coats of poly might work. Stain??
Gas would not be my first choice.
I was, money in hand, ready to go tank-less, but am thinking better of
it. I think the savings projected depend on an ideal situation. I lack
that. If you have a situation where the runs to the taps or appliances
that use the hot water are short, it might be a savings. If you are
gone and the house is empty more than occupied, you might see some
savings. The consensus here seems to be that it would be worn out
before the pay off ever came and in the meantime you would have a noisy
expensive unit that few people know how to repair, and no reserve hot
water during a power outage.
My plan now is to put in recirculation loops on the units I have and
get instant hot water at the taps. That plan might use a tad more
energy to heat the water, but should eliminate a lot of wasted water,
which in my case has to be pumped.
Recirc wastes a lot of energy, unless the runs are thoroughly insulated.
It's like running a little heat loop all the time!
Efficiency wise, you're better off wasting the startup water each time.
Electric? It makes no difference as electric is 100% efficient. Just buy a
good quality, standard 40- 50 gallon, or whatever fits your needs
Now with gas the different heaters are too numerous to mention, but if you
are looking for a 5 year payback, it ain't gonna happen! If it were me I
would just go with a good quality 40 or 50 gallon natural draft heater and
be done with it. It may not be the most efficient, but they are the most
trust worthy as repairs go. Any thing in a water heater that requires
electricity to run will most likely need repairs and there goes you payback!
Plus the price for efficiency goes up fast killing any idea of a quick
As far as I am concerned, you ether a pay a premium for the equipment, or
pay the utility, cost is about the same in the long run!
Did you see the date of a reply puts that pre-03. Back in 03 I would go with
because they were reletively new but today's units have a lot more going for
Research the latest, I did and we are using a propane tankless from Bosch.
It is 100% efficient in turning electricity into heat. It is not 100%
efficient in transferring that heat to the water nor is it 100% efficient in
turning fuel into heat. It just moves the point of inefficiency from a
local burner to a generating plant.
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