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I Need a New Water Heater


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 Johnny Angell

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Posted June 04 2012 - 10:04 AM

The one we have (American Water Heater) is done. I noticed I was only getting warm water and went out and looked at it and saw wet streaks of rusty looking crap dripping down it into the drip pan. They've never been there before. The warranty was out in January, just called the company. It's a little over 6 years old. It's a 50 gallon, gas heater with a recovery rating of 33.9. Does that mean it can get 33.9 gallons hot in an hour? It's just my wife and I in a 2400 sq foot home and the heater has always supplied enough hot water. So any way, recommendations on brands and types would be appreciated. I know wifey is going to be all over me to get this done fast when I tell her (she's not home yet). Do I have any hope of getting a new heater installed tomorrow? What should I expect to pay for the heater and installation? Is my best choice a big box store (we have Home Depot and Lowest) or an independent plumber? Any and all advice is appreciated.
Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#2 of 17 Gregg Loewen

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Posted June 04 2012 - 03:00 PM

if you already have gas.... Get an on demand heater. I installed a Rinnai last fall and love it.

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#3 of 17 Jay H

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Posted June 05 2012 - 02:13 AM

HD and Lowes will be the cheapest but you wont have much a selection, especially in your time frame :) If you are replacing it with the same size tank, then it would be quicker, at least for the size requirements. They may demand or request an on-site visit if you change the size to make sure the new one will fit and be able to easily hook up to the water inputs and outputs... Jay
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#4 of 17 RPMay

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Posted June 05 2012 - 02:37 AM

We also have an on demand heater in about the same size house with only two people. No problems with running out of hot water, waiting for it to heat up after dishwasher, etc. It took a few days to get scheduled and installed. It's more of a project than just replacing an old heater, and not cheap. DM

#5 of 17 KPmusmag

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Posted June 05 2012 - 02:53 AM

Another vote for on-demand. Love it. Had family in for Thanksgiving, never ran out of hot water even with all the dishwashing, extra showers for more people, etc. Fantastic. Did cost a bit but it has been fantastic.

#6 of 17 Patrick Sun

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Posted June 05 2012 - 03:09 AM

I had considered the on-demand water heating solution, but with the venting requirements, I just decided to stick with the conventional water heater solution when mine decided to leak all over the place. I was offered the 4-year warranty, and the 10-year warranty, where the plumber installed different connector parts to reflect the higher warranty cost for the 10-year warranty. I do plan on proactively replace the next water heater in about 5 years (I think I replaced the last one 5 years ago).
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#7 of 17 Johnny Angell

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Posted June 05 2012 - 05:35 AM

I've got Home Depot coming by this afternoon (so they say) to replace the water heater with a 12 year warranty GE (Rheem) heater. Patrick, are you saying different connector parts have to be used the higher the warranty? The price of the heater ain't so bad, but the installation (I'm not a handy man) kills you.
Johnny
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#8 of 17 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted June 05 2012 - 07:45 AM

I've got Home Depot coming by this afternoon (so they say) to replace the water heater with a 12 year warranty GE (Rheem) heater. Patrick, are you saying different connector parts have to be used the higher the warranty?

I'm guessing the installer used higher quality parts to connect the water heater to lower the chance the customer (Patrick) would need to collect on the warranty.

#9 of 17 Johnny Angell

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Posted June 05 2012 - 10:16 AM

I'm guessing the installer used higher quality parts to connect the water heater to lower the chance the customer (Patrick) would need to collect on the warranty.

I don't think he had to replace any of the connective parts. He mentioned that I already had a relief valve which was fine. He didn't replace it. Told me I'd get a $100 credit for that.
Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#10 of 17 Greg_S_H

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Posted June 05 2012 - 10:58 AM

Is an on demand the same as a tankless? On a gas system, is it a big savings? I've been told never to do it with an electric system, but I'm on gas now. What are these venting requirements?

#11 of 17 Patrick Sun

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Posted June 05 2012 - 06:49 PM

I think due to the age of my first water heater, there was some additional piping that needed to be done (believe me, it looked a lot different than my initial installation). Perhaps there wasn't much material difference in the fittings, but the guy showed me the different set of fittings, and for all I know, I could have been jobbed, but at that time, I just wanted to get the water heater installed, and have the ordeal behind me.
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#12 of 17 KPmusmag

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Posted June 06 2012 - 10:44 AM

Is an on demand the same as a tankless? On a gas system, is it a big savings? I've been told never to do it with an electric system, but I'm on gas now. What are these venting requirements?

Yes, on-demand is same as tankless - heats the water as you need it, no tank. I would guess that every situation is different, but in my case they punched a hole in the wall of the garage for venting and re-routed the gas line. It took all day. They installed a vent to the outside that actually looks very futuristic and expels hot air when the unit is in use. I know that it can be vented either vertically or horizontally (as it is in my case), but I believe the horizontal requires an extra fan. If you are near it when it is operational it sounds like a quiet jet engine. My gas bill went down after the install, but not by a huge amount. (Knock on wood) I haven't had a moment of trouble with it in 2 years. The one and only downside I can point out is that you cannot "trickle" hot water; a certain amount of pressure has to pass through to activate the unit. For me, I find when I am shaving I have to have the water running a little harder than I might otherwise, or else the unit shuts off and you find yourself with cold water. I have three bathrooms, kitchen and laundry, and even at Thanksgiving with many family members in the house and all of them being used there was plenty of hot water, limited only by the pressure available to the house. Cost 4K, but I did use a high-end company and with a 10-year warranty I felt it was worthwhile.

#13 of 17 Johnny Angell

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Posted June 07 2012 - 08:44 AM

Cost 4K, but I did use a high-end company and with a 10-year warranty I felt it was worthwhile.

Thank you for making me feel I got a bargain. My 40 gallon water heater cost me $1215 installed.
Johnny
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#14 of 17 Stan

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Posted June 07 2012 - 01:55 PM

Thank you for making me feel I got a bargain. My 40 gallon water heater cost me $1215 installed.

You may have to adjust your showers, etc. for a 40 gallon. I replaced my electric 50 gallon with a gas 40 gallon (that's all that would fit because of the chimney construction). It makes a big difference, I like long showers and 40 doesn't do it. I have to lower the water flow so it's slow enough for the water heater to keep up. Don't get a full flow shower like I used to, but it does last. We had a huge snow/ice storm a few years back and I lost all power for almost 5 days so no electric hot water. That caused me to switch to gas, which would have at least kept me warm a few times a day. Only trade off was they couldn't fit a 50 gallon heater so it would vent properly. Don't remember the cost since I switched from and oil to gas furnace at the same time, total bill was about $4500. Slightly off topic, but wow does oil smell awful. You don't realize it until you switch to gas, but what an incredible difference. $1215 seems awfully expensive, I certainly hope mine lasts many more years.
Stan

#15 of 17 Johnny Angell

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Posted June 08 2012 - 01:52 AM

There were two reasons I was comfortable going with a 40 gallon: 1) There's only two of us; and 2) There was a user comment on the web site pertaining to this heater that they could take 4 showers back-to-back with no problems. I'm probably going to need to adjust the temp up from what the installer set it at, but just a tad.
Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#16 of 17 Gregg Loewen

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Posted June 09 2012 - 06:22 PM

my high end on demand cost $1450 then 300 for the installation.

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#17 of 17 Stan

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Posted June 10 2012 - 11:08 AM

There were two reasons I was comfortable going with a 40 gallon: 1) There's only two of us; and 2) There was a user comment on the web site pertaining to this heater that they could take 4 showers back-to-back with no problems. I'm probably going to need to adjust the temp up from what the installer set it at, but just a tad.

My 40 gallon heater is about 10 years old so maybe the newer ones can keep up with heavier usage, or the whoever made the comment about 4 babk-to-back showers was talking about really brief showers. As for the temp, be careful, especially if you have children. Not sure how accurate the thermostats are, but I wouldn't go above 120. I bumped mine up to 125, thinking it would help with showers and I could run my dishwasher without the heating element on. But that five degrees was a major difference. It was extremely hot, to the point it felt like it was actually causing 2nd degree burns. I gave it about a week and put it back to 120 and used the water heating setting on my dishwasher again.
Stan