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  1. #1
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    Hot Water Heaters

    So I have a gas hot water heater that surprisingly has lasted about 26 years that I'm ready to replace before it goes out some day. If we were living in this house longer I'd buy one of the on demand systems but not worth the money for 2-3 more years in this place.

    So my question is what are the pros/cons between buying another gas water heater vs electric? Looks the the gas ones run about $100 more on average but I've heard they are also about 3 times more energy efficient. Any truth to this and if you had your choice which type would you choose, gas or electric?


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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    You will spend a lot more on monthly electric bills than you will on gas.


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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by cdekovic View Post
    You will spend a lot more on monthly electric bills than you will on gas.
    Really,

    I've heard that alot of this has balanced out in recent years with leaps in natural gas prices.

    I don't know that gas in much more efficient that electric. But it was always much, much cheaper because electicity was so much more expensive than gas. That's not all that true any longer.

    I'd go to a box store, check the ratings on them and what the yearly costs are estimated to be.

    I'm in a similar boat as you Travman. Mine has lasted the better part of 20 years and I want to replace it before I HAVE to. Same thought on an "on demand" system. I have a natural gas heater currently, and don't want the hassle to wire up an electric on - so I'm not even looking there. If you paid somebody to run new wiring - you'd most likely eat that upfront savings right there.

    From what little research I've done - I'm looking at Home Depot. They seem a little willing to move on the price a bit. And from reviews - I've seen alot of bad things about Whirlpool (Lowes) and I believe they manufacture Kenmore (Sears).

    And when you compare gallons/btu's/warranty - I think Home Depot came out ahead by a decent margin.



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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by cdekovic View Post
    You will spend a lot more on monthly electric bills than you will on gas.
    I figured that. Wife does not believe me though so plan to have someone at the store explain this when we go shopping so she can hear it from a "pro."

    She's paranoid about "fire hazzards" and I've basically said that every damn thing in the house can be a fire hazzard and we can't live like the Amish either because that would require candles which she banned from the house too. I realize that having your apartment burn down can change you but it's a little out of control at times. She seems to think any appliance that uses gas in the house is dangerous. You can set your house on fire with electrical appliances just as easy as you can gas!


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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post

    I'm in a similar boat as you Travman. Mine has lasted the better part of 20 years and I want to replace it before I HAVE to. Same thought on an "on demand" system. I have a natural gas heater currently, and don't want the hassle to wire up an electric on - so I'm not even looking there. If you paid somebody to run new wiring - you'd most likely eat that upfront savings right there.

    .
    Yeah that's another thing, the area is already hooked up for the current gas water heater so I'm like you, why go through the hassle to have to wire for electric if you don't have to. Again, this boils down more to the wife thinking anything that runs on gas is unsafe which gets frustrating...


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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    My thoughts - gas water heaters are seriously about the safest thing you could have in your house.

    I'm x2 more worried about wiring than I am gas. Heck - these new waterheaters are so sealed up - you can't even get in them any more. The pilot light is a remote ignitor.

    And at least you know something is wrong when you have a gas issue. Not so much the case with electricity - and I'm speaking from experience in that.



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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by travman23 View Post
    I figured that. Wife does not believe me though so plan to have someone at the store explain this when we go shopping so she can hear it from a "pro."

    She's paranoid about "fire hazzards" and I've basically said that every damn thing in the house can be a fire hazzard and we can't live like the Amish either because that would require candles which she banned from the house too. I realize that having your apartment burn down can change you but it's a little out of control at times. She seems to think any appliance that uses gas in the house is dangerous. You can set your house on fire with electrical appliances just as easy as you can gas!
    It's not like you're boiling water in a caldron over and open wood fire. A gas water heater is no less safe than your gas furnace. If electric was cheaper, people would be putting in electric furnaces too. It just isn't practical in a cold climate. I do have an electric water heater in a lake rental condo that I use in the summer. The nice thing about the electric one there is that I can shut it off during the week in the summer when nobody is using the unit. Then I can switch it on when we get there. I rent it in the winter and my tenant pays the higher utility bill.


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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    One thing not mentioned about electric water heaters is their recovery time. (the length of time it takes to reheat the water after depleted) Put simply, electric water heaters suck.

    Gas water heaters are more efficient because you are using gas to heat water. When you use electricity, you are using gas to make electricity to heat water. Advocates of electric water heaters will argue that they are 100% efficient, but the gas turbine at the power plant is only 65% or so and then there is about a 50% loss thru the grid.

    To win the battle with the wife, you have to put it in terms she will understand - like when running the dishwasher and washing machine, would it bother her to take a cold shower.

    Then there is the wiring issue, and of course the cost of a permit, etc.


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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    I have been told by more than one plumber that my 25 yr old water heater is VERY likely to outlive a current replacement. The reason being that the new ones are designed to last about a day longer than their warranty. Right or wrong I don't know.



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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    I would still check the on demands a little. Between cost savings during use and a lil bonus for the next buyer you might be ok. Plus you can take really nice hot showers in the meantime :)

    I would stick with gas otherwise. Especially, as someone said, if you already have a gas set up.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    Well think I got the situation settled that a gas water heater is going back in. Now what sucks is I found out it could cost around $250 for installation so might have someone that has done this before replace it for me.


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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    We replaced both our furnace and water heater a couple months ago and after a ton of research, we discovered that the on-demand water heaters were really not worth it unless you expect to live in the house for about 15 years. The additional cost wouldn't have been paid for in efficiency gain until about the 14-17 year mark - not to mention the annual maintenance is said to be required by most manufacturers for the warranty to remain intact and that maintenance was pretty expensive.


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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    We replaced both our furnace and water heater a couple months ago and after a ton of research, we discovered that the on-demand water heaters were really not worth it unless you expect to live in the house for about 15 years. The additional cost wouldn't have been paid for in efficiency gain until about the 14-17 year mark - not to mention the annual maintenance is said to be required by most manufacturers for the warranty to remain intact and that maintenance was pretty expensive.
    I bought a new Bosch on-demand water heater on EBay for $750. Retail was probably around $1200. The stainless steel vent pipe and hardware (if going vertically through the roof from the basement on a ranch style house) and installation of the water heater would cost an additional $1000. As you mention, it would take quite a while to recover the additional cost over a conventional gas water heater, depending on usage.

    I ended up installing a conventional gas water heater because of the difficulty of routing the vent pipe up through the roof on our existing house. I couldn't exit the vent pipe horizontally through the wall because of building code restrictions. On new construction, you can make provisions for venting out the side of the house which would dramatically lower your initial cost. I will put the Bosch up for bid on EBay.



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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by travman23 View Post
    Yeah that's another thing, the area is already hooked up for the current gas water heater so I'm like you, why go through the hassle to have to wire for electric if you don't have to. Again, this boils down more to the wife thinking anything that runs on gas is unsafe which gets frustrating...

    Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!



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    Re: Hot Water Heaters

    The thing with electric is the heating coils go bad from time to time and their is very little maintace to do on gas ones.



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