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I Need a New Water Heater!

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I Need a New Water Heater!

Old 06-04-12, 06:07 PM
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I Need a New Water Heater!

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.
Old 06-04-12, 06:10 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

go tankless.
Old 06-04-12, 06:11 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Yes, you should be able to get a new water heater installed tomorrow. Plumbers love those jobs because they can charge you a lot.
Old 06-04-12, 06:12 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Originally Posted by TallGuyMe View Post
go tankless.
This. They are more expensive, but much more efficient. Tank water heaters are constantly burning gas to heat the water in the tank and keep it hot. A tankless unit heats up the water on demand and only burns gas when it's necessary.
Old 06-04-12, 06:20 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Water heaters are pretty simple to install on your own if you're at all handy. Couple of pipe wrenches and an hour of time.

Ignore the video responses of water heaters blowing up that will inevitably follow my post. You're no dummy...are you?

And thank you for not calling it a "hot water heater" - heating hot water would be silly.
Old 06-04-12, 08:59 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Explore this site http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pag...er-basics.html

It was very helpful when I was shopping for a hot, hot, hot water heater. (I didn't want a tepid water heater.) The biggest thing is to buy a water heater insulated to a high R value.
Old 06-04-12, 10:03 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

<----- is very glad she lives in a housing cooperative and the furnace and water heater are the corporation's responsibility to repair or replace.
Old 06-04-12, 10:09 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

I'd drain it and check the elements first. That's a cheap/easy repair if that's all you need.
Old 06-04-12, 10:18 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Originally Posted by The Cow View Post
I'd drain it and check the elements first. That's a cheap/easy repair if that's all you need.
I'll second that. My ex- called a plumber when the water heater started acting funny, and was quoted some astronomical replacement price. I got home, drained it, found out the elements only needed replacing and made the necessary arrangements. I opted to call a competing plumber, told him the story, and got a discount on the labor. It was 5-6 years ago so I don't recall what the cost was, but it sure felt good.
Old 06-04-12, 10:21 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Originally Posted by aintnosin View Post
This. They are more expensive, but much more efficient. Tank water heaters are constantly burning gas to heat the water in the tank and keep it hot. A tankless unit heats up the water on demand and only burns gas when it's necessary.
I have an old tank water heater and last month paid $8.00 for my gas bill. Family of three all of which take showers every day. Doubt a tankless could beat that.
Old 06-04-12, 11:24 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Consumer Reports says you'd break even in about 22...years. Wonder what kind of tankless water heater they bought.
Old 06-04-12, 11:48 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Tankless have to be vented differently, as well. They are getting better but they aren't the most cost effective solution for most people still.

I replaced ours about a year and a half ago. It's a fairly straight forward project especially with the flexible hoses with compression fit ends now.
Old 06-04-12, 11:54 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Just got a water heater last month, its made by The Bradford White Corp. Its made in the USA it cost me $430.00 and $150.00 to install and haul away the old one. Its a 40gal one. It was installed in one day. My Plumber took me to get it at a plumbing supply store, it was not a big box store.
Old 06-05-12, 03:48 AM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

I replaced my water heater last year on my own in about 2 hours. And I had never done it before. They make a non-weld fitting that is incredibly easy. About the only key is that you have a gas cut off right there (and you should).

And Tankless is also good as unlike a tank, you won't run out of hot water. However, it may cost up words of several thousand just to install depending on how they can run the new vents as it is unlikely the current vents can be used.

This is what I was taling about. Assuming some of the connections are welded and you don't weld, you can use this,

http://www.sharkbite.com/usa/product...category_id=24

I was going to have a buddy come help me install as he had welding experience. Mentioned it to dude at home depot and he showed me this. Super easy and like I say was up and running in about 2 hours.

Last edited by Sdallnct; 06-05-12 at 03:58 AM.
Old 06-05-12, 06:03 AM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
I replaced my water heater last year on my own in about 2 hours. And I had never done it before. They make a non-weld fitting that is incredibly easy. About the only key is that you have a gas cut off right there (and you should).

And Tankless is also good as unlike a tank, you won't run out of hot water. However, it may cost up words of several thousand just to install depending on how they can run the new vents as it is unlikely the current vents can be used.

This is what I was taling about. Assuming some of the connections are welded and you don't weld, you can use this,

http://www.sharkbite.com/usa/product...category_id=24

I was going to have a buddy come help me install as he had welding experience. Mentioned it to dude at home depot and he showed me this. Super easy and like I say was up and running in about 2 hours.
Sharkbite fittings are not approved for gas, propane, or fuel oil. They are only for water.
Old 06-05-12, 09:55 AM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Don't buy a tankless water heater until you price it fully, including the full cost of installation, and the yearly maintenance they require.

Imho, you can't beat a conventional vent natural gas water tank. Saying it's heating the water 24/7 isn't really accurate, that thing is like a thermos, the only time I hear it firing up is when it gets some new cold water in it.
Old 06-05-12, 11:40 AM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Originally Posted by crazyronin View Post
Sharkbite fittings are not approved for gas, propane, or fuel oil. They are only for water.
Yes, sorry if I was confusion. On my replacement the only pipes that needed welding were the water lines. The gas line was a typical screw fitting.
Old 06-05-12, 11:46 AM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

I'm not a fan of tankless for saving money. But am a fan for not running out of water. There are mornings when 4 of us take a shower on one WH and tho new and a good one, it can't keep up. I'm considering tankless, but not a priority.
Old 06-05-12, 01:45 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
I'm not a fan of tankless for saving money. But am a fan for not running out of water. There are mornings when 4 of us take a shower on one WH and tho new and a good one, it can't keep up. I'm considering tankless, but not a priority.
yeah i would go tankless if my current water heater were to die. With 5 in the house its easy to run out of hot water. My current one is electric so it sucks, moneywise.
Old 06-05-12, 02:23 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

I don't know anything about water heaters!
Old 06-05-12, 02:34 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Originally Posted by movie diva View Post
Just got a water heater last month, its made by The Bradford White Corp. Its made in the USA it cost me $430.00 and $150.00 to install and haul away the old one. Its a 40gal one. It was installed in one day. My Plumber took me to get it at a plumbing supply store, it was not a big box store.
I used to own a small apt building and we used Bradford-White heaters. We had a handyman install/replace them but then we needed a water heater in the house and I ended up installing it myself. I felt very handy.
Old 06-05-12, 06:52 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

I only have one friend with a tankless, so this is purely anecdotal, but he says that he wouldn't do it again because it takes too long for his liking to get any hot water (his house is around 2000 sq.ft.) That sold me on forgoing the tankless, since I'm way too impatient to stand around waiting for water. I'd rather spend the few more cents a month to have it immediately.
Old 06-05-12, 09:44 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

I think tankless are best in limited space applications, like condos. The costs of installation can be high, as they often require additional venting and a larger gas supply than the tank heaters. You may have to wait for the gas company to come out and install a different regulator on your supply line as a result.
Old 06-05-12, 11:24 PM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
I only have one friend with a tankless, so this is purely anecdotal, but he says that he wouldn't do it again because it takes too long for his liking to get any hot water (his house is around 2000 sq.ft.) That sold me on forgoing the tankless, since I'm way too impatient to stand around waiting for water. I'd rather spend the few more cents a month to have it immediately.
The interesting part is they use to sell them as "instant hot water". The problem of course is the time it takes to travel from the unit.
Old 06-06-12, 09:54 AM
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Re: I Need a New Water Heater!

I looked into tankless gas water heaters, but they are crazy expensive (like $200 - $400). Regular gas water heaters are so efficient that they are more than adequate assuming you don't have a space constraint. I believe I found that a normal 4 bedroom home for a 60 gallon water heater is about 20 gallons of propane a year usage vs the 5-7 gallons a tankless uses. My 60 gallon doesn't even make the needle twitch on my 500 gallon tank in the back yard.

I would swap the whole thing out. Even if it is the elements, it is near the end of warranty which means the tank and the rest can't be far behind. You could swap out the elements and then in 6 months you will find the thing leaking all over the place when you come back from a long vacation. Go to home depot, get a new one for about $80 and you should be able to install it yourself. Buy some stainless steel braided hoses to connect it with while your at it for added leak protection down the road. If the pipes are sweated on with no threads you need to use a small torch and unless your handy you might want to call someone for that.

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