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Old 12-02-2011, 06:20 AM   #1
John650 OP
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Hot Water Heaters

What is the latest and greatest technology in the world of hot water heaters?

Mine gave out this morning and I need to get it replaced. It was over 10 years old and I think about 30 gallons, gas fired.

Anybody have an idea on what a fair cost would be to have one replaced?

Recommendations on brand to replace it with?

Thanks

John
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:27 AM   #2
A-Bone
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Pauli says it's gonne be about 18 grand...

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Old 12-02-2011, 06:56 AM   #3
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Depends on your needs. You could go tankless. They even make tankless that don't have a standing pilot that don't need electricity to fire, using the energy from the flowing water to power the igniter. That'll require replumbing for both the gas and electric, and the heaters are expensive, but you pick up floor space.

When mine failed in '09, I was quoted $800 to install a new one. Instead, I bought one retail for $400 and installed it myself.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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You should get a cold water heater instead. Hot water doesn't need heating.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofate View Post
You should get a cold water heater instead. Hot water doesn't need heating.
Beat me to it

To the OP, Tank types are the easiest to replace, assuming that's what you've got now, pretty much a swap out, if you're planning on sticking around you may want to consider a tankless, more $ upfront but long term payoff.

Don't be like my sister who called a plumber to replace her tank type heater that day, dumb broad paid about 2 grand for a $350 heater.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:24 AM   #6
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My parents just installed a tankless in their new house and are very happy with it. I think it is a little louder, but usually this is not an issue with where the heater is located. Don't expect instant hot water though, it's about the same as a tank heater with the delay from when you turn on the faucet to when hot water flows.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:35 AM   #7
A-Bone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofate View Post
You should get a cold water heater instead. Hot water doesn't need heating.
yeah.. but it is waaaay cheaper to heat water that is already hot..
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John650 View Post
What is the latest and greatest technology in the world of hot water heaters?

Mine gave out this morning and I need to get it replaced. It was over 10 years old and I think about 30 gallons, gas fired.

Anybody have an idea on what a fair cost would be to have one replaced?

Recommendations on brand to replace it with?

Thanks

John
State or A.O. Smith are decent brands...

Cheapest thing and most reliable for that matter is just a simple gas fired water heater like you already have...

If you have hydronic heat already and never want to replace a water heater again.. get an indirect water heater that uses your boiler to heat the water... will require repiping and will cost more, but will last a whole lot longer than a water heater..
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:50 AM   #9
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Simplest thing is to get a like for like exchange. Depending on age and installation location, you might need to raise the heat 18" off the floor? I think that for garage installations due to the potential for gasoline fumes?

I understand the tankless are better than they used to be, but I have zero current experience with them.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:56 AM   #10
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Tank water heating is not much different than it was 30 years ago. Except there are new safety stuff that raised prices a bunch. That could be a California thing but expect to pay $500 for a tank heater, plus installation.

I had problems with one tankless that was just a little too far from the gas main. Not enough pressure and it wouldn't run. I put it in another house and it's doing ok outside of fluctuating temperature. Probably a flow problem. Lots more to go wrong with tankless. In my area, they need regular flushing to clear hard water deposits.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:36 AM   #11
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Tankless

I went the tankless route this time last year. I replaced two heaters, 1 -40 gal electric and 1 -50 gal electric with a single Rinnai R75LS gas fired tankless model.
After having it and using it for a year all I can say is I should have done it 10 years ago. Big drop in utility bill and I don't notice that much difference in how quick it comes to temp in the shower.
The gas company rep told me about the possible delay in hot water at the spigot with the tankless and the fact the water wouldn't be as hot as the tank model but I'm totally satisfied with mine, I can't go anywhere near all the way hot in the shower and it is super for the jacuzzi because you don't run out of hot water filling it up. Back last winter during one brutally cold week I purposely ran the dishwasher, washing machine while taking a shower and no problems getting the water as hot as I wanted. Worked great with daughters families getting bathed, showered etc during the holidays.
Picked up 12 square feet of closet and laundry room space to boot.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:48 AM   #12
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I've got an oil fired on demand that has a small tank (5 gal.) that is kept hot. Pretty much instant hot water, followed by burner heating coils to continue with hot water. Never run out, and can run shower, dishwasher, etc. with no problem.

Stainless tank which I needed, lot of iron in water that kept rusting out regular tanks every 3-4 years.

Very economical, pricey initial costs.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:53 AM   #13
John650 OP
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Thanks for all the reply's.

I'm looking at 40-50gal tanks now. Probably go with something from Sears or Lowe's that has a 12 year warranty. I'll start shopping around tonight.

John
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:54 AM   #14
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I used to install them as a part time job years ago. They usually last about 15 years. I installed a water softener here when I bought the place 26 years ago and I'm still on the original water heater. Looks to me the softener helps.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John650 View Post
Thanks for all the reply's.

I'm looking at 40-50gal tanks now. Probably go with something from Sears or Lowe's that has a 12 year warranty. I'll start shopping around tonight.

John
Measure your old tank, vent, water line, and gas connection locations and get one as close as possible. It will make the installation a lot simpler.


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