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Water heater being installed as we speak... Goodbye oil!

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by AddictiveStew, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    I ran romex to a junction box on the wall nest to the unit, and ran an 'armored cable' hanging from the box to the unit. (conduit is not required in a garage in my area) Had to buy 25' of the right armored cable to use 4'. Gave the rest away. My unit specified solid core wire, which ruled out other options like 'appliance whips'. Also, some areas want a cutoff switch next to the unit. In my case, if the unit is in a line of sight of the breaker box, a switch in not required.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Sorry Moey, this is absolutely wrong. You are spreading bad info here. Romex (NM) may be in conduit so long as you don't exceed the fill limits and so long as the conduit is not in a wet location. If you don't know code, then don't quote code.
    raybonz and ironpony like this.
  3. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl Moderator Staff Member

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    No teenage girls in your house;lol That changes the water use factor for a shower....
  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Actually i do have a 16 YR old daughter who does like to take hour long showers. So the smaller heater provides another function which is a self limiting conservation feature. After about 30-40 minutes or so she is "encouraged to wrap it up" by the cooler water. I consider this feature an added benefit of a smaller WH rather than a limitation.
    fox9988, woodgeek and briansol like this.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Yet another reason I don't like tankless heaters. 2gpm shower head would suck up a 30 gallon tank quickly. maybe 20-30 minutes? I did some checking and the marathon 30 gallon tank has the same energy factor as the 50 gallon tank. Also, the 30 gallon unit is available with all of the same wattage elements as the bigger tanks so recovery time is less.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I never had a tankless heater but i was under the impression that they provide an unlimited supply of hot water. Just looked at one from HD $229 and its 60 Amps Draw. Thats a lot of juice.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I wasn't very clear but I'm with you Seasoned Oak, the effect of a small heated water tank running cold on the person that is overshowering is a good thing. The unlimited supply of a tankless would not provide this effect and would lead to rampant overshowering. 60 amps is a small one, some use more than one 60 amp breaker.
  8. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    yup.
    but, it doesn't run ALL the time. it only runs when the water is on. so, is 30 min of 60 amps draw equal to 5 amps??(no idea what a reg heater uses) every 15 min for 5 min? or whatever it turns out to use over the course of the day.
    i'd like to see the match behind this with real numbers if any one has done it.
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Theoretically when comparing electric to electric, the tankkless is more efficient - both have 100% efficiency transferring heat from the heating coil to the water, but in the tankless there is virtually no standing mass of hot water to give up standby losses.
    Highbeams point is just that it encourages you to use more since it never ever runs out.
  10. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    My 80 gallon tank uses about $30 of electricity per month @ around $0.16/kwh. Keeping 5 of us (3 of them teenagers) in hot water. Rough figures - if that helps anybody.
  11. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    Do you ever run out of that 80 gal tank?
  12. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    The big benefit comes when you switch from a gas hot water tank to a gas tankless. The gas hot water tanks have a low EF whereas the gas tankless have a much higher EF. Lots of standby loss going out the chimney. Going from a electric hot water tank to electric tankless would not see as big a change in cost.
    Highbeam likes this.
  13. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    My old Weil Mclean super cell started leaking and it was a no brainer. Even under the lifetime warranty it wasn't worth it. Went to Lowes got a cheap State 40 gallon and a coil of number 10 wire and a breaker. Problem solved . 40 gallon is more than enough and this one is mounted upstairs in a nice warm closet blanketed.with full shut offs. I think the works cost me 450 in 2011. I was burning 5 to 6 gallons of dino juice (turning the boiler off) just for hot water a week. Now it's about 25 a month . If I want to fill up the 50 gallon whirlpool tub I just crank up the settings max then dial it down after.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    It's so quiet too. It would be nice to heat the whole place with resistance heat-so quiet.
  15. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Oh yeah. Way too much. What a pain and it makes them noisy too.
    Our electric resistance waters heaters are basically acting like water softeners. I've had to clean the tanks and install new lower heating elements numerous times now.
    iceguy4 likes this.
  16. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I'll send my 16 YO daughter there for a shower and you'll change your mind lol..

    Ray
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I can't figure out why anybody would have anything but an electric water heater. I have lived in two houses with gas heaters and they were both a pain in the butt. Fire a boiler just to heat domestic hot water? No way.
    iceguy4 likes this.
  18. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    ... Yes, the net affect is soft water. the build up is what takes out the lower element too. Be pro active...clean it first before it builds up...speaking of that I should do mine. As of now I use a zoned HW maker with pellet boiler (last year although I had HW maker, I didn't use it during the winter due to high oil costs) but will switch to electric as soon as heating season is over. A side note...although my oil boiler is cold start, it is kept warm (hot) during the heating season...I have no problem shuting it down all summer season...Its fairly new and if it leaks, I'll address that if it happens...lots of slow leak fixers out there...
  19. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    I agree to a point BB. like I said , I chose electric over a high efficiency zoned HW maker during the winter ...when I was dependent on oil. now I switch away from electric(only during heating season) with my pelletboiler. sometimes it fires just for HW because no other zone is needing heat...I can live with that. soon I will be back to electric...
  20. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    I think its because I'm laying on the couch sometimes while reviewing posts...just a thought:confused:
  21. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Haven't yet. Now that I'm heating it with the wood boiler, I've got the thermostats turned back to around 110 to act more as backup. I've let the wood side cool off a few times to almost that with still enough hot water. Before I got the wood connection up & running, I had the thermostats set to around between 115 & 120 - that was still good, didn't run out on just the electric elements alone. Electric has pretty good quick recovery times - the main reason I went with this big a tank is for working with the boiler. First to have lots of reserve for when I'm heating it with wood & there are spells when I get lazy with the firebuilding, plus it heats with a sidearm & mainly convection so not very good recovery. It gets hot enough in the times of no useage (during the night, or when nobody is home all day), and keeps it there well enough that it'll coast until it gets heated up again by wood. I have plans to add more insulation around it, just haven't gotten around to it yet. If I wasn't using the boiler to heat it, I likely would have gone with a 40 or maybe a 60. Almost ruined myself getting the 80 into place - sucker was heavy.
  22. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    If its a gas boiler on cold start heading an indirect tank its damn cheap, thats why. My summer gas bills are about $20 a month.
  23. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    Its like taking the long way to work...just because your car gets a high MPG.. the whole mass of the boiler has to be heated plus any manifolds...ect to heat the HW... Just saying.... $20 bucks is cheap though.. I guess spending any money to cut that down would fall under the catagory of "having more dollars then sense...cents"
  24. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    A dedicated gas hot water heater is a little different than a gas boiler with a hot water coil. More efficient and less standing loss than a boiler.
  25. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

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    Should I switch over to a electric when I replace mine? I currently have a 16 year old propane WH. Ticking time bomb. It's gonna give up on Xmas day or something stupidly expensive like that. My WH is in a cold basement, so I'm pretty sure the heat pump water heater doesn't make much sense, but I'm still up in the air about replacing the propane unit or switching to electric? I'm paying about $0.13 Kwh for electric and around $2.00/gallon of propane.

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