Electric water heater?

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
378
SE North Carolina
My manual said to inspect the anode rod after the first year of use. If little deterioration was present inspection could happen at three year intervals. I’ve never inspected a rod on any hot water heater I have ever lived with. I hope regular inspections and rod replacement can keep mine running for quite some time. Is 20 years reasonable..... I’m not sure it is.
Every water heater I have replaced was due to tank failure. With the hybrid, I suspect that will continue. If the heat pump fails, it will most likely be a PCA failure. It seems most OEM appliance manufacturers don't know how to design a reliable PCA.
 
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thecoalman

Member
Jul 18, 2008
21
Coal Country
coalpail.com
Questions:
--On the HPWH, they can be loud, tall, and steal space heat from the room they are in.
One thing that should be noted about this with heated space. It could lead to increased energy costs. e.g if you had gas heat and put 3000 BTU's into the room. If the heat pump sucks that 3000BTU's out of the room it may be using 1000BTU's of energy to do it. It would simply be more efficient to directly heat the hot water with gas to begin with. Many have option to use resistance heating only and you may want to switch it to that during colder weather.

The increased expense is easy to calculate. The cost benefits can get difficult.

Of course if your heat source is wood you may not care but there is more efficient ways to do that too. A thermosiphon loop has very slow recovery but has no energy expense to operate other than the heat source. Much more efficient than heat pump water heater.

thermosiphon_loop.png
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,629
Northern NH
My manual said to inspect the anode rod after the first year of use. If little deterioration was present inspection could happen at three year intervals. I’ve never inspected a rod on any hot water heater I have ever lived with. I hope regular inspections and rod replacement can keep mine running for quite some time. Is 20 years reasonable..... I’m not sure it is.
Ding,Ding,Ding you have should win a prize ;)

Inspecting the anode is probably the biggest ignored maintenance procedure out there. Everyone in the supply chain really do not mind if you ignore as it puts money in their pocket for premature replacements. For some folks with non aggressive water they can go decades with an anode while others may need to replace them every couple of years. There are some potential issues that dissuade folks from doing it. Issue 1 is the anode is in the tank so the tank needs to be isolated and then the level needs to be lowered. This is good thing as sediment can collect on the bottom of the tank and if its never drained, it can plug the drain. Corrosion also tends to form under the layer of sediment. Frequently the factory drain valves are cheap and may not seal and drip if the valve isnt used every few years. They can be replaced. Issue 2 is the factory puts the anodes in with a thread sealant and it can take a lot more torque than a homeowner expect to break it loose. It usually requires a 1/2" drive socket and breaker bar or a cheater pipe to break it loose. Put some teflon tape on it when it gets screwed back in.

Issue 3 is that many installers do not leave room to remove the rods in one piece or replace them easily as a normal anode is quite long and few leave enough length above the top of the tank in one piece. Its not the end of the world. As long as there is some headroom, the rod can be pulled up as far as it will go and if its deteriorated it should be obvious if it needs changing. The rods are made out of aluminum or magnesium so if it needs changing, pull it up as high as it will go, latch onto it with vice grips and then cut the length of rod that is sticking out with a hacksaw or recip saw, then slide the rod up and latch onto it with another vice grip and cut it off until the rod is all the way out. You can buy a "hot dog" anode or flex head heater anode to replace the straight anode. Ideally you buy it before hand and have it on the shelf. Amazon product
Drain the tank and check the anode and you should get decades off the tank.
 
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Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
512
Branford, CT
Here was my anode rod on my Geospring when I pulled it out to inspect it after 5 years. It was completely gone. The prior electric tank in my house was from 1991. My uncle replaced the anode rod every 5 years on that tank and it still wasn't leaking after 20+ years.
20190713_090154.jpg
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,629
Northern NH
Here was my anode rod on my Geospring when I pulled it out to inspect it after 5 years. It was completely gone. The prior electric tank in my house was from 1991. My uncle replaced the anode rod every 5 years on that tank and it still wasn't leaking after 20+ years. View attachment 265582
Great shot to illustrate. The local plumbers probably like the business;)
--*--
 

John Ackerly

Burning Hunk
We would like to keep the option to run heat through the baseboard during winter vacations. Would an electric hot water heater be sufficient for this? Or would I need to keep the ability to use the oil furnace for this time? Thoughts, suggestions, recommendations for types/models of hot water heaters? Thanks!
Heat pump hot water heaters are a great way to go but not sure if they can keep up with space heating needs. Probably depends how big and tight your house is. Lots of states offer incentives to bring down cost of heat pump water heaters but they aren't that expensive anyway. As for excess electricity from your solar panels, get an electric car!