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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Replace oil-fired hot water heater with propane-fired tankless in vacation house?

    My oil-fired conventional oil-fired tank hot water heater in a vacation house needs to be replaced. My options are
    1. Simply replace it.
    2. Run a propane line from an existing propane tank outside and replace the heater with a propane-fired tankless one.

    LEAVING ASIDE THE RELATIVE COSTS OF PROPANE AND OIL (which can change from time to time and which seems to me to be generally a wash, given energy content, fuel price, and efficiency), my question is whether the amount of energy lost from leaving a 50-gallon tank heater running and unused when I'm not here is worth the cost of running a propane line ($$$$) and installing a more-expensive tankless heater (I estimate >$$$$ more expensive for the heater).

    Most of the year, I only use the house on weekends, so I would estimate that for about 40 weeks, the hot water gets no use during the week. (I know I can shut the heater off when I'm not here, but occasionally guests or a cleaning person comes, and I like to have the hot water on for them.) So, again, the question is, how much energy is lost just from keeping a tank of hot water for 5 days without use.

    (For what it's worth, the house is on Long Island, NY, and I keep it at 50 degrees during the off-season when I'm not here.)
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 12-31-2012 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Western PA
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    Pricing issues aren't permitted here.

    I've edited your post.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    i would install a electric water heater and wrap it with a blanket
    Stuff happens

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    WAG. You use between 80 and 100 gallons of oil a year to keep the water hot when your not there.
    Contractor locator map


    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Ontario Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    i would install a electric water heater and wrap it with a blanket
    An electric water heater usually has less standby losses due to the fact it does not have an exhaust stack running through it.

    Cheap, reliable, easy to install, I think I would do the same

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