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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1
    Hi,

    We're doing a home reno that entails wiping out our chimney, and need to replace the hot water tank with either an electric hot water heater or a high efficiency gas model. (We have to vent out the side of the house, once the chimney is gone.)

    The high efficiency gas heater runs close to CDN $2000, while a 40 gallon electric model runs around CDN $675 -- big difference in price. But we've heard conflicting things about the recovery rate of the electric heaters vs. natural gas. And the company that we're considering going wiith is quite adamant that the electrric heater would not serve our needs.

    There are three of us living in the upstaitrs (two adults + baby), and because of our child, we do a fair amount of laundry. But we also have two tenants living in a basement suite. The suite has its own laundry, as well.

    So...four adults + one child, plus two laundries that can be going at the same time. Add to this the occasional guest.

    Which hot water heater would you choose?

    Thanks very much in advance for your reply.

    Guy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,886
    Just because a gas WH is venting out the side doesn't mean it is high efficiency. If you look at house air being sucked out by the vent motor, it is likely less efficient than a standard one.

    For this setup, I'd say 50 gallon gas or 75-80 gallon electric. Overall, gas probably has a operating cost benefit though with gas prices going through the roof, not as big of a difference anymore.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    253
    Take a look at the Marathon electric water heaters. They come in a variety of sizes and are well insulated. My wife and I have a 50 gallon size and have never had an issue when we have had guests. We do live in Georgia, however, where the incoming water is 75F: only needs to be raised 45F to the 120F we have it set at.


    Originally posted by BaldLoonie
    Just because a gas WH is venting out the side doesn't mean it is high efficiency. If you look at house air being sucked out by the vent motor, it is likely less efficient than a standard one.

    For this setup, I'd say 50 gallon gas or 75-80 gallon electric. Overall, gas probably has a operating cost benefit though with gas prices going through the roof, not as big of a difference anymore.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    I'd go Electric before those noisy power vents.. My parents has it and it drives me nuts lisiting to that small whine blower running..

    Look at the Rheem water heater http://rheem.com/consumer/catalogRes_detail.asp?id=10

    I hear nothing but great things about these, and they will last forever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Derby City
    Posts
    3,958
    I have both gas water heaters (natural) and electric in my home. I have been pleasantly surprised at the efficiency of the electric unit and have never had a recovery issue. 3.5 baths and up until about 7 years ago, teenagers at home. I was skeptical at first, but have been pleased with the performance. Can only speak from my own experience. I have a high efficiency gas heating system, but remain on the electric water heater. If I were to replace it tomorrow, I would probably go back with the electric based on the past performance.
    Everyone has a purpose in life..........even if it's to be a bad example.

    Seek first to understand, before seeking to be understood.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    -Double post-

    [Edited by mayguy on 10-12-2005 at 05:23 PM]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Edgewater, NJ
    Posts
    88
    Rheem says 120 gallon electric. You have several other options:
    • Two units operating in parallel
    • Wiring the unit so both elements operate concurrently, if code permits
    • Running the unit at 140 or more and using a tempering valve

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    700
    Look into direct vent gas heater. Avoids noisy ventor, dependance on electricity supply, parts are simpler & cheaper if req'd. Probably way more efficient since all combustion air is from outdoors. Sealed system. Requires 7" hole for horizontal vent/air intake, and must be installed fairly close to vent terminal.
    Question authority!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    68
    Go with the electric one. Gas will not be worth the extra money and they are noisy. You will need at least a 50 gallon or bigger if you are worried about running out of hot water.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Mahopac NY
    Posts
    448
    Have you considered or been presented with the option of a gas fired continuous flow water heater?
    Dogs truly are man's best friend!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    80 gal electric should be fine.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,414
    I have an 80 gallon electric (Marathon) water heater. I've done many loads of laundry, dishes, g/f's taken a shower (that itself can text many-a water heater lol)... and when it was finally my turn there was still plenty of water left that was toasty warm.

    Check with your power company, they might have a deal on them. I know around here if you go all electric you get one free.

    If you wanted to stick with gas I'd go with a tankless version.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    Funny how before I would always tell homeowners ...gas is the only way to go. Now at what they are raising gas lately I would consider electricity. Now are all the new power vent hot water heaters no pilot? I havnt paid attention or wether or not thet will last as long as a electric water heater. I know you have a faster recovery then electric but at the cost differance a lot around here are saying screw it and buying electric.

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