EcoRenovator (
-   Conservation (
-   -   Looks like it'd time for a new hot water heater (

oil pan 4 10-18-16 11:36 AM

Looks like it'd time for a new hot water heater
I noticed that one of 2 hot water heaters in my house has started leaking. It's a gas fired hot water heater.
I want to say it's just condensation dripping out but I don't think I can belive this much longer.
This hot water heater only supplies hot water to the back bathroom which has a sink and shower as the only demands on it.
This is the only bathroom at the moment as the main bath room is being torn apart and is on a 30 gallon gas water heater.
Once the main bath room is finished this back bathroom won't be getting used much.

The easy thing to do would be to stick another 30 gallon gas hot water heater in its place. But that pilot lite will waste a lot of gas and the water takes a really long time to heat from cold if I were just to turn it off.
I'm thinking that I should replace it with a 19 gallon electric. I want a 19 gallon because it's short, I can lift it up off the floor and get some storage back which my wife would really love.
2 problems the 19 gallon is 1500w 120v powered.
This bath room is going to have to last 2 people for a few more months. That's not going to work for showing in winter with a 40f water inlet water. So I would like to put a 240v element in it. I have never tried this before.
Also there is not an electrical hook up for a water heater over there. I can pull the wire so not really a big deal. Problem is I need to run a sub panel in the garage. If I left the water heater as 120v I wouldn't bother with a sub panel but with a 4500 or 5500 watt element I would really want to sub panel.
The 19 gallon is the same diameter as the larger 2 element 30 and 40 gallon heaters. So a longer element should go I no problem.

Does anyone know if a stubby 19 gallon heater can take a longer element?
I can change to a 240v thermostat too if they are different.

Since this is going to be a lightly used bathroom there really isn't any point in putting an expensive high efficiency hybrid or tankless water heater. The 19 gallon is about $300 with my military discount at lowes. Anything that is tankless or hybrid is at least 2x to 4x that much.
I want to do an electric wrap it with lots of insulation and forgetaboutit.

jeff5may 10-18-16 12:54 PM

Just buy a 240 volt short water heater. Chances are good that someone in town has these units in stock, as they are common in manufactured and mobile homes. Maybe not the big box store, but more likely an independent (plumbing or mobile home) supply house. That way, if the unit has problems under warranty, you won't be doomed. Modifying the unit in any way usually voids your warranty.

If the big box store doesn't stock the exact model you need, find it online and have them ship it to your local store for free. If you do it online, you can track the unit, and know when it has arrived at the store for pickup. The local help is not so great at calling to let you know when the unit arrives.

where2 10-18-16 10:19 PM

Go with what Jeff said about a locating a short 240V unit. If you're concerned about running out of warm water, run the 19 gallon unit at a higher base temp than you were running the 30 gallon gas unit for the few months that you need to rely on this unit. You mix hot with cold to get a 1.2gpm or 1.5gpm stream out the shower head.

If your cold water is coming out of the ground at 40F, it must feel like what we get out of the ground at our property in Northern Maine.

(I have a 1500W 240V lower element in my 50 gallon WH in Florida)

oil pan 4 10-19-16 10:18 AM

Yes in NM the water lines only have to be buried 12 to 18 inches and it gets below 0F here in the winter.
In maine the have to be down something like 4 feet.

NiHaoMike 10-19-16 10:22 AM

Have you considered running a line from the other water heater and adding a recirculation pump?

pinballlooking 10-19-16 10:44 AM


Originally Posted by NiHaoMike (Post 52132)
Have you considered running a line from the other water heater and adding a recirculation pump?

I like this idea. I have a recirculation pump that I have setup when you turn on the bathroom light it will kick on the pump for a certain amount of time. This works very well.

oil pan 4 10-19-16 11:03 AM

I can look into doing that.
Only problem I see is the back bathroom is part of an addition, so I may not be able to easily run a hot water line back there as easy as I would like.

NiHaoMike 10-19-16 11:52 PM

PEX line is very easy to route.

oil pan 4 10-20-16 08:51 AM

I'm thinking that the attic crawl spaces from the old and newer construction may not be connected, divided by an old covered up section of roof.
I will try to get up there this weekend.

pinballlooking 10-20-16 09:08 AM

I will second that. I ran loop with insulated Pex very quick to run.

oil pan 4 10-22-16 03:11 AM

I have a 12 gallon water heater with a 4500 watt element. It came with a 1500watt 120v element. Turns out all the water heaters use the same thermostat control, rated for 40 amps all I had to do was bump the wiring inside up to 10 gauge.
I have an expansion tank, shut off valve and local disconnect or vacation switch.

Servicetech 10-30-16 09:05 AM

Why not put in one of those Marey gas tankless units? Same $300, saves space, and no pilot light. Even vents with standard B vent. Gas valve DOES NOT modulate, that's' why it's only $300. You must manually set the gas level yourself. Wouldn't want one as my main water heater, but for 1 bathroom not getting much use it would be fine.

The 2.7GPM model is $232, might be enough for 1 bathroom.

oil pan 4 10-30-16 10:48 AM

My wife isn't liking the 12 gallon capacity too much lol.
I say she was using too much hot water.
It's plenty for me but I'm trying to only use about 3 or 4 gallons.

Lowes has a 4.3gpm tankless gas water heater for $600. My wife said she doesn't want it that bad.
I calculate this heater can warm 40F incoming water to about 102F at a rate of 3gpm. So it would work great for a woman that loves to use hot water.

If I were to use this tankless one I would install it for the "back bathroom" temporarily, then make it the main hot water heater later on. I would still put this 12 gallon electric one in the back bathroom once it doesn't get used a lot.

oil pan 4 11-20-16 02:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I installed a 5500w heating element and magnesium anode.
Here are the old ones.
The original anode is aluminum and even after 2 or 3 weeks of use the heating element is covered with scale.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Ad Management by RedTyger