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Old 05-19-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
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selecting an electric water heater


Hello all. i am in need of a little help on the best water heater to buy for the money.

right now, i have an A.O. Smith water heater.
50gallon, 53-1/2" in height

i realize AO Smith is one of the top water heater brands but at this current time, i cannot afford to replace our old water heater with the same brand.

i am looking at Home Depot and see a couple in the 50 gallon range and they are being classified as 50 gallon tall and 50 gallon.

the 50 gallon tall is about 4 inches higher than what i have now and the 50 gallon regular is about 6" shorter than what i have now.

what route should i go? s the warranty time that critical? they come in 6/9/12 year.

any advice?

thank you in advance
Shawn

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Old 05-19-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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selecting an electric water heater


I had a Rheem that lasted me 14 years without any issues. I replaced it with American Standard, which is what the plumber happened to use. I'm not sure if you can get American Standard retail. If your planning on having a plumber install the heater, it may be worth it to see what it would cost to have the plumber supply their own heater.

Apparently there are only a handful of companies that make water heaters, and many of the different brands you see in the stores are all the same brand.

Sears has their Kenmore brand. I don't know what company makes them, but Sears always seems to choose good manufacturers for their Kenmore brand name.

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Old 05-19-2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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selecting an electric water heater


i saw the kenmore brand at sears, fairly priced. i saw ge at home depot, but not sure which to go with. dont know the difference between all. i would like an energy star water heater.

i am planning on installing myself, atleast hoping to
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:07 PM   #4
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selecting an electric water heater


As stated above, there are only about 3 or 4 factories in the whole US that make water heaters. I do electrical work for one of them occasionally. One day they'll be making Ruud, later it's Rheem, next trip out it'll be something else.

Tall or short depends on the space you have to put it in, as well as water and electrical connections.

With the more expensive ones, you're usually paying at least some for the name. The real value is in the insulation. This is usually reflected in the cost per year to operate. Insulation makes the most difference if the unit is located in a cold area. Like a garage. If it's inside of a house, there's not much difference between any of them.

Rob
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:35 PM   #5
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selecting an electric water heater


to give an idea of what i have and the kind of space im dealing with here are the specs below.

AO SMITH - 50 gallon
20-1/2" diameter
53-1/2" height
50 Gallon
30A/240V service disconnect

i know nothing about insulation. i can go a little bigger in size but not much. few inches, yes.

my water heater is located in the house in the closet. know where near the outside.

what is teh difference in a shorter vs taller water heater?
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
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selecting an electric water heater


The only difference between short and tall is the space it fits in, and the cost. If it'll fit, use the least expensive one.

Rob
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:43 AM   #7
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selecting an electric water heater


Water heaters will have specs related to efficiency and recovery rates. Find one that meets your recovery rate needs and then make you decision based on cost vs. efficiency and warranty. I am convinced the only difference between a 5 year warranty and a 15 year warranty is the warranty... Unless you are going to an instantaneous heater or high efficiency you will find little difference if any in quality.

For what it’s worth I usually go for the least expensive with a 10 year warranty.

Rege
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:48 AM   #8
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when s/ you select a high efficiency hot water heater and when s/ you select a non high efficiency hot water heater (criteria to decide)?

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