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Old 07-12-2009, 09:02 AM   #1
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Hot water heaters: Electric vs. Gas debate


I need a new hot water tank. My wife and i are the only people living in our house and so i figure we only need 40 gallons, and we'd like to make every upgrade to the house as efficient as possible. We currently have a c. 1994 electric 40 G and so the research goes on: Here's what I've found sofar. Gas heaters, using natural gas seem to be more efficient as far as the energy source is concerned (more BTU's is gas than in the equivilent electricity), however gas heaters are prone to a few problems, such as venting issues (backdraft!) , pilots (I've only found 1 residential HWT that only ignites the pilot light when you need it and that's the Bradford White), corrosion in the tank (forget to replace the annode rod, get ready to heat 6 inches of rust at the bottom of the tank before you heat the water) I've even heard of dirt legs getting overfull and destroying the burners. PLUS they cost more than electrics~! What a host of issues! Is it worth it? I can't afford a tankless system (they have too many problems too, I find) So what's the deal? why bother making a gas hot water heater at all?? I'm sort of thinking that I'll sacrifice the (marginal?) increase in efficiency over durability and reliability.
Tall me what you think

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Old 07-12-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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Hot water heaters: Electric vs. Gas debate


I grew up with gas water heaters and appliances. The main advantage they have is not going out during a storm. Cost, installation (since they need vents) and other factors are against them. I belong to an electric Co-op and they sell Marathon water heaters. Lots to like about them. A bit more expensive to start with, but if I need to replace what I have now, this is the way I will go. Click on the link below and read all the facts.

http://www.marathonheaters.com/

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Old 07-12-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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Hot water heaters: Electric vs. Gas debate


I've heard about Marathon heaters - made by Rheem, aren't they? What can I expect to pay for one?
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:52 PM   #4
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Hot water heaters: Electric vs. Gas debate


You would need to check with the outlet nearest you. I have included a link for where they are sold. I believe a 40 gallon was about $600.

http://www.marathonheaters.com/cons_wheretobuy.html
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:53 PM   #5
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Hot water heaters: Electric vs. Gas debate


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpenter View Post
we only need 40 gallons, (more BTU's is gas than in the equivilent electricity),
1 Therm of energy can be had from approx. 100 cubic feet of natural gas or exactly 29.3 kwh of elec.
How much do you pay for each in your area?
I'd think elec. is ~100.00% efficient, except for the heater running 5 min each 7 hours to make up for heat loss through the insulation.

The 64 gals in this link should probably be 100 gals per person per day, depending on who you ask.
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/pro...ters_calc.html

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-12-2009 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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Hot water heaters: Electric vs. Gas debate


While I've heard the term "dirt leg" most electric water heaters have the same issues as gas. Corrosion, anode rod ,etc
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:48 PM   #7
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Hot water heaters: Electric vs. Gas debate


I've always favored gas appliances however where I live in SW Florida they don't have gas lines like they do in NY so everything down here is electric. I have always heard good things about the Bosch inline heaters.






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Old 07-16-2009, 11:03 AM   #8
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Hot water heaters: Electric vs. Gas debate


In Rex Cauldwell's Plumbing book, he has a page explaining the advantages of electric over gas. He recommends the Marathon.

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