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Old 03-01-2010, 08:50 AM   #16
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How much time to replace a hotwater heater


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Originally Posted by lbtcon View Post
Why not just put in a tankless waterheater. It will replace both of those 40 gal and be a lot cheaper to run.
1.) Need to have a minimum flow rate (0.5gpm for the total flow rate needed) for one to turn on. But often won't want to be using it that much. When I do the dishes (yes, I do the dishes in my house) I keep a slow hot only water coming through the tap. When I shave I keep a slow constant hot water running through the tap. I'm not confident our dishwasher would pull the hot water at that rate, and would thus need to use it's own heating element.

2.) The sandwich effect - where you got hot water in the pipes from it running, you stopped for a while, you start back up and there's an quantity of cold water that gets inbetween as a sandwich effect. Could put a small electric tank post the tankless system.

3.) Cost of installation. It's higher in the first place, but would also need to build a wall in the attic (they are required to be wall mounted), would need new gas lines ran separate - currently 2 furnaces and the water heater off of same line, but the water heaters are only 80KBtu while we're talking 180KBtu. I did the math with the furnaces and I'd need a separate line because when the furnace kicks in, the pressure to the water heater would be so low it couldn't deliver anywhere near the fuel required for 180KBtu.

4.) Not really expected to see energy savings. I live in the Houston area. We have about 9months of the year where the typical attic temp is in 130+ degree's. The loss/efficiency calculations take into consideration heat loss from standing around cooling and reheating. For the majority of the year, this is minimal for my house. Trust me, I'm about as an energy savings monger as you're going to find. I did a count on the CFL's I have in my house a few months ago - 53 of them. Not to mention 6 fluorescent tubes (3 lights) in my garage and the 4 Exterior Flood Lights.

5.) During Hurricane Ike, I had hot water (about the only thing I had working for 6 days), a couple of my neighbors who had tankless gas systems didn't - Why? Because they're computer controlled which requires electricity.

So, after factoring all this in, I decided not to go tankless.

I want to thank everyone for there inputs. I did get some more estimates and all come out in the same ball park, so the original plumber wasn't trying to rip me off. I just got a bit of sticker shock from the estimate.

TAZ427

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Old 03-01-2010, 10:01 AM   #17
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How much time to replace a hotwater heater


I bet you get my joke now (small chuckle) good luck with the tanks
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:28 AM   #18
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How much time to replace a hotwater heater


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I bet you get my joke now (small chuckle) good luck with the tanks
LOL, I got the joke before . I just was hoping it was a little more tongue in cheek.

This is why I tend to take on most of these projects myself. This past summer I tore out 750 sq ft of cheap ceramic tile out (builder installed - 10yrs old and was starting to have small chips show up), and put in 500 sqft of nice porcelain and 250 sq ft of nice travertine. Total cost $4.5K (including flying my brother down and paying him $1.2K after taxes - he's a Journeyman Tile layer ), cost estimates from local tile layers $9K-$11K.

Pics of tile job

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Old 03-01-2010, 10:43 AM   #19
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How much time to replace a hotwater heater


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I was thinking it would take me about 1-2hrs per unit (4hrs max.) And I'd figure a pro would have it done in under 3hrs.
I installed one with my previous roommate (master plumber) and it took 3 or 4 hours including a couple trips to the corner hardware store for some piping. That was start to finish - including picking up the new one and hauling the old one out to the dumpster on the street (doing a big reno - had a dumpster anyways.)

He had all the tools and the know-how to do it quickly and do a good job on it. If I had done it solo it would have been an all-day affair
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:56 PM   #20
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How much time to replace a hotwater heater


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I installed one with my previous roommate (master plumber) and it took 3 or 4 hours including a couple trips to the corner hardware store for some piping. That was start to finish - including picking up the new one and hauling the old one out to the dumpster on the street (doing a big reno - had a dumpster anyways.)

He had all the tools and the know-how to do it quickly and do a good job on it. If I had done it solo it would have been an all-day affair
So between 6 and 8 man hours to change out one water heater.

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