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2031pratt 12-25-2008 01:02 PM

Replacing a Water Heater with Electric One
 
I have a coach house that I use as an office and it has a 13 year old gas water heater, 50 gallons. 50 gallons is wayyyy to big for what i need, and on top of it, it doesn seem to turn down, as it always heats very hot/warmly even when turned down.

it is a power vent one, and was thinking of getting the smallest power vent unit i could find, but that is still 30 gallons and these power vent ones seem expensive.

the other thought i had was to get like a 12 gallon electric one. they say in the specs that it takes 120 volts (1500 watts). There is an outlet in that area it goes. Does that mean it can just be plugged in with no additional wiring?

even though gas, i am told, is cheaper than electric, 12 gallons would be enough for sure. wouldn't a 12 gallon electric be cheaper to run than a 30 gallon gas?

and how much does it cost these days to install a water heater? assuming that the profile of the 12 gallon one is much lower than the 50 gallon one there now. also, what needs to be done with the gas line? is it just capped off?

thanks in advance for any info/suggestions.

Marvin Gardens 12-25-2008 08:17 PM

A 120v 12.5 amp water heater should work in any plug in as long as there is nothing else on the circuit with more than a few amps. Most circuits are at least 15 amps which is common and could also be a 20 amp.

You can just cap off the gas line. Make sure that you seal it will with either gas rated teflon tape of pipe dope to prevent leaking.

As for cost it is simple calculation of btu's. One gallon is 8.33 pounds and raising one gallon of water 1 degree F takes 8.33 btu's. Which does it better is up for debate. Electric is more effective and has higher efficiency since there is no heat lost going up a pipe providing both types of tanks are equally insulated.

For ease of use in your situation I would go with electric since your usage is going to be minimal. If it was going to be used heavily then I would do more research in to yearly costs. For the small usage you are looking at the difference of a few dollars a year.

If you don't have a shower or bath and only want to have hot water for a sink then consider an under the sink on demand electric hot water system. There is no tank and only goes on when you turn on the hot water. This will give you real savings.

joed 12-26-2008 09:57 AM

The gas power vent should have a dedicated power line running to it. Use that line to power the new unit.

butlersprints 12-26-2008 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2031pratt (Post 202412)
I have a coach house that I use as an office and it has a 13 year old gas water heater, 50 gallons. 50 gallons is wayyyy to big for what i need, and on top of it, it doesn seem to turn down, as it always heats very hot/warmly even when turned down.

it is a power vent one, and was thinking of getting the smallest power vent unit i could find, but that is still 30 gallons and these power vent ones seem expensive.

the other thought i had was to get like a 12 gallon electric one. they say in the specs that it takes 120 volts (1500 watts). There is an outlet in that area it goes. Does that mean it can just be plugged in with no additional wiring?

even though gas, i am told, is cheaper than electric, 12 gallons would be enough for sure. wouldn't a 12 gallon electric be cheaper to run than a 30 gallon gas?

and how much does it cost these days to install a water heater? assuming that the profile of the 12 gallon one is much lower than the 50 gallon one there now. also, what needs to be done with the gas line? is it just capped off?

thanks in advance for any info/suggestions.

You could also build a small platform to set new smaller tank on to raise it to existing pipes.$200-500 depending on what needs to be done. (draining old one ,hauling it out)(Pipe moving, capping)ect... Water heaters are actually pretty simple for a DIY'er, just plan a few hours minimum.


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