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Old 09-09-2010, 11:53 PM   #1
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water heater question


I am moving from an apt. which comes with paid hot water to my first house, which has 3 bathrooms. I live alone and am often away for a week to a month at a time, several times a year. I only need hot water for one shower a day, dishes a couple times a week and not at all for a lot of the year. Would it be better to have a tankless heater as opposed to a tank of water sitting unused, heated, wasting energy or is it better to drain out and shut off a conventional water heater when I'm going away?
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:33 AM   #2
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water heater question


Water heaters are very well insulated and don't use much electricity if not being used. It would take a long time to recoup your investment. Don't take my word as gospel though, wait for an expert on the subject

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Old 09-10-2010, 08:40 AM   #3
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water heater question


Electric or gas heater?

Do you need to drain a water heater if it will be off for a while? I've never heard that...
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:00 AM   #4
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water heater question


Are you going to do the changeout yourself? Is the current water heater NG or electric?

If your old water heater is NG, is reaching the end of it's life (normally 15 - 20 years) and you are going to do the work yourself, then I would think about tankless.

If you are going to have a contractor change it out I would go with a new tank type. You will probably never see a payback if you pay someone else to install a tankless.

If the current water heater still has a lot of years left in it I would just shut it off if I knew I was going to be gone for more than a week. No need to drain it...you should be draining it once a year to remove sediment anyway, whether it's NG or electric.

BTW, I installed a tankless 6 months ago and I love it.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:08 AM   #5
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water heater question


I was thinking about installing a tankless in my house at some point. I've never worked with NG before. I know how to sweat copper, do work in the electrical panel...but working with NG scares me.

Is it something that's basically fool-proof as long as you test for leaks, or should a DIYer not go anywhere near NG?
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
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Running NG is easy. Just make sure it's okay for a HO to do it where you live. I have a license so it doesn't matter for me.

Make sure you have done your calculations using the NFPA (fuel gas code book) so you know what size lines to run and what materials are acceptable. Make sure your joints are made with the correct sealants and are secure and leak proof and that there are drip legs where required and proper support.

In some cases you may need to have gas lines inspected and pressure tested.

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