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Old 02-10-2008, 06:47 AM   #16
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What size water heater is big enough for my family?


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Originally Posted by 68MHJCs View Post
NO gas lines to the house. Unfortionately, it would be all new.
Then it would probably be a bit of money to get it done. If the utility is in the road already the gas company might bring it to your house at their expense, don't count on it though. Figure anywhere from $700 to $3000 to run the gas lines from the meter into and around your house depending on prices where you live, if it's just the water heater or if you want to bring gas over to your boiler, stove, dryer, etc for present or future use, how far they have to go, if the basement is finished or not, how difficult the job is, etc. To get more accurate than that on pricing you would need someone local to come give you an estimate.
Where are you located? If your boiler is running most of the year then an indirect water heater is a viable option. Best recovery rate of anything out there.

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Old 02-10-2008, 10:34 AM   #17
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What size water heater is big enough for my family?


I really cannot get into high ticket projects right now if I could I would but cant. Im thinking new energy efficiant water heater and dryer possibly dishwasher. Energy eff light bulbs, unplusg things not in use and watch rooms for over usage.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:59 AM   #18
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What size water heater is big enough for my family?


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I really cannot get into high ticket projects right now if I could I would but cant. Im thinking new energy efficiant water heater and dryer possibly dishwasher. Energy eff light bulbs, unplug things not in use and watch rooms for over usage.
I went through a similar process when they raised our electric rates once again. I got a $230 bill one month when they raised out rates once again. I knocked about fifty bucks off the bill by replacing a twenty year old refrigerator, unplugging a mini fridge used for beer storage, switching to CFL bulbs, hanging clothing up to dry as much as possible, and not leaving lights on. I leave one 14 watt CFL running all night on the porch, and one 14 watt bulb running all night in the living room so the house isn't pitch black. Otherwise lights are only on when people are in the room.

The bulbs defiantly have a warm up period so they aren't ideal for bathrooms, closets, and other places where you need light immediately and don't use it for long periods of time. Also don't go cheap on them, their is a big difference. I put the cheapies in my unfinished basement, lousy light, sometimes they hum, etc. The good ones are great though.

Also do you empty the lint filter on your dryer, that can run up the electric bill. Electric water heaters in general are expensive to run. I probably pay $35 a month to run my 50 gallon gas heater. You're probably paying fifty or so to run that electric heater.

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Old 02-10-2008, 04:53 PM   #19
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What size water heater is big enough for my family?


Im sure we pay at least that we aren't here long and it is February so to try to figure how to rope this bill into something a bit lower in the middle of the game is kinda difficult. But with members from this board help Ill get there or at least lower than it is now. Thanks for your help and info. Keep it comin.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:51 PM   #20
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What size water heater is big enough for my family?


We have three in our family and our 50 gallon electric water heater seems to work fine.

I agree with those who favor gas, gas is better, however, if you are like me, and after reading your post, you are, nat gas is not an option for you. You could use propane, but that's probably just as much as electric as propane tends to be pricey too.

Electric was the obvious choice for us, however our electric rates are for now, reasonable. Running about 7 cents per kilowatt hour.

I installed a general electric - electric water heater in our home after we moved in. It's now 5 years old and has an additional year on the tank warranty, however it still seems to be running in good shape. I have had no problems with it. Regarding expensive water heaters lasting longer, I'm sure that's correct, if a water heater is twice as expensive, I'm sure it will last twice as long, three times as expensive, three times as long. In this I'm convinced there is no free lunch. As long as the tank holds, elements are cheap.

Our water heater has two 4500 watt elements, however the both do not run at the same time. I'm not sure how this works, but two 4500 watt elements equal 9000 watts, however the data plate states the most the unit will never draw is 4500 watts, suggesting that they work one after the other and not at the same time. It is 50 gallons and has only ran out of hot water one time, when my sister came over and took a 30 minute shower, then I took my shower and within 5 minutes my water got cold.

I agree with those who say that your water heater is probably not causing an enormously high electric bill, unless you had a hot water leak somewhere causing it to run all of the time. An element is an element, it will consume 4500 - 5000 watts not matter how new or old it is. Its not like a motor where it can draw additional amps as the bearings gum up. No, once an element starts to go out, it normally just blows, and thats it, it no longer heats at all.

As others have stated, other appliances that are more mechanical can draw more electricity as they age. Ref compressors are a major culprit. We have a 15 kilowatt electric furnace, in the winter, our light bill runs around $250-$300. In the summer it can dip below $100. We are having problems with our light bill too, and we are making efforts to lower it. We have the water heater, electric dryer, range, a side by side refrigerator, a small dorm refrigerator, and a two door commercial refrigerator in the basement which seems to be quite the energy hog.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:57 PM   #21
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What size water heater is big enough for my family?


Well, let me correct my self, I have seen elements that work after they blow apart. It's weird, and rare, but it does happen, and it can cause the element to draw twice as many amps as it's supposed to. This is only a symptom in submerged water elements. The 240v element blows apart, and some how reads a grounded potential through the water. The element heats on "110" volts, cutting the voltage doubles the amps that it draws. I suppose that could cause it to run not as efficient as it should, as well as being quite dangerous. Simply removing the element and inspecting it will rule this possibility out.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:40 PM   #22
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What size water heater is big enough for my family?


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Well, let me correct my self, I have seen elements that work after they blow apart. It's weird, and rare, but it does happen, and it can cause the element to draw twice as many amps as it's supposed to. This is only a symptom in submerged water elements. The 240v element blows apart, and some how reads a grounded potential through the water. The element heats on "110" volts, cutting the voltage doubles the amps that it draws. I suppose that could cause it to run not as efficient as it should, as well as being quite dangerous. Simply removing the element and inspecting it will rule this possibility out.
If you 1/2 the voltage, and double the amps you get the exact same number of watts. You pay the electric company for watts, so while I don't really know the problem you're describing, it wouldn't cause an increase in the electric bill.

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