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Old 03-18-2017, 06:01 PM   #1
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Alas, poor water heater, I knew thee well (Advice?)


Hoyt Heater Company, Reno, Nevada-this one lasted since 1985. Wow. Still working, actually, but I noticed dark stucco and said "Oh #[email protected]#$$%#" and time for a new one.
--> Open to advice about buying another one

I'm not doing tankless as I like having the water there in case of earthquake. I'd like a shorter unit because of earthquake but the space won't work, it's on a little raised slab outside in a little kind of shed thing.

My uncle-in-law will come tomorrow to change it out-don't know what the heck I'll do when he retires to Mexico or whatever. The dog likes him so life is much easier when he is the handyman.

Doesn't appear easy to buy another Hoyt or if they are even in business.
Home Depot near me appears to actually only stock Rheem. Lowe's is somewhat farther, and appears to stock a random hodgepodge. Not a lot of options!

Hybrid heat pump models are supposed to save money, but goodness they sure cost more. My gas bill for the whole house (including central heat) peaks at maybe a bit over $100 so I really wonder what they payback period would be. Especially so since a much newer one should have way better insulation and save money anyways. With a hybrid, I'm also concerned with the "more to go wrong" factor since there are a lot of negative reviews. I'm planning to spend more for a longer warranty unit (=better built says Consumer Reports), with the idea of not having to mess with this for a long time, so adding electronics on makes me leery.

also found that Los Angeles require ULN (Ultra Low Not emissions), and the Rheems in stock at Home Depot that meet that are not Energy Star...and there is a $100 Energy Start rebate...nuthin' is easy in this life, eh?
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:59 PM   #2
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Re: Alas, poor water heater, I knew thee well (Advice?)


not sure why an earthquake would keep you from buying a tankless...?
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:30 PM   #3
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Re: Alas, poor water heater, I knew thee well (Advice?)


tank less units have no reserve, so if power or gas is lost in an earthquake u lose the hot water right away.

Nothing you buy will be of the same quality as a 1985 tank. I do recommend finding a tank made in the united states (or better yet canada. ) where the workers are properly payed. Rheem out-sources everything and it's a real shame since they are known to make good products.

The most reliable gas unit is natural draft with pilot ignition. least efficient though - they generally run between 58 and 62%. they work without electricity and only have a thermocouple and gas valve/control to fail.

there's also direct vent which is the same of natural draft but is sealed combustion - ie safer.

You could get a direct vent power vent or induced draft b-vent and get efficiency up to 70%, but with that comes higher repair costs and no heating without power.

direct vent would be my preference if it's near an exterior wall. I'm not fond of open natural draft tanks because they continuously vent air up the chimney.

Heatpump water heaters may be worth looking at if you have a reasonable electric rate and the tank is located in an area like a hot garage.
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I am not in the business of any trade I give advice on. I have non-professional hvac experience + good knowledge of theory. Attempt repairs at your own risk. Never jump out safeties - especially pressure switches - on a furnace for testing with fuel supply on; use a meter. Do not troubleshoot with live line voltage present unless there's no alternative.

Last edited by user_12345a; 03-21-2017 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:03 AM   #4
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Re: Alas, poor water heater, I knew thee well (Advice?)


[QUOTE=user_12345a;4085618]tank less units have no reserve, so if power or gas is lost in an earthquake u lose the hot water right away.




I dont think Id call a 40 or 50 gallon tank much of a 'reserve'....
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:58 AM   #5
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Re: Alas, poor water heater, I knew thee well (Advice?)


Quote:
Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
The most reliable gas unit is natural draft with pilot ignition. least efficient though - they generally run between 58 and 62%. they work without electricity and only have a thermocouple and gas valve/control to fail.
Well, thank goodness I realized that heat pump and long-warranty units (which all seemed to have WiFi and power vents) would need an electric connection, which is not available. And bless whoever at Home Depot had written in black marker "NEEDS ELECTRIC CONNECTION"

So I got the basic pilot light model. Funny, the estimated yearly cost seems the same as the 1985 unit, although the new ones don't reference a price per therm so I can't be sure. The 1985 Hoyt says "high efficiency" so apparently that WAS a really good design although the insulation was only R-6.7

Another thing I found in my researches is the need for an expansion tank due to cities installing anti-backflow valves, which then doesn't let the water heater relieve pressure back into the cold water line. I think actually this is why my 1985 unit broke, as the city changed their meters last year and my guess is they are anti-backflow type.
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