need water heater advice

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by joan from zone six, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    KY
    have heard there are some gas water heaters so efficient they can be vented with a plastic pipe - yet, at the big box stores, all i can find require double wall vent metal pipe - does anyone know brand names of the super efficient heaters?
    thanks!
     
  2. No, because I have electric heater (cost $120 installed with lifetime warrenty as part of the REA program, they control it to not run during peak demand, but at 80 gallons not a problem) but the box stores tend to have the cheap stuff.

    Check your local plumbers or sometimes heating/AC folks. They will have the good stuff.

    --->Paul
     

  3. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    KY
    thanks paul - sounds like your electric company has come up with a logical way to help smooth out peaks and lows in demand - strange that a government group would come up with something sensible
     
  4. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,622
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Maine
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

    Messages:
    30,713
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
    I highly recommend tankless water heaters. A bit more expensive up front, and the vent is 5 inch, but the savings come with not keeping a tank of water hot 24 hours a day.
     
  6. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2002

    Me too... But if you don't want to go that way - I've saved a ton of money with just remembering to turn the blasted thing off and on every day...

    I started with an experiment: turn it off after DH left for work and my shower was done - then back on just before bed (he can't seem to remember in the morning).

    Even though the gas rates went up by almost double this year, I saved $40 in February over January's bill - and $70 from last year - which was warmer!!! You do have to drain them a little more often doing it this way - just to prevent 'catching' something from whatever bacteria could build up in the sludge, though.

    Sue
     
  7. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,026
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    WV
    I have a vented gas water heater and there is no electric involved.

    Surely you are you referring only to the ones with PVC pipe?
     
  8. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    KY
    thanks for the info guys - i had really considered a tankless unit until i learned that all had a minimum operating water pressure - usually 30 psi - something i will not achieve with a limited gravity flow system that i am most reluctant to boost with an electric pony pump - would rather rely on gravity alone - hasn't failed me yet (as the sagging proves)
     
  9. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,266
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    ...............OK, now I understand how those "thankless" water heaters actually work.......the Lower the pressure the SLOWER the fluid passes thru the Heated pipe as it takes MO' time for the wawa to get hot........But, 30 psi should still provide a sufficient flow for any project.............fordy..., :eek: :)
     
  10. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Messages:
    1,265
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    Zone Unknown
    Definitely check the utility companies. Last years, our electric coop was selling nice WHs (A O Smith and some new extremely high tech brand that you won't find at Lowes) for next to nothing to its customers. It's still selling them at somewhat lower than you can find elsewhere.

    I like the idea of turning them off - I think I'll try it and see if I can get my electric down to $20-$30 a month, given my current obsession is seeing how low I can get all my bills. :D
     
  11. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    KY
    fordy - you're right - but, i'm stuck with 15 -20 pounds pressure and don't want to rely on electricity to boost it to 30
     
  12. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,026
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    WV
    Countrygrrl--there are timers that aren't that costly to control the unit so you don't have to. My dad had one fro an electric water heater and it saved him money. He only had it heat for an hour or two in the AM and early evening. His controller looked like an electric panel box just for the water heater.

    Don't forget to insulate the water heater properly as well and inspect it for performance and drain it periodically (and otherwise maintain it well) to improve efficiency.
     

  13. dont know how your set up is, so this question might be mute... why dont you raise your water supply? i really dont remeber what the presure per foot is but i thought my boss said something like 40psi for 100 ft height. kind of curious as to how you are set up.. been slowly ( very slowly) tring to learn the pump side of the well buisness i just started working at not to long ago.
    Mike in KS
     
  14. edjewcollins

    edjewcollins Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    216
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Location:
    SE MI.
    I do a lot of plumbing and the only tanks I've EVER seen with a PVC vent is a POWERVENTED model. They are carried by both Lowes and home depot in my area. Why dont you try a search for a DIRECT VENTED water heaterhey vent through the wall and also pull combustion air from outside. Direct vents are often used on mobile homes.

    Here is some info:
    Bradford White Corp. has introduced its Residential Gas--High Input Direct Vent water heater. Available in 50-, 65- and 75-gal. capacities, this new water heater boasts an excellent recovery rate, a high First Hour Delivery rate and is ideal for installations with an insufficient supply of combustion air. Utilizing a telescopic, coaxial (pipe inside a pipe) venting system with a heavy-duty aluminum inner wall and a galvanized outer wall, the air for combustion is introduced through the outer pipe and the products of combustion are exhausted through the inner pipe. www.bradfordwhite.com Bradford White Corp.

    http://www.hotwater.com/resident/sealsh.htm


    Ed
     
  15. 59classic

    59classic Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Are there timers for gas water heaters that would do this? Then I wouldn't have to be smart enough to remember!
     
  16. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,026
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    WV
    59--yes, there are. Just check with your local hardware or appliance store.