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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: bikebum on October 19, 2013, 02:49:39 PM

Title: Gas Water Heater Recommendations?
Post by: bikebum on October 19, 2013, 02:49:39 PM
Any recommendations for models of gas water heaters? I want to replace my electric tank water heater with an on-demand gas one. I do have natural gas; I'm not sure why an electric one was put in but it came with the house. Such a waste to keep all that water heated all the time using electricity.
Title: Re: Gas Water Heater Recommendations?
Post by: bikebum on October 19, 2013, 03:02:01 PM
May have jumped the gun here. I didn't realize tankless gas heaters are so expensive. Would still love advice on how to reduce my water heating bill. There are two of us and we only shower about every other day and do laundry about once a week or less, so I don't think we need that much hot water sitting around. It is a three bedroom, one bath house though, and should be sized appropriately.
Title: Re: Gas Water Heater Recommendations?
Post by: clutchy on October 19, 2013, 03:35:37 PM
Depending on your location.... I'm in social and my non-winter gas bill is $18.

That's a tanked hot water heater.  Gas dryer and cooking.

There comes a point when even thinking about that is a 100% waste of time.

I think you're doing the right thing by going with a tank system.  They are cheap reliable and really not that wasteful.
Title: Re: Gas Water Heater Recommendations?
Post by: Spork on October 19, 2013, 03:47:18 PM
We have this one:

If you do a search, Bakari has a post of less expensive inline heaters he looked into (including the one he installed).  The higher the flow rate, the higher the cost.... so it depends on the flow rate.

You will want gas though... electric inline heaters might require panel upgrades... again depending on flow rate.

...and yes, the payback takes a long time to realize.  They're nice in that you always have hot water... and they're infinitely adjustable.  Most of the time you don't need it very hot (115-120 tops)... but if you decide you need 140 degree water for disinfecting ... tap the controls and you have it.  When done... turn it down and you're back where you were.

You can also run it at lower temps than a tank.  With a tank, you often run the shower with some cold water added.  This keeps you from sucking your tank dry in quick time.  With a tankless, set it to the temp you want your shower to be and turn it to "full hot".
Title: Re: Gas Water Heater Recommendations?
Post by: NinetyFour on October 19, 2013, 08:44:13 PM
I LOVE my Bosch Aquastar 2400ES tankless.
Title: Re: Gas Water Heater Recommendations?
Post by: daverobev on October 19, 2013, 09:12:09 PM
It is very probably not worth replacing a functional electric one with gas - financially. Wait until the electric one breaks!

To lower your electricity usage:

1. use less hot water
2. turn the temperature of the tank down a bit - say 10 or 15 degrees - see how it feels

Makes a huge difference! Really!
Title: Re: Gas Water Heater Recommendations?
Post by: msilenus on October 20, 2013, 02:38:28 PM
I LOVE my Bosch Aquastar 2400ES tankless.

I'm glad you're happy with your Bosch.  If you read lots of Bosch reviews, a few things jump out: a) when they work, people are happy b) the defect rate is very high (I found one Amazon reviewer who cited one of their tech lamenting about a 40% defect rate) and c) support is really difficult to deal with.

I'm going to have to replace my Bosch.  It is certainly defective.  There's a vibration causing a loud noise to come out of the exhaust.  I paid a plumber $500 to come out.  The Bosch support people had him measure the gas pressure inside the unit with every fixture in the house running full blast -something we never, ever do.  I told him that.  They didn't care.  Lo and behold, the found a way to force the unit into a state where they could refuse to troubleshoot it.  Pressure too low they said.

I call out the city. They flow test the meter, and it's fine.  A little too high, even, but the tech magnamiously agrees to not adjust it down.  I check their WC measurement against the requirements in the installation manual: my gas line is at the high end of their recommend range, but comfortably within it.  I also do not have too many fixtures.  I call Bosch back, ready to go to war.  They won't even talk to me.  Literally: they won't even put a tech on the line with me.  I am not gas certified.  I can call out a plumber again, but it's going to be another $300-$500, and the best I can hope for is service on a unit with a high defect rate.  The previous owners of my house actually did all this song and dance once before.  The heater is already on its second motherboard.  I've gotten a unit with two independent failures before end of life, with many years left to go for more.  It probably has a thousand dollars of post-installation labor in it already.

I guess if you're a gas-certified DIYer and can convince Bosch to talk to you, there's probably a good deal to be had.  If not, I think anyone buying one of their units is taking a big risk.  Much better to invest in a unit with a lower defect rate.

I have my eye on a Rinnai.
Title: Re: Gas Water Heater Recommendations?
Post by: bikebum on October 20, 2013, 03:27:29 PM
Thanks for the replies. I suspect daverobev is right about it probably not being worth it since my electric tank is working fine. I should have looked into it a bit first before assuming there would be a savings.  Got excited about a potential opportunity to save energy and money! I'll look into some tank gas systems, just to be sure I'm not missing out.