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Posted: 4/22/2014 1:57:48 PM EDT
Our water heater is on the way out. It's an A. O. Smith 66gallon electric unit, s/n tells me it's about 7yrs old.

So anyways, is there anything more than just "buying a replacement unit"? Are "high-efficiency" units anything to look at? I found out that 66g units are considered an off-size, so 80g units are cheaper. The two major suppliers around me have A.O. Smith and State water heaters. A call in to each got me un-named model pricing of a State 66g for $532 and 80g for $491, and an A.O. Smith 66g for $673 and 80g for $643. I did some research on State water heaters and they have a "Standard", a "High Efficiency", and a "Premier". Should I look into any of these, or does it not really matter?
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 2:04:21 PM EDT
I'd check in to the tankless on demand water heaters. They use them in Europe. Not sure how you retrofit them into your existing plumbing though?
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 2:09:34 PM EDT
A gas or propane tankless is the way to go. I've been seeing them installed more and more and people are very pleased with them.
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 2:10:06 PM EDT
If you are actually needing a 66 gallon and consuming that much, tankless probably won't keep up with your demand. Those seems like very fair prices. I am not sure what is considered high effiencency in electric models. Perhaps it is the kind that has a heat pump sitting on top of it. I have a friend that has one. It's been nothing but trouble and he paid $1100 for it and it's a 40 gallon. I would stick with the base model. Electric is a super simple install that most any homeowner can do themselves.
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 4:05:47 PM EDT
I have an on demand, I would never get a tank one again
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 4:21:40 PM EDT
7 years is not old for a water heater.If it's not leaking I'd replace the elements and let it run another 7 years.....
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 4:23:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 5:41:02 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Ohiogators:
If you are actually needing a 66 gallon and consuming that much, tankless probably won't keep up with your demand. Those seems like very fair prices. I am not sure what is considered high effiencency in electric models. Perhaps it is the kind that has a heat pump sitting on top of it. I have a friend that has one. It's been nothing but trouble and he paid $1100 for it and it's a 40 gallon. I would stick with the base model. Electric is a super simple install that most any homeowner can do themselves.
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You're probably wrong there. They're rated in GPM and come in different sizes. mine can heat 10gpm to 150f no problem, though I rarely use that much or that hot.
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 5:47:03 PM EDT
It's just my wife and I in the house. No plans for kids. The 66gallon was here when we moved. Should we step down in size? No unusual heated water practices here; two people showering once a day, I sometimes take a 2nd depending on activity, dishwasher run once, maybe twice a week, and we wash our clothes on the "Cold" or "Cool" setting.
Link Posted: 4/22/2014 5:49:07 PM EDT
This, elements burn out and tank gets filled with scale if you don't drain it.

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Originally Posted By DanaHillen:
7 years is not old for a water heater.If it's not leaking I'd replace the elements and let it run another 7 years.....
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Link Posted: 4/23/2014 4:55:39 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By BlueMule:
It's just my wife and I in the house. No plans for kids. The 66gallon was here when we moved. Should we step down in size? No unusual heated water practices here; two people showering once a day, I sometimes take a 2nd depending on activity, dishwasher run once, maybe twice a week, and we wash our clothes on the "Cold" or "Cool" setting.
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This house I live in now had a 40 gal from 1989 in it. Five of us got by with it for almost two years. We would run out of hot water though.
We put in a new 50 last year and have had no problems since.

What exactly does"going out" mean? A little maintenance would be a lot cheaper than a new unit.
I see no reason for you to install an 80.
The problem with converting to high efficiency is usually you have to replace the flue. The same with tankless. The flue install can be more than the water heater if it involves roof patching. Also, tankless require huge feeds, either gas or electric.
Water heaters don't use that much energy and it will take a long time to recoup the expenses.

If I were in your shoes, I would read some articles about water heater maintenance. If I couldn't get mine working well, then I would replace it with a 40 or 50 gallon tank of the same type.
Link Posted: 4/23/2014 5:40:41 AM EDT
I don't remember if state is the same as ao smith. I know last time I checked, there were only 3 manufactures anymore. just named differently.

for smaller size, we have 5 people in the house and a 50 gallon works fine for us. so you could down size and save a few bucks and be fine I think.

as for tankless, the pay off vs cost wasn't worth it for the size I needed for my house.

tankless works on differential temps. some go higher than others, but need even more gas or power to do it. so you have to know your coldest water temps and how much a tankless can heat it up based on gpm flow through the unit.

not sure on electrical how bad it is, but for me, I had to get a larger gas line to the house. so it made it cost prohibitive.
it was going to be 3 times as much for the tankless unit itself then a replacement hot water heater, plus another 1500 to run a new gas line.

While I am all for them, you pretty much have to plan the house for it, rather then retro fit for cost effectiveness.
unless payback in savings isn't an issue for you, and you just like to have "infinite" hot water.
Link Posted: 4/23/2014 6:24:20 AM EDT
We have a 50 gallon for the four of us. No problems running short. I'm pretty sure that the different tiers they are quoting you are warranty levels. Like 7 -10 -12 etc. The best thing you can do for your water heater is drain it at least once a year to get the sediment out of it.
Link Posted: 4/23/2014 3:37:49 PM EDT
When we were growing up my parents had a natural gas 40 gal tank between 4 of us and we only ran out of hot water a couple times a year. Usually when my siter took a hot shower longer than normal. I just needed to wait an hour.
I bought my house i'm in now in march of 2012. The date installed on it says 1992. It's a 22 year old natural gas 40 gallon tank. I have never run out yet allthough it's just me. I STRONGLY suggest you get a 40 gallon ao smith and call it a day. I bet you will be 100% fine.

I have noticed electric hot water heaters last only a fraction of natural gas. I suggest you check your sacraficial anode with a 1 and 1/16" socket yearly after replacing tank. Drain yearly in the summer to flush calcium deposits, and i bet your tank will last a log time.

To keep 66 gallons of water heated with electricity has to be a waste of money and electricity.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 4/23/2014 8:04:14 PM EDT
If you have to stay or want to stay with electric Vaughn electric stone lined water heaters or Marathon is what you want they are not made the same as any water heaters on the market.
Link Posted: 4/24/2014 5:01:03 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By postpostban:



This house I live in now had a 40 gal from 1989 in it. Five of us got by with it for almost two years. We would run out of hot water though.
We put in a new 50 last year and have had no problems since.

What exactly does"going out" mean? A little maintenance would be a lot cheaper than a new unit.
I see no reason for you to install an 80.
The problem with converting to high efficiency is usually you have to replace the flue. The same with tankless. The flue install can be more than the water heater if it involves roof patching. Also, tankless require huge feeds, either gas or electric.
Water heaters don't use that much energy and it will take a long time to recoup the expenses.

If I were in your shoes, I would read some articles about water heater maintenance. If I couldn't get mine working well, then I would replace it with a 40 or 50 gallon tank of the same type.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By postpostban:
Originally Posted By BlueMule:
It's just my wife and I in the house. No plans for kids. The 66gallon was here when we moved. Should we step down in size? No unusual heated water practices here; two people showering once a day, I sometimes take a 2nd depending on activity, dishwasher run once, maybe twice a week, and we wash our clothes on the "Cold" or "Cool" setting.



This house I live in now had a 40 gal from 1989 in it. Five of us got by with it for almost two years. We would run out of hot water though.
We put in a new 50 last year and have had no problems since.

What exactly does"going out" mean? A little maintenance would be a lot cheaper than a new unit.
I see no reason for you to install an 80.
The problem with converting to high efficiency is usually you have to replace the flue. The same with tankless. The flue install can be more than the water heater if it involves roof patching. Also, tankless require huge feeds, either gas or electric.
Water heaters don't use that much energy and it will take a long time to recoup the expenses.

If I were in your shoes, I would read some articles about water heater maintenance. If I couldn't get mine working well, then I would replace it with a 40 or 50 gallon tank of the same type.
It's leaking from around the lower heating element. I'm going to call the local supply house where this one probably came from and see what they have in parts for a gasket. I highly doubt the former home owner did any maintenance. If I do replace it, from the responses I'm getting here I'm thinking that a 50 gallon unit is the way to go. Capacity should be fine for what we need, the energy cost will (should) drop, and it is probably a good size for resale value of the home.




Link Posted: 4/24/2014 1:58:13 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlueMule:
It's leaking from around the lower heating element. I'm going to call the local supply house where this one probably came from and see what they have in parts for a gasket. I highly doubt the former home owner did any maintenance. If I do replace it, from the responses I'm getting here I'm thinking that a 50 gallon unit is the way to go. Capacity should be fine for what we need, the energy cost will (should) drop, and it is probably a good size for resale value of the home.

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo59/TheRealBlueMule50/photo1_zps69e2de7b.jpg

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo59/TheRealBlueMule50/photo2_zpsd37bf682.jpg
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlueMule:
Originally Posted By postpostban:
Originally Posted By BlueMule:
It's just my wife and I in the house. No plans for kids. The 66gallon was here when we moved. Should we step down in size? No unusual heated water practices here; two people showering once a day, I sometimes take a 2nd depending on activity, dishwasher run once, maybe twice a week, and we wash our clothes on the "Cold" or "Cool" setting.



This house I live in now had a 40 gal from 1989 in it. Five of us got by with it for almost two years. We would run out of hot water though.
We put in a new 50 last year and have had no problems since.

What exactly does"going out" mean? A little maintenance would be a lot cheaper than a new unit.
I see no reason for you to install an 80.
The problem with converting to high efficiency is usually you have to replace the flue. The same with tankless. The flue install can be more than the water heater if it involves roof patching. Also, tankless require huge feeds, either gas or electric.
Water heaters don't use that much energy and it will take a long time to recoup the expenses.

If I were in your shoes, I would read some articles about water heater maintenance. If I couldn't get mine working well, then I would replace it with a 40 or 50 gallon tank of the same type.
It's leaking from around the lower heating element. I'm going to call the local supply house where this one probably came from and see what they have in parts for a gasket. I highly doubt the former home owner did any maintenance. If I do replace it, from the responses I'm getting here I'm thinking that a 50 gallon unit is the way to go. Capacity should be fine for what we need, the energy cost will (should) drop, and it is probably a good size for resale value of the home.

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo59/TheRealBlueMule50/photo1_zps69e2de7b.jpg

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo59/TheRealBlueMule50/photo2_zpsd37bf682.jpg



I just replaced an AO Smith that was doing the exact same thing. Ours was a little older than yours, though. I woke up one morning and found about a gallon of rusty looking water on the floor. I ditched the AO Smith ASAP, went to HD and bought a new Rheem.
Link Posted: 4/24/2014 3:33:21 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlueMule:
It's leaking from around the lower heating element. I'm going to call the local supply house where this one probably came from and see what they have in parts for a gasket. I highly doubt the former home owner did any maintenance. If I do replace it, from the responses I'm getting here I'm thinking that a 50 gallon unit is the way to go. Capacity should be fine for what we need, the energy cost will (should) drop, and it is probably a good size for resale value of the home.

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo59/TheRealBlueMule50/photo1_zps69e2de7b.jpg

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo59/TheRealBlueMule50/photo2_zpsd37bf682.jpg
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlueMule:
Originally Posted By postpostban:
Originally Posted By BlueMule:
It's just my wife and I in the house. No plans for kids. The 66gallon was here when we moved. Should we step down in size? No unusual heated water practices here; two people showering once a day, I sometimes take a 2nd depending on activity, dishwasher run once, maybe twice a week, and we wash our clothes on the "Cold" or "Cool" setting.



This house I live in now had a 40 gal from 1989 in it. Five of us got by with it for almost two years. We would run out of hot water though.
We put in a new 50 last year and have had no problems since.

What exactly does"going out" mean? A little maintenance would be a lot cheaper than a new unit.
I see no reason for you to install an 80.
The problem with converting to high efficiency is usually you have to replace the flue. The same with tankless. The flue install can be more than the water heater if it involves roof patching. Also, tankless require huge feeds, either gas or electric.
Water heaters don't use that much energy and it will take a long time to recoup the expenses.

If I were in your shoes, I would read some articles about water heater maintenance. If I couldn't get mine working well, then I would replace it with a 40 or 50 gallon tank of the same type.
It's leaking from around the lower heating element. I'm going to call the local supply house where this one probably came from and see what they have in parts for a gasket. I highly doubt the former home owner did any maintenance. If I do replace it, from the responses I'm getting here I'm thinking that a 50 gallon unit is the way to go. Capacity should be fine for what we need, the energy cost will (should) drop, and it is probably a good size for resale value of the home.

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo59/TheRealBlueMule50/photo1_zps69e2de7b.jpg

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo59/TheRealBlueMule50/photo2_zpsd37bf682.jpg

A gasket would be worth trying first. You might get lucky and save a ton of cash.
Link Posted: 4/24/2014 5:57:42 PM EDT
It's hard to tell with a slow leak but if it's leaking at the weld it's time to replace the heater. If you're certain that it's leaking at the gasket you could try cleaning up the gasket seat and replacing the gasket to extend the life of the heater.

FWIW, a 50 gallon "electric" heater should satisfy a two person household unless showers, dish washing and laundry happen within a few hours on the same night.
Link Posted: 4/26/2014 5:51:40 AM EDT
We have a 50 gallon gas water heater for our family of five. Occasionally--like when we have two baths, are running the dishwasher, and I try to get a shower in in the same hour--I have cooler than normal, but never cold, water.

The modern water heaters seem to do a good job of recovering quickly from big loads, and with all the insulation don't run very often.

Plus you have 50 gallons of emergency water "on tap".

I bought mine at Lowes and switched it out myself.

For your situation, I'd go with a 40 gallon if it is cheaper.

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