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Thread: Electric Water Heater Choice?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member JanieS's Avatar
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    Default Electric Water Heater Choice?

    I am wondering if anyone can recommend a good electric hot water heater for a 1500 square foot house? I'm planning on keeping the house for at least 5 years so I'd like to buy a good one. I have the usual places to shop: Lowes, HD, Atlanta supply houses.

    I had thought about going tankless but after reading here I think I'll wait If I try to go tankless, I'll end up researching myself to death and I'll be in December with cold water still!

    I have 2 bathrooms and the master bathroom has a great walk-in shower with 2 shower heads (the second shower head moves and would be used only occasionally) and a great soaker tub with a built-in heater.

    A friend on mine had read that the Whirlpools that Lowes sells have reliability issues (Thermocouple problems).

    Because of where the utility room is located, I've had it wired for electric and I really can't go with gas.

    It's also been suggested that I add a timer to the water heater so it cuts off at night? Comments?

    Thanks for any suggestions!
    Last edited by JanieS; 11-08-2007 at 08:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Default

    Ruud/Rheem are decent. Tankless would take too much power to make it worth it. How many people are in the house? For a small familly a 40 gallon would do it, unless someone likes to live in the shower...like my wife. I've got a 60 gallon, 2 bath home.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member JanieS's Avatar
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    2 females, no children.

    I love to take long baths.. that's why I added the Heater option on the tub! My roommate is a long shower person. Lately, we've been abstaining because of the water shortage in Georgia but hopefully that will be better by the time I get my certificate of occupancy.

    My concern was actually on the shower.. with 2 shower heads, if you were using both I was told I'd have about 4 minutes of water... and that is just not long enough for a female!

    I was thinking 50 gallons if the space allows (they tend to be chubby little things!)

  4. #4
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    You can gain some capacity if you operate the heater at a higher temperature. That usually means that you should have a tempering valve in the line so someone doesn't get scalded at a faucet.

    Modern shower valves are usually thermostatically controlled to prevent scalding.

    A 50 gallon heater set at 160 F will provide a lot more water than one at 130 F because it will be mixing some cold water with it to supply the shower.

    You don't want a timer on the water heater. A well-insulated electric water heater doesn't lose much heat and you can reduce that with supplemental insulation. You want it as hot as possible when you start to use water.

    The electric companies usually prefer that you heat the water at off-peak times and will sometimes give you a lower rate if you have a timer that limits power during the day.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Rheem/GE are good quality heaters. Whirlpool are junk. Is gas a possibility? A power vent gas heater is relatively simple to install, and gas is faster and less expensive than electricity. By all means avoid the tankless heaters. They sound great in their hype, but in practice they are expensive, require frequent servicing, and the electric ones require a larger service panel that most homes have and are just a royal PITA.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member JanieS's Avatar
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    Gas would be tough. The laundry room this is going in is in more of the middle of the house. I want to leave the potential for an upstairs addition later.. so venting up and over this area is not really a good idea. Plus, I've already paid for the electrical cutoff so I'm pretty much staying with electric.

    Just wondering, with the brands of water heaters suggested, any better models than the rest of simply try to find a 50 gallon one from one of those brands?

    Lowes carries whirlpool.. Hd Ge I think.. so I'll call around to supply houses next week.

    But if anyone has had a great experience with any one type of heater, please speak up

    Next: toilet choices...

  7. #7

    Default

    Bradford White or State makes a good water heater. There's not a whole lot of difference in the electric models.

  8. #8

    Default Rheem Marathon

    I'd get a Rheem Marathon, hands down.

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