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Thread: Save Me some money! Water Heater costs

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Redding, CA

    Default Save Me some money! Water Heater costs

    Any recommendations on ways to save money by changing/adding something to my gas water heater?
    water heater timer?
    Temperature setting?
    is tankless better?
    or any good websites with information?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Timers for normal people don't save much of anything. What's lost while off gets replaced when turning it back up again...standby losses aren't all that horrible. If you were a weekend only occupant, turning it off while away might.

    Insulation can help, but on newer ones may not be cost effective. What IS effective is to insulate all of the hot water pipes with good insulation, especially those closest to the WH. You may need to shop at other than a big-box store to find some closed cell, high-R insulation.

    Buy an energy star rated tank. One with a flue damper or closed combustion, direct vented tend to be more efficient. The cost to install, maintain, and use a tankless may never pay back verses a much less expensive tank-type WH. they have their place, and if you fit the niche, maybe. They often require a gasline upgrade, and if your winter water temps are cold, you need to account for that with a larger unit than you'd need in the summer. They require periodic maintenance, that, if you can't do it yourself, can get costly over the life of the unit.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    northfork, california


    Sneak into all the baths and kitchen and turn the shut off valves to a trickle for the hot. Kids and women are fairly brain dead with hot water. May as well do the cold too, so you can say its the water pressure.

    LOW flow shower heads.

    You can also pack some lint into the hot water inlet screen on the washer, so the wife is washing in lukewarm water instead of hot.

    If its electric you can BURY it in any type of insulation. I find old down jackets to to be the best.

    Last edited by ballvalve; 02-18-2011 at 11:35 AM.

  4. #4
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    NW Ontario, Canada


    I haven't heard of gas companies doing Time-Of-Use billing so I doubt timers would help. Insulating as much of the piping as possible will help. Reduce the flow by partially closing the shutoffs under the sink as ballvalve suggests. Reducing the temperature of the water can help.

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