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Thread: Why don't they make 80 gallon gas water heaters?

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    DIY Junior Member BernieGallagher's Avatar
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    Question Why don't they make 80 gallon gas water heaters?

    I'm renovating an old multi-family home and intend to live in one of the units. I like to take long hot showers, so I plan to replace the w/h for my unit with an 80 gallon w/h. This house has gas hookups for the water heaters rather than electric. Fine by me! But in shopping around, I've discovered that the largest gas water heaters they make are 50 gallons. If I want an 80 gallon w/h, I have to get electric. Why don't they make gas water heaters bigger than 50 gallons?

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    They make 75 and 98 gallon gallon gas water heaters. They take a 4" vent.

    http://www.rheem.com/Products/tank_w..._water_heaters
    Last edited by Terry; 08-19-2011 at 05:07 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BernieGallagher View Post
    I'm renovating an old multi-family home and intend to live in one of the units. I like to take long hot showers, so I plan to replace the w/h for my unit with an 80 gallon w/h. This house has gas hookups for the water heaters rather than electric. Fine by me! But in shopping around, I've discovered that the largest gas water heaters they make are 50 gallons. If I want an 80 gallon w/h, I have to get electric. Why don't they make gas water heaters bigger than 50 gallons?
    There are 80's available as Terry notes. However, unless you are using an old high gpm showerhead (or an array of the standard 2.5 gpm showerheads) you should be able to take a really long shower with a 50 gallon tank. I use some ultra low flow showerheads now (around 1.5/1.6 gpm) and we can run three showers simultaneously, and dishwasher or washing machine too without ever running out of hot water. I'm not suggesting you go to an ultra low flow showerhead, but you might want to try to find a regular 2.5 gpm (they all say they are low flow anymore) that you like. Frankly, I didn't get great showers from the old 5 - 9 gpm showerheads I've used in other homes we were in. We had one house where my wife routinely ran the hot water out with a poorly performing high flow showerhead before I got in the shower...so I hated the damned thing. My wife prefers some inexpensive 2.5's, but she's at peace with the 1.6 gpm I found for her.

    Now if you want to fill a whirlpool tub...well the 50 gal comes up a big short for us using 125 F water setting. I have to halt the fill about 2/3 of the way, let the tank recover for about 15 minutes, then finish. So for that I would like to have an 80 gallon tank.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Or you can add a tempering valve and run the water heater at the high setting, dialing it down for a mixed output at a lower temperature.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BernieGallagher View Post
    I like to take long hot showers, ?
    With Obama in office, and algore still on the loose, that will soon be illegal!

    BTW, a 50 gallon gas will give you approximately the same first hour delivery as an 80 gallon electric,due to the much higher recovery rate.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That question ranks up with "what is the meaning of life". They DO make 65 and 75 gallon domestic gas heaters, but their cost is about two to three times the price of a 50 gallon one, and the 65 costs more than the 75.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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