Hey, Dana - you were so right on your advice to me. THANK YOU. You picked up on the fact that my usage of hot water was low and pointed out that the standby loss cost was more important than the cost of fuel to heat water, and recommended I get an electric tank.
I did have the Kenmore (made by A.O. Smith) 38 gallon electric tank installed. This extra insulated (2.5” foam) hot water tank, with extra think glass lining, seems to have no effect on my electric bill with a fair amount of usage including several hot water loads of laundry. Today I got the emailed electric bill based on yesterday’s actual reading. This November bill went DOWN from pre-tank October (the same rate).
Also, maybe because it is short and squat so the top and bottom electric elements are close to each other, and the tank temp is 140, I never run out of hot water. That advice was also from here to keep the tank at 140 which extends the amount of hot water available. I don't use the tempering valve like Terry and some others suggested, as there are no kids to get scalded. I run a nice warm shower that lasts a while, has very steady heat (more so than the tankless coil in the boiler that is now gone), and has not run out.
Thanks to everyone here for your feedback and advice. I also now have the gas line to my house, and installation of the new gas steam boiler is next!
EDITED: I should add that the temperature of hot water at the kitchen sink is precisely 140, the tank setting. Very accurate.
Last edited by netmouse; 11-12-2013 at 09:17 AM.
I'm glad it's working out for you, but a couple of things:
Sending un-tempered water to sinks and showers is a code-violation, even if you don't have any kids using it. (Untempered water going to dishwashers & clothes washers would be OK.)
Adding a tempering valve doesn't change the hot-water capacity, only the storage temp does. Adding a tempering valve lowers the temp of the "abandoned" water in the distribution plumbing between draws, and will in fact save some energy.
So, when you have the time & inclination, adding a tempering valve wouldn't be a bad idea.