Oil hot water heater vs electric

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by BuickGN, May 11, 2005.

  1. BuickGN

    BuickGN New Member

    I have a 50 gallon electric hot water heater that I am thinking of replacing when I rearrange my furnace/laundry room. I have been told that an oil fired unit is much more efficient and has better recovery times.

    I have an oil fired hot air furnace so I have a chimney right near where I plan on putting the hot water heater so venting would not be an issue. Oil line should be easy enough to tap off of also. Would it be worth it to switch or should I just stay with an electric unit. Was thinking about going with a Bock 30 gallon unit.

    My electric bill is very high and everyone tells me to ditch the electric hot water heater. I put a timer on it and it didn't seem to help much.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Even with oil a 30 gallon heater may be a bit small. An oil fired unit has more things that can cause problems, but will heat faster and cheaper. Repairs will be more expensive however.
  3. keep in simple

    the best thing to do is just put another 50 gallon electric water heater in and forget about it.. because anyone can make repairs to it pretty quickly

    The oil units can be big trouble if and when they fail getting them repaired quickly. Depending on what part of the counrty you are in, maybe they are popular. But you better find out who will be able to service that "hybrid" if it ever needs it before you install one.

    as far as efficinecy the oil is probably cheaper but I dont think its worth the gamble.
    if you just wrap the electric unit with a jacket, it makes it more appealing.
  4. BuickGN

    BuickGN New Member

    The more I think about it I think you are right. Would have to cut a hole in the chimney for the venting, deal with the plumbing of the oil line and circuit changes probably isn't worth the hassle.

    Was trying to do something to bring my electric bill down. Have a brother-in-law who insists an oil-fired hot water heater is the answer.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Assuming your heat is hot water, you could go with an indirect hot water heater. The disadvantage of this system is that you need to keep the boiler on all year, but you have one heat source, one flue, and the tank will last forever. It typically would get its own zone valve and maybe pump - the tank has a heat exchanger in it. Some are all stainless steel and rarely need replacement. If keeping the boiler on all year doesn't bother you, and it is an efficient boiler, that is an option. My unprofessional opinion. Now, if the heater is hot air, you are back where you started...
  6. its a common problem

    like you said,
    you got a BROTHER IN LAW that calims something .....

    we all got jack ass idiot brother -in -laws that "know it all" ......

    or want to insist on something thats "good for you" and you should do..

    whatever that subject might be...

    It took me a few years to realize its best not to listen to
    any relatives giveing me advice......

    cause they aint going to be around when its time to do the real physical work.

    And they arent going to come around to help fix it right, later on down the road either.

    and no matter what happens, you still got to see them at

    Christmas and thanksgiving...
    Last edited: May 14, 2005
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