Which Gas Hot Water Heater?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by walds11, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    The four of us rarely take showers in a row. My kids usually go in the evening and my wife and I usually go in the morning. Well, we started to this afternoon. My two kids went first and then I went. At the beginning of my shower, I could tell that the hot water was going away. I made it through my normal shower with hot water, although the handle was turned all the way. I told my wife to wait it out a little bit :) Should I go with the 50 gallon unit?
  2. Robinbird

    Robinbird New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    california
    Rheem 40 gal hot water heater

    OK, Single mom, just after Christmas, slow leak in water tank...

    I called and the guys from Payless water heaters are coming tomorrow... to give a quote. I'v e tried to research to see what is a reasonable cost for replacement, and what is needed for install, warm blanket, strapping, permit...

    I think I can replace with a Rheem, 40 gal 6 year warranty model, at

    I have a small home --- tiny 600 square foot cottage, two teens, and me... one bath, dishwasher, and washer dryer.... the current has a slow leak, tiny at bottom, that I noticed when I went to see if a new larger will fit... it never filled the tub with hot water... but was fine for showers and all else.. but I want the tub to fill which is why I am on the quest in the first place, but seeing water in the pan, well it is time too.


    I am hoping to do this, is that reasonable? They offer a coupon online for $50 off... and they have 30 years in the business....

    Am I reasonable to think I can get this installed for under $1000?
    The company pushes B/White but after reading I think Rheem is better... am I right there too...

    As a single mom, it's tough dealing with car repair guys, car salesmen, and plumber-electricians-repair men, etc.... I never know if the price is good, great, crappy, or a complete rip off....

    Please advise with words I can use with the guy tomorrow... I have some time and can comparision shop....

    I want to stay away for just having lowes or home depot installing, rather get a reg plumber, who stands by his work and product he installs...

    Help?

    Thanks guys...
    Rob
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2010
  3. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    It's all done folks. I had the hot water heater installed today. 50 gallon BW high efficiency hot water heater, model #M45036FBN. less a $50 mail in rebate from PECO. Net $830. Not bad at all. I got a few other price quotes and they were over $1,000. It's small, local family owned HVAC business that was recommended to me. Great service!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2010
  4. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Hot water heater leaking?

    Well, maybe I am not done. I was down in the basement just a little while ago and noticed some water coming from under the hot water heater. Anything that I should be concerned about? I will be calling the HVAC guy first thing tomorrow morning.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2010
  5. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    The picture is too small to tell. I would be very concerned until the source of the leak was located.

    I've caught quite a few small leaks before the plumber left...so don't be shocked if it is just a connection that needs reworked, he might have missed something. Could be leak on other projections from the tank (drain valve thread or packing for example). Or it might be the T&P valve popping because of high pressure. Could even be the thermostat/gas valve threads leaking or the anode. Hopefully it won't be an actual leak in the vessel wall.
  6. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    I really can't tell where the water is coming from. Looks like the water is coming from underneath the unit. I wiped the water away and will keep in eye on it. I will call the HVAC company first thing this morning. Maybe I should of left the water there for the HVAC guy to see?
  7. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    I cleaned up the water last night. Checked this morning and no water. Maybe I should of left the water, not that would of made a difference? A tech was out this afternoon. This is what the owner had to say via email...

    "Our tech was just at the house. There is no water on floor. I suggest that you place a bucket under the relief valve. If this is going off the water will collect in the bucket. If we find water in the bucket we may need to install an expansion tank. Please let me know of any problems."

    I called John the owner and he said an expansion tank is about $150. Oh well, it is what it is. I'll keep an eye on it. How come I did not have this problem with the old tank?
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    If the tank is bigger, you may notice it. Sometimes the toilet valves act as a relief valve, but may only release a little at a time, so the new heater can heat more water faster than they can handle it. Hard to isolate it. The more you use out of the tank, the more there is to heat. If you luxuriated in an exceptionally long shower now that the WH was replaced, expanding a whole tank's work verses a smaller amount may have been enough to do it.
  9. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    You kind of confused me. Anyway, if this is occuring because I went from a 40 gallon tank to a 50 gallon tank, I am going to be pissed. It cost me $80 more for the 50 gallon tank, which is no big deal, but it might cost me another $150 for the expansion tank. Geez!
  10. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    I doubt the 40 to 50 gallon tank size difference would make enough of a difference. Keep an eye on it, put a test gauge somewhere and you will know what the spikes are when it runs after a shower/bath.

    Perhaps a more likely scenario is a relief event when the tank was initially charged with cold winter water. That is about the worst case: the full 50 gallons will see the maximum delta T and therefore the greatest thermal expansion volume. This is likely two to four times what you would see from a very long shower.

    Unfortunately, the ideal time to do the expansion tank would have been when installing the water heater because the incremental time investment would have been the least. The tank will only run you about $35 bucks, but you are looking at the minimum time and service charge for the installation itself. If you need the expansion tank for the 50 gallon tank, then you really need it for the 40 gallon as well.

    EDIT: Another thing related to the initial fill. The burner will be in "condensing mode" early on when the water is very cold. This only happens during cold fills from what I can tell (as in after draining and refilling due to maintenance.) If you look in the window when this is happening condensate from the combustion gases will be dripping down onto the burner pan, probably producing a yellow flame. This condensate might make it out of the chamber onto the floor. If so you won't see it again unless you drain the tank to a cold state.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  11. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Thanks. The guy said it would be about $150 for the expansion tank installed. Would this be something he should of caught while installing ot testing the new unit? If so, then I should not be charged the full price.
  12. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    Maybe, but it probably isn't worth quibbling over. The plumber might have suggested it, but if you had no troubles before I doubt he would have, and there is a fair chance that a homeowner would reject it for that same reason. Realistically, you've got the previously mentioned tank cost, a special tee (depending on the tank nozzle type), a strap, and some misc. materials. If you have everything drained for him it is less than an hour of actual labor. But that first hour of labor is probably charged out at $50-100. So assuming you pay something for the install itself which you would have paid anyway the differential cost of doing it now vs. initially is perhaps ~$50 for his extra trip.

    Expansion tanks aren't code required in many areas including mine. Instead they appear to be an "as needed" thing. I've never had need of one before in any of the homes I've inhabited in various states. That is, I've never had a system that didn't soak up the thermal expansion somehow without the expansion tank. But now I do, so I had one installed.

    Just guessing, but on most homes connected to municipal system if you installed a test gauge you would probably find the thermal exp. pressure spikes exceed 80-100 psig. These should probably have thermal expansion tanks, but most often don't. Some can relieve back to the supply, but new higher system pressure water pumps/towers and checkvalves might prevent that...tightening of the overall network and toilet fill valves/etc. is likely to increase the need for these expansion tanks in the future.
  13. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    You are probably right, it's not worth quibbling over. If the hot water heater needs the expansion tank, then it needs it. No way around it and $150 is not going to break my bank. It's just a little frustrating.
  14. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    I've been checking the bucket every morning. Water in there the last few mornings :( I guess I will be calling the HVAC tech to install the expansion tank.
  15. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    At least now you know what the source is and that it is not a leak. The valve could be popping early (a test gauge would show that) but it is probably just thermal expansion.

    The only thing puzzling is why the other water heater's T&P wasn't popping the same way. One possibility is that it wasn't opening when it should have...
  16. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    The tech came out today to install the expansion tank...$150 later. The hot water heater cost me more than I initially thought after factoring in the expansion tank. I just can't figure out why now and not with the old unit? Oh well.
  17. Ron6519

    Ron6519 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    You have an extra 10 gallons expanding. Did you install a sprinkler system with a double check valve ? If you have one, the water cannot expand out to the street anymore and can only expand in the house. The relief valve will pee if the pressure is too great.
    Ron
  18. walds11

    walds11 New Member

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Spinkler system with a double check valve? What's that? Anyway, the expansion tank solved the problem, $150 later. Oh well.
  19. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    I need to replace my mom's water heater (40 gal). Which unit is better for natural gas, Bradford-White or State? Each of my supply houses carry a different brand.
    Thanks.
  20. Plumbermurrieta

    Plumbermurrieta Plumber

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Murrieta Southern California
    Storage tank water heaters: Hot tips for a better buy

    You probably don’t think much about your water heater until a cold shower or a telltale puddle suggests that you need a new one--now. How to choose? Most look alike on the outside. But a look inside tells a very different story.

    Sawing open 18 gas and electric models confirmed that paying a little more for a longer warranty typically buys you a better water heater. Several smart steps can also help you save money, avoid installation hassles, and get enough hot water, even on busy mornings.
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