20 YR OLD Water Heaters (2) - Replace or Can I Keep Waiting?

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John Gayewski

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Totally understand this for a Tank system. I didn't know whether Tankless was different because the water isn't sitting in a 50 gallon tank at that temp all the time.
The piping is the main issue as the water heater (even a tank) is gonna be the hottest point in the system. I personally set my heater at 135.
 

Hogan

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The piping is the main issue as the water heater (even a tank) is gonna be the hottest point in the system. I personally set my heater at 135.

My family was so used to the 108 or whatever mine was at before that now at 120-125 they all complain that the water is too hot haha. I can't imagine 135....they would all be screaming of burned hands. (yes I know they need to get used to never turning it to full blast hot....but several of our faucets are still the 2 knob kind and I think they were used to just turning on hot when they needed to wash hands and it never got painful when the heater was at 108)
 

DanInNaperville

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The tankless is more efficient and provides "endless" hot water (at a limited, but reasonable flow rate). But it's far more complicated than your current HW heater and will have issues from time to time. It's also important to get it serviced regularly where a conventional HW heater can be ignored, for the most part. Ideally you'd drain sediment from the bottom of the tank every few years and change out the sacrificial anode every 5 or 10, but you can often get away without doing either. Tankless has to be partly disassembled and cleaned every 1 to 5 years. Or just replace it after it fails every 7. It's more like a furnace or boiler than a water heater.
You may need to have the line to the water heater changed out for a larger one. If you currently have two power vent HW heaters, that's less likely to be an issue than in a lot of more typical installations. Atmospheric HW heaters are usually 35 to 40 Kbtus while powervent are often 50 or 60. Two power vent would be 120k btus. Tankless water heaters are usually 140 or 200k btus. Big jump from 40 to 200, not a big jump from 120 to 200 (so existing gas line is probably OK).
 

Hogan

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The tankless is more efficient and provides "endless" hot water (at a limited, but reasonable flow rate). But it's far more complicated than your current HW heater and will have issues from time to time. It's also important to get it serviced regularly where a conventional HW heater can be ignored, for the most part. Ideally you'd drain sediment from the bottom of the tank every few years and change out the sacrificial anode every 5 or 10, but you can often get away without doing either. Tankless has to be partly disassembled and cleaned every 1 to 5 years. Or just replace it after it fails every 7. It's more like a furnace or boiler than a water heater.
You may need to have the line to the water heater changed out for a larger one. If you currently have two power vent HW heaters, that's less likely to be an issue than in a lot of more typical installations. Atmospheric HW heaters are usually 35 to 40 Kbtus while powervent are often 50 or 60. Two power vent would be 120k btus. Tankless water heaters are usually 140 or 200k btus. Big jump from 40 to 200, not a big jump from 120 to 200 (so existing gas line is probably OK).

Thanks

I ended up going from 2x 50s to a single 75 Powervent. Decided against the Tankless due to only 1 inch gas line in house and I also stepped back and decided I didn't want to deal with low flow rates etc when I have no issues now with a traditional tank heater. The new 75 is working fine and a benefit is that I gained more storage space in my utility room where one of the 50s used to be
 
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