The Tank › New Heater
- May 31, 2007 at 3:51 pm #6633BDLParticipant
Time has come to replace a water heater at a vacation home. It is at least 12 years old, was on a red dirt well for years. Now on city water but water smells bad and we have no hot water after 2 or 3 showers. When we go over on weekends sometimes we have a house full of people getting ready to go out at night. Question is is a 80 gal better than two 40’s or 50’s. Also they are electric. One plumber will only do Rheem. Another wiil let me buy whatever brand I want. I had rather spend a FEW $$$ more and be satisfied than trying to cut corners. Any suggestions?June 1, 2007 at 12:27 am #6636Randy SchuylerKeymaster
We kind of like the idea of two 40s in series rather than one 80-gallon. They cost a lot less and are smaller. You can set the first one to Warm and preheat water going to the second one set at Hot. To learn more about this setup, use the search function here and type “in series” into the search window.
Randy SchuylerJune 1, 2007 at 4:01 pm #6640Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: Another possibility is a tankless heater. This could be a good application. Tanks don’t like to sit unused for long periods of time.
Yours, LarryJune 1, 2007 at 5:13 pm #6641BDLParticipant
Tankless was my first thought but the house is total electric and I understand that electric tankless is less than desirable. I have a gas tankless at my home residence and love it. We can all shower and have no problem with loss of hot water.June 2, 2007 at 10:17 pm #6648energyexpertParticipant
The question is: What do you need when several people are taking back to back showers?
The number of stored gallons can be important and also the recovery rate. A standard 4500 watt element can only make 30 gallons/hour of 60 F rise water. I have one customer who was draining a 105 gallon Marathon in short order. For this case, I changed the lower thermostat from a slave to a master (with ECO) and pulled a second circuit to the water heater so both thermostats can run simultaneously. This will double the recovery rate.
If getting another circuit pulled is next to impossible, installing a very large water heater (or two or three 40’s) may be your answer. For several small heaters plumbed in series and wired from a single circuit, power the tank closest to the house. Rewire the top thermostat so that it powers the bottom element instead of the top element. When it is satisfied and “switches,” power will go to the second heater which is wired like the first. The third or final heater is powered and no internal rewiring is required.
Also getting 5500 watt elements will improve recovery.
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