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Need hot water heater suggestions Point of use Hot water heater ?

JoeG Member Posts: 88
Hi, I am use to having a boiler with an indierct hot water heater. I am purchasing a new house with a hot air furnace  and I am replacing the water heater thats in it. What should I go with

Electric or propane hot water tank?

 If so what size?

Point of use Heater? Electric or Propane?

Which would be my best option. I take long showers and dont want to run out. At times there may be 4 or 5 people showering ( Not all at once but in an evening or morning. Thanks a lot


  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,506
    What size and type of water

    heater is there now?

    With the number of showers you are talking about a 50 gallon propane fired standing water heater is a choice.

    You could go with a wall hung on demand but be aware of limited gallon per minute draw typically 2.5 gpm or slightly higher with the higher priced higher input units like a Rinnai.
  • JoeG
    JoeG Member Posts: 88
    I love hot water

    My friend has a 50 Gal with 2 kids and a adult and they run out all the time, so I don't think 50 would cut it. If I went with an 80 or 100 gal do they cost alot more to run then the 50 even if I don't use all of the hot water.
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    Use this chart

    Figure how much hot water you will need at any given time. A five gallon bucket and a watch will work fine. Then find out what your incoming water temp is(at its lowest point in winter) and then use the chart to figure what you need. The Navien can be linked together and supply you with whatever you need.

  • JoeG
    JoeG Member Posts: 88

    Howmuch are those units? I don't want to get one and hate it. I don't want to run out of Hot water either.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,544
    edited May 2010
    50 gallon?

    Hello:  I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss what Tim says.  Unless you measure your friend's usage, it can easily be ten times what yours is.  Measured hot water usage in reasearch by the DOE and California Energy Commission back this up.  So, look at what your use really is and get equipment to match.  If you have room for it, a shower heat exchanger can capture 60% of the BTUs that go down the drain, meaning you need a much smaller heat source.  Power Pipe, Retherm and GFX are three brands that come to mind. 

    Fifty gallon heaters are not all created the same.  You might look at the Vertex by AO Smith or the State equivalent.  They are 76,000 BTUs and over 90% efficient, with a PVC vent pipe.  That's nothing like the normal less efficient heater with a burner half the size.  You can even get an energy tax credit for it.

    Look at the shower head flow rate.  I think Consumer Reports did a test of different heads a while back to see which ones felt like a real shower rather than a "sssssss" mist.  It is possible to find a low flow rate and a comfortable spray.  Large water droplets help get the heat to you.

    Google "Gary Klein structured plumbing".  He will tell you how to make the plumbing system far more energy and water efficient, getting you hot water faster with less waste.

    Lastly, look at a tempering tank or solar preheat.  These things can make it so your heater doesn't have to work so hard.... Long showers are good!

    Yours,  Larry
  • JoeG
    JoeG Member Posts: 88
    This is alot of info

    I just want to do it once and that is it. I don't want to get a direct and been on happy. I have always used indiect off of boilers ( used the boiler with coil for a bit  also) and have always been very happy. That is what id do in a sec if I had a boiler.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,506
    If you were happy

    with a tankless coil off the boiler (3 gpm max draw) in the past then a 50 gallon water heater with high recovery will more than take care of your needs.

    Use a 2 1/2 gallon per minute shower head and you will be more than happy. I have been doing it for 50 years now with teenagers for many of those years and never ran out of water.
  • JoeG
    JoeG Member Posts: 88
    What brand

    So what brand of hotwater tanks are recommended with high recovery rates?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,506
    Recovery rate

    has to do with BTU input so just about any water heater on the market 50 gallons with over 50,000 BTU input will give you good recovery. As you increases BTU you increase recovery. The only thing that will cause any variation after that is inlet water temperature.

    The life expectancy after that has to do with maintenance such as changing the anode every other year. Flushing the tank several times a year. I had a 50 gallon tank that lasted me 22 years. My present tank is now 8 years old and working great.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,544

    ...It's anode rod time!  :~)

    Yours,  Larry
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 929

    look at installing ALSONS 1.6 GPM low flow shower heads no matter what type of water heater you install. I have them in my house and they work great. using less water in your shower will make your hot water last longer plus reduce your energy cost to make hot water also lower your water and sewer bill if on a public water and sewer system or use less water out of your private well and dump less water into your septic system making both last longer
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,046

    of the Rinnai R75LSi are 4.3gpm at a 70f temp rise. The newer RC98HPi condensing unit will produce 5.4gpm at 70f temp rise. There aren't many houses those can't handle. Thanks for the mention Tim!
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