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Replacing Hot Water Heater

Crow Member Posts: 44
I have a 12 yo 40 gallon hot water heater that just start a slow leak.  I am planning on replacing it tomorrow. 

1) I was thinking of going tank-less, but I feel that it is a bigger plumbing job then I am prepared to do and a little hard on my pockets for the time being.  Also, I have a concern over how well the tank-less systems perform, I have heard from a friend who had one installed "professionally" that the water will run hot then a little cooler then hot again.  Is this a common occurrence with tank-less systems, or could it be due to improper piping/installation?  Any reason I should reconsider this as an option?  Can anyone provide a resource for proper piping of such a system?  Is it easy to convert from tank to tank-less systems?

2) I'm leaning towards just buying another 40 gallon tank to feeds a 1300 square foot hour with one bathroom.  Are there any recommendations on brands?  I was going to just pick up the highest efficiency one I could find at "The Depot"  Is there any reason I should do this? 

3) My only major concern is that I don't think the gas line is run correctly.  The Pipe comes about half way down the side of the tank, then goes through a flexible metal tube to the burner that is on the opposite side of the tank.  I can provide a picture to show this later this evening. 

Thanks in advanced


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,438

    does have its points, and if you are well arranged, can work quite well.  By "well arranged", though, I mean that your bathroom, kitchen, laundry and whatever else uses hot water are all in reasonably close proximity.  One thing you don't want to do with a tankless is run the plumbing all over the place.

    Two cautions, though.  First, if you are really going to get enough hot water, be sure that the tankless you choose has the capacity you really need (they are rated in gallons per minute for a certain temperature rise; you really need that to be enough for what you do).  Second, be sure your gas service line is big enough.  A tankless uses a much bigger gas flow than a tank type does -- although, of course, for much less time, hence the economy.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England