Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Help

crhyner
crhyner Member Posts: 19
edited November 2022 in Domestic Hot Water
Hi,

I'm looking for some input here from people that know a lot about this topic, so thank you in advance.

In short, I have an old home with no insulation, stucco, in the NY Lower Hudson Valley, 3 floors with something like 7-8 radiators, all one zone. I've done a lot of sealing air leaks and draft prevention myself. It's a great house, we'll be here a while. I put in a fireplace insert last year and all last year we never turned on the radiators, just burned wood, and it was great - 71 degrees on the main floor all winter. Not going back. We supplemented a little with electric oil filled radiators in the bedrooms when it's really cold, no complaints in that department at all, it was a major upgrade for us.

My next battlefield is the water heating.

So, I have a Weil-McLain furnace that burns oil basically only when I need hot water - it goes to an indirect water heater, a Bock Sidekick 50 gallon tank. This calendar year, I'll have spent $2,600 on oil alone, just for heating water! I no longer use the radiators. That being said, our home has 4 adults and 2 little boys, so we're high usage for sure. I know the price of heating oil is outrageous now, like $5.70/gal in the Westchester, just north of NYC. Mind boggling.

I am considering installing an electric water heater instead of the current setup, and turning off my furnace unless I leave for vacation and need to leave it on to prevent pipes freezing. With my electric kWh rate being about .24 cents, I estimated a cost of about $2,400 to heat with an electric heater, instead of using oil at all (again, spent roughly $3K on oil for water heating this year). That's a rough estimate using an online calculator.

I eventually want to get solar panels, and a heat pump water heater, or just an electric one, and say goodbye to oil for good.

What's the best path forward here? Install an electric tank, say goodbye to the indirect one I have now, and stop using my current furnace only for hot water? Or just wait until my current water tank dies, then replace it with electric? I don't know if the savings would be significant going to electric right now?

I think we used roughly 500 gallons of oil this year for the water heating. Again, 4 adults and 2 kids, high usage.

Input appreciated.

Thank you,

Charlie



«1

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,460
    First forget using solar panels to power an electric water heater, even a heat pump type, unless you have the space to put in a really big array and the capital for the necessary batteries and inverter -- or plan to have the solar panels as a token gesture and depend on the grid for your real usage.

    OK. That's out of the way. Now you are down to a financial calculation, together with crystal ball gazing. You need to compare the cost of heating your water with oil to that heating it with electricity. As a help, a gallon of oil is close to 35 Kwh of electricity; at your electric rates, then, the electric equivalent of a gallon of oil would be about $8.50. Oil is a bargain compared to electric resistance heat. A heat pump water heater would use less electricity per gallon of water heated, swinging the cost to operate to electricity -- but a heat pump hot water heater for a high usage household is going to be BIG one (the recovery is very slow) and so very expensve.

    Do your numbers!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,135
    You might consider using the indirect heated by the hP water heater it will give you more storage.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,210
    It would be nice to get a better idea of how much hot water you actually use. You have a 42 gallon tank now, is that adequate?

    Long showers? High flow shower heads? Tub use?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    mattmia2STEVEusaPALarry Weingarten
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,009
    edited November 2022
    Solar would work great for your situation if you have net metering. If you’re there for the long term, your levelized cost of electricity should be around half your retail rate. (Assumptions: 30 years, 5% rate, $3/watt and 1400kwh per year /kw installed). If you’re using net metering, it’s a great investment. If not, then you can soak up that electricity with your copious water usage :).  

    Another option for showers would be a drain water heat recovery pipe. It’s a copper pipe wrapped with copper tubing which preheats incoming cold water with outgoing warm water. It can capture around 50% of the energy from a shower, depending on the pipe length. For your usage, that’s probably a six month payback if most of the usage is showers and most of the showers can flow through the pipe. Depends on your piping. 

    Jamie, you’re half right. While you’re right that oil is cheaper as an input in this situation ($41/MMBtu vs. $70/MMBtu), you know that we’re concerned about output. Electric resistance is $70/MMbtu output, but an indirect might not be much better- 80% steady state but with cycling, probably lower based on the studies I’ve read. If the boiler is 60% efficient, then it’s what and what. 

    Obviously, a heat pump water heater is much more efficient than either. 

    ethicalpaul
  • crhyner
    crhyner Member Posts: 19
    Thank you for the responses. Yes, the tank storage is adequate now. We use low-flow show heads and we never run out of hot water. Sorry, I don't know how much hot water we actually use...I could find out how much water overall, not sure how to figure out how much hot water.

    We have all SmartEnergy appliances - running a dishwasher on the smart setting once a day, we do cold laundry as much as possible. two showerheads at 1.5 GPM, another one at normal GPM rating...really nothing crazy. Another person doing handwashed dishes for a single person in adjacent apartment. Really nothing out of the ordinary use for 4 adults 2 kids.

    Yes, NY have net metering. That's my long-term goal. I want to save up enough to buy the panels outright and get the credit from Biden, which will be going on the next 10 years, but now is not the right time. Going to wait until I need a new roof too, then just do it together.
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 299
    edited November 2022
    Non-pro here, so you may not care about what I think, but are you sure there's no gas available? ConEd has gas service in Westchester county. I feel your pain with the oil price, I have it too, but I think there's a good chance this spike is temporary and will be much lower next winter. Someone on here recently pointed out oil futures for 2023 are much lower than they are now.

    Wood smoke is much more toxic for you and your family and your neighbors than you might think. It's a significant issue for us here in the Boston area. We have to keep our windows closed tight in the evenings because the wood smoke from people hundreds of feet away wraps all around our house. People simply aren't aware of its toxicity. Burning wood releases thousands to potentially tens of thousands of times more PM2.5 than ultra-low sulfur heating oil. I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but it's the truth. Anyone close and downwind from you is going to be impacted. Even if you're way out in the boonies miles away from the nearest neighbor, that smoke mixes with the prevailing wind and gets carried right into major population centers. Fireplaces, even with inserts are likely to worsen your indoor air quality, are inefficient, and the most effective way to generate large amounts of air pollution. Worse than old wood stoves even. Plus they create a powerful draft and suck warm air right out of your house up the flue. The cleanest wood pellet stove still emits about 1500x as much PM2.5 as gas, and about 1000x as much as ULS oil. And that doesn't include things like formaldehyde, CO, methane, PAHs, VOCs and others.


    https://bnl.gov/isd/documents/71376.pdf

    What about adding insulation to the roof deck/attic? Sealing the basement foundation sill? Weather-stripping around windows? Insulating the hot water pipes going to the radiators with Armaflex? If gas isn't available, then I agree with Jamie. Forget electric water heating, especially with how electric rates have been rising. A heat pump water heater will be cheapest to operate, but an 80 gallon one might not cut it for 6 people. The recovery is slow. You might need 2 smaller ones.

    Rooftop solar with net metering is theft. The utility is almost certainly not providing it voluntarily but only because they've been mandated to do it by the state. Stealing is taking what is not willingly given. Plus it is almost certainly contributing to the rising cost of electricity for your neighbors. Solar + battery with no net metering makes no sense financially.

    I mean no disrespect, and I'm not judging you. People are hurting with these oil prices...

    mattmia2ChrisJHVACNUT
  • Stymied - I don’t see a clear path to savings with any of your choices except hope that oil prices come down. 
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,210
    There are a number of folks on the list that have made the switch to hpwh and have actual energy and capacity data. 
    Of course every family has different needs. With a 100 gallon hpwh, recover during the night, use the 100 gallons throughout the day

    The old solar calculation was 20 gallons per day per person, that has dropped to more like 15 gallons with more efficient water fixtures.  faucets, shower heads, clothes and dishwashers all use less hot water now
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    JakeCK
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 682
    edited November 2022

    Rooftop solar with net metering is theft. The utility is almost certainly not providing it voluntarily but only because they've been mandated to do it by the state. Stealing is taking what is not willingly given. Plus it is almost certainly contributing to the rising cost of electricity for your neighbors.

    Please explain this. You feel sorry for the utilities?
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 299
    edited November 2022
    Stealing from a rich monopolist is just as bad as stealing from anyone else. That's why it's an absolute commandment in the Bible, and one of the vows of Buddhists and Hindus. I believe it's the same for Islam too. The fact that the utility is rich and powerful is an entirely separate issue. I don't think it's ok to steal from someone just because you resent them. The utility is usually a privately-owned company and should be profitable. When somebody puts solar panels on their rooftop, not only does the utility lose revenue, it also has to compensate that person for the electricity produced at the retail rate, not the wholesale rate. To make up for the shortfall, they are going to have to cut costs or increase revenue. No other choice. Something has to give. Everyone without solar panels effectively ends up subsidizing those that do. Adds insult to injury.
    mattmia2ChrisJMikeAmannBobZmuda
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,009
    @random12345 what’s the correct rate to compensate for kwh? Wholesale? Real time or “average”? It’s a hard question! 

    Outside of the retail vs wholesale vs. somewhere in between debate, which I agree is complex, using less electricity is not stealing. Or better not be, as everyone with insulation is stealing. 
    MikeAmann
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 299
    edited November 2022
    Not a hard question. Simple. There is no correct rate. It's extremely unlikely the utility would have offered net metering to its ratepayers without a government mandate. They are not willingly compensating solar owners. For a transaction to be ok, both parties have to be willing participants. The right thing to do is just not participate in net metering. Solar + battery without net metering does not involve theft/exploitation.
    mattmia2ChrisJ
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,009
    edited November 2022
    Why not offer it? Say a utility can buy solar for $.001/kwh and sell it to your next door neighbor, that seems pretty lucrative. So then it’s just haggling! With the influence utilities have other their regulators, seems like retail rate is probably a good deal for them still. 

    It’s mostly academic since most solar is utility scale and cheap as can be. 
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,128
    That's a lot of money for just hot water. Something doesn't add up. There are two adults and 2 kids at my house and we don't use any where near that amount of energy for hot water.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,128
    edited November 2022
    Just ran some numbers. Some one correct me if I got this wrong. So at $5.70/gallon and $2600 that works out to 456gallons correct? Now I only switched to a hpwh last year(a 50gallon works great for a family of four btw), but if I remember correctly my old gas water heater would run for about an hour a day overall. With it being a 30k btuh water heater with a standing pilot I calculated it out to use about 16.2MMBtuh a year. NG has about 1030btu/cuft and 135cuft = the heat content of one gallon of heating oil. That works out to roughly 117 gallons of heating oil if my hot water heater was oil and not NG. If I did my math right you are using roughly 4 times the energy to heat the water for only two more people than are in my household. I do not believe energy usage increases exponentially with the addition of people in a household. Actually I think it is the exact opposite. 

    I think something is seriously wrong or everyone likes to take hour long showers multiple times a day.

    In other words find out why your energy usage is so high before throwing money at the problem. Is your family just really wasteful? Change habits. Is the boiler not firing right? Find out why and fix that if it makes sense. This could also be a safety issue! Maybe the indirect is leaking? 
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 299

    Why not offer it? Say a utility can buy solar for $.001/kwh and sell it to your next door neighbor, that seems pretty lucrative. So then it’s just haggling! With the influence utilities have other their regulators, seems like retail rate is probably a good deal for them still. 


    It’s mostly academic since most solar is utility scale and cheap as can be. 
    Forcing the utility to compensate solar owners $0.3219/kwh is much worse than $0.001/kwh, but it doesn't change the fact that without a net metering mandate, the utility would almost certainly not offer any compensation at all. It's still theft. And there's almost zero chance this is a "good deal" for the utility. They could be buying a fully dispatchable source of power at the wholesale rate, but now they have to buy a non-dispatchable, intermittent source of power at the retail rate, which is anywhere from 4-6X more expensive.

    Utility scale solar and wind are just as bad as rooftop solar. They almost certainly would not exist without government mandate (Renewable Portfolio Standard, RPS). The utility is forced to connect solar and wind generators to the grid. Renewable energy should be avoided like the plague for this reason. And they are cheap if you only look at the solar/wind generation cost. The cost of electricity across the entire grid is almost certainly increased because existing generators now become distressed assets, pushing up the wholesale price, the utility has to install and maintain much more transmission infrastructure, raising transmission costs, and power generators need to be able to ramp more frequently, leading to efficiency losses and possibly increased costs as well. A 2018 UChicago paper found that for every 5% increase in solar and wind deployments, there was a 17% associated increase in electric rates. Again, all this is just like adding insult to injury.

    https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/BFI_WP_201962.pdf
  • crhyner
    crhyner Member Posts: 19
    Yeah, Jake, I think something is up too. There is no extraordinary water usage going on. I have a hunch - I think the indirect water heater is really designed to be heated with water that the beast of a furnace is already producing to heat the house, but in my case, I'm not using it to heat the house. So, that furnace has to fire up only for heating hot water, which I think is pretty inefficient. I think it's a powerhouse designed to heat the whole house with radiant heaters, not just warm up water.

    Also, I had my water tank drained and checked earlier this year - it's fine. Also, had the furnace serviced, also in good working order.

    If this is the case, maybe it DOES make sense to go to an electric water heater.

    What other figures can I provide to get to the bottom of this? It's going to bug me. How do I figure out our actual hot water usage?
  • crhyner
    crhyner Member Posts: 19
    And we always have enough hot water, never run out. How else can I look into this?!
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,009
     Utility scale solar and wind are just as bad as rooftop solar. They almost certainly would not exist without government mandate (Renewable Portfolio Standard, RPS). The utility is forced to connect solar and wind generators to the grid. Renewable energy should be avoided like the plague for this reason. And they are cheap if you only look at the solar/wind generation cost. The cost of electricity across the entire grid is almost certainly increased because existing generators now become distressed assets, pushing up the wholesale price, the utility has to install and maintain much more transmission infrastructure, raising transmission costs, and power generators need to be able to ramp more frequently, leading to efficiency losses and possibly increased costs as well. A 2018 UChicago paper found that for every 5% increase in solar and wind deployments, there was a 17% associated increase in electric rates. Again, all this is just like adding insult to injury.
    Obviously this isn’t helpful at all for the OP, but Texas is building tons of wind and solar. Where’s their RPS? Lol. Renewables are cheap, even when unsubsidized. It’s time to get over that. It’s a good thing to have cheaper and cleaner electricity! We all benefit. 
    KC_JonesGGross
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 663
    This is shaping up to be a dangerous thread. Remember, we are here to help new Wallie Charlie, not argue amongst ourselves. I like thread drift as much as anyone (probably more, and certainly guilty of it) but let's try to get back to answering Charlie's questions.
    I have all kinds of opinions on tax policy, energy policy, and the ironically named and partisan Inflation Reduction Act, but that will get this thread closed, and Charlie and his family will still be cold (and inhaling carcinogens).
    Maybe someday @Erin Holohan Haskell will let us have a no holds barred, UFC style, cage match on energy policy. Hey, it's policy, not politics.
    KC_JonesAlan (California Radiant) ForbesGGrossZman
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,885

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    GGrossWMno57MikeAmann
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 663
    Wow, my second paragraph was a run on sentence. Four commas. I wish I had paid attention in English class 50 years ago. Is it too late now for me to learn how to write?
  • Wow, my second paragraph was a run on sentence. Four commas. I wish I had paid attention in English class 50 years ago. Is it too late now for me to learn how to write?
    Run on sentences let you say everything in one breath. Nothing wrong with that and I'm a fan.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour
    WMno57
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,885
    WMno57 said:

    Wow, my second paragraph was a run on sentence. Four commas. I wish I had paid attention in English class 50 years ago. Is it too late now for me to learn how to write?

    No, I think it's fine.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    WMno57
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 299

    Obviously this isn’t helpful at all for the OP, but Texas is building tons of wind and solar. Where’s their RPS? Lol. Renewables are cheap, even when unsubsidized. It’s time to get over that. It’s a good thing to have cheaper and cleaner electricity! We all benefit. 

    Texas does have an RPS standard and one reason it may have built so much wind while its retail electric prices have not have increased as much as one would expect is because it exports its renewable power to neighboring RPS states. Read the paper if you don't believe me. The private landowners and wind turbine operators in Texas get the benefit, but the end-users in other states (as well as in Texas) may see increased prices as a result. The right question to ask is what would the price of electricity be in Texas and in all the surrounding states it exports to without RPS existing anywhere? I think lower.

  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 642
    As others have mentioned, I suspect your oil boiler, piping and indirect tank are helping heat the house, even if it's a little bit. I suspect your basement is comfortable and dry throughout the heating season. I also suspect your boiler is pulling fresh air from anywhere it can when the oil burner is running (and perhaps during the off cycle too).

    I suspect that you will have less infiltration if you switch to an electric water heater. But, I think your basement will be significantly colder. So cold that you might freeze a pipe on a bitter cold night. In my mind your existing system is about equal to one typical 5000 btu/1000 watt space heater.

    My suggestion, get the entire house well insulated, it will pay for itself in a couple years. As a result, your house will be a little quieter and much more comfortable year round. Then turn on the oil boiler and use it as it was intended.

    No real easy solution here.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,782
    Hi @crhyner , The way I've figured out hot water use on jobs is just to put a water meter on the inlet to the water heater. Alternately, measure and time all of your hot water usage. These approaches will give you a precise or a rough idea of your gallons per day usage. I'm imagining you're right that you essentially have the wrong heater for the job. Still, a meter will help uncover unexpected problems. Something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/294069274413?hash=item4477e5072d:g:DEQAAOSwlYNgUe~A&amdata=enc:AQAHAAAA4AcOTPaDSjs9KfgSShv/KSkHwpD1i8AI7ltV6XHg1z1T6tv4h6n/Nsob5jxjXj6wdkMOpQUi0qi6DNaP2wOs6wkSGXtL+NddGW83tbIVJQI9ftpS2cfuH7FFVdi0+zRmmWjO90JpUGIKKMllnZ+zreRCoyRwPjdTMcrXMNCalSIOrkl+p/0VY1q8K5bx9lSzLJR9w7vPkxJngns+njgUmycZ2SvyVQxFyddfFkl6uRkaU4be/IQc94mTh/hYiZC7Fp0a9xUFGCtJ941bucuHlaD+AnJXbsN8d9NSeftf5Zpk|tkp:Bk9SR5DGtLyRYQ

    Yours, Larry
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbeshot_rodpsb75
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,009
    edited November 2022
    Texas has long surpassed its RPS goal. ERCOT generation mix was 28% wind + solar in 2021. The goal was 10% by 2025 if I recall correctly. The additional wind and solar, is simply built because it is economic, which in an energy only market is a clear endorsement of the economics.

    ERCOT exports very little- in 2021 it looks like less than 500GWh total was exported to the rest of the US, while wind alone produced about 95 TWh. ERCOT, by design, is mostly disconnected from the rest of the US. 

    To summarize, wind and solar generation %s are almost 3x Texas’s RPS 4 years early. Prices haven’t changed because of this - by the paper’s findings, that would mean prices would be outrageous. They’re not. As ERCOT exports little, these projects are built for Texas not neighboring states. 

    Your concerns just are not so. Wind and solar are economic. This isn’t a policy or political opinion, these are the facts on the ground. For-profit companies are building these assets because they’re money makers! This is a win-win. Let’s celebrate! 
  • random12345
    random12345 Member Posts: 299
    WMno57 said:

    This is shaping up to be a dangerous thread. Remember, we are here to help new Wallie Charlie, not argue amongst ourselves. I like thread drift as much as anyone (probably more, and certainly guilty of it) but let's try to get back to answering Charlie's questions.
    I have all kinds of opinions on tax policy, energy policy, and the ironically named and partisan Inflation Reduction Act, but that will get this thread closed, and Charlie and his family will still be cold (and inhaling carcinogens).
    Maybe someday @Erin Holohan Haskell will let us have a no holds barred, UFC style, cage match on energy policy. Hey, it's policy, not politics.

    I agree and I'll stop for now. I do want to mention though I've noticed that in general people on here recommending rooftop solar, going for rebates or any other "green" handout from the government and promoting renewable energy, mandatory home electrification and gas bans seem to get a free pass when they do that, even though the truth is these are all morally questionable at minimum. My discouraging someone from participating in such a program seems to be more controversial than encouraging them to do so, and I don't think that's right. It's convenient to just tell people what they want to hear, but it's not always in their or others' best interests.
    WMno57SuperTech
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,885
    We recommend people take advantage of whatever programs are out there to help them.
    We always recommend people follow the law and local codes.

    But, after reading your comments I have a hankering to install a wood stove all of a sudden.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    GGrossMikeAmann
  • crhyner
    crhyner Member Posts: 19
    Alright, well, back on topic.

    We actually used 545 gallons total this year. And I did a household survey - nothing crazy is going on. Just 4 adults and two kids doing normal stuff. I'm still thinking the setup I have would be efficient if it was used to heat the house AND the hot water, but it's not - just the hot water, and I'm sure it's not being very efficient doing just that. However, I'm more concerned with cost than efficiency at this point.

    And using this calculator - https://www.perchenergy.com/energy-calculators/water-heater-electricity-usage-cost - I would guess the yearly cost of electric hot water heat at my house would be in the $1,800 range. So, guessing the average oil price this year was about $5.00/gal, my cost was $2,750. So, switching to an electric heater could save $1K a year. However, I'm sure a new heater installed would cost approx. $1K, so that's probably a year before I see any savings. And, let's say oil price go to $4/gal. next year, that's $2,100, so really just $300 savings between the two, not a huge deal.

    Thoughts? I think I answered my own question with a little guidance here...

    Thanks again,

    Charlie
    Erin Holohan Haskell
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,128
    If you are going to replace it, get the largest hybrid hpwh you can find. It'll cost a bit more but the energy savings will be significant over a standard electric water heater. And I believe the concerns over not having enough hot water are being made by people who haven't actually used one. Just today I've done 4 loads of laundry, and took a shower over a 6 hour period. I haven't ran out of water yet and in fact it's fully recovered and turned off.
    ethicalpaulhot_rod
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,190
    You could even run two hybrid water heaters in series to double the capacity and you'd hardly even notice the electric cost. They are so so so cheap to run. Don't make me post my kWh chart again
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,885
    JakeCK said:

    If you are going to replace it, get the largest hybrid hpwh you can find. It'll cost a bit more but the energy savings will be significant over a standard electric water heater. And I believe the concerns over not having enough hot water are being made by people who haven't actually used one. Just today I've done 4 loads of laundry, and took a shower over a 6 hour period. I haven't ran out of water yet and in fact it's fully recovered and turned off.

    Do you have the electric side of the heater disabled, or is it also running to help recover?
    I think @ethicalpaul has his disabled so he's running strictly HP.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,984
    WMno57 said:


    Maybe someday @Erin Holohan Haskell will let us have a no holds barred, UFC style, cage match on energy policy. Hey, it's policy, not politics.

    Not today, buddy. :D We tried that when The Wall (and the Internet) were young and it nearly broke us.

    Thanks for getting this thread back on track.
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
    ChrisJGGrossPeter_26
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,885
    @WMno57
    BTW,
    Policy is politics, literally. Notice how similar the words are? ;)

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    WMno57
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,210

    Hi @crhyner , The way I've figured out hot water use on jobs is just to put a water meter on the inlet to the water heater. Alternately, measure and time all of your hot water usage. These approaches will give you a precise or a rough idea of your gallons per day usage. I'm imagining you're right that you essentially have the wrong heater for the job. Still, a meter will help uncover unexpected problems. Something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/294069274413?hash=item4477e5072d:g:DEQAAOSwlYNgUe~A&amdata=enc:AQAHAAAA4AcOTPaDSjs9KfgSShv/KSkHwpD1i8AI7ltV6XHg1z1T6tv4h6n/Nsob5jxjXj6wdkMOpQUi0qi6DNaP2wOs6wkSGXtL+NddGW83tbIVJQI9ftpS2cfuH7FFVdi0+zRmmWjO90JpUGIKKMllnZ+zreRCoyRwPjdTMcrXMNCalSIOrkl+p/0VY1q8K5bx9lSzLJR9w7vPkxJngns+njgUmycZ2SvyVQxFyddfFkl6uRkaU4be/IQc94mTh/hYiZC7Fp0a9xUFGCtJ941bucuHlaD+AnJXbsN8d9NSeftf5Zpk|tkp:Bk9SR5DGtLyRYQ

    Yours, Larry

    You can go online and rent clamp on type flowmeters also, by the week, month. I agree the only way to know for sure is to measure. If you are plumbing handy a small plastic water meter is under 50 bucks
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,210
    crhyner said:

    Alright, well, back on topic.

    We actually used 545 gallons total this year. And I did a household survey - nothing crazy is going on. Just 4 adults and two kids doing normal stuff. I'm still thinking the setup I have would be efficient if it was used to heat the house AND the hot water, but it's not - just the hot water, and I'm sure it's not being very efficient doing just that. However, I'm more concerned with cost than efficiency at this point.

    And using this calculator - https://www.perchenergy.com/energy-calculators/water-heater-electricity-usage-cost - I would guess the yearly cost of electric hot water heat at my house would be in the $1,800 range. So, guessing the average oil price this year was about $5.00/gal, my cost was $2,750. So, switching to an electric heater could save $1K a year. However, I'm sure a new heater installed would cost approx. $1K, so that's probably a year before I see any savings. And, let's say oil price go to $4/gal. next year, that's $2,100, so really just $300 savings between the two, not a huge deal.

    Thoughts? I think I answered my own question with a little guidance here...

    Thanks again,

    Charlie

    Some pretty good incentives to switch to hpwh in many areas. Look here to see what is available in your area. Www.dsireusa.org
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,128
    ChrisJ said:

    JakeCK said:

    If you are going to replace it, get the largest hybrid hpwh you can find. It'll cost a bit more but the energy savings will be significant over a standard electric water heater. And I believe the concerns over not having enough hot water are being made by people who haven't actually used one. Just today I've done 4 loads of laundry, and took a shower over a 6 hour period. I haven't ran out of water yet and in fact it's fully recovered and turned off.

    Do you have the electric side of the heater disabled, or is it also running to help recover?
    I think @ethicalpaul has his disabled so he's running strictly HP.
    I have it set to heatpump only but if I remember correctly if the incoming water is cold enough it will override and run them anyways. However they never did come on today. honestly the last time I had to use electric elements was last winter. High demand day and the water was cold. I can easily tell when they come one because of how much energy it will use.
  • Illinoisfarmer
    Illinoisfarmer Member Posts: 37
    We've had 50 gallon HPWH for about a year now. It replaced a 50 gallon straight electric that was put in when the house was built in 2007. Just for kicks, I locked out the resistance heat when it was installed - and let it run in 'heat pump only' mode. My thinking was that I'm always up before the boys, it should be fine for me, I'll see how it goes. Frankly, at least one of them will usually stay in their shower until the hot water runs out - it doesn't matter if that takes 12 minutes or an hour. Funny thing is, until I read this thread, I'd forgotten I'd done that. I looked, we're still on heat pump only mode - and I wouldn't say that the level of whining has been any higher about hot water than it ever was.

    My point is you may be able to get by with a smaller water heater than you think. I see that your existing tank is 45 gallons. Maybe try turning the heat off before a period of high use and seeing if you can get through on 45 gallons of actual hot water.

    And for what it's worth, the '2 little boys' in your house cannot conceivably use as much hot water as the 19 and 22 year olds in my house. Get back to me in a few years. :)