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Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

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  • #31
    Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

    The typical residential water heater will deliver approx. 70% of the tanks capacity with NO MORE than a 20 decrease in the intitial temp taken from the t&P valve.

    That means a 50 gal water heater will deliver approx. 35 gallons with a possible drop of up to 20 degrees during the draw. So a 50 gal set at 120 degrees would deliver 35 gallons and be between 100-120 degrees...depending on incoming water temp and the lenght of pipe and its installation conditions before the outlet.

    So if our original poster lives in a cold climate he will not have enough water at his service and must plan his water usage....whata bummer.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

      Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
      Only in America will a guy have a jaccuzi tub then worry about the cost to use it properly.
      This was a self inflicted wound.

      I had to pay for two gas heaters/air units (dual zoned). It was unexpected. As I thought through the renovation I felt that I wouldn’t get good air or heat to the 3rd floor. I didn't know as the home's 3rd fl was an apartment that I never lived in - now one single family. I have a heating unit on the 3rd floor now. Because the original two heaters in the basement required chimney venting I had to replace them both. The location of the 3rd floor heater would not have put it near the chimney. Therefore I removed the chimney to gain small but valuable space from the 1st thru 3rd floor. There were other variable to get me to expend such a cost. It was a battlefield decision. I feel it was most important to do while the walls were open. That smashed my budget.

      As for the two hw heaters I can always circle back if the 1 heater isn’t enough. My wife is the only soaker. I'm all shower.. No one else is usually in the house and if so only for a few days at a time. I came from a 30 gallon gas and with t-stat turned up we had no issues (but we only had one bath then and the tub also = the shower).

      My main question – is the additional cost of a 50 gallon gas hw vs a 50 gallon electric wh heater justified over a five year or so period? ($1,200.00 difference).
      Last edited by Knezz; 04-21-2011, 07:19 PM.
      Regards,
      K. Nezz

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

        If you would like to know how much of your bath or your showering target water is hot water as a percentage,here is a formula for that.

        Mixed water temp minus the incoming water temp. divided by the water heaters thermostat setting minus the incoming cold water temp. The answer is the percentage of hot water used.

        Example: target temp of 105 degree mixed water with an incoming water temp of 50 degrees leaving a balance of 55 degrees.
        A thermostat setting of 120 degrees with an incoming water temp of 50 degrees leaving a balance of 70 degrees.

        55 divided by 70 = 79% hot water(78.5 actual)

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

          Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
          The enviroment would be approx 120 degrees between the insulation and the steel tank. Then it is immediately filled with 55 degree water. The original poster lives in the north.....common low incoming temps there.
          I give up. You either don't get it or don't want to get it. Research "dew point" and "relative humidity:" on the internet. Maybe you'll find an explanation you can understand.


          Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
          Second of all thats just not true. You can get more hot water out of a 65 than you can a 50 unless it has such a high BTU burner and the draw down rate is slow....usually not the case...especially with 60 gal bathtubs.
          Sorry to disagree, but my statement is true. I can't spend much more more time on this, but I did visit the Rheem site (have had good luck with their water heaters). They have electrics in a 65 gal in a few different series. All have a first hour rating of 71 gph and a recovery of 21 gph per hour at 90F rise.

          Rheem's 50 gal natural gas models are all better - a lot better. Their professonal series, which is not even the top of the line, with a 40K BTU burner, has a first hour of 83 gph and a recovery of 40.4 gph at 90F rise. That's a lot better performance than the electric 65 gal, and it's not an outrageous burner at all. Costs a lot less to run than the electric 65. The same heater with a 50K BTU burner- still much much cheaper to run than the electric - has a recovery of over 50 gph.

          Their best gas WH, which is probably too pricey, is their "Professonal Heavy Duty" model. It's comes in a 48 gal that has a 65K BTU burner, a first hour rating of 98 gph and a recovery of 65.7 gph at 90F. Still way cheaper to run than the electric.

          From where I sit, the 50 gal gas is very clearly a better performer than the 65 gal electric - and according to Rheem, will cost an average of 35% to 45% less to run than the 65 gal electric.

          Your twin electric 40s are going to cost even more to operate. That setup will have about 13% better first hour rating that Rheem's top of the line 50 gal gas, but the recovery (2 x 21 gph) isn't as good as the TOL gas model's 65.7 gph - not even close. It would be more comparable to the gas 50 gallon that's a couple of levels down, the "Professional" series, with the 40K BTU burner. That particular gas model has an avg annual operating cost of only $294. A SINGLE 40 gal electric comes in at $492.

          Sorry, I'm not seein' what your seein'. Looks to me like a 50 gal gas with 40k or 50k BTU burner would be a good choice, better and cheaper than the 65 gal electric and pretty comparable performance but cheaper in all ways than the much more expensive dual 40 gal electrics.

          Maybe we're all just nuts here in California but basically no one uses electric unless they don't have gas service.

          Knezz, I would get a 50 gal nat gas heater with a 40k or 50k burner. I think you'll regret an electric. Especially when (note I didn't say "if") electric rates go up.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

            Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
            I give up. You either don't get it or don't want to get it. Research "dew point" and "relative humidity:" on the internet. Maybe you'll find an explanation you can understand.




            Sorry to disagree, but my statement is true. I can't spend much more more time on this, but I did visit the Rheem site (have had good luck with their water heaters). They have electrics in a 65 gal in a few different series. All have a first hour rating of 71 gph and a recovery of 21 gph per hour at 90F rise.

            Rheem's 50 gal natural gas models are all better - a lot better. Their professonal series, which is not even the top of the line, with a 40K BTU burner, has a first hour of 83 gph and a recovery of 40.4 gph at 90F rise. That's a lot better performance than the electric 65 gal, and it's not an outrageous burner at all. Costs a lot less to run than the electric 65. The same heater with a 50K BTU burner- still much much cheaper to run than the electric - has a recovery of over 50 gph.

            Their best gas WH, which is probably too pricey, is their "Professonal Heavy Duty" model. It's comes in a 48 gal that has a 65K BTU burner, a first hour rating of 98 gph and a recovery of 65.7 gph at 90F. Still way cheaper to run than the electric.

            From where I sit, the 50 gal gas is very clearly a better performer than the 65 gal electric - and according to Rheem, will cost an average of 35% to 45% less to run than the 65 gal electric.

            Your twin electric 40s are going to cost even more to operate. That setup will have about 13% better first hour rating that Rheem's top of the line 50 gal gas, but the recovery (2 x 21 gph) isn't as good as the TOL gas model's 65.7 gph - not even close. It would be more comparable to 509 gallon that's a couple of levels down, the "Professional" series, with the 40K BTU burner. That particular gas model has an avg annual operating cost of only $294. A SINGLE 40 gal electric comes in at $492.

            Sorry, I'm not seein' what your seein'. Looks to me like a 50 gal gas with 40k or 50k BTU burner would be a good choice, better and cheaper than the 65 gal electric and pretty comparable performance but cheaper in all ways than the much more expensive dual 40 gal electrics.

            Maybe we're all just nuts here in California but basically no one uses electric unless they don't have gas service.

            Knezz, I would get a 50 gal nat gas heater with a 40k or 50k burner. I think you'll regret an electric. Especially when (note I didn't say "if") electric rates go up.

            1st hr rating doesn't mean squat when your filling a bathtub....does it take an hour to fill your bathtub? You use the 70% rule.....your water heater can provide basically 70% of its capacity at the thermostat setting best possible scenario after you figure in loss and gains from the pipe run and while filling the tub...vs the energy source heating as the water flows through the tank.

            I live in a very humidity climate and condensation is always an issue.

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

              The cost of heating water with a conventional tank type water heater is more than heating the same volume with electricity in my location. A gas appliance costs more to install,maintain and to purchase initially and possibly to operate as in my case. The standby heat loss is higher on the typical tank type gas water heater vs electric. My electric water heater can reach the thermostat setting and hold it there all day without energizing again....practically no heat loss....meanwhile the pilot is steady burning gas and the flue is steady losing heat 24/7. If its located in the living space its also drawing out the air conditioned air in your home you just paid to heat or cool also.

              I dont think you grasp that the 1st hour rating is how much the water heater can deliver in one hour....IF allowed to recover or if there is intermittant use. What goods the water that the water heater can heat in the next 45 minutes when I just I just tried to fill my 60 gal bathtub and ran out after 15 minutes?

              Since you like Rheem just like I do I will quote a tech bulliten from Rheem... Read that 1st line for me.......

              While all water heater have some degree of condensation, excessive moisture on the outside of the tank can
              cause premature tank failure or shorting of electrical components. Premature exterior corrosion of the water heater
              tank and corrosion of the thermostat and heating element fittings are some of the problems caused by excessive
              condensation. The moisture in the atmosphere next to the tank can also corrode the electrical contacts inside the
              thermostats. This may cause erratic heating cycles as the contacts operate.
              Last edited by TheMaster; 04-21-2011, 10:41 PM.

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                The cost of heating water with a conventional tank type water heater is more than heating the same volume with electricity in my location. A gas appliance costs more to install,maintain and to purchase initially and possibly to operate as in my case. The standby heat loss is higher on the typical tank type gas water heater vs electric. My electric water heater can reach the thermostat setting and hold it there all day without energizing again....practically no heat loss....meanwhile the pilot is steady burning gas and the flue is steady losing heat 24/7. If its located in the living space its also drawing out the air conditioned air in your home you just paid to heat or cool also.

                I dont think you grasp that the 1st hour rating is how much the water heater can deliver in one hour....IF allowed to recover or if there is intermittant use. What goods the water that the water heater can heat in the next 45 minutes when I just I just tried to fill my 60 gal bathtub and ran out after 15 minutes?
                You just like to argue, don't you?

                Of course I understand what the first hour rating is. A 50 gallon gas WH can fill the OPs 60 gal tub to 100F. I fill my soaking tub with a 40 gal, so I know it's fine. The issue is how many other services can you support afterwards. Remember? Showers, shaves? Your 65 gal electrics have a recovery of 21 gph compared to 40, 50 or 68 gph with the gas heaters. Which do you think gets you hot water quicker if you do draw down the heater too far? Your dual electric 40s will do the job nicely, but the cost is just way too high.

                You know, if you run everything at once you're gonna run out of hot water. We both know that you can add capacity until that doesn't happen. But does it make any sense? Come on! dual 40 gal electrics to support two people with one smallish bathtub is not reasonable.

                I never heard anyone claim that a gas WH cost more to run than electric. Not the manufacturers, not the EPA... no one. But if you think so, that's great.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                  Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                  You just like to argue, don't you?

                  Of course I understand what the first hour rating is. A 50 gallon gas WH can fill the OPs 60 gal tub to 100F. I fill my soaking tub with a 40 gal, so I know it's fine. The issue is how many other services can you support afterwards. Remember? Showers, shaves? Your 65 gal electrics have a recovery of 21 gph compared to 40, 50 or 68 gph with the gas heaters. Which do you think gets you hot water quicker if you do draw down the heater too far? Your dual electric 40s will do the job nicely, but the cost is just way too high.

                  You know, if you run everything at once you're gonna run out of hot water. We both know that you can add capacity until that doesn't happen. But does it make any sense? Come on! dual 40 gal electrics to support two people with one smallish bathtub is not reasonable.

                  I never heard anyone claim that a gas WH cost more to run than electric. Not the manufacturers, not the EPA... no one. But if you think so, that's great.
                  My skin temp is 98.6.....I dont want a bath in 100 degree water and by the time it fills its almost cold.....and I dont have any more because I used it all. A 50 gal water heate with a thermostat setting of 120 will deliver 70% of that at 120 degrees at best..thats 35 gallons. A 50 gal tank is not big enough to reliably fill a 60 gal tub when you want it...not when you CAN have it.

                  A friend here has two 40 gal tanks each supply one bath in the house and a 3.5 ton hvac unit for 1900 sq ft with 4 people and his power bill is around 300.00 a month in the summer.

                  You say you fill your tub with a 40 gal heater but you dont even know what the temp is set at.....you said once it was around 130 and then you also state that your have it set on HIGH...well high on most gas heaters will get you 140-150+ degree water maybe higher if thermal stacking comes into the picture.

                  You heard it here 1st then......gas does cost more to operate in my location. Due to the pilot and loss through the flue. Its fact and has nothing to do with what i think.
                  Last edited by TheMaster; 04-21-2011, 11:12 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                    Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                    The cost of heating water with a conventional tank type water heater is more than heating the same volume with electricity in my location. A gas appliance costs more to install,maintain and to purchase initially and possibly to operate as in my case. The standby heat loss is higher on the typical tank type gas water heater vs electric. My electric water heater can reach the thermostat setting and hold it there all day without energizing again....practically no heat loss....meanwhile the pilot is steady burning gas and the flue is steady losing heat 24/7. If its located in the living space its also drawing out the air conditioned air in your home you just paid to heat or cool also.

                    I dont think you grasp that the 1st hour rating is how much the water heater can deliver in one hour....IF allowed to recover or if there is intermittant use. What goods the water that the water heater can heat in the next 45 minutes when I just I just tried to fill my 60 gal bathtub and ran out after 15 minutes?
                    I think you just like to argue.

                    Look, I think a nat gas 50 with a large burner will do the job. Condensation is potentially bad, horrible, terrible. I don't know if OP will have that problem, and neither do you.

                    You can disagree, it's ok. But I am not going to agree that OP, based on what we know, needs to spend a fortune to have dual 40 gal electric water heating for his two person household and little jacuzzi tub.

                    OP has decided to go with one WH. It suits his budget and will probably work fine. If it doesn't he can add more capacity later. Kohler says you can use a tank that's 70 percent of the tub capacity. That would be 42 gallons. I think a gas 50 will be ok.

                    What's the merit in more wrangling over this? I can tell you that when my 40 gal dies, I'm getting a 50 gal GE (Rheem) and I'm 100% sure it will work wonderfully.

                    By the way, spas are limited to 104 max by law. I think, but am not sure, that the same law applies to jetted tubs with heaters. The reason is that that it has been demonstrated that there is increased risk of drowning, as well as damage to the health of some persons including pregnant women and the fetus, the elderly and the very young, at higher temps. The actual temp of concern is 107 or 108, but they use 104 to allow for a little tolerance in the sensing and control elements. It's really not a good idea to soak for long periods higher temps.
                    Last edited by Andy_M; 04-21-2011, 11:21 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                      Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                      I think you just like to argue.

                      Look, I think a nat gas 50 with a large burner will do the job. Condensation is potentially bad, horrible, terrible. I don't know if OP will have that problem, and neither do you.

                      You can disagree, it's ok. But I am not going to agree that OP, based on what we know, needs to spend a fortune to have dual 40 gal electric water heating for his two person household and little jacuzzi tub.

                      OP has decided to go with one WH. It suits his budget and will probably work fine. If it doesn't he can add more capacity later.

                      What's the merit in more wrangling over this? I can tell you that when my 40 gal dies, I'm getting a 50 gal GE (Rheem) and I'm 100% sure it will work wonderfully.
                      I just finished a job for one lady..she lives in a 4500 sq ft home with a 80 gal capacity electric water heater. She says that when she fills her tub and then takes a shower she doesn't have quite enough hot water to finish the shower. Thank God I didn't suggest and install the 80 gal.....because its not enough. I suggested a Rinnai 9.4 gal unit as a replacement....endless hot water.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                        Originally posted by Andy_M View Post

                        By the way, spas are limited to 104 max by law. I think, but am not sure, that the same law applies to jetted tubs with heaters. The reason is that that it has been demonstrated that there is increased risk of drowning, as well as damage to the health of some persons including pregnant women and the fetus, the elderly and the very young, at higher temps. The actual temp of concern is 107 or 108, but they use 104 to allow for a little tolerance in the sensing and control elements. It's really not a good idea to soak for long periods higher temps.
                        I have customers that fill the tub...soak.....then drain half the tub while they shower off in cool water...then fill the tub back with hot water and soak more. My mother in-law does that and she has a dedicated 50 gal cranked all the way on max with a temp of 153 degrees.....she runs out too....we are gonna go tankless when it dies.

                        Do a quick check for me....whats the peak temp at the closest hot water outlet to your water heater....and what your incoming cold water temp?
                        Last edited by TheMaster; 04-21-2011, 11:29 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                          Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                          I have customers that fill the tub...soak.....then drain half the tub while they shower off in cool water...then fill the tub back with hot water and soak more. My mother in-law does that and she has a dedicated 50 gal cranked all the way on max with a temp of 153 degrees.....she runs out too....we are gonna go tankless when it dies.

                          Do a quick check for me....whats the peak temp at the closest hot water outlet to your water heater....and what your incoming cold water temp?
                          I do that, without the cold shower, to lobsters.

                          As for the measurements... yeah right. I would want to do that so we could continue this incredibly rewarding and illuminating discussion still longer?

                          I don't think so.

                          But if you insist, My consulting rate is $135/hr, 40 hour minimum, 50% payable in advance.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                            I can buy two 40 gal g.e 6 yr electrics for 458.00 for both or I could buy one 50 gal G.E. 6yr 38,000 btu heater for 433.00. Boy thats a big difference in cost huh?

                            But now I must maintain the temp of the tanks. Sure you would get some standby loss but not near the loss of a pilot burning 24/7 and the burner firing because of standby loss through the un-insulated flue.

                            The 1st hr rating is better with the dual 40 electrics than the 38,000 btu G.E. at 433.00.

                            If you didn't want 80 gal of storage you could always wire a standard 50 gal tank for 5500 watt SIMULTANEOUS element operation and have little standby loss over a 24 hr period and would have a recovery rate of 50 gph @ 90 degree rise.....which is actually to high of a rise for the tpical house. For a target temp of 120-125 you would have to be getting 30-35 degree water to expect a 90 degree rise.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                              And to get things totally off topic, my oil fired heater has a recovery of ~200 Gallons an hour. The 40 gallon tank was just not enough for our large tub, so we upgraded to an 80. Until heating oil is $9 a gallon, we'll come out ahead of electric (assuming electric doesn't go more than $.25/kWH).

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Electric Hot Water Heater vs Natural Gas Hot Water Heater

                                Originally posted by cpw View Post
                                And to get things totally off topic, my oil fired heater has a recovery of ~200 Gallons an hour. The 40 gallon tank was just not enough for our large tub, so we upgraded to an 80. Until heating oil is $9 a gallon, we'll come out ahead of electric (assuming electric doesn't go more than $.25/kWH).
                                We (family of 4) grew up on a 30 gallon oil fired hot water heater. The recovery rate was very quick, and back to back showers were no problem at all. Hands down the best water heater we ever had.

                                With the price of oil so high now, my dad and I finally ripped it out and put in an 80 gallon electric.

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