• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."
  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

Water heater replacement - which type and brand to get???

bigi

Platinum Member
Aug 8, 2001
2,281
98
91
AT:
Need to replace leaking 40gal. gas water heater. Need solid unit for 5 person family. Should I look into tankless? What is a good brand?

Anything else to consider?
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
54,091
4,121
126
I got a gas fired Rheem from homedepot a few years ago. No issues so far. We had tankless hot water at an office a bunch of years ago, and I wasn't impressed. Might have been a case of immature/cheap tech, but it soured me on the whole concept.
 
Feb 4, 2009
27,831
8,307
136
Electric tankless sucks, as of now gas tankless is great.
I don’t have one but my Parents do. Thing is awesome, only problem is one sink has a real long run and getting hot water to it was challenging
Fixed with a small single point electric tankless solution.
 

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
1,613
109
106
Doesn't 40 gal seem a bit small for a family of 5? Then again, if you go bigger then it's just more energy to heat/maintain the heat *shrugs*

At any rate, I would guess maybe Rheem or A.O Smith
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
24,700
802
126
I've had gas tankless for like 7-8 years. I switched from electric when my tank rusted at the drain plug threads and started leaking.

Rinnai 8 gpm NG.... it's pretty awesome. Slight delay to get hot water, but my house is mostly one level and the heater is on the opposite end of the house from the primary showers....cold water always had to be purged from the lines. It probably takes the average system 20-30 seconds for hot water.

If you're not too far North, it makes the most sense...but my costs really dropped when I switched. My heater was $799+$65 for the vent kit...plus plumbing.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
16,630
2,150
126
If you buy from Home depot, check the model number carefully. I had a Rheem from home depot and the model number had an extra letter at the end. Talking with Rheem service, I discovered that they build models specifically for home depot that use cheaper components.
This was several years back and may not apply anymore.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
27,962
2,515
126
Electric tankless sucks, as of now gas tankless is great.
I don’t have one but my Parents do. Thing is awesome, only problem is one sink has a real long run and getting hot water to it was challenging
Fixed with a small single point electric tankless solution.
I have this:

Noritz America Corporation
Model N-069M-OD

It's mounted on an outside wall. I have the optional indoor digital temperature control, which I really like. I adjust the temperature not infrequently.

You're supposed to clean the filter once in a while, I think I've done it a time or two in the 14 years since installation. It's lightly used here, I'm sure most folks use there's a lot more than I do, since I live alone and am mindful of my carbon footprint.

Here's the info I have on cleaning the filter:

The procedure:
--->gas valve at the heater (i.e. turn off)
--->incoming water at the heater (i.e. turn off)
--->outgoing water at the heater (i.e. turn off)
--->release pressure (using e.g. bathroom sink's hot water valve)
--->unplug the heater
--->Open the filter, clean and replace and open valves

Here's most of a post I made in a local neighborhood forum the other day concerning my tankless HWH:

This (and probably other TWH's) has a characteristic in that there's a minimum amount of flow that causes the burners to fire. If you aren't getting at least (If I recall correctly, i.e. IIRC) 2 quarts flow per minute, the burners won't fire. I actually like this characteristic because it allows me to turn the hot water on at the kitchen sink with a strong flow, wait until the water is nice and hot and then turn it off and hot water will sit in the hot water piping. At local hardware emporium, I bought something like 50 feet of foam insulation (that's made for this purpose) that I installed around the hot water piping (utilizing some duct tape to snug it up in places) that goes both to my kitchen sink and to my bathroom, which has a shower/tub and, of course, a sink. That helps keep the water in the hot water piping hot longer. After around an hour, there's little heat retained however. Now, if I run the hot water strongly and get hot water in the pipes, I can then run hot water at my kitchen sink slowly and mix it with cold water to get a luke warm flow. If the hot water flow is sufficiently slow, the burners will not kick on! If I do that, it saves gas, i.e. lowers my utility bill and reduces my carbon footprint. At a certain point, there's no more hot water in the piping and the flow turns cold (rather suddenly), of course. So using this technique effectively and satisfactorily requires some finesse.
 
Nov 8, 2012
17,561
3,385
126
I had a plumber that I respected come by and when discussing water heaters he was under the impression that tankless is a gimmick that is overly expensive and more trouble than they are worth.

What say the rest of AT here? If it's great then what makes it great over your previous tank heater?

EDIT: I figured it's also much more expensive (installation + buying wise) to install a tankless, so I would almost figure if he wanted to make money off me he would be recommending the tankless?
 
Last edited:

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
16,630
2,150
126
I had a plumber that I respected come by and when discussing water heaters he was under the impression that tankless is a gimmick that is overly expensive and more trouble than they are worth.

What say the rest of AT here? If it's great then what makes it great over your previous tank heater?

EDIT: I figured it's also much more expensive (installation + buying wise) to install a tankless, so I would almost figure if he wanted to make money off me he would be recommending the tankless?
It's not a gimmick, it's a valid technology that was oversold. In the right conditions tankless makes a lot of sense, in the wrong conditions they suck. Tankless doesn't work well in applications where you use a small amount of warm water (washing your hands), but in a large volume situation they do very well.
I only use tankless when there isn't space for a traditional water heater, because traditional tank heaters are now very efficient, and far less complex than tankless units.
 

bigi

Platinum Member
Aug 8, 2001
2,281
98
91
Thanks to all. Excellent posts.

Now, I'll probably go with Rheem. I've been fine with 40 gallon one for last 5 years. No need to go with 50, imo.

Now, @Greenman
If you buy from Home depot, check the model number carefully. I had a Rheem from home depot and the model number had an extra letter at the end. Talking with Rheem service, I discovered that they build models specifically for home depot that use cheaper components.
This was several years back and may not apply anymore.
Do you remember what 'letter' I need to look for? I hope this is no longer the case, but I'd check it just in case.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
16,630
2,150
126
Thanks to all. Excellent posts.

Now, I'll probably go with Rheem. I've been fine with 40 gallon one for last 5 years. No need to go with 50, imo.

Now, @Greenman


Do you remember what 'letter' I need to look for? I hope this is no longer the case, but I'd check it just in case.
It was just a single letter added at the end of the model number. I don't remember what it was.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bigi
Feb 4, 2009
27,831
8,307
136
Thanks to all. Excellent posts.

Now, I'll probably go with Rheem. I've been fine with 40 gallon one for last 5 years. No need to go with 50, imo.

Now, @Greenman


Do you remember what 'letter' I need to look for? I hope this is no longer the case, but I'd check it just in case.
50 gallon is probably a better choice for a 4 person household. Probably costs like $100 more up front. Energy usage will be comparable.
Honestly I’d consider a 65 gallon tank with 5 people but my wife is miserable when the hot water runs out so consider that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bigi
Feb 4, 2009
27,831
8,307
136
@bigi if you buy from Home Depot ask about their warranty. The one for my electric hybrid was very affordable and I got a 5 year fix or replace warranty for either $60 or $80. I forgot the exact price but it felt like a good value one time payment. Admittedly stuff like this typically won’t fail within a 5 year window.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bigi

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,256
552
126
Feb 4, 2009
27,831
8,307
136
probably gonna replace my 16 year old Rudd WH in the next two weeks or so with this Home Depot Exclusive Rheem model (which doesn't have a letter at the end)...

I am very satisfied with my hybrid electric tank. You’ll probably get a decent rebate for it too. Check out the rheem hybrid
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
7,304
371
126
i would go tankless. they are not any harder to install. you have to select your btus for your incoming water temperature and make sure you have a 3/4 or 1 in gas line to it. we had one in the last place, will replace current with tankless when the time comes.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
16,630
2,150
126
i would go tankless. they are not any harder to install. you have to select your btus for your incoming water temperature and make sure you have a 3/4 or 1 in gas line to it. we had one in the last place, will replace current with tankless when the time comes.
The install depends on what type you get, where you put it, and if the gas line is adequate.
Some tankless models require a proprietary flue system, and get big bucks for it. They all require a fair sized gas line, and 120v electric service. I've looked at installs that were going to run into thousands of dollars because of these conditions. Tankless absolutely has a place and solves a problem, but it's not always the right answer.
 

Homerboy

Lifer
Mar 1, 2000
28,904
2,610
126
If you buy from Home depot, check the model number carefully. I had a Rheem from home depot and the model number had an extra letter at the end. Talking with Rheem service, I discovered that they build models specifically for home depot that use cheaper components.
This was several years back and may not apply anymore.
This is true for A LOT of things sold at HD/Lowes/ Power tools, appliances etc.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
24,700
802
126
I know you said you're going with Rheem, but don't give up on tankless if you want to drop your monthly costs... I'm not kidding, it will pay for itself in a few years if you don't have any issues with it. (mine's not had an issue yet)

Check out this page for current models:

If you go with an indoor model, you just drill a big hole in the wall about the size of a dryer vent and the vent kit goes through the wall. If you get a 2-4 fixture version (7.5GPM), that's enough for most people. Read the dimensions of these units. They're relatively compact....about the size of 2 medium tower desktop computers cases stacked on each other... I have mine in my short crawlspace.
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
7,304
371
126
Rinnai plastic venting is not too expensive for some models also, we installed one of their units in the apartment attached to our house so that we could fit a washer and dryer in there. and to replace a 10 gal electric that was too small to provide a hot shower. it was pretty easy to install. The stainless type b that some require is crazy expensive though.


@Greenman, yes some installs are more complicated, but most of the time, you have what you need nearby in a mechanical room.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Scarpozzi

bigi

Platinum Member
Aug 8, 2001
2,281
98
91
I'll go with tank/gas one. My current installation fully supports it. My natural gas costs are the lowest from all costs I have. The whole work will be done be me, it is pretty much 'in place' replacement.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,265
2,971
126
I have this:

Noritz America Corporation
Model N-069M-OD

It's mounted on an outside wall. I have the optional indoor digital temperature control, which I really like. I adjust the temperature not infrequently.

You're supposed to clean the filter once in a while, I think I've done it a time or two in the 14 years since installation. It's lightly used here, I'm sure most folks use there's a lot more than I do, since I live alone and am mindful of my carbon footprint.

Here's the info I have on cleaning the filter:

The procedure:
--->gas valve at the heater (i.e. turn off)
--->incoming water at the heater (i.e. turn off)
--->outgoing water at the heater (i.e. turn off)
--->release pressure (using e.g. bathroom sink's hot water valve)
--->unplug the heater
--->Open the filter, clean and replace and open valves

Here's most of a post I made in a local neighborhood forum the other day concerning my tankless HWH:

This (and probably other TWH's) has a characteristic in that there's a minimum amount of flow that causes the burners to fire. If you aren't getting at least (If I recall correctly, i.e. IIRC) 2 quarts flow per minute, the burners won't fire. I actually like this characteristic because it allows me to turn the hot water on at the kitchen sink with a strong flow, wait until the water is nice and hot and then turn it off and hot water will sit in the hot water piping. At local hardware emporium, I bought something like 50 feet of foam insulation (that's made for this purpose) that I installed around the hot water piping (utilizing some duct tape to snug it up in places) that goes both to my kitchen sink and to my bathroom, which has a shower/tub and, of course, a sink. That helps keep the water in the hot water piping hot longer. After around an hour, there's little heat retained however. Now, if I run the hot water strongly and get hot water in the pipes, I can then run hot water at my kitchen sink slowly and mix it with cold water to get a luke warm flow. If the hot water flow is sufficiently slow, the burners will not kick on! If I do that, it saves gas, i.e. lowers my utility bill and reduces my carbon footprint. At a certain point, there's no more hot water in the piping and the flow turns cold (rather suddenly), of course. So using this technique effectively and satisfactorily requires some finesse.
n/m
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,897
638
126
Our house is not even three years old so we are hopefully many years away from having to replace the hot water heater. We do not have NG available and the HWH is in the garage (SW FL). I thought that a hybrid electric heat pump water heater would be a good way to go for us when the time came for replacement. Lots of heat in the garage and the byproduct will be lower humidity and lower temps in the garage.

The condensate drain is going to be a bit of a problem but it's doable. I am also concerned about how noisy they may be because the HWH is adjacent to living area. Can't be much louder than an air conditioner but it still could be an issue.
 
Feb 4, 2009
27,831
8,307
136
Our house is not even three years old so we are hopefully many years away from having to replace the hot water heater. We do not have NG available and the HWH is in the garage (SW FL). I thought that a hybrid electric heat pump water heater would be a good way to go for us when the time came for replacement. Lots of heat in the garage and the byproduct will be lower humidity and lower temps in the garage.

The condensate drain is going to be a bit of a problem but it's doable. I am also concerned about how noisy they may be because the HWH is adjacent to living area. Can't be much louder than an air conditioner but it still could be an issue.
I can speak of this. The condensate on mine is a slow steady drip. My tank is next to my sump pump so it drains in there. I live in the NE so much less humidity than you have.
The unit is noisy, I wouldn’t like it in a living area. Mine is in the basement so not a problem but I can hear it running.
My hybrid electric cools my basement too, for me that’s not a great thing but for you it is likely a good thing. 1100 square foot basement, I’d guess it cools the basement a few degrees.
Regarding noise it is quieter than our heat pump outside but while inside I would say the noise is comparable. Not loud but not quiet either. I wouldn’t want it in a closet in my living area but what you describe as your setup I don’t think it will be a problem but don’t expect to never hear it either.
 
Last edited:

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
27,962
2,515
126
FYI: My tankless makes some noise but I only hear it when I turn off the hot water. That noise goes away in (I'm guessing) < 30 seconds. It's not loud. I think it's basically a fan (?) that provides necessary cooling to the components in the heater. The heater is mounted on an outside wall.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY