09:04AM | 07/18/07
Member Since: 07/17/07
2 lifetime posts
My spouse travels every week, so most of the time there is only one person in the house. I have a 50 gal hot water heater, so I'm paying for too much hot water most of the week.

Would it make since to install a small (15-20 gal) water heater in-line after the large heater and turn off the large heater when I don't need so much hot water?


06:44AM | 07/20/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1449 lifetime posts
NO, having stagnant water in a tank is actually going to be an incubator for all types of bacteria and will allow a lot of sediment to accumulate as your not getting the scouring action required during normal usage.

The cost of the new heater plus the venting and properly sizing the gas line and making sure you have enough free air for combustion will not be cost effective to offset the gas bill your now getting.

Have you considered a high efficiency heater or possibly a spontaneous one that heats water on demand or just lowering the temperature of the tank.


08:20AM | 07/20/07
Member Since: 07/17/07
2 lifetime posts
My configuration thoughts...

1) all electric

2) water will flow through both heaters all the time (first through the big heater, then through the small heater). The large heater would just be off most of the time.

I went to Lowes' Home Improvement center and looked at water heaters. It looks like the cost of running a 20 gal heater for a year is about $400. The 50-60 gal heaters also run about $400 a year. So, maybe there's no savings in my original thoughts.

My heater is about 19 years old, so I should consider a new, more efficient heater or maybe consider a mechanical timer to limit the time my heater runs.


07:57AM | 07/21/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1449 lifetime posts
Wow 19 years think how many cars you have had in 19 years!!!

This tank should have been retired normally after 10 years of service.

The newer tanks are better insulated this alone should save you money.

Placing a timer on the heater not a great idea as it is probably cheaper to maintain water temperature then try to bring cold water up to the temperature you want.

Here it is hot then you allow it to get cold only to turn on a timer to reheat it again, not very cost effective.

A smaller tank will of course be cheaper to buy and will have less water to heat BUT you have to decide if your going to have enough water for back to back showering, laundry and dish washing etc.

Do you have return circulation?

What I did was lower the hot water to give me a hot shower but I do not have to add any cold water to temper it.

Some folks have the water temperature extremely high then add lots of cold water to cool it to manageable temperatures.

Try lowering the setting after you buy a new tank as I bet the T&P is also 19 years old and has never been tested.


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