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1/31/2015 8:02 am  #1

Propane V. Electric Water Heater

I ha

Last edited by Goose (3/06/2016 8:16 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

1/31/2015 9:27 am  #2

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

My first electric heater was installed when the house was built in 1991.  It had a "lifetime" warranty but only lasted eight years.  Its replacement (without a "lifetime" warrenty) is still chugging away but every time I look at it I think "we're on borrowed time".

Are you on a time of day  peak/off peak electric meter?  That could be a consideration depending on when  you tend to do laundry, run dishwasher, etc.

OTOH, if you are prone to power outages without a whole house generator there is a definite advantage to propane.

Life is an Orthros.

1/31/2015 9:55 am  #3

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

Okay, I've consulted with my brother, who is a master plumber/HVAC guy, and an electric should be fine. 2 things though. 1. You need probably 2 free slots in your electric breaker box, and 2. It may take a little longer for hot water between uses, like showering right after someone else has used all the hot water,etc. Other than that, you should be fine getting an electric. They're cheaper also. Note of caution to anyone - hard water greatly shortens the life span of any water heater, no matter what it is. If yours lasted since the '80's, I'm assuming your water isn't very hard.
Hope this helps.

(Tarnation brings up a good point about power outages. Something to consider.)

Last edited by BYOB (1/31/2015 9:57 am)


1/31/2015 2:10 pm  #4

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

Just don't go real small.   The tiny 10-15 gallon units are very inefficient and only last a couple of years.

Life is an Orthros.

1/31/2015 9:57 pm  #5

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

Goose, what about a tankless system?


1/31/2015 10:03 pm  #6

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

It's really nice Goose. We used to use the ones attached to the shower head in PR... and the hot water was instant... I was always freaked out because I don't particularly care for something that douses me with water to be plugged in a few feet away!!!

But I'm alive!!!


2/02/2015 7:54 am  #7

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

I had previously asked my dad (who was also a master plumber/HVAC guy) about tankless water heaters. He said the negative can be that you may end up using more energy to heat the water as needed, vs. a tank water heater that keeps the tank water warm for quit a long time so less energy is needed. But if it's in an area of your house that it won't be the main water heater, it doesn't seem like that would really be a problem. I'm not sure what price points the tankless fall under, but I'd say go with whatever's less expensive since it's not your main heater.


2/02/2015 11:11 pm  #8

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

Last year I had to replace my electric water heater--for the second time in 11 years.  Not paying attention to what I was selecting to buy I ended up with a 50 gallon tank, far more than I'd ever need for a one-person hh.  But it hasn't increased my electric bill any because the newer ones are more efficient.  I also selected a cheaper electric rate vs what PPL charges.  From what I've learned the tankless water heaters may or may not provided sufficient hot water exactly when needed plus the cost of a unit is much higher than a tank heater.  For some that's not an issue.  I would not go under a 40 gallon tank though if it's your only source of hot water.


2/04/2015 8:49 am  #9

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

Good choice.  And a generator?

Life is an Orthros.

2/04/2015 5:26 pm  #10

Re: Propane V. Electric Water Heater

Losing power for 96 hours after Tropical Storm Isabel is what convinced me to get a propane powered Generac.

It was wonderful to have in 2011 when I was off the grid for 57 hours in August and 51 hours from the "Halloween snow", as well as last winter's ice storm (tomorrow is the anniversary by date) that had the power off for 83 hours.

The ice storm outage was compounded by a propane supply shortage--which also jacked the price.  Basically the generator was costing $5.00/hour so on the bright sunny days I would shut it off while outside chainsawing the downed trees as well as overnight.  Why sleep through $40.00 or more of propane?

Since you already have a propane tank and a steady supplier that would be the way to go.

Life is an Orthros.

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