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Considering getting a new water heater

Sarah Wilson
February 11, 2019

My water heater is a tank and is from 2005. It works albeit loudly...

We have a large home with two water heaters. One downstairs (outside) and one upstairs (currently in master closet)

We are re-doing our master bedroom and I am wondering about where and how to include this water tank in the plans.

1. Do you think I should get a new water heater because mine is likely close to end of life?

2. Should I get a tank because I have room for it?

3. Should I go tankless because that is the way of the future?

Comments (11)

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Did you say a hot water tank in a closet in the master bedroom? Could you clarify. Definitely would go tankless. Best thing we ever did. Much smaller size of space requirements. No noise at all.
  • skmom
    We also have a large house and had two water heater tanks, ours were in the basement. We had one of them go out, it flooded a section of our basement. We started saving up for a tankless and just dealt with one water heater tank thinking we had time because it was newer than the one that leaked. About three months later the other one leaked and flooded the basement again. Fortunately it was the height of summer because it was about three weeks before we were able to get the new tankless system installed! And yeah, we still have a bare section of concrete in our basement from where we had to rip out the carpet. I don’t think we will ever go back to water tanks again, at least not where water damage might be a concern!
  • Sarah Wilson

    how big of a tankless and/or did you get two?

  • Brent B

    How large is your house?
    If keeping a water tank, consider putting a pan under the water heater and have it lead to a drain.
    They now have "heat pumps" for hot water tanks.
    Yale appliance recently had an article on tank and tankless hot water systems, where I believe that I read about the "heat pumps" for this appliance.

    Good luck,

  • skmom
    We just got one tankless water heater... it’s the biggest Rinnai they make for residential, or at least that’s what hubby told me. (He said he used some calculator on their site to figure out what size we needed, and that’s the one they suggested) Our house is about 5,600 sq ft, 4.5 bathrooms, 7 adult-sized people living in our home. (Kids are aged 21, 20, 18, 17, 17... all still live at home for now.) Of course, originally our water heaters were sitting side by side, so going with one tankless to service the entire house wasn’t all THAT difficult. (It’s not as easy as dropping in another tank, things have to be changed around) We’ve had it for about six months now, it has been great! No running out of hot water! I do notice a drop in pressure if I have too many things running at once on it... like the dishwasher plus a couple of showers going all at once, but that doesn’t happen very much at all, even in our busy household with young adults on crazy work/school schedules. Hope that helps!
  • Sarah Wilson

    How was the install process?

  • toxcrusadr

    I just replaced a gas water heater from 1989 about two years ago. I guess that is unusual. I replaced the magnesium sacrificial anode rod along the way, which helps any water heater last longer. It's easy to do.

    Also the newer ones supposedly don't last as long, so maybe your 2005 one is really at the end of its life. But some maintenance can extend the life, in general.

  • skmom
    Sarah, my hubby did the install, but he’s a very experienced diy’er who happens to also be a rocket scientist, lol! It was somewhat involved, he had to run some lines to the outside (through brick) and change up some gas lines and get bigger fittings... once he got the heater in (there was a snafu with that originally, that’s why we were out of hot water for several weeks, original company we ordered from kept saying it had shipped when it hadn’t... grrrr...) it still took him about three days to have the heater fully installed. Not three days of solid work, three days of him doing it on the side of his full time job. He also installed it in such a way as to make things easy for maintenance and he re-routed some of the water lines that were originally there but not routed very well. (Looked like someone had done some weird re-routing to get the second water heater in, we are the 5th owners of this house, one or more of the previous owners had some weird stuff done) So, he’d say it wasn’t rocket science, but it’s not the easiest job he’s ever done either, certainly not a “just drop it in” kind of job. We did have a guy out recently who was inspecting our furnace and he saw the water heater and asked “who did THAT!?” My hubby said “why do you ask?” He replied “because whoever did it did a great job!” So hubby was pleased to confess he’d done it himself, LOL!
    Sarah Wilson thanked skmom
  • skmom
    Wanted to add: even if we’d had to pay for a tankless install, we would’ve gone in that direction just so we wouldn’t have to deal with the fear of the bottom rusting out of a water tank again. That was NASTY to clean up!
    Sarah Wilson thanked skmom
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    Install best done by a Rocket Scientist OR a licensed plumber! lol (btw, one of our sons is a Rocket Scientist i.e. PhD in Physics!) We had our installed professionally and it took around 5 hours. That included some plumbing changes and a exhaust pipe retrofit for the exhaust. We loved it. 9 Adults at Christmas all showering, and me cooking up a storm, etc. Never ran out of water because it is continuously heated. Greatest invention ever! Go for it! But do get a professional install. I had a client who I was "staging" their home for sale. They went to Vail on a vacation. Came back to a total disaster. Hot water tank went, came through ceiling 2 floors, down stairs, and into entry with marble flooring! It took almost 2 months to get it cleaned up and redone. Once we had it fixed, repainted, trim redone, chipped marble replaced, etc., etc. they sold it in about 3 weeks. Big, beautiful home, but these hot water tanks are not made like they used to be and the "fix" if they fail is staggering.

    Sarah Wilson thanked Flo Mangan
  • skmom
    @ Flo... that’s awesome about your son! My hubby is actually an aerospace engineer, he spent a lot of time in propulsion (hence me teasing him about being a rocket scientist) now he’s doing.... uh... I can never explain it because I don’t understand it, but he’s the only one in his current company who does it, LOL!!! So far, none of our children want to go into engineering, even though two of our son’s show a propensity towards it. Anyways, nerds are awesome! :D

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