Hot Water Heater Question

CDH001December 23, 2013

My house is a 2 story house with basement. I currently have a 20 year old gas hot water heater and am considering replacing it for something a little more efficient. Are they considerably more efficient today? Also, we waste a lot of water waiting for hot water to make it from the basement all the way to the bathrooms on the 2nd floor. Is there a cost effective solution for this today? Thanks for the help.

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Gas heaters have not increased equal to electric but gas is still more effecient than electric. At 20 years old,you are overdue for the heater to fail so it's wise replacing it now.
Water slow to get hot on secound floor has some options to choose from. The best would be a secound heater upstairs but cost can range from reasonable if gas supply is adiquate upstairs and plumbing is accessable in right place to expensive if new supplies must be installed,not to mention suitable space to house the heater. A circulating pump is inexpensive to install while changing heater but I reccomend researching shortened life of water lines using a pump. If your daly routine is consistant,I suggest a timer that runs pump only during peak usage of hot water. I have set a few up with timers that start pump 30 minutes to 2 hours before resident's normal showers then remain off majority of day. It isn't difficult for an electrician to install an override switch next to where hot water is needed off peak ocasionaly . 3rd and cheapest albeit less effecient and reliable than other options is a point of use electric heater.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 9:46PM
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Ideally, you'd like to recirculate to the most remote fixture, but if there is a 1st floor fixture in a close proximity too the 2nd floor fixtures, it's half the battle.
Depending upon your heat plant and the return air plenum, you may have an easy accessible conduit to the upper floor fixtures.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 12:20AM
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I appreciate the guidance. I hadn't heard of the recirculation pumps before, so will definitely explore that option.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 1:02PM
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It's more than a pump, it's a system which requires a return line too the heater.
However, there are those which can be connected at any fixture, which connect between that fixtures supply lines.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 2:42PM
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There are pump systems that can be placed at the farthest fixture (bathroom?) that use the cold water piping as a return to the water heater. The pump is actuated by switch then turns off when hot water arrives at the pump. They work well when the hot water outlets are "daisy chained" on one hot water pipe. But a two story house may not be plumbed that way.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Search this forum for Laing and Autocirc

Retrofit recirc pumps that are affordable and easy to install.

Watts makes one also.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 6:08PM
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If you are not oppossed to electric many power companies will give a free replacement or large discount if you convert from gas to electric.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 11:02AM
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