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Old 02-20-2018, 06:21 AM   #1
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Default Which fuel type should I use? Gas or Electric?

Hello all,

I have been saving up to get a water heater for my home. My current water heater is a 40 gallon electric water heater and it is about 19 years old now. I replaced the elements a few months back just to get some more life out of it as the bottom one completely burned out. Even after replacing them, it still can’t seem to keep up with the four other people in my household who take long showers and I am afraid one day that it will destroy my garage and I just want to avoid that all together.

I have been researching around and I am going towards a tankless water heater. I have used some calculators online to see the approximate cost per year. I had a neighbor tell me that he converted his to propane and has been saving more than using the electricity. Especially during the summer, my electric bills can be upwards of $600-800. I am trying to find a more efficient route of heating my water.

I have done some cost calculations and propane does seem to come out a little bit cheaper. I do have a propane company not even a mile from my house so I wouldn’t have to go far to fill up the two 100lb tanks that I already have.

My question is, would propane be a way to go especially when I have two big tanks to work with? I figured they would each last me almost 2 months when I was calculating how much propane they would theoretically use. Or should I just stick with electricity?

I am close to maxing out my electrical panel of 200 amps. I have an electric car charger, 2 AC units, and many power hungry appliances. I had an electrician calculate load and after adding a 27kw tankless, that would add almost 113 amps to my panel. I could change out the panel, but I would like to know if electric would save me more than propane after a much higher electric initial cost? Thanks.

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Old 02-20-2018, 04:41 PM   #2
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Most homes with large families have an 80 gal 240 volt electric water heater. Tell everybody to shorten up the showers. If you want to go to propane you will have to have a 3/4" black iron gas line ran from outside of the house with a regulator for the propane company to the water heater. Also you have to consider the venting. Do you have a chimney or it will have to vent outside. Tankless water heaters are high maint and have to be flushed out every year to every other year depending on your water. If you look up propane tank charts they are saying a water heater takes a 420 lb tank. Hope this helps you some. Let us know what you do.
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