Replace new water heater, or...

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Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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Hi all, soliciting some opinions here. I'm having a new home built in TN. Sadly the upcharges from the builder on just about everything are exorbitant, particularly on things they are unfamiliar with. So I'm having to take things I do not want, but resolve to change them.

Despite natural gas at the home site--they have chosen to NOT provide a gas water heater, nor do they provide a gas outlet for a dryer in the laundry room. I'll add the latter myself after I move in.

So the house has a 50g electric water heater included. Nobody should be heating water with electricity if gas is available. So after move in I plan on doing something about it. Here are my two options.

1. Remove the electric water heater and sell it for salvage or as used, though it will be essentially new. Replace with a 50 gallon gas model with power vent. I can easily do the gas work, the plumbing work, and the vent work. A 50g gas power vent heater runs about $1,000.​

-or-

2. KEEP the electric water heater as a storage tank, and use a small gas tankless to feed it. You do not need those large 199,000 BTU tankless models. Don't exactly know the cost or what I need to do--or if this is even wise.​

So, thoughts anyone? Obviously selling a used water heater may take a bit of time, and I don't yet know which might be the best tankless in this operation, hence the questions.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

itsstan

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"Nobody should be heating water with electricity if gas is available." This is what I thought too, then I saw the hybrid water heaters.https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-Performance-Platinum-50-gal-10-Year-Hybrid-High-Efficiency-Smart-Tank-Electric-Water-Heater-XE50T10HD50U1/303419574 The yellow epa sticker on the side of my new 50 gal gas says energy cost per year will be $277. The sticker on that hybrid says $110. The old school electric says $400+. I'm kind of wishing I went with the hybrid especially because they say it's quiet. I can hear my new gas heater doing its thing when I'm one floor up. The burner makes a deep rumbling sound. My old one, and every other gas heater I've ever seen, was almost silent.

Check the warranty on your electric, I'm guessing it's a 6 year warranty which means after that it's on borrowed time. Just something to consider.
 

Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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Hello itsstan,

I'm familar with those, though I am more familiar with the called "heat pump water heaters" rather than hybrids, but that's just a matter of semantics I suppose.

The only challenge with those particularly in a northern climate and a basement location (why I never considered them seriously) is they are a heat pump; you are taking heat out of the ambient air, putting into water, and "rejecting" cold air. That makes a cool or cold basement even colder--and if that basement is conditioned space, you need to then add heat to that basement to compensate for the cold air coming out the top!!

Comparing the stickers is a good idea if they are equivalent comparisons in usage.
 

itsstan

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Yep, I totally agree with you. I do wonder what the actual cost of running that water heater would be if you take into consideration the make-up heating cost. The heater that I linked does have the option to duct the intake and exhaust to the outside, but then how hard is that thing going to work in the dead of winter? Too bad there isn't an option to route that cold air to your refrigerator. If I had that thing I might be tempted to duct that air into my mother in-law's room. I'm kidding, just kidding.
 
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