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Home water heater (boiler) recommendations

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  • Home water heater (boiler) recommendations

    Asked this originally in the fall in another thread without any responses.

    Our insurance company is now refusing to renew our home policy unless we change our water heater.

    It works perfectly (knock wood). But is quite old. Manufactured in Southern Ontario.

    There are only 2 of us at home now. Do not plan to stay in this house more than another 5 years.
    Based on the home's age and location and what is going on in our neighbourhood whoever buys it almost certainly 'gut' it.

    So the company that we have been 'renting' the water heater from for decades say that they will replace it with another rental, waive our rental fee for 6 months and we will have the same monthly rental payments.

    Or we can upgrade to a tankless rental for about another $30 per month.

    Or we can purchase from them and they will supply and install for about $1,600 with a one year warranty installation warranty and a manufacturer's warranty on the tank.

    Our local independent HVAC says that if we purchase a water heater he will install it. His installation fee and the purchase price is about the same as from the 'big guys'.

    What are your recommendations and/or experiences?

  • #2
    Take your monthly rental cost and multiply by the number of months you anticipate living in your current home. Then compare that to the $1600 price tag to buy a new one. Do the same calculation with the tankless, and subtract whatever energy savings they say the unit offers over a traditional tank (note that you won't likely realize quite what they claim). Once you have a firm handle on the cost of each option, it should be a fairly easy decision.
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    • #3
      What is the hardness of your water and do you have a water softener?

      We have pretty hard water here in Calgary, and I know several folks that have had issues with tankless systems failing. Now, these were 15 + years ago as I haven’t looked lately, but I think you will want to investigate their reliability. One of the folks here at our cabin put in a tankless electric when he built 6 years ago. He recently had it yanked for a traditional tank this year due to failures. Water at Panorama here is crazy hard.

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      • #4
        I have a tankless system. I think for whatever I save in gas I make up for in water. It takes at least a couple of minutes for the water to heat up and get to the second story shower from the basement.

        If your tank isn't prone to failure as noted above (Kitchener has very hard water) then I would buy and be done with it. The hot water tank rental market is a big scam in some places. I probably paid 3-4x the cost of buying one outright on my last house but being a new build I had no choice.

        The one time I did have a problem, (the scald valve was gummed up with sediment IIRC), that wasn't covered as it wasn't part of the tank, even though it connects right to the tank.

        The other thing to assess is if your tubing or whatever is all up to code as I recall them telling me the code had changed a number of years ago. That was going to be an additional expense.
        Last edited by Jeffc; Aug 6, 2022, 05:58 PM.
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        • #5
          Had a gas rental unit. When it died rental company estimated something like 4 days to come out. Bought a unit and had it installed next day. Then they threatened to charge me if I disposed of their unit even though they wouldn't commit to come pick it up.

          Don't rent. Sham.

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          • #6
            The other thing to do every year or two, and I don’t think many do, is to replace the sacrificial rod every year or two. Prevents corrosion. I have 2 35 gallons tanks in series and both are 17 years old. I will be replacing within the next 12 months. Borrowed time and all.
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            • #7
              I would rent and not worry about it given the short-term (<5years)nature of the rental. Make sure there is no clause guaranteeing a min term on the rental. Let it be the new homeowner's decision.

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              • #8
                Save some cash AD put an electric one in , only two people in the house so unless you are using a load of hot water you will not recoup the cost of gas water heater in energy savings. If the plan is to sell most people don’t like rented or leased equipment. Plus I don’t think putting gas in vs electric will add much value when you decide to sell.

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                • #9
                  Replacing an electric Hot water heater is actually a job that you can do it yourself. I’ve replaced my own twice at the cottage and twice at each of the new house as we bought in Florida. You can buy the hot water heater itself from Home Depot or Lowe’s for around $700 the installation takes about half an hour.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Risky84 View Post
                    Save some cash AD put an electric one in , only two people in the house so unless you are using a load of hot water you will not recoup the cost of gas water heater in energy savings. If the plan is to sell most people don’t like rented or leased equipment. Plus I don’t think putting gas in vs electric will add much value when you decide to sell.
                    On the list of items that make a home sellable, the status of the hot water heater is well past 100 and has zero impact on the offer price.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shake99 View Post
                      Replacing an electric Hot water heater is actually a job that you can do it yourself. I’ve replaced my own twice at the cottage and twice at each of the new house as we bought in Florida. You can buy the hot water heater itself from Home Depot or Lowe’s for around $700 the installation takes about half an hour.
                      Thanks. What type of power source/how much power does an electric water heat require?
                      Would it require new/more wiring?
                      Our panel is 'pretty full'.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Arthur Dailey View Post

                        Thanks. What type of power source/how much power does an electric water heat require?
                        Would it require new/more wiring?
                        Our panel is 'pretty full'.
                        Need 2 slots. Here’s our electric set up. Given my previous home owners preferences, this is a Home Depot special for sure
                        Attached Files
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                        • #13
                          Our electric water heater is a 40 gallon and has 2 x 30 amp breakers.
                          Elements are 2 x 3000 watts.
                          What size breaker do I need for a 40 gallon water heater?
                          A 40-gallon water heater should have an average capacity of 4500 Watts and an emf of 240 volts. An appropriate 25 or 30A circuit breaker is therefore sufficient for a 40-gallon circuit breaker. However, for your own safety, we recommend that you purchase a 30A circuit breaker.
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