Thursday, January 14, 2010

Uh Oh

We're in the midst of the worst cold snap we've had in a decade, and the electric hot water heater element shows signs of giving out. It's well over 10 years old and gets plenty of use.

Anybody got any ideas on what the best way to get a new water heater is? Any gotchas to look out for?


Larry Denninger said...

Nod - have you considered a tankless water heater? They're a bit more costly, but they pay for themselves in 12-18 months. I don't have one, but I'm considering replacing my hot water tank before it goes kaput. I believe they're common in Japan and Europe, and the nice thing about them is that you get instantaneous hot water, and they're reportedly very efficient.

Anonymous said...

Electric hot water heaters usually have two elements- one toward the top and one at the bottom. So, if you still have hot water, but not as much, it may be that one of the elements or its thermostat is defective. Good luck.

Subvet said...

Anonymous has it right. Check out the continuity of your elements.

If you're not a "handyman type" find a friend who is (if you're a member of the K of C there should be one in the local chapter). It's a fairly simple procedure as is the replacement of the heater element.

I replaced my entire heater last year. Believe me, it's not something to do unless absolutely, positively necessary.

As for tankless water heaters, I've heard that while they themselves may be inexpensive, when you install one they'll cause your electric bill to skyrocket.

I've never had one so take what was just said with a grain of salt. But it pays to thoroughly check it out.


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