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Government water heater standards went into effect April 2015
National appliance energy conservation act/ NAECA
Expect an economic shift: from your wallet into the wallet of water heater 'providers'

How do we know the new standards will cost you more money?? Because Fox news and Rebublicans were not yelling about 'regulation.'

New-energy-standards-for-water-heaters-DOE 2015-article.pdf
New-national-water-heater-standards-give-efficiency-major-boost
New-water-heater-rules/ pdf
NECA guidelines/ pdf

Energy standards
Under 55 gallon: More insulation = bigger tank and more money
No standing pilot light and flue baffles mean you need electric outlet for gas water heater models.

'The new standard will result in approximately 43% energy savings. Lower energy bills would cover typical incremental costs for more efficient water heaters (about $800) in seven years.'

That optimism probably does not consider installation cost for remodeling and higher repair bills. But might be accurate if it includes the added number of downsized water heaters and shorter showers and less water usage.
Energy standards Over 55 gallon: More technology = and more money
Electric water heaters over 55 gallon must be hybrid to meet energy standards
Gas water heaters over 55 gallon must be full condensing
Install surge protection
Clean dedicated line voltage recommended for both

Electronic ignition/ no standing pilot light
Flue baffles and dampers

What happens

Who is affected most
Small homes, poor people.
What about grandma's manufactured home?
What about the tiny house? 
What about larger diameter water heaters... in attic... in basement... in utility room?
At least big oversized homes will not be affected... that's an energy star !!
Remodeling required?Estimate 50-75% of new installations will require remodeling or alterations of facility or installation point.
What about small economical homes with no extra space?
Higher prices: 30-50% more
Estimate: new water heater prices will increase by 30-50 %.
Bigger is better? Less than 55 gallon... 2-8" taller and 3"-6" wider. 
Over 55 gallon... up to 12" taller...
How much do you save?
$1 each month
Estimate average monthly energy savings $1 per month for new water heaters.
$1 a month savings??? Really? Pay more for water heater, pay to remodel home to fit the heater, pay more for maintenance, pay more for repairs and parts ... to save $1 a month in energy?? 
How will some of the differences affect you? Electric heaters over 55 gallon will require heat pump that needs 10' x 10' room plus floor drain for condensate.
New gas water heaters might require larger PVC vent up through roof... slower expulsion of vented byproduct holds heat in tank longer, might need larger vent and condensate drain.

New electronic controls make water heaters more susceptible to surge. Household surge protection required.
Electronic controls mean no generic parts, and end to DIY repairs?

Grounded outlet required for gas water heaters? Dampered gas water heaters require outlet. What about off-grid propane-only household?
Repair technicians must be skilled in water heaters, plumbing, electronics, and electricity. Is that realistic for all communities?

Repair resources available only from manufacturer?... creating choke point at manufacturer who cannot supply DIY resources.
No service manuals for DIY?
History shows that complicated water heaters require more maintenance, are more susceptible to external factors such as water quality, plumbing and electrical issues. And cannot be maintained to last longer than 12-14 years?
Good news:
Rich folks will not be affected
People with a lot of money and big homes will consume plenty of hot water with less budget inconvenience than poor folks.
Inconsistent standard?
I support ordinary non-electronic storage water heaters because they can be integrated into many do-it-yourself projects. For example 80 gallon electric can be used as energy battery to store hot water during peak pricing. The 80 gallon storage tank is used similarly for solar applications.
The 80 gallon storage tank is discontinued. Meanwhile whole-house tankless electric is not affected by energy standards yet is LEAST EFFICIENT water heater made. For typical family of 4, costing $100 more per year to operate than ordinary electric water heater.
Tankless electric are profitable to sell... and manufacturers receive residual profit from part replacement and service contracts.
80 gallon standard water heater tank is less profitable to sell... and with generic parts, there is no residual profit from DIY repair. Did the profit angle affect the energy standard when congress passed it?

Why is water heater different than washing machine or dishwasher?
Your other water-consuming electronic appliances work fine with the new energy standards, although slower. You never looked at parts sheet for other appliances.
Water heater is different because it operates more frequently than washing machine and dishwasher.
Water heater works with higher pressures. Water heater must supply ample hot water to meet demand from several faucets and appliances and/or full bathtub at one time.
Washing machine receives and uses hot water, but does not heat water, and can operate with cold water.
Dishwasher receives hot water and can heat small batches of water, but does not heat hot water to supply entire house.
A large number of plumbing problems affect water heater, that do not affect washing machine and dishwasher. For example crossover, closed system, sediments percolated from heating water,  etc.
ALL electronic appliances are susceptible to surge. Few appliances are protected from surge
Resource:
Crossover
Install whole house surge protector


What are you going to do to conserve energy
Can you conserveDo you really need the same gallon water heater?
Or can you survive with fewer gallons of hot water?
Is it time to investigate solar? Maybe conserving hot water, and less consumption is better.
9 ways to save using water heater
Start today: How to maintain water heater
Modest house with 88 cent energy bill
surge protector      Wall outlet surge protector Surge protect new water heater?
All costs and decisions are energy. Spend more to save more?? 
To save water heating energy, you should buy more stuff that consumes energy to manufacture, ship, buy, install and replace
New water heaters will have electronics that are susceptible to surge
Water heaters with blower fans, flue dampers etc require 120 volt outlet located within 10 feet of water heater

Buy:
15 amp surge suppressor receptacle
Leviton J-box surge protection kit
Square D / whole house or branch panel surge protector at Amazon
Resources:
How to wire whole house surge protector
how to bond control panel
All ground wires from outlets and switches and lights throughout house must be properly bonded together and connected to ground busbar in main panel, and then to ground rod driven into soil deep enough to meet local codes.
All other grounds from satellite, telephone, internet, etc must be joined together and bonded to the main panel ground rod.
Example shows solar panels... but also includes pool control centers, water heaters, electronic devices etc
Check household grounding
Lightning strike within 90 feet of house can knock out electronic controls on water heater
New electronic gas control valves require grounding or they can malfunction and throw error codes
Surge protection and lightning-resistance require proper grounding
When installing new water heater, water pipe, doing repairs on plumbing, installing new electric service etc... check that all electric is connected to dedicated ground wire that is bonded to outdoor ground rod
Bonded means steel electric panel enclosure must be directly connected to local ground rod 

Buy:

Ground rod and clamps at Amazon
Bonding lugs

Resources:
Why ground is important
Basic household wiring
Outlet must have correct polarity or gas water heater will not work

Buy
Circuit breaker finder and polarity tester
Outlet testers at Amazon
Multimeters at Amazon
Outlet polarity
Time to maintain the old water heater?
Instead if buying new... or remodeling home... keep the old one maintained
Keep old one from leaking, change anode rod each 2-3 years
Resource:
How to maintain water heater
Replace anode rod
Two water heaters Time for 2 water heaters?
Instead if buying 80 gallon heat pump or go gallon condensing... buy 2 water heaters 40 gallons apiece
Water heaters must stand upright

Resource:
Two water heaters
Time for point of use electric water heaters?
Instead if buying 80 gallon heat pump or 80 gallon condensing... buy smaller main water heater and install point of use at sink
Connect point of use water heater to cold incoming water so it does not draw hot from main tank.
Instead of buying 60 gallon water heater, install 2-3 smaller heaters sized 15-20 gallons each
Or install 20 gallon water heater in bathroom, and only take shower

Resources:
Installing point of use water heaters
Two water heaters
All costs and decisions are energy
If you have money, then you can have all the hot water you normally use
If you are poor, then your decisions will be limited
Use walk-in tub as fish pond/ re-purpose, do not discard
Recycled water heater New standards will spark innovation
Fewer people with hot water...
Smaller water heaters...
Less hot water...
Shorter showers...
Colder showers...
Will save energy !!!
All costs and decisions are energy

Resources:
Modest house with 88 cent energy bill
9 ways to save with water heater


Why did the plumber do such a bad job installing this heater?
The local plumbing codes probably required a permit if plumber changed gas line or vent pipe.
Permit would cause delay, waiting for inspector to approve installation.
Install water heater yourself: How to install gas water heater
Installation problem: Gas line and vent

Vent pipe (located at top of heater) did not line up for old and new heaters.

Plumber installed water heater tipped to side because of the vent line, and because gas line was in the way.

The plumber should have moved the gas line and gas shut off valve to accommodate moving water heater to the right. Instead, plumber pushed water heater against the gas line and dented water heater slightly... no real damage... but not professional.
The water heater stand is fine for this installation, but some cases, the stand might be too small.

The water heater is not sitting flat against water heater stand, although heater is supported by earthquake straps.
I would not pay for this particular installation, because it can be fixed by moving the gas line... which would cost more money for
 installation.
Bigger water heaters mean installation problems for customers and plumbers.
Resource:
Which is best gas water heater
Electric hybrid for electric over 55 gallon Heat pump requires 10 foot x 10 foot room. Unit must be installed 7 inches away from wall
Requires condensate drain. Heavy to lift. More expensive.
Electronic controls are susceptible to power surge, few generic parts, few DIY repairs
Cannot be maintained to last more than 12-14 years
Must be connected to 208-240 volt. Wiring and voltage cannot be modified DIY
Through wall fan Use thru-wall fan if room size is smaller than 10' x 10' 
Hybrid heat pump water heater requires 10' x 10' room
If you do not have that size room, then install thru-wall fan
Running a fan to supply air to meet the needs of heat pump water heater adds energy cost

Buy:
Thru-wall fans at Amazon
Thru-wall fan at Amazon
2012:
If water heater lasts 10 years, and cost $600 to buy and install today, but 10 years from now it costs $1200 to buy and install, then depreciation cost is $5 per month.
All costs are energy.
Add depreciation cost to monthly energy bill to accurately estimate cost for operating water heater.
It makes sense to maintain water heater, because depreciation cost is high, and do-it-yourself DIY maintenance cost is small.
2015:
Electronically controlled water heaters often cannot be maintained to last longer than 10-14 years.
Maintenance might require service technician with specific skills. Manufacturers do not post service manuals... models change quickly. Expect many changes over next ten years.
New DOE mandates might force consumers into products that cannot be maintained or repaired by homeowner.
Does this mean more efficient water heater costs you additional $5 per month in depreciation, plus cost of service technician, to save $2-4 of energy per month?
Look at parts sheet, and weigh the option of buying smaller water heater vrs complex water heater.
Ask: Is it time to weigh solar water heating options? Solar can be costly and complex too.
Consider options: Simple water heater, DIY repairs and maintenance, and lower consumption means energy savings.
All costs and choices are energy.
Resource:
How to maintain water heater
Review solar water heater
2012
Look at parts sheet before buying product. Avoid electronic gizmos that are susceptible to surge and cannot be repaired.
Avoid tankless and heat pump and expensive heaters.
If repairs cost $400 each time, and you need 1 repair over 10 year lifespan of product, then that adds another $3.30 per month for energy cost. Two repairs adds $6-7 per month.
If you add $3-6 per month to budget for repairs, so that water heater can save $2-4 per month energy cost, did you save money?
If a product cannot be repaired, because parts are not available or parts are too expensive, or no qualified technician in area, or water heater is just not repairable, then you must replace heater. Did you save money?
2015
Look at the parts sheet and ask same questions as above.
The DOE standards do not tell manufacturers which product to make... DOE simply mandates the manufacturer must meet new energy standard
To meet new energy standards, especially for larger heaters, the manufacturers can only offer more complex water heaters.
This might mean you should downsize the water heater and reduce consumption.
All costs, and behaviors and choices are energy.
2015 other options:
New standards do not effect commercial heaters. These heater are much more expensive.
Or you can add second heater so you have two water heaters. Same capacity as before without buying complicated heater. Two heaters: more surface area/ more heat loss.
Resource:
9 ways to save with water heater
Review GE heat pump
Troubleshoot Rheem tankless
Two water heaters
Heat pump required over 55 gallon Standards for electric water heaters would effectively require heat pump technology for water heaters with storage volumes at or above 55 gallons. 
Condensing required on tanks above 55 gallon
Standards for gas water heaters were not analyzed in the report because, based on current information, condensing gas water heaters are not cost-effective for consumers.
Tankless savings cannot be verified
Tankless EF standards remain unchanged
Tankless water heaters were not analyzed due to a lack of data available to verify savings.
About 53% of U.S. households use natural gas water heaters, while 38% use electric and less than 4% use oil.
Limitation of electric heater Inefficient electric: 3 Btus of fuel must be burned to generate 1 Btu of electricity.
Limitation of gas heater Conventional gas water heater, only 43% of the fuel energy actually reaches the point of use. The remaining 57% dissipates through standby losses, distribution losses, or combustion losses


Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
Buy water heaters  from my associate links:

50 gallon Gas water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon gas water heaters at Amazon
50 gallon Electric water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon electric water heaters at Amazon
Hybrid / heat pump/ water heaters at Amazon

Resources:
How to install gas water heater
How to install electric water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Point of use water heaters
Resources:
Troubleshoot Gas valves with manuals
Icon gas valve

How to replace water heater element Waste King disposal
How to wire tankless electric


Install point of use water heater
Titan tankless
Anode rods anode rods
Recirculation system

Tankless recirculation
Point of use water heater
Type 1 and type 2 surge protection surge protection

Gas and electric water heaters Buy
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