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The future is electric water heaters? 

Electricity depends on water = no water, no electricity. Read about power generation

Electricity depends on trains to move nuclear fuel and coal and windmill parts. No fuel for trains, no electricity.

Gas production depends on water and electricity and trains

There are 4 ways to cut energy cost:
Use less hot water, use renewable energy, use cheap and simple DIY products, use complex and expensive products
Avoid promotional literature that promises amazing savings


Numbers do not consider cost of parts, risk of power surge, ease of installation, inconvenience of installation, integration with other sources of energy, ease of maintenance, vulnerability to hard water and water conditions

1) For example ordinary electric water heater:
simple to install, cheap & easy DIY repair using generic parts, service manuals available, can be integrated with timers and solar and geothermal, can be integrated with DC power, can run on any voltage, can be connected to single-phase or 3-phase, can be installed anywhere inside structure including under sink or small closet, can store heat, does not suck air into home, can be easily metered to determine exact cost per capitia, no electronics, can be repaired after strong surge, can be fully insulated blanket, pipes can be insulated right down to tank, personal belongings can be set against tank, can be maintained to last almost forever, can be exposed hard water and fully repairable afterward, can be connected to PV solar or passive solar, can be wired many different ways to meet peak electric pricing, electricity is manufactured at power plant where carbon abatement is localized instead of at each home

2) Contrast with electric heat pump.
Differences. Heat pump is large and heavy, makes noise, cannot be repaired DIY,
no service manuals, fewer generic parts, must be installed in 10'x10' room and spaces 7" away from wall, requires clean incoming air supply, can affect heat-cooling bill, filter cleaning yearly, requires condensate drain, electronics very vulnerable to surge, must be continually connected to power source, using timer can reset water heater to default, must be connected to clean stable 240 Volt, cannot be integrated with other sources of electric power such as 120 volt or 2770 volt etc, might be repairable after power surge, strong power surge will destroy many parts, cannot be fully insulated, can NOT be maintained to last forever.

In the long-run, electric water heat is best

> Reasons include: safety <> insulation <> widespread availability of electricity <> timers and automation <> installation cost <> ease of repair <> low cost of repairs <> long term energy outlook <> simple integration with other energy sources such as solar
maintenance, solar assisted

1. Electric water heaters are safer. You can pile personal belongings all over electric water heater without risk of fire... as long as TP valve is not restricted. While gas water heaters must have space for air intake and hot vent.


2. Electric heaters are less expensive to buy

3. Electric water heaters are easier to install, and can be installed anywhere including dusty environment.
        Homeowner can install electric water heater with minimal tools
       Gas water heaters can be installed by homeowner but require clean dust-free envornmnent to avoid clogging air intake screen. Gas line and venting requirements pose dangers of explosion and CO poisoning
       Tankless gas are high-tech gadgets with technical specifications that require professional installation

4. Electric water heater can be fully insulated see illustration
      With gas water heater, additional insulation can only be added to sides, not to top

5. Replacement parts for electric heaters are available locally at any hardware or plumbing supply 
      Gas water heaters are more complex <> parts may not be interchangeable between brands
      Tankless water heaters are very complex gadgets see comparison of parts


6. Electric water heaters do not draw air from outdoors
      Gas water heaters need air for combustion > this air is drawn from outdoors, even during weather extremes
      Tankless gas heaters draw much more air because they consume more fuel per minute. Some tankless require direct outdoor air inlet.

7. Electric water heater can be turned off using a simple timer, making it adaptable to energy price swings. See off-peak water heater
      Innovation: electric water heater can be controlled by cell phone and home automation read more
      Innovation: Gas water heater timers have just been introduced to the market read
      Innovation: New electronic gas water heater valve can integrate with external timer, but requires larger pilot flame, and requires purchase of 'package' from manufacturer read
      Tankless claims of energy & money savings are only possible when consumption is reduced, but still do not account for hidden costs

8. Small under-sink electric heaters can be placed at point of use to reduce wasted water and energy.
       Gas water heaters cannot be easily installed under sink since they require gas line, plus vent pipe to outdoors.

9. Portable water heaters can be made with 110Volt element and 5 gallon bucket

10. Switching to electric water heater is simple and takes 1 circuit breaker and length of 10 ga wire see
      Switching from electric water heater to gas water heater requires 1/2" gas line and 3-4" venting to outdoors
      Switching to tankless gas or tankless electric takes larger gas line & larger vent. In the case of electric, a larger electric service is required

11. Electric water heaters can be maintained to last indefinitely at full efficiency.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-maintain-water-heater.html

http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html
Gas water heaters, hybrid water heaters, tankless cannot be maintained to last indefintely

12. Electric and Gas water heaters can store heat gathered from other sources, such as solar, wood-burning, geothermal, heat-exchanger, and recycled drain water.
      Tankless units cannot store heat from other sources > they use only hydrocarbon fuel


14. Electric water heater elements deliver BTUs efficiently/ but gas water heaters have higher recovery rate
        Electric elements are fully emersed in water and lose little heating value.    
        Gas heats water faster and delivers more BTUs per minute, but exhaust from gas combustion is lost out vent stack
      New gas heaters are using a coiled tube inside tank to recover lost heat, but these units require additional fan, more parts and are more expensive

15. Electric water heaters have top and bottom thermostat so water heating can be accurately controlled in tank, and off-peak can turn off bottom element
      Gas water heaters have a single thermostat located at bottom,
      The gas burner is located at bottom, so entire tank must be fully heated at all times.
      Innovation: Whirlpool/ AO Smith introduced new gas valve that has temperature thermistors at top and bottom of tank for better heater options. Was taken off market.
      Innovation: AO Smith peak demand gas water heater has burner on top of unit Have not see more information about this product.

16. Photovoltaic Electric solar panels can be connected directly to electric water heater. Read

17. CO2 emissions from electricity are localized at power-generation plant
       Gas water heaters release CO2 at each home where combustion takes place

18. Electricity can be generated using nuclear power. The Earth has abundant uranium resource read
Downside if radiation and nuclear waste disposal.
      Natural gas is plentiful at this time, but requires continual exploration with spikes in price and supply
     
19. Division of labor: Natural gas can power tractors and large trucks, while electricity can power cars and water heaters.


20. Electric water heaters have simple-to-repair safety features: Both gas and electric heaters have TP valve that releases water during high-pressure incidents, and both have ECO overheat cut off located on thermostat. Electric ECO red reset button can be reset. Gas ECO trips, then must replace gas valve thermostat.
ECO on gas and electric heaters
    
Electric heaters have one additional defense: The circuit breaker turns off power in case of a short and can be reset. New gas heaters have added TCO on front of combustion chamber that cuts off gas in event of overheating inside combustion chamber due to slow venting or poor maintenance, and the TCO also can be reset if homeowner is aware.




DC solar water heater

DC solar water heater


Connect ordinary electric water directly to solar power.

Resources:
DC solar water heater wiring options
DC safety switches
DC relays for solar


Ask questions before buying solar
Install gas water heaterResources:
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Water heater Troubleshoot pages:

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Emergency steps to turn off leaking water heater
Leaking water heater

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Emergency steps to turn off leaking water heater
Leaking water heater
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Connect water heater to any voltage generator
Convert water heater to 120Volts
Replace circuit breaker
Test if electricity is off
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