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Old 09-04-2022, 08:43 AM   #1
Garcia
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Default Hot water for island, gas or electic?

I am looking to replace an old (20+ years) hot water heater at my island property. Currently it is gas but I am open to alternatives. From a safety, convenience, reliability, and ease of shutting the system down at the end of the season, what do people recommend?

Hot water is used for dishes, laundry, washing up, and showers. At times there can be 20 people here for a weekend, other times just one. In the shoulder seasons there might be no use for a couple weeks at a time. I typically open up right after ice out and close up in late October.

I am not worried about cost (within reason) or getting propane to the island if I stay with gas; I have a gas stove and won't be replacing it.

I welcome input/suggestions.
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Old 09-04-2022, 09:08 AM   #2
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If you've got gas, I think the only *real* option is an on-demand. It won't cost money when unused, can handle 1-whatever people (I assume you don't have 20 showers), is simple to winterize, etc.

Anything tank-based will be limited with a lot of people, have a recovery time, require more draining, etc.

The only real downside to on-demands is price.

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Old 09-04-2022, 11:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
If you've got gas, I think the only *real* option is an on-demand. It won't cost money when unused, can handle 1-whatever people (I assume you don't have 20 showers), is simple to winterize, etc.

Anything tank-based will be limited with a lot of people, have a recovery time, require more draining, etc.

The only real downside to on-demands is price.

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Only 1 shower and we never run out of hot water. On demand is more expensive, but if it takes up less space, is dependable, and easy to winterize, seems worth it.
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Old 09-05-2022, 08:00 PM   #4
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I’d go electric. That way you don’t ever have to worry about running out of gas. Shut off the breaker when away for any length of time to save electricity.
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Old 09-06-2022, 10:57 AM   #5
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I’d go electric. That way you don’t ever have to worry about running out of gas. Shut off the breaker when away for any length of time to save electricity.
For a singular shower, I'd agree. I'd probably still do an on-demand if price wasn't an issue and the electric service would handle it given the hope that it "takes up less space, is dependable, and easy to winterize." The electric on-demands just can't hang with multiple uses at the same time.

I replaced my electric 50-gallon with another electric 50-gallon because 1. It was cheap—something like $500 a few years ago, 2. I could do it myself, 3. It's in a closet, so the standby loss is minimal, and 4. 50 gallons is (just) enough to run the (new) dishwasher and run four showers. We've gone completely cold water with laundry, so that's a non-issue.

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Old 09-06-2022, 12:48 PM   #6
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For a singular shower, I'd agree. I'd probably still do an on-demand if price wasn't an issue and the electric service would handle it given the hope that it "takes up less space, is dependable, and easy to winterize." The electric on-demands just can't hang with multiple uses at the same time.

I replaced my electric 50-gallon with another electric 50-gallon because 1. It was cheap—something like $500 a few years ago, 2. I could do it myself, 3. It's in a closet, so the standby loss is minimal, and 4. 50 gallons is (just) enough to run the (new) dishwasher and run four showers. We've gone completely cold water with laundry, so that's a non-issue.

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Although electricity has gone up, propane service delivered to the islands is expensive as well, and not always easy to get. Unless you are lugging your own 100lb tanks back and forth, there is one game in town for propane delivery. LWIPM does it, and I have heard of people waiting a long time for it.

We only use propane for our range. Our recent remodel uses an electric water heater. We have 1 x 100lb lowboy cylinder that I can haul myself if needed with a dolly and my good friend Steve's pontoon

We put it in last May and still have 40% left. Guaranteed if we were using it for hot water we would already be into another tank, or would have to set up a bank of a few.
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Old 09-06-2022, 01:01 PM   #7
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I recommend a suicide shower head, used in Asia. The electricity will cost you a couple of pennies per shower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNjA0aee07k

Oh, no, wait---that's one of the options I crossed off the list in my quest to stop using a 53-gallon water heater for one person. Scrap that idea.
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Old 09-06-2022, 01:04 PM   #8
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I replaced my electric 50-gallon with another electric 50-gallon because 1. It was cheap—something like $500 a few years ago, 2. I could do it myself, 3. It's in a closet, so the standby loss is minimal, and 4. 50 gallons is (just) enough to run the (new) dishwasher and run four showers.
I ended up with a 53-gallon tank for similar reasons. It cost about $250 at the time. Today's conditions are different: electricity is expensive and we want to conserve resources. 50 gallons is enough for a family of 5---overkill for a couple, expensive to buy and run, wastes electricity. Today "smaller is better."
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Old 09-06-2022, 01:08 PM   #9
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Although electricity has gone up, propane service delivered to the islands is expensive as well, and not always easy to get. Unless you are lugging your own 100lb tanks back and forth, there is one game in town for propane delivery. LWIPM does it, and I have heard of people waiting a long time for it.

We only use propane for our range. Our recent remodel uses an electric water heater. We have 1 x 100lb lowboy cylinder that I can haul myself if needed with a dolly and my good friend Steve's pontoon

We put it in last May and still have 40% left. Guaranteed if we were using it for hot water we would already be into another tank, or would have to set up a bank of a few.
I find that the C-Nile is suitable for propane lugging as well!
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Old 09-09-2022, 04:28 PM   #10
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Default Propane Options

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Although electricity has gone up, propane service delivered to the islands is expensive as well, and not always easy to get. Unless you are lugging your own 100lb tanks back and forth, there is one game in town for propane delivery. LWIPM does it, and I have heard of people waiting a long time for it.

We only use propane for our range. Our recent remodel uses an electric water heater. We have 1 x 100lb lowboy cylinder that I can haul myself if needed with a dolly and my good friend Steve's pontoon

We put it in last May and still have 40% left. Guaranteed if we were using it for hot water we would already be into another tank, or would have to set up a bank of a few.
No longer is LWIPM the only game in town, Island Service out of Sheps now hauls propane trucks around the lake.
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garcia View Post
I am looking to replace an old (20+ years) hot water heater at my island property. Currently it is gas but I am open to alternatives. From a safety, convenience, reliability, and ease of shutting the system down at the end of the season, what do people recommend?

Hot water is used for dishes, laundry, washing up, and showers. At times there can be 20 people here for a weekend, other times just one. In the shoulder seasons there might be no use for a couple weeks at a time. I typically open up right after ice out and close up in late October.

I am not worried about cost (within reason) or getting propane to the island if I stay with gas; I have a gas stove and won't be replacing it.

I welcome input/suggestions.
What is the quality of your water? If your water has a high mineral content you'll be replacing an on demand frequently.
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Old 09-10-2022, 08:59 AM   #12
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What is the quality of your water? If your water has a high mineral content you'll be replacing an on demand frequently.
Water come from the lake. It goes through a simple filter before getting to house (and water heater).
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Old 09-10-2022, 02:50 PM   #13
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Water come from the lake. It goes through a simple filter before getting to house (and water heater).
Lake water is very soft and pretty much mineral free. I have an on demand system on the island and have never had to do anything in the past 14 years service wise…

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Old 09-11-2022, 01:34 PM   #14
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We use one of the newer electric water heaters with a heat pump on top. Would prefer on demand, but have little interest in dealing with gas hauling/delivery. The heat pump drops the electric costs meaningfully, and it dehumidifies while it runs.
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Old 09-11-2022, 02:10 PM   #15
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We use one of the newer electric water heaters with a heat pump on top. Would prefer on demand, but have little interest in dealing with gas hauling/delivery. The heat pump drops the electric costs meaningfully, and it dehumidifies while it runs.
Those require condensate drains, yes?

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Old 09-11-2022, 07:24 PM   #16
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Those require condensate drains, yes?

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Yes, the heat pump water heaters require a small condensate drain. I should have said to check with NHEC for the rebates, because when we got ours a year or two ago, it was pretty much free after the rebate. Can’t beat free plus energy efficient.
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Old 09-12-2022, 07:13 AM   #17
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Water come from the lake. It goes through a simple filter before getting to house (and water heater).
You could have an on demand installed out doors on the side of the camp and at the end of the year disconnect it and bring it in. Course you'd have to have it installed correctly to do this. They do not require a separate venting system , it's built into the unit.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Rinnai-7-5-...ane/5005382975
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Old 09-12-2022, 12:39 PM   #18
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We use one of the newer electric water heaters with a heat pump on top. Would prefer on demand, but have little interest in dealing with gas hauling/delivery. The heat pump drops the electric costs meaningfully, and it dehumidifies while it runs.
I considered the Hybrid water heater when changing mine in my seasonal house. I really wanted to do it but after reading some of the issues with draining and winterizing it, I decided to just go simple and replace it with the standard electric one…..
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Old 09-12-2022, 12:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowTimes View Post
We use one of the newer electric water heaters with a heat pump on top. Would prefer on demand, but have little interest in dealing with gas hauling/delivery. The heat pump drops the electric costs meaningfully, and it dehumidifies while it runs.
Propane is expensive on the islands also...I believe it is now well above $6.00 per gallon! We use around 100 gallons + or - per season for heating hot water only but that is for full time living there and not just weekends. We also have a lot of guests so many extra showers and dish washing is done...

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Old 09-12-2022, 03:31 PM   #20
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I considered the Hybrid water heater when changing mine in my seasonal house. I really wanted to do it but after reading some of the issues with draining and winterizing it, I decided to just go simple and replace it with the standard electric one…..
What hybrid system are you referring to?
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Old 09-12-2022, 05:52 PM   #21
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I go the KISS route. Keep It simple stupid. We have an electric water heater that I installed myself. Get the water in, turn the breaker switch on and that is it. Island life is not about scheduling propane tank deliveries or the maximum efficiency of whatever.

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Old 09-12-2022, 07:48 PM   #22
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What hybrid system are you referring to?
The water heater Cowtimes referred to above is a hybrid water heater. It utilizes a heat pump and/or electricity to heat the water. Super efficient and hefty rebates to install one…
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Old 09-13-2022, 03:06 AM   #23
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Arrow Sacrificial Anode Check...

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Lake water is very soft and pretty much mineral free. I have an on demand system on the island and have never had to do anything in the past 14 years service wise…

Dan
Checking the sacrificial anode is easy, and (depending) should be done every three years. (According to the website below). On standard water heaters the anode can be checked by unscrewing it from the top. It'll be almost as long as the heater, and if it won't extract from the water heater, then it's working!

Our water heater is 26 years old and have never checked the anode--I'd better get busy! Have you priced a new water heater at Home Depot?

https://www.snellheatingandair.com/b...-steps-to-fix/
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Old 09-13-2022, 05:05 AM   #24
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The water heater Cowtimes referred to above is a hybrid water heater. It utilizes a heat pump and/or electricity to heat the water. Super efficient and hefty rebates to install one…
I know what you're talking about now... without those hefty rebates no one installs them. Not sure why anyone would install one where there are better and cheaper alternatives. Sometimes simple is better.
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Old 09-13-2022, 06:52 AM   #25
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Checking the sacrificial anode is easy, and (depending) should be done every three years. (According to the website below). On standard water heaters the anode can be checked by unscrewing it from the top. It'll be almost as long as the heater, and if it won't extract from the water heater, then it's working!

Our water heater is 26 years old and have never checked the anode--I'd better get busy! Have you priced a new water heater at Home Depot?

https://www.snellheatingandair.com/b...-steps-to-fix/
Thanks APS but I don't think my on demand system has an anode on it...

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