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No Nicolaitans

A simple request

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In February, we had to get a new heating and air system. Thousands of dollars unexpected.

In July, we had to get a new roof. Thousands of dollars unexpected, but not surprising.

Yesterday, our hot water heater went out. It's gas, and a small water leak is the culprit which causes the pilot light to go out. 

We are debating on replacing the water heater or getting a tankless water heater. Due to a current "special" offered by a local propane company, the tankless will be only a couple of hundred dollars more than a traditional water heater. 

From my limited knowledge, tankless water heaters are great. 

Can anyone shed any light on this...tankless vs. traditional? 

Also, please pray...this is another unexpected expense that has come at a bad time.

I guess 20 years is pretty good for how long this one lasted though...

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They're wonderful if you get a heater large enough to meet your needs. Since your current unit is gas, get a gas tankless. Local supply (at the sink) electric units require a separate 110v circuit for each one. Most of the whole house units I installed required 70A/240V. Some were 100A or 125A/ 240V. That could end up with a new sub panel and even possibly a service replacement. I LOVE them but recommend them for new construction only, I don't believe it's worth the money as a remodel item (talking about the electric units, not the gas ones).

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57 minutes ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

They're wonderful if you get a heater large enough to meet your needs. Since your current unit is gas, get a gas tankless. Local supply (at the sink) electric units require a separate 110v circuit for each one. Most of the whole house units I installed required 70A/240V. Some were 100A or 125A/ 240V. That could end up with a new sub panel and even possibly a service replacement. I LOVE them but recommend them for new construction only, I don't believe it's worth the money as a remodel item (talking about the electric units, not the gas ones).

Thank you OFP. 

I need to talk with my plumber some more. Our current water heater uses natural gas. The tankless that he spoke of uses propane, so part of the deal is to also install a small propane tank (200-250 gallons). He said it would use about 100 gallons a year. Does that sound about right? I also need to check on the price of propane...

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5 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Thank you OFP. 

I need to talk with my plumber some more. Our current water heater uses natural gas. The tankless that he spoke of uses propane, so part of the deal is to also install a small propane tank (200-250 gallons). He said it would use about 100 gallons a year. Does that sound about right? I also need to check on the price of propane...

May be, not up on the gas / plumbing end of things. I just send current through things so it can make your water exciting. As I told a customer after fixing his Jacuzzi, "If you get a tingle or your hair stands up while using this thing, give me a call 'cause it ain't quite right yet."

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8 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Thank you OFP. 

I need to talk with my plumber some more. Our current water heater uses natural gas. The tankless that he spoke of uses propane, so part of the deal is to also install a small propane tank (200-250 gallons). He said it would use about 100 gallons a year. Does that sound about right? I also need to check on the price of propane...

Our heating, water and space heating is from piped natural gas.  They sell it by KWH, the meters register cubic metres and the convert it via calorific value and by some mathematical mumbo jumbo to kilowatt hours,  Back in the old days of coal gas the meter read it in cubic feet and that was what it was sold in. We knew what it meant then.

 

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10 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

In February, we had to get a new heating and air system. Thousands of dollars unexpected.

In July, we had to get a new roof. Thousands of dollars unexpected, but not surprising.

Yesterday, our hot water heater went out. It's gas, and a small water leak is the culprit which causes the pilot light to go out. 

We are debating on replacing the water heater or getting a tankless water heater. Due to a current "special" offered by a local propane company, the tankless will be only a couple of hundred dollars more than a traditional water heater. 

From my limited knowledge, tankless water heaters are great. 

Can anyone shed any light on this...tankless vs. traditional? 

Also, please pray...this is another unexpected expense that has come at a bad time.

I guess 20 years is pretty good for how long this one lasted though...

Modern gas boilers over here don't have pilot lights, they light electronically when the water or heating comes on.  We legally have to have condenser boilers on new istallations.  They use much less gas.

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Okay, the decision has been made. Due to financial restraints, I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow to buy a water heater and install it...if I'm not called in to work...

I will hopefully know today whether I'll have to work tomorrow and what the hours will be if I do have to work.

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6 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Okay, the decision has been made. Due to financial restraints, I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow to buy a water heater and install it...if I'm not called in to work...

I will hopefully know today whether I'll have to work tomorrow and what the hours will be if I do have to work.

Yep...have to work tomorrow. Lowe's opens at 6:00 or 6:30 am. I'll get there early, buy it, and hopefully get it installed before I have to go in tomorrow afternoon (other things to do too). My only worry is that the plumber (who piped the original water heater) hard-piped it. From the specifications that I've read online, that shouldn't be a problem other than having to cut the pipes and installing a coupling. We'll see how it goes. Thanks to all who may have prayed.

Side note: if you're a plumbing contractor, please don't hard-pipe to a water heater. 

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2 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Yep...have to work tomorrow. Lowe's opens at 6:00 or 6:30 am. I'll get there early, buy it, and hopefully get it installed before I have to go in tomorrow afternoon (other things to do too). My only worry is that the plumber (who piped the original water heater) hard-piped it. From the specifications that I've read online, that shouldn't be a problem other than having to cut the pipes and installing a coupling. We'll see how it goes. Thanks to all who may have prayed.

Side note: if you're a plumbing contractor, please don't hard-pipe to a water heater. 

Remember that newer water heaters have electric ignitors instead of pilot lights. It draws very little and can be on an existing circuit.

As to the sweated connections, it probably has to do with reducing call backs plus maybe a little job security.

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1 minute ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

t probably has to do with reducing call backs plus maybe a little job security.

Well, all I can say in light of that is...

Whoever the contractors were (that built our house), they were seeking eternal job security. LOLOLOL...LOL!

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On 20/09/2017 at 6:46 PM, No Nicolaitans said:

Okay, the decision has been made. Due to financial restraints, I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow to buy a water heater and install it...if I'm not called in to work...

I will hopefully know today whether I'll have to work tomorrow and what the hours will be if I do have to work.

In our country it is illegal to install a gas appliance or service them if you are not registered as Gas Safe.  Not all plumbers are.  

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On 20/09/2017 at 5:27 AM, No Nicolaitans said:

Can anyone shed any light on this...tankless vs. traditional? 

 

In France, only tankless are allowed. Our church has 3 tankless heaters one only does the central heating for the main hall.  The other two are combination heaters supplying radiators and hot water.  One supplies the kitchen and the rear hall, the other supplies the corridors, side rooms and conveniences.  

 

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27 minutes ago, Invicta said:

In our country it is illegal to install a gas appliance or service them if you are not registered as Gas Safe.  Not all plumbers are.  

Wow! Really? Things haven't reached that point here in the US yet...

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7 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Wow! Really? Things haven't reached that point here in the US yet...

Yes they have tightened up the law after many accidents.  TV show Rogue traders has shown several plumbers claiming to be Gas Safe (but who were'nt registered, who gave fake registration numbers) installing gas heaters incorrectly.  

This must be a recent regulation, as one of our deacons installed his before the regulations came in.

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1 hour ago, Invicta said:

Yes they have tightened up the law after many accidents.  TV show Rogue traders has shown several plumbers claiming to be Gas Safe (but who were'nt registered, who gave fake registration numbers) installing gas heaters incorrectly.  

This must be a recent regulation, as one of our deacons installed his before the regulations came in.

I think that would cause a small turmoil here in the US for now...however, I think people (here in America) are being prepped to accept such regulations too. I see less and less people who are willing (or able) to do things themselves, and that will make it easier for the government to lay down restrictions and laws here such as you describe. Americans are becoming lazy, and they (the general population) will seemingly accept almost anything to make their lives easier...even if it infringes on their freedom...as long as it doesn't interfere with their smart phone usage. :laugh:

I'll try and post my "before" and "after" pictures later...

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59 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I think that would cause a small turmoil here in the US for now...however, I think people (here in America) are being prepped to accept such regulations too. I see less and less people who are willing (or able) to do things themselves, and that will make it easier for the government to lay down restrictions and laws here such as you describe.

There are plenty of rules like that here in UK. For example, if you want to drive a car it has to meet structural requirements and be tested annually by authorised garages--you can't just cobble together anything and take it on the roads. If you build a house there are materials you're not allowed to use, like asbestos. If a hospital wants to offer surgery its surgeons have to be qualified--they can't just hire someone who likes scalpels and blood. Want to keep a brown bear at home as a pet? Nope.

There are rules in UK which I think are over-regulation but I think the gas one is reasonable because of the higher risk of injuring/killing neighbours (compared to electrical and plumbing, for which there aren't equivalent restrictions). Every year there are reports of houses blown up in gas explosions, though from what I recall the last few haven't taken anybody out.

 

 

 

 

 

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A few years ago, about 8 miles from here, there was a gas explosion in a house where an elderly woman lived.  She was found by neighbours i under wreckage in her garden.ad, and the house she lived in was destroyed together with the ones on either side, and several others were damaged including some across the road.  Remarkably the lady was not badly injured as far as I remember.  Her landlord did not have the house insured.  If you let out a house to a tenant you have to have an annual gas safety certificate for every gas appliance. I doubt whether the landlord had that either. Our church also has to have a gas safety cert.  Ours is due on 2nd Oct. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1463820/Woman-83-is-saved-as-blast-wrecks-homes.html

Edited by Invicta

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It seems the Landlord had the relevant certification.

 

The HSE* said the gas had leaked from the gas meter outlet in the cellar because of the weak joint where a pipe had been soldered

An HSE spokesman said: "The gas spread into the ground floor rooms to create a flammable mixture, which most likely ignited when the occupant of the property switched on a kettle in the kitchen."

The property was rented, but the HSE said the landlord had met all obligations under gas safety regulations to have appliances checked.

BBC News

* HSE, Health and Safety Executive.

Edited by Invicta

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7 hours ago, Invicta said:

It seems the Landlord had the relevant certification.

 

The HSE* said the gas had leaked from the gas meter outlet in the cellar because of the weak joint where a pipe had been soldered

An HSE spokesman said: "The gas spread into the ground floor rooms to create a flammable mixture, which most likely ignited when the occupant of the property switched on a kettle in the kitchen."

The property was rented, but the HSE said the landlord had met all obligations under gas safety regulations to have appliances checked.

BBC News

* HSE, Health and Safety Executive.

I can't remember the name of the ingredient that is added to natural gas here, but it gives the natural gas an odor; otherwise, people couldn't smell a leak. Is nothing added there to give the gas an odor?

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2 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I can't remember the name of the ingredient that is added to natural gas here, but it gives the natural gas an odor; otherwise, people couldn't smell a leak. Is nothing added there to give the gas an odor?

We have as well.  We had a smell of gas about a year or so ago and called the gas company and they said "Turn off all gas appliances and don't switch any lights or electrical equipment on, and open windows.  Soon a representative came but didn't seem too worried and said he had also to see a neighbour.  I asked what it was and it appeared to be a leak from a gas main about a quarter of a mile away on a main road. "Opposite the spud man, he said"  The spud man sells potatoes from his van by the side of the road,  He added "If you look over there you can see the cloud of gas."  And I could, it looked like a mist.

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Here are the before and after pictures of the water heater. Before, it was hard-piped...and looked NASTY!!! The only way to remove the water heater was to cut the pipes. I decided to make it a little easier on whoever might buy our home one day...or...make it easier on me if we end up staying here for some reason. :laugh:

Before...

before.thumb.jpg.91b1b66d6ce93ee1db3dcca8b0af13e0.jpg

 

After...

after.thumb.jpg.0a191383484091b6198f96c805f5ecdf.jpg

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41 minutes ago, OLD fashioned preacher said:

When you said hard piped, I thought you meant copper pipe with sweated joints or galvanized rigid. PVC's definitely easier to modify. Yep, the flex will improve somebody's life in follow-up work.

Sorry...didn't mean to give the wrong impression. I'm glad it wasn't copper...I've never messed with it before.

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1 minute ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Sorry...didn't mean to give the wrong impression. I'm glad it wasn't copper...I've never messed with it before.

Proper term, just my assumption.

Threaded galvanized can be a headache, too. I'd much rather mess with PVC.

 

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I'm not too knowledgeable about water heaters, but one thing I thought when I read your first question, No Nic, is what an emergency management fellow told us several years ago. The staff of the library where I worked met with him regarding ways to survive some kinds of emergencies. A water heater of the type you have holds enough water for 3 days for a family of 3, should other water not be available for some reason. 

It's not something most people think about, obviously, but it's now the first thing I think whenever anyone mentions water heaters. 

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