Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

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brad.clarkston
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by brad.clarkston » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:21 pm

The 19 gallon would be cheaper as it has to heat less water constantly but the 30 gallon would keep the water hotter longer just due to the amount of water in the tank. Traditional element heaters are inefficient by there nature so it really depends on how much water do you need and how far away from the tank you are sending it.

If it's a small house with two people probably the 19 gallon, but a growing family in a decent sized house it would be the 30 gallon.

BuddyJet
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by BuddyJet » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:57 pm

While not exactly your question, the biggest difference will be the cost of wiring and the amperage required in the breaker box. The 19 gal unit runs on regular 120v 15a circuit (check full spec though) while the 30 gal runs on 240v, probably 30a. If this is for an outbuilding with occasional use, the 19 is probably a better fit.

If amperage is unlimited, the 30 has a longer runtime and faster recovery.

A bit more expensive but consider this model

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Stiebel-Eltron ... 1000566689

Wall mount and bottom water connections could make installation much easier and saves space since can be mounted high on a wall. It is 240v but lower wattage than the 30 gal
Last edited by BuddyJet on Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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teCh0010
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by teCh0010 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:59 pm

The 19 gallon one is a point of use, they normally have very low first hour delivery and less insulation and are designed to be placed in conditioned space. This is meant to support a couple of fixtures, not a whole house.

The larger one has more insulation, and even though it is larger won’t have more standby loss due to the additional insulation. In addition, you will get a MUCH faster recovery time from a 4500W element vs a 1500W element.

If this feeds a shower and you have the space go ahead and get a 40G, standby loss is a small percentage of the cost. If you have gas even better, the first hour delivery and recovery time of a Gas 40G is much better than electric.

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iamblessed
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by iamblessed » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:09 pm

Some couples and singles use this for a whole house.
One man said he went from a 40 gallon to a 12 gallon I am guessing to save money.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/A-O-Smith-Sign ... 1000216753

On another review a man went from a 40 gallon to the 19 gallon model. He said it was less to run.

teCh0010
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by teCh0010 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:07 am

What’s your end goal? Replacing an existing?

How many people, how many bathrooms, and how many people get ready at the same time in the morning? Where is your wh located (conditions space, garage, attic)?

There are a bunch of variables, and the one that impacts cost the most is hot water demand. Then comes standby cost.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by iamblessed » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:27 am

I would like to know the lowest cost tank to run for 1 or 2 people.

medic
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by medic » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:31 am

Average flow rate for a shower is 2.1gal/min. Figure half of that is hot water, but will depend on how hot your set the water heater to and how warm your showers are. Taken very simply, that means a 19 gal tank will give you a ~19 minute shower. Then there will be recovery time for the element to heat another 19 gallons. In reality you may get a bit more/less depending on inflow rates and inflow water temp.

Look at how you use hot water for washing hands, filling pots, multiple showers at the same time, etc and see if that will work. I figure you could get by with 1-2 people at 19 gal. We ran 8 baths in sequence during the holidays with a 50 gal tank and nobody complained the water was cold.

teCh0010
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by teCh0010 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:40 am

iamblessed wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:27 am
I would like to know the lowest cost tank to run for 1 or 2 people.
The lowest cost to operate is a heat pump water heater, the energy star cost to operate is $111 per year compared to $300 for that 30. It is also the most expensive to purchase and is a tall water heater.

If you think that out of the two you listed the 19 will handle the hot water demand (which I would be concerned about) it is probably cheaper as long as you add an insulating blanket. It has half the insulation of the 30.

What heater do you have now, and how do you use it? Two people who work different shifts three hours apart is different than two people who shower in different bathrooms at the same time. Do you have a bathtub? How many gallons?

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by nordsteve » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:48 am

Be sure to consider whether heat loss goes into a space that's heated during part of the year. For those time periods, losses reduce your overall space heating costs. If the water heater and the heating system use the same fuel, it's close to a wash.

PharmerBrown
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by PharmerBrown » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:15 am

teCh0010 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:40 am
iamblessed wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:27 am
I would like to know the lowest cost tank to run for 1 or 2 people.
The lowest cost to operate is a heat pump water heater, the energy star cost to operate is $111 per year compared to $300 for that 30. It is also the most expensive to purchase and is a tall water heater.

If you think that out of the two you listed the 19 will handle the hot water demand (which I would be concerned about) it is probably cheaper as long as you add an insulating blanket. It has half the insulation of the 30.

What heater do you have now, and how do you use it? Two people who work different shifts three hours apart is different than two people who shower in different bathrooms at the same time. Do you have a bathtub? How many gallons?
I agree. Get a 50 gallon hybrid, if it works in your setting, and run it on heat pump only mode with the lowest practical temperature. The 19 gallon will not be efficient because you will likely have to set it well above 120 degrees to meet your demands.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by Luke Duke » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:24 am

iamblessed wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:27 am
I would like to know the lowest cost tank to run for 1 or 2 people.
Image

adamthesmythe
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:14 am

medic wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:31 am
Average flow rate for a shower is 2.1gal/min. Figure half of that is hot water, but will depend on how hot your set the water heater to and how warm your showers are. Taken very simply, that means a 19 gal tank will give you a ~19 minute shower. Then there will be recovery time for the element to heat another 19 gallons. In reality you may get a bit more/less depending on inflow rates and inflow water temp.
Probably you don't quite get 19 minutes, because the water is stratified in the heater and as time goes on you get cooler and cooler water.

But- personally I think the savings would be minimal for the smaller heater and there would be some potential inconvenience. It would be worth looking into other cost-savings options like insulating the hot water line and switching to gas.

Remember that you use energy two ways. One is to heat up water that you use. The other is heat loss from hot water sitting in the tank. If you shower every day #1 probably dominates by a lot.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by iamblessed » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:12 pm

It is to bad their is no energy guide for these small tanks.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:37 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:24 am
iamblessed wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:27 am
I would like to know the lowest cost tank to run for 1 or 2 people.
Image
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:38 pm

I have been looking more into the tankless water heaters and have heard good things about them.
John C. Bogle: Two Fund Portfolio - Total Stock & Total Bond - “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

michaeljc70
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:24 pm

From the AOC SMith website for the 19 gallon:

"Small capacity fits specialized applications where hot water is needed - in garages, workshops, for wet bar, etc."

I wouldn't have 19 gallons even for one person. It would be inconvenient and affect resale value. Between washing clothes, dishwasher, showers, handwashing, etc. 19 gallons isn't very much. How much are you really going to save? $5-$10/mo? The average 50 gallon electric costs around $800/yr to run.

teCh0010
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by teCh0010 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:55 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:24 pm
From the AOC SMith website for the 19 gallon:

"Small capacity fits specialized applications where hot water is needed - in garages, workshops, for wet bar, etc."

I wouldn't have 19 gallons even for one person. It would be inconvenient and affect resale value. Between washing clothes, dishwasher, showers, handwashing, etc. 19 gallons isn't very much. How much are you really going to save? $5-$10/mo? The average 50 gallon electric costs around $800/yr to run.
The new 50s should be less, they have twice the insulation of the old ones. The energy guide sticker on the short AO smith 50 is $424 vs $300 for the 30.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:57 am

teCh0010 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:55 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:24 pm
From the AOC SMith website for the 19 gallon:

"Small capacity fits specialized applications where hot water is needed - in garages, workshops, for wet bar, etc."

I wouldn't have 19 gallons even for one person. It would be inconvenient and affect resale value. Between washing clothes, dishwasher, showers, handwashing, etc. 19 gallons isn't very much. How much are you really going to save? $5-$10/mo? The average 50 gallon electric costs around $800/yr to run.
The new 50s should be less, they have twice the insulation of the old ones. The energy guide sticker on the short AO smith 50 is $424 vs $300 for the 30.
For electric?

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iamblessed
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by iamblessed » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:52 am

Here is what one guy said about the 19 gallon. The timer is set for 2 hours, 1 hour in the morning, and one hour in the evening. That's 3 kilowatt hours per day, max. No tank less water heater can beat that unless you use it less than 15 minutes per day.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by F150HD » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:27 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:38 pm
I have been looking more into the tankless water heaters and have heard good things about them.
if one is in an older home it may require updating your electrical service in order to install it. Many require at least 200 amp service, more if larger home.

------------

OP, if you ever plan to sell the home a 19 gallon water heater (to me) would be an issue. Unless this is a 400 sf studio somewhere. I don't recall those specifics in the first post (which are necessary to get a meaningful opinion IMO)

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:08 pm

F150HD wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:27 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:38 pm
I have been looking more into the tankless water heaters and have heard good things about them.
if one is in an older home it may require updating your electrical service in order to install it. Many require at least 200 amp service, more if larger home.

------------

OP, if you ever plan to sell the home a 19 gallon water heater (to me) would be an issue. Unless this is a 400 sf studio somewhere. I don't recall those specifics in the first post (which are necessary to get a meaningful opinion IMO)
That is good to know. Thanks!
John C. Bogle: Two Fund Portfolio - Total Stock & Total Bond - “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by suemarkp » Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:59 pm

iamblessed wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:52 am
Here is what one guy said about the 19 gallon. The timer is set for 2 hours, 1 hour in the morning, and one hour in the evening. That's 3 kilowatt hours per day, max. No tank less water heater can beat that unless you use it less than 15 minutes per day.
I'd stop reading the reviews of what people said, as they seem to make kind of silly arguments...

It takes X amount of energy to heat water a given temperature. With an resistance electric tank type heater, the energy used to do this is the same. However, the one with the smaller heating elements is going to take longer to do it. Heat pump types are more efficient, but as other have said the initial purchase cost is higher, repairs are more costly, they are noisier, and they dump cold air into the room the heater is in.

Next, there are standby losses from the water water sitting in the tank unused. In modern tanks, this is minimal as they are very well insulated. The larger tank will have higher standby losses because it has more surface area. Someone may say a 50 gallon's standby losses are double that of a 20 gallon one, but it could also be equivalent to one costing 2 cents per day and the other costing 1 cent per day. At the end of the year do you care about $3.65? I'm guessing with the cost magnitudes here as I don't know the true losses. But it is much less than costs to heat the water you use.

The main difference between the small tank and a large one is it will force you to compromise if you are using too much hot water. That is where the "savings" is. If you want to save the most, just get rid of the water heater and use cold... If you want to be forced into a 5 minute shower, or have to time laundry and dish washing with showers, then go for the smaller one.

You are trading comfort for price. You can still choose to take a 5 minute shower with the larger tank and save money that a 10 minute shower would cost. But having a larger tank will help on those days when you need to accommodate visitors, or you want a luxury 15 minute shower.
Mark | Kent, WA

teCh0010
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by teCh0010 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:35 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:57 am
teCh0010 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:55 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:24 pm
From the AOC SMith website for the 19 gallon:

"Small capacity fits specialized applications where hot water is needed - in garages, workshops, for wet bar, etc."

I wouldn't have 19 gallons even for one person. It would be inconvenient and affect resale value. Between washing clothes, dishwasher, showers, handwashing, etc. 19 gallons isn't very much. How much are you really going to save? $5-$10/mo? The average 50 gallon electric costs around $800/yr to run.
The new 50s should be less, they have twice the insulation of the old ones. The energy guide sticker on the short AO smith 50 is $424 vs $300 for the 30.
For electric?
Yes, based on national average electric price.

Gas is way cheaper. The yellow sticker on a 40G short heater is $205 based on national average usage. I have 3 natural gas 40s and don’t really notice the bill. In the summer when they are the only thing pulling gas the fee is very small.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:43 pm

teCh0010 wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:35 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:57 am
teCh0010 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:55 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:24 pm
From the AOC SMith website for the 19 gallon:

"Small capacity fits specialized applications where hot water is needed - in garages, workshops, for wet bar, etc."

I wouldn't have 19 gallons even for one person. It would be inconvenient and affect resale value. Between washing clothes, dishwasher, showers, handwashing, etc. 19 gallons isn't very much. How much are you really going to save? $5-$10/mo? The average 50 gallon electric costs around $800/yr to run.
The new 50s should be less, they have twice the insulation of the old ones. The energy guide sticker on the short AO smith 50 is $424 vs $300 for the 30.
For electric?
Yes, based on national average electric price.

Gas is way cheaper. The yellow sticker on a 40G short heater is $205 based on national average usage. I have 3 natural gas 40s and don’t really notice the bill. In the summer when they are the only thing pulling gas the fee is very small.
Okay. I asked because I didn't see it anywhere (AOC Smith site and OP made similar comment).

Where I live, I've never heard of anyone using an electric water heater. My gas customer service charge in the summer is often more than the gas used for my water heater. I know some parts of the country don't commonly have natural gas (or propane) though. In the Midwest where I live pretty much everyone uses gas for cooking, heat and hot water.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by Saving$ » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:12 pm

medic wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:31 am
Average flow rate for a shower is 2.1gal/min. Figure half of that is hot water, but will depend on how hot your set the water heater to and how warm your showers are. Taken very simply, that means a 19 gal tank will give you a ~19 minute shower. Then there will be recovery time for the element to heat another 19 gallons. In reality you may get a bit more/less depending on inflow rates and inflow water temp.
The above does not take into account that as you use hot water, the tank refills with cold water, so the temperature of the water in the tank continues to decrease as you deplete the tank. So the above math is not correct. At 2.1 gallons / minute
Minutes 1-5: Estimate use of 1.1 gallon of hot per minute - 5.5 gallons used

Your tank that had 19 gal of 110 degree water to start now has 13.5 gal of hot water and 5.5 gal of cold water. If the cold water is coming in at 45 degrees, it has decreased the overall temperature of the water in the tank such that you are now drawing 100% of your shower water from the tank just to keep warm water.

Mins 6-7: You use 4.2 gallons of the water from the tank because you are drawing 100% of your water from the tank to get "hot" enough water to shower.

Mins 8 and over: The water in the tank has mixed with the incoming cold water and is now too cold to use for shower water.

Some of the above can be offset if the tank has a high recovery rate.

mxs
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by mxs » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:42 am

If at all possible I suggest looking into a natural gas 30-50 gal unit. They are more expensive to buy, and setting up a first gas unit in a house will have some extra cost, but even with that figured in it will be cheaper to operate over the 10-15+ year lifetime by far.

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iamblessed
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by iamblessed » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:31 am

Saving$ wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:12 pm
medic wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:31 am
Average flow rate for a shower is 2.1gal/min. Figure half of that is hot water, but will depend on how hot your set the water heater to and how warm your showers are. Taken very simply, that means a 19 gal tank will give you a ~19 minute shower. Then there will be recovery time for the element to heat another 19 gallons. In reality you may get a bit more/less depending on inflow rates and inflow water temp.
The above does not take into account that as you use hot water, the tank refills with cold water, so the temperature of the water in the tank continues to decrease as you deplete the tank. So the above math is not correct. At 2.1 gallons / minute
Minutes 1-5: Estimate use of 1.1 gallon of hot per minute - 5.5 gallons used

Your tank that had 19 gal of 110 degree water to start now has 13.5 gal of hot water and 5.5 gal of cold water. If the cold water is coming in at 45 degrees, it has decreased the overall temperature of the water in the tank such that you are now drawing 100% of your shower water from the tank just to keep warm water.

Mins 6-7: You use 4.2 gallons of the water from the tank because you are drawing 100% of your water from the tank to get "hot" enough water to shower.

Mins 8 and over: The water in the tank has mixed with the incoming cold water and is now too cold to use for shower water.

Some of the above can be offset if the tank has a high recovery rate.
How long would a shower last with a 30 gallon tank and a 2.5 gpm shower head?

terran
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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by terran » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:48 pm

iamblessed wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:31 am
How long would a shower last with a 30 gallon tank and a 2.5 gpm shower head?
It would depend on the hot/cold mix. If 100% hot water is used 30 gallons would be used up in 30/2.5 = 12 minutes. If 100% cold was used then the water from the tank would never be used up. So more broadly speaking, minutes of use = tank size / (flow rate x percentage hot water).

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by iamblessed » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:21 pm

terran wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:48 pm
iamblessed wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:31 am
How long would a shower last with a 30 gallon tank and a 2.5 gpm shower head?
It would depend on the hot/cold mix. If 100% hot water is used 30 gallons would be used up in 30/2.5 = 12 minutes. If 100% cold was used then the water from the tank would never be used up. So more broadly speaking, minutes of use = tank size / (flow rate x percentage hot water).
Going by what Saving$ said if 100% hot water it would be a little less than 12 minutes. The cold water is mixing with the hot in the tank as you use it. I would guess 9 to 10 minutes going by what Saving$ said.

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:53 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:24 pm
From the AOC SMith website for the 19 gallon:

"Small capacity fits specialized applications where hot water is needed - in garages, workshops, for wet bar, etc."

I wouldn't have 19 gallons even for one person. It would be inconvenient and affect resale value. Between washing clothes, dishwasher, showers, handwashing, etc. 19 gallons isn't very much. How much are you really going to save? $5-$10/mo? The average 50 gallon electric costs around $800/yr to run.
19 gallons is unworkable small for most homes.

Would really only work for a 1 person and small dwelling.

30 gal is the practical minimum.

If space is at that much of a premium tankless should be considered. However an electric tankless might need special wiring?

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Re: Which of these two water heater would be cheaper to run and why?

Post by iamblessed » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:09 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:53 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:24 pm
From the AOC SMith website for the 19 gallon:

"Small capacity fits specialized applications where hot water is needed - in garages, workshops, for wet bar, etc."

I wouldn't have 19 gallons even for one person. It would be inconvenient and affect resale value. Between washing clothes, dishwasher, showers, handwashing, etc. 19 gallons isn't very much. How much are you really going to save? $5-$10/mo? The average 50 gallon electric costs around $800/yr to run.
19 gallons is unworkable small for most homes.

Would really only work for a 1 person and small dwelling.

30 gal is the practical minimum.

If space is at that much of a premium tankless should be considered. However an electric tankless might need special wiring?
+1 30 gal is the practical minimum.

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