Homestead Upkeep on Water Heater. (Energy)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
How many of you actually change out the safrificial anode rod of your hot water heater to lengthen it's life? I really doubt many of us do.
I never have, and am not sure that there is even enough clearance above the tank in which to remove the old one so that it can be replaced. As a result, water heaters last about 10 years here in this area. Where I grew up the water was different and the tanks would usually outlast the gas valves, which last a long time. (When is the last time you replaced a gas valve Hoot?)
What prompted the question was a story that I just read about new energy requirements that will add to the cost of a water heater and other appliances in the years to come.
Here is a clip in part. "Complying with the new requirements will raise the current $421 average price of a new washing machine to $670 by 2007. They will add $100 to the average $380 price of a new electric water heater, to $480, and $58 to the average $449 price of a new gas-fired water heater to bring the average to $507."
"The more efficient washing machines will reduce the average homeowner's electric and water bills an average of $48 a year, effectively covering the difference in five years for an appliance that typically lasts 14 years."
"Buyers of the new water heaters will get even better deals, with annual utility bill savings of $117 for gas-fired models and $182 a year for the electric versions."
"The standards were issued in the last two weeks of the Clinton presidency. They will require new washing machines to use 35 percent less energy, starting with the 2007 model year. Water heaters must use 5 percent to 9 percent less energy beginning in 2004."
"Better water heaters are expected to result in nationwide savings by 2030 equal to the total energy used by all U.S. households over almost three months."
-- Notforprint (Not@thekeyboard.com), April 13, 2001
Hmmmm.... sounds like another way to bust the little guy again. Typical... Wonder if that's one of the things Bush is looking into?? Could be.
If not, I sure am glad most of my stuff isn't affected. Would love to hear more about this - I have never changed anything in a water heater, and wouldn't have a clue where to start or what to do!!!!!
-- Sue Diederich (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 13, 2001.
The sacrificial (and yes, I see I spelled it wrong the first time) anode rod is beneath a holder on top of the water heater. The holder looks just like a plug.
As I understand from the news story, the Bush Administration have approved the water and energy saving measures, but they were initiated under the Clinton Administration.
-- Notforprint (Not@thekeyboard.com), April 13, 2001.
My daughter got a small, used, electric water heater for her store. Soon the hot water smelled horrible, like sulpher/rotten eggs. She consulted a plumber, he said she had the wrong rod for the well water that came into her tank (apparently there are two, or perhaps even more, types of rods that fit down into the tank). She took the rod out, never replaced it, and now the water has no odor. Otherwise, I know nothing about what the rods are supposed to do - collect lime from the water so the tank lasts longer???
-- Bonnie (email@example.com), April 13, 2001.
We are having our plumber going to install a new water heater soon. We decided to go with a Super Store. This is basically a 40 gallon super insulated tank that gets its heat from your boiler. No extra burner to deal with. Now your boiler will have to run during the summer to provide hot water, but my plumber(who is also a good friend) says this actually a good thing. The new boilers today are actually better if run more, letting them sit for six months a year is actually bad for them. Besides the new boilers are more efficient then the hot water heater burners, so you use less fuel in the long run. Now the good and bad news. The tank cost about $1,400 installed. The good news is the tanks are 100 percent stainless steel and quaranteed for life.
-- David in NH (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 13, 2001.
Not for Print, I don't get it. How can a washer get any more efficient? They hardly use any power to start with. Teflon bearings, maybe?
And the water heater deal. An electric water heater is 100% efficient already. There are only two ways to save energy with electric water heaters. One is through added insulation, and one is to have a heat pump water heater (which can be way over 100% efficient)
Oh, one other way, though it's not exactly the water heater itself. I recently had an idea for a way to save a bunch on hat water. A BRILLIANT idea, if I may say so. I was thinking that if you were to run the drain out of your shower through a two or three inch piece of copper water pipe, than have this pipe wrapped with a coil of smaller, flexible copper pipe, then run the inlet to your water heater through the coil whenever the shower runs, you could recover a lot of the heat which otherwise would just run out to your septic tank.
I actually thought about making one, and trying to patent the invention.
Being uncharacteristically prescient, I did a Google search of the Web, and to my surprise, someone had beat me to the idea. By quite a few years, actually.
Here's the URL for their site: http://www.caddet-ee.org/newsdesk/nw497_05.htm
You ought to check it out; they say that their system (which is almost exactly what I had in mind, except that they say (correctly, and I hadn't thought of this) that the heat exchanger has to be mounted vertically. They also say that their system will save, on average, 55% of your hot water bill, depending on your individual situation.
What I don't understand, is why doesn't everyone put one of these in their house when doing the original consruction? It's harder to retrofit, unless you have a basement, although it is possible in many situations.
-- jumpoff joe (email@example.com), April 14, 2001.
JOJ, I thought NFP meant that more efficient washers would use LESS hot water, thereby reducing the energy needed to provide the hot water. But now you have ME wondering. What DID you mean, NFP?
-- Joy F (So.Central Wisconsin) (CatFlunky@excite.com), April 14, 2001.
While trying to save a little electricity this past winter, I had the opportunity to witness something I thought was unbelievable... I did two things that literally brought my usage to half what it had been. I adjusted the hot water heater from original setting of 135 F to 96 F. And I wrapped the copper lines with bubble- wrap like insulation. The water is now just hot enough to shower and wash dishes. After doing a few other things like taking the dryer out and hanging clothes, installing wood stove, adjusting the freezer to a more correct setting (ice cream should be easy to scoop), my Febuary electric bill was Fourteen dollars. My parents bill was 440.00. Chalk one up for Homesteading Mentality! Oh yeah, the hot water heater has no other insulation like a blanket or anything- all I did was wrap all the copper lines- even the overflow- with insulation until they were not warm to the touch- the main line took 3 layers. I plan on putting a blanket on it this fall, perhaps 12 bucks is on the horizion.
-- Kevin in NC (Vantravlrs@aol.com), April 15, 2001.
Another thought I had last night. A Regrigerator releases heat via its radiator. A Hot Water Heater makes heat via its elements. Both require the use of electricity, and are nearly but not quite (hot water heater in the front) tied for energy consumption. If a hot water heater/ refrigerator were designed, the hot water heater would require mucho less element useage (thus smaller elements) you could nearly cut the overall electric useage between the to seperate units in half by combining. Gas or electric would work- there are RV refrgerators that use propane.
-- Kevin in NC (Vantravlrs@aol.com), April 16, 2001.
Something I remember reading in a book . . . Would it be possible to attach an timer unit to a water heater, you know the type, the kind that people use to turn on lights when they are out on vacation and other things? I remember reading in a book by Bill Bryson (love his books by the way . . . a little profane but my God how funny !), that in his living in England, most people had a timer on their water heaters to save energy. I mean, come on, do you really need hot water at 3:00 in the morning all the time? Water heaters cycle on constantly, keeping that water hot at all times. Setting the timer so that the heater was off from midnight to 6:00 a.m. would save some money. Anyone have any experience with this? firstname.lastname@example.org
-- JULIO R. GUERRA JR. (JR@BOULTINGHOUSESIMPSON.COM), April 17, 2001.
Clothes washers can save energy by using less water. Another feature on some European models is having an integral water heater in the washer which allows the washer to be hooked up to cold water only. Front loading washers use much less water (both hot and cold) and soap and are easier on your clothes ( they don't have an agitator tearing at the fabric). They have been around in Europe for a long time and Frigidaire has been making one for quite some time. They are relatively simple, mechanically compared to conventional washers in they don't have a transmission. Currently the state of Oregon has a tax credit of something like $175 if you purchase an energy efficient front loading washer. It has been proven time and again that the cheapest form of new energy is conservation. One would think that if the administration is serious about tackling the energy problem they would support conservation measures rather than cut funding for them.
-- jz (email@example.com), April 18, 2001.