Hot Water Tank : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Our hot water tank bit the dust last night. Thankfully we have a 5 gallon tank on our cookstove so we will manage until we get another system in place. I have a few questions. I have also searched the archives and read everything there.

We are looking at various options. We are considering both oil and electric heated tanks and an electric tankless water heater. We don't want to install propane again if possible. We want to eventually put in wind generated electricity instead of solar because of our location. One scenario we think might be our best bet is the electric 60 gallon conventional tank put on a timer (we only need the hot water in the morning for a few hours) which we will then be able to eventually run off the wind power. We have hard water and do not want to install a water softener. We figure that if we maintain the tank every month by draining out the sediment, we shouldn't have any problems. The tank is certainly our most cost effective alternative up front but what about long term?

With the electric tankless water heater, we would have to upgrade our panel (it runs on 2 40 amp. breakers) and we are not certain that the wind power would be able to handle its energy needs.

As well, our children are quite young and in reading the archives one of the concerns with the tankless is the extremely high temperature of the hot water that comes out of the tap.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


-- Silvia (, February 15, 2002


Iím not fully versed with everything in the archives, but you might want to consider a solar pre-heater set up, given your ultimate power goals. A solar pre-heater can be used with both instantaneous and conventional water heaters. It does not replace your water heater; rather, it is piped in-line between your cold water inlet and your water heater. On hot summer days, if it can bring your water up to your temperature setting, your heater will not even come on. On sunny winter days your pre-heater may reduce the amount of time your conventional heater needs to operate, depending on the type and design of your pre-heater.

Here is one link to a Solar Pre-Heater, There is a diagram and some specifics using solar panels.

-- BC (, February 15, 2002.

Where I live the local electric coop power company offers to install an 80 gallon lifetime garentee (fiberglass tank, thick foam insulation) electric water heater for $120. It is hooked up to a special gadget, and the power company shuts it off over the day, & turns it on overnight. The 80 gallons is more than enough to last most families, and it allows the power company to balance there loads.


1. Check if such a program is available to you.

2. Consider getting a bigger electric water heater that is very well insulated. (Insulate the pipe coming out of the top, a major heat loss on these things.) You can use your excess power from whatever means you generate with, and 'store' it in the water heater tank - on windy days, overnight when nothing else is using power, etc.). There is no need to turn it off & on - if you plan with the right tank. Anyhow, think about the principle of it all. :)

However, I think propane is the cheaper way to go, and I don't know if a windmill is a good match for water heating...


-- paul (, February 15, 2002.

One of the joys of the tankless water heater is that because there is no water storage, and therefore no chance to build up nasty bacteria, there is no "neccessary" temp set. You can set it to whatever temp you want - you're favorite shower temp, dishwasher preference temp, lukewarm for washing hands, then turn it up for showers - whatever. It is adjustable.

-- Soni (, February 15, 2002.

Silvia, We have the tankless water heater,It is a natural gas and I would do it again.Never had any problems with it.Its well worth it .Thanks Pam

-- pam (, February 15, 2002.


Please let me know where you can get an electric tankless. I have been looking for 2 years and can only find gas and propane


-- Dianne (, February 16, 2002.

Requires high KW Input....not feasible for generator use.

-- (, February 16, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ