Archive for June 20th, 2015

20
Jun

Past project…water heater

   Posted by: John    in Projects

Our house had the original water heater in it. 40 gallons and it seemed like about 10 would be hot. It was getting difficult to take a shower without running out. I take pretty fast showers, 7 or 8 minutes tops.  The girls, of course, ran it out every time.  On top of that, it was making some real bad gurgling sounds and started leaking around the pressure relief valve.  I managed to nurse it along for a while, but finally decided it was time to replace it. It was a 6 year tank and had made it 12.  Home Depot…here we come!

The biggest issue is that our federal government has mandated higher efficiency standards for water heaters. I am all for efficiency, but every thing the feds touch ends up costing more! So, I had to get it done before the new regulations hit.  I picked a Rheem 50 gallon, 12 year unit. I decided that I might as well not have to mess with it for a very long time. This unit is 1% below the new standards so it should be fairly cheap to use. Naturally, it is 4″ bigger around and 2″ taller than the old unit. That’s OK, I had to rebuild the stand anyway as the old one was inadequate anyway.  Instead of using flake-board I constructed it out of 2×4’s. I used the air stapler and strips to hold the pieces in place and screwed the top to the horizontals.  It is a far stronger stand than the old one and should hold up the 600 pounds easily.

I got the tank for $634.  I also had to replace the pan, flexible water lines and the expansion tank. Those added another $100 to the bill.  (I am glad I did this before the regulation deadline date. The day after, the tank price jumped to $726. Same part number, higher price.)

Replacing it was pretty easy. The old tank drained without any problem, much to my surprise.  I built the new stand shorter so the water lines and vent would mate up properly. Getting it set up there was not difficult at all. Just angled it to miss the flue, connected it up and done! The whole job took less than 2 hours.

New water heater

Now the girls can stand in the shower for almost an hour before they run out of hot water!!!  (I threatened to put a 10 minute timer on the water valve. That got vetoed real fast!!)

Oh, and that extension cord that is on the floor…it is gone now. That wall had no power outlets on it. I was able to tap into the outdoor plug farther down the wall and install a 4-gang outlet on the inside. No more extension cord!!!