New electric water heater time: Recommendations?

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The Whirpool I installed probably ten years ago is on its last legs. There is some evidence that it's starting to leak and operation is crazy, delivering hot water one morning and tepid water the next. I could try to solve the temperature control problem, but there is some seepage around the bottom now, so I think its time has come. What would all of you recommend in an electric water heater of around fifty gallons?
 
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Do you have to have a tank? The tankless ones are supposed to be much more efficient, take a LOT less space, and have come a long way since their inception.
 
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Check with the power company. Here you can get a free hot water heater every 7 years. My wife and I got a new one a few years ago. Only provision was that they would send someone out to put a peak demand control on it. Have only seen the red light on it come on first thing in the morning a few times when there was very cold conditions. If you have natural gas heat the gas company may cut you a free deal too? Sure worth checking into.
 

fdcg27

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hmm... and Menards has 11% off on everything at the moment.
 

JC1

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How many people live in your house? I installed a Rheem tankless in January 2012 and I'm very happy with it. I was paying for a rental gas water heater. I wanted to get something more efficient and something that used less gas and provided endless water. Are you able to run a gas line for a water heater or is that too expensive? I can't provide any feedback on recent electric water heaters. The last place I stayed in that had an electric water heater was a GE back in 2002. It was ok for 1 or 2 people. Regards, JC.
 

fdcg27

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Since we have no gas availability here and probably never will, an electric water heater is our only option. A fifty gallon tank seemed fine when there were four of us here, but since our sons are grown and gone, it's now only my wife and me.
 

CT8

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Originally Posted By: [email protected]
Do you have to have a tank? The tankless ones are supposed to be much more efficient, take a LOT less space, and have come a long way since their inception.
I had my waterheater[lpg] go out about a month ago on a Saturday afternoon" I was planning to install a tankless heater I had all the parts already. I went by the tankless water heater store and they were closed. I drove to the big box store bought the same water heater that lasted ten years and the part that quit was improved so I bought the water heater and a half hour the water heater was installed. I have 2 rentals with Rheem electric heaters and they seem to work.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Since we have no gas availability here and probably never will, an electric water heater is our only option. A fifty gallon tank seemed fine when there were four of us here, but since our sons are grown and gone, it's now only my wife and me.
You could use propane?
 

fdcg27

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We could use propane, but then we'd need to get a propane tank, run a line to the house, look at the thing all of the time and probably not save any money.
 
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I recommend the Rheem Marathon water heater with the lifetime warranty. Hard to beat and also very efficient. I have one and I am very happy with it.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
We could use propane, but then we'd need to get a propane tank, run a line to the house, look at the thing all of the time and probably not save any money.
Not worth it if you only heat water.
 
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Hybrid unit? It uses latent heat to pre-heat the water. Worth it if your basement is roughly house temperature and otherwise climate-controlled year round.
 
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hybrid units have a heat pump, I keep mine on "energy saver" mode 8 months a year and "normal" in winter. its basically an air conditioner in reverse... takes heat out of basement air and into the hot water tank... also helps dry out the basement if you have a wet one. the latest generation will work to 40F or so.
 
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We've had a GE hybrid water heater for a while now-maybe 4 years? We've never had a problem with it, and with the exception of a time or two when we've had 8 or 10 guests spending the night, we've always kept it in economy mode. When we purchased it there was a sale at Lowes, there was an energy company rebate, and we took advantage of the tax credit that was available. We had switched from a propane water heater to this one, and while we noticed a decrease in our propane usage, we did not see much of an increase in our electrical use. If I had to do it over again I'd invest in another hybrid water heater without hesitation.
 
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I have an AO-Smith Hybrid 80 gal water heater, here in S FL. It replaced a propane unit that gobbled $5/gal propane at a prodigious rate! That water heater paid for itself in 2 years (due to the absurd price of propane here) Bottom line, I love it. It air conditions the garage, it holds lots o hot water and my electric bills actually went down, because I no longer run a window unit in the garage. I would purchase one if I lived in a colder climate. However, I'd run it on "elec" mode during cold weather. No sense in cooling off a home you are trying to heat...... Mine came with a 10 year "all inclusive" warranty. Each and every part, not just the tank.
 
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The Rheem LP water that came with the house lasted 18 years. We replaced it as preventative maintenance with another Rheem- this time, an electric. I was skeptical at first that it would heat quick enough and handle the load, but we had hot water about 15 minutes after first start and never has it "ran out of hot water". As an added plus, my neighbor owns a plumbing shop. I stopped in to his shop one day and paid for it, and it showed up at my doorstep later...
 
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