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Home water heater replacement

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,419
2,941
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
When I can't find good info I turn to the good folks here. The internet is full of conflicting info on which brand is best etc etc. Brings me to this.

Is there a difference between big box store and the same unit at a plumbing supply? Same part number.

I'm looking at rheem from home depot. I like Bradford white also but I'm not sure I can even buy one and they don't warranty unless professionally installed.

I also need to decide should I replace the shutoff valve, arrestors etc? I really loathe plumbing work but it has to be done. I also want to jump up to a 50 gal so I have to redo everything. Was thinking I'll just cutoff the old stuff and start fresh from the copper stub.

Thoughts? Opinions?
 
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1990TSIAWDTALON

Moderator
9,853
5,724
Nov 14, 2013
Independence, Kansas
Paul, have you checked into PECs (IDK if that spelling is correct). Very easy to use with shark bite fittings that adapt to your current setup. My shit is OLD so yours should be better than mine.
I replaced mine 3 or 4 yrs ago.
Good luck, drain with a water hose from the bottom.

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pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,419
2,941
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
The reviews on home depot for rheem are all over the place and lots more low ones than I would've figured.
 

Hank Hill

Probationary Member
18
6
Feb 1, 2019
Swansea, Illinois
This is a fairly lengthy one, but hope it helps!
FWIW, in my last house we had gotten, I believe, the 40gal rheem gas water heater.. can't remember which specific one, but I think it was one of the lower priced models (i.e. wasn't one of the fancy ones with like wifi connectivity or whatever they had LOL). I kind of went with that as my dad used to do HVAC and Rheem furnaces/ air conditioners are the brand he always sold and theyve always seemed to be good quality. I don't remember exactly how long we had it but I feel like it was around 2-2.5 years. Eventually we noticed some water under our vinyl plank flooring (lived on a concrete slab, so no basement or anything). Don't know/ remember exactly where, but the tank had started to rust or develop pin holes I believe toward the bottom of the tank; wasn't a major amount of water that had leaked, just enough to go under the flooring and in front of that closet and the bathroom immiediately next to said closet. Only noticed when stepping on said flooring)
Anyway, that being said, I was aggravated that it only lasted like 2 years.. fortunately though it was still covered under warranty. I contacted rheem, I think with in a day or 2 they sent me (via email) what I needed to go up and get a refund/ different one at home depot. That process was all pretty painless, other than removing and reinstalling the water heater (I loathe plumbing.. and it seems to share the same feelimgs toward me LOL).I did go ahead and get another rheem unit, but I got like the next series up (had to cover the cost difference out of pocket) which I believe had a longer warranty. I put that one in, with one of those metal pans you can put underneath to contain water, and didn't have an issue with that one.. I was however only at the house another 1-2 years IIRC. Functionally though the heater seemed to do a good job, I didn't have any issues there. It would kind of run out if I had the shower going for 45mins-1hr and other things running at the same time (washer, dishwasher), but I don't think they to be unusual given the conditions. When i have to get another one, I'll still likely go with a rheem..
I would also like to say, my new house came with a tankless and I would highly recommend going that route if you're able. I think they're more expensive, but I can have the washer, dishwasher, and shower on for like 1-2 hrs and it's still pumping out just as hot as if it were only the shower going.. have had 0 issues with it keeping up thus far and I believe it to be a few years old IIRC.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,419
2,941
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
I've used sharkbites. I still have a hard time trusting them. Like 5 10 15 years from now how are they.? I've seen sweat fittings that are ancient. No leaks.
 

Mello

15+ Year Contributor
1,483
642
Jul 4, 2003
Albuquerque, New_Mexico
Coming up on about 5 years ago my water heater rusted threw & was leaking. I decided to switch to tankless & got a Navian from Amazon & has a 25yr warranty. Did the conversion install myself & purchased all the materials from SupplyHouse.com. Everything in peachy. Supplyhouse is about 1/3 the cost of HD or Lowes & ended up costing me less than paying someone. Best decision, instant hot water forever, & couldn't be more pleased. Navian is the king of tankless & all the others are crap. They're the most efficient & only need 1/2 gas feed where all the others show 3/4 gas.

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pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,419
2,941
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Mello would you share which model you chose please?? I've not researched any of this to the degree I want to just yet. If I'm lucky I'll have enough time to do so.
 

Mello

15+ Year Contributor
1,483
642
Jul 4, 2003
Albuquerque, New_Mexico
I got the Navien 240A. Navien has the S series & the A series each in 3 sizes. The 240A is the top of their line. When I did this the difference in price between the smallest 120S to the 240A was only $200. The A (Advance) come with internal recirculation pumps. The 240 is large enough that 2 people can shower, run the washer, and still run hot water at the faucets in the middle of winter at like 10 degree outside temps.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,419
2,941
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
I'm a good, maybe better than average DIY but I'm not sure i want to tackle this. Lots of unknowns. i've sweated fittings before but I never completely knew if my job was good. No formal training. Easy to do I suppose but....
Expense seems high vs just going back with a traditional unit. I don't have power in the water closet either so there is more to do.
 

Mello

15+ Year Contributor
1,483
642
Jul 4, 2003
Albuquerque, New_Mexico
Actually it was fairly easy. This was my first time doing this. I would say sweating the pipes is no harder than soldering. I planned my setup with isolation valves so I could do future stuff by just closing valves. Also had to add check valve & expansion tank because of local ordinances which was stupid because there is no stored water in tankless system but politician shouldn't play engineers. The heater only need a regular wall outlet to run the piezo igniter & fan (low amperage).
 
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pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
8,419
2,941
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Did you pull your own permit? I know in my local city I can't do that. Doesn't mean I won't install to code. It means they won't even inspect it unless a licensed contractor installed.
 

Mello

15+ Year Contributor
1,483
642
Jul 4, 2003
Albuquerque, New_Mexico
No I just looked up the codes & did it so it would pass if i need to sell my house in the future. Only thing I should mention is tankless heaters need soft water, hard water will screw them up quickly. I have a water softener.
 

EC17PSE

Freelancer
5,647
2,991
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
Coming up on about 5 years ago my water heater rusted threw & was leaking. I decided to switch to tankless & got a Navian from Amazon & has a 25yr warranty. Did the conversion install myself & purchased all the materials from SupplyHouse.com. Everything in peachy. Supplyhouse is about 1/3 the cost of HD or Lowes & ended up costing me less than paying someone. Best decision, instant hot water forever, & couldn't be more pleased. Navian is the king of tankless & all the others are crap. They're the most efficient & only need 1/2 gas feed where all the others show 3/4 gas.

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So thats a combi boiler looking at it. Most UK houses have this system as its more economical and works better then a water tank heater. More compact also. On all the housing out in the US they must be big enough to heat up fast! We have a small baxi combi and it does out 1 bed house ok. Wouod not work well in a 2 or 3 bed house though.

These units are the way forward i think. Pretty basic and simple and the copper lines once setup last a long time. I feel as if most modern homes anywhere in the world should use these vs heater tanks
 
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