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Old 02-21-2011, 10:36 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Gas water heaters that have a forced vent work great with timers or manual switches, they also don't have pilot lights so you save more gas there as well, they also heat much faster so if you do want to leave the tank cold for days at a time they tend to heat as much as twice as fast compared to electric water heaters.

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Old 02-21-2011, 10:42 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I don't have my own washing machine, but from what I've read, warm water does much less for cleaning power than we tend to assume.

I got my water heater from ebay.
I live in an RV, for the pipes are different than most houses - the way I hooked it up (under the bathroom sink) probably wouldn't work for a regular house.

I haven't calculated exact cost.
My old water heater tank leaked, so I needed to replace it anyway, therefor I wasn't concerned with payback time.

Lets see if I can get a rough estimate right now though...
Two tanks of propane cost about $40 and last me about a year when its being used only for water heating.
So, assuming one shower a day on average, rough estimate is ten cents per shower.
Very rough estimate though.
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A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:01 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I have also found that I really only use hot water for showers. I also have turned off the hot water valve under my bathroom sink.

I still have a tank electric hot water heater. I have it hooked up to a water heater timer where the timer portion is off. I strictly use the timer as a manual on/off switch for my water heater, which saves stress on my breaker. I only turn on the hot water heater shortly before taking a shower. I turn it off just before stepping into the shower. I have my hot water heater temperature set so that if I shower with only hot water, no cold water turned on at all, the shower water is a comfortable temperature. This is about 112 degrees F, as indicated by the markings on my water heater thermostat, which I'm sure aren't too accurate. In the winter when it is in the 30's F, I find I need to run the heater about 18 minutes for a comfortable shower. In the summer here in Florida, I don't have to run the heater at all for a comfortable shower. My hot water heater is located in my attic, which helps in the summer, since attic temperatures heat the water.

I haven't used hot water for laundry for decades. Consumer Reports claims the most effective laundry detergents are the ones formulated for and used with cold water.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:39 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great responses!

Ryland, the gas heater you're talking about sounds expensive. Since you're going to use an electric forced vent, so the gas can work more efficiently, why not just convert entirely to electric.

My figures show that electric water heating is much less than is gas. Another reason besides less heating of the water, is that you can entirely insulate an electric tank with 6 inches of insulation, including on top, which you can't do with gas. But if you like gas, that is fine. Up until a year ago I always thought gas was more efficient, though the fumes were annoying. However, with each appliance converted to electric, my bill has gone down! How much are you paying for gas and electric?

I used to pay $25 for electric a month, and $50 for gas. Now the bills are $6 and $8 respectively. My objective is to get rid of the gas entirely and bring the total (electric only) to less than $10.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:50 AM   #35 (permalink)
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JacobAziza, thanks for your feedback. You're inspiring me to do more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sid View Post
I still have a tank electric hot water heater. I have it hooked up to a water heater timer where the timer portion is off. I strictly use the timer as a manual on/off switch for my water heater, which saves stress on my breaker. I only turn on the hot water heater shortly before taking a shower. I turn it off just before stepping into the shower.

I have my hot water heater temperature set so that if I shower with only hot water, no cold water turned on at all, the shower water is a comfortable temperature. This is about 112 degrees F, as indicated by the markings on my water heater thermostat, which I'm sure aren't too accurate. In the winter when it is in the 30's F, I find I need to run the heater about 18 minutes for a comfortable shower. In the summer here in Florida, I don't have to run the heater at all for a comfortable shower. My hot water heater is located in my attic, which helps in the summer, since attic temperatures heat the water.

I haven't used hot water for laundry for decades. Consumer Reports claims the most effective laundry detergents are the ones formulated for and used with cold water.
Sid, thanks for the helpful details! I'm going to do the same thing with my water heater.
How do you determine the temperature, just by feel the way it comes out?

Another thing will be trying the cold water laundry, and using less laundry soap.
Do you have a particular recommendation for brand?
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:28 PM   #36 (permalink)
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A couple things that have been touched on here that I also plan on trying out -

Instant water heater - I plan on re-installing the plumbing in my trailer, and running a single 1" main line (spine line) and manifolds for each object that needs water service. We NEVER use hot water in the washer, so the washer will only receive a cold water line. I want to try a couple 2.5GPM instant (electric) water heaters (tankless) in the home, as follows:

Bathroom - Installed near the tub - tub only uses 2.2 GPM max, and I intend to install a water/water heat exchanger on the drain line of the tub to preheat the line running to the water heater, so some of the heat is recycled, making the job easier on the heater.

Kitchen - We do use hot water to wash dishes, even though we plan on installing a dish washer, which actually uses less water than hand washing, in many cases, and has it's own heater on board. However, I get greasy - cold water doesn't work well on grease. Instant water heater under the sink with the same type of water/water heat exchanger setup.

Eventually, the intent is to disable gas service entirely, run only on electricity, and have the ability to literally drag the trailer into a field, drop it, set it, and live in it without actually hooking up electrical or gas service.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:40 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Recycling heat from drain water is brilliant!

It all sounded good up until the very last step - for boondocking you may want to re-consider your plan...
you can fit much much more energy in a bottle of propane than you can in a battery.
My propane lasts for months, even with the fridge and furnace running on propane. The battery lasts less than a week, just drawing for lights, fan, and sometimes a 20" TV.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:43 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: The battery - It (they) can (will/should) be charged by the other issue I'm playing with - deceleration alternator. Since the car itself doesn't use hardly any electrical energy while operating, charge a battery pack for home on my drive. Granted, this isn't going to be enough to run everything all the time, however, at times, using the free fuel (WVO/Waste oil) generator I also intend to build. (Ah, plans...)

It's an interdependent plan.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:01 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
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...a dish washer, which actually uses less water than hand washing...
Something that's not really true. If you look at some of the comparisons, you'll see that they've set them up to use as wasteful a method of hand-washing as possible, doing things like running multiple sinks of hot water to rinse the dishes, or leaving the hot water running continually.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:15 AM   #40 (permalink)
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My dish washing consists of only a few squirts of water from the tap.

There is no way an automated dishwasher could compete.

I have likewise removed the garbage disposal, and put in large single bowl SS sink.

All the sinks in the house have 1/2 gpm needle spray aerators, which are awesome.


Last edited by j12piprius; 02-27-2011 at 01:21 AM..
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