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Old 10-16-2007, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Suffolk, LI
405 posts, read 1,765,250 times
Reputation: 128

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As previously posted, we have a drought-induced foundation crack that's cutting directly through our gas line to the water heater. It's got me stressed, to say the least.

Since we can't fix the foundation now (due to drought) and there is no affected place to reroute the gas, we're considering cutting it off completely and replacing the water heater with electric. Our current gas water heater is 18 years old.

Anyone else have electric? Any recommendations on where to purchase/brand? I'm leaning toward the new energy smart models from either Whirlpool or U.S. Craftsman (available at Lowes). I'm guessing that a new, energey efficient (EF .95) electric model might just be more efficient than my dinosaur gas heater... or am I just kidding myself?

Thoughts? Did I mention we're moving next year? Good times... But more importantly, do you think anyone will care either way about the fuel source for the water heater on a home < $200K? Isn't new better than 18 years old, even if it's electric?

Be gentle. I know electric isn't popular, but it's been a VERY rough couple weeks with this stuff, and I'm just trying to work out a safe solution to a very difficult situation...
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:01 AM
 
1,484 posts, read 4,144,474 times
Reputation: 739
Default dosnt matter

I personally dont care which one (I have electric). Remember that you will need to have an electric line run for the new heater. I would just rather fix the gas line. did anyone ever come out to look at it? When you say pinched, is it actually being pressed our reduced in size (what kind of pipe).

I think it will be cheaper to fix the gas line as long as the current water heater is OK.
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Suffolk, LI
405 posts, read 1,765,250 times
Reputation: 128
It's been looked at by PSNC Energy, who say "keep an eye on it." LOL. It's right smack in the middle of a 1" wide crack that runs about 6 feet long in that wall. Seeing as we're not anticipating any moisture this fall/winter/spring, I'm concerned that that whole corner of my house is going to fall off and take the gas line along with it. I'm exaggerating, of course, but the shift really is pulling the pipe (it's iron) out of line, and I don't know how much/little it will move over the coming months. Since I've been waking up in the middle of the night smelling phantom gas odors, I think it's worth it for my sanity to simply lose the gas altogether. Besides, at 18 years old, our current water heater is likely to kick it at any second, right? A structural engineer is coming out tomorrow, for what it's worth.

The electric box is IN the same shed with the heater--literally about a foot from it. Given this, I don't anticipate the addition of the proper electrical to be a costly one, but I'm certainly factoring it in.

Are you happy with your electric water heater? Do you know what make/model it is?
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:33 PM
 
1,484 posts, read 4,144,474 times
Reputation: 739
Default yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by procfreq View Post
It's been looked at by PSNC Energy, who say "keep an eye on it." LOL. It's right smack in the middle of a 1" wide crack that runs about 6 feet long in that wall. Seeing as we're not anticipating any moisture this fall/winter/spring, I'm concerned that that whole corner of my house is going to fall off and take the gas line along with it. I'm exaggerating, of course, but the shift really is pulling the pipe (it's iron) out of line, and I don't know how much/little it will move over the coming months. Since I've been waking up in the middle of the night smelling phantom gas odors, I think it's worth it for my sanity to simply lose the gas altogether. Besides, at 18 years old, our current water heater is likely to kick it at any second, right? A structural engineer is coming out tomorrow, for what it's worth.

The electric box is IN the same shed with the heater--literally about a foot from it. Given this, I don't anticipate the addition of the proper electrical to be a costly one, but I'm certainly factoring it in.

Are you happy with your electric water heater? Do you know what make/model it is?
Yes with a 1inch wide crack there are plenty of concerns (what area are you in and what type of soil?). I have had gas and electirc and I cant tell the difference at all. I am not sure what brand but it is a short fat one that is in the crawlspace. 18yr heater. be glad it lasted this long. If you got 18yrs out of , that is enough of a reason with me to get the same brand if possible.
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:01 PM
 
9,680 posts, read 27,086,901 times
Reputation: 4163
We've had electric for 15 years and the heaters are great. Plenty of hot water.

Current one's an A.O. Smith. Nine years with fine reliability in our complex. None yet replaced and there are over 200 units all the same age.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,475 posts, read 32,136,501 times
Reputation: 9450
Whichever you choose, gas or electric, make sure the company doing the installation pulls a permit.

Vicki
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Old 10-17-2007, 01:42 AM
 
1,726 posts, read 5,840,017 times
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Vicki can you explain why it is important to pull a permit? Because of the foundation cracks or just in general? Just wondering; thanks!!
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:51 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,407 posts, read 10,654,185 times
Reputation: 1380
Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
Whichever you choose, gas or electric, make sure the company doing the installation pulls a permit.

Vicki
Do you need to pull a permit to replace a water heater (like with like?)
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
43,025 posts, read 76,529,724 times
Reputation: 45332
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinxor View Post
Do you need to pull a permit to replace a water heater (like with like?)
Yes, you should have a permit. It gets you a qualified inspection by a third party.

Jackleg repairmen can mess up a water heater installation in various ways.
It is not a difficult task, but definitely more to it than just hooking up a new tank.

In the 18 years since the OP's tank was installed the code has changed to require an expansion tank. A new water heater and no expansion tank is an immediate red flag that the WH was jacklegged in and not installed by a qualified plumber.
Wiring and circuit breaker must be properly sized and installed.
Some folks will cheap out and not replace the T&P valve, or the shut-off valve from the cold water line.
Short T&P lines create a safety issue.

Pull a permit, and get it done right.
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
12,475 posts, read 32,136,501 times
Reputation: 9450
ANYTIME you have having any type of "trade" work: electrical, plumbing, etc., you want a permit pulled. The person may tell you that its an extra $50 but well worth it.

One of the reasons, as Mike said, is to have someone doublecheck the work.

Another reason is that its the LAW. Many people don't know this.

In this area, we've had alot of people finishing off their attics, basements, bonus rooms by themselves. Without pulling a permit, this square footage cannot be listed in MLS. Without pulling a permit, how does anyone know if the electrical was done properly or if the insulation was added where necessary? And without pulling a permit, they could be fined.

I recently showed a house that had a beautiful bonus room. It looked like it had been done originally when the house was built. However, the bonus room was so much hotter than the rest of the house. Red Flag.

My buyers were very interested in this house.

I called the listing agent. He then told me that the seller had done the work, himself.

BIG Red Flag.

I then wanted to know if he had gotten permits.

The answer was no.

How would we know if the electrical was done properly? How would we know if the air conditioning unit was sized properly?

According to MLS, the Agent shouldn't have listed the square footage of the bonus room because without a permit, the City doesnt consider it liveable.

And...the Listing Agent told me that the reason HE thought the bonus room was so hot was because the seller told him that he had FORGOTTEN TO INSULATE THE CEILING!

HUGE red flag. My buyers did not buy this house.

Vicki
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