Electric water heater wattage

Old 04-24-11, 10:44 AM
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Electric water heater wattage

Being new to electric water heaters, I am somewhat baffled by the different wattage ratings of heater elements. 3800, 4500 and 5500. How much of a significant difference between the performance of the heaters. I am looking for a tank in the 55 to 80 gallon size that will allow my wife to have a luxurious 12-15 minute shower with the water remaining hot. We currently have a 40 gal propane tank that we run at nearly the highest setting- - just below very hot, and it seems to work well for us. With just the two of us recognizing how hot the water is, we don't have an issue with the temperature as it is set. However, one of my goals is to be able to lower the water temp to a more safe level while having enough hot water for her shower. I'm not sure if recovery time is an issue with just a 15 minute shower but I don't know for sure. Any thoughts are appreciated.
Old 04-24-11, 11:23 AM
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I have lived most of my life with an electric water heater and I would never have anything less than an 80 gallon model. It is the amount of stored water that will determine how long a shower your wife can take and not the wattage of the elements. With the foam insulation used the standby losses from an electric water heater are minimal.
Old 05-07-11, 06:21 AM
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I'm switching to an electric model. It's a GE hybrid unit. It uses 60% less electricity than a convential unit. The heat pump only uses 550 watts. The tank is only 50 gallons and will work as a convential heater too. It's sold through Lowes. I'm thinking of heeoking it up in series with a holding tank to get another 30 gallons of storage. I would use a small brass taco to constantly move the water between the tanks. I wish NG was an option.
Old 05-07-11, 07:13 AM
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I'm thinking of heeoking it up in series with a holding tank to get another 30 gallons of storage.
AO smith makes a 60 and 80 gallon heat pump HWH.

Voltex® Hybrid Electric Heat Pump - Water Heaters Residential by A. O. Smith

Mike NJ

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