I suppose its time for a new hot water heater....


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Old 03-28-14, 06:34 AM
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I suppose its time for a new hot water heater....

Morning all!

Woke up this morning to no hot water, again.

I currently have a 40 gallon direct oil fired water heater. The tank is about 10 years old, and the gun is probably 20 years old.


I believe the problem with my setup is that the breather flute on the exhaust pipe keeps closing, and causing the smoke eye to shut the system down. Once i go down and restart it - it works fine. However, when I get hot water back QUITE a bit of sediment comes out with it. I know...my tank is on its way out.

Now - here's where my questions start. I have a few options.

It seems Direct Oil Fired systems are basically no longer used? The few tanks I can find don't come with guns, and are SUPER expensive - $1,500+

I could...

1. Replace tank and re-use 20 year old gun. Seems like I'm setting myself up for future problems.

2. Buy an electric unit. Only issue with this is my panel is COMPLETELY full and theirs NO WAY I could fit a 240v breaker in there. So I'd have to either replace the entire panel with a new one, or install a sub panel. Only issue with a sub panel is that my main panel is only 100A so if we happen to run the stove, dryer, and hot water at the same time I'll certainly be over.

Thoughts on what to do? I can't make up my mind.
 
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Old 03-28-14, 09:16 AM
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Gas water heaters are common and relatively inexpensive. Do you have natural gas available? Do you have the option of placing a propane tank somewhere on your property?
 
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Old 03-28-14, 11:26 AM
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...my panel is COMPLETELY full and theirs NO WAY I could fit a 240v breaker in there. So I'd have to either replace the entire panel with a new one, or install a sub panel. Only issue with a sub panel is that my main panel is only 100A so if we happen to run the stove, dryer, and hot water at the same time I'll certainly be over.
Why? There are homes that have only 60 ampere service that also have electric kitchen range, electric clothes dryer and electric water heaters. Your 100 ampere service is 24,000 watts of supply. A kitchen range is usually around 8,000 watts, the clothes dryer about 5,000 watts and the water heater is generally around 4,500 watts. That still leaves 6,500 watts for everything else. Also, the chances that EVERYTHING will be operating at maximum amperage draw at the same time is remote. Sounds to me like a small sub-panel is the easiest course of action.
 
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Old 03-28-14, 11:58 AM
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I don't think the OPs problem is amperage into the house. It sounds like the breaker panel is full. No empty slots left for a double pole breaker though depending on the brand of panel there may be a slim 240 breaker that could fit in one slot.
 
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Old 03-28-14, 12:01 PM
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Yes, he stated the panel had no space for an additional CB, that's why I suggest a sub-panel. Move enough from the service panel to allow for a two-pole CB to serve the sub and go from there.
 
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Old 03-28-14, 12:21 PM
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Can't you still pull the power off at the drop, or don't they set separate meters for water heaters any more? I know that as recently as about 10 years ago, in my area anyway, the POCO did not want you to pull off of the main panel, and it was beneficial to the consumer, because the rate for the water heater was less than the power tohrough the main panel.
 
 

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