Shopping for a Propane Water Heater

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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Sandy in Pennsylvania on the line who has a 20-year-old water heater.  Geez, Sandy. Are you swimming in your basement? What’s going on?

    SANDY: No, no. It’s about 22 years old and it’s – I’ve had just good luck with it. My house I built in 1993 – or I had built. I’m trying to get more energy-efficient. In the last six months, I put in a new washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove. Last weekend, I finished putting in 9 more inches of insulation in the attic. So my next thought is: do I need to replace my 22-year-old electric water heater? I do have access to propane. So, that’s my question.

    TOM: I think that the water heater has served you very well, Sandy, and you’ve been very fortunate that it’s lasted 22 years. And I wouldn’t expect your luck to hold out. Eventually, it’s going to leak, probably at the least opportune time. So I would say that if I had a 20-plus-year-old water heater, I’d be looking to upgrade that to replace it.

    In terms of efficiency, there’s not a whole lot you can do to make an electric water heater more efficient. But there is one thing I would suggest and that is to put your water heater on a timer. And this way, you can have it just operate when it needs to. So that might be a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening but not midday and not overnight. And that will actually cut the cost of operating it significantly.

    SANDY: OK. I was looking at the Rheems and the Whirlpools and then I saw something about glass-lined water heaters, 12-year warranties. Any information on that?

    TOM: Well, you know, the warranties are going to vary on all of these brands. And I think you do kind of get what you pay for. And so, if you found one that had a good 10-plus-year warranty, I think that would be a good place to start.

    SANDY: OK. Thank you so much. Happy New Year. I love your show.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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