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Question DetailsAsked on 9/24/2016

I NEED A PLUMBER IN WEST WARWICK TO INSTALL A OLI FIRED HOT WATER TANK

MY HOT WATER TANK WENT IT WAS A OIL FIRED ONE I WAS GOING TO REPLACE IT WITH ONE SOME ARE SAYING USE ELECTRIC WATER WILL BE CHEAPER TO USE TO HEAT THE WATER IN THE TANK

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2 Answers

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Heating and A/C and Plumbing are the two Search the List categories for this type of work.


On what people were saying about it being cheaper to heat water with electric - because there is no heat going up the flue and no pilot light so essentially all the heating energy goes into the water (you get basically the same tank losses when the hot water is just sitting in there), an electric water heater is inherently about 10-20% more efficient than gas or oil, but of course gas, oil, and electricity cost different amounts per energy unit - generally cheapest to most expensive in that order.


You should be able to pretty easily figure the oil versus electric cost (for the power usage only, NOT including your fixed monthly utility costs) differential , from your power bill - then look at the rated energy efficiency of the units you are looking at. Can go either way depending on your local utility costs but oil would normally be cheaper ASSUMING the oil tank and piping or electric wiring is already in place respectively - plus you need to consider (assuming you get an oil water heater that does not need any external electricity) whether there is any advantage to the greater reliability of oil if electricity goes out in a storm or such. Usually reliability of domestic hot water is not such a concern as a hydronic or steam heating boiler, for instance.


However - if changing to electric, bear in mind you will need twin breakers (208/220/240V as applicable), which means at least a few hundred to maybe $500 for new wiring from the breaker box - and potentially far more than that if your breaker box does not have the load capacity for a new water heater installation, so needs deliberate bids from several contractors to determine if this is viable in your case.


On the flip side of course - many home buyers shy away from oil because of the smell, minor additional hassles and cleaning needed, and particularly the risks of leaking oil tank - so for resale purposes if electric or gas appear potentially economic, getting rid of the oil tank (especially if outside and buried) might not be a bad idea if the conversion is otherwise close to economic on a fuel savings basis. Of course, if you have other appliances on oil as well, then converting might involve converting home heating and potentially (though very rarely these days) even range and clothes dryer as well, so you (or sometimes the utility that would be gaining usage from you will have an engineer help run through the comparative utility cost numbers with you) need to carefully look at ALL the consequences of a change-over. The biggest is usually electric panel capacity - but incoming house service undersizing can be a problem, also if you take some load off the exhaust flue (changing to electric water heater) sometimes the resulting flue size for the furnace is then undersized and needs to be redone with a small flue pipe - so the entire HVAC system needs to be looked at as a complete system in figuring the costs.



Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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Hi,

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Answered 2 years ago by Member Services




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