I have a 20+ year old, 115 gallon, electric water heater. Works like a champ, but I'm considering replacing it for a couple of reasons.

  1. It's leased - I pay $20/mo.
  2. It's 115 gallons for a house with 3 adults
  3. It's 20 years old

Based on that high level criteria, I'm looking to replace it with an energy smart, 50-gallon, electric water heater - specifically - this one

Does this seem like a reasonable idea? I'm looking to save money, obviously, over the long run between eliminating the monthly bill and the energy savings.

  • Not sure what rates/availability are like where you are, but looking into natural gas might be worth the effort.
    – Tester101
    Jun 12, 2013 at 15:15
  • We don't even have gas lines coming to the house (AFAIK), no meter, etc.. Jun 12, 2013 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


The math says that you should replace the water heater - especially if you can install yourself.

In my opinion the water heater should be sized for the house - how many faucets/bathrooms?, not how many people are currently living in it.

If you are looking to downsize, save money, be green... I would go tankless. Here is an example. Also Tester makes a good point going natural gas. If you have gas chances are it runs by your current heater so it might be worth looking into.

Tankless water heater calculator

Sizing a water heater

  • 2.5 baths + kitchen + dishwasher + clothes washer Jun 12, 2013 at 15:36
  • 2
    Be aware that, while electric tankless heaters are very small and very efficient, they draw huge amounts of current. Many residential services cannot adequately supply these, and if the can, the wiring costs of a retrofit will far exceed the unit cost itself.
    – bcworkz
    Jun 12, 2013 at 23:36
  • That is a good point. I forgot about the $250 I spent on materials to run a line over myself. You will make the money back in 3-4 years which is a pretty good return and a good selling point.
    – DMoore
    Jun 13, 2013 at 2:16

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