We had a pretty strong, but brief, windstorm come through here the other day and when I went to take a shower that evening there was no hot water. Next morning on checking the water heater, it turned out the pilot light was out, no doubt from wind blowing down the chimney vent.

Gas appliances out here use propane, which is more expensive than natural gas, and I’d just had my 250 gallon tank refilled, for a sizeable amount of money. Just after that was when my gas hot water heater’s pilot was blown out. On inspecting the heater and relighting the pilot light, I was reminded that the heater was in poor condition, and I’d given up on trying to find a new thermostat for it over a year before because no one seems to make them for it anymore.

So I got online and started looking at gas water heater prices and got an education in how much they cost. A lot. In the search process it also became obvious that electric on-demand hot water heaters are dramatically less expensive to buy and much cheaper to use. Plus with a good quality one, you can change the water temperature in a few seconds to be hotter or cooler.

A tank type water heater must be kept continuously hot, so even if you’re gone for a week, that heater is still regularly firing up to maintain a constant water temperature. Burning gas 24/7. Expensive gas.

Electric demand hot water heaters that will supply hot water even when the water coming in is not much above freezing temperature, require a lot of electricity, and that’s the kind I bought. A high capacity one.

So yesterday I removed some of the house skirting, bought the heavy electrical cable, drilled holes and ran the cable and so forth. Today I unhooked the old tank heater and yanked it out of it’s nook, installed the new heater and plumbing, got it all wired up to 240 volt power and FINALLY got my overdue shower at the exact temperature I wanted, without having to screw with the cold water tap. Ahhh, hot water. Nothing like it.

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