Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Because One Water Heater Isn't Enough...

One of the benefits to our current house is that since we purchased a fairly new home there really aren't many improvements that we NEED to make. There are things we would like to do, but it wasn't like our first home where we gutted it upon moving in and spent 5 years HAVING to put it back together.

Honestly, after a 5-year renovation we were ready for a break.

But that doesn't mean there aren't things we wouldn't like to do and we do have a few projects in the works. However they aren't necessarily "fun" projects {aka the kind that give you warm fuzzy because of a visible difference – like new paint}.


One of the current projects came about like this: earlier this summer Daniel was at Home Depot and he called me to say that there was a smoking deal on a heat pump water heater that he was interested in. 

We already have a water heater. One that works.

Daniel pleaded his case: 

1) He doesn't like to be in a situation where he HAS to make a quick decision because something important quit working.
2) Our current water heater is a little on the small size for our house, and far too small to fill our garden tub.
3) The new water heater was more efficient {it uses less than half as much electricity as the old one}, and would save us money in the long run.
4) He could hook up both water heaters in tandem so that if one failed, he could bypass it and we would still have hot water. The second water heater would be off most of the time, but could be turned on to use the {giant} garden tub, or when we have company.
5) The current water heater has been in the house since it was built... Adding a second water heater and using the old one as a backup would prolong the life of the original one.
6) The heat that the heat pump water heater is being pumped out of the air, which means it is pushing cold air out into the garage {an extra plus}.

So I agreed.

Personally I am more interested in getting our back porch screened in, but if the new water heater saves us money, I can get on board with that.

So he made the purchase and brought it home.

It is huge.

Then he informed me that he wanted to build a platform to put both water heaters on. This would provide him with more storage space for other items {like our miter saw}.

Since Daniel is an engineer and overbuilds everything, I trusted that he would do a good job with this... I just wasn't sure how we were going to lift two water heaters 3 feet off the ground.

That is where the engine hoist comes in. We use ours for all sorts of things: tree stumps, lawn mowers, water heaters, air compressors, oh and let's not forget engines. It actually comes in pretty handy at least a couple of times a year.

First Daniel built a smaller platform to lift the water heaters with the engine hoist.

I was given the task of putting my weight on the other end of the platform to keep the water heater from tipping over during the lift. 

The first {and smaller} water heater almost gave me a heart attack when it started to tip a bit once we lifted it off the ground. Thankfully Daniel was able to get it under control and guide it into place.

The second {bigger} water heater was much easier since we had already gone through the experience and knew what to do. The biggest issue with it was moving it from the garage, through a normal sized door into the utility room. 

Now both water heaters are in place... Daniel is happy that we will save money and I am thankful that we can mark this practical thing off the list and move forward on the more "fun" project of screening in the back porch.

*For reference, far left of the photo is an air compressor (the black tank); in the middle is new heat pump water heater, and to the right of it is the old electric water heater – which is about half the size of the new one.


  1. I think it’s pretty smart of Daniel to come up with the idea of having another heater. That would be pretty useful if the old one suddenly breaks down any time soon, especially since it’s cold these days with winter settling in. I think the only problem I see is the tedious work of maintaining both water heaters. But, seeing as how the old heater still seems in good condition, I’m sure it won’t be a problem at all!

  2. Wow, I like that! I wish we could have two water heaters too! I think it’s a brilliant idea to have a back-up in case the other one fails. How handy to have Daniel over to build everything; he really did well in this job. I ‘m sure he could maintain the condition of those two water heaters.

    Harold Rhoads

  3. Of course, having two water heaters would supply all your need for hot water throughout the day, but a new water heater means another tank and higher water and electricity bills. However, two water heaters is better than a broken one. When winter comes, you're sure that you won't run out of hot water for your whole family.


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