I want options!

A couple of months ago, I needed a new water heater. I totally fit the scenario of a procrastinating homeowner who had put the inevitable replacement off for too long. So, there we were, my plumbing contractor and me, looking at a basement still damp from when my water heater let go and all my hot water for that day had literally, gone down the drain.

I’d heard about those tankless hot water heaters. You know, those that supply a never ending supply of hot water without storage. That sounded intriguing. It was, of course, something I was going to research, just like I was going to replace the water heater before it failed on its own.

So, I turned to my plumbing professional. “What did he think of them? Was it a good option for my home? How much more would it cost?” Actually, I knew it was going to cost me more. I also knew that he was probably going to make more, and he wouldn’t have to lug a conventional heater to my basement. Seemed like a nice win-win. But, I wanted to discuss and hear his professional opinion and ask questions. Continue reading

The deal of a lifetime…

The deal of a lifetime …

Here’s a question that more of us should know the answer. How much water can you get for $1?

With a submersible water system, it’s easy to figure out. We just need to know 3 things:

  1. The GPM delivered by the pump
  2. The power consumption of the motor turning that pump
  3. The price of electricity.

For our example, we’ll use the most common unit in the United States, a ½ horsepower, 10 GPM pump. We can ignore whether its 2- or 3-wire, since the power consumption is identical for both units.

From page 13 of the Franklin Electic AIM Manual, the power consumption of a ½ hp motor is 0.96 kilowatts. But, we pay for electricity in terms of kilowatt-hours. That is, the number of kilowatts used multiplied by the number of hours we used those kilowatts. So, if we run that ½ pump for 1 hour, we’ll consume 0.96 kilowatt-hours (0.96 kilowatts x 1 hour).

According to the latest figures from the US Department of Energy, the average retail price of electricity in the US is 9.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. For the sake of keeping the math simple, we’ll just round that to 10 cents.

So, putting it all together, if we run that pump for 1 hour, we’ll pay:

0.96 kilowatt-hours x 10 cents = 9.6 cents

To get to $1, we would need run the pump about 10.4 hours, or 624 minutes (10.4 hours x 60 minutes in an hour). With our 10 GPM pump, that would mean 6,240 gallons for a dollar.

So, for $1, we provided over 6000 gallons of water. A pretty good deal, huh?