Author Topic: Hot water heater  (Read 2589 times)

meandmyfamily

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Hot water heater
« on: January 20, 2017, 12:07:18 PM »
Our gas hot water heater is 13.5 years old.  Several of our neighbors have had theirs replaced (they leaked everywhere/corroded) and they are all the same age.  We have very hard water and I guess around 10-12 years many people have to replace them.  Is this something you do to be preventive or wait until you have a problem.  I really don't want a huge water mess but it is in the garage not in the house.  We are also home often so I think we would catch the leak pretty fast.  If it would last 20 years I hate to get a new one now.  There are 6 of us so it gets fairly heavy use.  Thoughts?

doneby35

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 12:12:49 PM »
For very hard water, you're supposed to replace every 7 years. Also maintenance as far as flushing the water heater should be included every year in order for you to get rid of all nastiness that builds up in the bottom of the tank. I personally would suggest replacing a 14 year old water heater.

yachi

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 12:15:26 PM »
I've never heard of putting water heaters on a replacement schedule.  You can replace the anode in your water heater for preventative maintenance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqUyAUaen1w
The anode is sacrificial and prevents rusting of the rest of the water heater.  When you remove the anode you can inspect it to see how much has been used up.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 12:16:08 PM »
Personally, we replaced BEFORE we had a problem. But admittedly, the heater was 21 years old! We don't have hard water though.

Especially important reasons to replace it:
-you travel or work long hours and wouldn't see a minor drip before it became a big problem
-your water heater is inside, over carpet, or shares a finished wall
-you don't have to pay emergency rates for replacement- murphys law dictates that any water heater will fail saturday or sunday night on a holiday weekend ;)
-you have more time to shop around, consider options, and look into any energy rebates you may qualify for

Uturn

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 12:35:20 PM »
I have been debating this myself.  I have a 17 year old gas heater that came with a 12 year warranty.  I did replace the T&P valve in 2009 because it started leaking.  Other than that, it runs flawlessly.  I will probably just leave it be for a few more years.  Besides, unless it fails in a launch through the roof fashion, it is in an area that won't cause much damage. 

I have checked new codes and know what to look for and how to install it if it does fail.  The fed gov't changed insulation codes, I believe in 2014, so the physical size vs capacity is different.  I have not looked much into them because I have gas, but there are now heat pump water heaters that might be more efficient.  Whether you replace it now or later, do some research now while you are not in a time crunch because the family wants to shower in the morning.   

meandmyfamily

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 04:08:50 PM »
We have been researching a bit.  I wanted a tankless but it seems that they aren't recommended for hard water.  Our water heater has NEVER been touched, maintained or anything in 13.5 years.  It is against a wall shared with the inside of the house.  I think we should probably just replace it but I will check into replacing the anode. 

Miss Piggy

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 04:12:42 PM »
Our water heater was 7-10 years old when we bought our house. That was 13 years ago, and it's still going strong. We'll replace it when it no longer heats our water. Is it the most energy efficient? No. But at least it's not going to a landfill as a perfectly functional appliance.

Cranky

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 04:13:48 PM »
Set aside the money for it, and decide just how inconvenient it will be for you if it melts down next Wednesday morning at 8:30 am.

I replaced mine when I realized that I was going to have a 14yo water heater and a houseful of guests over a summer. YMMV.

meandmyfamily

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 04:32:01 PM »
Yes, we have money put aside.  It seems they don't just quit working around here but they corrode and leak everywhere.  Maybe that is just Arizona?  It is the water damage I am most concerned about.  If it just quit working, I wouldn't be as worried.

BlueMR2

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2017, 05:18:24 PM »
It's luck of the draw it seems.  Just in my local area (same water supply) I know people that have water heaters 30 years old and others that have had failures in the 6-9 year range.  They all seem to start with a slow drip leaking out pinholes that rust through the bottom, I've not heard of any sudden blowouts and big leaks.  Seems like you have plenty of time to catch it if you keep your eyes open.  Still, glad mine is in the garage.  I'd be pretty nervous all the time if it was in the house (water damage is the worst, a relative recently had a supply hose to a toilet on the second floor burst while they were gone and that turned into an enormous expense)!

FIRE me

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2017, 05:35:38 PM »
Our gas hot water heater is 13.5 years old.  Several of our neighbors have had theirs replaced (they leaked everywhere/corroded) and they are all the same age.  We have very hard water and I guess around 10-12 years many people have to replace them.  Is this something you do to be preventive or wait until you have a problem.  I really don't want a huge water mess but it is in the garage not in the house.  We are also home often so I think we would catch the leak pretty fast.  If it would last 20 years I hate to get a new one now.  There are 6 of us so it gets fairly heavy use.  Thoughts?

No way I'd ever replace a perfectly functional water heater. Just keep your eye on it and make it a point to have a close look at it once a week. When it starts seeping water, it's time!

Ankenystache

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2017, 07:46:26 PM »
Pay attention to prices on Water heaters.. Coming up to tax season and the new year it seems like home stores always have sales on appliances which will cover a new water heater. If you plan on replacing it within the year it might not be a bad idea to buy it now. I recently replaced mine because of the difference in energy efficiency.
FYI I use to work for Lowe's in college, tell them you are having a plumber install it in a month and you would like a pick up later ticket. You are essentially buying it today and having them store it for you for a while anyway.


meandmyfamily

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Re: Hot water heater
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2017, 09:29:54 PM »
Janningc-good idea!  I hadn't thought of that.