Author Topic: Water heater advice  (Read 2539 times)


  • Stubble
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Water heater advice
« on: August 06, 2016, 12:41:55 PM »
I have the original water heater in my house--16 years old. It's leaking from the top, apparently from where the anode rod screws in. We tried to replace the rod, but it just wouldn't budge, despite copious amounts of Rustoleum. (The whole water tank itself was twisting, but the rod itself stayed put.) We cut off the gas before we started messing with it (probably unnecessarily), so the pilot went out. We went to turn the pilot light back on, and it won't light. I've looked up videos, read the instructions, and we definitely were doing it right--the thing just wouldn't light.

So now we have a leaky, 16 year old water heater with a dead pilot light. I'm all about wringing as much usage out of appliances as possible, but this seems pretty well wrung out.

Does anyone have any advice on replacing a water heater? What sort of brands/products are reliable? Is it worth it to go tankless? Any thoughts would be appreciated.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Water heater advice
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2016, 01:52:32 PM »
I have a Rinnai tankless and sort of have mixed feelings about them.  We are on propane... so gas is expensive.  I question whether the payoff of tank vs tankless will come out ahead.  I suspect for us it is break even.

Having said that: It is awesome.  You don't run out of hot water ever.  This probably has non-mustacian side effects.  In the old days, if I was showering and started feeling the water temperature creep colder... I would finish up quickly.  There is no such cue.  You get under the stream and it feels nice and you zone out. 

While ours was professionally installed when we built our house... they seem very straight forward to install.  You will want to get a flush valve kit and install it from the start.  This allows you to flush it once a year to de-scale it of any build up.

For tanks... I can't say I know brands.  I will say I would avoid any of them that have a junky plastic drain valve.  I want to see a serviceable brass valve.  This is just from experience of having that plastic valve fail when I did a yearly drain of the bottom sediment.  If you can't turn off the drain valve and can't replace it, you have a big empty water tank.

I forget exactly when the water heater code changed... but if your water heater isn't elevated off the floor (18 inches?  I forget) and doesn't have a catch pan plumbed to catch/drain safely... You will likely need to add it.  If a plumber installs it, he WILL add it.  And these are things that are in your best interest to have.  It's much cheaper to add a little plumbing now than to deal with a disaster later.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Water heater advice
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 08:53:57 PM »
I agree it sounds like this one is done but FYI you can replace the pilot. I got mine replaced yesterday. It seemed a easy task. Of course that won't help the leaking.


  • Stubble
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Re: Water heater advice
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2016, 09:37:13 AM »
Just replace it. My mom had her old one repaired and repaired again, and then it suddenly flooded the house while she was gone for a few hours. You do NOT want to come home to a flooded house. She spent weeks cleaning up and spent more money than it would have cost just to replace the darn thing.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Water heater advice
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2016, 09:39:05 AM »
Gas tankless. be happy. :)


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