Best Hot Water Heater?

We have a 50 gallon heater. It has a 6 year warranty and we've had it for 6 years. My husband wants to get a new one before we have problems with this one.
Is changing the water heater every 6 years to be expected? Should we wait to see when/if this one gives us trouble? Is it like that the bottom will drop out as the first sign of trouble?
If we replace it, what types are the best. I don't want to do this every 6 years. According to my plumber getting a heater with a 10 year warranty only means they cover the cost if something happens, it doesn't mean nothing will go wrong in 10 years.
Aren't there heaters that circulate the water periodically to reduce mineral buildup?
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The life of a water heater is dependent on a number of factors.
A big one is the local water. Some water while it may be safe, and may taste fine and be soft, it may not be nice to your water heater. Check with neighbors and see what experience they are having. A good way of determining if it is time is if you live in a development where all the homes were built about the same time. When you start seeing old heaters waiting to be picked up, it is time to replace yours.
Your plumber is right as far as it goes. It also does not mean nothing will go wrong in one year. Generally I have heard that there is no difference in a 6 year and a 10 year water heater other than the warranty. I don't know if that is true or not.
If your heater is located somewhere that a leak would be costly (those other cost are not likely covered by the heater warranty) then it might be a good idea to change it out. On the other hand if it is in an area where a small leak would cause minimal damage, or if it has a safety catch under it where the water from a minor leak will be drained away, it is not likely you are going to have a problem. Very few water heaters leak other than starting with a slow leak.
When you do replace it make sure you get a safety catch (like a large shallow pan) under it and ideally have a drain from that pan to a house drain. Also have an alarm added to alert you if there is a leak.
OK I did not really answer your question did I? The real answer depends on your and your husbands comfort level. If he is not going to be comfortable with putting off the replacement, get it replaced and keep him happy. Hopefully he will do the same when the shoe is on the other foot. It is all part of life and love. Just think how happy he will be with a longer lasting water heater with an alarm and a safety catch. Consider it an early Birthday present for him.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On May 22, 9:25 am, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

In my area they last longer 15-20 years Chicago water, but it depends on the brand, I had a commercial AO Smith last maybe 22-25 years. If you shop, shop EF- energy factor and quality like AO Smith. Tankless coil WH are designed for 30 years. Your neighbors should be able to tell you how your water affects their heaters life. If the basement is finished and a leak would cause damage a pan under the tank with a hose going to a drain is good as are automatic valves with a water sensor on the floor, that sense a leak and turn off water before major damage happens.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Also, there is generally a big difference between the life of a gas heater and an electric one. Typical gas ones go about 13 years, electric 20. But that can vary greatly depending on the local water. Neighbors experiences can be one guide. Also, water heaters have a sacraficial anode that is there to erode over time instead of the tank. You can unscrew it and check it every few years. That will give some measure of how the water is affecting the tank. Also, if the anode is shot, you can replace it and extend the protection. The anode screws into the top of the tank and has a hex head, I think it's 1 1/8" socket.
As already pointed out, a lot depends on where it's located, in terms of how long you want to push the life. If it's in a spot where a leak won't be a big disaster, it's one thing. If it's somewhere that doesn't have a good drain, finished basement, etc, then that would argue for earlier replacement.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Since your six year WH lasted 6 years its a safe guess that you have average water (not too anything). In my experience, water heaters often do last approximately as long as their warranties or a little longer (manufacturers have had over 100 years to fine tune this). If you replace the anode rod about 1/2 way throrough the warrany or once every 3-4 years, you should be able to extend the working life of the tank considerably. When the new tank is installed, remove the anode rod and reinstall it with teflon tape. Without that they can be very difficult to remove after several years and nearly impossible near the end of the warranty term.
The basic difference between a 6 and 10 year tank is the tank wall thickness and diameter of anode rod. The extra cost is mainly in the warranty since the extra materials are not all that much.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 22 May 2008 07:25:47 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I've had water heaters last 10-18 yrs without problems.
Is yours electric or gas?
It is good maintenance to flush water from the tank using the spigot on the bottom and a hose. A monthly or bimonthly flush is ideal.
Another way to prolong the life of a water heater is to soften the water if your water is hard.
A 6 yr warranty is just that. It does not mean that at the end of 6 yrs the unit needs to be replaced.
On the other hand, if you want to replace it, I wish I had customers like you. I'd be rich.
--

=================================================
Franz Fripplfrappl
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Our WH is gas and it's working just fine. When we do get a new one I think we will look into the types that are supposed to last a while, even if they are costly.
The manufacturer said to flush out a quart every six months. Also, our water is not at all hard.
Actually the plumber looked at it and said he thought we should wait a couple of years. He said he knew the advice was bad for his business. Of course that's not true. The reason we use him is we know he is honest. We've been very good customers.
Thanks for the suggestions.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

What's wrong with running it 'til it blows?
I do that with my tires.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
We moved into our house 17 years ago, hot water tank went soon after, we couldn't afford much back then, so I bought the cheapest one, don't know what the warrenty is but it's still going, electric by the way.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On May 22, 10:25 am, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

Thank you all for your replies. At the plumber's suggestion we will keep the one we have for another year or two. He said he'd love to sell us a new one but didn't think we needed one yet.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If you change the anode rod(s) now, your tank may last 20 years.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.