Crap! Now The Water Heater Is Going Bad!

Guess it just hasn't been my month. An hour ago I carried a hamper of clothes down to the laundry room and noticed that I was wading through water (I'm alert about such things). It traced right back to the water heater which is in a closet under the stairs. Real quickly I threw the clothes in the washer, ran upstairs to start the dishwasher, and took a quick shower. Of course I know what will be coming up tomorrow morning whether I can afford it or not.
The water heater is electric, 52G, and made by a company I've never heard of "W. L. Jackson Manufacturing" in Chattanooga, TN. No idea how old it is beyond the fact that it was in place when I bought the house eight years back. Certainly no visible date of manufacture on the label. Also I can find no trace of the manufacturer through Google besides some lawsuits over faulty gas valves which won't affect me.
I had originally started posting here to ask if there was any other possibility for a cause of non-visible leaks but then I realized that I'll just have to bite the bullet and replace the beast. So, what is a good brand of heater that won't break the bank? Is it worth it to buy one of the "best" heaters at the borg besides the longer warranty? I'm going to be sure to put in one of those water catcher trays under the new heater but am still unsure how I will manage to run a drain from that to the sewer or outside -- one thing at a time I guess.
At least this wasn't one of the "bottom dropped out" failures I experience with two gas water heaters. A slow leak is much more forgiving. And it gave me a chance to see how well the Fein Turbo-Vac works with water (very well indeed).
Guess I had better turn off the breaker and valve to the heater now that the laundry is spinning. Probably should hook a hose to the tank drain and empty it too...
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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I am 177 miles North of you. I have removed that brand but know nothing about them. Probably regional.
The Borg stuff is okay. You get what you pay for to a point. It is worth paying for the better insulation and the "self cleaning" feature. 4500 watts of draw is 4500 watts no matter the brand.
The next step up is the idiot switches on the top. Spare me I know where the breaker is. Compare the operating cost most of all. As in most things mid-point is more likely the best value.
Colbyt
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<snip>
I'm going to be sure to put in one of those water catcher trays under the

<snip>
I haven't done this one myself, John, so I can't vouch for the sanity of it. A friend drilled a hole through his concrete slab and drains his A/C condensate through it. It should work but I question whether or not he's getting any radon leakage back into the house. May not be an issue where you are.
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Electric water heaters are all basicly the same.
Only real difference between the "value" and "premium" priced ones is more efficient insulation.
Special alloy or multiple sacrifical anode rods are more marketing hype than anything else.
You can put a heat blanket on a cheapie, and it will be just as/or more efficient than the top priced ones.
Of course you have to size the capacity correctly, 40 gallon units are generally cheaper than 60 gallon
AMUN
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John McGaw wrote:

snip...
Well the swamp was drained, the dead beast was gutted and dragged out, the rusty mess where it sat was cleaned, a new beast was bought (bloody expensive!) and put in place. Overall the plumbing part wasn't painful at all but the electrical turned out to be strange. The old heater was installed on a 240V 40A circuit which was wired with _6 gauge wire_ and the actual power to the heater was through an old-fashioned stove pigtail. The way the new heater is made the old pigtail was just too big to fit so I had to put in a piece of 10-3 and then remove the outlet and splice into the circuit. Splicing 10 gauge to 6 inside a relatively tight box in a bad location is no fun at all but at least it works now. Guess I need to find a ganged 30A breaker to replace the 40A but that can wait until Monday. Then there is the matter of plumbing that neat drain pan to something that will accept the overflow water. Sigh...
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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