gas hot water heater age limit


My gas hot water heater is 25yrs. old and works fine but looks its age with a little rust around the bottom, should I replace it soon or wait until it actually fails. How dangerous is it?
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Unless the flood it will cause when it fails is a problem, it's probably not dangerous.
But if you've got 25 years out of it, it doesn't owe you anything. I'd do a pre-emptive replacement. The main reason is so you can do it on your terms and time table and shop around for a good one and a good installer-- not rely on some plumber you frantically call on a Sunday when it fails...
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I have no idea if it's dangerous, but in my experience when water heaters go, they don't just stop making hot water, they spew water all over the place. That may not be true with newer models.
If it was up to me, I'd replace the thing before I had a big water cleanup on my hands. Other people might have a different opinion/experience.
nancy
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It's definitely earned its keep -- time to get a replacement. BUT -- what sort of furnace do you have? Is it old, too? Are they vented out the same chimney? This may make a difference -- I've learned the painful way that the new water heaters require more combustible air (which they pull from the room they're in unless they are direct vent) -- and, if like me, your furnace is old, too -- they will compete with each other. And if the water heater is vented out/up its own chimney -- and that chimney is on an outside wall -- it could spell trouble in the form of poor draft and condensation.
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floor starting 5 min after you leave. Look at the warranty that you get with a new gas water heater today---7-10 years (and you have to be on the threshold of a failure with one 25 yrs old). I've had two heaters fail, fortunately I was home both times. The first time I went outside because I thought someone turned on my outside faucet the because running water noise was so loud. MLD
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wrote:

I was told that when they leaked it usually started slow, but in my case I thought it was the AC condensate which had already leaked on the floor, and I thought it was taking days to dry, so I didn't recognize it as a WH problem.
When you get a new one, put a pan under it and connect the pan to a drain so you don't have to worry about this the next time, and in addition you can keep the wh until it breaks.
I don't see that causing a frantic rush. You can decide in advance who you want to deal with and pretty much what you want to buy, and anyone can go a couple days or more without hot water. One can wash somewhere else or take a spongebath with water heated on the stove. How are we ever going to fight Al Queda if we can't go a few days without hot water?
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REALLY OLD HEATERS lasted 50 years, they may not have been as energy efficent, but were built to last!
He may have one of those, it might be 1/2 thru its life.
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Water heater tanks only fail after the sacrificial anode is eaten away. To check pull out the anode.
You can get instructions here: http://waterheaterrescue.com /
--
Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
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