Is this standard or unusual?

I am having my natural gas water heater replaced today and was informed by the plumber that my existing Rheem heater was manufactured in October of 1972. I called Rheem and they confirmed it. Is it unusual for one to last 32 years or is that standard for gas water heaters?
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H20 heater lasting 32 years (of regular use, and actually heating water) is quite unusual, for typical water-quality. Some gas companies start pestering users when a water-heater they'ver installed reaches 10-years.
John
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Some used to be sold as "30 year" heaters.
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Dutch, that's how they made them in the good old days. Now when you go to buy any big appliance the first thing the sales people ask as they ring up your purchase is "do you want to buy the extended warrantee for this item?" Bull shit, if you think is going to break than I don't want to buy it. Muff

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When I went to buy a new water heater he told me I could buy a 10 year, 15 year or 20 year. I asked what the difference was and he said, only the price. It's the same water heater and when you pay more it's for insurance in case it fails before the warranty ends. I told him to give me a 10 year water heater.
Bob

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wrote:

The true difference is the size of the annode rod. Some even have two. The more material for the water to chew up before it gets to the tank, the longer it will last. Sounds like the sales guy you spoke with was ill-informed.
If you replace your annode rod(s) every couple of years, your tank will never rust out.
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My water heater has the anode incorporated into the outlet nipple. How difficult it to replace this type of anode?
Would it be a good idea to stuff several feet of uninsulated aluminum wire or even pieces of aluminum beverage cans into the water heater?
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The WH in my house when I bought it was the original from 1972 and up until that time, there was no pressure reducing valve on the house. Street pressure here is between 115 and 130 pounds and I couldn't keep washers in some of the faucets. I put in a new WH and a PRV in February of 1998. I can only hope the new one lasts half as long as the first one.
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