Our water heater is 14 years old - replace it?

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On Tue, 18 Nov 2008 11:41:25 -0500, "John Grabowski"

If you are putting in a water heater in the USA and want one that will outlast you, put in a Vaughn Stone Lined. Only available in Electric as far as I know, but the hydrastone lined tanks are not only extremely long-lived, but also quite efficient. You can realistically expect them to last 50 years.
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I have to agree with John.
Although you might get another 10 years from the heater, the inconvenience of cold showers, and calling a plumber to come out immediately, and possibly flooding, are consequences that outweigh the cost of a new heater.
Also, I hear it gets very cold in PA.
However, my last heater lasted 18 years, and just quit heating the water. It was gas.
I'm not a professional electrician or plumber, but I did replace my own water heater last time. It isn't too difficult.

As an electrician when I see an electrical problem or hazard at a customer's house I will point it out due to concerns for their safety. It doesn't matter to me if I correct the problem or if they have someone else do it. Two professionals gave you their opinion and you think that they just need the business. You could wait until the water heater fails and then you will be dealing with potential flooding, no hot water and no time to shop around for a good price. I would start getting some quotes now and get it done.
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how does the realtor fit into this?
you just bought or trying to sell?
if your selling replace the heater, perspective buyers will beat you up over it
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AO smith is a top brand not HD crap, I had a commercial AO unit last 20+ years and I put in a AO condensing tank. But water quality, the temp you heat it to, and maintenance mean everything. The anode rod is likely gone. How long do neighbors heaters last, some areas of bad water get only 5-8 years. Now consider money, your tank was likely 50-55 E.F. new. EF-Energy Factor, is how many cents per dollar it costs to heat water, 50EF is 50c per dollar is wasted. Most new stuff if 55-60 EF, a few at 65-70, and condensing are near 80-85EF. Your old unit could be 35EF with a foot of scale in the bottom, a pilot light and inefficent burner. So you can go from now 55 EF - 94 EF on condensing tankless, [ if you can, and if you can live with the limitations] .
A finished basement should have a pan under the tank that has a hose that goes to a drain and an Auto Leak Sensing Water Mains Shutoff. If it was me, tomorrow I would get the Auto Main shutoff device and research tanks starting at www.energystar.gov EF ratings are posted. I have tank, condensing AO Tank, and tankless. For my house I like Tankless best, paying 6- 10$ a month in summer to do gas laundry, cook, and heat water is great, but tank-condensing tank for a family has its benefits. What do you pay for Ng in summer months.
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re: AO smith is a top brand not HD crap, I had a commercial AO unit last 20+ years
Let's make sure we compare bananas to bananas. Odds are his unit is not a commercial AO, so let's not build his hopes up.
While AO may not be HD crap, I moved into a house with a 3 YO AO which began to leak at the bottom less than 2 years later. I replaced it under warranty. Since you only get the rest of the original warranty on the replacement unit (I wonder what they know that we don't) when the new one began to spray water into the flue 6 years later, I was on my own.
I did not replace it with an AO.
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Geek Dad wrote:

That's over priced. You can get a 40 gallon for $250.00 Consider a tankless water heater. Why waste energy keeping 40 gallons of water hot?
--
Claude Hopper :)

? ?
  Click to see the full signature.
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Water heaters rarely, if ever, fail catastrophically. You will notice a small drip-type leak long before it becomes a spurt or flood, unless you are not home for weeks at a time.
Mine was 30 years old when I replaced it this last summer. It didn't leak, it simply didn't keep the water hot, and I finally got sick of cold showers.
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On Nov 18, 12:34pm, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

I would have to disagree with that. When my last one went, the first indication anything was wrong was when I was awakened in the middle of the night by a very low buzzing or humming sound. It was being caused by the water flow from a failed tank as it moved through the cold water pipes. The stream was about half the size of a pencil, but clearly enough that with a finished basement, it could easily cause major damage before being noticed. Prior to that, the tank looked perfectly fine and was about 12 years old.
Also, a friend had his go while away on a business trip. When he came back, the basement floor was flooded. Again, there was no warning from a drip or small leak. Clearly you can have serious damage from a water heater without having a warning from a drip first, and that damage can certainly occur within a day. Just the typical unfinished basement, with boxes of crap around, etc would present quite a headache with not all that much water.

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On Nov 18, 1:53pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

One night we were dry, next morning it was a flood, ours was not dripping before it went.
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snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Catastrophic failures aren't all that unusual. Ours failed and I caught it by accident. I came in late from a trip and flushed the toilet. After hearing the water running for a while I though the toilet was doing it. After a little more investigation I found there was a helthy stream coming from the water heater. I have a family member in a nearby town and theirs failed last Sunday in the same fashion.

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FWIW. Here in eastern Canada; since our first house in 1960 our hot water tanks have lasted an average of nine years; on both well water and municipal water supplies, in an area where the water is reputed to be somewhat acidic. Last one we replaced in December 2006 at a cost under $250 total, doing the work ourselves. Our most recent foam insulated replacement, rated as 40 US gallon with two 3500 watt heaters and top and bottom thermostats, manufactured in the USA, had identical size and location of connections to the one replaced, which was leaking. We did also replace the pressure relief valve which was quite old, cost included. A cost of $800 seems rather high by our measurement; however we did buy and pick up the replacement, bring it home (in our pickup) get it down into our basement, install and then take the old one to the metal recyclers next trip into town. Thinking back this is the first time any of our tank replacements has cost anything significantly over $200; plus own labour. Regarding failure, don't agonise just replace it. Generally takes a couple hours maximum once you got the new one home. You'll be showering from the new one by the time you have cleaned up after installing and had cup of coffe or tea!
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I have an new water heater ( gas ) in my garage for a spar, because mine is 8 years old and it always seem's that it will burst or leak when u are not home. If u got 14 years out of your's, consider yourself (VERY) lucky and should go down to foxwoods and gamble, just kidding, and my advice is to replace it, and have a clear conscious when u go to bed. Good luck, henry
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========================================================================== There are many boilers that are 30 years and more working perfectly and you can get spares for them. Look at the cost. When your boiler was made they probably claimed it was 80% efficent Modern ones are 90% or more efficient. But divide the running cost of the existing boiler, into the cost of the new one and you can see it will take a lifetime to save anything-if indeed you can. You can be sure these people are looking for business.
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wrote:

<snip>
My humble opinion. You got 14 years of service from the water heater. You MIGHT be able to squeeze another year or more out of it. You have a finished basement. How much are you willing to gamble? If your tank bursts, how much damage will the water do? How much will it destroy irreplaceable items? How much inconvenience would it cost? How much of a hassle will you have with your insurance company? You are just delaying the inevitable. Replace it and go to sleep without doubts.
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My 75 gallon gas-fired AO Smith leaked at exactly the 11 year point, it gets very heavy usage. It probably would have lasted longer but we had horrible water for the first 6 years, then got municiple water. Luckily I spotted the leak while it was still a trickle, but it did cause some laminate flooring to swell in the basement by the closet door. After 14 years I'd just go ahead and replace it and rest easy. AO Smith is a good brand IMHO. My new one is a Rheem 75 gal. which the plumber had on hand (my back cant take hauling out a 75 gal myself).
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wrote:

I'd keep what I have until it stops working. I know of water tanks to operate for 30 years. A safety catch pan under the tank with a hooked-up drain is cheap insurance. A water-sensing alarm (about $40) is another item to consider.
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I had a tank leak inside the flue, water sprayed out everywhere from the top.......
a new tank is cheap insurance, plus its way more convenent.
had one fail on christmas eve with houseguests coming.
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On Nov 22, 5:42�am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

it was exciting and upsetting seeing water spraying everywhere.
common surprises me, leak was near top
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Here's another example:
GOT TO KNOW WHEN TO HOLD 'EM
"A man pretending to be a United War [sic - probably "Water"] employee gained entry to an apartment on Cator Avenue in Jersey City this afternoon and then stole $3,650 from the 91-year-old resident..."
He told the woman to hold down the toilet flush handle or the apartment would explode. While granny was running the water, the rodent ransacked her apartment.
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2008/11/cops_jersey_city_senior_holds.html
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if u say money is no object, just replace it and stop talking about it. henry
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