The subject of this posting is basically a question of risk aversion.
I am sure that gamblers and people with low risk aversion are more
willing to say that I should wait to replace my water heater while
others who worry like I do, would be quick to say replace.
Basically, about 6 months ago I purchased a 23 yr. old home with a 13
yr. old electric hot water heater (no natural gas in my area). I was
told by the home inspector to budget for a replacement. For some odd
reason, while returning home after a Sunday trip this past weekend, I
started to think about the hot water heater and how much life it had
I don't smell any odd smells or hear any odd noises and the hot water
appears to be heated and recovered quickly. No complaints at all.
However, my hot water heater is installed in a 2nd story utility closet
with a 1.5 inch high drip pan and nothing but sub-floor to spill onto
once overflowing the drip pan. I have read and been told that water
heaters sometimes just stop working, sometimes develop a small leak,
and sometimes decide to burst and drop all their load at once.
Although I have homeowner's insurance to cover any water damage caused,
it is a hassle I don't necessarily want to deal with AND there is
always the deductible anyway. I have purchased an automatic water
shut-off to stop additional flooding if a leak should ever occur but
that doesn't account for the 50 gallons of water already in the tank.
In my research, I have found a decent $278 Whirlpool with a 9 yr.
warranty and pretty good energy efficiency. Lowe's charges $194 for
Does anybody have any opinion regarding whether or not I should go
ahead with the replacement or should I wait to see a leak or lapse in
operation of the heater?