time to replace water-heater. Brands, models, quality, etc?


Well, water heater's bottom (near pilot light) is getting rusted out, inner "door" is like a quarter eaten away (is no longer rectangular), is 15 years old.
(Was looking in home-repair book, described how water heater works (fairly obvious!), except learned about something called the "sacrificial anode" -- so I guess that's gone, no hope for the water heater to last. Also, drip drip drip.
So, what's out there? Anything decent available these days?
Thanks!
David
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On Oct 12, 9:39 pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

They're all pretty much the same (probably made by the same handful of companies) unless you go to something real high end with a stainless steel tank or similar.
Just look for something with a long warranty and/or multiple anodes. Also I don't know if they still have them or not but I prefer a tank with a standing pilot - that way if the power goes off you can still have a hot shower.
Finally I recommend before you even fill the new tank to replace the drain valve with something a little more robust - I used a dielectric nipple, a 3/4" ball valve, a 3/4" MPT to male garden hose adapter, and a brass garden hose cap to make one for mine. Something like this:
http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/WHRpages/English/Longevity/sediment-in-hot-water-heaters.html
but made from stuff I had laying around and/or purchased at my local plumbing store. When we moved into the house, I thought a good thing to do would be to flush all the water heaters (I have three) - not a good idea! every single drain valve failed in one fashion or another. Fortunately I have only had to replace one tank, although of course that one was the one upstairs in the garage and I didn't realize it'd failed until water started coming through the ceiling below. Whoops. New tank has a proper drain pan under it, you betcha.
Which reminds me, it's about time for the annual water heater flush...
nate
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On Sun, 12 Oct 2008 19:20:12 -0700, N8N wrote:

Nate:
Replaced my HW Tank last spring. As someone already posted, they all look the same, just the name on the tank is different. Lowes sells a brand named Whirlpool, Whirlpool don't make HW tanks, Lowes just uses the brand name for sales reasons. Warranties seemed about the same also.
BTW: cheaper price, higher install costs; the end total cost appeared to me just a few dollars difference. The big savings comes with DIY installs as then you just deal with the costs of the tank; I, however, won't mess with Nat-Gas so I got hit hard with install costs.
Hopefully you won't have to go thru what I did. In my municipality, any HW tank install requires a city building permit (about $70.00 fee for inspection) plus the cost of the install is bumped up by about $200.00, if needed, for installing a smaller diameter metal flue, and re-working the chimney connection. The city inspector focused on the rise of the metal flue, the mortar (some new pre-mixed stuff in a plastic tub) around the metal flue and the bricks of the chimney.
I also got a lecture (free of charge) by the city inspector encouraging me to install a carbon alarm in the basement area with furnace, HW tank, and gas-dryer.
Aside: I found out a bit later, if replacing a gas furnace, that also requires a building permit. The city requires a new chimney liner modification to reduce the diameter of the chimney. Something about major effort by city and county to reduce the back-drafting of flue gases during very cold weather (below 0 degree F.)
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On Oct 12, 8:39 pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

Whats out there, units sold range in efficency from 55-95%, go to www.energyster.gov and learn. If you want to save energy you must shop by EF rating, not burner efficency, EF is how many cents on the dollar go to heat water. Most of what is sold is 55-65EF so 45 -55 % of your fuel is wasted. There are condensing tank of arounf 80 EF, there are Tankless which I have of 82-95 EF. Tank water heaters are a main waste of energy in the US. AO Smith makes the better stuff.
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tankless are a bad idea for most people, they have so many trade offs and by the time you pay for the install its a loser.
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Talkin stupid again, mine is 8 yrs old, it paid for itself in 4, to bad you couldnt afford one or even a new condensing unit on your recent replacement. So you still have an inefficent new junk unit.
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high initial install costs, needing LARGE gas supply line, possibly a upgraded flue, typical gas hot water tanks about 40K BTU tankless to supply a comparable sized family over 100,000 BTUs. delay when turning on hot water till burner gets going, waste of water and sewer... tricle uses oif water may result in cold water, theres a minimum flow to activate burner. current tankless with no pilot are as or more complex as a 96% efficent furnace requiring perodic pro service and possible flushing of sediment from heat exchanger. many tankless require line voltage to operate. power failure means noi hot water at all.
the federal government cost comparison website says tankless save little money because of high upfront costs.
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All that, PLUS you can't get 140 degree water out of them in the winter. (if ever)
s

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On Mon, 13 Oct 2008 06:48:47 -0700 (PDT), ransley

Stupid? No. Whats stupid ransley is YOU for making statements like this:

I have no problem with AO Smith but tell me what or where you have data showing why they are better? Stupid. Bubba
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David Combs wrote:

You already have gas so a gas tankless demand water heater is where I would go. If you have to wait a long time for hot water (second floor from the basement) then get point of use tankless heaters. They do save lots of money especially if you don't have teenagers.
--
Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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David Combs wrote:

They certainly don't make 'em like they used to. I just replaced a THIRTY year old Amana here about a month ago, with a GE 6-year warranty unit from Home Depot. It was nowhere near rusting out that I could tell, and made great hot water... AFTER you got done taking your cold shower... It didn't keep the water hot, and didn't kick on until the water was almost completely cold.
I've had many people tell me that the only difference between the 6 year tank and the 12 year tank is the price. Quality of build is the same. You're paying for the warranty.
Warranties have lots of fine print, and a process to go through that takes time. By the time all is said and done, you've been without hot water for days or weeks, and you only get "prorated" value of the tank, if you get anything at all.
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On Oct 13, 11:03 am, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

I suspect that the main diff between a 6yr and 12yr tank is that the 6yr probably only has one anode while the 12yr may have two. thus the 12yr is probably a better buy assuming the price is within $50. If the cost is a deal killer if you simply inspect the anode every year or two and replace it when necessary a 6yr tank can last a long time.
nate
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