water heater leaking!

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My water heater is leaking from the bottom today. There's a drop falling every second or two so its failure is probably imminent. I have called a plumber to come check it out this afternoon. I'd like to know what to expect or any diagnosis you might have.
Bradford White Model MI403S6LN12 Capacity 40.0 gal Input 40,000 btu/hr. Natural Gas
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On Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:48:37 AM UTC-4, badgolferman wrote:

Assuming the leak is not coming from some connection, the TPR valve etc, then it's almost certainly toast. How old is it? Typical life is probably 10 - 13 years or so.
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On Tue, 20 May 2014 15:48:37 +0000 (UTC), "badgolferman"

About $700 for the heater - labour depending on how difficult to get at and how close the new one is to the old one in size and pipe location.
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On Tue, 20 May 2014 15:48:37 +0000 (UTC), "badgolferman"

Diagnosis: it is leaking
Fix needed: replacement
Cost: a lot. Probably $700 to $900
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Shoulda just told him to bend over ... because that's pretty much what plumbers do . I got lucky , got my new unit <new construction> for under 300 bucks for a 40 gal electric . Plumbed it in w/solid PVC all the way because it was the least expensive option . When the time comes to replace it'll get flex lines . I did put a ball valve on the inlet ... far enough upline that it also cuts off the shower cold - they're just thru the wall from each other .
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badgolferman wrote:

The above unit was made in 1997.
A replacement Rheem (appropriately named) unit will cost $897 installed tomorrow.
I called a few other places and the cost was about the same but it would take at least a week. I've dealt with these people before and would rather give them my business since they have always arrived the same day to diagnose the problem.
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On 5/20/2014 5:32 PM, badgolferman wrote:

When mine leaked, it was less than six years. I called, and got the warranty. The Home Depot gave me the price I paid towards the new unit, so I was still out a couple hundred bucks. I mumbled a bit, and went ahead.
I think you are wise to give your money to the people who formerly treated you well.
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wrote:

Electric is about half the price of natural gas (up here anyway). So about $600 for gas if you DIY.
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badgolferman wrote:

I was going to say that the plumber will charge you $1000 installed, but you could simply drive to Home Despot and pick up a new one and install it yourself for $300.

So I was $100 off.
They're not that heavy you know.
And easy as pie to put in.

Real men know how to install replacement gas water heaters.
If you can attach a barbeque tank to a barbeque grill you can replace a gas water heater.
I replaced exactly one water heater about 4 or 5 years ago - still working just fine.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Wrong.
You can get a natural-gas water heater at Home Despot (Canada) for about $400 these days.
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HomeGuy wrote:

Hi, What? I was looking at them last long week end. 40 Gal. 12 yr. one was almost 900.00.
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HomeGuy wrote:

There are welded pipes and gas fittings. I don't think I want to fool with those since I've never used a torch before.
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On 5/20/2014 9:56 PM, badgolferman wrote:

There is some skill to working with black iron pipe for natural gas. If you get the same brand and size of W.H. it might be possible to reuse all the old black iron.
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badgolferman wrote:

You would not need a torch to disconnect the gas line from your water heater.
You shut off the gas valve in the line going to the water heater, then you take a wrench and unscrew the coupler at the tank gas inlet.
Naturally, you'd drain the tank and close the water valves going to (and coming from) the heater (if you have such valves) or you'd shut off the main water supply. Then you unscrew the couplers and move the old tank out of the way.
When I replaced my tank, I added a ball valve to both the incoming and out-going side of the copper water lines going to the tank, to make replacement easier the next time.
The gas input of the old tank matched exactly (in terms of height from the floor) of the new tank, so I didn't need to rework the gas line. Just move the new tank into position, screw the coupler back, turn on the gas, spread a little dish-soap on the connection to see if it bubbles, and the job is done.
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You want to fill the tank with water before turning on the heat.
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On 5/20/2014 10:42 PM, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

> water before turning on the heat.

That should have been one of my Dad's wise expressions.
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On Wednesday, May 21, 2014 7:17:15 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I'd also recommend putting one of those plastic water catch pans under the new one, if the old didn't have one. It depends on where it's located as to how much benefit it is. But even in a basement, it can be useful. They have an outlet that you can connect a piece of hose to so that water goes where you want it, ie French drain, sump pump pit, etc, instead of wherever it would wind up if it leaks on the floor.
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On Tue, 20 May 2014 20:40:47 -0400, HomeGuy

Mabee the little cheap one. I bought a 9 yr? warranty 40 gallon and it was within a few dollars of $600 including tax. Bought it from Home Despot because it's only about a mile away and I had to carry it home on the rack behind my PT cruiser, so I didn't want to haul it across town from the wholealer (price within dollars but better brand available)
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On Tue, 20 May 2014 22:09:46 -0400, HomeGuy

Assuming the guy who installed it last used threaded unions. Most just solder everything solid.

And I installed unions in the lines so it is easy to disconnect next time.

You were lucky - I had to replumb both the gas and water.
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On Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:18:54 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

+1
And that everything matches up perfectly old to new, which it *usually* does, but without seeing this one, who knows. And that what's there now was done correctly and doesn't have some obvious problem that needs to be corrected. And that there isn't some othe r problem, like maybe an old water shutoff valve that should be replaced that 's soldered in, or maybe no water shutoff valve at all.
And I also don't think it's too smart to be pushing someone who doesn't feel they have the right skills to be fooling around with gas piping either.

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