Water Heater Replacement question - recomendations??

My water heater suddenly started leaking. It appears to be leaking where the hot water connection enters the top of the tank. I've tried to tighten it up without any success. The heater is at a guess 10-15 years old, probably older. It is gas powered.
I'll try to replace the rubber gasket that I think is at the end of the short steel pipe entering the tank, but failing that ( which I am sure is the case) I'll get a new water heater.
Besides suggestions as to fixing the leak, what do I need to look for in a new tank? Should I add a sacrificial electrode? Should I remove the cheap water hose connector and add an all metal one? Should I get a bigger tank?
Any input most appreciated.
Ronin
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On Sat, 11 Feb 2006 02:13:25 -0500, Ronald Cliborn

I don't think there is one, but that doesn't mean you can't stop the leak. Stay tuned.

I don't think you can add one, if it doesn't come with one. Furthermore, they don't work with gas WH's, only electric. If they worked with gas, they'd be called gasodes.

??
How big is yours now? How much do you bathe?

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mm wrote:

..
They do come with gas water heaters. No the name sound not change, it's function has nothing to do with the heat source.
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Joseph Meehan

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On Sat, 11 Feb 2006 11:57:03 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

Thanks. I won't mislead anyone in the future (about this :-) ) .
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Ronald Cliborn wrote:

I don't think you can do that.

If you are talking about the drain valve, I would say certainly.

Do you need one? Have you been running out of hot water? If not, don't bother unless you foresee some changes in the next 20 years that would indicate more hot water usage.
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Ronald Cliborn wrote:

    I am not sure I understand exactly where your leak is occurring, but if it is at a threaded connection, use Teflon tape rather than pipe dope. I had a similar situation where the heat of the hot water was weakening the pipe dope. Teflon tape solved the problem.
    If the leak is at a union fitting, then it is apparent that it is not sealing. That might be because the fitting is not square, but out of alignment?
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Another possibility is that the leak at the threads is due to galvanic corrosion. The use of dielectric nipple would stop this behavior. Some dielectric nipples also have check valve built in, to prevent heat siphoning of the hot water.
You can also add an extra anode rod on the cold inlet side by replacing your outlet nipple with an integral anode rod. See the following website for example - http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/WHRpages/English/OrderPages/PayPal/Flexible-Combo-Magnesium-Anode.html
I have no affiliation with website mentioned above.
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you need a tank large enough to meet your needs while physically fitting in the space you have. upsizing 10 gallons is usually a good idea, and a sales feature when you sell the home some day.
is your tank gas or electric?
longer life tanks generally have better energy efficency, while lasting longer and costing a bit more
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Consumer Reports recently (within 6-8 mos) cut water heaters open.
The 9 or 12 year heaters had a lot more internal insulation and were deemed to be better values than the 6 year heater. The 9 and 12 year have faster recovery rates also. I believe that water heaters are made by only a few manufacturers and have different brand names (GE, Whirlpool, etc).
I purchased a 12 yr Sears (gas) and have been pretty satisfied with it. Has two sacrificial rods.
you need a tank large enough to meet your needs while physically fitting in the space you have. upsizing 10 gallons is usually a good idea, and a sales feature when you sell the home some day.
is your tank gas or electric?
longer life tanks generally have better energy efficency, while lasting longer and costing a bit more
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You need a new water heater.
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The heater is failing, fix the leak, you probably can but its a waste of time and money, it will just leak somewhere else.
go buy a new heater you got your moneys worth
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terry love plumbing has lots of water heater info links at: http://www.terrylove.com/wh.htm
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