Waterheater death in 3 year old condo building

Can anyone answer our question regarding our water heater that just broke down yesterday?
We just moved into our dc condo last september and the water heater is dead now. We are the 2nd owners of this new building. The condos in our building were built in 2003.
We can't believe that the water heater broke down in 3 years. The warranty apparently expired in january. (just our luck).
Is there anything that we could do about this? It's definitely the fan/engine that died. Even though the warranty expired 5 months ago, isn't it a bit soon for our water heater to die? Does the manufacturer, condo builder, or anyone else have some responsibility to replace it? Or is it definitely on us to buy a whole new water heater?
Thanks so much for your help!
John
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I can. Developers and builders are notorius for using the bare minimum in quality for construction.

You could try making a few phone calls, maybe you will get lucky.
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i could try making a few phone calls, but who would we call?
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Who manages your condo building? My condo where my daughter lives is managed by management firm who takes care of all issues common to all owners. They must have a list of original contractors who worked on the construction of the building. It's also odd, every condo unit has their own heater like you. Here water heater is a huge one for the whole building located in the basement. I pay only phone and cable bill. Rest is all covered by monthly condo fee. There are many different kind of condos as far as I know.
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wrote:

Did you get a home warranty with your newly purchased home? It's SOP with single family homes but I am not sure about condos.
Is this a tankless job with a powered vent? Most tanks have a 5, 7 or 10 year warranty. 3 years seems very short. Most tank WH don't last more than a year past their warranty but the failure in those cases is usually rust through which can be reasonably predictable.
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I understand that if you do regular maintainence - flushing, and anode replacement, they last a lot longer than that. It would depend on your water, I'm sure.
Bob
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Builders here get run out of town by the dozens. I figure these heaters last about 4 years a my location. Water hardness, with our calcium kills them; because I had softener, one lasted 10 years... it was above the norm for those that did not have a softener.
Recent ones I bought have a 6 year warranty. I would not spend the extra money for one with a warranty longer, say 12 years.

His fish, he cleans 'em.
Oren "My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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Yes, it's on you. Welcome to home ownership.
Since you *know* that the "fan/engine" is bad, source a replacement and bolt it in. A failed part on a water heater does not mean wholesale replacement of the *entire* unit. Gas heaters have an average life of 10 yrs.
Jim P.S. I will be quite surprised if the "fan/engine" is really at fault. There are numerous control components in the circuit, any of which can prevent the "fan/engine" from fanning.
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What kind heater, gas? electric? model? Without those basic info, your post does not mean much.
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I'd call the manufacturer. Tell them you're the building manager, responsible for deciding what brands to purchase in the future. Tell them you're pissed off. Water heaters shouldn't die in 3 years.
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I just had the thermocouple go on my Reliant WH, which was nothing special. Bought it at HD maybe 5 years ago. With the serial number, I called Reliant up and it was still under warranty. They sent me a new one that was here in 3 days for free, including shipping.
Every WH I looked at had a warranty for longer than 3 years.
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So the fan broke, if one broke on your car you would just fix it and not consider it dead..
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If it was me I would track down the manufacturer and get their response to your problem. Sometimes they have known issues with their products and will offer parts or replacement at no charge without an explanation from them. The worst that could happen is that they tell you that they won't help.
I assume that you had a professional diagnose the problem?
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Go to www.repair clinic.com. Terrific source of info, parts and advice. Odds are they can get you back in business and save you a bundle. Good luck.
Joe
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