When to get new water heater ?

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I have an electric water heater...and just had laminated flooring installed. The water heater is 15 years old. Most people are saying I should get a new one very quick. Is this true ? I never had a problem with the thing...still running without a problem. I just fear a big leak could possibly occur anyday ?
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wrote:

replace tank and add a drain pan to the new heater, before you ruin all that new laminate....
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john wrote:

Check the anode. If it's down to the core in more than a few spots, get a new heater.
You do have a drain in the room where the water heater is installed, don't you?
nate
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Most people do not examine their anode. If this applies here, then you anode has probably disappear altogether after 15 years. Without a sacrificing anode, the water corrodes the tank faster.
Even if you don't want to replace the tank, the least you should do is put a pan under it to catch leak, and a flood alarm on the floor so you know right away when it does leak.
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Or the flood alarm IN the pan, so you know when a leak starts, not when it becomes a real problem.
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at this point a new tank is really the best option, with better insulation it will be more efficent, how much has the OP spent on the laminate? in comparison to a new tank? trying to check the anode or messing with the tank will increase the chance of a leak.
replace tank add drain pan and alarm..
waiting till it ruins your floor is dumb. making a claim on your homeowners insurance will make rates soar, if they dont cancel you completely.
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...and it is an electric. The least expensive type and easiest to install...I guess...I've never had to put one in.
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Checking the anode in a 15 year old heater may be the end of it. Just getting it out can cause damage.
I've seen many a heater installed in a room with no drain.
I vote for a new water heater soon. They can last 20 years or they can go in five.
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I appreciate the advice, and looks like im going to settle on a new water heater and alarm very soon. I was looking on home depot's site just now and they have all these tank-less water heaters. Any good or no? They sure are expensive.
btw, I dont understand all this drain pan stuff. I've never had a leak on the thing. Not a drop. I figure, if its going to go bad, its going to go bad very quickly.... like a volcano ? I couldnt imagine the drain pan doing much rescuing there.
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wrote:

John: Presuming this is an electric hot water tank situation?
Very lucky. A drain pan with a drain hose to lead the water away is an excellent choice. Easy to ruin a floor, with 60 to 100 gallons of hot water all over it for even an hour or two! Cos if it leaks it WILL keep heating and leaking; until somebody notices (or it alarms) and shuts it off. That may happen when you are away skiing for a couple of weeks and have forgotten to shut off the water and the heater!
Where we live many of the suppliers, will not honour or support the six year factory warranty that comes with many/most of the tanks. They will only warranty for three years!
Reason is corrosive water here (possibly due to acid rain etc.?) which blows east from the industrial and heavily populated areas of North America. Also our ground water and lake water tends to be acidic anyway.
In practice our hot water tanks have lasted an average of nine years. We are on our seventh tank since 1960.
A US or Canadian made 40 US gallon size now averages, here, around $225. We have not priced but a stainless steel tank can, we understand, cost $1000? Haven't seen any Chinese or other ones yet; but they are probably out there, along with Far Eastern microwave ovens and other electronics etc. which work fine and meet Canadian (Same as or tougher than CSA, electrical safety standards). We know nothing about the durability of hot water tanks made offshore.
What size is yours? A relatives house with a jacuzzi type tub and two and half baths has a 60 US gallon hot water tank.
BTW your pressure relief valve also has a drain tube to lead water away; in case water pressure goes way high for some reason?
Instant water heaters not as popular in North America as in Europe. Principle idea is that instead of gallons hot water sitting there losing heat to the house (you do heat the house anyway?) it uses 'much' larger amounts of electrcity for very short periods of time when hot water flow is required.
Ask around how satisfactory and how much plumbing changes would be needed. Also heavier wiring to at least the main fuse panel probably required. Buy a type much used in your area.
Personally don't buy the excessive heat loss as a problem; every month here is a heating month and since we heat electrically anyway any heat emanating from the well insulated hot water tank merely offsets the house electric baseboard heating.
In fact we have gone away, after shutting off the electricity, for a couple of weeks and returned to find the hot water tank slightly tepid. From that I guess one could calculate the heat loss and therefore a typical cost per hour due to it?
From Eastern Canada. Good luck.
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First I want to repeat Smitty's comment.
They typically don't fail catastrophically. They'll get a little rust through somewhere and start dripping. The drain pan with water alarm in the pan, as others suggested, is SOP these days.
That is very good advice.
It is difficult to suggest what the odds are for your water heater. Depending on where you live, the typical heater may last 5 years or 25 years. Where I live 20 is about average. Not many miles away it is a lot less. It depends a lot on the water you have. Ask your neighbors for information on when they have had to replace theirs. If you start seeing old water heaters being places out for the junk man, and you home was put up at the same time, then replace it now. If you are close to what other people have had to replace their then now would also be a good time, even without that new floor. The anode is just another signal that it is about time. I suggest considering replacing it now along with Smitty's suggestion be cause if you want to add a drain pan then you are going to pay a good part of the cost of a new one anyway, so just do it now.
One more thing. If you turn your water hotter than your neighbors, your heater is going to die sooner.

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These 'drain pans' only hold a maximum of like a gallon though right ?
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john wrote:

Hi, Not much. When in doubt just repelace the heater. Some times it starts with small leak or some times it just dumps water out(flood). My heater is in the basement near a drain. For me, if it lasted 10 years it's time to go.
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john wrote:

They aren't intended to hold anything. The pans have an outlet hole where you connect it to *GASP* a drain line.
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And to answer the question regarding tankless, unless you have gas available, it's not an option. A tankless large enough to supply even a small house requires gas. Electric tankless are only appropriate to supply some modest point of use applications.
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On May 15, 11:37am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

electric tankless can do a house, but they need about 90 amps.
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With 120 amps at 240V you get a 65 deg rise at 3 GPM, or 47 deg rise at 4 GPM. A shower, a sink and a dishwasher or washing machine and you're in trouble, depending of course on the incoming water temp. I wouldn't consider that acceptable for a typical house especially considering it's taking up 60% of a 200 amp service. It's probably OK for a small vacation house though.
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On May 15, 2:30�pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

after your done upgrading electric to 200 amps just to heat water the cost will be so much its unreal.
heres a cost comparison of heating water, kinda out of date with the run up of oil.
good comparison and tankless savings very small even for gas
http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/waterheating.htm
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wrote:

Not always. Check locally. I did the work myself and the only cost I had was for the new box about ten feet of cable and three expensive cable clamps. Less than $100. Note there was no charge from my local provider. The only thing that upset me was the when I saw them cut off my expensive clamps, the ones they required me to use when connecting to their cable, and they replaced them with their fancy (and better) ones. I'll never figure out that one.
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wrote:

to go tankless electric with decent capacity the OP would need TWO main service panels, 200 amp for heating water, 200 amps for everything else.
the service drop from the power company would need replaced, and the power company might have to upgrade its transformer. if power lines are underground, costs skyrocket.
not a normal DIY project:(
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