When to replace water heater?

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The heater costs $359 now and will cost $359 after the rebate. Only difference is I am saving $200 on the installation because of the rebate. No-brainer to me! Good deal for anyone getting ready to change the tank anyway. Mine is 14 years old and I get lots of sediment in my hot water even after flushing and it is not very efficient.
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On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 10:01:11 -0500, Peter Bagrationoff

Make sure the price includes hauling out and disposing of the old one.
BB

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Of course!
BinaryBillTheSailor@Sea++.com wrote:

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Um, as someone else posted, installation should involve very little time. An hour if no major re-piping is needed, two if it is. Even with expensive plumber rates, total installation cost should be under the $200. If you're paying a lot more than that, the rebate is worthless.
If the issue is disposal of the old heater, it's worth seeing what your community's/trash hauler's policies are. If you can just put it out on the curb for them to haul off, it's not worth paying extra for that service.
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Doug Boulter

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On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 00:40:16 -0600, Doug Boulter

What planet are you living on Doug? No Professional plummer is going to drive their van to your home, diagnose the water heater, leave to go pick up the new heater, come back with it, drain and remove your old one, install the new one, check it for proper operation and haul away the old one for $200 labor! An hour to change out a water heater? You've obviously never done a water heater replacement start to finish. Bubba
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wrote on 30 Dec 2004:

If I recall right our water heater was replaced about 6-7 years ago for somewhere around $350.
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Living in the past, are "we"? Bubba
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wrote on 30 Dec 2004:

Just mentioned it because it was that price a few years back. Price currently would be more. Marina
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Sheesh, Bubba! Repeat after me - plumber, plumber, plumber.

That's right. I was figuring time to install a new water heater that was sitting next to the old one. No diagnosis necessary, no picking up necessary. Although I'd wonder about a plumber who got a water heater call and didn't have a new heater on the truck.

Well, actually, I've done two. But more importantly, I've watched professional plumbers do it. Of course *I* can't do it that quickly, but they can. And apparently the plumbers from Bynum Plumbing who showed up at the original poster's house could too. Took them two hours including the installation of a thermal expansion tank (which isn't common practice here) per the original poster's followup.
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On Mon, 03 Jan 2005 19:08:59 -0600, Doug Boulter

Well gee Dougy. Your ONE hours seems to have changed into TWO hours now. Will your next post say that they can do it in THREE or FOUR hours next. Make up your freakin mind, you mo'. Bubba
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Well the guys from Bynum Plumbing came over yesterday and did a great job on the install. It took two guys about two hours to drain the old heater, remove it, install the new one, and add a thermal expansion tank. They took away the old unit as well. Everything was cleaned up when they were done and they even bled all the air from the water line before leaving. After the rebate and the gift card, installation costs me $30. Doubt you could even do it yourself that cheap Doug. Time is money to me, and that was well worth it!
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How can it be a suckers bet when you need to replace a unit anyway? Some people who are not as handy as others feel it is well worth it to pay a bit extra and have a job done right. I called four plumbers and the install price was between 300 and 400. HD is doing it for 280 plus I get three years in-home service without a service charge. After the rebate I am paying $80 for installation. Not a bad deal in my opinion!
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Lets see, cold water. Hot water. Vent.
I guess you just leave that black pipe disconnected? Hey, it's making a hissing noise and smells like rotton eggs. Well, never mind.
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Christopher A. Young
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Don't forget the T&P valve and the pipe to run the drain out of the house.
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Roger Shoaf

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tivo-guy wrote:

Local conditions make the biggest difference and different brands and models also make a difference. The best way is to be in a new development where all the homes were built at about the same time using the same hot water heaters. As you start seeing your neighbors replacing theirs, it is time to do the same.
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Joseph Meehan

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Replace if:
1) When the tenant calls and tell you there is no hot water.
2) Water is just warm even you crank the thermostat way up.
3) Major rust in or around the tank.
I never had a ruptured tank, mine just goes out or doesn't get hot. 10 year old tank may last for just one more day or for another 10 or more years. For me I consider a 10 year old tank fully deprecated much like a 10 year old car and if someone give me $200 and my net installed cost not over $400 for a 50 gal tank I would go for it. A new tank should also save you on the energy bill.
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The first thing you need to do is check the anode and the dip tube. The best thing I have ever seen on water heaters is here:
http://waterheaterrescue.com /
When you read through the information here you might very well take steps to make the one you have last as long as you own your house.
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Roger Shoaf

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Water heaters suffer from only a few problems, only two of which require replacement. If the water heater leaks in the tank, you basically need to replace it. And if the water heater is inefficient enough that a newer heater can recover it's cost in a few years of energy savings, it's time to replace. With the rebate you might be able to meet criteria 2, but do the math.
Just about everything else on a water heater can be repaired/replaced rather inexpensively. That's why the rule of thumb is to replace it when it leaks, and not before.
Jeff
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I probably would not bother it until it fails to heat. You have a catch pan with drain pipe for the heater, right? I have seen a water heater to last 40 years, but that's not too common.
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What if instead of failing to heat, it leaks instead, which is the more common failure mode? And there have been lots of cases where a 10+ yr old gas heater suddenly leaked so bad that it flooded the basement and caused thousands in damage. One has to evaluate what the consequences of such a failure will do in their particular situation, ie where is the water heater located and what will happen if it fails. Somewhere in the 10-15 yr range is typically all you get with a gas unit, which is what tivo guy has, while electric units can last 20 or so. I got 11 years out of mine before it developed what I would call a moderate leak in the middle of the night. When you consider a new one that may be more energy efficient, plus a $200 deal, I'd probably replace it now.
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