We have a 50 gallon heater. It has a 6 year warranty and we've had it
for 6 years. My husband wants to get a new one before we have
problems with this one.
Is changing the water heater every 6 years to be expected? Should we
wait to see when/if this one gives us trouble? Is it like that the
bottom will drop out as the first sign of trouble?
If we replace it, what types are the best. I don't want to do this
every 6 years. According to my plumber getting a heater with a 10
year warranty only means they cover the cost if something happens, it
doesn't mean nothing will go wrong in 10 years.
Aren't there heaters that circulate the water periodically to reduce
The life of a water heater is dependent on a number of factors.
A big one is the local water. Some water while it may be safe, and may
taste fine and be soft, it may not be nice to your water heater. Check with
neighbors and see what experience they are having. A good way of
determining if it is time is if you live in a development where all the
homes were built about the same time. When you start seeing old heaters
waiting to be picked up, it is time to replace yours.
Your plumber is right as far as it goes. It also does not mean nothing
will go wrong in one year. Generally I have heard that there is no
difference in a 6 year and a 10 year water heater other than the warranty.
I don't know if that is true or not.
If your heater is located somewhere that a leak would be costly (those
other cost are not likely covered by the heater warranty) then it might be a
good idea to change it out. On the other hand if it is in an area where a
small leak would cause minimal damage, or if it has a safety catch under it
where the water from a minor leak will be drained away, it is not likely you
are going to have a problem. Very few water heaters leak other than
starting with a slow leak.
When you do replace it make sure you get a safety catch (like a large
shallow pan) under it and ideally have a drain from that pan to a house
drain. Also have an alarm added to alert you if there is a leak.
OK I did not really answer your question did I? The real answer
depends on your and your husbands comfort level. If he is not going to be
comfortable with putting off the replacement, get it replaced and keep him
happy. Hopefully he will do the same when the shoe is on the other foot.
It is all part of life and love. Just think how happy he will be with a
longer lasting water heater with an alarm and a safety catch. Consider it
an early Birthday present for him.
On May 22, 9:25 am, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
In my area they last longer 15-20 years Chicago water, but it depends
on the brand, I had a commercial AO Smith last maybe 22-25 years. If
you shop, shop EF- energy factor and quality like AO Smith. Tankless
coil WH are designed for 30 years. Your neighbors should be able to
tell you how your water affects their heaters life. If the basement is
finished and a leak would cause damage a pan under the tank with a
hose going to a drain is good as are automatic valves with a water
sensor on the floor, that sense a leak and turn off water before major
Also, there is generally a big difference between the life of a gas
heater and an electric one. Typical gas ones go about 13 years,
electric 20. But that can vary greatly depending on the local
water. Neighbors experiences can be one guide. Also, water
heaters have a sacraficial anode that is there to erode over time
instead of the tank. You can unscrew it and check it every few
years. That will give some measure of how the water is affecting the
tank. Also, if the anode is shot, you can replace it and extend the
protection. The anode screws into the top of the tank and has a hex
head, I think it's 1 1/8" socket.
As already pointed out, a lot depends on where it's located, in terms
of how long you want to push the life. If it's in a spot where a
leak won't be a big disaster, it's one thing. If it's somewhere that
doesn't have a good drain, finished basement, etc, then that would
argue for earlier replacement.
Since your six year WH lasted 6 years its a safe guess that you have average
water (not too anything). In my experience, water heaters often do last
approximately as long as their warranties or a little longer (manufacturers
have had over 100 years to fine tune this). If you replace the anode rod
about 1/2 way throrough the warrany or once every 3-4 years, you should be
able to extend the working life of the tank considerably. When the new tank
is installed, remove the anode rod and reinstall it with teflon tape.
Without that they can be very difficult to remove after several years and
nearly impossible near the end of the warranty term.
The basic difference between a 6 and 10 year tank is the tank wall thickness
and diameter of anode rod. The extra cost is mainly in the warranty since
the extra materials are not all that much.
On Thu, 22 May 2008 07:25:47 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
I've had water heaters last 10-18 yrs without problems.
Is yours electric or gas?
It is good maintenance to flush water from the tank using the spigot on
the bottom and a hose. A monthly or bimonthly flush is ideal.
Another way to prolong the life of a water heater is to soften the water
if your water is hard.
A 6 yr warranty is just that. It does not mean that at the end of 6 yrs
the unit needs to be replaced.
On the other hand, if you want to replace it, I wish I had customers like
you. I'd be rich.
Our WH is gas and it's working just fine. When we do get a new one I
think we will look into the types that are supposed to last a while,
even if they are costly.
The manufacturer said to flush out a quart every six months. Also,
our water is not at all hard.
Actually the plumber looked at it and said he thought we should wait a
couple of years. He said he knew the advice was bad for his
business. Of course that's not true. The reason we use him is we
know he is honest. We've been very good customers.
Thanks for the suggestions.
We moved into our house 17 years ago, hot water tank went soon after, we
couldn't afford much back then, so I bought the cheapest one, don't know
what the warrenty is but it's still going, electric by the way.
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