I am facing the purchase of a new hot water heater.
They are sold with either 6, 9 or 12 year warranties.
I'm trying to decide what is the best one to buy to maximize the return on
the purchase price.
We estimate to be in this house for another 5+ years before moving.
The prime reason for moving would be if the kids need access to better
schools 5 years from now.
Granted that the prices are about $250, $350 and $400 for the 3 models under
The differential is money that could be used elsewhere.
That is the ONLY difference, the length of the warranty.
They take the in-store peddling of the "extended warranty"
(which most salespeople don't really push unless they are on
100% commission) and wrapped it up into a few convenient
pre-included prices. The manufacturers are not dummies,
they know how long their product lasts from historical data,
and they develop a projection on how many will fail in
under 6 years, between 6 and 9 years, etc. Pick your
comfort level and pay the price.
So if you meet me, have some courtesy,
have some sympathy, and some taste.
At that cost you must be talking about gas. The higher priced one is
probably a higher efficiency model, which you may or may not recover
the money in 5 years. If you are talking about an electric water
heater, then get the cheap one, it is likely to last nearly as long as
the more expensive one. The most expensive electric water heater
(assuming they are all the same size) probably has a bit more
insulation and may have stainless steel heater rods, and may have a
large anode. It would cast you about $60-100 to upgrade from the
cheap model to the expensive one.
Take a look at http://www.waterheaterrescue.com /
It's a great site with plenty of info about water heaters. The main
difference between the models is likely to be the size of anode.
If you're only going to be there for 5 years, why bother getting anything
but the 6-year water heater? Save the money - chances are a buyer isn't
going to worry too much about the lifespan of the water heater when they
consider buying your house.
George Wenzel, B.A. (Criminology)
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