How do you know when to replace your hot water heater before it blows?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by chris m., Oct 21, 2019.

  1. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you just want to "get it done" before it fails, then I would say 10 years. It could go twice that. If it has a pressure relief valve there shouldn't be a hazard.
    Mine lasted about 20 years with hard well water and minerals.
     
  2. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Great advice above. If you are on a tight budget, drain and replace the anode rod and then hope for the best.

    Check your drip pan often now. No drip pan? Time to replace tank now and add drip pan for ten years from now.
     
    tery likes this.
  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Read on the tank how long it's supposed to last ... Any time after that you are rolling the dice ....
     
  4. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    If it ain't broke don't fix it .
    I just had to replace mine 3 weeks ago $1,200 bucks . It still worked just fine but the tank started leaking on my carpet .
     
  5. watercaster

    watercaster Tele-Meister

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    Is it electric or gas? typically electrics don't last as long as gas units. Ten, twelve years is about its life with average ph (7.1) water. Do you have well water or city? Well water is a little more turbid and tends to scrub your tank walls more so than municipal supply. I would purchase a replacement tank and keep it in the box stashed nearby in anticipation of a leak. Is there a pan under the old unit now? I would also put in a Wifi leak sensor such as Honeywells Lyric or similar in the pan or under the unit.
     
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  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Ruh Roh... In December my water heater and the rest of my house will be 27 years old....

    [​IMG]
     
  7. verb boten

    verb boten Tele-Holic

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    AND running thru a softener before the heater will extend life dramatically.
     
  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you worried about it "blowing" (exploding) or simply going "out"?
    I've seen water heaters (NOT "hot water heaters") last twenty+ years, but you can't depend on that. I've been told, by a VERY reliable source, that the anode rod in today's water heaters eliminates the need to drain or flush. The drain is there simply to "drain" water when replacing the tank. Change the water heater every 10-15 years if you want to prevent an accident. Yes.....have a pan under water heater, but connect it to a permanent drain line, in case it starts leaking and you don't see it. The "leak sensors" are great if you are there to hear an audible alarm, and don't mind at least forty gallons of water flooding your house after you shut off water supply. There are no guarantees, but if you're really worried, install an "ON DEMAND" water heater.....there's no tank to leak. However, as with ANY plumbing in your house, you can have leaks.
     
  9. Kezzell

    Kezzell TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    I work for the worlds largest water heating manufacture. There is no way to determine when it’s going to leak. If it’s a gas heater, the sediment will build up in the water heater, stick to the tank bottom and the flue pipe that runs through the middle. This will cause the tank steel to become heat stressed and eventually cause failure. Lack of maintenance to the anode rod will cause the steel to succumb to electrolysis. If the water heater is installed in a drain pan with a suitable drain, and cannot cause any damage if it leaks, run it till it pops. If it can cause damage, replace it before it does cause damage. Electric heaters usually last a bit longer than gas. If the anode rod has not been maintained, electrolysis will get it too.
    http://university.hotwater.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/04/AWHM_AOS.pdf
     
    tery likes this.
  10. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    I changed mine When I came home and saw water running under the garage door that's a great indication. My next upgrade will be to a hot water on demand system they are very energy efficient.
     
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  11. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    Our new house came with a tankless on-demand gas water heater. It saves us money every day.
     
  12. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

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    My tank is 26 yrs old, and I have never drained it.

    Probably time to replace.
     
  13. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Holic

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    Since your tank is in the garage, and not on the 3rd floor of an apartment, you can relax a bit. It should also make it easy to do a drain/flush and get a visual on your heater elements. If your kettle is already getting iron/calcium on it, you know your tank will, too. If you notice that the tank is cycling in heating mode very frequently or for long periods of time, it's often a sign the elements have a thick layer of crusty bad stuff, and the heat isn't getting to the water efficiently. Also, take a peek with a flashlight inside the tank of your least-used toilet. If the styrofoam/plastic has a buildup of black, green or brown crusties, your water tank will be even worse.

    I WAS the Culligan Man for a few years. They are franchises, but overall it's a great company, great products, and you get what you pay for. The commission on sales was exactly fair, definitely not gouging the customer. Each franchise is different, though; there are ethical ones, and others with compromised reputations. They offer free water quality tests...consider calling them up to see what you're dealing with, because PH and TDS are important figures to know. And water chemistry can change over time; the "perfect" well water that develops abnormal iron/calcium content is a common issue.
     
  14. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    First, it's not going to "blow"... probably. The best thing you can do right now is make sure your TPR valve is working properly. Just open it to make sure it's not corroded shut. Easy plug and play replacement if it's problematic.
     
  15. Marc Muller

    Marc Muller Tele-Holic

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    Exactly. Misnomer.
     
  16. GuitLoop

    GuitLoop Tele-Meister

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    I had a house built and the original hot water heater went at about 8 years. Started leaking. They aren't that hard to replace if you have fairly decent diy skills you can pull it off.

    Just use it until it starts leaking then swap in a new one.
     
  17. colnago

    colnago Tele-Meister

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    If my water was already hot I wouldn't need to heat it.
    Is there something I'm missing here?
     
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