14yr Gas Water Heater-time to replace ?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by tototalitarian, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. tototalitarian

    tototalitarian New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    California
    Just lookin for a little advice.
    Have a 14yr old Reliance water heater which has no apparent leaks, but the only sound I get is an occaisional "spattering" sound like water being splashed on fire when it heats up and occaisional rattles.
    Other than that, no problems.
    I assume what I hear is just condensation splattering on the flame when the whole unit is heating water and the rattles is the tube inside .

    Been eying Home Depot GE units, probably go with the 9yr vs the 6yr warranty model.

    I dont want to be met with a leak, but, if this baby can go longer, I will let er.

    Comments welcome
    What a great forum
    Thanks
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    14 years is probably about average life. Some go much sooner, and yours could go to 20. There is no way to know. It all depends on the risk vs cost tradeoff. Depending on where the WH is located, how much damage would be done if it leaked big time one day??
  3. Wait till the bitter end

    Usually if you put it off long enough
    the heater will finally go out on either
    Easter sunday, Thanksgiving day or on X-mas..

    New Years day or Forth of July are good ones too..

    and Perhaps if you celebrate some Jewish holiday
    which I have not mentioned.......consider those dates too...

    The odds are ---if you have a load of company
    staying over night at your home or are having a party on one of
    these holidays that is the exact day the heater will decide to give it up
    and typically this happens in the morning when everyone is in line to take a shower......


    so the questioin is ...how lucky do you feel with a 14 year old heater???
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2008
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    What Mark is referring to is commonly known as "Murphy's Law".:D
  5. yes that what it is called

    Murpheys law....

    I have been the plumber that has gone out to homes on x-mas day
    and changed out the heater when the whole extended family was trying to have a

    "waltons family x-mas experience"

    cost is no object when you got 15 people staying at your home...
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,034
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heater

    The 6 year, 9 year, and 12 year heater are all the same unit, you are just buying an insurance policy with the extra money. In fact some companies do not make a 10 year. You buy a 6 year and then pay about $200.00 for a sticker that makes it a 10 year heater.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    In my limited personal experience, local water conditions seem to be a major factor in life span of a water heater. Galvanized pipe also seems to be much the same. I would have to think however, that 14 years is pushing the limit, but who can say for sure how much more life the old girl has in her?
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    you can buy 6-year one and buy the warranty at the counter...check to see which ends up cheaper.
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