Should I repair or replace water heaters?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by MEYLIN, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. MEYLIN

    MEYLIN New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have two State water heaters that are 14 years old. Water temperature is now warm rather than hot. I replaced expansion tank a year ago. Should we repair or replace water heaters?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Gas or electric? Usually, I only recommend replacing when they start to leak. Your FIRST task is to find out why the water is only warm, otherwise, you may replace the heaters and find out you STILL have the same problem if it is functional problem.
  3. MEYLIN

    MEYLIN New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Colorado
    The water heaters are gas.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,004
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    My last State gas water heater lasted for 10 years before springing a leak. I would have liked to cut it open to see the innards as I suspect it had quite a build-up inside. The installer that took it out said it weighed a lot more than when it was new.

    I would not repair a 14 year old gas heater, figuring that the build-up inside would significantly reduce efficiency and capacity.
  5. MEYLIN

    MEYLIN New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Colorado
    Any recommendations for a replacement?
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,058
    Location:
    New England
    In the USA, (nearly) all residential WH are now required to have protection from igniting vapors from volatile liquids that may be in the area. These have been problematic for some companies. They also generally mean that a new WH of the same volume will likely be taller, since the burner design is different to prevent that ignition. I'd look at Rheem or Bradford White. Some of their models qualify for Energy Star efficiencies, and may get you a rebate from your local utility company - well worth asking.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,053
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I like the Rheem and Bradford White water heaters for replacement.
    14 years is pretty old for a gas water heater. So old, that they may not deserve a service call.

    Warm not hot?
    Have you checked the thermostat settings?
    Also, if you have been having plastic particles clogging faucet aerators, you could have bad dip tubes.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Aos I said before, find out WHY you do not have adequate hot water, since it is NOT a common problem with gas heaters.
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    About the only think worth repairing on heaters this old would be the dip tubes. There was a big bunch of defective tubes made by one manufacturer that supplied several brands of heaters several years ago. Your heaters may be from that time period. At any rate, dip tubes are easy to check and easy to replace if they are broken. Just remove the nipple on the intake side of the heater and pull the tube out. They should go nearly to the bottom of the tank. They are just a flanged plastic tube that hang in the hole under the nipple. Turn the water supply off first. LOL
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Dip tubes caused a lack of hot water volume, not a lack of temperature.
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Good catch, HJ.
  12. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    How are the wtr/htrs plumbed ?
    It is possible that one of them is not firing while the other one is heating the water but it mix's coming out of heaters giving you warm water !
    Then trouble shoot the one not working and repair as needed
  13. MEYLIN

    MEYLIN New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Colorado
    The problem was solved with a new thermocouple. Enjoying hot showers again! Appreciate everyone's comments.
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