When to repair - when to replace?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by shendrick, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. shendrick

    shendrick New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    West of Bosston
    I've got a 10 year old Sear Power Miser gas hot water heater. it's never had the anode changed and now we're getting yellow hot water. I'm guessing that the yellow water means that the anode is shot and the tank is rusting. If yellow water is a symptom of the tank rusting, I would assume the only option is to replace. Do I have this right?
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    If it's been ten years since you purchased a gas water heater your in for some sticker shock.

    John
  3. shendrick

    shendrick New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    West of Bosston
    I know, it will be about $1K for the heater plus a few hundred for installation. Question remains, is it really time to replace or would a new anode do the trick?
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    If the yellow is rust, it's unlikely a new anode will resolve the problem. But, first, is the hot water colored at every outlet? If not, it's not the WH, but likely the piping to the thing that does have the yellow water.
  5. shendrick

    shendrick New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    West of Bosston
    Yes, yellow at every hot water outlet.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,038
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That may be more than an anode rod.
    One thing you may do is connect a hose to the drain and see if you can flush the tank out.
  7. shendrick

    shendrick New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    West of Bosston
    Terry, thanks for the advice. The literature says something about a swirl acthitecture, so I'm going to assume that the significant yellow that we see is more than just sediment. After 10 years, I would suspect that the liner is cracked given how much yellow we see. I could fuss around with an anode, but it feels like a bandaid solution that buys me some extra months - not years. I guess its time for a do over before we need to build an ark.
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,038
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Generally, if you have an issue with a water heater that is ten years or older, it's better to just replace it.
    Not much bang for the buck doing a band aid job.
    And I can say that because I did just that for my own home years ago. The band aid lasted two months.
  9. shendrick

    shendrick New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    West of Bosston
    Great advice, thanks for the help.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,679
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF a new anode rod would have prevented the condition, and that is not likely, then it is too late for that now. Once the tank starts rusting, an anode rod cannot stop it.
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