Can I just wait until my water heater fails?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Mlang2000, May 7, 2019.

  1. phog

    phog Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    In some areas of the country prices are more expensive and in others they're less. You can also definitely find substantial differences between quotes from different plumbers in the same area. Pay attention to what's included in the written quote and do apples to apples comparison shopping. Are they quoting new expansion tank or not, 6yr tank vs 12yr, etc. Figure out if you are most comfortable with a 50 years reputable local HVAC & Plumbing house, or instead prefer a 1-man operation with lower overhead. It's nice to have the luxury of time to shop around, instead of trying to make a decision under pressure with no hot water in January and your significant other suffering. Take your time and good luck.
     
  2. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    I never leave even overnight without turning off the water main. Too many things could cause leaks.

    I’ve had a washer machine cold water solenoid fail and fill up the washer tub when washer was turned off. Caught it before it overflowed

    I had a fridge ice maker line crack and cause a mini flood in the kitchen.

    I’ve had a slab leak that caused a mess.

    I had a sprinkler solenoid fail and caused a sprinkler zone to come alive on its own on city water.

    All those leaks occurred when we were home fortunately.

    The first thing I do when I buy a house is to install a quality ball valve on the water main to the house. At our vacation house that has well water I turn off the breakers to the pump house when we leave.
     
  3. Mlang2000

    Mlang2000 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Location:
    Midwest
    Finally a couple reasonable estimates are coming in at under $1500 installed.
     
  4. Eddie Ebron

    Eddie Ebron New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Location:
    FL 34786
    You are a REALLY LUCKY man! But... if you are thinking about replacing it, you should be ready to do it very soon. If you are thinking about, you are feeling that it is necessary. Don't wait. Just begin to looking for new one.
     
  5. Eddie Ebron

    Eddie Ebron New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Location:
    FL 34786
    I know this. Now I always do that. After a connector between a boiler and hot water broke at 6 in the morning. It was impossible to get close to the valve because of the steam.
     
  6. Mlang2000

    Mlang2000 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Location:
    Midwest
    I picked up a new Rheem at HD and after asking for local plumber recommendations on Nextdoor, I have a line of them willing to install & haul away for $450ish. Plus it looks like I can sell the old power vent blower on ebay.
     
  7. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Good move. Now if you change the anode rod on your new appliance every 5 years or so, it could realistically last 20+ years. Ideally you would inspect the rods annually, but that seems like a big ask for most people. You could buy the rod now and store it next to the heater to remind you, and if you have any other plumbing work done in the house a few years down the road, you can ask the plumber swap it out for you since the part will be right there. They cost around 30 bucks, and replacement labor is pretty minimal. I would say if you are comfortable changing a shower head, you can probably do this yourself. Dope is normally preferred to tape for this, and it should be done only after shutting off the water and draining enough water from the tank so the rod will not be under pressure or leak when it's unscrewed.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If the WH has the anode combined with the cold intake nipple, that can be hard.

    If you have a separate anode hex head, and you want to be able to change the anode later without an impact wrench, I think it would be a good idea to loosen the anode when new, apply PTFE tape, and reinstall the anode with much less torque than it had originally. I think about 15 ft lb would be enough torque when you put it back. I used an estimated 10 ft-lb when I installed my powered anode. I am not a pro.

    As far as I can tell, the life of a WH varies a lot from area to area. pH plays a factor, but so do the minerals in the water. A softener is really nice, but it removes some minerals that help protect from corrosion and add some that contribute to corrosion. However those minerals also contribute to insulating a gas WH from the heat over time, and making the transfer of heat less efficient.

    I wonder how the amount of silica matters. Softeners don't take that out. I also wonder what the average date code of water heaters replaced due to leaks is around the country.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  9. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    I don't think that's the case here.

    Not a bad idea, but I'd worry about teflon tape insulating the threads and preventing the best electrical connection with the tank. I could be wrong about that. I guess it depends on conditions, but an impact socket sounds aggressive to me, I doubt you'd need that.
     
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I was concerned about that. I monitored with an ohmmeter. The PTFE was cut easily by the threads, and I had continuity when the new anode was only hand tight.
     
    DIYorBust likes this.
  11. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Good to know.
     
  12. Mlang2000

    Mlang2000 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2019
    Location:
    Midwest
    On the old unit, there's no rod hex head at all. The pressure release valve comes out the top in the same spot the new unit has the hex head. On the new unit the valve has been moved to the side.
     
  13. phog

    phog Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Note that around 30" overhead clearance is needed to install a traditional solid anode rod. They sell multi-link flexible anode rods now too, for those with lower ceilings. There are also powered anodes that never need to be replaced (and in theory can even be transferred to your next tank 20+ years down the road). Just food for thought if you're going through all the trouble to remove the rod. Most people don't bother with any of that though & just install new tanks every 10yrs (or so) without ever touching the anodes. Including several of the pro plumbers on this forum.
     
  14. rmgolob

    rmgolob New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Location:
    Indiana
    I have a Rheem (29-75-5) installed when the house was built - 1977. Yes, 42 years old. We are second owner. Bought in 2012.
    Still works perfectly. Some corrosion around the piping but that's it.
    When it goes I want to replace with the SAME THING.
     
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    It's not going to happen...Federal requirements have made changes to them. Some of the lifespan is a function of luck of the draw. IOW, you never really know how long it will last.
     
Similar Threads: wait until
Forum Title Date
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Tankless vs waiting until my tank heater fails again Oct 29, 2009
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Dual water heaters, can I shut one off while waiting for repairs Aug 1, 2017
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Long wait for hot water Feb 7, 2017
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Replace WH now or wait for new improved one? Apr 4, 2015
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Smell from hot water pipe but only until hot water comes out. Oct 21, 2014

Share This Page