To replace or not water heater?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by hhcibtpaun, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. hhcibtpaun

    hhcibtpaun New Member

    Feb 17, 2009

    I have read all the threads on when to replace hot water heaters and understand the variable nature of how long they last. I think I read a few posts on the efficiencies of the newer units being enough reason for replacement.

    So, I will post my current situation and see what kind of reponses I get.

    Currently I have the contractor installed 50 Gallon, Natural Gas hot water heater. This was installed in 1998, so we are at the 11 year mark. It is a Bradford White unit.

    There seem to be no major issues, or none at all with it. But in my heade I have always thought there was a 5-10 year life span on these things. The only reason I am contemplating replacement is because I am on the final leg of my basement remodel and I figured I would replace it before the carpet gets installed. My wife's buddy is a plumber and he will install a new one for like $***.00 and I can get a new Bradford White Unit for like ***.00.

    So, does it make sense to just replace it now? I figure moving it out of my basement when there is no carpet to worry about would be good, and I get another 10-15 years of worry free service :)


    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    YES!!! I would if I were must put an aluminum pan under it and pipe it and the T&P valve to the floor drain also...The other thing you could do is drain the old one and put a pan under it...but if your friend realy knows how to install one and will do it right by checking the water pressure, and installing an expansion tank also if you have a closed system...and maybe a PRV if the water pressure is to high...all for $***.00...and you have the $$$ for a new heater...GO for it..
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Efficiency is NOT a good reason to invest in a new heater. Here gas heaters last 10 to 20 years as a rule, but NOTHING says that they cannot go bad in 3-5 years, and they do. You have nothing to lose by replacing it now, especially for $***.00, (I wouldn't even start my truck for that amount).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
  5. D'Brie

    D'Brie Apprentice Plumber

    Oct 20, 2008
    Apprentice Plumber
    NW Washington State
    Do it. Do it now. Do it right. :)
  6. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Aug 27, 2008
    A bounty hunter like in "Raising Arizona"
    11 yr mark, might last another 9 years, $*** + $*** to replace.

    So, is the remaining 0 to 9 yrs of life worth less to you than $****?
    Put another way, you flip a coin, and "heads" means you replace the water heater. What would a new heater have to cost for you to be totally indifferent as to which way the coin lands?

    I'd be on the fence with this one, and probably buy a pan to remove some of the risk. But then, how much are pans?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2009
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