Water heater - external damage

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by bain, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. bain

    bain New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Location:
    Illinois
    Is this water heater likely safe and functional despite the external damage? I have a chance to purchase this extremely discounted unit, which would replace a 50gal gas Rheem from '94.

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    This is the unit https://www.menards.com/main/plumbi...spve2-36/p-1444452201895-c-1541513694149.htm?

    Edit: I'm able to 'make sure it works' before committing, but would rather not risk it if the damage is in a bad spot for the tank.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I am not a pro.

    That WH should be in good shape regarding that dent. Good deal, I would think.

    So 26 years for the old WH. Seems about right to me, but others tend to be more pessimistic.
     
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  4. bain

    bain New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Location:
    Illinois
    The 26 year old Rheem is still working just fine too! I wasn't in the market for one but a buddy purchased this and it won't fit his closet. It was still wrapped in the original plastic when he got it, including the dent.
     
  5. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Personally I would not use it. It's expensive to install a water heater and can do damage if it leaks. That said, if you're doing the install yourself, and it's in a place where it won't cause damage if it leaks, this could be your chance to save a few bucks.
     
  6. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York
    As a contractor, I would not install it.

    Normally the tanks inside is protected by vitreous glass or plastic layer bonded to the inside protecting the steel shell.

    Do you feel lucky that the inside did not sustain any damage to the glass or plastic layer?

    If you do decide to take a chance take pictures and also ask if it is covered by the full warranty.
     
  7. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    This is exactly what I'd be concerned about.
     
  8. fitter30

    fitter30 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2020
    Occupation:
    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
    If the glass coating is cracked tank will rust out prematurely. Price 25% of a new one I'd take the gamble.
     
  9. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Depending on cost of install labor and potential flood damage.
     
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  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Isn't there a fair amount of insulation between the outer and inner?
     
  11. bain

    bain New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Location:
    Illinois
    I expected some opinions from both sides, and to be honest I suppose it is anyone's guess unless the unit were to be opened up and inspected. The basement isn't finished yet, but should be within 5 years with any luck and we basically use the basement now despite it not being 'finished'.. I'm still torn on what to do.
     
  12. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    For years I've been installing dented WHs, if I felt safe installing them. I installed one last week.
    Mind you, around here, most WHs are either in garages or WH metal sheds located outside the house - so the risk of damage from a leak is minimal.
    Luckily, I never had a failure.
    They used to discount them at 50% off, then 20% off, and now they ship them to outlets which sell scratch and dent appliances.
    The nearest one is about 65 miles, too far to drive for a 20% discount.
     
  13. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York
    If the inside is damaged it may take over a year to show up

    In most cases the tank integrity is not compromised but as a contractor I cannot sell damaged appliances /fixtures etc as it takes away credibility
     
  14. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Sylvan, the OP is asking for his/her personal use - trying to save some gelt - so why not.
    When I replace a WH in one of my rentals, a dented one will do.
    When I install a WH for a client, only one with factory box, so the customer can see it, will do.
     
  15. bain

    bain New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Location:
    Illinois
    It's tempting too because its around an 80% discount.. There is a floor drain not 5 feet from the water heater's location, but I'd imagine there would still be quite the mess if the WH were to fail..

    Edit: hey dj2 you joined this site 13 days before me back in 2013!
    Edit2: and reach4 joined just 30 days after me! Fun coincidences!
     
  16. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Bain, I had no idea, but let's raise a cold one!
    About the 80% off...go for it or you'll say: I should have, could have and ought to.
     
  17. phog

    phog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    OP: just to confirm. You're fine with keeping a 26yo tank in service (which is more than 10yrs past its typical lifespan & could let go any minute), but scared of taking a chance on a scratch & dent unit?
     
  18. bain

    bain New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2013
    Location:
    Illinois
    Well that's an interesting way to put that! I hadn't really considered the current one a time bomb..
     
  19. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    While it could happen, 30 year old WHs, like 8 year old WHs, seem unlikely to fail catastrophically. The website of WH makers/sellers will not see it that way. http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-failure-data.html

    Do check your T&P relief valve regardless of age. It should open when you hold the lever, and close promptly when you release the lever. I tested mine this year, belatedly, and it would not open. I replaced it.

    Are you in more jeopardy of a high flow failure from a 26 year old WH than from a 26 year old washing machine hoses?

    Location matters.
     
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