Water Heater Temp Control problem

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Chuckg7, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Chuckg7

    Chuckg7 New Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Hi, I have a water heater, 40 gal, 40,000 BTU, that is too hot. It was here when we moved in 3 years ago. The manufacturer (Kenmore /Sears) can not give me any idea of the age (even with model and serial number) since I did not buy it and don't know who did.

    The water temp is too hot ( >160 deg) even when at the lowest possible setting. We have gotten used to being safe when using hot water, but I'm not comfortable with the ongoing situation. No young children at home, but would be worried to remember to advise a visitor too.

    I have found out that the temp control is replaceable for a cost of $85 plus tax and labor, but don't know if changing this is really worth it, if the rest of the heater is not in good shape. May not be worth fixing if something else is going to go bad right after. Just getting a plumber/service tech here to "inspect" the situation will cost $60-$75.

    My biggest concern is HOW QUICKLY DO I NEED TO DECIDE. Is this a safety issue too, that something may blow up or overheat to the extent that the pressure saftey valve or something else might go kablooooiey, or what?

    Any advise or suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    The gas valve is not working correctly, so there is really no "almost" here. It may continue as is indefinitely, or may get worse tomorrow. Usually the serial number indicates the date, either directly or with a letter code. The manufacturer's name should be on the data plate....probably either American Water Heater CO. or State Water Heaters. Call them to confirm age. If it is over 10 years, I would not suggest spending $200 ++ to repair it.
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  4. got_nailed

    got_nailed DIY Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    In 3 years have you spent any money on it?

    I’m thinking it’s a no. I would get a new one. I know the electric ones are cheap, but with gas there still not that much. The cost to get someone out to look at it is almost the same cost to get it installed where I live.

    I did a quick look and I see plenty for under $300, so 375 - 400 installed (where I’m at). I would not go top of the line on a water heater.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The first four digits of the serial number are the month and year of manufacture. I do not replace gas thermostats unless the heater is only a couple of years old. There are also internal conditions that could cause the thermostat to do that, and correcting them could be very time intensive.
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