When is it worth fixing a water heater?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Andy Ring, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Andy Ring

    Andy Ring New Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    I hear of people fixing their water heaters rather than replacing, but I'm not sure when it makes sense to do so. I have a gas 40 gallon heater that is leaking fast through one of the bolts on top of it (not cold in or hot out) maybe the diptube don't know much about water heaters. The heater is approximately 10 years old which I've heard is about the lifetime of a heater. A new heater is around $250 at HD. Should I just replace the whole thing (which seems wasteful, but perhaps easiest) or dissassemble and fix? Where can I get parts? Any experience/advice would be appreciated.

    BTW, my house is a two unit house which has 2 water heaters (apartment with 1 person living in it and owners apartment with me and my wife) . In the meantime, I plumbed a valve between hot of the two heaters so that I can operate on either one. The leaking one is shut-off for the time being. One is working so well, that I'm not sure I actually need 2 heaters at all, but that's another issue.
  2. Andy Ring

    Andy Ring New Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    Its not the pressure relief valve that's leaking, BTW.
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  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    This tank is dead. Other than obvious things like a gasket or TP valve, a tank that old is not worth putting anything into. It's your call on one or two heaters. I can see a possible problem when the utility bill comes and one unit uses a much larger amount of hot water that the other. It sounds like a pretty good emergency system you have. If you go with one tank, consider one larger than 40 gallons.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    About the only leaks on a gas water heater that you can fix, are the pipes screwed into the top. If these are not leaking change the heater.
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