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  1. #1
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    Water heater tanked

    Pun intended.

    Its the original from 1987 and didn't flood my basement/ shop/ garage- can't complain.

    I've done some cursory research but can't really come up with anything I want to base a decision on.
    Pretty well decided on sticking with an electric tank version.
    Don't expect I'll be here another 30 years but rather not put in a unit that will only last a few years.
    Anyone have a good recommendation?

    Also any reco's for a plumber in Clemmons NC vicinity?

  2. #2
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    There are only three or four actual water heater manufacturers in the USA now. Whirlpool, GE, Kenmore, etc slap their stickers and paint color on water heaters made by Amrican Water Heater Co., Rheem, etc. Personally, I've had the best service from a mid-level A. O. Smith water heater whick I bought from a plumbing supply house - this is not an endorsement.
    Last edited by Barry W; 03-10-2018 at 11:42 PM.
    "Nihil est melius quam vita diligentissima" (Nothing is better than a most diligent life.)
    -James Murray

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  4. #3
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    I just replaced mine within the last few months...I went with a Ruud. My plumber is a friend of mine and that's what he recommended. Not an endorsement.....

    He did say I was lucky in that I had extra room as the new heaters are larger, especially in diameter than older units.... He's had lots of people who had to drop down to smaller capacity units due to space issues.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Hey Chris sounds like you're in for a replacement. I have done a half dozen over the years both gas and electric and I have one input that will help no matter which brand of tank that you buy.

    Make sure you change the anode rod. I won't go on and on but this is the big pole in the tent when it comes to longevity and efficiency of the tank.

    I know there are doubters who will say "they are glass lined now" well guess what cracks about half the time in less than 5 years?

    https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumb...-rod/view-all/

    The above site is a simple look at what I am describing. From experience: I have found the rods installed so tight-- way over torqued by an assembly line tech with an air wrench and not a torque wrench. Kind of like getting new tires and the guy just wangs the lug nuts on and a year later you can't rotate your tires without a hernia.

    I loosen and retorque the rod with some plumbers putty and never have trouble down the road. They work and they keep crud and rust to a minimum when you flush.

    later

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  8. #5
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Quote Originally Posted by danmart77 View Post



    I loosen and retorque the rod with some plumbers putty and never have trouble down the road. They work and they keep crud and rust to a minimum when you flush.

    later
    Plumbers putty is the wrong choice. The anode has to make electrical contact with water heater body. Anti-seaze is a better choice. You will find small packets on counter at auto parts stores.

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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Quote Originally Posted by junquecol View Post
    Plumbers putty is the wrong choice. The anode has to make electrical contact with water heater body. Anti-seaze is a better choice. You will find small packets on counter at auto parts stores.
    Sounds like good advice. I wonder why the first three rods in my heater were rotten and missing even after using a coat of plumbers thread seal? I'll give the anti seize a try next time.

  10. #7
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Would you consider this an annual maintenance item?
    Or do you just take a look every now and then and replace as needed.
    What sort of life do you typically see from an anode?

    I replaced elements a few times in the unit that just died, but never considered the anode. ( didn't know there was one!)
    Suspect I had "sacrificial heater elements" once the anode was gone.

    Still 30 years isn't a bad run.

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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Quote Originally Posted by danmart77 View Post
    Hey Chris sounds like you're in for a replacement. I have done a half dozen over the years both gas and electric and I have one input that will help no matter which brand of tank that you buy.

    Make sure you change the anode rod. I won't go on and on but this is the big pole in the tent when it comes to longevity and efficiency of the tank.

    I know there are doubters who will say "they are glass lined now" well guess what cracks about half the time in less than 5 years?

    https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumb...-rod/view-all/

    The above site is a simple look at what I am describing. From experience: I have found the rods installed so tight-- way over torqued by an assembly line tech with an air wrench and not a torque wrench. Kind of like getting new tires and the guy just wangs the lug nuts on and a year later you can't rotate your tires without a hernia.

    I loosen and retorque the rod with some plumbers putty and never have trouble down the road. They work and they keep crud and rust to a minimum when you flush.

    later
    Very informative and useful article Dan. Having replaced several hot water tanks along the way, this is something I was never aware of. Thank you for sharing this.
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

  12. #9
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    That is a good article. The thought of overhead clearance to access the anode is a good point.
    I'll need to look for the flexible anode when I need to replace mine.

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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Quote Originally Posted by smallboat View Post
    That is a good article. The thought of overhead clearance to access the anode is a good point.
    I'll need to look for the flexible anode when I need to replace mine.
    Like I wrote in #4, make sure you can loosen the rod BEFORE THE INSTALL. In most cases people don't have room to get 100 plus pounds of torque on a nut head.

    I have tried to get some older anode rod nut heads out of the top of the bottle and gave up as I feared I would damage the copper joints. A few years back. Still it makes good sense to know you can get that out after a couple years.

    Some other reader asked how often one should replace the rod? I can't say "every 2 years" they should be changed. It really depends on how hard or soft the water is in your area. Lots of variation here in NC.

    I like to flush my bottle out every summer. I have easy access and I can do it without a bunch of trouble. I usually do it when my wife takes the grandkids to the swimming pool and will be gone a few hours.

    If the bottle has some age on it, its wise to take a coat hanger and bend a small hook on it and insert it into the bottom of the tank and scratch around the bottom for any rust flakes. Sometimes the water flush doesn't get them out very well.

    This will do 2 things for you:
    1. I will get the sediment out and allow the heat transfer to be more efficient and it will let you know with certainty .. you have to flush you tank annually to get the most out of it.

    I have a 40 gallon gas tank and it is on year 22. I keep it steady at 120-130 and she seems to be doing OK. Don't want to brag you know what happens then.

    good luck

  14. #11
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Have you considered tankless?

    We had to replace our unit a few years ago but unfortunately, we have on many bathrooms to support a tankless unit. Based on my research, they work well for a kitchen and 2 1/2 baths. We have a total of 3 full and 2 half baths which means everyone would have a Luke warm shower if all three bathrooms were going simultaneously and if the dishwasher or washing machine were going, it would not be enough hot water. The plumber indicated it would work to install two units but the cost of 2 units plus modification of the plumbing to split the water flow was $3500. Instead we replaced with a 100 gallon gas unit and have never had after problems since.

    Everything,would be fine now as my kids are grown and there are only two of us in the house. At the time, my in laws were living with us for a few months so we placed a huge strain on the water heater with 6 people using the system. I will go that route in my next home and possibly wire and plumb the house for a single instant unit in each bathroom, the kitchen and laundry room. The Indian cost is more but the long term savings on natural gas ( or even more savings if you are all electric) is tremendous and the ROI per unit is about 4 years. No elements, nothing to leak.......

  15. #12
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    I've considered tankless and can't come up with a compelling rationale one way or the other.
    If I went to gas instead of electric it might make sense long term but the cost to install would be higher.
    Not sure how much longer I'll be in this place and my needs are small.
    Still, I'm planning on installing a unit that will be suitable for any reasonable demand in the future.
    The previous unit supplied 6 people (including 4 teens) using 3 full and one half baths plus laundry and dishwasher.
    What I'm looking at will do the same with a better insulated tank and higher 1st hour rating.
    Works for me.

  16. #13
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Makes sense. We are in the same situation.

    Our home is too large for the two of us and we need to downsize. The problem is we love where we live and cannot find anything nearby that suits,our needs. We are not ready for a condo so that option is out. Ultimately, I would like to retire at the coast (most likely Wilmington) and teach an organic chemistry or business school course each semester at the local university.i generally assume that any upgrades to the house that we make, I will get back when we sell as long as we invest reasonably.

  17. #14
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    Re: Water heater tanked

    Very much my situation. Except maybe teaching chemistry. (physics maybe)

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    Re: Water heater tanked

    I agree with you, Barry. There are only few professional plumbers in USA who can easily tackle the critical plumbing problems. When I was in New Jersey on a visit to my aunt's house, I have faced the same problem as that of yours smallboat. There, the professional plumbing team of drain cleaning service NJ, who provide all the service realted to plumbing and water heater helped us and made us feel relaxed in no less time. You should also give it a try to Brandon plumbing or PF plumbing in NC or can go with what Barry has suggested.

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