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#4489072 - 08/15/17 09:02 AM time for a water heater
CincyDavid Offline


Registered: 03/03/16
Posts: 707
Loc: Cincinnati, OH USA
The 18 year old 50 gallon gas water heater is finally dying...it has had a little leak for a year or more, and the leak has grown enough that I'm finally prying my wallet open and replacing it. I was amazed at the range of bids...$829 to $2450 for a straight replacement, with one outlier at $6000 for a tankless system for the whole house.

I took the low bid because none of the other vendors could give me a reason to spend more, they all had a 6 year warranty, which is a little pathetic too. Why do I feel like I won't get 18 years out of the replacement?!?
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#4489077 - 08/15/17 09:08 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
CharlieJ Offline


Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 1423
Loc: FL
I don't know how you got 18 years out of a water heater to begin with, Down here, they only last around 10 years. My house came with a water heater and it burst last February, it was 8 years old. I had a new one installed for $850 it is a Rheem, 40 gallon, gas.
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#4489090 - 08/15/17 09:24 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20457
Loc: Upstate NY
How about a hybrid one?
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#4489091 - 08/15/17 09:24 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
Drew99GT Offline


Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 22128
Loc: Colorado Springs
Just went through this at my parents house. First bid from one of the local "Rooter" franchises was over $2,000 for a 6 year warranty heater. I knew not to call but did anyway because they have a good reputation locally, or so I thought. The guy also said all the duct work didn't meet code.

We ended up getting a 9 year warranty AO Smith from Lowes with installation for $900. The contractor was great, in and out in under a half hour, and the ventilation ducting did meet code, so the other guy tried ripping us off.

The Lowes process went great. Might want to give them a try.

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#4489092 - 08/15/17 09:24 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5746
Loc: Illinois
I'm on 23 years for a 5 year propane water heater. smile This is one area where a water softener pays for itself. And I removed the anode rod after two years due to it causing a hydrogen sulfide smell in the hot water.

I can get a large enough tankless water heaters for round $2000. Install it myself for probably another $400 or so.

A new standard propane water heater is around $400-$500 for a direct replacement. More double what they use to be. I suppose it's because of the energy saving regulations.
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#4489093 - 08/15/17 09:25 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4372
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
My gas water heater was installed in 1996.
More importantly, why did you let it leak for a year?

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#4489100 - 08/15/17 09:38 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
larryinnewyork Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 838
Loc: One Step Beyond
My tank is 11 years old.
Rheem 40 Gal / Nat Gas

Last year I removed the Anoide Rod and it still looked good (removal was a learning experience).
Replaced it anyway.
Installed a 3/4" Ball Valve for draining out any sediment.
I also ground a 1/4" hole at Base thru 'outer' cover so that if the 'inner' Tank leaks,
the water will set off the alarm.


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#4489146 - 08/15/17 10:44 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
Wolf359 Online   content


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4752
Loc: MA
That relief valve vent is way too close to the ground, typically it's supposed to be about 6 inches. You can get an entire pan for the water heater at Home Depot. When it leaks, it doesn't normally leak from the relief valve. With Shark bite fittings, it's even easier these days to change out a water heater. I guess those guys aren't getting enough business so they've really jacked up the prices.

Water heaters at Home Depot are in the $429-$600 range. They have them in 6, 9 and 12 year designs. The difference would be the anode rod, the 9 probably has a thicker one and the 12 has two rods instead of one like the 6 year. Only other advantage is that the parts of the water heater are also covered, sometimes the thermostat probe goes or the controls. So if you're getting charged $800, that's probably about $300 to install the water heater. Unfortunately, the majority of the job is basically getting the old water heater out of there and getting the new one. The disconnect and hook up is very simple and basic and about the only reason you may need the plumber, but with shark bite fittings, even that is somewhat questionable. Only issues people don't get right is the backflow preventer if need, the venting and securing the gas line properly. And get the same height water heater so you don't have to adjust all the venting.

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#4489158 - 08/15/17 10:59 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
djb Offline


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 725
Loc: Los Gatos CA
Comparing water heater longevity with anyone but your neighbor is pointless. The tank lifetime is strongly dependent on your specific water chemistry. The cost to install depends on local rates, combined with any additional work that needs to be done.

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#4489173 - 08/15/17 11:14 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
Rat407 Offline


Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: North Carolina
My wife would kill me if we got rid of our tankless. smile
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#4489182 - 08/15/17 11:26 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9566
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
A middle cost glass lined water heater should go 20 +/- 5 years. I installed a $450 40 gallon electric water heater in Cape Coral Fl. in 2000 and it's good so far. Ed
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#4489197 - 08/15/17 11:50 AM Re: time for a water heater [Re: Eddie]
Wolf359 Online   content


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4752
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: Eddie
A middle cost glass lined water heater should go 20 +/- 5 years. I installed a $450 40 gallon electric water heater in Cape Coral Fl. in 2000 and it's good so far. Ed


It all depends on the water in the area. I install 6 year water heaters all the time and they used to go every 5-7 years like clockwork. Then I started changing out the anode rods and they've started to last a lot longer.

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#4489243 - 08/15/17 12:45 PM Re: time for a water heater [Re: Wolf359]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5746
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
Originally Posted By: Eddie
A middle cost glass lined water heater should go 20 +/- 5 years. I installed a $450 40 gallon electric water heater in Cape Coral Fl. in 2000 and it's good so far. Ed


It all depends on the water in the area. I install 6 year water heaters all the time and they used to go every 5-7 years like clockwork. Then I started changing out the anode rods and they've started to last a lot longer.
My water heater on softened well water last well over 20 years. My brothers who lives 20 miles away and on city water had one he replaced when he got a new boiler system. I took his 7 year old water heater home and it was so scaled up inside that it would not drain. I took the drain valve out and there was rust and scale at least 8" deep inside.
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#4489251 - 08/15/17 12:58 PM Re: time for a water heater [Re: Wolf359]
larryinnewyork Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 838
Loc: One Step Beyond
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
That relief valve vent is way too close to the ground, typically it's supposed to be about 6 inches. You can get an entire pan for the water heater at Home Depot. When it leaks, it doesn't normally leak from the relief valve. With Shark bite fittings, it's even easier these days to change out a water heater. I guess those guys aren't getting enough business so they've really jacked up the prices.


You are correct. Owners Manual shows 6" air gap.
On the List of things to do.

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#4489252 - 08/15/17 12:59 PM Re: time for a water heater [Re: CincyDavid]
Inspecktor Online   content


Registered: 03/16/14
Posts: 644
Loc: Twin Cities MN USA
Our heater was in the house when we moved in 24 years ago. We have a water softener, it keeps the water heater clean. I partially drain it every year, just get a few spoonfuls of sediment out of it. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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