How old is your standard 40-50 gal Water Heater ? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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How old is your standard 40-50 gal Water Heater ?

Mine was installed in 1993 and it's a 50 gal natural gas AO Smith Conservationist 90.
Never serviced, anode or dip tube never replaced, never flushed, not wrapped with insulated blanket, and yet is still working well.

Plenty of hot water, no noises, no strange tastes or odors, no leaks, no visible signs of corrosion.



Were they made better back then or did I just get lucky with both a good unit and good water? The one it replaced, was the original when the house was built in 1965, so it lasted about the same amount of time.
The water here is moderately hard and there is no household water softener installed.

From doing a bit of research over the past few days, the new ones reportedly last 6-10 yrs. That's it ???

Last edited by russkat; 02-02-2019 at 07:58 AM.
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post #2 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 07:29 AM
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We replace our electric at an average of 6 years. About the time the warranty is up. Thats normal for most people in this area. For the most part water has a high iron content and the tanks just rust out.
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post #3 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 07:44 AM
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Ours was from '97, we replaced it in 2017, I think. Gas, 40 gallons, nothing special (I'm sure they used whatever was cheapest when building the house). We did nothing to it (I didn't know about anodes or flushing). We have town water.

Nothing catastrophic happened, thankfully, but I noticed the exposed insulation at one top port was damp. And it started to go out a few times. It would be great if the new one would last as long, but I'm skeptical.

I've flushed the new one. But I thought the anode could simply be removed. Turns out, the unit he brought was a Bradford White, not the brand we'd agreed on. And this one's anode is on the outlet pipe. So to replace the anode I'd have to disconnect the outlet pipe from the house, remove the anode, replace it, and re-connect to the house. So effectively, that means this unit will never get an anode replacement I'm not excited about repeated soldering sessions with decent-sized important pipes.

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post #4 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 07:45 AM
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its a ticking time bomb

is your basement finished?

.

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post #5 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 08:04 AM
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Here in BC the insurance company makes you replace your hot water tank after 10 years or no coverage for water damage.

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post #6 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 08:05 AM
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Russ, that is unusual. We had ours replaced just about 1 year ago, it was 19 yrs old and just started to leak a bit. The installer said it was essentially unheard of to last that long. I think the brand was "State".
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post #7 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdipaul View Post
its a ticking time bomb

is your basement finished?

.

I know its end is approaching and yes the basement is finished.
I was more curious as to why the new ones don't seem to last as long.
Probably like a lot of household items, the phrase "They don't make them like they used to" applies to water heaters as well.

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post #8 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 08:20 AM
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Russ, I just replaced mine about 4 months ago with an AO Smith 40 gallon. The one I replaced was about 13 years old. When the defective one went the drainage hose was leaking into the sump pit - my sump pump stopped working at the same time. So I had to replace that also. I, like you really did nothing to the replaced Valu water heater in terms of maintenance - but this time around I will probably empty it once a year because we have moderately hard water like you.

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post #9 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOctobyr View Post
Ours was from '97, we replaced it in 2017, I think. Gas, 40 gallons, nothing special (I'm sure they used whatever was cheapest when building the house). We did nothing to it (I didn't know about anodes or flushing). We have town water.

Nothing catastrophic happened, thankfully, but I noticed the exposed insulation at one top port was damp. And it started to go out a few times. It would be great if the new one would last as long, but I'm skeptical.

I've flushed the new one. But I thought the anode could simply be removed. Turns out, the unit he brought was a Bradford White, not the brand we'd agreed on. And this one's anode is on the outlet pipe. So to replace the anode I'd have to disconnect the outlet pipe from the house, remove the anode, replace it, and re-connect to the house. So effectively, that means this unit will never get an anode replacement I'm not excited about repeated soldering sessions with decent-sized important pipes.
RedOctobyr I used compression fittings on the 3/4 inch copper pipes with no problems so far.

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post #10 of 40 Old 02-02-2019, 08:28 AM
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Garage
Ours lasted 25 years, "new" one is 3-4 years old, had to replace the spark igniter under warranty. You no longer can lite then with a match.

Many people are replacing hot water heaters with heat recovery exhaust hot water heaters.

I suggest everyone on here when their hot water heater is replaced, install 2 ball valves and 2 unions on the inlet and outlet, same as on your gas pipe. This way next time you need to replace, or remove for any reason, there is limited soldering, just turn the ball valves, unscrew the unions, remove the hot water heater. I've removed mine several times, to sheetrock behind, paint, tile underneath. You may also find a bad solder joint and you need to disconnect even one pipe to remove, clean, resolder.

Sometimes when the hot water goes, there's a slight leak, a drip, it may be so slight that it's evaporating, you may have a day, a week, a few weeks, before the flood!

Mine broke at 2am in the morning. How did I know? My Doberman started barking informing me. I ignored her, told her to go back to sleep. We have a bi-level so it's finished on the first floor. In the morning, the dog did not want to go downstairs to go outside. The water was 6" deep. Opened the sliding patio door, wow! Maybe if I had a Lab he would have been having fun in the middle of the night swimming and jumped on the bed wet, letting me know.

On a side note, replace your rubber washing machine hoses with woven stainless steel hoses.

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