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newer water heater tanks

sjay Member Posts: 15
I keep hearing older tanks used to last longer than current water heater tanks.What changed in building the newer tanks and approximately when did the changes occur?


  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 930
    Bradford White residential water heaters with the six year warranty are built to last 10 years plus.
    If you check the anode rod every 2-3 years and replace it you should be able to get the water heater to last longer. Make sure there is a good thermal expansion tank on the system. If you have gas water heater with the gas burner under the tank and if you have hard water and the hardness builds up in the bottom of the tank the heat needs to go through the steel tank and then through the hard scale lime to heat the water this puts extra stress on the steel and can make the water heater fail sooner.
    Tankless gas water heaters come with 12-15 year heat exchanger warranty and 5 year parts warranty. TGWH do need proper maintenance. You also should have soft water to keep the heater exchanger from building up with lime hardness and killing the heat exchanger and making it leak from excessive heat.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,251
    It is a bit of a catch 22, low operating temperatures extend the life but can harbor bacteria.

    Temperatures above 140 handles the bacteria but adds additional thermal stress and can shorten the life.

    A good indicator of quality is the weight of the tank. The gauge of the tank and heads, and the thickness of the glass lining makes for a longer lasting tank.

    The amount of water (minerals) that goes through the tank has a play in the life also. Retired couple vs a family with teenagers :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 998
    A dozen years ago, we shipped every failed commercial tank to the Natural Gas Technologies Center. The gas utility wanted to know why the tanks were failing after several years pass warranty. People do not read instruction manuals. The drain valve is not only to drain the tank when replacing. It is to flush the sediment at the bottom of the tank, once a year. On gas HWT, the sediment would insulate the metal from the water. The hot gases would slowly eat through near the welds. Some of my clients that follow a flushing procedure have commercial tanks last 20 years and not 5 which is the norm here.