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Hot water heater

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rlswansonmn
rlswansonmn Member Posts: 1
edited March 2021 in THE MAIN WALL
I have a richmond 40 gal heater that is 24 years old- have had no problems but worried if it fails it will leak and there is no nearby drain- should i replace?

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  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,390
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    Hi, My approach is to examine the heater for evidence of leaks at fittings and combustion chamber if gas fired. Then if things look okay, pull the anode and see if anything is left. If so, put in a magnesium rod and keep going. Check the new rod in one year. Replace the T&P also. I’ve had very good luck with this approach.

    Yours, Larry
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,893
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    24 years is a long time, and if it were mine, I'd replace it due to age alone. But why do you need to heat the hot water in the first place? 
    EdTheHeaterManSuperTech
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,176
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    HVACNUT said:

    24 years is a long time, and if it were mine, I'd replace it due to age alone. But why do you need to heat the hot water in the first place? 

    Agree with @HVACNUT

    Why install a water heater if the water is already hot? I could never figure that out.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,390
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    Yup, It’s really a cold water heater, but that moniker never caught on for some reason....

    Yours, Larry
  • bobcat1974
    bobcat1974 Member Posts: 4
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    We all have opinions, some are gained  from experience.  In the 25 plus years I’ve been in the trade, I have never seen a water heater burst without giving some warning (sm puddles). Most of the catastrophic failures I’ve seen  the homeowners admit it had been leaking for a while! But you also have to decide if you’re a gambling man, your water heater is an exception to the rule! Usually they last  7-10 years depending on the water quality. So you are cheating time! 

    Bob
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,847
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    Dielectric unions, flushing and anode replacement will extend the life. I had an 8 year State gas water heater lasted 15 years and was still working. I tossed it for an indirect when I changed the boiler
    SuperTech
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,390
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    Hi, Just to add some statistics, I maintained roughly 5000 heaters and had some make it over fifty years. Failure rate of the heaters I maintained stayed at about one half of one percent yearly. I had lots of heaters over thirty. So, either maintain your present heater while keeping an eye on it, or put a new one in... and keep it maintained for the rest of your life :p

    Yours, Larry
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 2,206
    edited March 2021
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    Every installation is different. The same water heater installed in one house could last 30 years, in another it could only last ten. The quality of the water and how it is installed and maintained are key factors in the longevity.  Dielectric unions at the tank help prolong the tank lifespan.  Periodic replacement of the anode rod is critical maintenance. I prefer to install a powered anode, then I don't have to worry about replacing the rod down the road. A potable water expansion tank must also be installed whenever the tank is connected to a public water supply. Replace the temperature and pressure relief valve whenever the tank is drained.  If the water heater is installed in a basement I like to put it on a few blocks to get it off the basement floor.  If the tank is installed in a finished area a pan should be installed underneath it and connected to a drain. A water alarm in the pan is a good idea.  A Taco leak breaker kit installed on the cold water supply pipe is a great way to prevent a flooded home if the tank fails. 
    Larry Weingarten