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Does water heater have some years left?

dvi2020
dvi2020 Member Posts: 34
edited December 2021 in Domestic Hot Water
My brother is in the process of buying a house and the home inspector's report just came back and one of the concerns is corrosion at the supply line connection to the hot water tank.

It's a Bradford White SW250RL indirect tank attached to a Munchkin 80m-R2 direct vent boiler. Both possibly installed about the same time 2009? Heating and hot water seem to work fine, but we suspect that the system hasn't received any maintenance. Normally, I understand that indirect tanks are supposed to last a lot longer than regular 10 year hot water heaters. Any opinion on whether the corrosion or the possibility that the anode tubes were never replaced mean that this tank will need replacement immediately or whether it should still have life left and just clean up or replace the connection?

Thank you
David


Comments

  • dvi2020
    dvi2020 Member Posts: 34

  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,342
    Depends on many factors such as Domestic Water Quality,Usage,Thermal expansion,System side fluid quality,Installation techniques.

    Domestic Water:Are you on city or well water? Is your water hard ( Calcium buildup) or is it softened ?

    Usage: Was this waterheater used on a daily basis or only ocasionally like a weekend/seasonal type of setting and possibly standby mode or even shutoff.

    Thermal expansion: Thermal Stress can cause all kinds of problems on your waterheater/domestic plumbing piping and fixtures, If they did not install a thermal expansion tank it will void any warranties and that can have a negative effect on the waterheater.

    System side fluid quality: Since your heating systems fluid is utilized to heat the indirect via a coil that could have a effect in many ways such as sludge buildup which will lessen the heat transfer causing your boiler to run longer/Shot cycle which will waste energy.
    If your Heating system fluid has Glycol which has not been checked or mantained it could be aggressive/low in PH..
    Low PH can under the propper circumstances cause copper or copper coils inside of a tank to fail..
    Without shedding light on all of these factors it is hard to tell.
    dvi2020
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,435
    On average that type of tank should last ~ 15 years. The fitting in your picture would not worry me much. Do you think it is a leak or is the pipe sweating and puddling on the tank?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    dvi2020
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,149
    Just pull the fitting out and fix it. What else are you going to do.? If you leave it the tank may deteriorate
    mattmia2SuperTechdvi2020STEVEusaPA
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,207


    Low PH can under the propper circumstances cause copper or copper coils inside of a tank to fail..

    I think those tanks use an enameled steel coil for the system water.

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,785
    Hi, I’d just redo the fitting, check around the tank for damage and replace the anode. If the old anode is gone, then I’d be expecting to replace the tank sooner than later.

    Yours, Larry
    SuperTechNoelAndersondvi2020STEVEusaPA
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,342
    mattmia2 said:


    Low PH can under the propper circumstances cause copper or copper coils inside of a tank to fail..

    I think those tanks use an enameled steel coil for the system water.

    The enameled portion is only on the domestic side of the coil..
    I have seen enameled Steel ones deteriorate from the heating side towards the domestic..
    mattmia2
  • dvi2020
    dvi2020 Member Posts: 34
    Thank you everyone.

    City water source. There is an expansion tank. It looks like it didn't get much use during the last 5 years with only one occupant in the home.

    If we replace the fitting and insert a new anode and choose to continue using the tank, is there a way to know  when it really is time for it to go, short of a leak? Corrosion in the coil making bits come out into the water?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,207
    How much of the anode is left now is probably your best indicator. Gas fired tanks will cavitate when they get a lot of sediment in them but an indirect will be less obvious. You might notice you get less hot water before you run out as sediment builds and the coil gets scaled.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,785
    Hi, I agree with @mattmia2 . If you can post a photo of the old anode, we can “read” it and give you an idea of the condition of the tank.

    Yours, Larry
  • dvi2020
    dvi2020 Member Posts: 34
    Thank you guys. I'll post a photo of the anode, but it could be more than a month from now as the sale is tied up in financial problems that the seller is working on. In worst case if I find that the anode is almost completely gone, then is the tank unsafe to use? A big leak waiting to happen?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,207
    Normally the leak starts out small. Anything is possible, but usually you have a bit of time before the leak becomes catastrophic. Sometimes the small leak will spray out the top or side somewhere, but usually it just leaks inside the jacket and trickles across the floor. Where is the tank located, is it in an unfinished basement with a floor drain or is it in finished space?
    dvi2020
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,342
    You can also install a WAG or a Moen Flo/Steamlabs Leak detection/Automatic Water shutoff
    dvi2020
  • dvi2020
    dvi2020 Member Posts: 34
    Ok. Thank you for the advice on the leak detector. It's in an unfinished room within a finished basement so it could withstand a small leak if caught early. Happy Holidays!
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,342
    dvi2020 said:

    Ok. Thank you for the advice on the leak detector. It's in an unfinished room within a finished basement so it could withstand a small leak if caught early. Happy Holidays!

    A leak detector will protect your entire home..
    The moen flo will also notify you in the event of a low temperatur near it and a high pressure situation..
    Some insurance companies will give you a Discount on your homeowners premium
    We installed one for a customer and he reduced his premium by 100/month.
    Talk to your insurance company prior to installing it as they may accept only certain brands.
    dvi2020