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How to know when to replace Indirect HW tank

I suspect my indirect water heater is overdue for replacement. It was installed in 2004 and we have well water with a heavy mineral content. We do have an iron removing water softener but still have staining on our fixtures. Water heater is an Amtrol Boilermate 40 gallon. Many years ago I did take it apart and clean it, it was pretty gunked up. It does work, but I assume very inefficiently. Is there an easy way to test it? Or should I just go with my gut and replace it? Thanks!


  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,917
    The efficiency will be how quickly it transfers heat - if you haven’t noticed hot water shortages, then it’s good enough. 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,467
    That is a pretty good run for any tank. Is it in a place where a leak could cause damage? That is the most typical failure.
    You could take some temperature measurements across the supply and return. but you are correct in assuming performance and efficiency has dropped.
    It's a roll of the dice at this point. How lucky are you? :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Nineteen years is a good run for an Amtrol with tough water. Trust your instincts.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,827
    A leak or decreased hot water production will show sooner or later.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 2,205
    Those older Boilermate tanks can last a good long time.  The newer ones don't seem nearly as good. If it's functioning well enough I would flush it out and let it go. I have customers with hard water whose Boilermates are almost 30 years old, as old as the boiler! Flush it and give it a good inspection. If you have any signs of corrosion or any indication that the plastic inner lining is compromised then you should start considering replacing it in my opinion. 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,940
    when there's water on the floor