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Water Heaters-How old???

hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 1,387
I agree the tanks these days seem to bve thinner gauge, and I wonder that the glass lining isn't thinner. The life will be gteatly ndependant on the water quality, amount of fresh water it sees, the delta t, and the output temperature, to name a few.

I think a basic glass lined steel tank should go 8- 10 in a residential installation. After that they may be so full of sediment (percolating sounds) that a replacement may be money well spent for efficiency gains.

If you were a, glass lined steel tank, water heater manufacture, how long would you design your tanks to last. Therein lies the answer to your question, I think :)

Even high tech stainless tanks have limitations.

hot rod

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  • How long should a water heater last?

    I was out socially last evening (relatives)and was asked to look at two water heaters in the basement. This as I am sure happens to all of us at one time or another.

    What I found was two copper lined tanks from Trageser both 30 gallons still working great, one had the original Robertshaw control. The two tanks at one time were rented from the gas company and eventually when the gas company stopped that program the customers got to keep them. Both of these tanks have a 45.7 gallon recovery rate which is equivalent to a 40 gallon tank today.

    HOW OLD ARE THEY YOU ASK? I would estimate over 40 years old!!! My relative wanted to know if he should have them replaced- answer NO.

    By the way when those old copper tanks finally used to leak it was not a flood just a little puddle on the floor, the leaks were so small that it did not flood the entire basement.

    Of course Trageser is out of business they made them too good. I believe they were an end of WWII company that sold many water heaters here in New England.

    Not too long ago I ran into a Ruud Monel tank that had a date of installtion tag on it September 20, 1950 ( 52 years old) six and twelve year warranty you have got to be kidding me, they just do not make them as good anymore. By the way the basement that had the Ruud tank also had an old gas steam heating system with a Honeywell V166 series 10 gas control, gas actuated and still working and making steam, on a Bryan boiler with two Bryant Horseshoe differential pilots, that was before thermocouples.

    Just a final little note: I have been taking my CO tester in the car with me every where (I really am the life of these holiday parties). I tested the two water heaters and some other equipment, one water heater 45 PPM after 15 minutes and the other 55 PPM pretty good for tanks over 40 years old. I also checked a converted oil boiler American Arcoliner with an E-20 burner 280 PPM ( I am going to give that some attention this coming week)
  • Glenn HarrisonGlenn Harrison Member Posts: 405
    I finally pulled the35 year old...

    A.O.Smith Steel tank gas W.H. out of my mothers house a couple of years ago. The tank still held water and worked o.k., but the thermostat had a large swing and I just didn't trust it anymore. Now I know it's long life was partially due to nice clean soft Lake Michigan water running thru it it's entire life. But at the same time you know it was a better built tank too.

    A W.H. around here will probaly last 15 to 20 years if on Lake Michigan water, but only 5 to 10 if on Lovely Mchenry County well water.

    Glenn Harrison Residential Service Tech

    Althoff Industries Inc. Mechanical and Electrical Contractors

    Crystal Lake, Illinois
  • HERES AN OL RUDD........

    THAT WILL NOT BE SEEING ANY MORE SEAsons, sprung a small leak !!
  • John@Reliable[email protected] Member Posts: 379
    Timmie, I run into those

    Rudd models all the time,seems like that pipe that go's on the front outside of tank with compression fittings always look like it's ready to blow off but we just leave them. Good for 20 more years I think.
  • KCAKCA Member Posts: 285
    Water heater life

    The Anode rod is the one thing that will maintain the life of a water heater.

    I didn't understand because I wasn't sure how glass could be affected by electrolysis but I guess, according to Rheem, the glass lining isn't complete. The tappings (water inlet, outlet, T&P etc. are exposed metal. So... this is where the corrosion occures and the leaking begins. The 10year warranty heaters have larger anodes. We check these on our yearly checks and replace them, Depending on the water, about every 4-5 years.
    Water softners that utilize salts can wear out an anode in a year.

    :-) Kca
  • Hey Murph is that

    an old asbestoes unvented parlor heater sitting next to that water heater? By the way my grandad had one of those old coil type heaters with a big copper storage tank.
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