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Ultrarunner2017 08-16-2012 02:11 PM

14yr old gas water heater - replace?
Our gas hot water heater is almost 14yrs old but is still working with no leaks.
I have been pretty good about flushing the sediment out regularly.
I'm concerned that one day we may find we have no hot water, and the basement is flooded. That said, I have never seen one that failed so catastrophically. I recall finding a small leak, and sometimes the pilot will go out (because the leak is directly over it). In those cases, I shut off the gas and water supplies, drained, and had a new one installed the next day.

What is your opinion on replacing this unit before it starts to leak?



joecaption 08-16-2012 02:13 PM

Not a bad idea, and a newer one may well use less energy.

md2lgyk 08-16-2012 02:14 PM

A new one will almost certainly use less energy. Replace the dinosaur.

Ultrarunner2017 08-17-2012 10:24 AM

So, the energy issue is the biggest one? Not the likelihood that the old one will spring a leak, or burst?


TheEplumber 08-17-2012 10:35 AM

199 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by KE2KB (Post 990951)
So, the energy issue is the biggest one? Not the likelihood that the old one will spring a leak, or burst?


I would budget for a new heater- take time to research the models and replace it. Small seepage type leaks are what you normally see

NitroNate 08-17-2012 10:37 AM

my old unit lasted about 18 years before it sprung a leak. should have replaced it sooner, it's kind of like gambling at the point you are at. i'd replace it for piece of mind, not for energy consumption. the energy consumption difference on a new water heater is minimal at best (assuming tank to tank, tankless are far more efficient but require significant investment up front to change over with new piping, venting, electrical, etc.). you will probably not notice it on your electrical bill, 90% of that bill is a/c and furnace anyway.

hammerlane 08-17-2012 12:57 PM


Originally Posted by KE2KB (Post 990352)
is still working with no leaks.

I understand your dilemma. Do you replace while you have the luxury of time or what if you could get by with another 4 to 6 years??
Do you go with the saying of if aint broke dont fix it?

I think your best bet is to flip a coin???

Ultrarunner2017 08-17-2012 01:14 PM

Well, when my computer was 6+yrs old, strange things started to happen, but I kept it limping along for another 6mos before it came close to catastrophic failure and replaced it. Of course, doing without a computer and doing without hot water for even a day are two very different situations.

I think that I will call the utility (with whom we have a service contract) within the next few days and get an estimate for replacement.



LeakyMike 08-17-2012 01:17 PM

Depends. If you do your own work (I think most on this site do) I'd have one ready to go in reserve. You have the luxury of shopping around and waiting for a great deal to come along. I did this and my "new" one was 3 years old when I installed it. Worked for me because I saved 3 years price rises and I got max
life out of my old one. Bothers me to take out otherwise good running appliances. If you need to hire it out, you still can shop around for the best deal and get quotes from any number of reputable plumbers. Beware of the
big box store "installers". More issues there than I have time to type.

DIYtestdummy 08-18-2012 10:43 AM

I just replaced mine a week ago. I was going to replace it about 5 years ago, then 4, then 3, then I forgot about it. I got a call at work when I was extremely busy with a project from the wife who had to shower before work but couldn't because we had another swimming pool inside the house. Water heaters have gotten less-expensive since I've been putting it off.

You should see the stones that came out of that thing, even though I flushed it regularly!

jeepdawg 08-18-2012 02:01 PM

What brand is it? If you have one with a 12 year warranty......chances are it will last quite a bit longer....if not a 12 year warranty....then maybe you are already on borrowed time....

Like the others said....start shopping now...doing have gas....with tanks, you have two fire or forced air (I belive they are more efficient but require electricity for the blower).

Better to buy it on sale than do an emergency soon you want to do it depends on it it's a 12 year warranty or not.

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