Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-09-2011, 12:03 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3
Share |
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


We're buying our first house, in CA. Very excited! It's a remodeled house built in 1962, and it has two water heaters: a 30 gallon one near the kitchen side of the house, and a 50 gallon one on the bathroom side (the Master Bath also has a jacuzzi tub, if that's relevant). They're both over 6 years old (the 50 gallon is 10 years), and it was suggested that we'd be wise to replace them, especially since there's no pressure relief valves and they're not vented properly either.

Obviously if we have to replace them, we want to find the best option for our tight budget (the bank account is getting depleted by the house purchase!) that will last us a while and be adequate for our needs. Energy efficiency would be great, too.

I've looked into tankless heaters, but my concern is that I seem to read a lot of reviews saying how the units constantly break, that they cost a lot to install, and that you get bursts of cold water randomly sometimes while showering (ugh...I hate that!). Has this been true in your cases, if anyone has one? Do you find that it's worth the extra cost?

What does everyone recommend? We know absolutely ZERO about water heaters, as we've only lived in apartments and never had to deal with them much! :D

housenewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 12:25 AM   #2
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


well, are the existing units gas or electric? Since you said they aren't vented properly, I suspect they are gas/

What do you mean by they aren't vented properly?

and if the budget is tight, tankless is not what you want to consider at this time. Regardless of how efficient they are, a quality tankless heater is not inexpensive. They also often require major infrastructure alterations due to the amount of gas or electricity they use. Those costs alone can be more than the heater, depending on what must be done.

nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 01:43 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,787
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by housenewbie View Post
We're buying our first house, in CA. Very excited! It's a remodeled house built in 1962, and it has two water heaters: a 30 gallon one near the kitchen side of the house, and a 50 gallon one on the bathroom side (the Master Bath also has a jacuzzi tub, if that's relevant). They're both over 6 years old (the 50 gallon is 10 years), and it was suggested that we'd be wise to replace them, especially since there's no pressure relief valves and they're not vented properly either.

Obviously if we have to replace them, we want to find the best option for our tight budget (the bank account is getting depleted by the house purchase!) that will last us a while and be adequate for our needs. Energy efficiency would be great, too.

I've looked into tankless heaters, but my concern is that I seem to read a lot of reviews saying how the units constantly break, that they cost a lot to install, and that you get bursts of cold water randomly sometimes while showering (ugh...I hate that!). Has this been true in your cases, if anyone has one? Do you find that it's worth the extra cost?

What does everyone recommend? We know absolutely ZERO about water heaters, as we've only lived in apartments and never had to deal with them much! :D
Why don't you ask the seller to replace them? If they are not "vented properly," I assume your inspector pointed this out and you're not having the seller address this? Isn't it still a buyer's market?

Install of a tankless model by a licensed plumber can easily cost up to $2500 if not more.
handy man88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 11:02 AM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


By "not vented properly," I mean that the top vent pipe goes straight up into the roof eaves. They also have no pressure relief valve, or proper discharge pipes, which can be dangerous, so that's why we're thinking of simply replacing them rather than just buying the parts and hoping they last longer.

I wish the sellers would pay for it, but it's really not an option...it's an "As-Is" REO, and they're already giving us closing costs, so we can't push them for anything else. They made it clear there would be no more repairs.
housenewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 11:20 AM   #5
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,750
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


The PTRV is more of a safety item, since a good home inspector should not operate the valve as part of an inspection. If it is, there is no insurance it is seated and will perform properly later. He only verify there is a valve and if it is installed properly.

The discharge tune is required to prevent stem and scalding and should drain freely straight down and stop 6" from the floor and does not have threaded end. If you have hot water and stem everywhere if the valve releases for some reason. It is very important to have a straight discharge from the valve without any "cute and convenient" plumbing methods than can allow collection of minerals and plug the line and launch the heater. - The record altitude for a heater in a single level ranch is about 250' and 150' for one in a basement under a 2 story home.

Depending on the water and maintenance (annual draining) a water can have a surprisingly long life. I just replaced a 26 year old gas heater that worked well and appeared sound since it just seemed like it was about time to do it.

Dick
concretemasonry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #6
Stay-at-home GC
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
Posts: 638
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


The bank wants that property off their books. If there are no other offers, they will give you cash at closing for this. EVERYTHING is negotiable, just don't fall in love with the house, so if you do push the bank to far and they walk, you won't feel crushed.

If I'm reading the photos correctly that water tank is venting gas exhaust into the basement. While heavier than air, it can build up and kill you or pets. I'm surprised anyone was able to get a Certificate of Occupancy for this home with that condition.
__________________
Can correctly identify Shinola 3 out of 5 times*
*Under ideal conditions

Some days, my Life needs a Rewind/Erase Button.
CplDevilDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 11:32 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 270
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


From the photo it appears there is a pressure relief valve--but even if there were not they can be purchased for $20 or so. The discharge pipe is not installed but installing a discharge pipe is a simple procedure so why not just do it.

The venting fix is a bit more complicated but it would be a (small) part of the replacement of the existing heater--again why not just fix what is wrong. It will certainly be less costly and apparently can be done to be fully compliant to applicable codes.
Bob999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 11:32 AM   #8
Stay-at-home GC
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh,PA
Posts: 638
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


Remember, if you are not working with a Buyer's Agent agreement, then the Real Estate Agent is not working for you. They are working for the seller! think "Used Car Salesman" and they will tell you all kinds of garbage to unload a dog.
__________________
Can correctly identify Shinola 3 out of 5 times*
*Under ideal conditions

Some days, my Life needs a Rewind/Erase Button.
CplDevilDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 11:49 AM   #9
Experienced
 
Jackofall1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Southern Michigan
Posts: 2,822
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


Fix the heaters, look at it this way, if you replace the heaters you will have to re-run the venting anyway, as this needs to be done. As for extending the pressure/temp relief no big deal.

Drain and flush the tanks, replace the anodes and they should be good for at least another 5 years.

Then save for a tankless unit large enough to replace both tanks.
__________________
When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
Jackofall1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 11:55 AM   #10
Member
 
Homerepairguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 781
Default

Have to replace 2 water heaters in house we're buying...help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by housenewbie View Post
We're buying our first house, in CA. Very excited! It's a remodeled house built in 1962, ...snip

Obviously if we have to replace them, we want to find the best option for our tight budget (the bank account is getting depleted by the house purchase!) that will last us a while and be adequate for our needs. Energy efficiency would be great, too.

I've looked into tankless heaters, but my concern is that I seem to read a lot of reviews saying how the units constantly break, that they cost a lot to install, and that you get bursts of cold water randomly sometimes while showering (ugh...I hate that!). Has this been true in your cases, if anyone has one? Do you find that it's worth the extra cost?
Since your home was built in 1962 and if you're thinking of electric tankless heaters, verify that the current capacity of your main input power line to your home can handle the current demands. Our home was built in 1971 and I found that the input power line had to be upgraded if we went tankless. Also, you will need to have separate power lines and circuit breakers installed for each tankless heater. --- For gas tankless, I've read that separate gas lines have to be run to each heater but have not verified that since we don't have gas service.

Verify both issues for your home as the upgrades to accommodate tankless plus the tankless units may cost way more than new water heaters and you're on a tight budget.

HRG

Homerepairguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
heaters, plumbing, tankless water heaters, water heaters


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
reasons to replace HVAC equip. or Water Heaters Yoyizit HVAC 12 08-24-2009 06:29 PM
No water draining into sump pit aci4369 Plumbing 2 08-18-2009 12:17 PM
Need some advice on buying home termite & water damage. Mr Heshup General DIY Discussions 1 03-29-2009 03:06 PM
WHOLE house water treatment? What is best for family? stbear007 Plumbing 1 09-07-2008 09:07 AM
(Water Heater MYSTERY) Hot water out from dead tank with cold water in it? Inayity Plumbing 6 07-14-2008 08:36 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.