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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

We have a large home that was built in partnership with the local electric utility as an all-electric show home. All of the appliances were top of the line - and almost none of them have required service or replacement (Dad was the builder, and I inherited it a few years ago).

A couple of years ago one of our two water heaters began to leak - I installed a replacement, but then learned that it was just one of the elements that had sprung a leak from corrosion - the actual water heater would have been fine if I had just replaced the elements.

Now the second one is having problems maintaining enough volume/temperature. What advice do you have for me as far as cleaning it out and replacing the elements? I imagine that after all these years there is some crud at the bottom - should I try to get that out since I need to open the element ports anyway?

Any other advice? Thanks.
 

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The expected live of a water heater is about 15 years or less. Yours is over double that. Time for a new one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The expected live of a water heater is about 15 years or less. Yours is over double that. Time for a new one.

Why? These were originally sold as "lifetime" units - the one I removed had no physical defects or faults, other than the seals on the elements were failing.

While I can respect that an average unit only lasts for approximately 15 years, I can also imagine that top of the line products might actually have an indefinite lifespan (pending maintenance, proper care, etc). They are located in a sheltered alcove under a stairway, and it is a dry basement.

It seems to me your reply is simplistic and doesn't respect the facts of the situation.
 

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You seem to already have an answer for your own question.
~almost 45 years old.
I'd replace it with something more efficient.

but feel free to replace parts. if its a "lifetime" unit, it should have a lifetime warranty ... right? i bet it does not. everything has a life expectancy. I can't imagine a WH being a purchase that will live forever.

if you wanted to get a detailed opinion, you'd probably want to supply info on the water it heats as well as the make/model number and usage.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You seem to already have an answer for your own question.
~almost 45 years old.
I'd replace it with something more efficient.

but feel free to replace parts. if its a "lifetime" unit, it should have a lifetime warranty ... right? i bet it does not. everything has a life expectancy. I can't imagine a WH being a purchase that will live forever.

if you wanted to get a detailed opinion, you'd probably want to supply info on the water it heats as well as the make/model number and usage.
It supplies two upstairs bathrooms - one is a tub, one a shower. Four total sinks - in fact, I'm 1/2 tempted to simply swap the hot water line into my other heater; the new one.

There are only three of us living here - and the reason for the extra water heaters was that it was built with five bedrooms (and of course with a full house the hot water supply would be an issue).

I seem to remember a thread about a guy messing up all his faucet cartridges when he inadvertently stirred up the goo at the bottom of his water heater. I want to avoid that at all costs.
 

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A good tip for water heaters is to test the emergency overflow valve regularly and also if there is a fitting on the bottem, drain off a bit of water as it helpes keep the scale and other sediment out of the bottem of the heater... An elderly gas heater repairman told me this in the 80's
 

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Roofmaster
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Have you changed the anode in the tank about every 5-7 years? If you have not, chances are the unit has reached the end of its life. One thing is for sure, it owes you nothing. Drain the tank, pull the anode and look into the tank with a see-snake. Maybe you are right.

I know the difference in water heater warranties has to do with the type and number of anodes you get.
 

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Trouble with volume or temperature? Most likely a heating element has failed.

Before draining the water heater tank, shut off the power (or gas for a gas heater) and make sure this cannot be turned on until you are done working.

Of course you need to drain the water heater down to below the level of the element or other component you need to work on.

For a water heater 40 or so years old it may be difficult to find replacement parts that fit.

To be sure that the water heater tank is filled up, you just need to se water gushing out full force with no air spurts from a hot faucet upstairs for a whole minute. After 5this you can turn the heat or power back on.
 
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