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If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

I have a 30-gallon Rheem (Model 813V30D) water heater that is almost 18 years old in a closet below my A/C unit. I live on the second floor of a condominium complex. It’s NOT giving me any trouble. Like they say, “If its not broken don’t fix it.”

I have some questions…

1. Should I replace it now before it gives me a problem?
2. How long will a water heater last?
3. If and when it does brake, what’s the worst that could happen?

Thank you,
Scotty
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

Question, does it it have a safety pan with an outside drain?
The worst is a flood when you are not home that causes thousands of $$ of damage. I have seen WHs last longer than 18 years and I have seen them go in 7-8. A lot depends on water chemistry.
 
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Replace it. The damage from a leak while you aren't home can be extensive. You will be responsible for the damage to your unit and the unit below you as well as an personal property of the condo owner below you. As it is on a second floor I buy the best unit I could afford.
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

Whole lot cheaper to replace it then having to deal and pay for all the damage a failed heater can do.
I'm surprised it's not code to install an auto shut off on water heaters considering the damage they cause.
http://www.watts.com/pages/whatsnew/floodsafe_wds.asp
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

18 years is a great run! I wouldn't push it...especially on the 2nd floor. I was lucky. My water heater developed a slow leak to let me know it was dying. It didn't have a pan with drainage but luckily it was in the basement near the sump so it didn't do any damage.

An ounce of prevention...yada yada yada.
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

Like they say, “If it's not broken don’t fix it.”
In the business world, they also say: "if it ain't broke, break it!" :biggrin2:

Questions to ask yourself:

Will replacing the water heater open up a whole new can of worms?

Will a plumber have adequate access to change it out? Will he have to do "surgery" to the walls, the floor, whatever...

Are you planning on living in this condo for a long time to come?

What's the general condition of the plumbing?

Is a 30 gallon tank big enough?

Have you considered an energy-efficient (but expensive) tank-less water heater?
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

If you don't already have a drain pan, the act of installing one will probably cost enough to make replacing the water heater at the same time worthwhile.

You can greatly reduce the chance of a catastrophic flood by turning off the water heater inlet (better yet, the water feed to your unit) whenever you go out and also have one or more flood alarms to alert you when your are home.
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

In the business world, they also say: "if it ain't broke, break it!" :biggrin2:

Questions to ask yourself:

Will replacing the water heater open up a whole new can of worms?

Will a plumber have adequate access to change it out? Will he have to do "surgery" to the walls, the floor, whatever...

Are you planning on living in this condo for a long time to come?

What's the general condition of the plumbing?

Is a 30 gallon tank big enough?

Have you considered an energy-efficient (but expensive) tank-less water heater?
ZZZZ your last question I have a quarrel with only because Tank less are far too expensive compared to a Tank Water Heater and that they require maintenance every 6 months if you want to extend the life of the tank less heater. These maintenance calls take a couple of hours and probably more than $200 each depending on the area you live in. When you do the research on Tank less, they just don't compare to correctly installing the old fashion tank water heaters from an economical stand point. As for installation, the costs can be huge depending on the Vent system you need to pass inspection. Do your own research, but I will pass on Tankless unless there is no alternative. To answer your question, replace it properly now in order to sleep at night.
 

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Maybe more if the downstairs guy has a 60 inch tv and a really nice surround sound system or his antique mahogany dining table set gets damaged . 20 grand is probably just the structural and finish materials never mind the contents . Hope your insurance is paid up
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

I can speak from experience, my main bath room lavatory overflowed and caused 26 Grand plus damage. Good thing I had homeowners insurance to cover it. I do have $1000 deductible and a really good insurance company purchased through Costco. I replaced my man made laminate with real wood laminate and my home looks great again.
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

ZZZZ your last question I have a quarrel with only because Tank less are far too expensive compared to a Tank Water Heater and that they require maintenance every 6 months if you want to extend the life of the tank less heater. These maintenance calls take a couple of hours and probably more than $200 each depending on the area you live in. When you do the research on Tank less, they just don't compare to correctly installing the old fashion tank water heaters from an economical stand point. As for installation, the costs can be huge depending on the Vent system you need to pass inspection. Do your own research, but I will pass on Tankless unless there is no alternative. To answer your question, replace it properly now in order to sleep at night.
I just asked that you consider tankless. I did say it was expensive. I agree, it's not for everyone.
 

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Re: If It’s Not Broken Why Replace It

Glad to hear you're replacing it. My water heater was just as old as yours. I put off replacing it with the same line of thinking as you. "I'll replace it when it breaks."

About 4-5 months ago, I was leaving to go to work, and just as I was about to get into my truck, I heard water dripping. Knowing this wasn't a sound I had heard in the garage before, I started looking around. The water heater was leaking from the bottom. If it would have busted 5mins later, I would have come home to a wet garage. I shut it off, drained it, disconnected it and went to work. I replaced it that evening.

The scrap yard gave me almost $5.00 for the old one. When I rolled it over in the bed of my truck, about 5 pounds of rust flakes fell out of the bottom of it. I'm not exaggerating on the amount of rust flakes either.
 
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