Nine Year Old 50 Gallon Water Heater
I believe that it still works like new...but sometimes I suspect reduced performance. Since the kids are all gone, it's hard to really test it.
It's a model E3Z50RD055V Envirotemp Supreme Lifetime Warranty Self Cleaning purchased Feb. 2000..from Lowes. I still have the receipt and a copy of all of the warranty stuff.
I'm the original owner...I installed it myself.
How long will this thing last...Should I swap out the thermostat and elements...or just test everything? ...or just wait till I have real problems?
I guess you could check the recovery rate
"Recovery rates are generally measured by how many gallons of water can be raised 90-degrees in one hour. If a water heater, for example, stores 50 gallons of water, a recovery rate suitable for radiant heating would be the ability to heat 1 1/2 times its storage amount within one hour. In other words, it could heat 75 gallons each hour. The best water heaters on the market can heat almost three times their capacity."
You'd have to know the temp. of the incoming water. Turn off the heater, fill it completely with cold incoming water which temp. you have measured, turn it on and time it till it reaches the setpoint, and compare with manuf. spec's.
If you find any degradation, and knowing that it's 9 YO, you could predict the failure date (when it cannot keep up with demand).