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Thread: When is it worth fixing a water heater?

  1. #1

    Default When is it worth fixing a water heater?

    I hear of people fixing their water heaters rather than replacing, but I'm not sure when it makes sense to do so. I have a gas 40 gallon heater that is leaking fast through one of the bolts on top of it (not cold in or hot out) maybe the diptube don't know much about water heaters. The heater is approximately 10 years old which I've heard is about the lifetime of a heater. A new heater is around $250 at HD. Should I just replace the whole thing (which seems wasteful, but perhaps easiest) or dissassemble and fix? Where can I get parts? Any experience/advice would be appreciated.

    BTW, my house is a two unit house which has 2 water heaters (apartment with 1 person living in it and owners apartment with me and my wife) . In the meantime, I plumbed a valve between hot of the two heaters so that I can operate on either one. The leaking one is shut-off for the time being. One is working so well, that I'm not sure I actually need 2 heaters at all, but that's another issue.

  2. #2


    Its not the pressure relief valve that's leaking, BTW.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    This tank is dead. Other than obvious things like a gasket or TP valve, a tank that old is not worth putting anything into. It's your call on one or two heaters. I can see a possible problem when the utility bill comes and one unit uses a much larger amount of hot water that the other. It sounds like a pretty good emergency system you have. If you go with one tank, consider one larger than 40 gallons.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default heater

    About the only leaks on a gas water heater that you can fix, are the pipes screwed into the top. If these are not leaking change the heater.


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