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Thread: To replace or not replace...hot water heater?

  1. #1
    DIY Member hhcibtpaun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default To replace or not replace...hot water heater?


    I have read all the threads on when to replace hot water heaters and understand the variable nature of how long they last. I think I read a few posts on the efficiencies of the newer units being enough reason for replacement.

    So, I will post my current situation and see what kind of reponses I get.

    Currently I have the contractor installed 50 Gallon, Natural Gas hot water heater. This was installed in 1998, so we are at the 11 year mark. It is a Bradford White unit.

    There seem to be no major issues, or none at all with it. But in my heade I have always thought there was a 5-10 year life span on these things. The only reason I am contemplating replacement is because I am on the final leg of my basement remodel and I figured I would replace it before the carpet gets installed. My wife's buddy is a plumber and he will install a new one for like $***.00 and I can get a new Bradford White Unit for like ***.00.

    So, does it make sense to just replace it now? I figure moving it out of my basement when there is no carpet to worry about would be good, and I get another 10-15 years of worry free service


    Last edited by Terry; 07-03-2009 at 10:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    YES!!! I would if I were you...you must put an aluminum pan under it and pipe it and the T&P valve to the floor drain also...The other thing you could do is drain the old one and put a pan under it...but if your friend realy knows how to install one and will do it right by checking the water pressure, and installing an expansion tank also if you have a closed system...and maybe a PRV if the water pressure is to high...all for $***.00...and you have the $$$ for a new heater...GO for it..
    Last edited by Terry; 07-03-2009 at 10:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default heater

    Efficiency is NOT a good reason to invest in a new heater. Here gas heaters last 10 to 20 years as a rule, but NOTHING says that they cannot go bad in 3-5 years, and they do. You have nothing to lose by replacing it now, especially for $***.00, (I wouldn't even start my truck for that amount).
    Last edited by Terry; 07-03-2009 at 10:20 AM.

  4. #4
    Apprentice Plumber D'Brie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    NW Washington State

    Thumbs up

    Do it. Do it now. Do it right.

  5. #5
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    11 yr mark, might last another 9 years, $*** + $*** to replace.

    So, is the remaining 0 to 9 yrs of life worth less to you than $****?
    Put another way, you flip a coin, and "heads" means you replace the water heater. What would a new heater have to cost for you to be totally indifferent as to which way the coin lands?

    I'd be on the fence with this one, and probably buy a pan to remove some of the risk. But then, how much are pans?
    Last edited by Terry; 07-03-2009 at 10:21 AM.


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